X360, PS3, WII Sunday, August 31, 2008 | 2:55 PM

GC08: The Gamersyde Awards

GC08: The Gamersyde Awards

We’ve been back from Leipzig for a week now and we’ve pretty much shown you everything we had in store for you guys – except for a couple of upcoming videos that is. As a conclusion to all this media frenzy, wouldn’t it be more than appropriate to offer what you could call the inevitable Gamersyde Awards ceremony.


Before we start however, let me remind you all how difficult it is to truly judge games on the show floor of a game convention. We don’t have much time to test them, the playing conditions are far from being the best so let’s keep in mind that this selection of games is composed of the games we liked or those we didn’t but we’ll only mention the games we actually saw. You may disagree but it’s no reason to wage war.

Best booth: EA.

Now this one was a toughie because not only did we have to choose a great-looking booth and it also had to offer some really good games. We finally decided EA deserved the prize because this year, the publisher proposes some innovative sequels like Fifa 09 or NBA Live 09 but also some brand new franchises with games like Dead Space or DICE’s Mirror’s Edge. Sure we could have chosen Sony’s booth, it was well-decorated and the usual big games you’d expect were there; we also hesitated with Ubisoft as they had some great games too and nice Ubibabes. In the end though, we thought EA should win this year because, no matter what people think of the company, there’s a great line-up of games coming up before the end of the year.

Worst booth: Microsoft.

Some might say that Microsoft completely failed to deliver in Leipzig but we have a feeling it was a deliberate choice. The games presented on the booth were for the most part third party games and the only games made in Microsoft were Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Not much to see then considering that Gears of War 2, Fable 2 and a few other 360 exclusives are coming to the platform before the end of 2008. In short: very disappointing.

Best PS3 game: LittleBigPlanet


You might say it’s a bit of a cliché to pick this game as the winner but truth be told, it is indeed a very refreshing title, especially at a time when the common blockbusters usually are FPS or racing games. The game has a very cute design, it offers huge possibilities, plays very well and is based on cooperation, which is one of the best way to play with your friends if you ask me. When watching someone play the game, the only thing that came to our mind was we had to give it a try too. Now that has to be a good sign, don’t you think?

Best Xbox 360 game: Fable 2


Since there were very few 360 exclusives presented in Leipzig, we decided it would be fair to pick Fable 2 and its enchanting world as the winner. The presentation BlimBlim attended sure did not show anything new but Fable is still Fable and there’s something about this game that makes us really impatient to return to Albion.

Best Wii game: Madworld


On the one hand, we can’t say the competitors were many as Nintendo wasn’t present at the Game Convention and most of the Wii titles shown there were casual gaming oriented. We obviously felt a bit nostalgic when we saw the wiimake of our good old Dreamcast’s music game, Samba de Amigo but it was no serious threat to Platinum Games’ surprising title. With a very original artistic direction, an over the top violence that eventually makes the game funny and above all, a great team of developers, we feel confident that the game will kick ass when it’s released.

Best surprise: Dead Space


As a matter of fact, we did not expect much from Dead Space but we couldn’t have been more wrong. EA got themselves one hell of a spooky survival horror. The game is fun to play, great to look at and despite the lack of good gaming conditions to enjoy the game’s atmosphere, we could feel the building of tension as we progressed through the level. No need to say that it will be even more impressive from the comfort of our living room.

Biggest disappointment: Bionic Commando


After an excellent remake on both Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, we thought the brand new game would be a lot better than what we saw. We certainly hope it was due to the level that was presented, which was merely a boring tutorial level, but we will need to see a lot more interesting stuff to be fully convinced of the game’s potential.

Best game: LittleBigPlanet


Same reasons we explained before. The game really is the team’s favorite at Gamersyde.

Best FPS: Far Cry 2


Because of its huge open environment, the beauty of the African setting and the technical marvel it appears to be, Far Cry 2 should not disappoint the fans of the genre. There are maybe a few concerns about the AI that will need a closer look when it’s released but other than that, it’s shaping up well. Mirror’s Edge almost ended up on the first step but we decided to reward freedom of action over originality.

Best platformer: LittleBigPlanet


Again… There were few other games to compete in the genre but even Sonic that didn’t look bad at all, Lara who was back in pretty good shape for an all new adventure and Banjo-Kazooie's new intriguing gameplay direction could not defeat Sony’s game in our hearts.

Best racing game: Pure


No Race Pro on the show floor – unless it was very well-hidden – so we had to choose among various arcade racers. The latest Need for Speed in the series seemed to be at an early stage of development, Burnout Paradise was showing its upcoming free downloadable content – motorbikes and a day and night cycle – and Motorstorm 2 seemed like a solid sequel to the first game. Why Pure then? Because Pure is about insane tracks and impressive jumps. Because Pure’s powerful 3D engine really is impressive and above all, because Pure is fun, fun, fun. Whether you own a – beware, incoming bad wordplay - Three Tricksy or a PS Tricks, we hope you will enjoy Pure as much as we did.

