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Best of E3 2012 Awards

E3 is our favorite time of year, and there’s no wonder, from the demos and trailers to the announcements and booth babes, there’s something for everyone at E3.  This year, after much deliberation amongst the staff, we’ve compiled our awards for the very best of what E3 had to offer us in 2012, and some great titles we are looking forward to in the coming year.

Best Action-Adventure

This award was one of the closest we had in the voting, and the only title where we ended up with a tie.  The award goes to both The Last of Us and Tomb Raider.  We were impressed by The Last of Us with its amazing AI and active inventory systems, and we haven’t even seen any zombie gameplay yet. Tomb Raider‘s rugged environment and torrential weather were amongst the best we have seen in any game, and is really shaping this title up for its release in March 2013.

Runners Up:  Hitman: Absolution, Assassin’s Creed III


Best Fighting

The voting on this one was all but unanimous, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, much to the chagrin of a few of us continued to impress the more we saw it.  Yes, it’s a Smash Bros. clone, but it looks fun as hell, especially with a group of people, and it is amusing and quirky, to think that Parappa The Rapper could take out a Big Daddy.  The dynamic backgrounds where one title mashes up with another, along with the 3 level moves tailored to our favorite PlayStation characters make this our Best Fighter at the show.

Runner Up:  Persona 4 Arena


Best Open-World Title

While we had many votes, the overwhelming majority went to Watch_Dogs.  While we’ve only just seen the surface of this game so far, we don’t know how we can resist buying this one when it comes out, walking down a beautifully rendered modern city hacking phones and light posts to our will, this looks like a new take on the sandbox that we’ve sorely needed.

Runners Up:  Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, Sleeping Dogs


Best Platformer

This was a tough choice and it really came down to two titles this year, both showcased by some nifty features on the WiiU, but the one we saw more of was Rayman Legends, and after getting a great in-depth look at it, from the WiiU asymmetic play capabilities to the amazing graphics, this could already be a better title than Rayman Origins was, and that says something.

Runner Up:  New Super Mario Bros. U


Best Racing Game

This year, Criterion impressed us all with Need For Speed: Most Wanted.  Our selection for this really came down to the developer, Criterion flat out makes fantastic racing games, and this clearly showed in what we saw at E3 for this title.  They did a fantastic job with Hot Pursuit, and for those of us who love and miss Burnout, it appears that Criterion will be delivering a similar (while not exact) experience in this game, as the demo showcased off highlighting takedowns while you sped by, etc.

Runner Up:  LittleBigPlanet Karting


Best Shooter

We were all over the place with the voting for this category, but when the dust and smoke cleared, Halo 4 was our clear winner.  The beginning of a new trilogy, 343 surprised us with the atmosphere and solid shooting.  The feel of Halo: Combat Evolved is still there, and under a new developer, Halo seems to have found new life, and we’re extremely interested in seeing what 343 will do with it.

Runners Up:  ZombiU, Far Cry 3, Spec Ops: The Line


Biggest Surprise

Without a shadow of a doubt, and the only unanimous vote we had as a group, Watch_Dogs was unfathomably the biggest surprise of the show, none of us saw it coming, the best well-hid secret, and what absolutely put Ubisoft over the top without question as the “winner” of E3.  This ambitious title came out of nowhere.  It’s visually amazing, and all the planets seem aligned for this to be a real hit.  In an E3 with sequels and spinoffs galore, this original IP caught us off guard, and none of us could believe Ubisoft managed to keep this beast entirely under wraps for this long.


Best In Show

It all comes down to this.  Many titles were up for nomination here, and there was a major internal struggle between a few of these, but in the end, there can only be one winner:  Assassin’s Creed III.  The gameplay for this iteration of AC looks extremely polished, there are a lot of clever dynamics with the snow environments and unique traversal elements, and the use of period-specific fighting techniques, everything we saw just screams AAA title all over it.  This perfect sequel embodies the feeling of the past while providing something fresh for new and old players to the series alike.

Runners Up:  Watch_Dogs, Pikmin 3, The Last of Us

With that, we come to a close on E3 this year, as we feverishly anticipate what will come at Gamescom in August, our question to you is, what do you think?  Do you agree with our staff on the choices?  Disagree?  Let us know in the comments below.

A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.

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