E3 2013: X360A's Game of the Show Awards
E3 2013: X360A's Game of the Show Awards
Written Sunday, June 16, 2013 By Richard Walker
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This year's E3 felt more significant than it actually was, thanks to the arrival of the next-generation of consoles at the show. Bigger in terms of actual announcements during Monday's press conferences, the E3 showfloor itself was somewhat lighter on actual games than we expected, although it was still enough to garner the attention of Steven Spielberg, who we spotted being mobbed as he visited the Watch_Dogs booth.

Whether you end up with an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 come November, there's a lot to look forward to as we look ahead to the first crop of next-gen games and enjoy the final years of current-gen gaming too, because there's a hell of a lot to get excited about there too.

As ever, we've picked our best and worst of the show for you to chew over and discuss in the comments, and as usual, feel free to tell us how off the mark you think we might be in the comments. This year, we think we're on the money. See if you agree with us.

Best Press Conference of the Show

We're sorry to have to break the news, but Sony ran away with E3 this year, blowing the roof off its press conference venue with some fantastic game reveals and some perfectly aimed barbs that hit Microsoft square in the nuts. While Microsoft had some stunning exclusives of its own and some fantastic announcements, Sony knew exactly how to take the wind out of its next-gen rival's sails, hitting them where it hurts: right in the DRM. With Microsoft remaining bullishly steadfast on its always-online stance, Sony decided to keep things as they are. You buy a game disc, you own it, and you can do what you like with it. That alone made a lot of people very happy. Add to that the fact that always-online is not a feature you'll find with PlayStation 4, and Sony's position is starting to look enviable. Couple that lot with a gameplay premiere for Bungie's sublime-looking Destiny, a slate of gorgeous indie games (Octodad looks hilarious), new first-party exclusives like 1886: The Order and another look at franchises like inFamous and Killzone in action, and you have all the makings of an almost pitch-perfect press conference. Then there's that PS4 price point... There's no disputing that Microsoft came away bruised.

Winner – Sony

Best Stand of the Show

There's really no contest with this one. No other stand on the showfloor managed to generate the kind of buzz and excitement that Ubisoft's did. It had more new IPs than any other too, with The Crew and The Division rubbing shoulders with Watch_Dogs and new instalments in established franchises like Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin's Creed IV. It even managed to attract Mr. Steven Spielberg who we saw checking out Watch_Dogs, and featured a central podium where dancers danced and developers gave live demos of their games periodically. You could also play The Crew on an awesome driving rig (provided you waited in line long enough) and soak up all of the games on enormous screens. Square Enix was last year's winner, but they had the exact same stand with less games this year, leaving Ubisoft as the undisputed winner. This is how it's done.

Winner – Ubisoft

Best Looker of the Show

With next-generation visuals being touted all around E3 this year, a lot of games could have quite easily snapped this one up. From The Witcher 3 to Thief, to The Division or Watch_Dogs, E3 2013 showed us an early taster of what next-gen consoles are capable of. But it was Turn 10's expertise in crafting gorgeous lumps of automotive loveliness in Forza Motorsport 5 that really caught our eye, with the stunning Prague track caressing our eyeballs as sunlight bounced off the shiny paintwork of our Pagani Huayra. Yes, it's still missing weather effects and night racing (and it really shouldn't be missing those things in this day and age) but screw it. Forza 5 looked fugging majestic.

Winner – Forza Motorsport 5

Disappointment of the Show

Oh dear. Just when we thought Crytek would bring Ryse back with a bang, Ryse: Son of Rome looks like it could be a massive waste of space. Once upon a time, the game in which you play as a Roman Centurion was supposed to be Kinect's great white hope, but based on its big reveal at E3, we could be looking at a very pretty, but ultimately vacuous button-mashing extended quick-time event in which you don't even have to press the right buttons – or any buttons for that matter – to win. Ryse: Son of Rome in its current state is a pathetic excuse for a game, devoid of any sort of meaningful gameplay whatsoever. It had more potential as a Kinect title, which is really saying something. A hack and slasher with zero depth, Crytek is going to have its work cut out convincing us that Ryse: Son of Rome is a worthwhile Xbox One title. A major disappointment.

Winner – Ryse: Son of Rome

Surprise of the Show

Last year, Ubisoft pulled Watch_Dogs out of the bag and blew us away with an original open-world IP utterly packed with potential. And as Ubi is hard at work on delivering with Watch_Dogs, it didn't kick back and rest on its laurels for this year's E3, pulling another pleasant surprise out of the bag. The Division might be a new entry in the Tom Clancy franchise, but it's anything but the usual military shooter, packing in more than a few new ideas of its own in a near-future crisis situation that's hit the epicentre of New York City, threatening to destroy the world's society infrastructure. A dark story, spectacular visuals and some neat co-op gameplay marked out The Division as this year's clear surprise of the show. Ubisoft scores the hat trick then; first Far Cry 3, then Watch_Dogs, now this. Nice.

