E3 will likely be known as the shooter’s show. The best games on display were all games involving the aiming and firing of weapons in one way or another. And while it was incredibly hard to leave behind any of the titles on display this year, we feel this list best exemplifies the absolute prime examples from the show floor. We can only hope they all turn out as compelling when they’re actually released in more than demo-form. Without further ado, here is FPSGuru’s Best of E3 2011.
Best of Show: Bioshock Infinite – Irrational Games
We were all set to give this to Battlefield 3… until 4pm on Wednesday when we sat down to see Bioshock Infinite in action. Words don’t do this game justice (though there are plenty here), and we feel we’ve just barely scratched the surface of what Irrational Games’ next masterpiece has to offer. From the art direction to the animations, the voice work, and the sheer sense of exhilaration and awe to be had aboard the Columbia this is a game to safely get excited for.
Best Multiplayer: Battlefield 3 – DICE
Move over Call of Duty… the original bad boy of modern warfare is back. Battlefield 3 is poised to dominate the competitive shooter market when it launches, and after getting our mitts on it at this year’s E3 we can understand why. Everything from the tweaked classes, controls, and destructible environments make every single second of combat in BF3 a heart-pounding experience. I for one can’t wait to see how the returning use of jet air-fighters makes a difference.
Best Concept: XCOM – 2K Marin
The original X-Com was loved by many, but forgotten over time. 2K Marin is bringing the venerable alien invasion series back to the forefront of gaming with an intriguing blend of RPG, RTS, and FPS and it simply has to be seen to be understood. Throw it all into an idyllic 1960’s America torn apart by the unknown Outsider forces and you have the makings of a true classic. Let’s just hope all the pieces stay in place through to launch.
Best Visuals: RAGE – id
It’s a little silly, because I’m pretty sure RAGE has been winning this award across media outlets for a while now, but id’s Tech 5 engine is capable of some truly stunning visuals. RAGE is an extremely fun game in its own right, but the world and its characters deserve special mention this year. Seeing it all in an actual gameplay environment makes the entire staff here at FPSGuru pretty confident that October 4th is going to be a good day.
Best Sequel: Prey 2 – Human Head Studios
Let’s face it; sequels are kind of the lifeblood of the industry. But it’s no secret that some sequels are up to snuff while others leave a bad taste in our mouths. Well at this year’s E3 there was one sequel which made everyone take notice because of just how greatly it expands and improves upon its predecessor. Prey 2 from Human Head Studios ditches the linear adventure of Tommy from the first game, and instead thrusts the player into the role of a former US Air Marshall turned Alien Bounty Hunter in a city that would make Ridley Scott very proud. It’s massive, it’s epic, it’s “insert buzzword here”. Human Head and Bethesda could strike gold when this comes out in 2012.
Biggest Surprise- Hedone – Acony
We reserve this spot for the game which kind of jumped out and surprised us the most at E3. Developed by German studio Acony, from the ashes of the recently cancelled Parebellum, comes a fantastic concept for a F2P online shooter called Hedone. Basically in the game cloning has been perfected so that when you die your whole mind can be uploaded to a fresh new body and this discovery leads to the ultimate sport of killing on live TV. Your job as a player will be to take part in these officially sanctioned and televised matches and to kill and win with grit and flair. What we saw controlled quite well, and had some pretty gorgeous visuals to boot. The idea is solid, and the game’s in a very playable state. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing more.
Best TPS: Warhammer 40K: Space Marine – Relic Entertainment
I know it might seem like heresy to not put Uncharted 3 in this spot, but simply put: Space Marine stole a lot of our collective drool at this year’s E3. We all know Drake’s next game will be great, but giving credit where it’s due, Space Marine looks to be a massive success for the guys and gals at Relic. There’s just something incredible about laying waste to hordes of orcs with your machine gun and then sawing them in half with your Chainsword… all in glorious Zach Snyder slow-motion.
Most Innovative: Payday: The Heist – Overkill Software
We’ll admit that more than a few jokes concerning the recent hacks ran through our heads when we heard SOE was publishing this co-op online shooter where players break into banks and rob them dry. It’s a pretty simple idea in some respects, but when you play the thing it becomes apparent that this is an idea we should have seen long ago. It’s very dynamic and re-playable with deep and varied skill trees for each player. It’s essentially the lovechild of L4D’s cooperation and Grand Theft Auto 4’s bank robbery mission. In short, it’s a lot of fun and could be very addictive when it launches later this year.