E3 09: GamesRadar's E3 2009 awards

E3 2009 was a monster. A huge, massive, face-eating beerdemon that erased the agonizing memory of 2008’s meager, emaciated E3 from our minds with a flood of great-looking games, earth-shattering announcements, and a few quizzical oddities we never want to speak of again. After this, we mean, because some things are so good, bad, or just bewildering that you just have to tell people about them.



Okay, we loved us some Uncharted two years ago. The action-adventure of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider mixed with gunplay out of Gears of War, not to mention the good-humored levity brought upon by pretty good writing. Great game. But holy hell, the gameplay demo for Uncharted 2, which opened the Sony presser, kicked us in the balls with a heaping dose of awesome. A quick recap:

Footage started with series hero Nathan Drake atop a bombed-out posh poolside rooftop. Soon, he’s scaling the roof wall, ascending higher while we take in a vast cityscape enclosed by a gorgeous mountain range. Right away we know Uncharted 2 is huge and it’s beautiful. He and his female cohort slide down a rope to an adjacent crumbling building and start shimming and…WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? AN APACHE HELICOPTER?

Drake dodges bullets from a gunship, vaults across breaking platforms, leaps 20 feet to another building, shoots some bad guys (while still dodging heli bullets), narrowly misses an explosion that takes out an entire section of the wall, takes cover behind tables, kills more bad guys and rides the literally-falling-apart skyscraper down and leaps through the windows of an adjacent building that’s still standing. In game, real-time. He gets up, dusts himself off, and mentions, “Hahaha. We were… we were almost in that!” as casually as a guy who just took a side street to avoid a traffic jam. End of demo. Excellent.

The accompanying video released proved to be one of the best things to come out of the entirety of E3 2009. Developer Naughty Dog and Sony stepped up their game and have a quality product on their hands. We just weren’t really expecting such a big improvement.


Don’t get us wrong, we are totally psyched for Modern Warfare 2. The nut-crushing, face-meltingly awesome demo seamlessly showcased so many different types of gameplay it made our heads spin. But did we really expect anything less from Infinity Ward? It’s not like we thought we’d walk in there and have them go, “OK, you look with one stick and move with the other, get it?” These guys are pros at the top of their game, and it shows. World at War was a nice diversion, but this is the game we’ve been waiting for, snowmobiles, ice hooks and all.

Incidentally, Modern Warfare 2 also gets our award for Best In-game Wind. Seriously, it chilled us to the bone just watching the main character’s sleeves ripple in the wintery superbreeze.


Called “The worst-kept secret of E3” by Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony’s US division, the PSP Go was a surprise to absolutely nobody who’d been following the game industry for the past year. Rumors of the device leaked out months before its big reveal at Sony’s E3 press conference, and were then confirmed when Sony’s downloadable videomag Qore scooped the press conference a few days early, revealing and profiling the Go before its big “debut.”  And after all of that, it turns out the Go is kind of a letdown.

Don’t get us wrong: it’s an impressive piece of hardware. But it was already an impressive piece of hardware four years ago, when it was just called the PSP. Aside from the obvious change to a sleeker, more compact form factor, the Go adds 16 GB of onboard memory and subtracts the UMD drive. This isn’t an entirely unwelcome decision as long as there’s a GOOD way for us to play our existing games on it – but we’ll remain skeptical of that until Sony gives us more details.

PSP Go also totally fails to address the biggest irritation of anyone who’s ever tried to play 3D games on the system: the lack of a second analog stick. And before you trot out that “Sony didn’t want to split the market” excuse, let us point out that someone already invented the ability to have multiple control schemes in games. To summarize, Sony had a real opportunity to reinvent the wheel and add all kinds of cool functionality, but instead decided to create a smaller, slightly crippled version of the same technology and charge $80 more for it. Apple and Nintendo might have been doing that for years, but we were really hoping for something better.