Winner – The Division

Best Action Title of the Show

Netting our Surprise of the Show award last year, Watch_Dogs did a fine job in making us sit up and pay attention, and based on this year's showing of the game, we're still listening. Not only is Watch_Dogs looking like an incredibly ambitious action game with enormous scope in its open-world rendition of Chicago, but it's promising innumerable options and flexibility in the way you approach its missions, as protagonist Aiden Pearce has the ability to hack electronic systems at his fingertips. Need help from a friend? They can pitch in via their tablet in real time, or they can attempt to hack you while disguised as an anonymous pedestrian. You can do the same to them too, meaning you'll need to watch your back in Watch_Dogs. Anyone and everyone could be an enemy. If that's not exciting, we don't know what is.

Winner – Watch_Dogs

Best Racer of the Show

Close call. On one hand, Forza Motorsport 5 looked pretty but it's a 'business as usual' kind of racer, going from point A to point B. That's no bad thing, but The Crew is pushing the envelope massively. Strictly speaking, it's not exclusively a racing game, it's more of a driving experience, but there's no ignoring just how massive The Crew's potential is. Our hands-on highlighted that the handling model needs some attention, but it's early days yet, and given the head-spinning scale of The Crew, offering some 2000-square miles to drive through the USA's biggest cities, there was only really going to ever be one winner in this category. The Crew wins by a country mile.

Winner – The Crew

Best RPG of the Show

The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to consoles, South Park: The Stick of Truth still looks side-splitting, and both Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV look exciting, but none of them can possibly hold a candle to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. With CD Projekt RED showcasing a demo in which an older, wiser Geralt embarked upon some monster hunting shenanigans, The Witcher 3 couldn't have possibly looked any more appealing if it tried. Take an already sublime RPG series, then add monster hunting and stellar next-generation visuals to the equation; and CD Projekt RED, you have yourself a sale. Damn, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looks good. Can we have it now, please?

Winner – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Best Shooter of the Show

We were somewhat spoilt for choice in this category, and so heated debate was bound to ensue. We think Battlefield 4 beat Call of Duty: Ghosts in terms of spectacle, and thought that Destiny displayed an absolute ton of potential. We managed to narrow it down to a fight between EA's two biggest shooters, but which is more deserving? DICE's Battlefield 4 or Respawn's Titanfall? Halo for Xbox One might have been announced and Star Wars: Battlefront is on its way back to consoles, but we saw nothing from either game. Titanfall's fluidity of movement and moments of Battlefield-esque scale marked it out as the ultimate winner in our eyes, with the seamless transition from ground troop to hulking mech and back again the icing on the cake. You feel truly powerful in Titanfall too; the fact you can snap a man's neck when stealth killing him, and then turn his head 180-degrees just clinches the awesome.

Winner – Titanfall

Best Rest of the Show

Like Borderlands 2 last year, we decided that Destiny doesn't really belong in the Best Shooter category given that it's also embracing RPG and MMO elements, as well as a deep progression system. Therefore Destiny bags this here award for a number of reasons. Firstly, the sci-fi world that Bungie has crafted looks gorgeous and the characters that inhabit that world look cool as hell. Visually, Destiny wasn't the best game at E3 this year, but holy crap, some of the lighting and other visual effects blew us away. Destiny wholly deserves this award and more. Hold on a sec...

Winner – Destiny


Best of Show

This was a fairly close-run thing this year, with a whole bunch of games managing to wow us. Whether it was Techland's rather impressive Dying Light, Avalanche's Mad Max, Respawn's Titanfall, Ubisoft's The Division and The Crew, Eidos Montreal's Thief or Battlefield 4, there was a lot to choose from. Had we got to see some of the games announced but not actually shown at E3 (we're looking at you Mirror's Edge), it might have been a different story, but there was one game that really stood out in terms of its sheer scale and sense of ambition, taking robust first-person shooter gameplay and MMO-style progression, marrying it to some of the most jawdropping next-gen visuals we've seen to date. Bungie looks like it's on to a real winner with its first multi-format title post-Halo, meaning one game at E3 this year proved worthy of not just the Best Rest of Show award, but the Best of Show award too, which is a bit weird. Destiny looked completely, unapologetically, unashamedly stunning, putting a lot of other games like it to shame. And that's why for us, it stood out from the crowd, head and shoulders above the rest.

Winner – Destiny

And that about does it for another year. Think we're blithering idiots who've got it completely wrong? Sound off in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out our previews of E3's biggest games as we update the site in the coming days ahead. Keep abreast of it all in our E3 2013 hub here.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #1 by l.maciver
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 04:43:44 PM
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Awesome event though M$ ruined the show really.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #2 by MyNameIsWill
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 05:15:31 PM
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I actually think MS had the better games it's just the price and restrictions that has let me down!

