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Posted on Jun 9, 2011 in Games PR

Straight Shooting From the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo

By Peter Suciu

Games take center stage at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The halls roared with the sounds of gun fire, much of which was met by cheers. This wasn’t a fanatical coup or crazed revolution, this was just another day in Los Angeles during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) the annual trade show that gives a preview of what gamers will playing in the weeks and months to come. This year saw the usual focus of alien invasions, threats from the walking dead and enough "kiddie" games to keep players in gamer heaven for months.

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But 2011’s E3 was an especially great one for first person shooter fans. And this fall could see a major shooter showdown with Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 both arriving for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Windows PC. But these aren’t the only action games coming this fall and in early 2012. The game of war looks to see no end in sight. Here is a recap of the best historical and military themed action games from this year’s E3:

Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts, PC/Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3)
If this was indeed the last battlefield, Electronic Arts and developer DICE would be going down in a blaze of glory. Fortunately we very much doubt this will be the final game in the series, and instead could revive the franchise. It has been six years since Battlefield 2 burst onto the scene, and two years since the arrival of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 upped the ante on multiplayer warfare. This time around Battlefield 3 offers improved single player, taking a cue from Bad Company as well as Medal of Honor, but for most gamers shooting up the town is very much a social activity and thus the multiplayer mode is what will make this one stand out.

The game, which builds on the existing Battlefield 2 universe – and will even let players revisit some familiar stomping and shooting grounds – has a variety of powers squaring off against one another. The game features new settings including New York and Paris, but more importantly has refined the classes of soldiers. The developers have opted to combine the assault class with the medic, making for a fast moving soldier with basic small arms and ability to heal fellow soldiers. The engineer class remains and retains the ability to repair vehicles, while the support class can supply troops with ammunition and now has the ability to suppress enemy positions with the light machine gun. The squad based weapons can be deployed on a bipod to add stability and support troops will earn points for successfully suppressing enemy troops. Finally, Battlefield 3 will feature the beloved yet hated recon class of snipers, who will have the ability to launch UAV and call in airstrikes.

DICE offered E3 attendees a chance to take the controls in a multiplayer PC demo during the show, and the game is true to past BF titles, while still offering a bit of new twists. The controls remained tight, the weapons realistically accurate if you took time to aim and fire as opposed to running and gunning, and the graphics can only be described as hyper real. PC gamers should plan to buy a new computer for this one… and it will be worth it.

EA has announced an October 25 release date for the game, and Battlefield 3 is shaping up to easily be among the best games of the year.

Click here to view the official trailer.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision, PC/Xbox 360/PS3)
If there is one game that could give BF3 a run for its money this holiday season it is going to be Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from Infinity Ward. The game, which picks up just at the end of MW2, features a global conflict as Ultra-nationalist Russians face off against the West. As with BF3 this game will feature more familiar locations mixed in with the more exotic. At E3 this year two single player levels were demo’d at E3, and these included an objective based mission that takes place in New York City while the other was set in London.

The New York mission had Delta Force operatives enter the flooded Holland Tunnel, set charges on a Russian submarine and then evade Spetsnaz commandos; while the London was a hit and run mission that left destruction in its wake. The New York mission was notable as Freedom Tower and the surrounding buildings can be seen fully completed in the former World Trade Center, and made for a stirring backdrop.

Call of Duty will be available this fall, and will be fully compatible with Call of Duty Elite

Call of Duty Elite (Activision)
Not exactly a game, Call of Duty Elite is instead the “digital platform” at Activision’s new Beachhead studio, and it is designed to complement Call of Duty titles, including the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It will include both paid and free components and is meant to be a way for players to track their stats, compare rankings with other players, and even join groups or gaming clans. Call of Duty Elite promises to add a social networking component, and here is where it could very much take the existing first person shooters and add a bit of the role playing game’s persistent universe aspect where it is easier to find and track those rankings, awards earned – but also in the paid mode allow for increased competition, including ability to enter and compete in events.

Call of Duty Elite will launch later this year, and will be available for all platforms.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations (Ubisoft, PC/Xbox360/PS3)
It is hard to kill an assassin, but then again Ezio is just a memory stored in someone’s DNA maybe isn’t so strange that he keeps coming back for more. For those that have missed previous Assassin’s Creed games, the concept is that in the not-too-distant future recovered memories of the exploits of Ezio, as well as other “assassins” need to be recovered. If you can get past this sci-fi twist, the series is a pretty interesting historical (and at times ahistorical or even anachronistic) look at the crusades and renaissance.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations, which will be released on November 15, is billed at the final part of the Ezio trilogy, as the assassin makes his way to throughout the Ottoman Empire. As with past titles it will be action based mixed with a bit of stealth and even puzzle solving in massive open environments. This time Ubisoft also promised more story-oriented quests, as well as some multiplayer maps – because revisiting a history that never was is even better with a friend.

Brothers in Arms: Furious Four (Ubisoft, PC/Xbox360/PS3)
The Brothers in Arms series from Gearbox Studios, and published by Ubisoft was a series that set the bar very high with realistic World War II action. It features realistic settings, squad based tactics and basically was the next best (worst if you believe your granddad) to actually being there. It was Band of Brothers in a game.

Brothers in Arms: Furious Four is not such a game. In fact it is more like Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, or a Sgt. Fury and Howling Commandos comic book than a realistic take on WWII. The question coming from the show is why make this part of the Brothers in Arms series at all? While it is built on the same engine and thus looks fantastic – if you like your G.I.’s sporting Mohawks and cowboy hats – the gameplay is just completely over the top. This isn’t saying that this won’t be fun, it does look like a blast, but it is more cartoon and caricature than gripping WWII tale. In a way this is the direction Wolfenstein could have gone. You’ve been warned.

Click here for the official trailer.

Other worthy mentions from the E3 “Shooting Gallery:”

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier and Tom Clancy’s Recon Online (Ubisoft) – the future looks so bright you have soldiers with color shifting camouflage and advanced weapons that practically kill the bad guys for you.

FarCry 3 (Ubisoft) – not exactly a military shooter, this one promises to be like the TV show LOST, but with mercenaries with lots of guns, a mystery that is unveiled as you progress and lots of twists and turns. In other words just like LOST.

Spec Ops: The Line (2K Games) – This third person shooter is reportedly inspired in part by Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, but is set in a near future Middle East where the sand has reclaimed the city of Dubai (a likely prediction if there ever was one). The game was first demo’d last year, and by the sound of it could be seen at E3 next year as it still has a mid-2012 deadline. By the time this one comes out Dubai might be reclaimed by the sand after all.

Prefer strategy games to shooters? Check out part 2 of Peter Suciu’s E3 report.

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  1. Strategy and Simulation Games at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo » Armchair General - [...] Straight Shooting From the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo » Armchair General says: 6/10/2011 at 11:37 [...]

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