E3 2012: The Big Games to Watch

E3 2012 is a scant few months away and given that it’s the biggest event we attend – not to mention our favourite – we thought we’d give you a bit of a rundown on the games we’re most interested in seeing. There will be some that you instantly recognize, and others that may be surprises, but all of them look incredible so far, and we can’t wait to see more.

Tomb Raider

This franchise reboot isn’t about Lara Croft being hot. It’s about her being real. When Tomb Raider was showed off at Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference in 2011, we were nothing short of blown away. The detail in the engine was incredible, and somehow, the game had a sense of brutal realism that we’d literally never seen before. Read: we don’t mean that as a hyperbole. That introduction made us cringe and hurt for Lara like we never have before. It was visceral and creepy, and somehow outdid the presentation we saw of the incredible Uncharted 3 we saw at Sony’s presser the next day. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you’re seriously missing out and need to see the video above. And if you’ve already seen it, watch it again.

Rainbow Six: Patriots

We recently did a piece on Rainbow Six: Patriots as we looked at its debut concept trailer and how the series is going away from its flashy Vegas style to take on more of a gritty, underworld, rampaging-citizen tone. We didn’t see this one at last year’s E3, but we sure as hell better be seeing it this year because it’s stunning, even in its current form. We likely won’t see Patriots until our clocks rotate through 2013, but we’re sure to see something from Ubisoft in June about its latest entry in the venerable series.

Halo 4

Okay, no doubt you’re not surprised by this entry in the series. But what would you expect from us when we gave Halo our top pick for the Best Game of All Time? Simply put, we just hope this one doesn’t screwed up. With that said, 343 Industries looks like they’re taking extra care with the franchise we love so much, so it seems that we might just get another incredible trilogy out from Halo‘s new caretakers. Just don’t let there be flood. No flood, you hear?

Mirror’s Edge 2

We haven’t heard a peep from Electronic Arts about any details about the sequel to one of most innovative games of all time. In fact, last we heard, it is still being made, but that was probably about a year ago. This game is on the list because it does so many things so well. Not only does it have a unique and rather intriguing storyline – even if it is a bit weak – but it’s also got some pretty memorable characters, and of course, a unique game style that we’d never seen before, and still haven’t to this day. It’ll be interesting to see if 2012 is finally the year that EA talks about Mirror’s Edge 2, but realistically, it’s been put off so many times, we’re just not sure it’ll happen.

The Last Guardian

We know, we know, this one has been expected since 2009. And then it didn’t show up in 2010. Or 2011. And we’ve yet to hear anything about it since that E3 nearly three years ago. But given all that, the game still looks like gravy-coated mashed potatoes (i.e. delicious) and it’s got a seemingly human storyline that is all the rage these days. But we’re not sure how much more forgiving we can be of a series that we’ve seen one trailer from in three years and then heard nothing about since. So if it’s not this year, we’ll probably start giving up hope. Here’s to the chance – however slim – that we see The Last Guardian at E3 2012.

The Legend of Zelda

This might seem more obvious to some people than others, but we actually don’t think we’ll be seeing a new Zelda this year. We had a new one in 2009, 2010, and 2011, so it’s fair to give Nintendo a bit of a break, especially considering they just released their best Zelda yet. But with all that said, we haven’t seen a new portable Zelda in a couple of years, so we might get a glimpse of something in the works for the 3DS that isn’t another remake (not that we wouldn’t welcome Majora’s Mask 3D) but we’re not entirely sure it’ll happen until next year. We’ve got a feeling Nintendo will be surprisingly hush-hush about it and give us a new Mario title instead.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto isn’t exactly a small name in the gaming world. For many, GTA IV was the best game in the series, and for others, their favourite game of all time. So when Rockstar announced Grand Theft Auto V in November last year, we weren’t entirely shocked that it was announced, but rather shocked by how it looked. Can you say The Sims? The trailer for the game takes place in Los Santos, the same city we saw in San Andreas, and that’s really all we know. The game is hopping on the economic crisis bandwagon as the trailer has much to do with foreclosures and pissed off Americans and their financial futures – or lack thereof. Rockstar doesn’t typically do big things at E3, but we think this year might be the exception.

Assassin’s Creed 3

As Ubisoft has done in the past, E3 will likely be home to a massive Assassin’s Creed III banner. We saw it done for the second game in the series, as well as Brotherhood, and most recently, Revelations. We don’t think Ubisoft would deviate from that too much, as they get a massive amount of exposure from them, and Assassin’s Creed III is arguably larger than any of the last three games, perhaps combined. We just got our first look at ACIII, and you better believe we’ll be seeing more in Los Angeles this June.

Bioshock Infinite

When Ken Levine hopped up on stage at Sony’s E3 2011 Press Conference, we all knew what he was there to talk about. But what we didn’t realize was just how stunning the Bioshock series had become since its second iteration. We weren’t massive fans of the universe (we don’t like creepy games much), but Infinite somehow brings incredible visuals, heartfelt character design, and a lot of light and life to the world to make us just a teensy bit curious about the title.

The Vita Onslaught

PlayStation’s latest baby, the Vita, launched a few short weeks ago, and we’re almost guaranteed to see some landmark title announcements for it. We’ve already seen what the system is capable of, and the console-quality titles like Uncharted and Wipeout that it manages to pump out without a problem, which only leaves the door open for more and more incredible experiences on the handheld console. We’ll be seeing a ton of stuff from Mario and Company for the 3DS as well, but somehow, we expect bigger, more landmark titles, for the Vita. After all, they have to make up for years two through six of their last handheld.

Summing up, there is a ton of great content we can all expect from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and a host of other third parties at E3 2012. It’s going to be another incredible show, and it will certainly have its share of games, hardware, and accessory announcements. Stay tuned for our final predictions before the show in June with Eggplante’s second entry in the E3: What Will, What Might, and What Won’t series.