Want to have your say? Head on over to www.facebook.com/videogamercom and vote on your own Game of The Show right now!

Simon Miller, Editor-In-Chief – Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins screenshot

There was a lot to get excited about at E3. I immensely enjoyed Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario World 3D World and I think Metal Gear Solid V looks as ridiculous as I had hoped it would. What grabbed me the most, though, was Batman: Arkham Origins.

On many levels, this may sound stupid. After all, the previous games have been masterpieces and, as you can tell from the trailers, Origins isn't exactly doing that much different. In my defence: Batman. Also, though, since it was announced I had this nagging feeling that the change in developer may sour the experience. That's not a knock on Warner Bros. Montreal but Rocksteady had set the bar so high that it was only healthy to be slightly hesitant just in case, as has happened in the past, the switch of creative heads turned out to be a poor decision. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.

Arkham Origins is so good and so faithful to what made the previous iterations what they were that we are on the verge of entering a world where the last three Batman video games have been wonderful. It wasn't so long ago we were all trying to convince ourselves that Rise Of Sin Tzu wasn't a pile of absolute garbage*. With a few tweaks thrown in for good measure – the new Martial Artist enemy that can counter Batman is marvellous – the Arkham trilogy may be gaming's answer to the Dark Knight run of films. I am a happy man...

Get all the info you need from the game here.

*It was.

Steve Burns, Reviews and Features Editor – Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs screenshot

After last year’s breakout success, Ubisoft’s E3 2013 Watch Dogs presentation could hardly have been more disappointing. CG footage of Aiden walking around, beating people up? Boring. ‘Show us the game’ was the plea on social networking sites after Ubisoft’s conference.

Ubi duly did at the Sony keynote, and also with a second, more impressive demo behind closed doors. What I saw from the latter confirmed my stance that Watch Dogs has the potential to be one of the games of the year. Demoing the open world’s different districts and off-mission gameplay, while expanding on the hacking aspect and showcasing invasion-based PvP, it was once again one of the games of the show.

So far we’d seen a lot of talk about the different hacking systems you could use, but it wasn’t until now that we could really see how they all interlink. You can read about it all here, but in short it’s nicely integrated alongside all the bang-bang.

The most exciting element of the demo, for me at least, was the ‘invasion’ gameplay. Similar to Dark Souls, other players can enter your game. Not that you’d immediately be aware of that - it’s not until you’re hacked that other people become visible. It’s city-wide vehicular cat-and-mouse after that, as players have to chase down and kill the hacker to prevent them escaping their game with the data. An impressive addition to an already exciting game.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor – Need For Speed: Rivals

Need For Speed Rivals screenshot

Rivals certainly wasn't the most innovative game on show at E3 – titles like The Division, Watch Dogs and Titanfall appear to be far more impressive in the originality stakes – but I had the most fun with it by some distance. As I said in my preview, it's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 in all but name - and the only title that left me genuinely excited to play more.

Granted, I'm still slightly cautious about how well the score-chasing concept and apparent dependency on multiplayer will translate to the final game: the 10 minute snippet on show was an absolute blast to play with my E3 peers, but whether it'll hold up when stretched across numerous hours is a genuine concern. But after expecting 2013 to be one of Need For Speed's off-years, Ghost's debut looks as if it could give Criterion's games a run for its money, and a racer certainly worth keeping on your radar.

Matt Lees, Video Production Editor - Tom Clancy's The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division screenshot

Being up to my eyeballs with video editing, I didn’t have time to watch the Ubisoft conference. Glancing at Twitter after things had settled down, it seemed like the hype revolved around a new game called ‘The Division’. After squeezing my way through the crush of the immensely popular Ubisoft booth, my first experience with the game was a full-length developer demo. Even without the conference bombast, I walked away substantially impressed.

Riffing on Steven Soderbergh’s excellent Contagion, The Division depicts a world that swiftly fell to pieces after everyone simultaneously got the sniffles. As man-with-gun it’s up to you to roam New York and pick up the pieces, restoring order to the mess that remains. On paper it sounds astoundingly boring, but what they’ve crafted so far looks superb.

The graphical fidelity and art direction are amazing, as is the impact you have on the world. Tiny rays of light pour through the fresh bullet holes you’ve made, and your character even closes car doors if they’re in the way as he’s edging around them for cover. Tiny details like these mean nothing on their own, but merge to form a world that feels weighty and cohesive.

Speaking as a man who thinks Apple can naff off, I’m also impressed by the tablet and phone stuff, which lets you hop into any online co-op game in the form of a floaty overhead drone. In contrast to the usual spin-off nonsense, the entire of The Division’s open world has been created to render in multiple versions: Crikey-HD for modern systems, and Fuzzy-Fuzz mode for tablets and stuff. As a drone you can mark targets, and whack down friendly buffs and airstrikes. You’re effectively playing a real-time strategy game where the squad you’re following are all real players. Go back and explain this to Matt Lees circa 1999, and he’d immediately spaff himself into oblivion. For that reason alone: Game of show.

Editor's note: You can also check out what Steve thought of The Division here.

Chris Bratt, Video Producer – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshot

Goodness gracious, did you guys see the trailer for The Witcher 3? It looks absolutely wonderful. Both Matt and myself were eyeing up the appointment with CD Projekt, but thankfully Mr Lees was busy at the time, or I think we may have come to blows over the matter. He’s got really long arms as well; I don’t even know how you’re supposed to fight someone with that physique.

Anyway, I saw about 30 minutes of Wild Hunt gameplay and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The final part of Geralt’s story is still wonderfully dark, with the characters he meets being just as morally disgusting as you’d expect from a game in this series.

