Greetings and hello’s, friendly gaming readers not phased by this block of text. Welcome to a very special morning edition of the Roundup. Once again, the Roundup serves as a gathering of news and happenings that The Red Herb missed out on because I’m a terrible human being. And boy howdy, did I miss out on a lot of shit. After a slew of conferences Monday, the E3 show floors filled with attendees yesterday — most united under the pen of journalism — ready to get their mitts on the hottest upcoming games and the newest innovations in video game technology.
Me? I was at work. The Herb’s not exactly what’d you call a “paying gig,” so I had to while away the hours not streaming E3 goodness directly into my brain. Because of my plight, I wasn’t able to cobble words in real-time and throw them at all the awesome, stupid, and stupidly awesome things we saw yesterday. But don’t think I’d let that bastard news get away from me. I may be late to it, but I’d sooner die face down, naked in a ditch than let these announcements go another second without me being mildly sarcastic about them.
I’ll have to be brief; my assholey-ness bitterly succinct. Here goes — welcome to our first ever E3 Roundup (TM).
What a helluva day for gaming. Sure, you can argue that a lot of announcements made on the first day were already outed or spoiled but exciting times nonetheless. How many days out of the year are this steeped in video game buzz?
Sony ended the flurry yesterday with their keynote conference. Taking stage to present was SCEA’s own President, Mr. Jack Tretton. He may have looked physically uncomfortable under the spotlight but he did a tasteful job of maintaining an air of professionalism which was especially welcome after listening to the combo of Aisha Tyler and the LITERAL trailer guy make uncomfortable shift-in-your-seat banter at Ubisoft’s presser.
Sony had their A game face on last night, and there certainly were some grade-A games shown off, but the presentation went soft the moment their peripherals took the limelight. Plus, while we were treated to some visual expounding on previously announced hits, there really wasn’t much in the way of fresh news. Click the jump so we can dig in.
If You Haven’t Heard About Watch Dogs, You Need To
Even though Ubisoft tried to sabotage themselves during their own conference by laying the awkward on cringe-inducingly thick by hiring Tobuscus to ruin everyone’s day, the publisher left a huge impression on gaming pundits by committing the unthinkable: revealing a new IP.
Preceding the reveal, a video was shown that described the unsettling concept of massive networking leading way to the ultimate dehumanization of society; a world in which we leave “digital shadows” that can be accessed, assessed, and used against us even if we never learn anything happened to us.
Watch Dogs picks up the ball with what could have easily been another entry into the cyberpunk genre yet opts to distinguish itself by tethering this grim hacker tale to our modern reality. The game’s biggest draw is that, unlike other open-world titles, you can harness the city and its technology as weapons. We see our Jensen-channeling protagonist create an opening by using his smartphone to burn out all other phones in his radius to distract a crowd. More deadly, we were also privy to our not-so-hero manipulating traffic flow to cause a catastrophic pile-up, boxing in his prey. Of course, such an action had unforeseen consequences, calling into question if morality comes into play.
A bigger surprise yet than the game not having a number following its name was the news that some form of co-op multiplayer runs concurrently with your single-player quest; online companions taking on support roles while indirectly affecting your mission…meaning you may not even know that anyone was helping you.
Watch Dogs is hours old in our minds but even still, Ubisoft’s IP has earned our rapt attention.
Howdy, fellow gaming connoisseurs, E3 has officially begun and Microsoft was the first company to kick off the showcase. After watching the SmartGlass presentation, I came away with the feeling Xbox wants to take over every last device I own in my house. I’m really, very excited for E3 2013 where we’ll see the unveiling of Xbox Integration Chips planted into our gray matter so that I may browse my apps with a simple scream. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s take a look at what actually mattered at the show, in this year — the games.