Watch Dogs was a pretty excellent surprise. Im glad that this far into the current console generation we can see a game that looks that good, and appears that fresh. I am a little worried about the GTA like open world environments. The scene played out amazingly in a scripted way, but if you open things up you might get less tight more random experiences that wont seem nearly as compelling. I would like to see more of the direction they are taking this game. Ubisoft Montreal definitely has some talented people. I can pretty much tell this will be worth playing. I am digging that hacking mechanics are making a comeback from the deus ex days. Watch Dogs kind of makes me wish Syndicate had been closer to it in terms of pacing/tone. There were moments where I saw the Syndicate game I wanted suddenly appear in my minds eye as I was watching the trailer.
The Last of Us of course has that level of polish and cinematic flair we all loved in Uncharted. There are subtle similarities I noticed in the way the characters point out things in the environment the way that Drake did in those games, but I have to give Naughty Dog credit for not relying on the old monkey man mechanics again (as far as I can tell). The game seems a lot more tense. A lot more brutal. Importantly the zombie like theme of the original trailer has been completely downplayed. There seems to be a lot going on in terms of the interaction between the two main characters. I wonder what triggers the combo attacks we have seen. How that works.
One thing about both these games did exceptionally well was provide seamless and realistic animation. Not just in cutscenes, but in gameplay. Beyond also looks spectacular of course, and I am sure it will be similar. But the level of animation in these games is certainly pushing things forward leaps and bounds above where most of the industry is at currently. I imagine that as graphics hit a temporary plateau animation will be the new ‘oooooh’ factor.