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E3 2012 wrap up

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With the gaming industry currently bloated to bang point with promise and technological revolutions, it was very difficult not to approach E32012 with enormous hope and expectation. Fortunately, I'm the consummate cynic, and was therefore not overly disappointed, despite the very underwhelming presentations this year.

UBISoft have announced a continuation of their FarCry fable with FarCry 3: Insanity Edition; the trailer for which is less revolutionary for ground-breaking game play than it is for Boobs, Tigers and Madness. Be prepared to revisit the original glorious environment of a glittering archipelagos swarming with nasty, heavily armed men, gun boats and non-linear exploration. But this time with... well, boobs and tigers. It just goes to show - if you want to re-hash something old and sell it en mass, just add boobs. We, the consumers, are to blame for the fact that this works (and WILL work in this case) so successfully.

One possible shining beacon from Sony's stage this year is Quantic Dream's new title starring Ellen Page of (most recently) Inception fame - the announced title is BEYOND - and despite the lack of game-play in the demo, the facial realism of the gaming models shown in the demo was quite stunning. If there is a strong enough story and enjoyable game-play - this could be a big title for the year.

Sony also showcased an entirely new interactive concept 'Wonderbook' with Dave Ranyard of Sony introducing it with this: "We actually kept it a secret - that is a bit of a surprise to us" - and after 5 minutes of H K Rowling' s Book Of Spells game-play we could see why. It is completely insipid and fleshless. Unless there is a whole lot more to this game, it seems utterly self-serving, overly complex and pointless to have your screen interacting with a book in your hands - if you want a book, read a book. if you want to game - give us a game. No doubt the ability to do this with Move technology was enticing, but the development seems to seriously have lacked focus on the end result: a game for gamers.

The most disappointing of all, however, is the continued silence from Valve - where is the continuation of our beloved Half Life series? Has the success of Portal 2 sent the developers into a completely new direction, causing a complete rewrite of Gordon Freeman's story? Some news would have been good, after all these years of waiting. Or are we going to have the next grand Duke Nukem disaster?

The only other mentionable is the loudly echoed theme from all developers and platforms this year: we will re-hash old titles for dollars. FarCry, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield3 - Premium... we're getting very little for our money this year it seems. I'm a huge fan of all 3 of those titles, but so little seems to have been done in developing truly new content! Assassin's Creed 3: Revelations holds the most promise, and as a die-hard fan of the Battlefield games 'BF3:Close Quarters' is certainly alluring, but the asking price for what is inarguably nothing more than DLC borders on criminal. The announced asking price for BF3:Premium (the all-inclusive DLC package which, with utter cheek, includes the already released Back To Karkand!) is US$50. That really is somewhat disgraceful. And sadly, the consumers drive this marketing model by supporting it with hard earned money. Me? Not this time. This will be the first time EA Games won't have a hand in my wallet with a Battlefield sale.

There are a lot more little spiky bones to pick over in the E3 aftermath, and the official E3 wrap-up isn't for some hours yet - but thus far there hasn't been anything to pin on the must-play board, certainly nothing to rival Guild Wars 2 as 'new, fresh and exciting' gaming.

And with little else that can possibly happen, it's been a huge disappointment this year. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback - please send in your reviews and opinions to or leave your comments here on the site.

Good gaming, and keep the standards high=)

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