We pick our favourites and crown the Best of Show.
It's over: E3 2011 has been and gone. We feel like we've been run over by a truck carrying several tonnes worth of fast food, a new Nintendo console, and the cream of global games development. As we pull ourselves together and return to the UK grind, it's time to reflect upon our picks of the show. Read on for our nine picks for Games of Show and a single title that takes the Best of Show award.
Tomb Raider - PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have played their cards perfectly on this one. Announce a re-boot of a classic franchise, but only show the details to a tiny fraction of the press. Allow the speculation and gossip to build, then finally show off your new baby at E3, ideally an E3 running low on new ideas. The reborn Tomb Raider has enough of the old games to be recognisable - the mystery, the sense of constant threat, and Lara herself - and yet there's something refreshing in this dynamic, pared-down reworking. The fire and water effects look interesting without being too gimmicky, and the cinematic stylings seem to add atmosphere without interrupting the core gameplay too much. The younger, more vulnerable Lara has also hooked our interest - although the demo had a bit too much in the way of agonized/orgasmic yelping, for our tastes.
BioShock Infinite - PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
Everyone from Cliff Bleszinski to Matt Groening dropped by 2K's booth to check out BioShock Infinite, and it's not hard to see why: it's looking quite superb, if more than a little unhinged. As if the floating city of Columbia and the terrifying crow-summoning potions hadn't given us enough to think about, now we need to wrap our feeble brains around the concept of inter-dimensional tears, and what may well turn out to be time travel. Irrational's E3 demo also gave us the Bucking Bronco tonic, a battle aboard a flaming airship, and new encounters with the Songbird - a creature so fierce he eats Big Daddies for breakfast. BioShock Infinite is inventive, colourful, and wonderfully surprising; it gives us good feelings in our happy place.