Why So Hard On E3?

June 8, 2012

Now that E3 2012 has wrapped up, opinions on the event from all around the net are pouring in. I’m looking around and am given a turn by some of the words that have been used to describe it: Atrocity. God AWFUL. Shameful.

Now I grant you I was a little disappointed as well. I’ve even made my share of snarky remarks, like about the Wii U and Wonderbook and how the industry appears to be hell-bent on adding new peripherals to make us gamers look more and more like ridiculous fools while gaming.

Still, I have to wonder if my sentiments derive from just not being all that interested in this year’s showings. But even to that end, I doubt I’d use a word like “shameful” to describe the time and effort that companies and developers have put into making any of the games/technology showcased over the last few days. In fact, I think it’s anything but.

I’ve actually been quite impressed by some of this year’s games and tech at E3, even the stuff I have no desire to play/use at all. Quite honestly, a game like The Last of Us would probably give me disturbing dreams. But to say that innovation is dead because The Last of UsWatch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Tomb RaiderDead Space, Black Ops, Star Wars 1313, etc. etc. etc. are all just variations of the same game (an assessment I’ve come across more than a few times on various gaming sites in the last few days) because you get to swear a lot and/or shoot people in the face? I think that’s a little disingenuous. That’s basically ignoring all the other little things that can make a game unique, everything from story to graphics. I was personally excited that E3 2012 was a year of a handful of new IPs.

I also notice folks have been pretty hard on the all the press conferences, but especially Nintendo’s — after all, no price and no release date for the Wii U as well as the rehashed franchises and already released third-party titles. But while I may not want a Wii U, I think what it’s capable of is pretty amazing. Same goes for Microsoft’s Kinect and SmartGlass app, really; I may not end up using either, but I can’t deny that what it does is incredibly fascinating stuff.

Was E3 really so bad? Or have I just gotten out of touch due to my little break from gaming?


  1. The Wii U just seems like overkill. Why do I have to lift my giant controller in front of my TV in order to make a sniper shot when they could just put the scope animation on my TV? Is it supposed to make it more immersive to be able to look through the scope on my controller-screen instead? Because I assure you that no sniper in the history of the world has ever had to use a giant square board to mark targets. It’s just like the Kinect. Using voice integration that’s slightly delayed just for the sake of having it. It’s nothing that a button press can’t do anyways.

    The SmartGlass thing is alright. But again, some of it is totally useless. So I can view the Mass Effect codex on my phone instead of pushing pause and using the one that’s already in the game menu? Great. It’s not like I can read off my phone and play the game at the same time anyways; so I’ll have to push pause regardless.

    It’s all just tech that seems cool, but mostly irrelevant implementation.

    As for the games, Watch Dogs, Tomb Raider, and Last of Us look really fun. Call of Duty looks like the same old formulaic crap. But of course I’ll buy it, because I’m a moron. (I’m serious, it’s already pre-ordered.)

    • You and your COD games! You know you’re just going to buy it and then regret it 😛

      They’re making gaming more complicated than it really is. I want to say stuff like Wii-U and SmartGlass and Wonderbook will be nothing but a fad, but somehow I doubt it.

  2. Personally I’m looking forward to XCOM Enemy Unknown. That’s going to be so great! Yay Turn-Based Strategy with cinematic flair!

    Also, Star Wars 1313 is going to be a great look into more of the underworld of Coruscant (which isn’t exactly detailed in a lot of games).

    I think this year around was the hiccup of tech while everyone was focusing on just getting stuff out there with a decent enough story and pretty graphics. I didn’t see any exceptional hardware or gameplay, but I’m quite sure there’s a lot under the hood that we’ll see once we pick up some of the games.

    • I am quite excited for Star Wars 1313. Loved what I saw from E3, looks like it can be a really good mature SW game.

      I think we’ll continue to see a slow down, until the industry is ready to show off the next generation consoles.

  3. Frankly the worst thing about E3 for me was how unusable Twitter got. I was getting about a 100-150 more messages an hour than normal, which isn’t so bad except they were all snarky comments about the press events.

    Of everything I saw/read, I was most impressed with Watch Dogs video (one of the few I actually watched), but it’s Ubisoft and I really hate their DRM so I may end up skipping it. The Skyrim expansion is a time exclusive for 360 which sucks. Beyond that it felt like E3 was a lot of sequels.

    • LOL, I will admit to a few snarky comments about the press events. But since as you say everyone was doing it I can only imagine it was because it was well deserved.

      A friend recently pointed out to me that Ubisoft games seem to go on sale really fast after their release, which is something I’ve noticed but honestly never clicked. So I’ll still buy them, but maybe I’ll just wait for a while until I get a good deal.

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