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E3 2012

New Killer Instinct & Project Spark Will Be Free To Play, Downloadable

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Double Helix Games, E3 2012, Free to play, Killer Instinct, Microsoft Studios, Project Spark, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

New Killer Instinct & Project Spark Will Be Free To Play, Downloadable

Supported By Paid DLC & Microtransactions

The Xbox One plans to support the emergent free to play market with two of its newly-revealed titles. Double Helix' Killer Instinct reboot and Project Spark will both favour the freemium model, in that they're free to download but additional content (including the character roster) have to be unlocked via microtransactions.

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Watch Dogs Team Given Boost Following E3 Success

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
E3 2012, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal, Watch Dogs, Wii U, Yves Guillemot

Watch Dogs Team Given Boost Following E3 Success

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that the publisher gave the Montreal dev team working on Watch Dogs everything they wanted "to fulfil their dream" in the wake of a barnstormingly positive reaction at last year's E3.

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Rocksmith Hands-On Preview | Guitar Heroism

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, Music games, PC games, PS3 games, Rocksmith, Ubisoft

Rocksmith Hands-On Preview | Guitar Heroism

I suck at playing guitar. I can admit that now. Though I owned an acoustic six-string at university (which I mainly used to convince gullible freshers that I wrote Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way, don't judge me), my Guitar Hero-honed fingers feel clumsy and useless on an actual fretboard, a far cry from the consummate virtual virtuoso I become when clutching a plastic Gibson Explorer. What I need, therefore, is a game that can seamlessly combine the addictive gameplay of a traditional music title with real instruments, something that provides a fun experience while letting genuine musical theory and tabulature bleed into my subconscious.

Rocksmith does exactly that. By allowing players to plug a genuine electric guitar (or bass) into a PC or home console, Ubisoft's music game actively teaches us how to play an instrument - everything from tuning to barre chords and even pinch harmonics. After suffering numerous delays and lawsuits, Rocksmith is finally headed to European shores this Autumn, and I was keen to hunker down in Ubisoft's soundproofed E3 booth to try it out for myself.

Before we start in earnest, it's probably worth noting that Rocksmith released Stateside several months ago. But since us Brits will soon be allowed nice things, allow me to talk you through what makes this musical masterpiece a seriously exciting proposition.

Rocksmith Hands-On Preview | Guitar Heroism

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Go Behind The Scenes With The New Hitman: Absolution Trailer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
E3 2012, Hitman: Absolution, Io Interactive, Square Enix, Videos

Go Behind The Scenes With The New Hitman: Absolution Trailer

We're pretty sold on Hitman: Absolution now. It was touch and go for a little bit as IO Interactive refused to show anything but seemingly incongruous videos full of action and suspiciously conspicuous violence. However, if Jon's E3 Hitman preview is anything to go by, it'll be exactly what we've been waiting for.

Hopefully.

Anyway, this new little video gives some insight into what actually goes on at a big expo like E3, taking viewers behind the scenes at Square Enix's booth, and lifting the lid on the dev team's preparation for such a large event. There's plenty of gameplay footage in there too.

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Iwata: Wii U Price And Launch Date TBA This Autumn

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
E3 2012, Games consoles, Launch window, Nintendo, Pricing, Sales momentum, Satoru Iwata, Wii U

Iwata: Wii U Price And Launch Date TBA This Autumn

Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata, has acknowledged that "there must be some concerns" over the Wii U's software and pricing, but he has said that Nintendo plan to deliver a strong message in the autumn to help gather momentum for the console's launch.

Iwata also hit back at critics suggesting that the Wii U might not be as revolutionary as its predecessor, stating that the unveiling of the original Wii was met with similar scepticism and that those critics have short memories.

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God Of War: Ascension Preview | This Is Spartan

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, E3 2012, PS3 games, Santa Monica Studios, Sony

God Of War: Ascension Preview | This Is Spartan

"Where can Kratos go from here?"

Considering that we all asked this question after finishing off God Of War III, just imagine how Sony Santa Monica must have felt. Trapped by the epicness of their own internal mythology, all eyes were on the veteran studio, eager to discover how they planned to continue the series and develop their way out of a bit of a pickle. In what seemed to be a bit of a cop-out at the time, the solution was to create a prequel. How trite. How predictable. How... wait, did Kratos just kill a goatman with another goatman?

