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A Sony official once called the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles the “Super Bowl for gamers.” Even though there are fewer blows to the head involved, it’s hard to argue against that statement. This week’s gaming extravaganza bore so many announcements, trailers and new products that we can’t hope to cover it all in one edition of Video Games Plus. But we did pick a small variety of things to show you this week: the reveal of new “South Park” and “Lord of the Rings” games, a first look at the gameplay of “Halo 4” and a zombie game for Nintendo’s sequel to the Wii. Finally, we review “Gravity Rush” for PlayStation Vita.
New "South Park" RPG on the Way
Many of the games unveiled at E3 were full of serious business, with lots of shooting, stabbing, military people doing important things, etc. But one unexpected title showed what was missing from most new video games – a funny bone.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the TV series "South Park," were on hand at Microsoft’s press conference to give gamers a look at “South Park: The Stick of Truth.” And amazingly, it looked almost exactly like an episode of the show.
Players will get to control the new kid in town, a custom-generated avatar who is attempting to woo the cool kids and become the fifth member of the "South Park" crew.
The game features some Kinect functions, as players will be able to literally taunt their enemies and launch attacks with their voices. Call Cartman a "fat ass," and he'll respond. He may not take it well, however.
“Stick of Truth” will be available on March 5, 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC.
First "Halo 4" Gameplay Trailer
For those worried that “Halo” wouldn’t be the same without long-time developer Bungie behind the helm, it’s time to put those fears to bed and smother them with your pillow.
Debuting at E3 was an extended look at the gameplay of “Halo 4” and what we saw looked pretty incredible. In the video, Master Chief travels to a new junglelike world and faces new enemies -- and a few familiar ones -- as he races to save the shipwrecked UNSC Infinity. It ends with a mysterious note of Cortana going kind of nuts, so we’re curious to see what else “Halo 4” has in store.
Zombies Invade The WII U
OK, so it’s got a really ridiculous name that makes it sound like zombies are going off to college, but we’re willing to forgive the makers of “ZombiU” -- an action game coming exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.
Ubisoft’s “ZombiU” promises to put players in the middle of modern-day London, where an outbreak has, of course, infected the population, destroying their humanity and turning them into mindless monsters preying on the flesh of the few remaining survivors. This all sounds pretty familiar, but “ZombiU” also utilizes the Wii U’s controller in unique ways. The GamePad serves as the player’s ultimate survival kit, called the “Bug Out Bag,” which is a backpack for all the maps, tools, weapons and supplies that players can find from the limited resources available in the devastated cityscape.
The game also features a distinctive multiplayer adversarial mode that allows one player to take on the role of “Zombie Master,” spawning and controlling enemies from a top-down view on the Nintendo Wii U GamePad while the second player fights for survival on the big screen in first-person shooter view.
Batman Flies to Wii U
Speaking of new experiences with the Wii U, WB Games demonstrated a new way of playing as Batman. In its Tuesday morning press conference, Nintendo showed off "Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition" for Wii U. The biggest change from previous iterations is that the Wii U GamePad acts as a sort of utility belt for gamers. It allows them to use the touchscreen to view a map and view objectives. chose which gadget they want, scan for forensic evidence and more while being able to stay in the action happening on the TV.
The Armored Edition also includes all the current downloadable content available for Arkham City as well as new Battle Armored Tech (B.A.T. Mode) which gives players an additional power-up by allowing them to build kinetic energy during combat. When activated, Batman can dish out more damage then ever.
"Lord of the Rings" Arena Game Debuts
Timed to go along with the upcoming movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” -- the prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” films -- comes a new multiplayer game hitting consoles this fall.
Called “Guardians of Middle-Earth,” it’s a game that’s being labeled as a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game and offers more than 20 iconic guardians including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum and many more for players to control in arena battles against other players. Gamers will have the ability to connect with each other with an in-game voice communication system, as well as gain access to a comprehensive online stat and leader board system where they can track friends’ victories and defeats, and more.
The question remains: will this Lord of the Rings title be as preciousss as previous ones?
Review: Gravity Rush
Too many games for the Sony Vita feel like old PlayStation 3 games with gimmicky touchscreen controls awkwardly grafted onto them. But “Gravity Rush” provides a totally unique experience and grants gamers a sensational sense of flight that no other superhero game can touch. In this new open world action game you control Kat, a spunky blonde protagonist who wakes up with amnesia, a mysterious cat and an amazing ability to defy gravity with an assist from the Vita’s gyro sensor. Throw in a beautifully-drawn world and a cool comic book-like presentation and it adds up to one of the best surprise games of the year.
With apologies to Sir Isaac Newton, “Gravity Rush” might represent the proverbial apple to fall on gamers’ heads to help them discover the Vita.