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. Show your favourites the love!
Game: Uncharted 3
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain
Can you think of a more hotly anticipated PS3 game than Uncharted 3? Neither can we. Naughty Dog won just about every game of the year award going with Uncharted 2, and they're pulling out all the stops to make the follow-up even better.
How? Well in the story campaign there's a new villainess and shiny new 3D visuals (we've had a look - it's the most natural use of the extra dimension we've seen in games). But what we were invited to see recently was the multiplayer, which builds on the first-steps online effort of the previous game.
Naughty Dog know that getting smashed online sucks, so it's come up with powerplays. When one side is losing heavily, a powerplay kicks in to give them a temporary advantage - like, the enemy sees all players as skeletons and doesn't know who to shoot.
The game now features a 'buddy system', where players are paired together and earn bonuses for sticking together, using the same guns and firing at the same target. You can spawn on your buddy when you're killed, and he's usually a friend you've entered the game with.
The new arenas we saw were called The Chateau and The Airstrip. The Chateau could be taken from either of the other games - a tumble-down mix of old stones and ruins, full of climbing and hiding spots. But The Airstrip shows off more of the new game's sandy environments. You're in a desert-set airport, with a dominant machine gun on the control tower.
Building on the Twitter integration in Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3 features loads of social media functions. There's an improved highlights editor so you can rewind (finally!) and select your best bits before uploading to YouTube (highlights from other players also stream in-between matches). And there's an insanely clever Facebook sign-in option which means you can find and play with Facebook friends.
In a big change from the last game Uncharted 3 is going big on customisation. At the shallow end this means teams can design their own emblems for objective matches. But it also means players can build their own multiplayer character, using hundreds of switchable and unlockable body types (choose race, face type, skin colour), accessories (gloves, clothes, gasmasks) and of course, weapons.
Players will now be able to save up to four loadouts which can then be selected before matches, loadouts made up of primary and secondary gun choices, and a variety of boosters - faster healing, climbing, better accuracy and so on. The choice is absolutely huge, with plenty of new guns and boosters to purchase.
The most fun we had with our hands-on was during the new Three Team Deathmatch mode. This pits three teams of two against each other in fast, furious matches, where sticking together (and using those buddy bonuses) is absolutely crucial.
[Words: Games Master]