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E3 Rant: The best bows of E3 2012

1:00 PM on 06.10.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

With The Hunger Games behind us and Brave ahead of us, one could exaggerate and say bows are making a comeback in film. But then, you look at games and go, "holy crap!" There were no less than 50 games featuring bows at E3 this year. Some were more prominently featured than others, but they were there, nonetheless.

To celebrate the bow's new dominance in gaming, me and my counsel of bow experts are awarding the best bows of E3. These are the bows that stood proudly, making a strong name for the master race of weaponry that will soon take over our industry. Could 2011's most annoying videogame meme had come from anything else? Do you think Pixar would have their protagonist wield a bazooka? What other large weapon could a game character fit on their back and not look stupidly unrealistic?

Welcome to 2012: BOW TO THE BOW, BITCHES!

Most tribal bow: Far Cry 3

Sometimes, I like to take ecstasy, get some tribal tattoos, and wander into the woods outside my house. This is a large part of why Far Cry 3's beastly yet down-to-Earth bow won me over at E3. Powered by voodoo boobs and pink neon lights, this is the ideal bow to shoot a tiger in the face with. No, really, it is; took me only three arrows in the demo. That tiger just kind of went down and then I looked at the Ubisoft PR guy. He just gave me this look like, "You too? ... you too ..." and then he held my hand.

Most high-tech bow: Crysis 3

Some bows are too powerful for mankind. Instead, they must be put only in the hands of really buff guys with no personality that can jump really, really freaking high. While Medal of Honor: Warfighter's bow has some pretty slick tech, Crysis 3 has it beat. With four different types of arrows that support both stealth and direct approaches, this is the rare E3 2012 bow that gives us a glimpse of what the next-gen of bows will be like.

Fiercest independent woman bow: Tomb Raider

For too long, women have been objectified in games. Their personalities have less depth than their exaggerated boobs and their character motivations extends as far as their skirts. Now, here is the new Lara Croft: fierce and independent. No longer will she wield dual pistols made in factories by MEN. Now, she will spit on manufactured weapons and stick to her womanly bow. She's like a sexy amazon princess ready for a Playboy spread (amirite guys? HELL YES!). Now, please remember to respect women in videogames and leave 500+ comments below about women being objectified.

Biggest bow: Wreckateer

Just look at that thing! That's one big bow! No wonder you need to use your entire body to control it!

Craftiest bow: Dishonored

I like bows the same way I like my women: I shoot hard, I shoot fast, and I like to experiment with different kinds of explosive tips. I'm not sure what I'm implying. Sex, I guess? But, there is no sex in Dishonored. I know, sounds like a real 3.5/10, right? There is only stealth and rats and stealth rats. So, you'll rely on your bow a lot to take out guards silently and set them on fire once you've been spotted. Crossbows are a bit too 5th century BC for my liking, but I'll let this one pass.

Tiniest bow: Game & Wario

Ha, so tiny. Poor Nintendo! Their bow is so tiny compared to us mighty Americans. No wonder they need to pay booth babes to hang out with their Wiis. #sickburn

Most classic bow: Guardians of Middle-earth

If it weren't for Legolas, acne-ridden, awkward archery nerds across the nation would never have gotten laid. Most of them still haven't, but that's besides the point. The point is that this is one classy bow made of wood and rope-stuff. I dunno. I feel pretty good giving this game the reward. Don't you?

Bow that needs to retire: Gears of War Judgement (Torque Bow)

We've heard your outrage: "Oh, great another one! As if we don't already have enough cover-based bows, Gears of War is bringing back its annual bow release. Ooooh, but it's People Can Fly's bow now! Who cares? We've been playing the same damn bow since 2006 and it's time we demand some change." Okay, so I'm the only one saying it. Whatever.

Most natural bow: Assassin's Creed III

Sometimes I just like to, you know, eat some granola, weave some hemp ponchos, and touch my bow. I'm just kind of into a more natural life than everyone else. That's why I like the bow in Assassin's Creed 3: it's a real down-to-Earth bow that only cares about taking what nature provides, not grabbing more than what is necessary.

In times like these, countries could learn a lot from Assassin's Creed III's bow. Like, stop being greedy with resources, Asia. C'mon. Just chill out with this bow. He'll teach you some important wisdom. You can borrow some of my lecture tapes if you'd like. No? Hey, comeback! Where are you going?

Most unsanitary bow: ZombiU

It's important to keep your bow clean, but that's hard to do when you are always putting arrows in it that were just pulled out of rotten flesh. Believe it or not, I used to be part of my university's archery team. And by that, I mean I went to its archery range one day and was not actually part of the team. Anyway, the bows there were kind of funky. So, keep your bows clean, people. You never know who may touch your bow when you are away.

Best bow of E3 2012: Sports Champions 2/Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time/Any other Sony property I may have forgotten

Every year there is one bow that inspires us. We wake up the morning after playing that stupid game with that one stupid bow in it, and we feel better about our poor health and quality of life. After Sony gave me and our panel of experts $50 coupons for T.G.I. Friday's, we felt the answer was clear: whatever game with bows that Sony is making.

Sports Champions 2 is the sequel to what notable game critic and corgi historian Dale North called the "game with the best bow controls ever ... probably." Meanwhile, Thieves in Time offers bows that not only travel in time but can be also controlled with gyroscopes. This has never been attempted before in this industry.

We are proud to give Sony this most coveted reward. But, please, Sony: Chili's coupons next time.


Allistair Pinsof,
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