Forum Posts: 109
Comment #3 by Kailon791
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 06:55:11 PM
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Won't question Destiny winning at all. That game looks so good I can't wait for it.

Forum Posts: 11631
Comment #4 by BiggD
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 06:55:41 PM
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The Division, Witcher 3, and Destiny were all perfect :D

Ryse didn't look 'that' disappointing though...

Forum Posts: 664
Comment #5 by mentaljason
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 06:55:51 PM
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Personally, I didn't think any of the next-gen games were particularly impressive. I was ready to buy a new console, but Microsoft convinced me not to buy theirs, and the current lineup for both consoles made me feel like I could wait at least a year before picking up a PS4 too (or for Microsoft to hopefully fix their glaring mistakes!)
Current gen games looking pretty good though. Destiny should be great. Watch Dogs seems good but not my kind of game

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #6 by Jdogg1415
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 06:56:18 PM
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You for got Fighter of Show Killer Instinct or DOA5 Ultimate lol i think its a no brainer though...

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #7 by iBlaise
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 07:09:41 PM
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To me, Ryse is the Xbox One's version of Call of Duty 2. When Call of Duty 2 came out, that sold me on the Xbox 360. The game was gorgeous, it showed off what the Xbox 360 could do, and it was damn fun. Ryse looks like its that caliber of a game. A launch title, which may not be considered the best game to come out on the Xbox One, but one of the most revolutionary.

Forum Posts: 83
Comment #8 by Golden Guard
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 07:12:58 PM
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I'm really happy for Bungie because now that they have expanded their horizon past Halo, it is really exciting to see that they can still make interesting games that have me feeling really eager to play and experience. Destiny definitely deserved to win. Not only does it look great but I'm hoping it will bring a lot of new things to the table in terms of gameplay (but even if it doesn't I'm still super pumped).

(Side note though, does it bother anyone else when they throw in that "And the company that brought you Call of Duty" in their trailers? I never really liked the Activision tag on a game that is actually quality)

Forum Posts: 1190
Comment #9 by MattDB87
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 07:25:03 PM
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so many amazing games!!! I can't wait to play them!!!!

Forum Posts: 3938
Comment #10 by littlejay
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 07:43:01 PM
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I didn't think Sony did that great. MS is getting hate from a week before E3, nothing they did during the show was bad. I looked forward to their games a lot more. Sony did reveal KH3 and FF15 but those are multiplatform.

Personally I can't wait for Witcher 3, BF4, and Quantum Break sounds pretty interesting.

Forum Posts: 89
Comment #11 by strawberry
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 08:24:53 PM
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@2 You're so right, I can't wait to play Killer Instinct made by Double Helix, the developer which brought us the green lantern and GI Joe game /Sarcasm

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #12 by Birth Mark
Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 08:50:35 PM
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I thought MS did the best. They announced game after game, exactly what we want from an E3, Sony showed a lot of multi-platform games. Sony's system may be better, but for me there show was not good. (I am an XboxOne guy though)

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #13 by doomsayer123
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:44:48 AM
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Sony won best conference? They revealed their console, at a games convention, which they should've done at the console reveal event, hence the name! Console reveal!

They also revealed too many multiplatform games!

Microsoft announced loads of great new ip's and exclusives, some new partnerships and some great new features coming to Xbox live!

Yet Sony won.....

Forum Posts: 1488
Comment #14 by ThePumpkinKing
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 05:57:08 AM
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@13 Like a true fanboy. Microsoft's conference was nothing short of a disaster. Sony won because they went for the fucking throat. And they succeeded in tearing out. Plain and simple. Microsoft destroyed any chances of being the first out of the gate this generation. And Sony took advantage of that. Don't like it? Stop playing games. Because that's the way it is, and will be for a long time.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #15 by doomsayer123
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 06:58:29 AM
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@14 calling me a fanboy? For stating fact? How cool are you! I shouldn't reply to your immaturity but il try explain it a little bit better. Your analysis of how Sony won, is by them seeing the reaction to microsofts conference, changing their drm policy, and saying "hey, we're not doing that, look we're doing this!" Seriously, that's how you base a good conference at e3 now? Microsoft did what they came to do, announce brand new ip's and good exclusives plus big partnerships with timed exclusive contents. And you tell me to stop playing games? Your argument had nothing to do with the games side, your still stuck droning on about the console war!

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #16 by Hurricane Of 87
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 07:17:50 AM
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Doesn't matter if Sony showed multiplatform games, they pitched their E3 stage show as 'This is the console for gamers' and they succeeded by showing games, games, games, games. There were a few diversions for movies and other stuff, but they were kept brief before GAMES-ing your face off again.

Then they made their stance on used games crystal clear, something Microsoft still hasn't done with it's rather baffling approach and refusal to answer questions clearly, prattling on about architecture and ecosystems and The Cloud.