Best sports game: Fifa 09


Please PES fans don’t get mad but we have to admit that this year once again, Fifa is about to offer a better experience than the previous games. There are true improvements and innovations in the gameplay, which does not seem to be the case for Konami’s champion. It feels like PES has gotten stuck in between the old and new generation and the few things that have been done this year to satisfy the players do not seem to be enough to make us believe in a fresh start of the franchise. We should also mention that we were quite impressed by what we saw of NBA Live 09, which finally offers realistic-looking animations. Now we just need to wait to see 2K’s answer with NBA 2K 09.

Best fighting game: Street Fighter IV


The one and only, simply the best.

Best RPG: Fable 2


There weren’t too many RPGs in Leipzig even though Square-Enix’s Infinite Undiscovery and Bethesda’s Fallout 3 were there. Since we knew a bit more about Fable 2 than the others, we decided it should be awarded but needless to say we are really looking forward to learning more about the third instalment in the Fallout series.

Best shoot ‘Em Up / flying game: HAWX


The version we played was only a pre-beta version but it nonetheless ran impressively well. The level of details when close to the ground is the best you can get in the genre, thanks to real satellite data and some great textures, the controls are both intuitive and simple and we confess we appreciate the fact that the game presents itself as an arcade game. Now we’ll have to see if it manages to be interesting and varied as the game progresses.

Best survival horror game: Dead Space


Silent Hill Homecoming may have been there but Dead Space completely stole its thunder.

Most debated game: Prince of Persia


There are things we pretty much agreed on – like the great animations and the fantastic visual style – but when it came to a few other things, it started to get ugly in the car that brought us back to the hotel on the very last day there. Some of us did not appreciate the fact that there would be no Game Overs during the game, or that the prince should be helped by a sidekick for example. As usual though, in the end the good guy(s) won and Lunik was wrong. Or not…

Buggiest game: Tomb Raider Underworld


Before we explain our choice, we have to say that we really did enjoy the game but let’s just say that the version that was shown in Leipzig was not a credit to the series on a technical standpoint. Unless it was some kind of tribute to the old Tomb Raider games, which, as you all know, were very famous for their bugs. So we had to deal with various glitches and camera issues. Now let’s not forget that we only saw an old build of the game and that the final version should be just fine.

Best-looking game: Killzone 2


Once again, it was a tough choice given the quality of the games we saw in Leipzig but we had to narrow down the list of our favorites to one so we felt that Killzone 2 was worth it. The game really looks like a movie thanks to the effects that are used and the bottom line is, Killzone 2 is great-looking and it’s happy to oblige.

Most impressive game: Far Cry 2


Killzone 2 may have been the best-looking game on the show floor but when it came to technical prowess, it just could not come close to Far Cry 2. Far Cry 2 is big, it looks incredibly realistic and there’s such a feeling of life in the environments thanks to the African wildlife and the trees blowing in the wind that you simply want to ask for more.

All comments

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Commented on 2008-08-31 15:33:05
It's a shame most of them feels like a "showed-up" Award.
With Microsoft's "Hey, we wont be there, but there will be a booth" stance, and Nintendo completly gone, it's kinda a week diversity of games allaround to choose from.
Commented on 2008-08-31 15:43:55
Microsoft had absolutely nothing interesting to show we didn't already know so I absolutely agree with that award. I don't think I'd call Killzone 2 the best looking game though, that honour would be for Mirrors Edge imo.

I'm one of the, apparently, few people that 'doesn't get' LBP. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. That said, I can see the charm it posseses and the graphics/style is great.

Far Cry 2 looks great, but I'm not sure it's a game I could enjoy for long. Dead Space looks fantastic as well, I'm just not too happy with the lack of environment variety. That could (and most likely will) kill the game for me.
Commented on 2008-08-31 16:05:09
nice choices. nothing there i really dissagree with. except maybe EA as best booth. the games they have coming out are impressive looking, but i have a strange feeling mirrors edge and dead space are going to be reviewed pretty poorly. getting average scores. hopefully im wrong since i think they both have a shit load of potential...mirrors edge in particular.
Commented on 2008-08-31 16:09:01
Didnt the Bionic commando teams say that they just knocked up that training level for the show though? Bit of a silly choice really.. why they even thought the game needed a training level i dont know..they should of just thrown people right in there.

As for Microsoft... well they only focus on America and occasionally japan.. so its no surprise they didnt pull out all the stops here. They're supposed to be hosting a special show before the years out to announce that new bungie halo game.

One game that i think gets constantly overlooked is Jason and the argonauts..which shows alot of potential in its promises of basically being Mass effect with working to the favour of gods. Be interesting to know if that was on show
Commented on 2008-08-31 16:20:22
Nice round up. Short and sweet.
Commented on 2008-08-31 16:33:41
Interesting that you awarded FIFA 09 the best sports game, ahead of PES. That will certainly contribute towards my decision of which one to buy.
Commented on 2008-08-31 16:39:34 In reply to blmbox
The best way to make sure you agree with us will be to try the demos of the two games that will be available before release, hopefully. I know that Fifa should have one around mid september but I'm not sure anything's been announced for PES yet.

