TenTonHammer’s Best of E3 2013 Awards

This year, TTH provides awards in the following seven categories:

* Best Gameplay
* Best Respawn
* Biggest Surprise
* Most Innovative
* Best MOBA
* Most Anticipated
* Best of Show

Head over to their site to find out all about why each game won and what they were looking for in each category. The quick picks are below. However, I’m most surprised that EverQuest Next made the cut at all! I’m suddenly interested in the game for the first time.

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Best Gameplay

WildStar - Best Gameplay

The team at Carbine has proven that you don’t necessarily have to sink tons of precious marketing dollars behind a game at E3 to make an impact. While the flashing lights and cosplayers in tights can add a lot of show floor ambiance, at the end of the day it’s all about how fun your game is to play.

So what WildStar might not have had in a flashy booth display, it more than made up for with the best gameplay we were able to get our hands on at this year’s E3. Everything from the distinctive setting and art style, to the combat and sheer depth of gameplay options are worthy of high praise.

Best Respawn

FFXIV: A Realm Reborn - Best Respawn

Very few MMOs have managed to survive following a rocky launch, and fewer still have managed to successfully relaunch after the fact. Square Enix is attempting to do exactly that with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and from what we experienced at E3 2013 the game is certainly worthy of our Best Respawn award.

While the game still retains its distinctive look and feel, nearly every aspect of the game has been rebuilt into a tighter, faster, and more cohesive overall MMO experience. While they didn’t necessarily attempt to reinvent the MMO combat wheel, our experiences with the system displayed a clear refinement of what made more traditional hotbar combat so enticing in the first place.

Biggest Surprise

Warhammer 40K Eternal Crusade - Biggest Surprise

Warhammer 40k is one of those golden IPs that has the potential to translate into one killer MMO experience. Games Workshop clearly understands this potential, so when the originally planned game from THQ fell by the wayside, it was only a matter of time before a new developer would pick up the reigns.

A week before E3 this would have landed squarely in the realm of speculation, to say we were surprised by the event week announcement of the Eternal Crusade MMO would be a gross understatement. It clearly took gamers by surprise as well, with Warhammer 40k being one of the most talked about announcements to come out of the expo.

Most Innovative

Proper sandbox MMOs are only as good as the depth of the toolbox given to gamers, and from what we’ve seen of ArcheAge that box is deeper than any other sandbox MMO we’ve seen to date. The fact that ArcheAge comes packed with stellar graphics is just icing on the proveribial cake.

ArcheAge offers a true multiclassing system, the ability to turn your back on the major factions and live the pirate’s life, or simply live out your virutal days as a humble farmer or trader of goods. These things may sound fairly basic on the surface, but the ways in which you can interact with the world for each are both plentiful and inspiring. Expect big things from ArcheAge once it lands on North American shores.

Best MOBA

Infinite Crisis - Best MOBA

While Turbine may be known by many for their major contributions in the MMO space, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by our experiences with Infinite Crisis so far. Many aspects of the game hold true to what excites gamers about the genere in the first place, but Infinite Crisis also brings a lot of new gameplay hooks to the table. And you have to admit, the DC universe setting and characters offer a pretty killer framework to build upon.

Infinite Crisis is shaping up to be an excellent game, and will even be taking the full MLG eSports plunge. We expect big things from the game, and are sure that Infinite Crisis will bring some stiff new competition to the wide world of MOBAs.

Most Anticipated

Elder Scrolls Online - Most Anticipated

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then by the time the cross-platform launch for ESO rolls around in the spring of 2014, it’s probably safe to say that legions of gamers will be enthralled by the next great chapter in Elder Scrolls history.

We’ve had numerous chances to play the game throughout the year so far, and our hands-on time at E3 only helped solidify Elder Scrolls Online as our most anticipated game following this year’s event. In the immortal words of Wesley Willis, ESO whips the llama’s ass by offering the best of both worlds: an awesome Elder Scrolls game with all the gameplay hooks that help make MMOs great.

Best of Show

EverQuest Next - Best of Show

We’ve been looking forward to EverQuest Next for quite some time now. Even though our expectations heading into our private viewing during E3 were high, EverQuest Next exceeded those expectations on all fronts.

While we are sworn to secrecy on exactly what we were shown, what we can say is that EverQuest Next was hands-down the best game we had the pleasure of seeing during E3 2013. Franchise fans and MMO gamers across the globe will be able to learn exactly why that’s the case on August 2nd during SOE Live when EQNext is given its grand unveiling.

Trust us when we say that you’ll want to mark that date on your calendar, and be prepared to bask in the warm glow of EverQuest Next in all its glory. In the meantime, kudos to the folks over at SOE for winning our Best of Show award; we’re as excited as you are to witness the impact EverQuest Next is surely going to have on gamers this August!

Original TenTonHammer Article

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