E3 2011 Showcases a Big Year for PC Gaming

E3 brings the world’s attention to videogames for one week out of the year. This year’s show features a brand-new portable gaming device from Sony, codenamed NGP, as well as the next console from Nintendo, codenamed Project Cafe. But it will be the games, more than anything else, that take center stage in Los Angeles. And with the current generation of consoles showing their age, PC games will shine brighter than ever this year.

“I expect to see a bit of a renaissance in the PC games space over the next few years,” says Todd Hollenshead, president of id Software, which has RAGE at Bethesda Softworks’ E3 booth. “We’ll see more PC-focused games as opposed to multiplatform games because of the faster speeds of the processors and the accelerated graphics. A lot of the coolest technology only works on a PC.”

There will be hundreds of games on display at E3 this year, but we’ve selected five titles that stand out from the crowd. For attendees at the show, these are some of the big games that people will be talking about long after the glitz and glamour of the convention is over:

Battlefield 3

It’s been five years since PC gamers have sent the bald-headed assassin known only as Agent 47 on a deadly mission. During that time, developer IO Interactive has built a brand-new game engine called Glacier 2. This technology was designed specifically for the new open world gameplay that Hitman: Absolution is introducing to the franchise. The developer is also delivering a deeper cast of characters who were brought to life by real Hollywood actors, like Marsha Thomason and Keith Carradine.

“The E3 demo features 47 on different types of missions,” explains Tore Blystad, game director at IO Interactive. “Set in Chicago, the game shows a citywide manhunt for him and he has to rely on his instincts to get through the game. The player starts the level with no weapons at all and has to improvise along the way. Something that’s a key feature of the franchise that’s been taken to a new level in this game is the player’s freedom of choice: In order to allow a player to make his own choices, we’ve designed a more complex AI that has an intelligent spectrum of possibilities based on any move a player makes.”

E3 Photo Credit: Getty Images

by John Gaudiosi