The Top Ten Video Game Sequels for E3 2012
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 15th Jun 2012
Using what was not his to take, Handsome Jack has leveraged a take over of the Hyperion Corporation and effectively seized control of Pandora, declaring himself the planetary ruler and promising to sweep away the outlaw element and make Pandora a lawful and safe place upon which to live and raise a family...
Handsome Jack then sets out upon a campaign to exterminate Pandora's existing colonist population in order to industrialize the planet, and so the adventure truly begins, as following the ultimate betrayal by Handsome Jack the player is tasked with locating and rescuing the original Vault Heroes -- which is about as far as the reveal went, but that was plenty to get us all fired up and excited for the next installment in what is sure to be a long-running new game series.
05 -- Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Platform: Xbox 360 / PC / PS3
Release Date: TBA Spring 2013
Where do we even begin? Landing on the ruling side of the list seems only natural for Blacklist, whose protagonist is instantly familiar to any gamer who has been actively gaming in the past decade, with the introduction taking place in 2002 with the title that established the series, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, quickly followed by Pandora Tomorrow (2004), Chaos Theory (2005), and Double Agent (2006).
Sticking strictly to the main series titles we were next treated to Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (2010), which was officially the 5th chapter in the long-running series, making Splinter Cell: Blacklist officially the 6th chapter and perhaps the most highly anticipated thanks to the excellent job that was done at both Microsoft's Pre-E3 Briefing reveal and Ubisoft's own reveal at its Press Briefing, as well as on the show floor at their exhibit space.
Where the first four chapters of the series told a largely conventional stealth-based uber-secret special ops instant death-dealing super-secret-agent-type set of stories, the 5th chapter (Conviction) morphed over into the realm of personalities and personal vendetta, exposing a different side to the secret agent that is Sam Fisher (voiced by Michael Ironside), a deviation from the formula that was at least as extreme then as Blacklist is certain to be now.
The Sam Fisher that we knew and loved to play largely relied upon lightning reflexes, hard-learned and trained-to-perfection skills and tactics, and a kit full of high-tech devices and weapons that, in the hands of a Splinter Cell Operator easily served as a force multiplier turning one agent into the equal of an entire squad (and often more) all by themselves.
It seems that the world has once again been turned upside down -- and in a number of ways too -- since the voice (and to some degree physical form) of Sam for this one has been replaced; veteran actor and game talent Michael Ironside has officially passed the torch to a younger more acerbic Sam Fisher portrayed by Canadian actor Eric Johnson. In addition to that the resulting successes from the previous important missions undertaken by Sam has resulted in his being granted Carte Blanche by the President, who has given Sam command of Third Echelon, along with a blank check for pretty much whatever he needs (as long as he continues to get the job done).
Getting the job done though is really what the focus of the reveals were all about at this year's E3, and we found ourselves confronted by a Sam that we could hardly recognize, and not just because his voice and personality had changed but because the stealth-ninja and master of night and shadow Sam Fisher has been replaced by a Sam Fisher who pretty much does not care what time it is, or where the sun happens to be in the sky, which when you think about it is sort of wrong... Really, really wrong... But in a good way!
The trailers, demo, and Q&A sessions with developers at E3 lead to the conclusion that while stealth still plays a major role in Third Echelon, action-adventure has suddenly been thrust way above it on the scale of genre-busting factors, and this new Sam Fisher plays very differently as the protagonist than we have ever known him before.
04 -- Assassin's Creed III
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox 360 / PC / PS3 / Wii U
Release Date: 30 October 2012
Before the video presentation for AC3 began our host from Ubisoft Montreal instructed us that the new protagonist was, like the nature of this new game environment (the wilds outside of Boston, Massachusetts in the New World as well as the City itself) very different from what we may have known in the previous games, as a slightly different focus has been found for the acrobatic talents and traditional skills set for the Brotherhood.
Specifically the running-and-tumbling climbing-and-jumping focus of basic Assassin's skills was such that it typically made using trees and natural obstructions and objects in nature a more convenient path and perch, all things being equal. He then went on to demonstrate the truth of that, and we watched as the character of the half English and half-Native American hero-protagonist, Connor Kenway, whose birth name was Ratohnhakéton (pronounced "Ra-doon-ha-kay-doon") proceeded to flow through this new and very different environment indeed, outpacing animals and, nearly instantly running down and slaying a large buck, before we witnessed a series of challenges and missions in the British-occupied streets of Boston near its harbor.