By Dean Joy
Earlier this month a bunch of upcoming games were previewed at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3. So between the 5th and 7th of June all the big shot game publishers and developers dusted off their disks and to show us what they’ve been doing for the last 12 months – besides touching themselves. They also released a bunch of other crud, but I’m only going to be talking about the video games.
(Photo by Frédéric De Gombert [alias Carnby], Wikimedia commons)
But the problem with contemporary games is they have too much rehash and not enough pizzazz.
Over a few sources, I managed to track down 139 games previewed at E3. Out of the list below only 40 games can be considered original in setting, plot, story, and/or theme. The rest of these hundred or so games are all derivative of other media. These games fall into the categories of sequels, prequels, adaptations, reboots, new instalments, and downloadable content (DLC). It’s a case of intellectual property gone stale at E3 2012.
Because the list is so long, and to avoid flogging a dead horse, I will give a short review of each of the games shown at the expo. Consider this the businessman’s guide to the over-inspired world of upcoming games. In no specific order, let’s begin with…
1. The Elder Scrolls Online – Takes place in Tamriel 1000 years before the events of Elder Scrolls V. Being a Massively Multiplayer online game (MMO) is only real difference between The Elder Scrolls Online and other Elder Scrolls titles.
2. Assassin’s Creed III –This is the ninth instalment of this series about a Da Vinci Code-esque assassin who travels through history from the comfort of his own head. This one is set during the American Revolution in the 18th century. That is all.
3. Hitman Absolution – Follows the travels of a bald and possibly sexually repressed American assassin named Agent 47. This is the fifth title of the series and appears to be much the same as those before it.
4. Crysis 3 – A first person shooter (FPS) with guns and science fiction elements. Despite its title, this is the fourth game of the series about a futuristic militants armed with superior alien technology.
5. Halo 4 – Futuristic militants armed with superior human technology. This FPS is the eighth game of the Halo series. And we have at least another two more in the works – hats off for innovation.
6. Tomb Raider – Not even trying to act like it’s a new game by sprucing up the title, but at least they’re honest. In 1996 Eidos Interactive released Tomb Raider, now 16 years later, they’re releasing yet another game called Tomb Raider. This game is the 18th of the series and aims to reboot the franchise by being the first entry of a new continuity.
7. Borderlands 2 – Sequel to the apocalyptic role playing game (RPG) shooter. It’s an FPS with some new classes, it still has multiplayer, and probably too many weapon drops. Fingers crossed the ending boss is not a giant squid in a cave this time round.
8. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – Because this list is quite long, for games where the title obviously tells us the game is based off other popular media, I will not review it. Instead I will simply write this phrase: Scooby Doo. Hopefully, this will save everyone’s time.
9. Planetside 2 – An MMO FPS with an emphasis on large, open world battles. Army men, ultramodern technology, pew-pew, etc.
10. Dead Space 3 – Third-person shooter about scary space zombies. The sixth of the series.
11. Lego Lord of the Rings – An adaptation of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But – wait for it – this version has Lego in it.
12. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Angry man FPS with assault rifles and camouflage. Third installation of the Black Ops series. But including spin-offs and handhelds, this is the fifteenth COD game released.
13. New Super Mario Bros. U – The gazillionth in the series. And Scooby Doo.
14. Far Cry 3 – An open world FPS set on a tropical island. Can you make it off before you start talking to volleyballs?
15. Star Wars 1313 – A third-person action-adventure Star Wars game where the protagonist is not a Jedi but instead a bounty hunter.
16. Darksiders II – Last time you were War from the horsemen of the apocalypse. This time you’re Death. The gameplay is action based and the story is a parallel sequel.
17. Paper Mario: Sticker Star – 3DS Mario game. Scooby.
18. DmC: Devil May Cry – Again, the developers don’t seem to care about changing up the title nowadays. The fifth of the (non-awesome internet mag) DMC series. This hack and slash game is set in a parallel universe, and has the same protagonist as the first game, and also has the same title but with unnecessary abbreviations.
19. XCOM: Enemy Unknown – A strategy/action/RPG re-imagining remake of the 1994 strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown. The game is a mouthful and has alien invaders in it.
20. Resident Evil 6 – Survival horror game. The 23rd of the series. These sequels are getting ridiculous.
21. Wonder Book: Book of Spells – The name doesn’t give it away but this is actually a Harry Potter companion piece.
22. SimCity – In 1989 a game called SimCity was released. Again, developers aren’t changing the titles anymore. With the same name as the original, this is a reboot of the series. It is also the 17th SimCity game (not including The Sims franchise). If you didn’t know, this game is about building things.
23. Gears of War Judgement – Fourth games of the series, this one revolves around a supporting character from previous instalments. His name is Baird.
24. Fable: The Journey – Fifth title of the series, set five years after Fable III. Monsters, magic, action-adventure, RPG.
