After years of following and covering the videogame industry, the 2010 E3 was the first one that I attended. By all accounts, I picked a good year to pop my E3 cherry. The pomp and circumstance were back in full force, with companies shelling out millions of dollars to compete for my attention. Activision and Microsoft alone threw down in a bombastic battle for who can host the most epic party, with Nintendo and Sony and all of the rest hawking their best wares for the gobs of gamers who flocked to the L.A. Convention Center. Did it work? If your measure is whether E3 was a hell of an event, then yes, sir, yes, it was a success.
The first rule of E3 for game journalists is that you don't talk about how much work covering a show like E3 is. But I have to tell you, it's tough. My dogs were barking from day one. The tradeoff is that I get to see the coolest games before anyone else does. Here are my picks for the best games of E3:
5. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light: I got to play this game for almost twenty minutes as I was waiting for another appointment in the Square-Enix Booth and I was pleasantly surprised at how engrossing it was. It's a top-down isometric platformer-puzzler that seemed to have more in common with Gauntlet than the more 3D Tomb Raider fare. It's a downloadable title that doesn't try to do too much more than provide a fun dungeon-crawling experience.
4. Enslaved(pictured): This game just seemed to speak to me and I'm not 100 percent sure why. It has great talents working on it like Andy Serkis from LOTR and a good scriptwriter, and its story of playing a character that's being forced to act against his will is pretty neat. The relationship of slaver and slave is all sturm and drang at the start of the story, but you know that Monkey and Trip are going to end up romantically tangled before the ending cinematic rolls. Maybe it's the anticipation of such a romcom concept wrapped into a decent action game that tugged at my heart strings. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for post-apocalyptic New York. Either way, I'm digging what I saw of Enslaved
3. Rage: A lot of people have been talking about Rage and, at least right now, I'm totally buying into the hype. This game looks great and it seems to incorporate many of the elements that I look for in games: collecting stuff to make engineering items, kitting out your phat dune buggy, surviving in a barren wasteland, and mutants and different bandit gangs all trying to kill you. There's not much to dislike and when you throw in Carmack's tech that pumps all of that at me in near photo-realism, yeah, I'm totally picking this up when it drops next year. Wait, next year? Crap.