Format PS3, Vita
Dev CCP Games
Pub CCP Games
Innovations MMO integration
Innovating by placing 400,000 PC gamers at your mercy: On the surface it's a Battlefield-inspired squad shooter, but every loss or win in Dust affects the complex economy of space-based PC MMO Eve Online, in turn affecting the gaming lives - for better or worse - of hundreds of thousands of real players. It's a kind of mad genius.
PAYDAY: THE HEIST
Innovations Co-op, strategy
Innovating by realising co-op doesn't have to be war: Crime might not pay, but it sure is fun. This four-player co-op shooter features cops and robbers instead of armies. You commit daring raids, including a bank heist clearly inspired by Michael Mann's classic flick Heat, and a fast-paced freeway prison break.
Dev Lightbox Interactive
Innovations Building, strategy, griefer prevention
Innovating by turning cheats into sitting ducks: Lightbox have a unique solution to cheats and griefers - punish them within the game, rather than kicking them out. Starhawk's other innovation is that you construct flag bases yourself from sniper towers, walls and more before getting into the air combat on its big, open maps. Annoying idiots will have their building privileges revoked. Revenge will be sweet.
BROTHERS IN ARMS: FURIOUS 4
Pub 2K Games
Innovations Co-op, humour
Innovating by fusing competitive and co-op play: Inspired by Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, this comedy WW2 game (yes, really) sees you and three mates trying to kill as many Nazis as possible, as stylishly as possible. So while you're both fi ghting the same enemy, you're competing within your group to out-score each other. The Brothers In Arms tag is a name only; this couldn't be more different from Gearbox's realistic, story-led tactical shooter.