The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.
Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor at the Los Angeles event. Show your favourites the love!
Game: Twisted Metal
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain
We know there's a very American, meat and potatoes, red state, rock 'n' roll, Fox News mentality here," says Twisted Metal's seldom lost for words director David Jaffe, nailing the core DNA of his violent vehicle series. "It plays very much to the Americana vibe."
The game's making a full-scale comeback on PS3 this October, and though its leering clowns, thrashing soundtrack and wrought-iron aesthetic have never been a natural fit with UK gamers, Jaffe makes it clear his team haven't changed a thing. "At first we tried to make a game that was slicker and sleeker," he says. "But it felt generic. It had lost its hearbeat."
Having got our hands on the game at a special Sony event in LA, we can happily say it's as loud and large as ever. And, for a game with such a broadstroke appeal - cars, fire, noise - it has some seriously complicated controls, with both sticks (boosting and steering) and shoulder buttons (u and o to jump) roped in for full control of your vehicle.
When asked to name the competition, Jaffe lines Twisted Metal up against Mortal Kombat and Call of Duty - fighters and shooters, rather than racers - and the intricate mechanics back that up.
There's also an obvious, intimidating depth to the game itself, as the multiplayer modes that we sampled demonstrate. Free-for-all and team deathmatch are frantic tearaway scraps that on the surface appear simple: launch hell at your enemies until they explode.
But the cars are hard-wearing (health chips away slowly) and the lengthy line-up of vehicles, weapons and power-ups takes at least a few rounds to process. And that's while you're just trying to kill everything in sight.
The capture-the-flag Nuke mode, where each side races to capture the opposition leader before launching him on a rocket towards an enemy statue, is a scurrying chaos of alerts and objective symbols.
Clearly, behind the noisy exterior Twisted Metal has some serious design work going on, although we'll have to wait to see whether it really can match up to the likes of the best multiplayer games out there when it's released at the end of the year.
[Words: Games Master]