GamesRadar E3 2011 Awards: Worst First Impression

E3 is gaming’s biggest stage and brightest spotlight – with the right reveal, a publisher can ensure that its title is talked about and drooled over for months to come. Unfortunately, the reverse is true as well. Flub that first appearance and, well, you’ll be mocked for months to come. These nominees may not be bad, but the attention they received during and after E3 definitely was.


The Nominees:

Kinect Disneyland Adventures

Excuse our cynicism. We love Disney and we like the idea of a virtual Disneyland for kids who can’t always visit Orlando or Anaheim (but who can afford a Kinect?)… it’s just, after the horrifying kiddie circus that was last year’s Kinect reveal, we hoped Microsoft would focus their conference on more mature gamers. That hope died as soon as Mickey Mouse motion-control high-fived a child actor, and we fear it will never return.

Fable: The Journey

Kids only represent half the fear we feel with Kinect – the other half was quickly realized, however, when Peter Molyneux took the stage at Microsoft’s press conference to debut his latest chapter of Fable. Gone was the vast fantasy world and open-ended adventures we’ve come to expect, replaced by what looked every bit like a linear “on rails” wagon ride with occasional stops for linear “on rails” magic combat. If Kinect could reduce Fable to this kind of hand-holding casual fare, what could it do to the rest of our favorite 360 franchises?

Need for Speed: The Run

You know what racing fans absolutely love? Not racing. Or driving. Or even being near a car. Yes, what racing fans are after in their racing games these days is less racing and more… walking. And running. And jumping. And overly complicated quicktime events that involve walking, running and jumping. Plus, helicopters.

Which is why the reveal of Need for Speed: The Run’s on-foot gameplay was met with such joy and enthusiasm. Except it wasn’t. Because everything we just wrote is a lie. Later, the developers assured us that these controversial sections would only account for 10% of the overall game, but the initial damage was done.


And the “winner” is…

Fable: The Journey

Just how botched was Fable: The Journey’s announcement? Enough that, by the very next day, Peter Molyneux was admitting the reveal could have gone much better and using his time with journalists behind closed doors to convince them that the game was, despite first impressions, not on rails. You control the speed and direction of the wagon. You can choose different paths to drive down. You can get off the wagon and explore the surrounding area (to a limited degree). You can customize your own form of magical combat when fighting monsters. But could you tell any of that from Microsoft’s press conference? No.


Most graphics | Coolest character reinvention
Best response to fan feedback 
Best trailer | Most satisfying gore | Guiltiest pleasure
Most shameless rip-off 
Best new game we know nothing about
Worst first impression | Best game for masochists 
Most likely to consume our lives | Artsiest-fartsiest
Most tasteless 
Might not actually suck | Proof that 2D isn't dead | BEST OF SHOW 




  • Carfulal - June 25, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    The sad thing is. Hardcore Gamers will always play games... They are Hardcore Gamers after all. Microsoft knows they have to go for casual gamers. Its a reverse Wii Strategy. Its gonna work better than with wii in the long run because of the XBOX install base. And i agree that kids games are for kids but i still dont see why they had to be presented at E3. E3 is for us. The guys that read game news every day!
  • RedOutlive10 - June 24, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    I agree with Yahtzee on Fable, it's surprising how many sequels it got, because the whole franchise isn't very good.
  • MightyMorphinPoltergeist - June 24, 2011 7:31 p.m.

    I think it's funny Molyneux doesn't know what a rail game is. Cause Fable Journey is clearly looking like a rails game. However, I don't mind that. 360 doesn't have a Time Crisis or House of the Dead game and that feels missed. If Journey can fill the void, I'm down for trying that.
  • DeifiedData - June 23, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    @Kethmach: Totally agreed with the first half of your post - kiddie games are for kids, and adults only look like tools when they rag on them. It's hard to be impressed by something that simply isn't meant for you. That being said, as someone who has always seen the Fable series as sort of a joke, I don't see how any of us can decide "who" Fable is catered towards. Despite the series' whimsicle nature, it obviously seems to cater to a more mature, hardcore element - I can understand why they'd feel let down by this obviously gimmicky, casual "Journey". Motion gaming always promises innovation and dynamic gameplay from its introduction, but the Wii has proven that the siren song of the ultra-lucrative casual market is too strong to ignore. Kinect is a success, but we all know why. Micorsoft has no reason to stray from it's course of casual shovelware cause the consumer won't give it one.
  • jessewebster - June 23, 2011 4:58 a.m.

    I'm I the only one that was excited about The Run having some On Foot moments?
  • BaraChat - June 23, 2011 2:59 a.m.

