Day one of E3 2012 has come to an end and it was an unbelievably full day. What did we manage to get to? Check here and find out!
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
I was one of the first people in line for Medal of Honor and was definitely glad to give it a try. My demo included a full 6v6 multiplayer match. Yours truly managed to go 25 and 17, the best record of the match. But really, did you expect less?
Opportunities to brag aside, the details put into the multiplayer were certainly interesting. Instead of trying to directly compete with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, Medal of Honor decided to go a slightly different route. The player is able to choose a loadout which felt very similar to Battlefield 3. The particular class that a player picked was based on types of soldiers. There’s way too much detail to explain adequately, so you can look it up for yourself if you’d like. But basically, some characters are outfitted for certain weapons, so if you want a scout-type character you’ll end up gravitating towards one unit class.
The most interesting element by far is that each team was divided up into two-man “fire teams”. So while the team is supposed to work together in order to complete the objectives, the fire teams are supposed to work even more closely in order to assist each other and complement each other’s gaming style. So while the other team was dominating my team (we lost by a landslide), my fire team member and I were holding our own and taking down the enemy team members.
Fire team members are more than just squadmates; they are given certain tactical advantages that aren’t shared with the team as a whole. I could always see my fire team member’s silhouette even through walls. If my fire team member was killed, I could see the silhouette of the player that killed him for a few seconds. If I killed that enemy, my fire team member would instantly respawn on my position. Otherwise, I could stay out of sight for a few seconds and my fire team member would respawn on me anyway. It was a decent system that will encourage working in pairs.
One thing that I like about the current and previous Medal of Honor titles is that they try to link to real world events. Everything that the player will encounter in Medal of Honor will be based in some sort of real event or situation. From Somali pirates to Pakistani terrorists, the player will find a lot of current event and hypothetical scenarios involved in both the single player and multiplayer.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
I’m actually somewhat frustrated at Black Ops 2. The stuff that I saw made me actually want to play certain sections of the game, but I know that the single-player campaign will be far too short to make those few sections truly enjoyable. It’ll be like getting a small taste of what you want, only to be denied anything more than that.
The majority of the game will feel exactly like previous Call of Duty games, so those that are fans of the series you should be pretty happy. There are supposedly major changes being worked on to the multiplayer, but I’m guessing the overall feel for that will also be similar to the first Black Ops.
The one thing that really interested me that I wish would be turned into a 20 hour campaign were the “sandbox” missions. They aren’t really sandbox missions, it’s more of three different objectives that the player can choose to complete in any order. That isn’t really new. What is new is that the player isn’t just in charge of his character. The player can jump in and out of any friendly character on the battlefield. This includes the human squad members as well as flying rotary drones, rolling tread-based ground drones, and large walking drones. The entire experience gives an RTS feel to an otherwise purely FPS experience.
Overall this game should be decent, but don’t buy it if you’re not going to be playing the multiplayer religiously. If you’re familiar with the previous Call of Duty games, you’ll understand what I mean.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Having just played War for Cybertron recently, I was definitely familiar with what this sequel would look and feel like. All of my problems with the previous game have clearly been addressed. The game includes the ability for the player to unlock and use a wide variety of weapons, each adapted for particular situations. The number of characters that the player will try seems to be greater as well. In addition to this, the variety of characters is definitely wider. Instead of having three character options each with a relatively similar feel, the player will play as characters like Optimus, Starscream, and Grimlock (who transforms into a fire breathing T-Rex).
Stealth makes an appearance in this game, as a number of the characters have a cloaking ability and can perform unique stealth kills. The levels appear to be much larger and have a less linear feel. Melee combat is more prominent but is still secondary for most of the characters.
Unfortunately, the cooperative campaign included in the first game has been abandoned. Players will either play the single-player campaign alone or play the multiplayer with friends. Instead, the developers are pushing the “escalation” horde-mode as the sole source of cooperative gameplay. While I’m not necessarily happy about this decision, I can see the clear improvements made from the previous game and appreciate the work that has been done.
I was pleasantly surprised by this game. While normally I don’t play games that are intended for a younger audience, I took the time to answer the request of a friend and see how this game looked overall. I was definitely impressed with what I saw.
For those of you unfamiliar with the previous game, the Skylanders games bring together toys and video games. Players can buy little toy versions of the characters in the game, which unlocks that character for the player. Put the character on a special platform and that character (with all of its accumulated stats) appears in the game for the player to control. This game also includes a two-player cooperative mode by simply hooking up an extra controller and putting another character onto the platform.
There are a lot of awesome elements for this game, but one of my favorites was the fact that the characters that the player developed with the previous game can still be used in Giants as well with all of the statistics carrying over. The level cap has been increased and there are lots of new adventures and areas to explore.
In addition to this, there are entirely new characters that the player can buy. Even characters that were included in the previous game have a second version with new powers that can be bought. It would probably get pretty pricey to buy every character for both games, but I’ll leave that to the children and their parents to debate.
I stuck around to ask some questions and got some answers that returning fans may like. PvP action is back again and this includes a new game mode called “Ringout” where the two players must try and knock each other out of the arena. Higher difficulty levels are included so that more skilled players can test their abilities. The developers worked hard on the replayability and exploration aspects of the game. This includes making interiors explorable as well.
