E3 2012 — Microsoft Press Conference Recap with Instant Reactions to Halo 4, Gears of War: Judgement, Xbox Smartglass and Much More!

By: 06.04.12

Tomb Raider

Lara’s shooting dudes with arrows. Her boobs seem to have expanded since the earlier trailers — they’re more traditionally Croft-esque now. Lara’s crashing some sort of mountain hideout and showing off her amazing 20-foot leaping ability.

Instant Reaction – Very Uncharted-ey. Crystal Dynamics have actually left some color in this game instead of just going for next-gen browns and greys. Best looking game of the press conference so far.

– Whoa, a shotgun has come out and she just straight up stabbed a dude right in his neck.

Instant Reaction – I dunno, I kind of preferred when Lara only brutally murdered endangered and/or extinct animals.

– Oh shit, Lara just fell over a waterfall…and, she’s fine?

Instant Reaction – Huh.

– Now she’s smashing into literally every rock and piece of debris in the river. She’s bouncing around like a ping-pong ball in a dryer and ragdolling like every bone in her body is broken.

Instant Reaction – Um, okay, you can stop hitting the pretty lady now.

– Oh s–t, she somehow got hold of a parachute! She’s smashing into every tree, moaning in pain each time. She’s covered in blood and dirt. More moaning.

Instant Reaction – I…uh…[checks over my shoulder to make sure nobody’s sees me watching this].

– Torture Porn Raider, coming this year! DLC available first on the Xbox!

Instant Reaction – Really? We’re still bragging about early DLC? In 2012?


Ascend: New Gods

– Guys in elaborate armor stab each other. Guys fight a giant God-like enemy. Visuals have that Ico oversaturated eye-scorching look.

Instant Reaction – Microsoft is making God of War without the personality.



– A sexy voice talks about somebody or something called Iris. We see lots of sexy curves. Turns out it’s a futuristic motorcycle.

Instant Reaction – So…we’re supposed to want to f–k the motorcycle?



Gore Verbinski (director of the Pirates of the Carribean movies) is somehow involved. Looks like Super Monkey Ball featuring Wheatley from Portal.

Instant Reaction – Looks interesting. I’m sure nobody will play it.


Resident Evil 6

– Time for a lengthy RE6 demo. Leon, his hair looking extra lustrous, is shooting zombies with some lady. The zombies run, and are extra vocal, growling and yelling constantly. Leon stabs a zombie in the throat.

Instant Reaction – Sorry, Lara Croft already stabbed someone in the throat — somebody non-undead no less. You’re no longer going to impress anybody with that specific bit of violence.

– Leon makes his way through a street crowded with cars and zombies. A plane crashes into the street and suddenly everything’s engulfed in a giant fireball. Leon has to run away as cars fly in every which direction. Quicktime helicopter flying. Leon is terrible at flying a helicopter crashing into every surface it’s possible to crash into.

Instant Reaction – Well, all of Capcom’s talk about going back to a more horror-based feel for RE6 certainly wasn’t in evidence here. Also, the game looked disappointingly rough graphically. I have a feeling this one may end up not making it’s 2012 deadline — at least I’m kinda hoping not.



Hey look, somebody presenting a game that isn’t some douchebag guy! It’s not a guy at all! It’s a cute girl with a sleeve tattoo! Uh, the game is some sort of Angry Birds thing where you try to knock down a castle. You can flap your arms and control the trajectory of your projectiles via Kinect. Holy crap, this girl actually looks like she’s having fun with the game instead of just standing their stalk-still and trying not to screw up like all the other guys who have played games onstage so far.

Instant Reaction – Tattoo girl should have hosted the entire press conference.


South Park: The Stick of Truth

Trailer is feels like the show, but gives no indication of how the game will play. Matt and Trey come onstage — “How many time have you been watching an episode of South Park and thought ‘I’d like to be able to watch this on my television while hooked into my mobile device, which is being controlled by my tablet device, which is hooked into my oven, all while sitting in the refrigerator.'”

Instant Reaction – I’m not always a huge South Park fan, but that line from Trey Parker gave me the strength to endure the rest of this 13-hour long press conference.


Here’s Usher to Dance for Y’all! Uh, also Just Dance 3

– Just Dance 3 is happening. Now Usher is dancing, and dancing…and dancing. He’s not demo-ing the game or anything, this is just a performance by Usher that we’re supposed to be enjoying I guess.

Instant Reaction – Are we supposed to be impressed that you got Usher for your show Microsoft? You have hundreds of billions of dollars. You could have got Obama on to do a tap dance routine or had Katy Perry juggling naked if you wanted to. Try harder.

No, I am not posting a video of Usher dancing.


– Don Mattrick, Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment shows up and proclaims that the Xbox 360 is ushering in a new Golden Age of Entertainment. The audience laughs.

Instant Reaction – Good work audience.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

– Microsoft’s press-conference ends with CoD. You’re in a jeep with the president. The drones are attacking! Some guy has been shot! You crash! Shooting, shooting, sniping, multiple blackouts, flying a jet…God, are they planning to show us the whole game? This demo has been going on forever.

Instant Reaction – One way or another most of the “big” games shown at the Microsoft press conference were trying to emulate CoD’s “rollercoaster” style of game design, and I have to say, CoD still seems to do it best. Compare the Black Ops footage to the ridiculous Tomb Raider torture porn footage and it’s really night and day in terms of doing it right. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care about CoD, but it does what it does well.


Overall Thoughts

Is it…finally over? Man, that thing did not need to be 90-minutes. Pretty underwhelming showing from Microsoft, but realistically between Kinect, Smartglass and a strong line-up of 3rd party games, the 360 is well set-up for 2012. Microsoft’s press conference was good for business even if it frequently had me reaching for a pillow.

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