PlayStation biggie Jack Tretton also proudly announced, in front a packed crowd and thousands watching online, that a heretofore unrevealed Final Fantasy was coming to PS3 in 2010. No way, we thought. Then he said it was Final Fantasy XIV. Impossible, the audience murmered. Then Tretton said it would be exclusive to PS3, and everyone assumed he must be joking, as there’s simply no way in hell FFXIV is this far along when XIII isn’t even out yet.

Then he cued a dramatic, dizzying trailer showcasing a fully realized Final Fantasy XIV and everyone loses control of every orifice on their body. Could it be? Such a massive coup is still possible today? Then, as the logo finally appears and the crowd’s fever explodes into a fanboy pandemic, one single word fades into the screen, much, much smaller than the other words in the title, and sucks all the life out of the party – “Online.”

Yep, it’s another MMO. Which means if you don’t fancy MMOs (particularly Final Fantasy XI), it’ll be at least another five years before you see or hear anything about FFXV. Great. Just effing great.


Bayonetta’s hacky-slashy-shooty-crazy action looked strikingly like what we’d already seen in Devil May Cry 4, but what keeps Bayonetta from just being Dante with a nicer ass are the moments when she goes from merely “over the top” to “balls-out ridiculous” (or maybe it’s “tits-and-ass-out ridiculous”).

She can walk on walls and ceilings like they’re floors. She has a triple-jump assisted by butterfly wings and can wield huge weapons dropped by huger enemies. And when those huge enemies are on the verge of death, her black catsuit - which is actually made of her magically prehensile hair - dissolves, revealing a gold unitard as her absurdly long locks twist into a volcano, which then forms a dragon head that chomps your enemy to death in a button-mashy quicktime sequence. The fact that the game is fun to play is irrelevant – it’s all about seeing what her bizarre hairstyle will eat next.

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  • iseepeepee - August 20, 2009 2:26 a.m.

    im damn excited about mass effect 2, and thats all that need be said
  • caboose4400 - June 11, 2009 11:19 a.m.

    wow 3 comments in a row any way if halo reach does come what the hell are they gonna fight?!?!? floods gone and so are the covenent
  • anduin1 - June 11, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    Couple of gripes: 1. mass effect 2 best of show ? Really... did you guys not even see god of war 3, oh wait thats right you guys were glued to the MS side of the building. 2. Valve is quickly becoming afflicted by consoleitis, when a dev goes to the console, all products heareafter become less than they could be. L4D2 won't even get a glimpse from me. 3. Where is HL2:episode 3, hasnt it been like 2 years ? Its been 5 years since HL2 came out, we deserve the damn episode already. All that said, good article and Alan Wake looks cool
  • milliman24 - June 11, 2009 2:19 a.m.

    wait 1 minuite no gears of war or god of war those are the best games in history also in my opinion Fallout 3 should get best RPG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CRAP!
  • dreamgor - June 10, 2009 3:41 p.m.

    you should have made best kept secret and awarded it too golden sun ds seriously i update myself daily at loads of sites and didn't even see a demo of it WHERE THE HELL DID IT COME FROM ugh sry about to cry over the fantastic if short trailer
  • StonedMagician99 - June 9, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    Awesome feature.
  • MoodBubble - June 8, 2009 11:26 p.m.

    Lol! 'Best Half-Naked Chick Whose Hair Turns Into a Dragon...'
  • MechGyver - June 8, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    @SwampRock Sure, i´ll be checking The Pirate Bay every day till it cames out. "For a moment the icy chill of terror courses down Dredd´s spine.The shock of this gaze can kill an ordinary man... ...But Dredd its a judge- and judges are not ordinary man!"
  • SwampRock - June 8, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    All you haters are going to buy L4D2, because simply, its going to be an improvement. On top of that it will be the newest installment and the original L4D's online population will drop instantly. Also I can't see why that "boycott" group is making complaints about the characters not being interesting looking, or whatever. Games take fucking work to make and fat ass fanboy's should take notice to that little fact.
  • BurntToShreds - June 8, 2009 6:47 p.m.