I remain a little cautious about the transition to this huge open-world of theirs, but the demo did its very best to convince me that it won’t feel too empty. The majority of the presentation focused on a village suffering from the incursions of a grouchy forest spirit and I was pleased to see that it was jam-packed full of NPCs that, at least on first glance, felt like real characters who made sense within their environment. Yet it was the small details that I was keen to make note of: the travellers passing by on the roadside; the side quest that becomes available after you allow a particularly rare monster to escape; the day/night cycle and the influence it has on the enemies you meet and their abilities.

The demo was hands-off and was clearly being played in a way that would best show off these individual moments, but if it was anywhere close to being a fair representation of the game itself, then it could end up being really really special.

Fancy a look at our alternative E3 awards? Just hit play on the video below...

New stuff to check out


To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ BC_Animus

EVEN for me?

Click for Image
Posted 07:57 on 18 June 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus@ altaranga

<sigh> That was bad Altaranga, even for you.
Posted 01:11 on 18 June 2013
mcnasty72's Avatar


You guys need to put your thinking caps on. If a developer has a great title why would we want to restrict where it can be sold? That would be like Coke Cola selling their soda EXCLUSIVELY at one store, and no where else, why would they do that? Exclusive is business speak for hype. Now exclusives from Sony & MS are one thing. But some exclusive from some dirty studio in Praga at shid. Think for a change, suckas.
Posted 00:49 on 18 June 2013
altaranga's Avatar


So then, E3…

Another games conference has come and gone. Two of gaming’s biggest RIVALS, Sony and Microsoft, went head to head with their new consoles. Although I cannot possibly comment on who won it does seem as though the issue of DRM had caused a bit of a DIVISION between Microsoft and the gaming community. The Xbox One show had muted cheers, clearly BELOW their expectations. On the other hand the PS4’s show went above and BEYOND, with whoops and cheers being heard when the release price was announced. A clear winner? It’s too early to tell, but Sony have definitely TAKEN the edge.

But it wasn’t all about Sony and MS playing war on the console BATTLEFIELD. There were plenty of games to see too. Nintendo showed us that the Wii U does have some games to look forward to, and that their console’s DESTINY isn’t necessarily to be the poor cousin of the PS4 and XB1.

The PS4 showed us fewer exclusives than the new Xbox, although the former console had more non-exclusive titles to show. Neither console was able to COMMAND and CONQUER in that regard, with people being split regarding who actually had the better games.

Of course the fanboys were out in their droves, each side seeming to MIRROR the sentiments of the other (from opposing sides of course). Note: I loved reading some of their comments, no matter how ridiculous they were. I let them slide, though, rather than RAIN on their parade.

Generally I think this year’s E3 has helped to expel some of the GHOSTS from previous years. In terms of hype there is a chasm stretching to INFINITY between E3 2013 and E3 2012. With many developers and publishers actually waiting for the actual conference to make their announcements (rather than the usual pre-E3 bollox) it would seem as though ORDER has been restored.

As for the rest of the year, it looks like there is plenty for us to WATCH, DOGS!!
Posted 23:33 on 17 June 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus@ jamiemann

Kinda afraid to play Watchdog to be honest... I've learnt that games with a lot of hype tend to disappoint, even if they're decent. It's like a making out session with Jessica Alba - I want it, you want it, but if we end up getting it I doubt it'd be as good as we expect. It's sad, but it's true. (Btw Jessica Alba, if you are reading this, feel free to prove me wrong... call me?)
Posted 16:05 on 17 June 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar


OMFG Matt Lees, been watching some of the VG E3 videos on YouTube. Bloody good work mate, you are now my favourite VG staff-creature, beating out Dave. I watched two videos back to back - and that's saying a lot coming from me, since I'm usually not a video person. Loving how your E3 videos were filled with personality and humour, and not just the usual cookie cutter interviews with the PR people + short clip of trailers.
Posted 16:02 on 17 June 2013
CoffeeJezus's Avatar


Simon, not enough folks have given appreciation for how incredible Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker's vocal performances are on Arkham Origins.

Both absolutely nail Conroy and Hamill's tones with near perfection, the other variable could be applied to the characters themselves being younger. Very impressed.

I loved the warm colours as well. Given the Christmas setting, such warm hues set against snow and chilling architecture alike worked wonderfully. Oh and that Detective rewind mode seen in the gameplay trailer was fabulous.

For me the Arkham games have nailed the tone of a more mature Batman. As someone who hated the Nolan take, it's a pleasure to see that it can be done - and done so well - all without bleaching the characters and world down to some grey/brown blur of blah. I am curious as to who is writing the story this time though, as the animated series Paul Dini did an excellent job on the first two.

Oh and .. favourite Batman film - Under The Red Hood. Then the animated adaptations of The Dark Knight Returns, I reckon. :D

The new Need For Speed, it's worth noting that half of Criterion are working on the new game along with Ghost!
Posted 15:56 on 17 June 2013


Witcher 3, Division, The Evil Within and Fable Anniversary stole my eyes over the few days that were E3.
Posted 15:53 on 17 June 2013
jamiemann's Avatar


I think watch dogs looks really unique and promising i just hope it delivers on what it promises
Posted 15:29 on 17 June 2013

Related Games

Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs
Available For: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U Genre: Action

VideoGamer.com Score7

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Available For: PS4, Xbox One, PC Genre: RPG

VideoGamer.com Score9

Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins
Available For: PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone Genre: Action

VideoGamer.com Score8

Need For Speed Rivals

Need For Speed Rivals
Available For: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC Genre: Racing

VideoGamer.com Score7

Tom Clancy's The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division
Available For: PS4, Xbox One, PC Genre: Unknown

VideoGamer.com Score8

View Full Site