The Shack's Best of E3 2007

This year's revamped E3 may have been on a smaller scale than the events of years past, but there was no shortage of great games out on display and behind closed doors. Each member of the Shack editorial team has picked his standout game of the show and, in entirely arbitrary order (I even jumbled them after they were sent in, just to be sure -ed.), five or six additional highlights. Editors only chose from games they saw firsthand at E3, which in some cases limited the available choices. Each game blurb is followed by a link to thorough preview coverage.

Rock Band, from Harmonix Music Systems, deserves special mention for being the only game to show up on the lists of all four editors. It's just that awesome. Other games with multiple nods include Retro Studios' Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Valve's The Orange Box (consisting of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortres 2, and Portal, as well as Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One), and Irrational Games' BioShock.

For our full E3 coverage, check out E3.Shacknews.com.

Chris Remo:

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
Retro Studios
As much as I expected out of this game, it still utterly blew me away. The controls are dead on, the visuals are great, it has Super Metroid-esque stackable weapons, you can aim freely while locked on... With all that, as well as what appears to be an atmospheric return to top Prime form, just stick it in my veins. (Preview)

Rock Band (PS3, X360), Harmonix Music Systems
Does anybody doubt this is going to be amazing at this point? All of Who's Next by The Who seals the deal for me, as if it weren't already sealed. (Preview)

Mass Effect (X360), BioWare
This gets better every time I see it. Old-school science fiction with progressive game design. Win. (Preview)

BioShock (PC, X360), Irrational Games
I revisited BioShock at E3 to check it out on PC after having played the first several hours on Xbox 360. It's still amazing! (Preview 1, 2)

The Orange Box (PC, PS3, X360), Valve
My most anticipated purchase of 2007, this only misses the top slot because I'd played so much already. (Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, Portal)

Sabotage (PC, X360), Replay Studios (Shown at E.I.E.I.O.; Honorary Best of E3)
It's World War II, but it's not a shooter--and it wraps up several clever gameplay concepts into what seems to be a cohesive whole. (Preview)

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Houglass (NDS), Nintendo
This year's theme among the N's flagship trio--Mario, Metroid, Zelda--seems to be unusual but impeccable control. And you can draw on Link's map! (Preview)

Chris Faylor:

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3), Insomniac Games
Insomniac debuts one of the first of the PS3's second-generation games, which just so happens to be the long-awaited, gorgeous fifth entry in its beloved Ratchet & Clank series. Not only does it bring back the duo's knack for innovative weaponry and enjoyable platforming action, it also features dancing goldfish and penguins. (Preview)

Rock Band (PS3, X360) & Guitar Hero III (PS2, PS3, X360, Wii)
Harmonix Music Systems & Neversoft
While one is more full-featured than the other, they're both great musical fun and feature rockin' soundtracks. (Guitar Hero III, Rock Band)

Unreal Tournament 3 (PC, PS3, X360), Epic Games
Explosions, pretty graphics, and tons of customization. You can even take mods from PC to PS3. Done deal. (Preview)

Halo Wars (X360), Ensemble Studios
The Halo universe translates surprisingly well to real-time strategy gameplay in Ensemble's latest. (Preview)

God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP), Ready at Dawn Studios
It's God of War exactly as you would imagine it on PSP, which is one hell of an endorsement. (Preview)

Scene It? (X360), Screenlife & WXP
I'm startled by the fun factor inherent to this virtual version of the movie trivia DVD board game. (Preview)

Nick Breckon:

StarCraft II (PC)
Blizzard Entertainment
Just talking about another StarCraft game is enough to get my Overlords quivering. Even in video form and a year away from release, I'm confident. Blizzard is doing everything right by taking it slow and responding to feedback. The very fact that the studio might radically change the dynamic of the single-player campaign has me playing the original game over in anticipation. Can't wait to play at BlizzCon. (Interview)

Rock Band (PS3, X360), Harmonix Music Systems
Holy shit. (Preview)

Metroid Prime 3 (Wii), Retro Studios
If the pacing is consistent with the first game, it's a no-brainer. (Preview)

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii), Nintendo
Sunshine didn't do much for me, but this looks like a return to form. (Preview)

The Orange Box (PC, PS3, X360), Valve
Probably the best package deal in video game history--even without counting HL2 and Episode One. (Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, Portal)

BioShock (PC, X360), Irrational Games
I first played this before E3, which has only made it harder to wait. (Preview 1, 2)

Carlos Bergfeld:

LittleBigPlanet (PS3), Media Molecule
You really can't play Media Molecule's beautiful sidescroller without smiling. Easy controls, a wide range of raw in-game materials, and intuitive creation tools give the game a universal appeal. (Preview)

Rock Band (PS3, X360), Harmonix Media Systems
Each song gives you four ways to rock, and the promised availability of whole albums guarantee I'll lose my job when this comes out. (Preview)

Metroid Prime 3 (Wii), Retro Studios
Finally, a Wii shooter done right, and it's Metroid. Hell yes. (Preview)

Fallout 3 (PC, PS3, X360), Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda is taking its time reinventing the classic post-apocalyptic RPG series--it'll be worth the wait. (Preview)

Assassin's Creed (PC, PS3, X360), Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Montreal succeeds by making exploration fluid and fun. Also, white clothes look cool. (Preview)

Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (PS2, PSP), High Voltage Software
Hilarious Birdmanness with Capcom characters as a bonus. (Preview)

Everyday Shooter (PS3), Queasy Games
Musical integration with old school gameplay guarantees a good time with this indie title scooped up by Sony for the PlayStation Network. (Preview)

Crysis (PC), Crytek
The Shacknews staff is only human, and as such we have made the grievous mistake of failing to include Crytek's remarkable Crysis on any individual list--and so, it is appended here. Truly a visual masterpiece, Crysis looks to expand on Far Cry's wide-open gameplay by infusing it with entertaining superpower-like abilities.

Well, E3, it's been fun. See you next year.