Here we go, looking back at the “big three” press conferences from E3 2012, and going over what worked for me, and what didn’t. First up: Microsoft.
On a personal note, I feel the need to mention that I do own an Xbox 360 and rather enjoy it. I don’t game enough online to warrant a Gold account for Xbox LIVE, however, and while I do have a nice stack of games for it, most of what I play comes through Xbox LIVE Arcade. That said, I’m probably not the “ideal” Xbox 360 gamer, but I do enjoy it.
Halo 4 – This kicked things off, and was probably as good a choice as anything. Personally, I think the Halo mythology is neat, though I’ve yet to get as invested in it as I would like. Seeing it continue after 3 ended the trilogy? Well, the jury is out on that.
Either way, I rarely ever play first-person shooters (and when I do, usually with a less-conventional control scheme), so this does little else for me by default; more of a game I’d rather watch someone play than play myself.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Not really my thing, either. Sad as it is to say, I suck at third person shooters as well. I’m generally willing to make one exception, and that’s more for the franchise: Transformers.
Madden NFL ’13 and FIFA ’13 – First, I’m not a huge fan of sports games– realistic sims especially, save for maybe golf (arcade-style stuff, I’m far more open to– NBA Jam, anyone?). Second, “Better with Kinect” is the tagline, but the thing can’t operate in the limited confines of my apartment living room, so I’m out.
Fable: The Journey – Fable seems neat, though I’ve never really had a chance to sit down and play one. This likely won’t be my first, as it seems to be a Kinect game, and we’ve already been over why that won’t work. If it could? I’d be a lot more interested, I can say that.
In fact, watching the video again, I’m going to say that this game is the highlight of this conference for me thus far, but the barrier to entry keeps me from getting too invested. Shame, really.
Gears of War: Judgment – Hmm, the last time I talked about a series installment called “Judgment,” I was cited on Wikipedia for decrying the art designer’s Death Note follies. Looks good, but see Splinter Cell.
Forza: Horizon – I’m a little iffy on realistic driving simulators, which is what I’m under the impression Forza is– Microsoft’s answer to Gran Turismo, is it not? Looks nice, though. What I’ve played of the other series, I’ve enjoyed, but not enough to drop $60 on.
Entertainment – And here we go with Kinect again. Granted, I could use the voice commands, but to pay $150 for the privilege? I’ll pass, thanks, though finally getting the multilingual thing underway is commendable.
He goes on to talk about new providers of content like Nickelodeon, but living in Canada, that stuff is always sketchy at best. They have Machinima as well, which I can view on YouTube easily enough, but even the things I can watch otherwise with no problem are iffy.
Nike + Kinect Training – Good enough idea, I suppose, but… next.
Xbox SmartGlass – Reminds me of what my dad would sometimes call me growing up… well, with the additions of “Xbox” and “Gl,” anyway.
But this does seem kind of neat. I don’t really move from device to device when watching things, but I am often looking up info during or after the fact, so that does have a certain appeal to me.
Internet Explorer for Xbox – It’s about time. For all its vaunted internet capabilities, I’ve long wondered why the Xbox 360 was the only console without a web browser. And to those who are disappointed it’s IE… come on, what were you expecting? It’s Microsoft.
And apparently the part where they show some of Prometheus is considered a spoiler by some? I hate spoilers as much as anyone, but if it’s on the official website, doesn’t that fall under “promotional?” Unless you’re on a complete blackout, that is…
Tomb Raider – I’ve never been the biggest Tomb Raider fan– Lara’s tank-like controls and the way thugs could take repeated shotgun blasts to the face at point-blank range in the second game led me to say “nuts to this” early on. I did like the character, the first movie, and the XBLA game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (well, the demo), though.
That said, this has some interesting potential to it, though I wonder just how much of what was shown was actually being played. Probably won’t be seeking this one out, though, unless I hear some really good things.
Ascend – Meh. Looks alright, I guess, but doesn’t really grab me.
LocoCycle – Because you don’t need to know what our game is.
Matter – Might be neat, but made for Kinect, so next!
Resident Evil 6 – I’ll finish Resident Evil 4 one of these days– I swear! But it has Leon, so that’s a plus. Sadly, it sounds like Claire won’t be along for the ride, so that’s a minus.
Truth be told, Resident Evil is one of those “I enjoy the characters and story more than I do playing the games” situations, like Halo… though I did enjoy The Darkside Chronicles.
Wreckateer – Hey, now here’s something right up my alley– Kinect. Oh well.
In truth, it looks a lot like an iPhone game I’m currently reviewing, Catapult King, so I’m not too torn up over this one.
South Park: The Stick of Truth – I seldom play RPGs which don’t have “Mario” in the title (or on a rarer occasion, “Mega Man”), but this looks like the show-stealer for me.
My big question is, “how much of that was gameplay?” Not that I’m calling bullshots on the graphics or anything, but just due to the perspective in most shots; I’m curious how that looks while playing, given the show’s traditional “flat” look.
Also: Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably had the best bit on stage of anyone there.
Anyway, it looks good. But then again, so did Tenorman’s Revenge, and that one was extremely mediocre, if not just bad.
Dance Central 3 – Next! I’m sure this is great for someone, and I’m happy for them, but that person isn’t me.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – The first Call of Duty game I’ve ever had an interest in playing, and only mildly so– due to the sci-fi elements. But it brings us full-circle, since as I said at the top of this article, FPS isn’t for me. I know plenty of people in my family who will be happy to take up this game, but for me? Pass.
And that wraps up my look at Microsoft’s E3 2012 press conference, which contained several games I’m not interested in playing, several more I’d be interested in playing were it not for the Kinect requirement, more games that I’d play if I had nothing else more interesting around, and South Park. Oh, and the SmartGlass thing, which is sort of like a solution to a problem I never really had.
Overall, I’m calling this one a bust– on a personal level, at least, as very little here really grabbed me. Sure, a lot of it is nice and all, but it’s not really for me. It will be interesting to see how Sony manages to stack up, and then Nintendo. But, as it’s 8:29am here and writing this took a lot longer than I thought it would, that will have to wait for another time.