X-Play & G4tv.com's Best Of E3 2010 Awards


Posted June 24, 2010 - By Andrew Pfister

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Best of E3 2010

The votes are in, the accountants have verified the results, and the expensive awards ceremony we were going to hold at the Staples Center was sensibly cancelled...it's time for X-Play & G4tv.com's Best of E3 2010 Winners! With the idea that E3 is a showcase for products still under development, we like to keep things simple with our accolades. What follows are essentially, but not exclusively, the coolest things we saw during the show last week. (Read: just because we didn't pick your favorite does not mean that we think your favorite sucks.) If you agree, disagree, or agree to disagree with our choices, register your level of accordance in the comments below.

Best 3D Game

Winner: StarFox 3D

We already know how 3D is going to affect the visuals of video games, but what about gameplay? When an enemy lined up behind our Arwing, with tangible depth representing the distance between the enemy and our own ship, it finally clicked. Finally. This is what 3D can to improve the games that we play.

Nominee: Motorstorm: Apocalypse

Best Motion Game

Winner: Dance Central 

E3 2010: Dance Central E3 Gameplay Trailer »

You've accomplished something important when the notoriously shy E3 crowd begins choosing to learn the dance moves to a Lady GaGa song. The idea of playing music with a five-button guitar sounded ridiculous before Guitar Hero, and not only is Dance Central poised to accomplish the same thing for dancing, it's also the best implementation of Microsoft's new Kinect technology.

Nominee: Child of Eden

Best Multiplayer Game

Winner: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 

E3 2010 Live: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit »

Sandwiched between games offering four player co-op and massively multiplayer options comes the surprise of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Up to 8 different players can race against each other in any configuration: four crooks trying to outrace four cops, one crook on the lam from seven cops, and...well, you get the idea. The ability to earn things like spike strips and radar decoys just makes it that much better. Playing cops and robbers (almost) for real pushed this one over the edge for us.

Nominee: Halo: Reach (Firefight mode)

Best Role-Playing Game

Winner: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 

E3 2010 Live: Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Demo »

While there were a lot of games at E3 2010 that borrow and water-down gameplay elements and story tropes from role-playing games, The Witcher 2 is proud to be a straight-up, Tolkienesque sword and sorcery RPG. It offers all the elements core-RPGers love -- a complex story, fully-detailed high-fantasy world, hundreds of NPCs, a massive world, a complicated character progression system, and more -- without apologies.

Nominee: Fallout: New Vegas

Best Fighting Game

Winner: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds 

E3 2010 Live: Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds »

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom gave gamers an idea of what they could expect from a Marvel vs. Capcom 3...if it ever happened. And lo and behold, Capcom put years of wishful thinking, secrecy, and licensing nightmares to rest by unveiling the long-awaited sequel. And what a game it is. It’s a colorful and vibrant fighter that updates both Capcom’s brawlers and Marvel’s warriors for the HD era, from the detailed Hulk to the gunslinging fun of Dante. It’s almost effortlessly the best fighting game of the show, yet you can easily see the amount of detail on hand.

Nominee: Mortal Kombat

Best Sports Game

Winner: EA Sports MMA 

E3 2010 Live: EA Sports MMA Demo »

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed that mixed martial arts have become the fastest growing sport in America. With EA Sports MMA, the Tiburon team has positioned itself not only to promote a new approach to play -- in its brightest spots, it seems as deep and intuitive as the Fight Night games --  but with EA Sports Live Broadcast, the game cleverly fuses the online community of 1 vs. 100 with the competitiveness of one-on-one sports titles. Here’s to hoping that the final product delivers the same impact seen at E3.

Nominee: NBA Jam

Best Platformer

Winner: Kirby's Epic Yarn 

E3 2010: Kirby's Epic Yarn Interview »

E3 marked a triumphant return of the platformer from an unlikely source: Nintendo. Nothing underscored Nintendo's commitment to putting tradition on its head than Kirby's Epic Yarn, a deceivingly unsophisticated platformer starring one of Nintendo's underrated stars. Sporting a gorgeous and unique visual approach, it's only a company like Nintendo that could get us this excited for something so seemingly simple.

