Today we take the time to recognize the best things we saw at the E3 2007 Business and Media Summit. The new show was smaller, more concentrated and had its trade offs. On one hand, those games we did see allowed us to really sit down and get a good hands-on look. That was offset by the absence of some big and small name titles.
After careful consideration, we came up with three categories. "MMO of the Show" is awarded to the unlaunched game we thought looked like the most fun, "Brightest Future" goes to the launched MMO that has the most exciting plans for its fans, and "Game of the Show" looks outside the genre for the hands down coolest thing we saw.
MMO of the Show: Tabula Rasa, NCSoft
The field at E3 2007 was somewhat limited - to say the least - but Tabula Rasa provided the most complete demonstration. Simply put, we played Tabula Rasa and it's a lot of fun. Some of the other games also looked very good, but each one left us with a couple concerns. TR put it all out on the table and impressed. Its fresh combat system, organic world and meaningful quests/storyline put it above its competitors.
To read Joe Blancato's impressions of Tabula Rasa from E3, click here.
Honorable Mentions: Funcom's Age of Conan continues to look very good, but the lack of hands-on time and some lingering concerns about the control mechanisms put it a notch below Tabula Rasa at this stage. Pirates of the Burning Sea also looked solid and SOE's The Agency has the potential to be the biggest hit we saw, but there just isn't enough information yet.
Brightest Future (MMO): Lord of the Rings Online, Turbine
There were only a few launched MMOs on hand and of them, Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online looked like they had the best plans for new content. It won't pass World of Warcraft in subscribers, but the team laid out a solid foundation of content that takes them through the end of the year. Subscribers will enjoy Book 10 and a wealth of free content.
For Dana Massey's look at Lord of the Rings Online from E3, click here.
Honorable Mentions: It's hard not to give the nod to World of Warcraft. Let's face it, economically, it does have the brightest future, but while their plans looked solid, a new ten man raid won't satiate fans desperate for new content. Guild Wars was the only one with a true expansion, but Eye of the North just felt like a bridge to the sequel.
Game of the Show (Non-MMO): BioShock, Irrational Games
Hands down, this was the single coolest thing we saw at E3 2007. Fallout 3 also looked good, but BioShock just did it better. The combination of retro 1960s weapons and psionic abilities is flawless. Despite its lack of multiplayer (online or in person), this game should knock Gears of War off as the premiere shooter on the Xbox 360 when it launches next month. The game isn't just a shooter, it has style and an elegant mix of horror, drama and humor that make it the best thing we saw.
To find out more, check out Dana Massey's preview of BioShock from E3.
Honorable Mentions: There are a lot of cool games coming out and BioShock's selection takes nothing away from Fallout 3, Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3. Of special note, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, while way too early to earn hardware, has the potential to take this trophy next year.
These are our choices, now let us know what you would have picked for these awards in the comment thread below.