The lights are on
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U
The Wii U may boast a wide variety of novel features, but Nintendo’s best game at the show was one that barely utilized any of them. Other than the ability to play the game on the controller or on the TV screen, the only hardware-specific function the Wii U provides in New Super Mario Bros. U is the ho-hum “assist mode” that lets friends create platforms by tapping the controller. It may not show off the capabilities of Nintendo’s shiny new console, but it’s fantastic to see Mario and friends in HD for the first time. More importantly, the gameplay feels as solid as any title in the stellar series. We can’t wait to don the new flying squirrel suit and embark on Mario’s new adventure with three friends.
THE LAST OF US
At its core, Naughty Dog’s latest project doesn’t do a whole lot that we haven’t seen before. There’s cover mechanics, stealth play, shooting, melee attacks, and platforming puzzles. Where The Last of Us breaks new ground is the stunning humanity brought not just to leads Joel and Ellie, but also every enemy you encounter. Blasting a man in the face with a shotgun after he pleads for his life signals a consistent theme of dealing with the weight of sickening, realistic violence that’s necessary to survive in the gorgeously destroyed, post-apocalyptic world.
Fans have been wary of new developer 343 Industries ever since Microsoft handed them the keys to the Halo franchise after Bungie moved on to its still-under-wraps new franchise. The team at 343 came out swinging at E3 2012, ready to prove that this rookie fighter is ready to take up the mantle. By placing the focus on the integrated experience between single-player, cooperative, and competitive multiplayer, Halo 4 looks to offer something for everyone, and gives players a good reason to cross back and forth between modes. Perhaps most importantly, Halo 4’s strong showing helped Microsoft prove that the 360 still has some untapped power.
ASSASSIN’S CREED III
Plenty of games showed beautifully at E3 2012, but none created more buzz amongst our staff than Assassin’s Creed III. If anyone had doubts about the ability of this franchise to make another leap forward with a new hero and setting, those fears were systematically dispelled. With three separate single-player demos, Ubisoft convinced showgoers of the wide array of activities the game offers players. The playable multiplayer and brand new trailer were icing on the cake. The visually stunning environments of the game were enough to catch our attention – add in some of the most intense action sequences we’ve seen in a video game, and we’ve got a winner.
Which title earned your game of show? Share your thoughts below.
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