    Most "gaming" companies still do not know how to take full advantage of motion control in their games/consoles, and yet still try to shove their crap in our faces. Don't get me wrong, I've played a few well-made motion controls games, but most are so bad it's mind-boggling why they even attempted the feat in the first place.
  • TheIronMaiden - June 23, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    I'm disgusted at the amount of attention being brought to the kinect. And as for the new need for speed? Same shit different toilet as far as I'm concerned...sorry EA but you fail to impress me anymore without the help of third party studios.
  • HankVenture - June 23, 2011 2:37 a.m.

    Ok first off I agree, what a piece of shit. Fable, you had me at hello you lost me at "will you pick up the tab I left my wallet in my other coat." But with Peter, I mean I understand WHY he apologizes, but good god you think he would figure out that he says sorry after EVERY reveal and would I don't know take some more time on what he is going to say and show to an audience. I know he just spits us horse shit but one day we are actually just gonna get fed up with it and not just throw it under the rug, we will actually call him out for all his bullshit. Rant over, sorry
  • sourjams - June 23, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Man I hate the kinect, fruit ninja kinect.............
  • oni - June 23, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    I've the E3 video of the guy demoing the Kinect Star Wars game. They way your character automatically (is it?) move from one target to another, waiting only for to wave your "lightsaber" - it reminded me a lot of the light gun games at the arcade like The House of the Dead. Wow. Shouldn't the Kinect move gaming forward instead of going decades back into the past? And the part where the guy tried to Force lift a droid tank and attempted to push it over the ledge - I feel sad for him. He must be cursing why he is doing that since it's clearly a wreckage that poses no danger and the rest of the enemies are dead. All he have to do is continue on.
  • Azymuth - June 23, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Disneyland does not look that bad. Of course, it does not appeal to the hardcore gamer one bit, but I am SURE kids will love it. Well, maybe they would prefer to go to Disneyland, but still... it does not look rushed!
  • monojono - June 23, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    Need for speed is 'only 10%' quicktime events? So if you play for 10 hours, thats an entire f-ing hour of pointless quicktime bullshit that no one wants, no one is excited about and has made the game a laughing stock before release? I have better ways to spend 10% of my time. Like driving rusty forks into my eyes.
  • Markoose16 - June 23, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    @Kethmach, I agree with you that the Disneyland thing and the Sesame Street thing are not aimed at us, I don't see why people can be annoyed at that stuff as they're clearly designed for kids. But Kinect is trash and if Microsoft continues to force game their 1st party development (of what little there is) towards implementing Kinect they will carry on releasing underwhelming games. If Microsoft just released a small controller like the Wii's nunchuck that would let you move around in the world, it could actually become a viable device for gaming. I'm going to start a petition on that because Microsoft are idiots for not releasing something like it. Also Fable is dead now. I have owned every one of the games and each one has somehow been more disappointing than the last. It's rated for 15+ or mature, why is PM designing it so kids can play it?
  • Hamburgers - June 23, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    I really just would not complain if they wanted to use a regular controller, in fact, I might actually give the game a chance. Fuck this Kinect bullshit
  • mattdark - June 23, 2011 6:13 a.m.

    From what Molynuex is saying, its sounds even more like an on-rails shooter, with small segments of exploration (Probably just so you can dig for treasure or something)
  • Kethmach - June 23, 2011 4:30 a.m.

    God- so many of you little "hardcore" asses are crybabies. Guess what- the Disneyland thing... AIN'T FOR YOU! Got any kids? (Doubt it, as usually being "hardcore" means being an ass who lives in darkness and acts like "this" all the time *points up to 99% of the thread). But if you did- Disneyland Adventures is for them. And they'd love it. And Fable was never meant to be for you 1337 people either so... no love lost there. When they all wipe away their tears of nerd rage, they can read or ignore the rest. Kinect is going to continue to sell like popcorn because once the new dashboard stuff gets in, once Forza, Mass Effect and Ghost Recon (and all Tom Clancey Games) start to make Kinect an interesting part of their games- the rest will follow the casual crowd. Kinect is just TOO useful. I have it with only one game right now and I'm very excited about what's coming this year. Fable did fall on it's face for even me- a die hard Fable fan. Then when Peter came out about the blunder the next day- I was fine. As long as it's not a core Fable title, and as long as it's not on rails... I'll be fine to take it or leave it, depending on the reviews. And I won't be getting Disney Land thing but as I fully understand- IT'S NOT AIMED AT ME!!
  • AlbVega - June 23, 2011 3:51 a.m.

    This is so alright. I played the first Fable and it was OK. Never cared enough to play the other two, though. Now, how misguided Microsoft has become that even this series is getting the kiddie treatment. I hope they don't do the same to Alan Wake, and by GOD was Mass Effect lucky to go multiconsole before all this bullshit.
  • Yeager1122 - June 23, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    Fable started out alright and now has turned into some kinect drive a wagon game looks like ill never be purchasing this franchise again.
  • BattleReachRising - June 23, 2011 2:30 a.m.

    I will never purchase a Kinect until they can appeal more to the hardcore gamers. I mean Disneyland? C'mon Microsoft.

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