Staff Editorials

Best of E3 2009
Posted: 05.07.2009 19:37 by James Pikover Comments: 9
Welcome to Strategy Informer's awards for the Best of E3 2009. Sure, the Game Critics Awards went out a week ago, but who cares? We have a different take on games, and we'll judge which we think are going to be the best until next year's show.

Thus, there are some simple guidelines: only games releasing before next E3 are eligible. Any games released between E3 09 and the publishing date of this article are ineligible, meaning games like EA's Fight Night Round 4 and High Voltage's The Conduit. Finally, our giving of awards is based only on games we, meaning I (James Pikover) was able to see, in some respect at E3 this year. As a one man team, it was impossible to see everything, so this list will not reflect every single game expected to release in the coming year. Finally, no game can win two awards.

So, without further ado, Strategy Informer's Best of E3 2009!


Best Role Playing Game (RPG)

Mass Effect 2 - Out of the few games that we were able to determine were actually RPG's (Mass Effect 2 doesn't exactly fit into one category either), Mass Effect 2 was the game that really stood out. From the updated combat system to new dialog features to exploring the galaxy as Commander Shepherd yet again, with our previous savegames, Mass Effect 2 just looks excellent.

Best Racing Game

Split Second - While other racing games try to force fun and simulator experiences into the same game, Split Second multiplies the level of fun by including dynamic changes to the race in realtime, using player-charged explosion, all while at high-speed. No one is out for long, and with it's not about the car, it's about the race. Sometimes, simplicity is all anyone asks for, and Split Second delivers.

Best Sports Game

Tony Hawk: Ride - It's one thing to use a controller to play a sports game, and an entirely different to use the actual, honest-to-goodness controls that should be used. Tony Hawk: Ride is the first sports game that incorporates a specialized controller just for it, and thanks to Robomodo, their skateboard controller looks like it will be a success. Our time on the board left us strangely wanting more. Prior skateboarding experience says no, but considering how popular the music game genre is and how comfortable I was on the skateboard, we'll have to say yes.

Best First Person Shooter (FPS)

Brink - Probably the hardest decision for our list, the victory goes to Brink, which successfully supplemented their standard FPS game with something unique: dynamic movement, a la Mirror's Edge. However, unlike the crap combat that Mirror's Edge had, Brink will be an FPS first, parkour second game. We're dying to try it out, to have an actual firefight in first person and be able to jump from side to side and actually perform acrobatic maneuvers without looking like a complete idiot on-screen.

Best Action/Adventure Game

Dante's Inferno - Some may say it's a God of War rip-off, and others will say the premise is just stupid. But after our playtest, we're convinced that Dante's Inferno may be one of the greatest ideas for a videogame, not only of this generation, but of this decade. Driving through the bowels of hell through seven immense levels, and using the literary classic's descriptions to create the world, may not only be a great idea, but perhaps it'll actually inspire people to do something crazy. Go out and read! But I digress, it's fast-action gameplay and undoubtedly incredible story push it to the top of our list.

Best Multiplayer Game

Left 4 Dead 2 - Besides having the previous Left 4 Dead be simply an incredible title, tied as one of the best games we've ever played, Left 4 Dead 2 is more of the same, with extras. Put away your complaints, rampant internets, and embrace a whole new campaign from your favorite developer Valve, with all the multiplayer glory you've come to know and love. Featuring all new weapons, ammo types and enemies, we found L4D2 to be more of the same, zombie-packed killing fun. Exactly what the doctor ordered.


Best Xbox 360 Game

Bioshock 2: The Fall of Rapture - Returning to Rapture 10 years later sounded like a copout, until we saw exactly what the Bioshock team had in store for us. Playing as the original Big Daddy (Mr. Bubbles, we hope), taking on the world of Splicers, little girls and the Big Sister, and just surviving the rotted corpse of the underwater city already sounds great. Doing it as a Big Daddy with free choice, the ability to use any weapon and tonics around, and having an all new campaign makes it just sound fantastic. Then they piled on multiplayer, with its own backstory and gameplay elements, and it's settled. Bioshock 2: The Fall of Rapture is on our must-buy list.