God Of War: Ascension takes place 6 months after Ares tricked Kratos into murdering his own wife and child, back when the Demigod was just an exceptionally skilled Spartan general on the path of conquest. Tucked into Sony Europe's private meeting room at E3 2012, I was able to get a guided tour of the demo level, a desperate defence of a coastal town overrun by bestial satyrs and patrolled by a titanic sea monster. After being walked through the new combat mechanics, redesigned platforming and myriad improvements, I can happily report that Ascension may be a prequel, but there's nothing primitive about it.

God Of War: Ascension Preview | This Is Spartan

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Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Preview | Double Team Supreme

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Danger Close, E3 2012, EA, FPS games, multiplayer, PC games, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Preview | Double Team Supreme
Danger Close have their work cut out. Not only does Medal Of Honor: Warfighter have to contend with the looming juggernaut of Treyarch's Black Ops 2, but they'll have to persuade Battlefield 3 players to step out of their tanks and try something new. Without a particularly stable base to build from - the 2010 reboot was decidedly mediocre - Danger Close needs to go big or go home.

To their credit, they plan to do just that. While Medal Of Honor: Warfighter's singleplayer campaign is still largely under wraps, the multiplayer component has been sharpened up, kissed by the icy, beautiful  lips of Frostbite 2.0 and given a healthy injection of authenticity.

If that doesn't flick your safety, perhaps the twelve playable classes drafted from legendary real-world special forces units will.

Medal Of Honor: Warfighter Multiplayer Preview | Double Team Supreme

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New Super Mario Bros. U Preview | A Mario Masterclass, Not A Wii U Tech Demo

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo, Platformer, Wii U, Wii U games

New Super Mario Bros. U Preview | A Mario Masterclass, Not A Wii U Tech Demo

Mario has never looked better. As I quipped within hours of arriving back to the UK after a long haul Los Angeles flight, the clunkily-titled New Super Mario Bros U could have justifiably been named Super Mario HD, such is the visual impact of the step up from Wii to Wii U. The lavish colourful levels and adorable familiar characters pop out of the screen, crisper and sharper than ever before. In many ways, it's a new lease of life for the plumber and pals.

In others, however, it's not quite so simple. Rather than attempting to cram an inordinate number of Wii U gimmicks into their new flagship title, Nintendo decided to iterate on the Wii's New (old?) Super Mario Bros: the four-player 2D platformer. You'll still hop along platforms, bop onto enemies, collect some powerups and mischievously cooperate with a few friends along the way. Instead of a Wii U tech demo, it's a masterclass in classic Mario gameplay, designed to immediately resonate with the legion of existing fans and sucker in new players with its simple premise. A strategy which has proved somewhat divisive in terms of early player feedback, to say the least.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Though some gamers feel that a new Nintendo console deserves an entirely new Mario game, the three levels I played at E3 showcased everything we love about the series, not to mention a few nifty surprises involving the Wii U Gamepad and inflatable dinosaurs.

New Super Mario Bros. U Preview | A Mario Masterclass, Not A Wii U Tech Demo

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Tank! Tank! Tank! Hands-On Preview | Fun! Fun! Fun!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, fun, Namco Bandai, Party games, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Wii U, Wii U games

Tank! Tank! Tank! Hands-On Preview | Fun! Fun! Fun!

Tank! Tank! Tank! is as simple as its title suggests. Released in Japanese arcades nearly three years ago, this ground-pounding party blast 'em up plonks teams of players into enormous destructible city playgrounds, tasked with blowing up all manner of alien beasties with great big honking tanks. As fans of great big honking tanks to a man (PopCap's Heavy Weapon is still a firm office favourite), we were delighted to hear that Namco Bandai are transplanting their arcade diversion onto the Wii U, complete with a singleplayer campaign and a few nods to the new hardware.

Does it use the Wii U's capabilities to advantage? Not really.

Is it fun? After getting hands-on with Tank! Tank! Tank! at E3 2012, I haven't stopped grinning yet.

Tank! Tank! Tank! Hands-On Preview | Fun! Fun! Fun!

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Preview | Meier's Mind Bullets

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
2K Games, E3 2012, Firaxis Games, PC games, PS3 games, Sid Meier, Strategy games, Xbox 360 games, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Preview | Meier's Mind Bullets

Say what you want about 2K Marin's upcoming XCOM reboot, but at least the massive backlash made 2K realise that there's a huge fanbase out there, ready and waiting for a worthy successor to Julian Gollop's beloved strategy game. With Firaxis at the helm, Enemy Unknown heralds an intriguing return to grand traditions, a game that looks to the past for the basics and art style, but refreshes the experience with smaller teams and a dynamic new take on turn-based tactics.

