The GamesFor us, the other big story of E3 was Rock Band 3. Whereas the Guitar Hero franchise is off in a more fantastic direction with the Heavy Metal-themed Warriors of Rock, Rock Band 3 is going even more authentic, adding keyboards and a seven player full band mode to the game, and adding an ambitious Rock Band Pro mode to the mix.
Players who choose to play in Rock Band Pro mode – and one of the joys of the new game is its more flexible approach to player options, set lists and general gameplay – can work with a full two-octave keyboard or new, ultra-realistic guitars, including one which is effectively a real Stratocaster guitar. At easier difficulty levels you’ll only play a subset of notes and chords in the song, but at the Expert levels you’ll actually be playing the real thing. The idea is to give Rock Band fans a way forwards towards playing for real, while still supporting those who just want to pretend to be in a band and have a laugh.
Other favourites of the show would have to include:
iD Software’s first new franchise in years, and a genuinely breathtaking slice of post-apocalyptic, mutant-blasting mayhem.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Electronic Arts and the Burnout team at Criterion revitalize the franchise with a cops vs racers speed-fest with brilliant integrated online support.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
A direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed 2, setting master assassin Ezio on a mission to recruit a brotherhood of killers on the mean streets of Renaissance Rome.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
A compelling three-quel for the classic PC RPG shooter, set in a dark near future where the human race is getting to grips with cybernetic augmentation for the first time.
Fittingly, Deus Ex’s creator, Warren Spector, returns with what looks like a family friendly Mickey Mouse platformer, but turns out to be a smart take on Disney myth with some surprisingly rich game mechanics.
Ultra-violent FPS where you get points for spectacularly tasteless skill-kills. The game your inner 15 year old will want this Christmas.
Gears of War3 and Killzone 3
Two huge sci-fi shooters, two console exclusives, two of the most spectacular games ever made.
Dead Space 2
Engineer Isaac Clarke returns in the sequel to the most brilliant survival horror game of this generation. Expect shocks, scares and some truly hideous necromorphs in a mining city on the fringes of the galaxy.