E3 2012: Day 2 Wrap-Up

With a day to get oriented with the show floor, the second day proved less hectic. While most announcements have been revealed, the show was still overloading with exclusive demos and information. Like yesterday, this Wrap-Up will be through my eyes (Dack) to make things easier.

Square Enix was first with three impressive demos including Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider. Hitman Absolution is looking fantastic. Hitman has never been a game you can half-ass and Absolution is no different. You’ll have to outsmart impressively intelligent A.I. to make hits. It looks to do Agent 47 justice and be a great send-off for this generation.

Maybe we were spoiled from the amazing new game reveals, but Sleeping Dogs didn’t surprise. It looks pretty much the same as it always has, although considering it’s always looked strong, that’s not a bad thing. It should prove to be a solid open-world action title when released.

By far the standout of Square Enix — and perhaps the show — was Tomb Raider. It was so exclusive that the Square booth crew seemed apprehensive to admit its presence. Some of us managed to wiggle our way behind the booth into a very exclusive theatre for a hands-off gameplay session. Suffice to say, it looks absolutely incredible. Not only is Lara more realistic, but more beautiful. While her mannerisms are similar, they’ve brought a realistic vulnerability to the character never before seen in a heroine. While she is a strong, brave woman who can hold her own in tough situations, she’s still a young woman. The elements get to her, making her feel cold and alone — even weep at times. If the story ends up as strong as the graphics, gameplay and atmosphere, this could set a new standard in adventure gaming.

We spent quite a long time at EA’s booth today, checking out Star Wars: The Old Republic, Sim City, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Battlefield and more. Need for Speed Most Wanted was a huge surprise. An open world game, it’s basically Burnout Paradise in the NFS universe. There are meet-ups, online co-op, slow motion crashes, boost and even billboards to find and smash through. What a blast this game is. It’s a game you could get lost in for hours in online.

Not only was Sim City strong, but surprisingly beautiful. It’s incredibly deep and felt like you truly had control of a living, breathing world. While the series has always been great, the reboot takes it to the next level. Your city can be one of multiple cities in an online world, with each effecting each other. Houses are seen being built in action, with contractor vans even getting off the freeway to come to the plot. You can choose to just make money and have a bad quality of life for your citizens or truly try to enrich the world through your city. Each resident of your city has their own life, attending work or school daily and commuting home. Hopefully the specs are reasonable and many can enjoy this strong title.

We were able to play every Nintendo Land game today, the stand-outs being the addictive Luigi’s Mansion and Donkey Kong Crash Course. Some seemed a little too simple, so hopefully Nintendo ends up launching with multiple ones to make up for it. If they do, the WiiU could instantly become a party console — much like its predescesor.

We have full previews in the works for the aforementioned titles and things that have not even been mentioned yet. With one day to go, it’s hard to not be excited