Firaxis came to E3 2012 to show us how your small squads will progress throughout the game, starting out outgunned and vulnerable, but eventually becoming more than human. Plus, Civilization creator Sid Meier turned up in the most surprising of ways... battle-armoured and ready to crush the alien menace with the power of his mind.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Preview | Meier's Mind Bullets

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Dogfight 1942 & Enemy Front Previews | One War, Two Perspectives

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
City Interactive, Dogfight 1942, E3 2012, Enemy Front

Dogfight 1942 & Enemy Front Previews | One War, Two Perspectives

Our industry may currently be focused on the modern era for its go-to generic game backdrop, but it wasn't so long ago that World War II was the fashionable FPS destination of choice. Noticing the gap in the once saturated market, City Interactive plan to leap into the breach with not one, but two, WW2 games over the next year.

Pleasingly, however, both titles couldn't be more different in terms of gameplay experience and theatres of war. Dogfight 1942 will allow us to take to the Pacific skies in over forty pilotable aircraft, while Stuart Black's Enemy Front is all about lone wolf heroism deep behind enemy lines. I was able to get to grips with both games at E3 2012.

Dogfight 1942: Boxed Quality, Downloadable Price

Dogfight 1942 & Enemy Front Previews | One War, Two Perspectives

Fans of flight Sims haven't had much to crow about over the last few years, save Microsoft Flight, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and the upcoming World Of Warplanes. Help is at hand, though, and it's from a totally unexpected source. After slaving over a retail title called Combat Wings for two years, City Interactive have had a change of heart, deciding to retarget their arcade flight sim at downloadable marketplaces while retaining the quality and quantity of a full boxed game. Newly rebranded as Dogfight 1942, this work in progress is looking seriously impressive.

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E3 2012: Most Anticipated Upcoming Games

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Beyond: Two Souls, Dishonored, E3 2012, Hitman: Absolution, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Pikmin 3, SimCity, The Unfinished Swan, Top Tens

E3 2012: Most Anticipated Upcoming Games

Though this year's E3 may not have overwhelmed us with new material, or knocked us for six with left-field surprises, we can't deny that there are a lot of games that we'll be keeping our eyes on in the foreseeable future. Jon's already handed out a whole bunch of awards pertaining to this year's show, but here are our most anticipated games following this year's show. It might not have been all about the games every step of the way, but we'll hope you'll agree that these undoubtedly warrant a second glance.

Honourable Mentions: Quantum Conundrum, The Last of Us, World of Warplanes, Sleeping Dogs, ZombiU, Dishonored, P-100.

10. Dishonored

E3 2012: Most Anticipated Upcoming Games

Massive, intricate level design, and an emphasis on freedom has been what has firmly kept Arkane's Dishonored at the forefront of our excited minds since we first laid eyes on it last year. It's a game that destined to take on Skyrim's mantle in lunch break conversations, forum threads, and water cooler moments, as the emergent gameplay leads to innumerable approaches to objectives. Including the ability to possess a fish.

You can possess a fish!

9. Splinter Cell: Blacklist

E3 2012: Most Anticipated Upcoming Games

No it doesn't have Ironside voicing Sam Fisher (Which I'll have to get over sooner or later - Ed.), but what you didn't see in the trailers is the vast array of gameplay options available to Mr. Fisher. The sprawling levels and tiered objectives are back, but so is the utter freedom to be as much of a badass or ghost as you want. Ubisoft Toronto are taking on some brave choices, and they knew exactly the buttons they were pressing with those bright, action-packed trailers, but Blacklist looks as if it will cater to all comers very comfortably. And that suits us just fine.

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E3 2012 Dealspwn Awards | The Best Of The Beast

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Beyond: Two Souls, Dealspwny, E3 2012, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Microsoft, Nintendo, Platinum Games, Project P-100, Quantic Dream, Quantum Conundrum, SimCity, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft

E3 2012 Dealspwn Awards | The Best Of The Beast

The beast that is E3 2012 came and went, a storm of violence, shiny graphics, controversy and hype. Being Dealspwn's man on the ground, I was able to play, dissect and critique the best that the show had to offer, bringing my impressions and interviews directly to you on a daily basis.

