E3 09: Why wait? E3's hottest games reviewed NOW!

We don’t make a big deal about it, but we here at GamesRadar actually live several months in the future. It’s pretty cool, although we should warn you that we still won’t have flying cars or laser cats come Christmas – shocker, we know. But we do have review scores for the games you’re most looking forward to playing. As proof, yesterday we gave you the early word on how megaton games like BioShock 2, Bayonetta and a few other titles that don’t begin with a B would ultimately rate. Today, we have more precognitive wisdom to drop - read it now and believe us in November, when everyone else catches up to our futuristic space-wisdom.

Left 4 Dead 2

OK, we’ll level with you – we’re still playing the first game. It’s the most perfectly pure, laser-focused shooter released in a decade. Every time you play, something’s a little bit different, and with four players its among the best multiplayer experiences of all time. Take all that, add five new campaigns, new super-zombies, new weapons (incendiary ammo, chainsaws and axes!) and brand-new gameplay tweaks and you have yet another perfectly pure, laser-focused shooter. It’ll be just as good, if not better than the original.

Score: 9


Just Cause 2

The sequel to Just Cause has changed its locale from South America to the fictitious Southeast Asian island nation of Panau, but it’s hard to tell just from looking at it – the lush tropical jungles and crystalline waterways are awfully similar to the first game’s, except that now they’re a lot prettier. The action’s similar, too – secret agent Rico Rodriguez balances shooting and carjacking with insane stunt-jumping and parachute antics – but it’s been refined considerably, and it’s bolstered by some ridiculously cool improvements to Rico’s grappling hook. No longer is grappling just about swinging, Bionic Commando style, from vehicles and random objects; instead, Rico can grab onto a vehicle, person or other object, and then tether the other end of the grappling line to a different object, enabling you to do stuff like tow cars out of ditches, crash enemy vehicles by tethering them to the road, airlift objects by tethering them to a helicopter and drag enemies behind cars. It takes some getting used to, but with a little practice we could see this being endlessly hilarious.

Score: 8


Alan Wake

Moody, suspenseful and full of shadowy creep-out moments, Alan Wake will probably end up filling the psycho-scare genre better than Alone in the Dark and the past two Silent Hills. Its pseudo-episodic storytelling, striking lighting effects and fresh take on creepy, fog-drenched towns have us excited to finish a game that, for a while, we thought might never actually show up. The puzzles and combat may falter here and there, but its presentation and atmosphere are dead on – which already puts it on par or better than Silent Hill Homecoming. We expect great things from Mr Wake.

Score: 8


The Beatles: Rock Band

What do you think’s gonna happen when you take Rock Band’s proven track record of compulsively playable songs and slather it with Beatles imagery? Instant success. This will be huge, no doubt about it. From the custom instruments to the massive setlist of the world’s favorite band, the reach and popularity of this entry should be atmospheric. Longtime gamers may thing “eh, it’s the same with new songs,” but when those new songs are among the most beloved in all music history, well, how can you wrong?

Score: 9


Shadow Complex

Love Metroid? Wish Nintendo would put out another 2D version? Well, looks like Epic (of Gears of War fame) has come to your old-school rescue with this superbly classic side-scroller built as one giant homage to Super Metroid. Can’t climb this wall? Come back later when you’ve found the appropriate power-up. Not sure where to go next? Check your color-coded map (ripped right out of Metroid) and find a place that’s not been filled out. We’re fans of anyone who tries to bring things back to basics (Contra IV, we love you), and Shadow Complex does so beautifully. We just hope the rest of the adventure holds up to the immediately addictive opening.

Score: 8


Check back tomorrow for one final round of tomorrow’s games reviewed today, and in the meantime, head back to the distant past to read the future reviews we posted yesterday.

Jun 3, 2009


  • k9er - August 5, 2009 7:20 p.m.

  • fuzzynutz - June 23, 2009 3:41 a.m.

