Action was the name of the game at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), with dozens of explosive new titles slated to debut over the next year.
Now in its 18th year, E3 serves as a glimpse into the future of the multi-billion dollar interactive entertainment industry. More than 45,000 attendees crammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center this week for some hands-on time with tomorrow's games.
If you prefer visceral action in your console and PC games, the following are a few worth saving for:
The Last Of Us
One of the most talked-about action games is Sony's The Last Of Us, a brand new adventure from Naughty Dog (of Uncharted fame). This PlayStation 3 exclusive takes place in the near future, after most of the population has been wiped out by a deadly viral outbreak. Mother Earth has now reclaimed the planet, growing over streets and buildings.
You play as a hardened middle-aged man, Joel, who vows to protect a 14 year-old girl, Ellie, from a number of threats as they make their way across the country.
This post-pandemic tale includes near photo-realistic graphics, incredibly smart artificial intelligence (A.I.) and plenty of memorable action and puzzle sequences.
Expect The Last Of Us to win multiple "Best of E3" nods from various awards groups. No launch date has been announced, but hopefully it'll make the holiday season.
Sony's God of War: Ascension also impressed at this year's E3. It includes a multiplayer option for the first time in the franchise.
Assassin's Creed III
The fifth installment of Ubisoft Montreal's acclaimed series — which has sold more than 38 million units worldwide since 2007 — rewrites the American Revolutionary War and stars a new hero of Native American and English heritage.
Adopting the name Connor, you'll join the Continental Army and use a number of weapons — such as guns, bows and tomahawks — to fight for freedom with your comrades against the British in locations ranging from colonial towns to battlefields to the untamed wilderness of the New World.
The largest Ubisoft game in its history has been under development for more than three years and introduces the company's next-generation game engine that delivers near photo-realistic graphics, smooth animation and advanced physics. An epic sea battle level was unveiled at E3.
The game will be out on Oct. 30 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, and is also under development for the upcoming Nintendo Wii U system.
It would be remiss not to mention Ubisoft had a number of impressive action games at E3, including Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Far Cry 3.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Arguably the most ambitious Call of Duty to date, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II is set mostly in the year 2025, where a madman named Menendez has managed to turn America's best fighting machines against its own military, including unmanned drones and robotic vehicles. The war is fought on U.S. soil for much of the game — including a realistically recreated downtown Los Angeles.
Played from an immersive first-person perspective, the heated single-player campaign lets players explore large maps to take down enemies in a number of ways; this "sandbox"-style approach is brand new to the franchise, as are the branching story lines and alternate endings. The military shooter will also include numerous multiplayer maps and a Zombies survival mode.