The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.
Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor at the Los Angeles event. Shower your favourites with online love!
Game: Metal Gear Solid: Rising
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain
Metal Gear Solid is the videogame series that, perhaps more than any other, has always been synonymous with Playstation. Okay, so the earliest Metal Gears were on the good old NES, Twin Snakes was a Gamecube exclusive and even MGS 2: Substance tardily made it to Xbox - but, in the main, Solid Snake is very much a Sony man.
Finally though, the so Solid crew are hawking their wares on Xbox 360... well, some of them are anyway. The chief absentees? Creator Hideo Kojima and the aged Mr S Snake himself. See, you couldn't be blamed for thinking 360 owners are getting the thin end of the wedge from Konami. In place of Tactical Espionage Action comes Lighting Bolt Action; in place of the immortal Solid Snake... Raiden.
Yep Raiden: the flaxen haired man-ponce last glimpsed inspiring hate on Xboxes across the globe in 2002, while whining about his girlfriend. Yet Metal Gear 4 pulled off a frankly incredible PR job on wee Jacky, transforming the weedy human youth into a murderous cyborg-with-a heart who stole the show from dying Snake via a combo of balletic blood-letting cameos and strong philosophical soul searching. Thanks to MGS4, Jack was back... with a big ballistic bang.
All of a sudden, creaky limbs, cigarettes, perving on nubile young ladies and hiding in boxes seemed a touch passť - gamers didn't watch to watch (and re-watch) that CGI showdown between Raiden and Vamp - they wanted to play it. Enter Rising, the potentially revolutionary hack-'n'-slasher that'll also reinvent the series' aging stealth mechanics as an altogether more kinetic, vertical-orientated beast.
Intriguingly, Metal Gear solid Rising was also revealed as a prequel in the series, lying somewhere between the MGS2 and MGS4 timelines - which presumably suggests it'll also deal with Raiden's transformation from floppy-wristed nobody to bad ass terminator. We predict the opening few missions might even depict our hero in his human form, before it all somehow went horribly wrong.
Rising's boasting more than a few intriguing concepts, like Zan-Datsu - a silly Konami-invented term that's intrinsically linked with slicing and dicing. Producer Sigenobu Matsuyama and Director Mineshi Kimura were keen to emphasise the extreme level of control you'll assert over Raiden's katana: "You have to really strategise, aim and angle where you wanto to cut," the devs reckon - which appears to translate to some slow-motion twisting of the dual analogue sticks to precisely deliver said cuttage.
Truthfully, we weren't really given any examples as to exactly why we'd need to lop off a foe's foreskin rather than just slice him into spam fritters, but we're assuming there's more of a strategic purpose to the bloodletting than simple pure sadism. If not... well, never mind.
Perhaps the whole idea ties into the early CGI part of the Rising E3 trailer, where an unknown enemy type (who bore a certain, albeit it buffed up, aesthetic resemblance to MGS4's Haven Troopers and The Beauty and the Beast bosses). Upon lopping the hulk-o-bot into quarters, Raiden rips the still pulsing spine - dripping the same 'white' blood that pulses through his very own veins - from his dead adversary before appearing to absorb its energies.