Having spent three days solid running around the LA Convention Centre at E3, we thought it best to finally hand out our awards for the best games of E3.
It was no easy task, with lots of titles vying for the top spot, but we chose to award the games that offered something a little different to what we expected, and games that pushed the boundaries of their genre, boundaries of technology, or even just tried something new. Read on for all the winners.
XBLA – Hydrophobia
Not only does this game look good, but you have to really pay attention to the fluid dynamics. The story is believable, the concept is brilliant, the setting is original and the IP allows for major development in the story and franchise. Oh, and did I say the fluid mechanics are amazing? Water never looked so good.
Shooter – BulletStorm
We loved this game because it’s fun, it’s furious and it’s ludicrously over the top. If you’ve played MadWorld then you’ll understand the concept of combo kills, and Epic has done a spectacular job of bringing this gaming format to the console. Prepare to grapple, launch and destroy your enemies in the most creative of ways.
Strategy – Civilization V
Sid Meir’s Civ franchise is one that just gets better with each iteration, and despite Meir’s taking a back seat on this project and handing over the reins to Jon Shafer, the game still feels Civ-lised! It’s new victory conditions, intelligent AI and tactical gameplay make the best Civ game so far. We can’t wait to get our hands on this proper.
Action Adventure – Mafia II
Mafia II needs no introduction. It’s a beautifully realised game that has subtle nods and references to historic events, people and places. Every section we played, irrespective of where in the game it was, felt authentic, as if you were there during the late 50s. Vehicles drive as they should and the story, like all 2K games, rocks. This is a contender for game of the year as it stands.
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Multiplayer – Brink
Star of E3 last year, Brink has come on leaps and bounds in 2010. Now delayed until Q1 2011, the team at Splash Damage have been busy polishing the game. With fantastic customisation, frantic multiplayer and a gameplay style we know and love from Splash Damage, Brink is shaping up to be a fantastic multiplayer experience.
MMO – Star Wars: The Old Republic
The MMO genre has gone rather stale but The Old Republic is set to shake things up thanks to the work of BioWare. With the StarWars franchise always proving popular and a timeline that will appeal to gamers and StarWars fans alike, BioWare are creating a very polished MMO that has a chance of stealing the MMO crown.
RPG – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
There’s not one thing about this game that doesn’t look impressive. Whether you’re talking about the environments, the characters and even the story, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the game which stood out for me this E3. Interact with anyone you want, find multiple routes to complete objectives and level up in a way you’ve never seen in Deus Ex before. No matter what kind of player you are, you’ll find a way to play this game the way you want to.
Racing – Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Do you remember playing the first ever NFS game? Do you remember that feeling of exhilaration and excitement? Do you remember the cops going mad trying to chase you? If you’ve said yes to all of the above and are already reminiscing then you’ll be glad to know there’s a new iteration of the arcady NFS game in Hot Pursuit. Not only is this set to move away from the sim feel SHIFT brought to the table, but it’s developed by Criterion, a group of people who know a thing or two about speed and racing titles. Very excited.
Sport – F1 2010
This game is doing with F1 what EA is doing with its FIFA franchise.  With attention to detail unparalleled in any other F1 title released, and interactive gameplay ranging from dealing with the press to tweaking your car in qualifying rounds, F1 is the ultimate in sport race simulation.  All cars, teams and drivers are there, graphically the game is incredible and most importantly of all, it’s still an F1 game! It’s brutally difficult to drive without assists on, yet hugely satisfying getting your car around the tracks.  And with the DiRT 2 interface, it’s easy to navigate and progress through the game.  Codemasters knows how to do racing games, and this is by no means a disappointment.
One To Watch – Blacklight Tango Down
It’s another XBLA game, but it’s a multiplayer only game which will retail for around £15 GBP and offers loads of maps, game modes and some pretty compelling FPS action. Not only does the game feel and look great, it’s fast-paced and offers great value for money. I played this for an hour and a half before realising how much time I’d sunk into it. We like this game.
Technology – Microsoft’s Kinect
This year’s E3 was about three main technologies, the Sony Move, the 3DS and Microsoft’s Kinect. Oor pick has to be the Kinect, not becuase the game’s that were on show demonstrating the tech were really any good, but for its sheer potential. Once the first generation of dancing and sports titles have seen the light of day it will be interesting to see how developers embrace the tech, expecially for the hardcore audience.
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Below are the titles that stood out overall at this year’s E3 regardless of platform or genre.
Halo: Reach
We weren’t sure how well Bungie would do with this, considering it’s their last Halo title, and Halo 3 and ODST (despite being good) weren’t as impressive as previous games. It’s good to know then that this game is jam packed full of features and looks incredible. It’s a return to the IPs peak, and there are some pretty impressive stories being told. Because it’s set before the events of the first game it gives it a new and fresh feel. And we’re allegedly going to see the Master Chief make an appearance…
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
There’s nothing more to say about this game really. Being a hard-ass in a game is fun enough, but choosing how you’re hard-ass progresses through the game is even more fun. You’ll find a million things to do here and this is definitely an example of how to reboot a franchise. You’ll have more from us soon on this…
Despite it looking a little bit like Borderlands, Rage is not an RPG shooter. From the guys that made FPS games, id Software, comes their first new IP in over a decade. Now it’s a little risky, but the emphasis is on guns and shooting, and not on speech, weapon selection and the like. Here you can shoot whatever the heck you want with whatever weapon you want. You can carry as much as you like in your inventory, it’s not limited. And it looks gorgeous.
We had to give this a best of show because this game is doing so much that others aren’t doing. The fluid mechanics in itself, which took seven years to perfect, is enough for this to win it alone, but the fact this is a full game, digitally distributed, using technology we’ve not seen before, as well as re-defining the way a games are built (the proprietary engine used allows for game designers to double up as artists). Not only is this pushing the envelope on games technology and delivery, but it’s pushing expectations on all fronts.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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