Best PlayStation 3 Game

Assassin's Creed 2 - Assassin's Creed was one title we loved, with its unique gameplay style utilizing the first real freerunning mixed with nothing short of marvelous assassinations. Following the Creed is something many, both among our staff and globally, have wanted to do once again ever so much. Considering that not only are many of the faults of the originally done away with and the essence of Assassin's Creed being placed at the forefront, the sequel simply looks stunning, and no one wants to wait any longer for it.

Best PC Game

Borderlands - There is so much to say about Borderlands, that cutting it short doesn't do it justice. Besides being the RPG/FPS that Fallout 3 was close to having, the unique art style, desolate world and multiplayer that Borderlands provides is phenomenal. Add over half a million weapon variants, an entirely playable world and more missions than you can shoot at, and you've got a pretty big game. Borderlands promises all that and more.

Best Games

Best Original Game

Heavy Rain - Heavy Rain is so different from every other game, that calling it a game is already a wrong term to use. This interactive experience pits players in the shoes of four characters, playing through their journey for a serial killer, and anything can happen, literally. Don't like a situation? Do something else. Don't like how things turned out? Play it again, it won't be the same. Every action has an equally potent reaction in the world of Heavy Rain, and there are no right or wrong choices. Every ending is just that, an ending. Play through as many times as you can to find the one you like.

Best Original Style

Raven Squad - Another hard choice, Raven Squad came up because it's one of the more unique titles, that combines two completely separate genres and elegantly puts them together for great fun. Our playtest of Raven Squad left us shocked that, not only can you play an FPS as an RTS and vice versa, but that it wouldn't be crap! The game itself, from 15 minutes of play, doesn't look all that special, but the ability to quickly change perspective, issue orders and get right back into the fight is not only endearing, it's ghoulishly exciting.

Best of Show

Batman: Arkham Asylum - It could be the most polished title we saw at E3. It could be that it's only two months away from release. Or it could be that the original cast from Batman: The Animated Series is voicing the latest Batman title. All of the above is true, but what really sets Batman: Arkham Asylum apart is its complete immersion into the Batman persona and universe, giving us a first glimpse into what it's like to be the Dark Knight, to think like he would think, plan like he'd plan, and act like he'd act. Our time with Batman: Arkham Asylum was unique; instead of just playing as some random character in an unknown story, we got to play as Batman, one of the most popular and renowned quasi-superheroes of all time. And we liked it.

That's all for this year! Stay tuned for our looks at all the games listed above, and more, in the coming months.
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By Kres (SI Elite) on Jul 05, 2009
I would say my favorite is next Battlefield to which I'm putting a lot of faith in.
By phil9452 (SI Newbie) on Jul 07, 2009
I will buy Brink!^^
By Richie82 (SI Member) on Jul 07, 2009
Played Dante's inferno, and I still say it's a big fat God of War clone. Sorry.
By melzerith (SI Core) on Jul 07, 2009
Mass Effect 2
By Revan (SI Elite) on Jul 09, 2009
I'm rooting for Mass Effect 2 and Heavy Rain! And Assasin's Creed 2! And Bioshock 2! Ahh! Too many good games coming out! Woot!
By esian (I just got here) on Jul 12, 2009
Assassin's Creed 2 - because it's one the best title.... I love it! :)
By HYDroxide (SI Newbie) on Jul 13, 2009
Who will tell me Prototype or Assassin Creed 2 ? Than I will buy....
By PipBoy3000_v2 (SI Core Member) on Aug 02, 2009
Mass Effect 2! That's what I want to hear!
By angelone (SI Veteran Member) on Sep 24, 2009
Left 4 dead 2! At the end of the day who doesn't like to sit down with some friends and kill off hordes of zombies?