GamesRadar's E3 2008 Awards

Dude. Srsly. This is the rug to end all rugs. It's huge. It's fancy. It's effing awesome. Walking into Capcom's mini-office was one of our favorite moments of the whole show, and any fan of Street Fighter, minor or major, would get in their own street fight just to take this sucker home. Dear Capcom: we want constant updates of the rug and all rug-related news.

Yeah, Gears of War designer Cliffy B doesn’t wanna beCliffy Banymore. He’s asked that we refer to him by his surname: Clifford Chrysanthemum Bleszinski, or something. But that doesn’t mean he’s gone and got himself all growed up!

If you’ve been reading our semi-regularly updated Secret E3 Diary, and most of you weren’t, you know that we had a helluva time goofing off in a bar bathroom. You know, the way men do. Anyway, we were playing with hand dryers powerful enough to remove barnacles off a moving dinosaur. Clifford mysteriously popped out of the stall like a shitting Dracula and snapped a pic with us while screaming at the skin-flapping dryer. Thanks Mr. B!

Every single time we hit theshrunken E3 show floor, the biggest crowds were always stationed around Rock Band 2. No other game commanded such a consistently enthused, excited group of people. Hell none even came close, proving once and for all that this is the perfect party game. We took part of a rather loud session of Journey's "Anyway You Want It" and camera crews popped up out of nowhere, people clapped along and literally everyone in the vicinity took notice. All this for a game that's more or less the exact same as its predecessor. Nice trick, Harmonix.

E3 is packed with parties. Everyone knows that. But this year had possibly the coolest, absolute best roundup of the decade in the form of a private concert from The Who in the world famous Orpheum Theater. Even people who've no particular love or familiarity with the aging rockers were floored by the amazingly energetic performance. All week you could hear people asking "hey you going to the Rock Band party?" which was always followed by an emphatic "hell f**king yes." We even caught frontman Pete Townshend poking a jab at Rock Band, Viacom and the multi-colored fret keys.

We're gonna go a bit movie trailer for this one.

In a world... controlled by casual games and a fun-for-everyone mentality... one game dares to be different. Blood. (FWOOSH!) Gore. (FWOOSH!) And a brutally unique visual style (FWOOSH!) set one project above the rest. In the trailblazing tradition of No More Heroes comes... MadWorld (BEEEEEOWWWWWWW), a death-dealing splatterfest that pushes the violent new heights previously thought impossible.


Seemingly unnoticed by quite a few gaming hacks, Left 4 Dead provided one of the most visceral and bastard-frantic gaming experiences of this, or any, E3. It’s basically four playable survivors, with sub-machine guns against endless screaming, drooling and running, yes RUNNING, zombies. Simple enough. And yes, George Romero purists might shudder. But fighting off wave after wave of these 28 Days Later style sprinting monstrosities was mind blowingly realized, brilliantly easy to pick up and play, and genuinely balls-out scary. GR will champion this gut-munching bad-boy in the months to come.

Don’t let those cynical game journos tell you that Final Fantasy XIII coming to Xbox 360 wasn’t a surprise. Few insiders knew ahead of time, and even fewer expected the form of delivery. Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada finishes announcing three games no one seemed to care about, thanked the crowd and walked off stage. Fiddlesticks, no FFXIII. But we must be prepared for disappointment in this profession, otherwise how would we cover the Nintendo conference afterwards?

The conference starts up again, and then Wada-san strolls back on the stage like he’d left his keys on the coffee table, then proceeds to shock the world by announcing the first non-Playstation Final Fantasy in over a decade. Understandably, the crowd goes apeshit!
Meanwhile, Sony maturely opted not to even mention FFXIII during its comprehensive presentation. Maybe they just forgot one of the most prolific games available on their system.

We know. It blows that we’re giving a high profile sequel like Gears of War 2 over fantastically original IPs like Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, Left 4 Dead or MadWorld a best in show award. Of course Gears 2 was going to be a bigger and better experience, and wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what we got. What we didn’t expect was for a single multiplayer mode to rope us in, affix itself to our brains and cling for dear life. You can read about it here, and know that the article we wrote was neither angling, nor hyperbole.

We couldn’t put the controller down like selfish and ill-behaved children. Playing co-op Horde was one of those beautiful and satisfying experiences we couldn’t turn away from. When the PR person is giving you a annoyed look that says “You’re an adult and you have to let other people play now.” the game is doing something undeniably right.

We wanted to love another game more than Gears of War 2, we just didn’t.
Agree? Think we're nucking futs? Hit theforumsand dare to dream.

Jul 17, 2008