Posted on Wednesday, June 18 @ 14:30:00 Eastern by GR_Staff
Another E3 has passed, and another batch of GameRevolution's coveted E3 Awards have been handed out to the most-deserving publishers and developers.
If there are any common themes this year, it's the convergence of open worlds and multiplayer, and not in an MMO kind of way, but in a new way that combines what what we love about console triple-A titles and seamless multiplayer. The last-gen consoles had enough to power to run either an open-world or a multiplayer title but not both at the same time.
This new generation of consoles, however, has the chops to combine the two: Activision's Destiny, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Unity and Tom Clancy's The Division, Deep Silver's Dead Island 2, Microsoft's Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2, and Sony's Driveclub, Otherwise, we have strict multiplayer with Battlefield: Hardline, Evolve, and Rainbow Six: Siege or vast open worlds in The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Zelda for Wii U, and MGSV: The Phantom Pain.
The other theme, of course, was delays. But let's not end this on a bad note. It's a time for praise!
Best Action - Destiny
When it comes to video game releases, I think the industry likes to kick off with one unique new license in August while many of the bigger launches crash through from September to late November. Activision has taken this into account and readied Bungie’s massive online shooter, Destiny
, for September 9th to make sure no one pays attention to anything in August. We got brief hands-on with the title at E3 and Ryan Bates wrote our preview
Read it for more details, but look out for beta access in the coming months in order to get a better idea of how much you’ll get from Bungie’s first-person shooter pedigree without Master Chief to lead the charge. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Original Game - Sunset Overdrive
Microsoft has had a few exclusive games thus far capable of enticing longtime Xbox fans over to Xbox One, but Sunset Overdrive
will no doubt prove the company’s biggest exclusive this Fall. It’s got a unique hook, zombies to shoot, and a ton of attitude with character creation options and online interactions in an open-world.
That’s like… every major blockbuster release of the past 5 years rolled into one. It could leave some gamers with a stale taste in their mouth but anything to wash out the taste of the title's OverCharge Delirium XT energy drink, right? ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Hardware - Project Morpheus
This one shouldn't be a surprise. Gathering the momentum from GDC 2014 earlier this year, Project Morpheus
is still ahead of the Oculus Rift with its usability and support from one of the top primary publishers. It's comfortable, well-designed, and has solid controls. The only thing missing is the games at this point, though Street Luge at E3 2014 did show the originality coming from the Morpheus side. Let's hope that Sony is able to keep the price of the VR headset affordable. ~ Nick Tan
Best Console - Mario Maker
While Mario fans might be content with enjoying the hundreds of levels of platforming gameplay already entertaining Wii U gamers, we wanted to award Nintendo’s Mario Maker
with a special best of E3 award this year. Without Nintendo, there would be no modern games industry and the company has formed everything we love across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC with a focus on quality above anything else. While Mario Maker
’s limited options don’t stack up to a play-create-share game like LittleBigPlanet 3
, it’ll inevitably prove the first step for many younger gamers on the path to a career in game development. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Handheld - Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
Daniel has celebrated Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as the winner of our Best Fighting Game of E3 2014, and I'm continuing the gravy train with Super Smash Bros. winning our Best Handheld too. I only had time to check out Nintendo's wares in spurts throughout the show for Hyrule Warriors, but on the last day I had some hands-on time with the 3DS version of SSB and I was already surprised at the roster and the smoothness of the game. I've always wanted an SSB on a handheld and, though I only achieved third place with Fox, I strangely wanted the game to take me on a ride. On my 3DS XL, of course. ~ Nick Tan
Best PC - Evolve
PC gamers love evolution. They like tinkering with their hardware for the best possible performance, but it’ll take a lot more than a graphics card to survive in Evolve
from 2K Games. While you might have an idea of what to expect from our previous coverage, know that the monster has just as many tricks up its grotesque sleeves and even the most coordinated team might have trouble bringing the wild beast down for the count. That said, Evolve
’s focus on multiplayer means everyone can have fun if they ignore the score and try their best or at least learn a few new tricks along the way. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Action/Adventure - Assassin’s Creed Unity
Longtime fans might hope naval missions and gameplay return to keep the next Assassin’s Creed game afloat, but Unity
hopes to deliver everything we could want from the historical-action franchise from our early look at E3. The game is due out later this year, but we still have a lot to learn. I’m eager to find out what role Assassins have in the French Revolution and the game’s crowds and reactionary systems seem to have gotten a major boost from the hardware in PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
I hope the title’s narrative can push the same kind of empathetic experience in previous games, but we sure have a lot left to discover about Assassin’s Creed Unity
in the short time leading up to this fall’s release. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Racing Game - Forza Horizon 2
This year's E3 had several entries in the racing genre. Ubisoft's The Crew
