OCC E3 2012 AwardsClayMeow - June 17, 2012
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Game of the Show
Winner: Watch Dogs (PC)
I had a difficult time deciding on the Game of the Show for this year's E3. While the number of surprises did not stand up to that of previous years, there were several games that really caught my attention. What it ultimately came down to, was a choice between The Last of Us and Watch Dogs. I decided on the latter. With everything taken into account, The Last of Us – while impressive – feels a tad familiar to those who have played Uncharted (Read below). Say what you will about Watch Dogs, but in seemingly one big swoop, it went from an unannounced project to one of the most hyped games coming out of E3. As a high-profile hacker in a city reliant on a supercomputer running the show, the environment is yours to toy around with. Need to sneak into a building? Jam all cameras and phones, cause a vehicle pileup, or pick up clues by listening in on nearby conversations. The options are all there at your disposal. Best of all, pedestrians and other NPCs will dynamically react to your actions. Cause a car crash and you may find good Samaritans help the injured from the wreckage. Little more is known about this system, but if what Ubisoft Montreal touts is true, gamers may see completely different experiences with every play-through. Above all else, it's wrapped up in a varied package featuring driving, gunplay, and in-depth story. Watch Dogs is much more than a simple GTA clone; if the E3 demo is any indication, this can prove to be one of the biggest games of 2013 and set a new standard for the term "sandbox game". Watch Dogs truly earns the award of my E3 2012 Game of the Show.
Runner-Up: The Last of Us (PS3)
Don't get me wrong, The Last of Us is definitely one of the most impressive games that I have seen in the recent months. Compared to many titles such as Assassin's Creed 3 or Tomb Raider, few can trump Naughty Dog's pure skill level of bringing cinematic gameplay, deep realistic characters, and immersive story into one unbelievably polished package. The problem is, Naughty Dog might be doing this too well. E3 2012 was the first time that an actual gameplay demo was shown off to the public and while impressive, I found it somewhat familiar to Naughty Dog's previous franchise, Uncharted. Like Nathan Drake, Joel is accompanied by a female companion and even offers a similar character build. Some animations, while very impressive, almost seem recycled from Uncharted 3. I understand that gamers would dream of having all their games to the same level as The Last of Us (myself included), but it would be nice if Naughty Dog attempted a different game concept. Maybe I'm waiting for more details on the story (what I'm most excited for) or additional game features. Ultimately at this time, I can only give it a Runner-Up spot for the Game of the Show – a great award on its own. The Last of Us is set to remain one of my most-hyped games this year and I cannot wait to find out more.
Winner: Dishonored (PC, PS3, 360)
Game of the Show is always a tough category to pick just one title, but a choice must be made. I am only talking about a winner here because there is not much more to be said about any others that I did not say before. Nevertheless, my Game of the Show for E3 2012 is Arkane and Bethesda's Dishonored. Ever since I first heard about Dishonored I was intrigued. The graphical style, the plot, the character, the design of the game, everything screamed out to me as a must have. I love the ability to sneak through Dishonored without having to kill a single NPC, including bosses, if I so choose, but I can also go in guns-blazing and swinging a sword to slay whatever I want. That kind of option is not present in many games, and I will relish the opportunity to try it in Dishonored. There is not that much of a wait to go before release, and come October 9th you will know where to find me.
Winner: Watch Dogs (PC)
Like I said before, Watch Dogs could have easily earned Best Action-Adventure Game and Best New IP to go along with its Biggest Surprise win. In fact, when I first posted the unveiling here at OCC, I proclaimed that "Watch Dogs is already a strong contender for Best in Show." I don't really know what else to say that hasn't already been said. I guess the one thing I didn't mention was the graphics – they're good, quite good. In fact, many have said it looks "next gen", which may be why Ubisoft hasn't come out and confirmed the platforms, other than PC. The game looks stunning, the premise sounds intriguing, and the open world gameplay looks varied and enjoyable. It's like Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed, and Splinter Cell had a hot, steamy threesome. Go watch the trailer and gameplay video if you haven't already.
Runners-Up: Star Wars 1313 (PC), Defiance (PC, PS3, 360)
The runners-up, Star Wars 1313 and Defiance, also happen to be my Best Action-Adventure Game and Best MMO, respectively. Star Wars 1313 brings us the dark, gritty Star Wars game the series deserves and does so with stunning graphics. The gameplay demo at E3 show off some of the best lighting I've seen outside of a tech demo. Defiance brings us a multi-platform shooter MMO that can affect and be affected by a Syfy television show of the same name. It certainly has the capability of garnering a strong cult following. I'm super excited to get my hands on both games – just slightly less so than Watch Dogs.