On a show floor drowning in mega-sequels and heavyweight crowd-pleasers some games, often better games, get lost in a sea of American-types shouting over each other.
Allow CVG, then, to separate the wheat from the chaff. These are the E3 announcements that are raising eyebrows, and some day soon will have your trigger fingers a blur...
Fresh from the success of Kirby's Epic Yarn, the world's favourite hungry pink blob is getting back to what made him famous: eating creatures, taking on their powers and vomming them back in the face of danger. What's more, in the style of Super Mario Bros. before it, this time the Kirbster is bringing some friends along. Meta Knight, King Dedede and Waddle Dee may have been at the shallow end of the Nintendo gene pool (and aren't armed with Kirby's absorbing powers) but they're here, and they mean business.
There's little doubt that Kirby Wii currently plays on the easy side, and it seems a touch more fun playing as the pink spherical idiot - wielding giant swords and breathing fire, but the game just effuses such an elegant charm that only a fool would write the game off. The Wii is being put out to pasture, but that doesn't mean we have to take it to its favourite field, gently place a shotgun to its head and squeeze the trigger... Not yet...
Payday: The Heist
Games have tried to capture the essence of the movie Heat for years - and invariably failed. (See Kane & Lynch: Dead Men for reference). Payday: The Heist, however, seems to be the real deal. In essence it's Left 4 Heat - six sieges on bank vaults and hostage-packed targets, wave after wave of rozzers to take down and oodles of cash to half-inch. It's a fantastic premise and, thankfully, a fantastic game to play. Easily the surprise hit of E3.
Check out PC Gamer editor Tim Edwards' elation, and imagine the simple joy of screaming at bank customers to "GET ON THE F**KING FLOOR*. Increasingly elderly PC gamers will remember the joys of SWAT 4; this is that - only now you can be the bad guys...
Eric Chahi, the man who gave us the remarkable Another World half a life-time ago, is behind this remarkable Populous-minded title. The teaser trailer on offer is rather similar to what's gone before, but the land-sifting gameplay and engine that's being shown off is scintillating. It's your job to save your tribe - a people living on a globe that's crumbling into nothingness. The more shrines your people worship at, the more elements are at your command - whether its depositing sand, throwing lava around or controlling the tides threatening to swamp your lands. It's Black and White without the giant monkeys, and for that we love it dearly.
Bastion is a downloadable action-RPG that has you, a wide-eyed boy who wakes up to his hand-painted world in total disarray, shooting and slashing your way to world-salvation. A lovely gimmick is the way that your adventures are narrated from afar at all points. The gravelly narrator voice intones the story at you throughout the journey, keeping you constantly involved and never having you murder angry wildlife simply for its own sake. The way dungeon floors cascade downwards and form beneath your feet is another lovely touch. Overall it's far less hardcore than a game like Torchlight, but none the less engaging.