Thanks to E3, even gamers living under rocks were able to glimpse the video games that will dominate their free time for the next 18 months. These are not those games.
The Avengers: Battle for Earth
The Avengers is undoubtedly one of this summer’s biggest movies, so a game with those characters AND Spiderman AND X-Men should be a surefire hit. However, the only thing more deadly to the Avengers than Loki or Magneto is a motion-only control scheme. High hopes and potential for awesome be damned, what could’ve been one of the coolest video game fighting experiences of the year is now the soggy diaper of Ubisoft’s sparkling lineup, convincing us once and for all that the Hulk - AND ONLY THE HULK - can be taken seriously when smashing. You cannot be while sitting in front of a Kinect sensor in sweatpants.
Beyond Two Souls
Sony’s big E3 reveal was a Heavy Rain clone starring Ellen Page. We fully believe Hollywood should be scared shitless of the video game industry but that’s largely because games can be cinematic, interactive and challenging. This genre just isn’t doing it for us because it’s as interactive as a Choose Your Own Adventure book, minus the fun of turning pages. It’s just not possible to have a white-knuckle experience when the only requirement for success is a prompted button-press. We’re adjusting our expectations to nil because that’s the only way Beyond Two Souls can be pleasantly surprising.
COD: Black Ops 2
Let’s be honest, there’s no way in hell that Blops 2 won’t be one of the best-selling games of 2012--maybe even of all time until the next COD is released. But that kind of certainty breeds letdowns. We won’t deny our constipation-curing level of excitement for the new and ostensibly improved - though still unseen - zombie mode, but the campaign footage that Activision showed hardly delivers the game changing innovation the world is clamoring for after MW3. Instead, Blops 2 is taking the Michael Bay approach of bigger boomsplosions+planes=better and we’re not sure that logic scans.
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
We LOVE Arkham City. See for yourself, we gave it a 10/10 and named it our 2011 Game of the Year. High praise, indeed. So when we heard the WiiU would be launching with its own version of Arkham that would incorporate the touchscreen gamepad, we were justifiably excited. Then we played it and our hopes sank to the floor faster than the batarangs we tried to control with the WiiU gamepad. The extra gamepad elements pale in comparison to the iOS’s dedicated touch screen gameplay of Arkham City Lockdown. Nintendo needs to take a page from Bruce Wayne’s Book of Success; you don’t become an American icon by doing what other people have already done; you do it by wearing a Batsuit and kicking some ass. In short, Nintendo dropped the ball by not releasing this game in Batsuit-form.
Resident Evil 6
When you first encountered the Resident Evil series, it was like playing the most terrifying horror movies ever made. By the time RE4 and 5 creeped into existence, sequel syndrome had set in and the series took a trip to the middle of the road, delivering a watered down shooting experience and not much horrorl. Resident Evil 6 might have everything going for it; returning characters, plot twists, shooting while running, but it forgets that pacing and subtlety make good horror, not choppers crashing into planes or ammo pickups at every corner. The Resident Evil brand might maintain a certain pedigree in the eyes of some fans, but it’s starting to become Police Academy sad.