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E3 Proved That We’re Hungry For New IPs
Coming out of E3 this year, it wasn’t hard to hear the disappointment in the voices of many gamers. Where were the new consoles? Where were the new announcements? Most importantly, where were the new games?
Now, we knew heading in to E3 that there would be no mention of next-gen consoles from either Microsoft or Sony, and we also knew ahead of time that big companies like EA would be unraveling sequel after sequel at their press conferences. But despite this prior knowledge, E3 2012 still felt more than a little underwhelming to many within the community.
Enter the new IPs that made the biggest waves at the show: Watch Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls, The Last of Us, and PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale.
These games all enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reception, several of them being candidates and winners of Game of the Show among many leading industry websites.
But are they really that revolutionary and exciting, or are we just excited by the prospect of something new?
While Watch Dogs does look impressive, the game itself is not a new idea; it’s more of the same cyberpunk conventions we’ve seen in games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Syndicate, with hackers and microchips that interact with and affect the people and world around us. It took everyone by surprise at Ubisoft’s conference, however, being a game that no one had previously heard or seen anything from in the weeks before. It was completely fresh and new, and therefore gave us all something interesting to talk about. But is it really as fantastic as so many think it is? It’s hard to gauge that right now, since we have only a handful of gameplay footage to go off of. But while it is undoubtedly impressive and interesting, I still can’t help but wonder if it wowed because of the bright-and-shiny factor.
Beyond: Two Souls is the newest cinematic game coming out of Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream with the amazing hook of having major Hollywood actress Ellen Page as its main star. This alone gave the game a major boost in appeal. What could the Juno actress do with a mysterious role involving a girl being tethered to an otherworldly being? The trailer was impressive, and it is promising if it uses any of the conventions found in Heavy Rain’s storytelling or the tech displayed in the Kara demo. But again, I can’t help but wonder if it tickles our fancy just a bit because it’s not the fifth installment of a tired franchise.
The Last of Us is a beautiful-looking post-apocalyptic narrative from Naughty Dog that wowed with its exclusive new gameplay footage shown at the end of Sony’s press conference. While the game has been delayed into 2013, it still took top honors with many as the game of the show. Will it truly be something unique and different, or just another title in a crowded genre?
PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale has been accused of being nothing more than a Super Smash Bros. clone, and the sentiment is not far wrong. However, there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, the game looks fantastic, with promising and interesting gameplay that will entice PlayStation owners and enthusiasts. But again, is it really that great, or is the “newness” of it what makes the game interesting?
Bottom line, we want new IPs. That was painfully obvious this year, judging by the sounds of many fans in the wake of the event. While many of the sequels shown off at the conferences and on the floor look fantastic, we’re still itching for something new to get our hands on and experience for ourselves.
Of course, we can expect to see a flood of new IPs coming down the line whenever the next generation of consoles is released. And in the mean time, even these meager offerings of new titles will be a great breath of fresh air in a sequel-heavy market. Patience will pay off in the form of much-wanted IPs. But for now, we’re still hungry for something new.