But hey, why don't we give out some arbitrary awards too? Everyone else is doing it.

So here we go: our tribute to the most promising games of E3 2012, complete with links to our previews and a couple of less-than-serious accolades that celebrate some of the expo's weirder moments.

Best Game Of E3 2012 | Beyond: Two Souls

E3 2012 Dealspwn Awards | The Best Of The Beast

Honourable Mentions: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Project P-100, SimCity

Quantic Dream were always going to impress, but Beyond: Two Souls shattered even our highest expectations. David Cage is working on a game - an actual, fully-playable game - that resembles a big-budget movie, exploring deep themes of death, loss, acceptance and the afterlife while actually giving players direct control over the proceedings. Using Aidan to possess SWAT agents, turning a hopeless stand-off into a circus of carnage, was one of the highlights of the entire show and we're convinced that Beyond is going to deliver a truly new and thoroughly worthwhile experience.

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Star Trek Preview | Gorn With The Wind

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Digital Extremes, E3 2012, Kirk, Namco Bandai, PC games, PS3 games, Spock, Star Trek, Third Person Shooters, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Star Trek

Star Trek Preview | Gorn With The Wind

Kirk and Spock's friendship is the perfect setup for a buddy movie. You've got the original odd couple, an all-action space jock who keeps one hand on a phaser and the other on an Orion slave girl, coupled with the ultimate thinking machine. Namco Bandai's new Star Trek tie-in takes our heroes on a brand new cooperative adventure, tying into J.J. Abrams' new canon without overlapping with the films. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg have lent their voices and faces to the characters, and thanks to a close working relationship with Paramount, the game features Enterprise sets taken directly from the movies.

Digital Extremes brought a slick cooperative 3D demo along to E3 2012 in order to show off their work in progress: a third person cover shooter featuring one of this year's most oft-used buzzwords: asymmetrical co-op. Answering a distress call from New Vulcan, Kirk and Spock will face down the ravening Gorn Hegemony, complimenting each other with different abilities while pushing the bloodthirsty lizards off of the Vulcans' last remaining refuge.

What I saw was both impressive and conflicted; a project that seems to be both strengthened and potentially hamstrung by its own ambitions.

Star Trek Preview | Gorn With The Wind

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Yoshida: "We Should've Spent More Time Talking About The Vita At E3"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
E3 2012, PS Vita, Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Press Conference
Discuss:
Playstation Vita

Yoshida: "We Should've Spent More Time Talking About The Vita At E3"

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida has admitted that Sony could have done more to promote the Vita at E3 this year, acknowledging the complaints he's been receiving, but saying that Sony wanted to make their press conference shorter this year.

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Need For Speed: Most Wanted Preview | Burnout Paradise 2: Burnout Harder

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Criterion Games, E3 2012, EA, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, PS3 games, Racing Games, Xbox 360 games

Need For Speed: Most Wanted Preview | Burnout Paradise 2: Burnout Harder

Need For Speed: Most Wanted certainly has the edgy, too-cool-for school attitude you'd expect from a racing game bearing EA's 'Most Wanted' label. You're encouraged to drive obscenely fast cars with no regard for safety or insurance premiums - you've almost certainly stolen rather than bought your ride, after all - smashing into rival racers and cop cruisers alike while wub wub blares out in the background. The 2005 original's gritty urban setting returns in Fairhaven city, and high-octane police chases are still one of the main attractions.

But Criterion has other plans for Most Wanted. Quietly subverting the original 2005 template, the masters of the dangerous driving genre have grafted the satisfying street racers vs police setup into a massive open city, packed with events to take part in, secrets to find, jumps to ace and new cars to boost. You'll drop in and out of other players' worlds and compete in insane freeform event playlists. We'll gaze transfixed, drool slowly running down our chins, at newly improved slow-motion crash carnage pornography as rivals crumple, deform and explode during collisions. All while making sure that the fuzz doesn't harsh our good times.

Basically, Need For Speed: Most Wanted is going to be Burnout Paradise 2. Burnout Harder.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted Preview | Burnout Paradise 2: Burnout Harder

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Dishonored Hands-On Preview | Assassination, Your Way

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Arkane Studios, Bethesda, Dishonored, E3 2012, FPS games, PC games, PS3 games, Stealth Games, Xbox 360 games

Dishonored Hands-On Preview | Assassination, Your Way

Dishonoured lets you possess a fish. Not just own one in a tank, much like Commander Shepard does, but actually transfer your soul into a slippery little salmon. As a supernatural assassin tasked with uncovering a conspiracy through copious murdering, you'll have to consider every potential way of reaching your targets; stealthy roof infiltrations, teleportation, all-out gunfights and everything in between.