Anyway, agree with most of this. The Division looks stunning but I think The Crew is probably going to be spread a little thin given its massive scope.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #17 by Da Beni Man
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:32:38 PM
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The only reason Sony 'won' E3 was because of its policies really. IMO the games wern't all that, espicially compared to Microsoft's list, but I can agree with this list, espicially "Ryse: Son of a bitch I didnt time that right"

Quick question: I read somewhere that you can actually plug an Xbox 360 inton the HDMI input and run it through the X1, can someone get a link on that pleease :)

Forum Posts: 3938
Comment #18 by littlejay
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 02:01:13 PM
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@17: Major Nelson said that in a redit interview

Forum Posts: 546
Comment #19 by o D M C o
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 02:24:21 PM
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Ryse is a 'pathetic excuse for a game', are you basing this on the video we all saw are did you actually get to play the game?

Forum Posts: 1741
Comment #20 by FSparacino4
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 11:04:30 AM
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I'd have to disagree that Sony won E3 this year. Microsoft may have remained unclear on certain policies and who cares that the system isn't all about games, because at the end of the day, the console will still still play amazing games. Microsoft announced and displayed many good looking exclusives. People bitched about not having enough exclusives for the 360 last generation and they came through.

All the Sony fanboys that constantly pointed out that you had to pay a subscription fee for XBL clammed up real quick when Sony is now charging for their online service. I saw this E3 as both Microsoft and Sony are on equal footing going into this next-gen in my opinion and I'm curious where the ability to use the cloud for extra processing power will take the Xbox One.
It's just amusing all the people posting on all the E3 news articles on this site that they are getting a PS4. Well guess what? Good for you. This is an xbox website and I'm willing to bet a majority if the users here will be getting an Xbox One.

Forum Posts: 349
Comment #21 by I X I Shock I
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 11:28:25 PM
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I have to agree with pretty much the whole list. Never watched Sony's conference so I won't comment on whose was better. Personally, what MS is doing with Cloud compared to Sony is going to be a huge factor majority of the people are overlooking. People are focused only on always online, ability to do with your game as you wish, and used games. The potential of Cloud with MS behind it could easily bring in a whole new generation of games PAST next gen.

Sony might win out of the gate, but MS probably will win long run.

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #22 by FreiZeitGeipel
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:14:05 AM
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Destiny is rather close to Halo in its visual style, isn´t it? While this is not a bad thing to say at all, I don´t really see where the hype is coming from (yet). Still, I´m pretty excited to see more of the E3 games (maybe except for Ryse and Forza).

Forum Posts: 789
Comment #24 by mosin360
Saturday, June 22, 2013 @ 10:25:20 AM
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I'm going to be one of those 'cool people' and use an $ instead of a S, prepare yourself.

$ony's conference was too long and boring. The majority of the trailers were boring and didn't show us a damn thing. If it wasn't for the drm news and the $100 price difference, nobody would be talking about it.

Now you can minus the drm and honestly the $100 isn't a big deal so what you are left with is a typical boring (here I go again) $ony e3 conference.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by spartan007
Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 04:58:27 PM
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So sony are money whores when their console costs less making it so they make less? Yeah ok...

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #26 by spartan 487
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 10:22:46 AM
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Fuck sony

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #27 by spartan 487
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 @ 10:24:43 AM
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And their stupid poor people -.-

Forum Posts: 547
Comment #28 by Thai J
Friday, July 05, 2013 @ 06:54:25 PM
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I thought Ryse looked cool....

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #29 by EbonyPegasus1
Sunday, July 07, 2013 @ 06:12:35 PM
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Does Witcher 3 count as RPG? I didn't really think the first two did. Seemed more "adventure" category to me. Meh

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #30 by UnleashTheWolf
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:23:26 PM
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To be honest nothing is making me really want a next gen console. Forza 5 looks awesome but there's no night racing or weather, doesn't seem much of a step forward from forza 4. I think the 360 still has a lot of life in it, loads of amazing games coming up like gta 5, Diablo, battlefield 4 and dark souls 2 next year

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #31 by The Cipriani
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @ 02:16:55 PM
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im so glad everyone is FINALLY seeing through Call of Duty and that it has no place anymore, especially not on the top lists, maybe on the worst lists it deserves a place.
I only had to play 1 game to realise it was a cash-in waste of money for anyone who buys it, the fact it is so similar to every other shooter out there. Ive been playing games long enough to know it wasn't a brand new shooter, it copied countless things from an old shooter game that will remain nameless and sold it on as their own for £50 a year + DLC.
so glad Titanfall has the spotlight, keep it up shooters, you know your better than this!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #32 by JohnTegnar
Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 07:10:18 PM
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Titanfall and Watch_Dogs will be insane. Can't wait

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