SLIDESHOW

12 PC gaming gems hidden among the consoles at E3

The PC has its place at E3, right next to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The future, it seems, lies in cross-platform titles.

PC gamers better get used to console ports

All eyes were on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during Monday’s “Day Zero” pre-E3 event, the annual gauntlet of press conferences by gaming’s giants. And the spotlight was well deserved: The launch of a new generation of consoles only happens once or twice per decade, as opposed to the slow, constant iteration of PC hardware.

Here’s the thing, though. While EA, Ubisoft, Sony, and Microsoft were busy talking up the fact that the torrent of announced games was headed for next-gen console hardware, many of the titles showed off today are actually destined to land on PCs, too. Why wouldn’t they? With the Xbox One and PS4’s shift to x86 processors , making games cross-platform should be a breeze.

Without further ado, here's a list of today’s promiscuous gems slated for eventual PC deployment.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt by CD Projekt RED

If you play PC games, you’ve no doubt heard of CD Projekt RED’s acclaimed The Witcher series. The final chapter to Gerault’s saga, the PC version won’t sport the Xbox One iteration’s voice controls or SmartGlass extras, but fear not: Look for the game’s revamped combat system and newly open-world locale to make the jump to the PC just fine, not to mention its no-doubt-deep story line. (Who wants voice controls in their fantasy RPGs, anyway?)

Titanfall by Respawn Entertainment

Despite some misguided claims that Titanfall was slated for Xbox One exclusively, Respawn Entertainment’s tremendous looking man and mech shooter is indeed headed to both the PS4 and the PC proper.

What doesn’t look good about Titanfall? The game’s demo rocks killer graphics (if bland, in a post-apocalyptic brown-and-grey kinda way), a speedy pace, frantic gunfire, crazy jetpack action, and yes, giant robots. Controllable giant robots. While you shouldn’t get too worked up about a teaser trailer, Titanfall’s blend of the best of Hawken and Call of Duty leaves me wanting more. Look for it sometime next year.

Battlefield 4 by EA

Come on, it’s Battlefield 4. You know you’re going to play it.

Sure, there’s the usual massively multiplayer 64-player battles you love and expect from the Battlefield series, along with eye candy galore, but BF4 tosses in a few new kinks—namely, the re-introduction of the eye-in-the-sky Commander mode, along with some sort of mobile device integration that lets you keep your head in the game even while you’re on the run. Oh, the environment blows up real nice, too. Look for it to land on PCs this fall, though Battlefield 4’s “Second Assault” DLC will land on the Xbox One before appearing anywhere else.

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition by EA

EA didn’t reveal much about the final chapter in its revered Dragon Age series, but the teaser trailer it showed off did reveal a few nuggets: It was narrated by Morrigan, the Witch of the Wilds from the first game, and Varric, your dwarven pal from DA2, also makes an appearance, along with several scenes of death, flames, and destruction. Yep, Dragon Age 3: Inquisition looks to be just as bleak as Mass Effect 3, and you’ll get to push through the sorrow and make world-changing decisions on your PC.

Now for the bad news: The final chapter isn’t coming until fall 2014. Boooooo!

Need for Speed Rivals by EA

Need for Speed Rivals transplants the speedy, police-filled Need for Speed world and dumps all the high-velocity racing in a persistent, immersive world. “Races can collide with your friends online at any time,” one honcho said. Vague stuff.

A demo shown by EA provided some clarity: After one player began a single-player high-speed race through the countryside, a second person—playing as the police—seamlessly synced up with him online after being alerted of an illegal street race nearby, roaring from a side road to catch up to his competitive colleague. What’s more, a third player used a tablet to call in choppers and set up roadblocks.

Need for Speed Rivals is powered by the Frostbite 3 engine—just like Battlefield 4—and is set to cruise on computers around the world on November 13.

FIFA 2014 by EA

Speaking of EA’s spiffy game engines, FIFA 2014 is powered by EA Ignite engine. Like the other EA Sports games announced today, FIFA 2014 is using the jump in power to focus on the small things that make all the difference in immersion: Think precision movements and better AI for opponents and computer-controlled teammates alike.

Unlike the other EA Sports games announced today, FIFA 2014 has been officially announced for the PC. Get ready to get your (soccer) game on on Septermber 24.

Mirror's Edge 2 by EA

You gotta have Faith. The short Mirror’s Edge 2 teaser that EA unveiled at its event today didn’t reveal much. Heck, it’s officially listed as “Coming when it’s ready.” But when Mirror’s Edge 2 does eventually grace the screens of next-gen consoles, it’ll also grace PC displays, according to EA’s press release. Just don’t expect it any time soon.

The Elder Scrolls Online by Bethesda

It’s Elder Scrolls. It’s online. And while it was talked up at the Sony PlayStation press event, this beast is definitely coming to PCs. Here’s hoping the addition of other people doesn’t implode the open world gameplay the series is known for.

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag by Ubisoft

Most of the games shown off on Monday are headed to myriad platforms, and the latest edition of Assassin’s Creed is no different. Black Flag also jumps on another major theme threaded throughout announcement today: The game will rock a vast, open world, letting you seamlessly move from boarding ships to bounding through jungles and stabbing targets.

I could go on, but let’s keep this simple: Black Flag mashes up assassins and Caribbean pirates. That’s awesome, and it’ll be awesome on the PC on October 29.

The Crew by Ubisoft

EA isn't the only one dragging arcade-style racing into persistent online worlds. The Crew rocks a wide variety of mission types spread across a vast online world modeled after the entire U.S., from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the sunny streets of Miami, and you never know when the driver of the car you’re competing against is of the flesh-and-blood or the AI variety. It’s not due to land until next year, but you can see it in action today right here.

Watch Dogs by Ubisoft

Watch Dogs stole the show at E3 2012 with its open world, nifty lighting effects, and suspicion-tinged stealth gameplay. At E3 2013, Ubisoft stayed mum on fresh details, deciding to instead toss us a bone in the form of a prerendered video. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice video, but I was hoping for more. At least it’ll be available on the PC when it launches. Whenever it launches.

Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins is the prequel to Arkham City and Arkham Asylum, dropping you into the role of a younger and—judging by the trailer—grittier Batman, one who throws punches with just a bit more nastiness than the more mature version of Bruce Wayne. You’ll be able to delve into Batman’s dark history on October 25.