Or you could possess a fish in order swim unseen through sewer ducts, entering your target building in the most unexpected way possible.

Having tried out Dishonored at E3 2012, I've come to a couple of major conclusions. First of all: every game should allow us to possess a fish as a mandatory PEGI requirement from now on. It's just so great. But secondly, and (arguably) more importantly, Arkane Studio's newest FPS is going to provide us with the most gameplay choice and variety we've seen since Fallout 3, perhaps even Deus Ex. Factor in the gorgeous Victorian steampunk setting, and you've got a recipe for one of the most delicious games of 2012.

Dishonored Hands-On Preview | Assassination, Your Way

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The Elder Scrolls Online Preview | WoW Factor?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, Mac games, MMO, MMORPG, PC games, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online Studios

The Elder Scrolls Online Preview | WoW Factor?

Matt Firor Shows Us Real-Time Combat & New POI System

The Elder Scrolls Online nearly caused the internet to explode when Zenimax Online spilled the beans on their MMO last month... and then caused it to slowly deflate once details started emerging. "Is this just World Of Warcraft in Tamriel?" we asked, disgruntled, seeing the familiar first person action replaced by toolbars and a jarring cartoony graphical style.

Luckily, game director Matt Firor stood poised and ready to blow the lid off this slightly confusing state of affairs at E3, from how the new Points Of Information system will work to why the combat isn't as cooldown-dominated as you might fear. Firor is no stranger to epic MMOs, having directed The Dark Age Of Camelot back in 2001, and what we saw of TESO after five secret years of development is looking rather interesting.

However, whether it will feel like a true Elder Scrolls game - or manage to prise players off of Battle.net - remains to be seen.

The Elder Scrolls Online Preview | WoW Factor?

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World Of Warplanes Hands-On Preview | Get Airborne!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2012, Flight Simulator, Games previews, MMO, Wargaming.net, World Of Warplanes

World Of Warplanes Hands-On Preview | Get Airborne!

No-one swaggers like Wargaming.net. Rocking up to E3 2012 in sensational style, the undisputed kings of free-to-play draped the convention halls in their colours, parked a real warplane outside the doors and set up shop in a lavishly-appointed paddock dripping with monitors, competitions and uniformed trade show models. In the face of this obvious opulence, the likes of Activision and EA looked somewhat strapped and meagre by comparison.

It's the sort of wanton behaviour that sometimes backfires, but Wargaming.net have indisputably earned their success and goodwill. By creating a top-quality product with World Of Tanks, a tactical masterpiece that rewards skill over microtransactions and encourages users to play together without ever having to pay a penny, they've rallied a massive player base to their banner, hungry for each new update and tech tree.

Wargaming.net plans to expand their Royal Family over the next year with two new titles, taking the tactical simulation action to entirely new theatres of war. World Of Warplanes is set to transport the team-based action to the wild blue yonder, so after being impressed by an early build at Gamescom 2011, I was keen to see how the project is shaping up after an extra year of development. To cut a long story short, it's going to be the next big thing.

World Of Warplanes Hands-On Preview | Get Airborne!

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SimCity Multiplayer Preview | Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Always-On

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Always-on internet, E3 2012, EA, Maxis, multiplayer, PC games, SimCity, Simulation

SimCity Multiplayer Preview | Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Always-On

I want to be angry about SimCity requiring an always-on internet connection in order to play. I want to rant and rave, to rend my garments in twain while wailing from the rooftops. I want to become incandescent with fury, shouting about how my singleplayer passion has been forever tainted to anyone who'll listen. On principle, as much as anything.

But I can't. I won't, because Maxis came to E3 2012 to show us exactly what this internet connection will be used for. Over the course of twenty minutes, it became apparent that collaborating with friends to create a little piece of heaven in a persistent virtual world is going to be SimCity's most important selling point, and one that promises to elevate the already-impressive simulation into something unique and rather wonderful, even by Maxis standards. Cities will finally work together, sharing their populace and resources, all while gradually building towards grand works that will benefit everyone. It's a genuine evolution, not just an alternative gametype.

So, dear reader, here's how I learned to stop worrying and love the always-on.

SimCity Multiplayer Preview | Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Always-On

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