E3 06 Game Critics Award nominees revealed

This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo held more than its share of surprises - however, there are few in this year's Game Critics Award nominee list, released today. We're not sure how Heavenly Sword ended up in the Fighting game category when God of War II is Action/Adventure (the GamesRadar US ballot had them both in A/A), but overall, this is an excellent list of this year's best of the best of the best - at least at this point in their development cycles.

The graphically astonishing shooter Gears of War leads the pack with five nominations - you've never seen such visually appealing blood splatters, we guarantee you. But three fellow awe-inspirers each garnered four: spooky role-playing shooter Bioshock; the spider-ninja-man-meets-middle-ages stealth 'em-up Assassin's Creed; and "Sim-everything," also known as Spore.

Here's a full list of the nominations, as well as which games and companies got the most. The ultimate winners in each category will be announced next week.

Eric Bratcher
I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.