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Guns are out! What's in? Bows! That's right, kids, 2012 is all about the bow and the arrow. Screw that weak Donatello bow-staff garbage. All the cool kids are lashing together a bundle of sticks and then flinging another stick from that bundle with the purpose of murdering people. No greater trend exists in gaming than the bow. No greater trend needs to exist.

Now that everyone is feeling pretty lusty for some hot bow-on-arrow action — and once everyone turns in their permission slips from their mothers — we’ll get to our list of gaming's best Year of the Bow Ambassadors:

Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3: Year of the Bow

If I had two words to describe the E3 demonstration of Far Cry 3, I would use the word "boobs" twice, because did you see that? They aired that digital person’s humble lady lumps on live television.

If you gave me a bunch more words, however, I’d eventually get to "bow."


You may be wondering: Why does Far Cry 3 need a bow and arrow? I know what you’re trying to say. It seems like the island the title takes place on has enough guns to go around. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the plot reveals that the island is actually made out of guns (oops, just made Ted Nugent orgasm), but guns aren’t perfect. Hell, guns are really loud, and in the '80s, we listened to way too much Van Halen, so our hearing just isn't what it used to be. Can't we just murder in silence for once? That's where the bow comes in. Kill these island-dwellers without making more than a pleasant "thunk" sound. It’s the future.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider: Year of the bow

If I had two words to describe the E3 demonstration of — OK, I'm being told by my editors that I may not make a second "boobs" joke…moving on.

Lara Croft's rebooted adventure features a back-to-nature bow. Forget all this cross-compound double-poundage crystal-meth bow technology (I'm obviously not an expert). The 21-year-old raider of tombs finds a simple projectile weapon made out of about eight twigs that have been taped together. She immediately uses it to kill a deer. Why? Because she needs to eat. Ignore the fact that you've never had to make Lara eat in any of her 75 other treks across the globe. It's the year of the bow. Which means that deer dies.

Assassin's Creed III

Assassin's Creed III: Year of the bow and dead deer

I bet Assassin's Creed III's half-Native American and half-British-colonial main character, Connor, is awesome with a bow…wait, no. That's a stereotype. I meant to say: I bet Connor would love a spot of tea and a good game of cricket.

Seriously, it was kind of obvious that a half-Mohawk assassin was going to be snuffing people out with the traditional Native American weapon. On the other hand, I do think that Ubisoft has gone too far by giving him nunchucks made out of corn. Shame on you, Ubi.

At least another deer dies in this game.

Game & Wario: Arrow

Game & Wario: Year of the bowNintendo has obviously been lurking on NeoGAF, paying attention to Twitter, and really keeping its ear to the ground to understand what core gamers want. And boy, did they deliver. Game & Wario is a mini-game collection and at least one of the slices includes the gameplay mechanic that real gamers crave: Bows!

The Arrow level has players aiming the Wii U GamePad at the screen, not like it’s a bow and arrow (like in Wii Sports Resort), but like it’s a freaking tablet that summons death stick into existence from the arrowland — a mystical purgatory between life and death where all arrows wait to be called by their soul bow. Basically, Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto is onto some next-level bow tech. I expect it to revolutionize everything.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3

Here's our champion. This first-person shooter is bringing the world a Hawkeye-from-Avengers level of bow-and-arrow explosions. The super-soldier protagonist also is utilizing the world's most needlessly complex compound bow. Which is what the year of the bow is all about.

Obviously, many men spent many hours deciding how much shit they could add to the design of this projectile weapon before people's brains shut down from overawesome. I think they've hit a really nice balance.

I'm sure we missed some more examples of how E3 2012 is The Year of the Bow. Please let me know if you see anything else, because this is my whole life now.