It was inevitable that I would be doing some sort of “Top X” list for this year’s E3, which was the first time I covered the event, so I thought about the list and focused on the best games that I saw at the show. I will list them in no particular order, but if you pressed me for my absolute favorite I think I’d have to go with Arkane’s Dishonored, which is being published by Bethesda. There was just something about that’s game’s world and mechanics that really left a lasting impression on me. All of the other game’s on my list were solid too, but Dishonored truly stuck out as a fond E3 gaming moment for me. Enjoy my Top Ten games of E3 2012 list, and feel free to attack my opinions with fanboy flare! You’ve been wishing you got to play these games too…
Like I mentioned above this new title from Arkane wowed me the most at E3. I just loved its unique spin on the Bioshock formula (Left hand powers, Right hand weapon), and the freedom the game allows for each mission. You can either go stealth through every level, or you can go all Rambo. Each style plays out much differently than the other, and it’ll make replaying this game a no brainer.
I also enjoyed the variety of supernatural powers that are at the gamer’s disposal to help make their way to the next victim. I think Blink is my favorite as it lets you teleport to anywhere in an instant as long as your cursor is in an area that can be landed on. The build I played seemed very solid, and this game is looking like it’s in good shape for its Fall 2012 release. It’s going to be a “must buy” for me, and I expect it will be for you once you see it in action.
The next game on my list is Borderlands 2. I got to play a closed doors co-op demo of the game running on a PC, and at times I thought they’d need security to get my out of the room so someone else could play. This sequel is shaping up to be a GOTY contender, and will surely take home a bevy of awards this season. The cell shaded visuals looked amazing, and the new locations give the world of Pandora a much more vibrant feel than the plain desert locations from the original.
I played as the assassin Zero who was pre-equipped with some gnarly weaponry, which helped me and my partner conquer the E3 demo with ease. I promise you that if you liked the original you will love Borderlands 2. Everything about the game has been improved, so it’ll make for some great 4-player looting runs when it launches in September. You can read more of my coverage on it here.
I mean how can’t Halo 4 be on this list? This fourth Master Chief inspired Halo game already looks like a finished build, and all of the new modes in the Infinity Multiplayer component will keep this game fresh for many months after its release. My favorite new mode is definitely the Spartan Ops co-op multiplayer, which will release episodically each week with 5 new missions to play. Each of these new episodes will also feature a continuing narrative, so it’s not just like this content is throw away DLC. The best part is that the entire first season of Spartan Ops will be free with the purchase of Halo 4.
I also played a few War Games, which are essentially the traditional Halo multiplayer modes that we’ve all come to know and love. Everything about Halo 4 has been revamped, so don’t expect the same old Halo game when it launches this November. You will see a game that has grown up since Halo 3 with completely new visual tones, as well as a new sound profile that makes the game seem slightly more mature.
Now I didn’t get to play the new Tomb Raider, but I got to watch it in action, and I must say that I’m a new fan of the series. I played the original way back in the 90’s, but I never took to the franchise like some fans. That will all change once the Tomb Raider reboot comes out in 2013. This game looks every bit as good, if not better, than the recent run of Uncharted games. Lara was the first Indiana Jones-ish game character on the scene, so I’m glad that she’s getting a second chance at life in this new more mature Tomb Raider title.
The gameplay looks absolutely enjoyable, and the island Lara is trapped on looks as realistic as it gets in gaming. I truly believe that this reboot and more mature direction is exactly what Ms. Croft needed to get her in the gaming limelight again. You can read more about my experience with the game here.
I got to see Assassin’s Creed 3 on the Wii U, as well as a few other demos such as the ship to ship battle, and I was instantly remembered why I fell in love with this franchise in the first place. I haven’t played the last two AC games due to laziness, but I’ve added these to my To Do list, so I can get ready for AC3’s debut this fall. The American Revolution setting is just perfect for this franchise, so I can’t wait to play out Connor’s story when the game ships in October. You can read more on my Ubisoft booth tour impressions here.
Metal Gear Rising Revengeance
The name may be slightly ridiculous, but this Metal Gear game is shaping up to be something special. This is a title that was nowhere to be found on my gamedar until I played it at E3. After my session at Konami’s booth I can tell you that I’m a new fan of Revengeance. The whole precise swordplay did it for me, as well as the game’s over-the-top QTEs. I totally enjoyed this game and can’t wait for its release in 2013. You can read more on my Konami E3 booth tour here.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
I only got to see and play the multiplayer component in ACM, but that’s all that I needed to confirm that this game is going to be something special if it ever gets released. My demo featured an aliens versus marines match, and like most current multiplayer games it played pretty much the same. It was a team deathmatch setup where I as a marine had to take down all sorts of different Xenos from the other team. The gameplay was solid, and the visuals looked even better. It’s a shame that we have to wait until 2013 for this game, but it’ll be totally worth it. It looks and feels just like the movie Aliens, which it is a semi-sequel to. You can read another blurb on my ACM experience here.
Gears of War Judgment
Yeah I’m a sucker for Gears of War, that’s no question, but I really was impressed with the new Overrun multiplayer mode found in this soon to be fourth Gears title. The introduction of class based multiplayer really changed up the way Gears of War is played online. Team work is now mandatory, so if you’re a lone wolf this new mode will not be for you. Some of the controls have been changed as well with the “Y” button now serving as your weapon swap button, and the “LB” button serves as your special movie button for the Overrun mode.
Visually it looked like a Gears game, but that’s a good thing considering how crisp Gears of War 3 looked. I can’t wait to see what else Epic and People Can Fly have up their sleeves in regards to Judgment. I had that much fun while playing it at E3.
God of War: Ascension
I would be a fool if I didn’t list the new GoW game as one of my favorites from this year’s E3. I got to play its multiplayer mode, and boy is it something different than what we’re used to. It’s basically God of War campaign action against other teams of humans. You have to play it to see what I mean, but I’ve never played a multiplayer game quite like it.
I also saw some of the single player campaign in action, and Kratos looks as pissed as ever. The highlight for me was seeing a new enemy type that I’ve never seen in a GoW game before, or any type of Greek mythology. It was a giant with an elephant’s head. I don’t know why I liked it so much, but this enemy type just looked rad as all hell, and he made a lasting impression on me. You can read more about my Sony E3 booth tour here.
Dead Space 3
Last but not least on this Top 10 list is EA’s Dead Space 3. Everything about this game made me drool while watching an extended demo, and I have to say that the inclusion of co-op works perfectly. DS3 will offer fans of the series a whole new way to play the campaign with drop-in/drop-out co-op, which will actually change up some cutscenes from the single player mode if you take advantage of some help from a friend.
It was cool to see actual human enemies in a Dead Space game, and the new outdoor locations are definitely a change of pace from the tight confines of a space ship and space station. Don’t worry, there’s still some tight corridors to play through, and it’s likely that you’ll still shit your pants while playing through Dead Space 3. Neither co-op nor the open planet setting seemed to make this game any less terrifying. You can read more about it here.
Honestly, I could have listed probably 20 games (The Last of Us, if I got to see more of it, would have definitely made this short list) that left a lasting impression on me from E3, but I had to whittle it down to just 10. Each of these games that I listed are “must buy” worthy if you have the funds, but unfortunately most of them are coming out next year. Luckily games like AC3, Halo 4, and Dishonored will be out this fall, because I’m already feeling withdraws from not playing them anymore. Thanks again for checking out my E3 “Best of ” list, and like I mentioned earlier please feel free to pick my choices apart using the comment section below.
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