E3 2011

BioShock Infinite gameplay trailer

Today the Game Critics Awards announced the winners of the E3 2011 show. The Game Critics Awards is composed of judges from 35 publications. Judges voted on games demonstrated in playable form at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (both in private meeting rooms and on the show floor). Which games left the best impressions and will be emblazoned with “Best of E3″ honors?

The Game Critics Awards 2011 Best of Show goes to BioShock Infinite, which won four awards total. As for the most impressive hardware, PlayStation Vita took the honors (the PlayStation Vita’s Sound Shapes took the best Handheld Game and Social Game distinctions). Battlefield 3 shutout Modern Warfare 3 for Best Action game and Best Online Multiplayer. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took the Best RPG and Best Console game awards. Check the complete list below and see what games you can look forward to in the upcoming months and into 2012.

Game Critics Awards 2011 Winners:

Best of Show:

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Original Game:

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Console Game:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game:

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

Best PC Game:

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC)

Best Hardware:

PlayStation Vita (Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Action Game:

Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Action/Adventure Game:

BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Role Playing Game:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game:

Forza 4 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

Best Fighting Game:

Street Fighter X Tekken (Capcom/Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360, PSVita)

Best Sports Game:

FIFA Soccer 12 (EA Canada/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Strategy Game:

From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Social/Casual Game:

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

Best Motion Simulation Game:

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game:

Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Downloadable Game:

Bastion (Supergiant Games/WB Games for PC, Xbox 360)

Source – gamecriticsawards.com

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2011 Game Critics Awards for E3 2011

What were the top games of E3 2011, according to media publications? The Game Critics Awards Nominations for E3 2011 have been announced and the final selections will be revealed soon. Among the top game selections were BioShock Infinite and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, both leading with 4 nominations each. New game hardware nominees include Nintendo’s Wii U and Sony’s PlayStation Vita. Winners of the 2011 Game Critics Awards will be announced next week, on Tuesday June 28.

Here are the Game Critics Awards 2011 nominees:

Best of Show

- Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Original Game

- Bastion (Supergiant Games/WB Games for PC, Xbox 360)

- BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Journey (Thatgamecompany/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

- Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

Best Console Game

- Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Mass Effect 3 (Bioware/EA Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

- Contre Jour (Mokus/Chillingo/EA for iPad, iPhone)

- Mario Kart (Nintendo/Nintendo for 3DS)

- Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

- Super Mario (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo for 3DS)

- Uncharted: Golden Abyss (SCE Bend Studio/Naughty Dog/SCEA for PSVita)

Best PC Game

- Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA Games for PC)

- BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC)

- End of Nations (Petroglyph Games/Trion Worlds for PC)

- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Bioware Austin/EA Games for PC)

- Torchlight 2 (Runic Games/Perfect World for PC)

Best Hardware

- PlayStation Vita (Sony Computer Entertainment)

- Rocksmith (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Sony 3D Display (Sony Computer Entertainment)

- Wii U (Nintendo)

- Zoom for Kinect (Nyko)

Best Action Game

- Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer/ATVI for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Gears of War 3 (Epic Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Prey 2 (Human Head Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

- Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Action/Adventure Game

- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

- Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- BioShock infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Role Playing Game

- Dark Souls (From Software/Namco Bandai Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Big Huge Games/38 Studios/EAP for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

- Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/EA for PC)

- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game

- Driver: San Francisco (Ubisoft Reflections/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Forza 4 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Mario Kart (Nintendo/Nintendo for 3DS)

- Need for Speed:The Run (EA Black Box/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)

- Wipeout 2048 (Studio Liverpool/SCEE for PSVita)

Best Fighting Game

- Skullgirls (Reverge Labs/Autumn Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (Iron Galaxy Studios/Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Street Fighter X Tekken (Capcom/Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360, PSVita)

- Soul Calibur V (Namco/Namco Bandai for PS3, Xbox 360)

- Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Namco Bandai Games for Arcade)

- WWE 12 (Yuke’s/THQ for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)

Best Sports Game

- FIFA Soccer 12 (EA Canada/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Madden NFL 12 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