    Cant wait for jc2, the first didnt get the rep it needed
  • pogo - June 5, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    cant wait to try out ALAN WAKE and definately LEFT 4 DEAD 2
  • Rhesus - June 5, 2009 12:36 a.m.

    That fat black guy from Left 4 Dead 2 looks like Curtis from Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • RadarQJD - June 4, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    8's and 9's? Baaaw, i want to see dissapointment!
  • MacGyver1138 - June 4, 2009 6:15 p.m.

    Man, this E3 has shown a bunch of great games. I really look forward to the second Just Cause. The first one had its flaws, but it was a heck of a lot of fun and boasted some excellent draw distances. With any luck, the flaws from the first will be polished out, and it will be even more fun to play with the grappling hook and parachute. I just hope they still let you drive/fly absolutely EVERY vehicle like the first one did. I was pleasantly surprised to hop in and fly the giant cargo plane, only to crash it on a crowded bridge!
  • MGS4SolidSnake - June 4, 2009 5:48 p.m.

    im not saying the beatles are bad im just saying there not as good as people think they are...its like misplaced nostalgia u want them to be good cause everybody says they are
  • Ninja-KiLLR - June 4, 2009 5 p.m.

    im with MGS4SolidSnake i cant stand the beatles
  • william206 - June 4, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    i know why these reviews are all 8-10's, which r good scores... its because GR only hears good stuff from the devs and the demos.
  • bonerachieved - June 4, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    pitching a tent for this game
  • garnsr - June 4, 2009 6:40 a.m.

    I love Metroidvania games, Shadow Complex sounds like just the thing for me.
  • vitoruss - June 4, 2009 5:59 a.m.

    Alan Wake looks like it'll either be a 5/6 or a 9, a hit or a miss. No middle ground for the survival horror genre
  • superduper93 - June 4, 2009 4:23 a.m.

    i'm from louisiana and i can't wait for left 4 dead
  • lovinmyps3 - June 4, 2009 4:06 a.m.

  • jamminontha1n2 - June 4, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    can't wait for shadow complex. i love me some exploration.
  • RebornKusabi - June 4, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    I honestly cannot wait for Alan Wake. I really REALLY hope it fills the "true" horror genre that Resident Evil has moved away from and Silent Hill can't seem to recapture. I know I will be buying on day one.
  • Chase158 - June 6, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    Now, I'm not one to accuse reviewers of bias, but this has got to be the rare exception. There seems to be a Valve fanboy tinge to the prediction on Left 4 Dead 2; the content was so effusive and gushy, and so entirely without reserve, that I'm surprised it wasn't written by a Valve dev team member. L4D2 may be the only mistake Valve has ever made in their career, and 'til this point, I was convinced that they could do no wrong. When it all comes down to it, L4D2 is a sequel that adds the most superficial of changes; melee weapons, Incendiary Ammunition (why didn't they just give us a flamethrower?), new weapons (with 'new' apparantly meaning the old weapons with suppressors sellotaped on), insignificant changes to the AI Director (which was essentially a glorified spawn system in the first place) and a couple of maps. Worse still, is what we are losing. Gone are the claustrophic, dark, dank quarters of the original game. Instead, we are treated to wide-avenues, low buildings and sunny streets. How the Hell is Valve going to create any thrills, nevermind scares, when the environment is fully visible and pleasant? All of these could and should have been DLC for the original game. Why are we forking out the price for an entirely new game just so we can receive changes that could have easily been added as new maps and equipment, or even modded? Even if Valve's intentions are better than just squeezing money out of - what is in my opinion - and already highly overrated game, I still believe that this decision made no sense.
  • sharker - June 5, 2009 11:49 p.m.

    are you kidding l4d2 will suck just as much as the first
  • crumbdunky - June 5, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    Just a shame for Cliffy that the Metriod game from Team Ninja knocks Shadow Complex sideways into looking the crap it surely is. Even Cliffy seemed to know how poor it is.
  • Defguru7777 - June 5, 2009 1:27 a.m.

    Shadow Complex looks really good.

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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