I just returned from Los Angeles, where I attended the new “improved” E3, and after spending a week playing the games that will ship in the next year, I wrote this month’s feature on 11 PC titles that will rock your system (see page 22 for the full scoop). But longtime readers know that I’m a gamer first and a PC gamer second, so I also managed to sneak in a little time with some console titles. Here are the games I’m most interested in playing—across all platforms. We’ll call it Will Smith’s Best of E3.
No. 6 Mass Effect: BioWare’s next single-player RPG looks like it picks up where KOTOR left off. I love big RPGs, and with a whole galaxy to explore, Mass Effect should deliver the kind of enormous world that KOTOR is missing. It’s Xbox 360–only for now, but I’d be shocked if a PC version isn’t out by Christmas ’08.
No. 5 BioShock: Who could say no to a steampunk adventure—set under the frickin’ sea. After a lengthy hands-on, I can tell you that I haven’t played a game that reminds me so much of the brilliant System Shock 2 since, well—System Shock 2.
No. 4 Halo 3: Would I rather be playing this game with a mouse and keyboard instead of a controller? Yes. But Halo 2 multiplayer was the single best team deathmatch experience I’ve had since QuakeWorld. After spending time with the Halo 3 beta, I expect more of the same awesome battles on Xbox Live.
No. 3 Super Mario Galaxy: I started gaming with my TI-99/4A, but I found my first love when I played Super Mario Brothers on the NES. Mario’s debut on the Wii looks to be a return to form, with skill- and timing-based platforming action but none of the crutches introduced with Super Mario Sunshine. It’s Mario, but in space.
No. 2 Crysis: Most beautiful shooter ever. Blah, blah, blahbity blah. Yes, Crysis looks gorgeous, we all know that. What we didn’t know is that the kids at Crytek have built a true successor to Far Cry that looks poised to take shooter gameplay to a whole new level.
No. 1 Rock Band: I’ve come to accept that my imaginary band—7 Minute Ass—will never headline Madison Square Garden or open for Pearl Jam, but Rock Band will let me live out my fantasy to rock out as Phil Collins—working the drums and lead vocals before an imaginary crowd of superfans.