Welcome back to our week-long preview of the games making anxious gamers around the world salivate with anticipation. (See our Day 1 and Day 2 coverage.) E3 2012 is upon us. What wonders the Holy Grail of gaming conventions has in store are still undetermined, but one thing is certain: 2012 will undoubtedly be looked upon by future generations as one of gaming’s biggest years.
Before we begin, a quick update:
We previewed Hitman: Absolution on Day 2 of our countdown, now here is the official E3 2012 trailer for the game, featuring a pitched battle between antihero Agent 47 and… a gun-toting gang of nuns? In what world is that not awesome?!
What? You thought the fight was finished? Halo developer Bungie has handed the reins of the franchise to 343 Industries, and we’re wondering how fans will react to this. Franchise aficionados have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on games, books, comics, novels, and other assorted goodies based on the adventures of Master Chief and company so it’s probably a safe bet that Halo 4 will break all kinds of gaming records during its launch week.
One concern I have: since Halo 4 is being released with the full intention of kick starting another trilogy, will 4 be a full and complete story… or will players be left with an unsatisfying Halo 2-style climax, having to wait with baited breath for years for Halo 5 to come out?
Aliens: Colonial Marines
James Cameron’s Aliens is a movie I still can’t watch with the lights turned out. I blame my parents. The sadistic bastards took a 6-year-old me to see Aliens in theaters. Whenever I hear the ominous beeping of the motion tracker gizmo I’m instantly transported back in to the cinema, hiding under my seat and weeping for my mommy… who is too busy watching the damn movie to give me the time of day.
I bring up this anecdote for two reasons: one, my parents are utter bastards, and two, Aliens: Colonial Marines is intended as a direct sequel to Cameron’s movie. It is also the first game in a long time based on the universe created by Ridley Scott’s seminal 1979 horror movie not to feature a “VS” in the title. This isn’t another entry in the long-running Aliens Vs. Predator series. Gearbox Software, of Borderlands fame, originally wanted a squad-based shooter, but ultimately opted for a more traditional first-person shooter.
Part of the attraction will no doubt be the story: the game takes place following Ripley’s swan dive into oblivion in Alien 3, the player will take the role of a Marine set to investigate the derelict U.S.S. Sulaco, the transport ship from Cameron’s movie. Written by Battlestar: Galactica vets, Aliens: Colonial Marines is sure to be a wild ride.
Now if I could only figure out a way to play without peeing myself every time I use the motion tracker…
DmC: Devil May Cry
Ah, the complete reboot! The concept has its share of fans and detractors. Just trot out the trailer for this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man and be sure to duck the nerd rage certain to be flung about. Popular hack-and-slash series Devil May Cry arguably peaked with the release of Dante’s Awakening but, apparently, enough people felt that Dante and company were dive bombing into obsolescence to give the franchise an overhaul. So developer Capcom handed the creative reins over to Team Ninja, the minds behind Heavenly Sword and the sleeper hit Enslaved: Odyssey To The West.
Although the game claims to be set in a parallel reality to the Devil May Cry series we’ve come to know and love, one in which hero Dante is a brooding teenager that can’t seem to keep his shirt on, let’s face it: this is a reboot, no matter how cleverly the devs try to hide behind alternate reality nonsense. Still, claiming to purchase a DMC title for the story is like buying a ticket to a Michael Bay movie for the award-winning performances and deeply moving plot.
Grown up or teenage Dante, in the end it’s the action that will move copies. Judging from released media, Team Ninja seems to have nailed the series’ frenzied, over-the-top, cinematic combat. It remains to be seen if DmC does its own thing or if it’s just more of the same.
The Last of Us
Sony Computer Entertainment
Blending together elements of The Walking Dead and I Am Legend, The Last Of Us is the first major release from developer Naughty Dog since the conclusion of its fantastic Uncharted trilogy. A virus has scourged the Earth of nearly all life. Joel and Ellie must rely on each other and their individual strengths to survive mutated humans… and the hostile remainder of humanity. The media presented thus far brings back memories of I Am Alive’s first trailer… and we all remember how that long gestating project turned out!
Still, Naughty Dog’s sterling Uncharted series does merit the developer some serious credit with gamers. Promising gameplay that is equal parts scavenging and killing, The Last Of US looks to be a terrifying ride through post apocalyptic America.