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E3 2012 Highlights: Third-Party Companies Bring Out the Big Guns

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Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3

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We know what Sony has in store for us thanks to E3 2012 but what about the third-party companies? What did they show off at this year's cavalcade of gaming glee? A few of the highlights, company by company. (All release dates in parentheses and VERY subject to change).

2K Games

One of the most forward-thinking and exciting companies in the world of gaming showed off four very different titles but all games that serious PS3 owners probably already had on their radar. Arguably one of the most anticipated games of the year, "Borderlands 2" (9/8/12) promises to be one of the most interesting releases of the next few months. But the company will not rest on that game alone, releasing "Spec Ops: The Line (6/26/12) later this month and "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" (9/1/12) and "NBA 2K13" (10/2/12) before the end of the year.

Activision

When did Activision become the summer blockbuster equivalent in the world of gaming? Their line-up at E3 highlighted GUARANTEED hits that are unlikely to set Metacritic on fire but are sure to get cash registers ringing, including "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" (11/13/12), "Skylanders Giants", and "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" (8/31/12). These three games alone are likely to sell more than any other combination of three titles in this entire feature. Activision is ruling the world of gaming when it comes to pure entertainment and copies sold. Maybe next year they could try and push the form forward with a new IP but this year's it's all about keeping the fires burning.

Bethesda

Doesn't "Dishonored" (10/9/12) look sweet? Check out our screenshots if you don't yet know about this cool-looking game, Bethesda's show pony at E3 2012. Yeah, "Doom 3 BFG Edition" looks neat but we've been there. We can't wait to play "Dishonored."

Capcom

If you need any further reason to be jealous of people who attended E3 2012, how's this? There were playable versions of "Resident Evil 6" (10/2/12) and "Lost Planet 3" at the Capcom booth. Oooooh. Three different missions for the highly-anticipated "RE" sequel were highlighted and the company also showed off "DmC Devil May Cry" (1/15/13).

Electronic Arts

The big news for EA at E3 this year was the announcement of "Battlefield 3 Premium" -- For the cost of a new game ($49.99), those woefully addicted to the DICE shooter will have early access to an amazing amount of downloadable content, including five digital expansion packs -- "Close Quarters," "Back to Karkand," "Armored Kill," "End Game," and "Aftermath." Those who enlist will access 20 new maps, 4 game modes, new soldier and weapon camos, and exclusive in-game items.

Closely following the "Battlefield 3 Premium" news in terms of "oooh, wow" excitement was the reveal of "Dead Space 3," to be released in February 2012 and be the first game in the series to feature co-op action. "Need For Speed Most Wanted" (10/30/12), "Medal of Honor Warfighter," (10/23/12) and the EA Sports onslaught of titles like "NBA Live 13" (10/12), "NCAA Football 13" (7/10/12), "FIFA 13" (9/12) and more -- EA is doing nothing wrong.

Square Enix

The legendary company showcased one of its most historically interesting line-ups, including new installments in the "Hitman" and "Final Fantasy" franchises, along with a new exciting IP. "Hitman: Absolution" (11/20/12) brings Agent 47 to next-gen consoles for the first time and is on any good gamer's radar for the fall season. "Sleeping Dogs" (8/14/12) is an interesting new game about an undercover cop in the Hong Kong Triads. And then, of course, there's the long-awaited return of Lara Croft as the company promises the reboot of "Tomb Raider" will come in the first quarter of 2013.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft kicked off E3 on June 4 and really showcased a diverse and strong lineup of games for all ages, including "Assassin's Creed III" (10/30/12) and "Far Cry 3" (9/4/12). One of the most buzzed events this year was the unveiling of "Watch Dogs," a game being developed by Ubisoft Montreal that promises to push consoles to the next generation.

Other Companies

Not enough for you? How about "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance"? "Dead or Alive 5"? "South Park: The Stick of Truth"? In the end, we're just skimming the surface of what gamers saw at this year's E3. Stay tuned to About.com for all of the details and reviews as these remarkable-looking games make their way from E3 demo to video game store shelves.

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