- NBA 2K12 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

- SSX (EA Canada/EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

- UFC Undisputed 3 (Yuke’s/THQ for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Strategy Game

- Age of Empires Online (Gas Powered Games/Microsoft Studios for PC)

- End of Nations (Petroglyph/Trion Worlds for PC)

- From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Skulls of the Shogun (Haunted Temple Studios for PC, Xbox 360)

- Trenched (Double Fine/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

Best Social/Casual Game

- Dance Central 2 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Disneyland Adventures (Frontier Developments/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Rocksmith (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Rhythm Heaven (TNX/Nintendo for Wii)

- Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PSVita)

Best Motion Simulation Game

- Dance Central 2 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Fruit Ninja Kinect (Halfbrick/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (Double Fine Productions/WB Games for Xbox 360)

- The Gunstringer (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game

- Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer/ATVI for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Gears of War 3 (Epic Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/EA for PC)

- Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Downloadable Game

- Bastion (Supergiant Games/WB Games for PC, Xbox 360)

- From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

- Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Fuelcell Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

- Journey (Thatgamecompany/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

- Papo & Yo (Minority/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

For a more detailed breakdown by total nominations, platforms and publishers, see www.gamecriticsawards.com.

Source – gamecriticsawards.com

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Batman Arkham City

Batman: Arkham Asylum was a blockbuster hit when it released on consoles in 2009. Rocksteady Studios nailed the perfect balance of combat and detective work to create a game that finally did justice to the Batman license. While first game was filled to the brim with a number of Batman’s most memorable villains, there were many left out of Arkham Asylum that would fit perfectly in a sequel. As fall 2011 draws near, the Dark Knight will have his hands full in the wild prison known as Arkham City.

Batman: Arkham City is set five years after the events of Arkham Asylum. Two Face, Joker, Catwoman, and hordes of other villains are at war within the walls of Arkham City.  The new prison is five times the size of Arkham Asylum and the entire city is available to the player from the start.  My hands on demo began with Batman prowling the rooftops searching for Catwoman.  Using a long-range listening device, I was able to lock on to a radio signal a few blocks away. Catwoman had been captured by Two Face while trying to break into his private vault.  Now dangling headfirst over a vat of acid, Catwoman needed my help.

Movement abilities can now be combined dynamically, so alternating use of Batman’s cape to glide and his grappling hook to gain altitude brought me to the doorstep of Two Face’s cathedral hideout very quickly.  Opting for a stealthy approach, I entered the hideout through an upstairs window and watched as Two Face rallied his goons around the captured Catwoman.  I used a few remote-controlled batarangs take care of the heavily armed thugs near the back of the group and leapt into the crowd to neutralize the rest of the group.

The free flow combat of the first game has returned for the sequel and gadgets can now be used in combat.  I used batarangs to stun enemies and my grappling hook to wrap up enemies who were unwilling to get into the fray.  I didn’t think it was possible, but the free flow combat is even more fluid than before.  My well-timed dodges and counters were rewarded with brutal cinematic takedowns. After the melee finally ended, I was treated to a panoramic view of the dozen or so goons lying broken and battered on the floor of the cathedral.  Two Face was not impressed with my combat prowess and pointed his handgun at Catwoman.  My battle with Two Face’s goons was so drawn out, Catwoman had an opportunity to free her hands and subdue Two Face before I could play the hero.  A short cutscene between Batman and Catwoman played before my demo came to a close.

Gamers can expect about a fifteen hour campaign and another 30 hours of exploration and Riddler side missions.  Batman: Arkham City releases this October on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

See our E3 2011 news here and follow GamingBits on Twitter for more.

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Last week’s 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo showcased the deeper game experiences to be offered in the months and year ahead. This generation’s games are only get more visually intense and maturing in their stories. GamingBits.com’s writers who attended E3 are still digesting much of the news, but we have a limited list of ten games each which left us with great impressions and much anticipation. A few of us shared just as much anticipation on some game titles, but closed-door previews may have provided a bit more insight and influence on our individual choices. Check the lists below and feel free to add your favorite E3 game previews or anticipated titles with your comment(s) below!

