By Dave Gilmore, @dave_gilmore
It's impossible to judge quality from gameplay clips, cinematic trailers and even sometimes playable demos. What can be judged though, is how excited one is to simply play the game.
Now that another year of E3 has wrapped up, we know a lot more about some of the late 2012 and 2013 and beyond games we've been hearing only rumors about so far.
Here are the five games from E3 we're most excited to play as of this moment.
"Assassin's Creed 3"
Everything about "AC3" so far has been encouraging, but the new clips at this week's show blew the doors off expectations for October's release. As if rambling around a lush open world taking out redcoats wasn't enough, Ubisoft revealed that naval combat will be part of the game, allowing the player to command and fight with a revolutionary-era ship. Cue the "I'm on a boat!" references.
We talked about this at length already, but "Watch Dogs" looked not only stunning but incredibly original. The wait may be longer than most games at E3, but whenever it does reach whatever systems it will be on, this game looks as immersive and imaginative as it gets.
"Star Wars 1313"
Because it's a "Star Wars" title, "1313" is going to draw criticism from diehard fans for simply existing. Still, the prospect of an M-rated "Star Wars" game shows that things may be moving in a more adult direction for the franchise than they have in the last 15 years. "1313" looks fantastic, and if it executes the "Uncharted"-style adventure pacing it's going for, the Force could indeed be strong with this one.
There is something wonderfully built into our biology that makes us want to build things. Whether it's sandcastles, "Minecraft" or "SimCity," there is always going to be room for games that allow us to let our imaginations run wild. As the wave of Facebook games like "Farmville" have taken hold recently, it's nice to see the original king coming back to claim the throne. "SimCity" looks artfully simple yet immensely detailed, and is coming along at the right time technologically to take advantage of its multiplayer and social capabilities.
"The Last of Us"
Being able to see some gameplay from Naughty Dog's upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller only raised the hype that built around the cinematic trailer that's been floating around for a while. "The Last of Us" looks incredible, and if early details about the structure of the game are to be believed, it is as variable, complex and emotional like few games on the market today. The tone, look and feel of the game are that of a film or a cable drama. It'd be too easy to compare it to "I Am Legend" or the"The Road" because the medium allows what television and movies can only hint at asking: could you survive?