E3 is a show full of hype and anticipation. We definitely had our share of things we wanted to see. Now that the show’s over, we decided to take a look at upcoming offerings and share what we’re each most excited about.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: 3D platforming was good to Sony on the PS2, and I could never truly decide if I preferred Ratchet & Clank or Sly Cooper. I’ve gotten plenty of PS3 playtime out of the Future trilogy of R&C games, and while The Sly Collection was great fun on PS3, I can’t wait to see what Sanzaru can do with the franchise while Sucker Punch (hopefully) keeps supplying us with Infamous games.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception: Uncharted 2 was my personal game of the year for 2009, and the Uncharted games deliver movie-quality setpieces, whitty writing, and some of the best single-player gunplay I’ve ever found. I can’t wait to step back into Drake’s shoes.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations: I was excited for this one before E3, and the trailer shown have me even more excited to see what the future (past? both?) have in store for Altair, Ezio, and Desmond in Constantinople.
Batman: Arkham City: I love Arkham Asylum. I love it enough that I’ve bought it two times (PS3 and Steam). Rocksteady managed to make Batman feel powerful and fragile at the same time, the combat
flows wonderfully, and the setting is expertly recognized. I’m a sucker for excellent single-player experiences, and Batman: Arkham City looks to be just that. Also, Catwoman looks great, and it’ll be great to trade the cape and cowl in for a bit to whip some Joker thugs while trying to pull off a clever heist.
BioShock Infinite: I have yet to play BioShock 2, but the gameplay footage from BioShock Infinite guarantees that I’ll pick it up on release day. Columbia looks like a great setting, the skyhooks look like a blast to play on, and I’m curious what Ken Levine has planned for the greater BioShock universe.
PlayStation Vita: I love my PSP dearly. It is a great platform with a lot of great games on it. It’s also darn useful as an MP3 player and video playback device (assuming you’re willing to invest the time to convert your physical media so you can watch it over lunch at work like I am). The Vita looks to continue all of those things and deliver an even higher-fidelity experience. I always knew that my PSP would eventually get replaced – I just never imagined that I’d be wanting to buy that replacement on launch day so I could play Uncharted: Golden Abyss on it.
PlayStation Vita: When the 3DS was first announced, I was impressed with how they managed to push such an impressive graphic resolution on a handheld. Then the NGP was revealed and demonstrated. Needless to say, I was blown away. With E3 revealing that the game will be priced the same as a 3DS, I’ll be among the many lining up to get this on day one.
Kirby Wii: A true Kirby Super Star successor with 4-player cooperative play? With KSS being among my favorite games of all time, it took me less than a second to get interested.
Twisted Metal: I love everything new they’re adding to this franchise while they remain faithful to the gameplay that made this series as successful and fun as it has been over the years.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon: Outside of the handheld titles, the Ace Combat series has yet to disappoint. The addition of helicopters plus the small, but useful gameplay changes makes this one game I really can’t wait to try out for myself.
Mass Effect 3: Seeing the demo at EA’s press conference had me both excited and worried. The combat seems great, but it was all combat. Since then, previews have shown that it will still feature what we love about the series, including the amazing conversation system.
BioShock Infinite: What can I say that hasn’t been said already? This is the successor to BioShock that I wanted: something entirely different, but with some elements of the original game that still survive the test of time. It’s easily the most impressive game I’ve seen and read about at this year’s E3 and my most anticipated game of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City: Arkham Asylum was one of my favorite games of 2009, and Arkham City’s free-roaming city and expanded combat seem like it could make it one of the best of 2011. I’m just so happy to see another great looking game based on my favorite superhero.
Heroes of Ruin: It will be a while before we see this Square Enix-published action-RPG, but it seems like it will be a 3DS classic. The procedurally-generated levels, robust online play and visual charm make me hope for something truly special.
Awesomenauts: Getting two buddies over to take on all comers in arena-based combat just seems like a great time. Ronimo has a knack for making things fun and distinctive, and my fingers are crossed that they’ll hit another one out of the park.
NCAA Football 11: I know, I know. You probably think I’m crazy. But here’s the thing: this year’s addition of the Coaching Carousel mode makes for an interesting simulated career mode, and that’s what I want out of those games. Add in that it’s slowly coming into its own after years of being a mod of last year’s Madden, and I’m anticipating an annual sports game update.
Paper Mario 3DS: We didn’t even get our hands on Paper Mario at this year’s show. We got confirmation that it’s on its way, though, and I have an undying devotion toward that series. Of course, I’d also take a new Advance Wars, but I guess I’m happy Intelligent Systems keeps working on whatever it can.
Skulls of the Shogun: Turn-based strategy games haven’t really had an infusion of innovation in a way that fosters a fun multiplayer experience. Haunted Temple Studios is working on it. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long.
Of course, I’m also looking forward to most of the things everyone else is. I just like being a champion of the overlooked.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: I went into E3 with high expectations for Skyrim, and it didn’t disappoint. The new information about the way character development will work is exciting, and the new combat and magic systems really look like they’ll greatly improve the variety and enjoyment of fighting. Top that off with the new, shiny graphics engine and story, and it’s definitely still top on my list after E3.
Mass Effect 3: We got to see a lot of footage from Mass Effect 3 during E3, and my prevailing thought regarding it was that it looks and feels like Mass Effect 2. However, that’s not a bad thing at all. It does present more options for the player when leveling up skills than Mass Effect 2 did, which is always a welcome thing. Add in some on-rails sequences and what definitely looks like more epic storytelling, and ME3 definitely is an early favorite of mine for 2012.
PlayStation Vita: I’ve been a fairly vocal critic of the PSP for most of its life, but I have to say that the PS Vita completely won me over. Sure, it has a beautiful screen and great graphics, but so did the PSP. What won me over was the fact that it will reportedly have a more fully featured online system than the PS3, feature cross-platform PS3 play, has what feels like a real Uncharted game on it, will play any downloaded PSP game, and is the same price as the 3DS.
Final Fantasy XIII-2: Final Fantasy XIII-2 appears to do exactly what I wanted out of a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, even the parts I didn’t even think I wanted. The ability to add captured monsters to your team, the quick time events during boss battles, and the addition of interaction with NPCs and towns are all great ideas and seemed to work well during my time with the game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: This title is something I never thought would be in a list of top 5 anything. I love Star Wars, and the Knights of the Old Republic games are my favorite Star Wars-based games. So I was extremely sad when I first heard that BioWare was making an MMO instead of a sequel to KotOR. I remained disappointed all the way until I saw BioWare explain their approach and plan for The Old Republic. Now, I’m hoping that the monthly payments are low enough I can afford them, or that they offer a lifetime subscription.