was fairly strong, but its spiel about being able to cross the continental United States isn't exactly new (Cruisin' USA
, anyone?). Sony's Driveclub almost made the grade, but the demos I played on the controller and in the Thrustmaster cockpit had issues with collision physics and a slippery sense of understeering. Microsoft's Forza Horizon 2 surprised me plenty
with its coastal course, dynamic weather, graphical fidelity, and online Drivatars which I hope works in the end product. ~ Nick Tan
Best Sports - EA Sports UFC
While Electronic Arts and the team at EA Canada remained just days away from release during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles last week, the company’s new Ultimate Fighting Championship simulation for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One impressed us even if the press conference presentation relied on Bruce Lee to get one more preorder punch in for the knock-out. We’ve got our review of EA Sports UFC
posted now, so check it out here
. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Strategy Game - Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
There weren't that many strategy titles this year, so you might think that Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
is merely an unworthy default winner. But Firaxis Games is taking a risk by moving the franchise into the future. While many of the units and names have merely been given a palette swap, the different enemies on the board like sand worms, the web-like tech tree, and otherworldly terrain with poisonous gases and floatstones bring a surprising twist to the familiar hex-based title. We can't wait. ~ Nick Tan
Best Online Multiplayer - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
Out of all of the multiplayer offerings at E3 2014, and we seemed to be swimming in a selection as wide as the ocean, Rainbow Six: Siege
surprised us the most. Surely, there was an element of redemption since the cancelation of Rainbow Six: Patriots in favor of this more multiplayer-focused title, but between this and the other new cops vs. robbers title Battlefield: Hardline, this 5-vs-5 squad-based match had extremely high replayability, destructibility, and perma-death.
No matter how many matches I played and watched on the sidelines, I was drawn in by the inherent tension, and I'm not even a person who enjoys multiplayer matches all that much in the first place. That's just how solid Siege
already looks in just its alpha stage. ~ Nick Tan
Best RPG - Dragon Age: Inquisition
The duel between Dragon Age: Inquisition
and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
was fearsome. This much-anticipated third installment in the Dragon Age series already looks to incorporate the strategy that fans loved in the first Dragon Age while toning down the button-mashy combat from the second. The story of the Inquisitor seems extremely flexible, with your choices impacting the world in a serious manner.
The ability to be almost any race and any gender, even a female qunari mage, sealed the deal since The Witcher 3
focuses on the player being one character. But In the end, we couldn't ignore the sheer expanse and overall package of The Witcher 3
, so we gave it the nomination for Game of the Year. ~ Nick Tan
Best Fighting - Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
A few rounds into Super Smash Bros. on Wii U
at Nintendo’s E3 booth and I instantly understood why the company has to rely on trickle down character roster updates and daily screenshots. You can’t really get that excited for a Smash game until you’ve played it and gotten into a rumble with your favorite characters. I went straight for older fighters like Link, Samus, and Fox, but new characters will present their own varied fight styles especially as Sora Limited and Namco Bandai have added the ability to customize move sets. While Mortal Kombat X
stunned us with gore, Super Smash Bros.
looks to once again open up the genre for competition. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Social/Casual - Hitman: Sniper
Hitman’s next big game seems to wait a few years out, but Square Enix and the team at its Montreal development studios have taken to bringing Hitman out of hiding and onto your morning bus ride or even into your bathroom. While Hitman GO
presented a strategy twist on the franchise, Hitman Sniper
looks to bring the pinpoint accuracy game to mobile platforms. We’ll have more as the game nears release this year for iOS and (hopefully) Android. ~ Daniel Bischoff
Best Downloadable Game - Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Edition Hyper Edition Ex Plus Alpha
It's stupid. No wait, scratch that. It's stoooopid.
I'm sure there were critically better downloadable titles somewhere on the E3 2014 show floor, but the ridiculousness and over-the-top craziness that is just as bombastic as the title itself shows a commitment to fun. I mean, talk about not taking things seriously. You can fire shinku hadoukens at hordes of zombies with three other players dressed as Servbot, Chun-Li, and B.B. Hood. Come on, how can we pass something like that up? ~ Nick Tan
Best in Show - Evolve
When I saw Evolve
earlier this year, I was dubious about whether the multiplayer crowd would be into an asymmetrical action-shooter. But out of all of the nominees for Best in Show, Evolve
had the largest draw, with at least a hundred people huddled around the monitors and gargantuan screen at any given time. Playing as an assault character, I managed to take down the Kraken, the new boss Turtle Rock Studios was showing at E3. As long as the developers can show off more bosses and more environments, Evolve
will lead the pursuit in redefining and revolutionizing the multiplayer genre.
I also can't forget to mention our other four nominees: Destiny
, The Witcher 3
, Sunset Overdrive
, and Tom Clancy's The Division
and Tom Clancy's The Division
amazed us with their seamless multiplayer, Sunset Overdrive
drove home the point on originality, and The Witcher 3
captured our imaginations with its sheer breadth. We can't wait to explore every inch of the expansive worlds created by all of our nominees.