E3 2012 (June 5 – 7) will showcase a whole range of games as developers and publishers bring out their major new releases for the world to see. Over the years, though, this convention has been dominated by the console market with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo pulling out all the stops and showing off their new games, peripherals and, this year, entire systems. In the middle of all this, PC games tend to get overlooked, even though many big names make an appearance and demo some impressive stuff.
One of the biggest developments that will impact PC gamers is the reveal of Unreal Engine 4. Epic Games has, for years, been the go-to developer when it game to graphics engines. Countless games have licensed their technology to develop their own games without going through the massive task of building an engine that can render millions upon millions of polygons a second.
The Unreal Engine 4 is set to be demoed on June 7th. There likely won’t be a playable game for it, but there will be a tech demo that will show the new levels of details that can be achieved and they will talk about how the engine has been optimized to let developers produce games of higher quality without such long development times.
Big Names and Big Games
Valve is probably the largest PC developer to make an appearance at E3 2012, and while they’ll be bringing DOTA 2 and Counterstrike: Global Offensive, they won’t (despite the hopes of many) be announcing anything about Half-Life 3. The good news, though, is that the highly anticipated Counterstrike was given a release date of August 21, and it will only cost $15.
Crysis 3 is also receiving a lot of attention this E3. While this game never achieved the kind of status of something like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it has always held a special place in the true PC gamer’s heart. Crysis 1 and 2 were notorious for pushing high-end gaming PCs to their very limits. It was something of a mark of pride when you could run Crysis at its highest setting without experiencing any lag. And from the looks of the demos shown at the convention, the third installment is likely going to be just as impressive.
And speaking of Call of Duty, while all those military first person shooters are going to get a lot of attention this year on the consoles, both Black Ops 2 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter are both going to get a PC release. And if you’re a serious gamer, that’s the only way to play an FPS.
Even some social games are getting some attention this year, and at EA’s press conference they detailed some aspects of their upcoming Facebook game, SimCity Social. They made no attempt to hide the fact that this game is meant to go head-to-head with all the “Ville” games on the market right now. Of course, if social platforms don’t work for you, they will also be releasing the complete SimCity for PC, which has some spectacular graphics and a surprising level of depth for online and offline play.
When you ask most people what they remember the most from the E3 convention, it’s true that you won’t hear a lot about the PC game industry, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some important announcements that will impact a lot of gamers.
image via Genuine Gamers