Aloha, fellow gamers!! This is the time of year that we all look forward to on the yearly gaming calendar (next to the dates of certain game releases we are looking forward to) is the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as “E3.” This year, the conference takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. As with CES 2012 and the AIA 2012 Convention, I will be doing this for the rest of E3, and now that day one of E3 2012 is complete, I wish to provide a few briefs about my five favorite stories made today at the show.
1) Splinter Cell: Blacklist announced:At Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference, the next Splinter Cell game, called Splinter Cell: Blacklist, will come out with single player, Co-op, Specs vs. Mercs modes, and Kinect voice recognition, and is due out March 2013. Canadian actor Eric Johnson of Smallville fame (“Whitney Fordman” from Season 1) will be taking over both voice acting and body motion capture duties for franchise main character, Sam Fisher. Fisher returns and is placed into the dangerous region along the Iran-Iraq border where a group of rogue nations plots to bring the war to America after years of conflict and occupation. The combat shown is fast, furious and brutal as Fisher uses both melee attacks and gunplay to take out targets “quickly and fluidly.” My Tweet during the announcement was [@PractitioNERD: OMG! New Splinter Cell game! OMG #E3 #SplinterCellBlacklist].
2) Microsoft Smart Glass announced: Microsoft introduces the Smart Glass to rival Nintendo’s Wii U (who made a pre-E3 presentation on Sunday) and Sony’s Remote Play (kinda, not really). Smart Glass allows all your entertainment systems to communicate and and work together to enhance the way you watch films, listen to music, and play games, and works with your Xbox 360, iOS, and Android devices. This can range from starting to watch a movie on a smartphone and then having the 360 resume it at home, to using a portable gadget to select plays in Madden (it may cause some “delay of games” penalties).
3) South Park: The Stick of Truth finally shown: South Park: The Stick of Truth from Obsidian Games and South Park Studios is due out March 5th, 2013; the main character of the game is you, as a created character and the “new kid” in the South Park community. The first three DLC packs will debut on Xbox 360 first, then PlayStation 3, which are standalone episodic adventures with their own stories. The role-playing game looked exactly like an episode of the show, and creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone said they’ve been working in close collaboration with Obsidian for nearly two years on the project (they even made fun of the Smart Glass project).
4) EA snactches the UFC License: EA Sports will be putting out brand new Ultimate Fighting Championship games, after THQ lost the license due to their recent financial woes. Dana White, UFC president, seemed and looked very excited about the announcement that seemed to have come out of nowhere (until he let the cat out of the bag on Twitter, just a few minor seconds before the initial UFC/EA video package aired on the stage).
5) (ALMOST) all of Sony’s Conference: Kicked off by the announcement of the new Quantic Dream game Beyond: Two Souls starring Ellen Page as the main character (w/ in-game video & trailer), and continued with PlayStation All-Star Battle Royal on Vita (w/ PS3 cross-compatibility, PS3 cross-play, and Nathan Drake and Bioshock’s Big Daddy character), Sony continued to let the ball roll on new announcements for the PlayStation Brand. New features like using the Vita as a controller for LittleBigPlanet 2 on PS3, the addition of Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, PSone Classics, Hulu Plus, YouTube & Crackle to the PS Vita were announced. The enthusiasm cooled during the Wonderbook interactive storybook program, no Vita Remote Play updates, and the PlayStation Mobile announcements, but picked back up quickly with a gameplay demo of God of War: Ascension (which I was previously gushing over), and concluded with a gameplay demo for the highly-anticipated The Last of Us.
**BONUS**: Nintendo’s Direct Pre-E3 Announcement video from yesterday, detailing new details of the WiiU system, pro controller, tablet controller, and specs.