    What about Scribblenauts? That looked freakin' awesome. Proof: GOD VS. KRAKEN (At the end):
  • bdubyah - June 8, 2009 6 p.m.

    Rockstar is making a exclusive for Sony? Microsoft hasn't bought them off with a 100 million dollars yet? God forbid they make something exclusive and not let the giant money grubbers at Microsoft buy them out of it.
  • Wonija - June 8, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    totally agree with the comments of dragon age... that trailer managed to make me alot less excited about the game, lol. Stick with what you do best bioware, not a jackass screaming and cliche cgi... instead of ya know gameplay that would have had a much more favorable reaction
  • Defguru7777 - June 8, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    Wow, I knew you guys weren't big Halo fans but I never expected you guys to be so outright hostile towards the series (you guys gave Halo 3 a 10). ODST's demo wasn't any more unentertaining than Modern Warfare 2's. In fact, they follow the same basic formula. First you go through an un-lethal lead-in to the main level, then you do some light fighting (fighting Brutes in ODST and killing people during the blizzard in MW 2), and ending with an action-packed finale (snowmobiles in MW2 and the fight on the bridge for ODST). And for Reach, you said you need to read the novels to understand the game. That's simply not true. Reach was mentioned a lot in Halo 1 and 2, mainly during the opening cutscenes. And the Spartans that talked during the trailer weren't even characters from the novel. And Bungie wouldn't blatantly release the game requiring you to have read The Fall of Reach just to understand it. It'd probably be a parallel story that explains the same basic thing, but from a different viewpoint and with different experiences. As for Halo's plot being confusing, I don't see it. If you take in everything from the novels and games (which I can tell from the article you don't take the novels into account), then I can see it being a little confusing, but not the core trilogy. I'm aware this site isn't exactly a haven for Halo fans, and I'm sure that if anyone takes notice of this comment, they'll want to flame me for it. So I'll make it easier for you. I will never check up on the comments for this article again. If you want to make sure I see you insulting me, please PM me instead. I'm not trying to be a fanboy that says everything other than Halo sucks (I love Modern Warfare) and 360 rules over PS3. I only have a 360 so I can't comment on the PS3 from firsthand experience. Sorry for taking up so much space. And also, Mass Effect has novels too.
  • Bloodstorm - June 7, 2009 11:46 p.m.

    @ Gamesradar about the halo storyline, yes, I am pretty invested in the halo story, its a very good one. I own all 6 novels and they are great (and are not needed to get the storyline what so ever, but expands on the story). I personally don't get why people are confused by halo's story, but then again, don't know why people think the last 2 matrix movies have no plot.
  • Aznboi - June 7, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    nice article...i think dat L4D2 is tryin to copy RE5 both games are takin set in da sun
  • lovinmyps3 - June 7, 2009 8:50 p.m.

    I might have to get a 360 just for the Mass Effect games
  • MechGyver - June 7, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    A 10 year old like @GaMeRGuY1oh4?
  • Smeggs - June 7, 2009 5:46 a.m. if Alan Wake is like the early Silent Hill games I'm guessing it should be something like, "Okay, okay, there's nothing there, its just an empty corner, keep it togeth-AGH! WTF was that?! Okay I'm just gonna start on a jog now, its ok, its not real nothing can actually-OMFG THERE'S THAT NOISE AGAIN! Shit how'd I end up in the woods? Okay I'm gonna be fine, I don't hear anything its quiet...Its too quiet...Hello? Omg something is out there! RUN AWAY!"
  • JohnnyMaverik - June 6, 2009 11:54 p.m.

    "do you think that Valve is going to bundle L4D and L4D2 like they did with half life2 in the orange box" I doubt they'll do that right away but after a year or so I'd bet money on it.
  • noobmasteroftehworld - June 6, 2009 11:47 p.m.

    do you think that Valve is going to bundle L4D and L4D2 like they did with half life2 in the orange box