Nominee: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Best Music Game

Winner: Rock Band 3 

E3 2010 Live: Rock Band 3 Live Demo »

The music game genre was running out of room to grow, and even adding vocal harmonies and a keyboard instrument would do little to put plastic instruments into new hands. So what does Harmonix do? They take music games to their natural conclusion: playing Rock Band with actual instruments using actual music theory. Not just for people who already know their chord shapes and scales, but for those who would actually like to learn how to play guitar in an environment they already know with songs they already love. The pro gear is expensive and the intimidation factor is steep, but respect must be given to the idea, and so far, the execution.

Nominee: Def Jam Rapstar

Best Racing Game

Winner: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Criterion Games knows its racing games. The Burnout series has consistently delivered hard-smashing hits for nearly a decade. And now, with the dev team’s new take on the fabled Need for Speed spin-offs, Criterion is wedding its gameplay know-how and crisp presentation to the tense high-speed cat and mouse gameplay of the original Hot Pursuit games, which have been missing in action for nearly eight years. From the community-centric multiplayer to the tactical weaponry on display, Hot Pursuit be a welcome return for both the series and developer.

Nominee: Gran Turismo 5

Best Action/Adventure Game

Winner: Disney Epic Mickey 

E3 2010 Live: Epic Mickey Hands-On Preview »

Mousehouse fans will love the faithful depiction of the many Disney characters, settings and animated films in Disney Epic Mickey, while those without a theme park season pass can enjoy the easy to grasp paint/erase gameplay that is as simple as waving a brush. Considering the competition, it's no effortless feat that Disney Epic Mickey stole our heart and enthusiasm for Best Action/Adventure Game at E3 2010.

Nominee: inFAMOUS 2

Best Shooter Game

Winner: RAGE 

E3 2010 Live: Hands-On Rage Overview Demo »

Among the many post-apocalyptic games coming down the pike, RAGE stands tall (seriously, at the end of the E3 demo, there was a screen-filling monster that caused our hair to stand on end). id Software quietly withdrew from the scene for a few years now, but the historic shooter developer is poised to a triumphant return to form with RAGE.

Nominee: Spec Ops: The Line

Best New Hardware

Winner: Nintendo 3DS

E3 2010 Nintendo Press Conference: Nintendo 3DS Trailer »

You really have to see the 3DS for yourself to understand the awesome potential and technical wizardry that it possesses. But even then, your mind isn’t totally capable of accepting what it’s seeing. Nintendo has once again thrown down the handheld gaming gauntlet, and now they just have to deliver killer games for it. No pressure.

Nominee: Rock Band 3's Fender Squier Stratocaster

Best Trailer

Winner: Star Wars: The Old Republic

E3 2010: Star Wars: The Old Republic "Hope" Trailer »

Did you enjoy the Star Wars prequels? What about The Clone Wars animated film or the television show? We didn’t. Trust us, we wanted to like them. But our fire for all things Star Wars had almost been stomped out completely...until we saw this trailer. Yes, it's completely CG and doesn't contain an ounce of gameplay, but it is gorgeous and will bring a tear to your eye. A tear over what could have been (and might still be, the game looks great).

Nominee: Brink

Biggest Surprise

By Design: Valve's Portal 2 Coming to PS3 with Steamworks Support

E3 2010 Live: Portal 2 Demo »

Given Valve head Gabe Newell’s past comments regarding the challenges of developing games for the PlayStation 3 and the subsequent tensions between Valve and Sony, it was certainly a surprise to see Newell walk out on stage during Sony’s press conference to announce that Portal 2 will be coming to the PS3. In Newell’s own words, the PS3 version will be the “best console version of the game.” It might not have been Half-Life related, but as far as surprises go, it definitely did the job.

By Default: Nintendo

Nintendo (finally) hit all of the right buttons during E3 2010. Not only did they announce a slew of grin-inducing titles, but they also proved that the Nintendo 3DS is far from a gimmick and will fundamentally change the hand-held gaming space forever. Microsoft and Sony might have attracted eyes because of their motion control posturing (pun intended), but ultimately, both fell rather flat compared to Nintendo. The house that Mario built delivered where/when it mattered most, and proved yet again why Nintendo is Nintendo.

Best Downloadable Game

Winner: Journey 

E3 2010: Journey Interview »

thatgamecompany's third and final PlayStation Network project (of a pre-planned package of 3 games) turned out to be Journey, which is both the evolution and amalgamation of their two previous abstract projects (fl0w, Flower) and their most traditional game to date. Oh yeah, it also features persistent online multiplayer, which game director Jenova Chen was reluctant to talk about at this point, other than emphasizing the notion of working well with complete strangers. If TGC can somehow make anonymous people on the Internet play nice together, Journey will be a landmark game in more ways than one.