25. South Park: The Stick of Truth – It’s a South Park RPG. Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote the scripts and voiced the game, so I’m looking forward to see how this works out.
26. Battlefield 3: Close Quarters – DLC with new weapons, maps, Dogtags, and game mode.
27. Battlefield 3: Armored Kill – DLC revolving around vehicles like tanks, ATVs, and mobile artillery.
28. Medal of Honor: Warfighter – The 16th game of the franchise, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a sequel to Medal of Honor (2010). Interestingly enough, Medal of Honor (2010) is a reboot to the original 1999 game called Medal of Honor. This isn’t confusing at all.
29. Persona 4 Golden – Remake of Persona 4 for the Playstation Vita.
30. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance – The seventh instalment. In this game, Micky Mouse reveals he was born a woman, apparently.
31. Aliens: Colonial Marines – It’s like Aliens vs. Predator. Only replace Predator with army men.
32. Rayman: Legends – Fifth of the series.
33. Jet Set Radio Vita – Vita remake of the 2000 Dreamcast classic.
34. Spec Ops: The Line – A third person shooter based on Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness.
35. Rock Band Blitz – Scooby Doo.
36. The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Latest game instalment of the zombie franchise.
37. Dust 514 – Free-to-play FPS for the PS3 set in the Eve universe.
38. Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale – Crossover fighting game with PaRappa the Rapper in it.
39. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse – Scooby.
40. 007: Legends – Dooby.
41. Lego City Undercover – Lego detectives. Doo.
42. Need for Speed: Most Wanted – The 19th game of a car racing series.
43. Nintendo Land – A game used to highlight the uses of the new Wii U system.
44. Company of Heroes 2 – RTS army men. Pew.
45. Skylanders Giants – Sequel to Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. It’s a platform game.
46. Doom 3: BFG Edition – Remake and expansion.
47. ArmA III – Open world tactical shooter. Lots of army men.
48. Carrier Command: Gaea Mission – Remake of the 1988 Carrier Command.
49. Lost Planet 3 – Fourth game of the third-person shooter series. And a prequel.
50. Ben 10: OmniverseB – Scooby.
51. iCarly: Groovy Foodie – Dooby.
52. Madagascar: Join the Circus! – Doo.
53. Madagascar 3: The Video Game – Where.
54. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron – Are.
55. The Amazing Spider-Man – You?
56. Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game – A silly game based of a film which is based on William Joyce’s novels The Guardians of Childhood.
57. FIFA Soccer 13 – Latest in a long line of football games.
58. Madden NFL 13 – Sport.
59. NCAA Football 13 – Sport.
60. NHL 13 – Sport.
61. NBA Baller Beats – Sport.
62. NBA 2K13 – Sport.
63. F1 2012 – Latest racing game in a series of other boring racing games.
64. World Series of Poker – More sport stuff – almost.
65. Otherland – An MMO based on Tad William’s series of books called Otherland.
66. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – The 24th game of the Metal Gear series. A very nice combination of revenge and vengeance but also another rehash.
67. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
68. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of fate – A Nintendo 3DS sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. One game with two sequels, wow.
69. Divinity: Original Sin – A PC RPG prequel to Divine Divinity. Apparently this game hasn’t sinned originally enough.
70. Zumba Fitness – Some games don’t even need to be explained further than their title (yet here we are).
71. Double Dragon: Neon – A remake of the 1987 original.
72. Street Fighter x Tekken – Scooby Derp.
73. Star Trek: The Game – Third-person action-adventure game set between the recent Star Trek movie and its upcoming sequel.
74. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Derpy Doo.
75. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition – A case of DLC and a shift to PC; it’s repackaging gone crazy. And I already died a lot, thanks anyway.
76. Dragon Ball Z Kinect – Kamehameha-remake.
77. One Piece: Pirate Warriors – The 32nd One Piece video game. And I bet they all blow.
78. Pikmin 3 – Third of the series, this one developed for Wii U.
79. Neverwinter – A free-to-play MMO based on the Dungeons and Dragons universe.
80. Sonic and All-Stars racing Transformed – Scooby.
81. Jet Set Radio – A high definition remake of the Dreamcast game of the same name.
82. LittleBigPlanet Karting – A Mario Cart style adaptation of the LittleBigPlanet world.
83. Wizardry Online – Latest in a series which started in 1981! But unfortunately it’s another free-to-play MMORPG.
84. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – A game where FF characters fight in music based battles. If the score is set with music from FFVII to FFX then I’m up for this.
