E3 Overview: Assassin’s Creed 3 / Resident Evil 6 / The Last of Us / watch_dogs / Splinter Cell: Blacklist
As long as I have been playing video games, there has always been 3 companies that I have typically avoided or used caution when considering buying games. Activision, EA and Ubisoft. Over the years that list has gradually changed. My reasoning for my dislike of these companies mostly come from the fact that they place profits, money and financial gain over technological development, story creativity or creating new content. Activision are the biggest guilty company when it comes to this. Their Call of Duty franchise has become a laughing joke for using a game engine that is now 5 years old. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is still using that same game engine that was originally produced for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Activision doesn’t care about producing new entertaining content. Their only intention is to make as much money out of it as possible. you only have to look at the Call of Duty Elite subscription based and the amount of money being charged for access to new maps and so on. They don’t care about what the gamer wants to experience, only the money that is in their bank account.
This leads me to EA and Ubisoft. EA are just as guilty with this method. Their Need For Speed franchise has been run into the ground faster than the high performance cars featured in their games. However, EA do own a company label which I still consider to be the best in the business. BioWare. The people who made Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age and the Mass Effect games are still the best (yes I include Mass Effect 3 in that list, get over it). Not only BioWare but EA also produced the Medal of Honor game which I felt was far better than Activisions Call of Duty: Black Ops game.
finally, Ubisoft. I’ve never really been a big fan of their games and its usually because they’ve produced games that have not been landmark games. Ubisoft have however gradually turned that around. Assassin’s Creed is about to get a major push with Assassin’s Creed 3 being released in October. On top of that there is the Tom Clancy label series. Splinter Cell has always been fun, Rainbow Six are my favorite shooters and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was a refreshing change from the endless shooters out on the market.
This has mostly come around from seeing the recent releases announced at the E3 convention being held. I typically tend to avoid these convention announcements most usually because the games announced are not scheduled for release until either the end of the year or next year. however, after following some of the announcements made, I am incredibly impressed by some of the products that are going ahead and projects that are still being worked on. So here’s a look at the games that caught my specific attention and will most likely get my money as well.
Ubisoft: Assassins Creed 3
As I had mentioned before, Assassins Creed 3 is looking to be a very great game. Having played the previous games (still working my way through Assassin’s Creed Revelations) I had begun to get worried that the AC series was beginning to get stale and repetitive. However the change of scenery presented in Assassins Creed 3 revitalised the project and I like the change to the American War of Independence. On top of it all, the Naval battles are shaping up to be incredibly exciting. Connor is going to join Ezio and Altair as equally great characters and if there is one thing I enjoy most of all about AC’s storyline, is the running plot thread through all the games so far concerning the Assassin’s, the Templars and the mysterious creators of the Apple of Eden. The graphics have been improved and it’s looking to be the best game yet in the AC series.
Before E3, I had never heard of this game. After E3, everyone was talking about it. The trailer looks incredibly simple and straightforward game. However the game quickly shifts to present a new format of playing. The player character having control of traffic lights, bridge controls or listening to phone conversations presents itself as a very interesting way of creating an interesting storyline. The trailer doesn’t present much else, but it certainly does enough to grab my interest and more importantly, keep it.
Ubisoft: Splinter Cell – Blacklist
The previous Splinter Cell game, Conviction received a bit of a mixed reaction from the long time fans of the game series. I did however really enjoy the game and its storyline. It’s still one of the games that i continue to play and i particularly enjoyed the games co-op gameplay feature. Now at E3, Ubisoft have announced the next game of Splinter Cell and it’s called Blacklist. The trailer doesn’t reveal much gameplay details but it does have a lot of story content that gets my interest. The idea of Third Echelon being deactivated and Fourth Echelon now in its place does sound interesting, particularly since Conviction revolved around Third Echelon’s attempt to take over the United States. There is still one massive glaring problem with Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Thats with Sam Fisher himself. Apparently someone has decided to alter the characters voice and not bring back Michael Ironside. This is a huge mistake since Ironside has that great voice of his and he gave Fisher weight and depth. The problem is that the change of voice actor can be a bit jarring and it may end up harming the game than anything else.
Naughty Dog: The Last of Us.
This has already done the rounds in trailers. However the recent gameplay footage that came out of E3 has shown that Naughty Dog haven’t been resting after completing Uncharted 3 and continued doing what they are best at. Combining great story with great footage. At times it’s easy to forget that you’re playing a game and become so immersed in the game that you feel like a film is being displayed in front of you. With Naughty Dog behind the helm of this game, it certainly delivers a lot what it promises and more importantly for a game developer it shows progress. Naughty Dog aren’t doing like Activision are so guilty of. They take a game project and they work on it until it becomes the best it can. The result is always apparent, you’re always playing a game that feels like the game developers have earned their money and produced something that has a unique quality feel to it. In a business where the big names are always doing the same as everyone else. It’s refreshing to see someone take them on and not only beat them, but grind them into the dirt.
Capcom: Resident Evil 6
BioWare may be my favorite games company on the scene. Capcom are just behind them. Capcom have shown this unique ability to quietly work on a game and then announced it to everyone’s surprise. Capcom’s Resident Evil series is always an event and always been enjoyable. More importantly the story works just as great as the gameplay. On top of all that, what makes me more excited about Resident Evil 6 is that it features the return of one of the best characters in the Resident Evil series Leon Kennedy. Resident Evil 2 was the first RE game that I played and as such Leon has always been one of my favorite characters.
More importantly with the Resident Evil 6 trailers, they deliver on what they offer. They grab your attention, don’t let go and the next thing you know, you’re placing a pre-order for the game.
So that’s my look at E3. I still believe that Mass Effect 3 is going to be my game of the year. However 2012 is still shaping to be a great year for video game releases. They may not be as perfect or great as ME3. But they’ll still be more fun and entertaining than having to sit through yet another Call of Duty game.