Nominee: Comic Jumper

Best Handheld Game

Winner: God of War: Ghost of Sparta 

E3 2010: God of War: Ghost of Sparta E3 Trailer »

God of War: Chains of Olympus developer Ready at Dawn posted pictures of the team packing up their PSP development kits some time ago. As God of War: Ghost of Sparta lead Dana Jan said during E3, “Never say you’re going to quit something and post pictures on the Internet.” It’s fortunate for PSP owners worldwide that the team ate some crow and went back to the lab. Ghost of Sparta looks to update the handheld God of War games with more of the flourishes that made God of War III such a fantastic blockbuster, including more expressive animation for Kratos, blood-spattering effects, and some QTE tweaks. It’s hard to go wrong with a sequel to one of the platform’s finest, and Ghost of Sparta should deliver an abundance of entertainment.

Nominee: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Most Original Game

Winner: Journey


In a year filled with games that are either direct sequels or complete franchise revivals, Journey had little trouble standing out as something fresh. thatgamecompany's reputation for swimming against the industry current certainly helped, but the simplistic beauty of the game itself and the promise of a unique take on cooperative multiplayer was a welcome dose of "less is more" in a sea of gunfire, 3D, and motion control.

Nominee: Limbo

Best Multi-Platform Game

Winner: RAGE


id Software has been quiet the last few years for good reason. The Texas-based developer has been slowly chipping away at Rage, a gorgeous mash-up between Fallout and Doom. The result is something that has us very excited to be soon pumping shotguns into evil dudes (and dudettes) with one of the most renowned shooter developers of all-time.

Nominee: Dead Space 2

Best Wii Game

Winner: Disney Epic Mickey

Disney Epic Mickey

Disney Epic Mickey is a game that’s instantly recognizable, intuitive and yet with a level of depth rarely found in a game based on a license. That Disney Epic Mickey can wear so many hats (it's an action adventure, a platformer, a RPG!) successfully, thus far, is a testament to the expertise and dedication of its developer, Junction Point Studios. We can’t wait to play it, which makes it clearly our Best Wii Game at E3 2010.

Runner-Up: Kirby's Epic Yarn

Best 360 Game

Winner: Halo: Reach 

E3 2010 Live: World Premiere Halo: Reach Demo »

Bungie has clearly pulled out every trick in their impressive arsenal for the current-gen conclusion to their blockbuster franchise, and one look at Halo: Reach in action proves it. The darker tone, the absurdly deep multiplayer (Firefight mode included), and the four-player co-op campaign might just make Reach the Halo game to end all Halo games…you know, until the next one.

Nominee: Gears of War 3

Best PS3 Game

Winner: inFAMOUS 2 

E3 2010: inFamous 2 E3 Trailer »

Everyone had cause to be skeptical and perplexed by Cole McGrath's makeover. But hearing the Sucker Punch guys explain their reasoning that Cole 2.0 is closer to their original vision of the character mostly shelved any worries. That Cole keeps his powers from the first game, adds a new supercharged cattle prod melee weapon, and throws electric tornadoes at helicopters doesn't hurt, either. Here's hoping they can keep our choices from the first game relevant.

Nominee: Journey

Best of E3

Winner: Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS

Going into E3, "How is it going to work?" was perhaps the biggest question about Nintendo's new glasses-free 3D handheld. After seeing and holding the 3DS, and adjusting the depth slider to control just how much Z-axis we were getting, the leading answers to that question are "it's powered by the souls of angels" and "who cares?" The 3DS was far and away the most impressive thing to come out of E3 2010, and we in the media don't seem to be alone in that sentiment. Equally as impressive as the hardware, the 3rd-party support pledged by the industry's top talent (and their respective franchises) means that we'll be lining up on day one.

Game of Show

Winner: Star Wars: The Old Republic

E3 2010 Live: Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO Overview »


After Star Wars Galaxies, we wouldn’t have touched another George Lucas-based MMO if you paid us. Nothing could erase dancing Wookies from existence. But BioWare's involvement makes all the difference, with their experience with Baldur’s Gate, Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect. Could they possibly bring their magic to an MMO? They did. Star Wars: The Old Republic is our Game of Show, and it deserves it.

Nominees: inFAMOUS 2, RAGE

X-Play & G4tv.com's Best Of E3 2010 Awards


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