85. Heroes of Ruin – New adventure game from Square Enix for the 3DS.
86. Darius Burst: Second Prologue – A remake of the 2009 shooter for iOS.
87. Raystorm – Remake of a 1996 arcade shooter for iOS and Android.
88. Worms Revolution – The 19th game of the Worms series.
89. Dead or Alive 5 – Scooby fighting Dooerp.
90. Pokemon Conquest – Doo.
91. Rocksmith – Guitar Hero with a real guitar. Still would rather just play music without a game involved.
92. Counter-Strike: Global Offense – Another game for the military themed FPS series from Valve. Third of the line.
93. Guardians of Middle Earth – A Lord of the Rings inspired game with PVP. Snorlax Dooby.
94. Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles – Finally I can play pinball with all my favourite Avengers!
95. Marvel Pinball 3D – Just in case 2D digitalised pinball became boring, they’ve now created virtual 3D pinball. And it has Spider-Man in it too! (Please buy this game, Peter Parker needs the money).
96. Zen Pinball 2 – Seriously guys? It’s just pinball.
97. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Fourth title of the racoon based series.
98. Sleeping Dogs – Open world crime drama. Previously known as True Crime: Hong Kong, this is the third instalment and reboot of True Crime series.
99. Joe Danger: The Movie – This is a sequel to Joe Danger. There is no movie involved.
E3’s original games
1. Watch Dogs – An open world action-adventure game revolving around a contemporary world of hacking and surveillance. It looks amazing. From the makers of Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed.
2. Dishonored – This game looks both original and promising. A FPS with a steampunk aesthetic and the protagonist can stop time, possess critters, and teleport. This game also looks amazing.
3. Defiance – An open-world shooter that comes with a tie-in television show. Apparently they will both influence each other. Looks promising.
4. ZombiU – A FPS aimed to display the uniqueness of the Wii U. Not too impressed so far.
5. End of Nations – An MMO crossed with an RTS. It’s free-to-play and has space ships and tanks.
6. Tokyo Jungle – A survival action game set in a deserted futuristic Japan. Humans are extinct, and you play as animals hunting for continued existence. Seems like it could be good.
7. Quantum Conundrum – A FPS with puzzle elements. One of the mechanics is the ability to travel between other dimensions; the game has been compared to Portal.
8. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – Studio Ghibli’s first video game. It’s apparently has RPG and tactical gameplay elements. I hope this is good, and not too child orientated.
9. The Cave – Platform-adventure game from one of the minds behind of Monkey Island.
10. The Unfinished Swan – An independent game still in development. It uses black inks shot onto a white surface as a form of gameplay.
11. The Last of Us – From the developers of Uncharted. Looks like it has some good AI interactions and can be quite gory.
12. Beyond: Two Souls – From the developers of Heavy Rain. Apparently a dark and moody interactive drama.
13. CastleStorm – A strategy game about maintaining your own castle by shooting things with arrows. I’m just lame enough to play this.
14. World of Tanks – A free-to-play MMO tank combat game.
15. World of Warplanes – Like the above except this game revolves around aircrafts.
16. ShootMania Storm – An FPS with an emphasis on players editing and sharing maps.
17. Metro: Last Light – Post-apocalyptic FPS. I am undecided on this so far.
18. Mugen Souls – A PS3 JRPG with turn-based combat.
19. Bullet Run – Free-to-play FPS about a reality TV show where contestants kill each other.
20. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes – MMORPG made by former team members of the EverQuest series. I bet the game has some form of magic in it.
21. Free Realms – A children’s MMO with the trademark RPG elements. Seems fair.
22. Papo & Yo – An independent puzzle game about a boy and his robot. The game was inspired by a childhood so you know it’ll be fun.
23. Guacamelee! – A humorous looking side-scrolling adventure and puzzle game about Mexican wrestler named Juan. It seems pretty cool.
24. Soul Sacrifice – Third-person action game for the Vita. It has hellhounds, sorcery, and bad guys.
25. Eador: Masters of the Broken World – A turn-based tactics game with RPG elements and a mediaeval setting.
26. Raiderz – Free-to-play MMO with its own flavour and team based game mechanics.
27. Dragon Commander – A self published gem which combines dragons and jetpacks.
28. Brick-Force – Free-to-play web-based shooter.
29. Grimlands – Post-apocalyptic MMORPG shooter.
30. Outernauts – Facebook based game from the creators of Ratchet and Clank.
31. Deadlight – A sidescrolling survival horror for Xbox Live Arcade.
32. KooZac – A puzzle game for phones about falling blocks (you’re lucky to be on this side of the list, KooZac).
33. KickBeat – A music game about fitness and battle (you’re lucky to be here too).
34. Guardian Cross – A creature-based card game for smartphones.
35. Demon’s Score – A touchscreen based game about music and touching things.
36. Motley Blocks – Another puzzle game for smartphones.
37. Qwirkle – Puzzle game. Phone. Almost Scooby.
38. SolaRola – Action game for smartphones about blobs.
39. Mensa Academy – A trivia game created in collaboration with Mensa.
40. Gameglobe – Action game for kids made by Square Enix.
Hope you were interested in some of these current/upcoming games.
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