Geoff:
1. Mass Effect 3
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Brothers in Arms: The Furious 4
4. Aliens: Colonial Marines
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
6. Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning
7. Star Trek
8. Battlefield 3
9. FIFA 12
10. Torchlight 2

James:
1. Gears of War 3
2. Assassins Creed: Revelations
3. Rocksmith
4. Batman: Arkham City
5. Gotham City Impostors
6. Supremacy MMA
7. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
8. Tomb Raider
9. Bioshock Infinite
10. Mass Effect 3

Alexis:
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Mass Effect 3
3. Aliens: Colonial Marines
4. XCOM
5. Prey 2
6. Batman: Arkham City
7. Gears of War 3
8. Silent Hill: Downpour
9. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
10. Crimson Alliance

See our E3 2011 news here and follow GamingBits on Twitter for more.

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XCOM_Titan_Arrival

At E3 2011, 2K Marin hosted a presentation of XCOM, a new take on the classic turn-based strategy game. Before I attended the presentation at 2K Games’ closed door preview, I had my reservations on the new XCOM game. My doubts mainly came after seeing the E3 2011 XCOM preview trailer (see here on YouTube). More than anything, to me it looked like a dated FPS. But what I saw from 2K Marin’s demo was far deeper than that shown in the E3 trailer. To sum it up, this is very much a strategy game, told from the ground perspective. By the end of the demo, it was clear to me that the developers are onto something with the new XCOM. Read on for why strategy game players and fans of the original XCOM should look forward to what 2K Marin is cooking up.

XCOM_AgentsXCOM tells a new origins story, where players assume the role of Agent William Carter in 1962. The opening of the game demo takes place in XCOM HQ (which the 2K E3 demo room was modeled after), where Agent Carter is assembling his team of agents. Scientists are testing alien equipment, while agents are lounging around awaiting assignment. Each agent has different stats and experience, something to factor in before hitting the field. Agents will also gain XP in the field, so it will be important to keep them active.

XCOM_Angela_MissionA mission map allows players to select from primary and secondary side quests, making for non-linear gameplay. Imagine this as a very visual presentation of what would have just been a menu driven system back in the day. With the developers selecting a mission, Agent Carter and his team are flown out with their currently researched alien gear.

On the way to their mission contact, the agents soon discover that something has beat them to the field. The developers note “fear of the unknown” is very much a factor in XCOM‘s story. The agents come across what looks to be a human going through some notebooks, but soon is revealed to be an “Infiltrator.” Infiltrators are capable of taking on the form of humans. After the agents defeat the alien Infiltrator, an action and strategy gameplay sequence follows.

XCOM_Combat_ShieldIn tactical mode, players must plan out their moves and their offensive or defensive strategy. A third-person perspective allows players to pause the battle on the screen. A “disrupt” power allows players to stun enemies. Players can use a capture ability to get alien items from the battlefield and do research to upgrade their team. The player must make split-second choices on whether to kill an alien enemy or capture their technology. The decision could turn the tide in the next upcoming battle. Following the battle, regions of the ground transform to coal/blue rock, which represent the alien “corruption” consuming the land. Again, I very much felt this was a ground representation of the aerial view you traditionally get in turn-based or real-time strategy games.

XCOM_Corruption_Explosion2K Marin is taking care in ensuring that this new XCOM stays true to its roots. So if you’re worried that this XCOM is going FPS, you can be assured that 2K Marin will keep players thinking strategically throughout the game. After seeing the demo, the impression I went away with on XCOM is that it is a ground view of a real-time strategy game. Visually, the 1960s setting was fitting. Players will get  an unsettling feeling with the contrast of suburban streets from the idyllic era to a very sterile and mysterious geometric alien force.

XCOM is set for a March 6, 2012 release from 2K Games for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Keep a lookout for more details on the official XCOM website at xcom.com.

Read more our E3 2011 previews here and follow GamingBits on Twitter.

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