Once again, E3 is here to fill our hearts and souls with dreams of amazing games we’ll get to play at some point in the distant future. And once again the horrifying potential for tragedy exists – these games may actually not be fantastic. So, once again we’ve stepped up and tapped into the future to determine what scores these games will ultimately get. So don’t worry – just read on. We guarantee beyond all shadow of a doubt that these scores are 100% accurate. To within 10 points, at least.
Marvel vs Capcom 3
Within a few short matches of this 3-on-3 seizure –scrapper we knew it was up for game of the show. The simplified controls take the best parts of previous Vs games and blend them into something totally new yet immediately familiar to longtime players. Even with this streamlined input, the combos and reality-breaking super moves still impress and we can’t imagine a single hardcore fighting fan being upset. Don’t know your launch attacks from your curly mustaches? Doesn’t matter – all the Marvel and Capcom love will undoubtedly offer something for just about everyone. In short, even if you never cared before, you need to see and play it to make sure your stance hasn’t changed.
Our time with the new Twisted Metal was brief, but gratifying. The action is faster, smoother, more fun and less confusing than its ever been, and it left us wanting more. We’re not wild about the radical overhaul of the roster – rather than a diverse cast of vehicular psychos, the new game divides its characters into four factions, based on a single personality (so far we’ve seen Clowns and Dolls, but the other two have yet to be revealed). But the action itself was fun, as we tore around in a ‘60s ambulance, guided remote-controlled suicide bombers on rocket-powered gurneys into our enemies and did our best to figure out the secret special attacks, which we’re told are making a return. We’re also intrigued by the addition of a helicopter, and we’re eager to find out exactly how it won’t be a game-breakingly powerful monster. It’s hard to imagine actually being disappointed by this by the time it releases.
Dead Space 2
The first Dead Space was surprisingly spooky and satisfying, but we’ll admit it did get a bit tedious at times – and the less said about that asteroid-shooting bit, the better. But the sequel ramps things up deliciously. Hero Isaac returns, and he’s yet again the only guy with the balls to go walking around a ghoul-infested space station while everyone else cowers around a radio transmitter somewhere safe(ish). He’s got more catastrophic set pieces and bigger, more varied baddies to saw into pieces this time, but he also has some new weapons, a little more speed (the curb stomp, melee swipe and stasis all come out more quickly) and he can jet around zero-G environments like a very slow Iron Man. Finally, he’s got a more badass, aggressive attitude – he even talks now. No word on the story yet, but this is looking very good.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
The Hot Pursuit games have always been everyone’s favorite entries in the Need for Speed series – if you didn’t like Hot Pursuit 2, just give your game console away because you clearly don’t like fun. And with the developers who created the Burnout games holding the keys, it’s almost unsurprising that this is easily the ultimate game of cops and robbers. Wanna get behind the wheel of a police cruiser and chase down the perps, using EMPs and roadblocks to slow ‘em down? Go for it. Or would you rather be the elite criminal in the fuzz-busting sports car, complete with a RADAR jammer and decoys? Your choice. Toss in lush looks and simply amazing online/social tools that enable you to exactly track your friends’ progress compared to your own. We’ll be amazed if this one doesn’t get the brass ring.
The latest SOCOM has more personality than we’ve come to expect from the series, and sports various concessions to modern shooter conventions – like regenerating health and sticky cover – that make it less realistic, but more immediately fun. What makes it especially interesting are your AI partners, which are divided into two teams that can be commanded into position (where they’ll shoot any hostlies they see, more accurately than you) just by hitting left or right on the d-pad. It’s also possible to call in airstrikes on big targets, which involves locking onto them for a few seconds with a laser and then watching the massive fireworks. We also tried this with Move, but honestly it wasn’t that much different from controlling a shooter with Wii controls; the Move is more sensitive, but trying to target with a remote wand that has to be kept pointed at the screen adds a layer of distraction not found in the comfort of a DualShock 3.