The Amazing Spiderman
Games based on movies have a long and sordid history. Usually these titles are horribly underfunded flops that loosely mirror the events of the corresponding movie and, almost always, are a flop for the developers. Activision decided to take a bit of a leap of faith and create The Amazing Spiderman, a game based on the upcoming movie title. While this certainly looks much better than most movie-based games, it leaves a bit to be desired.
Allow me to start by making some things clear. The developers worked hard to make this game different than most movie titles. The storyline takes place after the events of the movie, meaning that the players will have fresh material to work with. The developers also worked tirelessly with Marvel to make the game fit within the canon of the movies, so nothing should feel that weird or out of sync for Spiderman fans.
This game plays a lot like a hybrid between Batman: Arkham City and Prototype. The player has an open world of Manhattan to explore and complete random objectives. There are tons of collectibles, many of which are actually pages for real comics that hardcore fans will appreciate. There are a number of comics that the player can unlock, including Spiderman’s first ever appearance in a comic.
Still, the developer mentioned that there were some problems with the legal team which gave me the impression that a lot of development was significantly slowed while the legal team sorted everything out. The result is a game that has certain clearly polished aspects (such as the player model for Spiderman, which is intricately detailed) but other aspects which look a bit bland (such as most of the environment). Most of the combat seemed repetitive and I don’t think that was likely to change. I suspect that missions get extremely repetitive after a short period of time.
Still, there were some highlights. The “web rush” parkour mechanics were a pretty cool feature that allows the player to cross great distances in a similar way to what Spiderman will do in the movie. The hand-to-hand combat is pretty cool with a decent amount of variety. And there are some hidden extras, such as the ability to play as Stan Lee (who also recorded a number of lines for his character).
I have a small amount of experience with the Hitman games, so I can say that this game played very similarly to the previous games but with a decent amount of improvements. Instead of relying heavily on ranged weapons like guns, the player will be encouraged to use environmental hazards to complete kills in ways that make things the murders look like accidents.
The best way this is highlighted is in one of the executions I saw later in the demonstration. The player walks into a mechanic’s shop where the target is standing near a car that is raised up on a platform. The player can throw a wrench underneath the car, getting the target’s attention. The target walks underneath the platform to investigate, upon which time the player can lower the entire platform crushing the target. The nearby cops run forward to investigate but allow the player to walk out unharmed.
This is definitely a bloody game. The stealth mechanics may get a bit frustrating for players who are used to the more run-and-gun type systems, but overall I would probably find this game to be entertaining.
I had heard rumors about this game here and there but never really understood what it was and thus didn’t recognize it when I first saw the advertisements or saw this game listed at E3. It turns out that this is essentially the next game in the “True Crime” series, which I have missed ever since it was scrapped. While this isn’t truly a “True Crime” sequel, it’s basically what True Crime: Hong Kong was supposed to be.
The player is a cop in Hong Kong that is also deeply involved in a number of the local Triad gangs. Things somehow go horribly wrong for the player and his family / gang, and things end up very messy. The game clearly shows a Chinese cinema influence as there is a lot of slow motion and kung-fu.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
This review will probably be a bit short simply because I can easily describe how awesome this game is. If you have ever played Burnout: Paradise, you’ll know how much fun that game was. Need for Speed: Most Wanted felt almost exactly like Burnout: Paradise. Take Burnout, sprinkle in a few cops, and you’ve got Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I cannot express how excited I am about this game.
Takedowns are back with a vengeance, by the way.
Lost Planet 3
I got a brief chance to test out this game. While I am not as familiar with the series as I would like, this brief encounter got me intrigued. The storyline was decently laid out, the characters were interesting, and the script seemed well-written. The game felt a bit like Dead Space, but with fewer zombies. It was definitely tough, but would be worth further investigation. If you liked the previous games in the series, you’ll definitely be interested in this one.
I got to test out one mission in Borderlands 2. For those of you who are familiar with the style of Borderlands, you will definitely be impressed with what is available here. Much of the game has been greatly improved from the previous version and the entire mission I played was extremely funny. My glimpse of the game was very brief, but it definitely felt just as awesome as Borderlands, but much cleaner.
I only got to test out the Berserker class (I wanted the heavy weapons), but his powers were pretty good. The skill tree is revamped but still feels familiar. So I’m expecting you all to play with me when it comes out!
I really want to make my description longer, but my demo was so short there’s very little else that I have to say. I don’t know anything about the single player yet other than you’re fighting against someone named Handsome Jack. If you’ve been keeping up with the information so far, you know just about as much as I do. But what I can say is that the gameplay is awesome and this should be very high on your list of things games to get.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Yes, I do realize that we reviewed this game last year and that it has been delayed at least once, but I finally got a chance to play the game. I played a quick round in the multiplayer against members from the development team. For the multiplayer, the teams were divided up into marines and xenomorphs. My team (the marines) had a small assortment of weapons to use against the xenomorphs including the standard assault rifle and shotgun. Supposedly there was also a railgun, but I never got a chance to test it out.
The marine’s only real advantage was that they got a motion sensor that would tell each player where the enemies and teammates were in proximity to the player’s location. Without it, the player was almost completely blind. The xenomorphs, in contrast, were able to see the marines anywhere on the map from a distance and through walls. The marines had the advantage of ranged weaponry, while the xenomorphs had a two-hit melee kill.
The gameplay was actually much smoother than I expected from what I saw last year. It looks like the game has been cleaned up over the past year and should be a decent experience. I also confirmed again that the campaign will be fully cooperative.