OXCGN’s E3 2012 Awards
Who really stole the show?
by Nicholas Laborde
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
I like to separate E3 into three stages:
Stage 1: Preparation
Stage 2: Madness
Stage 3: Try To Live Life Without An Editor Breathing Down Your Neck.
As we’re obviously in the height of the third and final stage, we now present our E3 awards.
From best shooter to best take on a new genre to game of the show, we have a robust list chosen by our staff who attended the show.
Did your favorite game win? If not, vote for your Top 5 Games of E3 2012 in the poll below.
From the simple circular design, to the great games on display, to the ingenious idea of putting a map of the booth on the back of their Media/VIP badges, EA easily take home our Best Booth award.
Between the relaxing sports lounge that was in close proximity to the publisher’s behind-closed-doors appointment rooms to the near death of our rep Richie, 2K had a huge amount of friendly faces that were always willing to help out with anything.
Best Publisher Lineup
While Watch Dogs did steal the show and was one of the most talked about games at the convention center, Ubisoft had a diverse lineup of strong titles.
From Splinter Cell: Blacklist to Far Cry 3 to Assassin’s Creed 3 to ZombiU, Ubisoft easily came out on top of E3 2012.
We simply couldn’t pick a single winner for this award, resulting in a three-way tie.
PlanetSide 2 is the sequel to the original MMO shooter that revolutionized the scale of online multiplayer.
Dishonored is a unique new IP from Arkane Studios that casts players as the Empress’s bodyguard, falsely accused of her murder.
Far Cry 3 stars a tourist trapped on an island chain that must battle insanity and the crazed locals. All three of these titles are looking absolutely fantastic, and we recommend getting them all!
The game is set in the fictional Dungeons & Dragons city of Neverwinter, where the city has descended into chaos at the death of its Lord.
Players will have to take back the city and fight for survival.
While it wasn’t playable, The Last Of Us looks beyond fantastic.
The game oozes with little details, and while the demonstrations did look a little too scripted for the liking of more than a few, these conceptions will undoubtedly change as the game allows for more hands-on.
Providing a different take on post-apocalyptic action, The Last Of Us easily wins our Best Adventure award.
No matter what type of racing fan you are, you most likely played Need For Speed: Most Wanted several years ago, commonly hailed as the best in the series.
Most Wanted is a reboot of that, and it looks to gloriously reclaim the throne it once held. Most Wanted easily trumps the competition for Best Racer.
The amount of technology behind the FIFA titles is astounding. FIFA 13 looks to be the most enhanced, realistic, technical entry in the franchise to date, and will have no problem luring in both old fans and new players alike.
Best Third Person Shooter
EA demonstrated that the game can be played two ways: by yourself (which still feels isolated and very much like what the series is known for), or with another player cooperatively.
Both provide excellent experiences within the esteemed franchise, and while it looks like an absolute blast, it won’t have any problem keeping us up at night.
Best Sony Exclusive
If there were any time to flaunt owning a PlayStation 3, The Last Of Us makes sure that it’s now.
Providing a unique take on post-apocalyptia (it’s post-E3, I can make up as many terms as I like), The Last Of Us looks to be up to the signature Naughty Dog standard, grabbing our Best Sony Exclusive award with no competition.
Best Microsoft Exclusive
After getting hands-on with the title at a VIP event, we can assure you that any negative misconceptions regarding 343′s handling of the game can safely be laid to rest.
Master Chief is returning, and whether you’re looking forward to his return in the campaign, the brilliant updated-weekly Spartan Ops mode, or the revamped multiplayer, 360 owners will be proud come Election Day.
Best Nintendo Exclusive
Of all the games that Nintendo were showcasing, ZombiU managed to stand out.
Not because it’s simply yet another zombie game; rather, ZombiU is noteworthy because it’s one of the most genuine zombie survival games ever shown, and that allows for it to easily snatch up the Best Nintendo Exclusive award.
Best New IP
Tie: Watch Dogs, Dishonored
From the surprise of Watch Dogs to the elegance of Dishonored, E3 2012 was chock full of new quality franchises.
These two stood out the most, and they both win the Best New IP award.
It’s been nearly a decade since a SimCity game released.
The new title invokes large amounts of nostalgia (anybody remember SimCity 2000?), but at the same time, innovated with lots of new features.
SimCity gets our Best Remake award, because we’re eagerly awaiting the destruction we’ll cause with tornadoes.
Our modern industry, thanks in no small part to it being the end of a console generation, is flooded with sequels, causing individual games to have to stand out to be recognized.
Assassin’s Creed 3 looks to be the absolute best game in the franchise to date, and for good reason.
It’s gorgeous, it’s bursting at the seams with content, and it’s tackling one of the most important periods in history.
Best XBLA/PSN Game
In The Unfinished Swan, you don a first person perspective and shoot blobs of paint to create visible gameplay.
It’s interesting to say the least, and will likely strike with the edgy indie crowd.
No one saw this coming.
With flagship titles such as Rainbow Six: Patriots and Splinter Cell: Blacklist on the horizon, nobody expected new IP like ZombiU to come out.
Even more unexpected was Watch Dogs, an innovative new game that’s meant to make everyone paranoid. Ubisoft have set an amazing precedent for the game, and we can’t wait to see more.
Best New Take On A Genre
The stand-alone sequel to a mod for the original Half-Life, Natural Selection 2 is an FPS-RTS hybrid of the Aliens game you’ve always wanted.
Marines and aliens face off in standard first person multiplayer combat, with each team having their usual accoutrements. What makes NS2 stand out, though, is that each team has a “command” module that one player can enter. Upon entering, the view is switched to that of an RTS, and the player can set structures to build across the map to increase the war effort.
It’s balanced by the regular player units having to go construct the structures once they are placed. NS2 provides an incredibly fresh take on standard multiplayer, and easily steals our award.
Lock, load and face the madness. Again. Gearbox return with an incredibly polished sequel to the shooter-looter hit, yet again providing unparalleled cooperative play (withan inevitable amount of replay value).
As games become increasingly more social, cooperative play is becoming a standard feature; Borderlands 2 makes it a definitive part of the experience, rather than just a “feature.”
The big one…
Game of Show: Watch Dogs
Not only did we have tons of fantastic sequels, but a few new IP managed to sneak in. I don’t think any other game made as many ripples as Watch Dogs did.
Through many oohs and ahs during the Ubisoft presentation, to a special behind-closed-doors demo that OXCGN got into, Watch Dogs didn’t seem to disappoint anyone with its unique gameplay concepts and paranoia-inducing story.
We can’t wait to hear more about Ubisoft’s new title, and whether or not it’s a next-gen game.
You can check our more E3 2012 coverage, previews and more at our E3 2012 page.
So do you agree? What were your Top 5 Games of E3 2012?
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
Filed under: Console gaming, E3 2012, Oxcgn Special feature, Xbox 360 Tagged: | 2K, arkane studios, Assassin's creed, Assassin's Creed 3, Assassin's Creed III, borderlands 2, Dead Space 3, Dishonored, EA, Far Cry 3, FIFA, Fifa 13, Halo 4, Most Wanted, Natural Selection 2, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Neverwinter, PlanetSide 2, SimCIty, The Last Of Us, The Unfinished Swan, Ubisoft, Watch Dogs, ZombiU