It's nice of you to take our opinion so seriously. ;)
Commented on 2008-08-31 17:08:48 In reply to bleachedsmiles
Posted by bleachedsmiles
As for Microsoft... well they only focus on America and occasionally japan.. so its no surprise they didnt pull out all the stops here. They're supposed to be hosting a special show before the years out to announce that new bungie halo game.
For what wathever reason only they know, X0" " Events are dead.
( Happening, they would already announce them months earlier... and those canadian ones are just a lousy show of known stuff)

It's kinda sad, cuz I still remember J "Bald is Cool" Allard showing and seein' (The Real Console version of) Halo for the first time in Cannes.
Commented on 2008-08-31 17:09:12
Posted by Driftwood
The best way to make sure you agree with us will be to try the demos of the two games that will be available before release, hopefully. I know that Fifa should have one around mid september but I'm not sure anything's been announced for PES yet.

It's nice of you to take our opinion so seriously. ;)
Nothing has been announced about a demo for PES, whilst FIFA's will hit PSN and Marketplace on September 11th.

I can only but take your opinion seriously. After all, you have played it. ;)
Commented on 2008-08-31 18:06:07
nice choices, though I think it is a little strange that you have best looking and most impressive categories.... Are you saying that k2 looks better, but FC2 maintains a nice level of graphics with a much bigger scope? I can understand that, though personally I think KZ2 looks better graphically period....FC2 looks great, but if you were going to pick scope etc, Im surprised you didnt pick Crysis Warhead...it looks more impressive than FC2

good pick of LBP.....really seems like this game is going to deliver...massively
Commented on 2008-08-31 18:11:36
Great list and it's a real shame about the MS booth but the people who jump to conclusions and say MS is treating Europe like s*** should just knock it off.

Let me ask you this, compare all three: Sony/MS/nintendo and tell me honestly which one has treated us, europeans better ? Factor in Console prices, Game release Dates compared to US/JP ...etc

Even though what MS is doing in EU could be better and a lot better at that but in all fairness, they are the ones who treat the EU better than the other 2.

Sorry for diverging but I felt this had to be said.
Commented on 2008-08-31 18:31:35 In reply to catfish
Gamersyde is not a PC related website so Crysis was not to enter the competition.

And if Killzone sure looks awesome, on a technical standpoint Far Cry 2 is much more impressive because of the scope as you said but also the fire engine, the environment reacting to the wind and the rest. So basically, let's say that the "best-looking game" award is the award for the average players whereas "the most impressive game" award is more of a developer's point of view kind of award.

Is that any clearer? :)
Commented on 2008-08-31 18:34:27
"No Race Pro on the show floor – unless it was very well-hidden"

Ist was indeed very well hidden - somewhere outside next to the halls...

http://www.schnohne.de/GC2008/NachschlagGamesConve...
http://www.schnohne.de/GC2008/NachschlagGamesConve...
http://www.schnohne.de/GC2008/NachschlagGamesConve...

M
Commented on 2008-08-31 18:46:01
I agree with almost everything,the only thing i dont agree is with killzone2 having the best visuals,i think farcry2 should have won,the engine on farcry2 is more complete,the killzone2 engine looks great,but thats it,doesn´t have life compared to the Dunia engine on farcry2.
witch is better to see,a picture of a place or the place itself?
Farcry2 should have won this category too.
Commented on 2008-08-31 19:11:30 In reply to Superfrog
The funny thing is that I did ask the guys at Atari if Race Pro was anywhere and they told me it probably wasn't except maybe behind closed doors - and Gamersyde allowed in with Atari, that was not going to happen... :/
Commented on 2008-08-31 19:24:57 In reply to silenthill12345
Posted by silenthill12345
I agree with almost everything,the only thing i dont agree is with killzone2 having the best visuals,i think farcry2 should have won,the engine on farcry2 is more complete,the killzone2 engine looks great,but thats it,doesn´t have life compared to the Dunia engine on farcry2.
witch is better to see,a picture of a place or the place itself?
Farcry2 should have won this category too.
I just dont agree....

KZ2 looks far more flashy, with much more eye catching special effects etc...far cry 2 looks like a browner crysis in a less interestings setting (from a visual perspective)...Also, Ive heard reports that the console and pC versions of farcry 2 have quite a difference...is this true? Also, someone else was reporting that the ps3 version looked a mess...

The analogy you give is also poor...from what Ive seen, KZ2 is more action packed and intense than FC2...so how can you say one is only a pretty picture...

I suppose since Ive played crysis, FC2 just doesnt impress me as much graphically, while KZ2 is doing something different, with a more movie like visual style
Commented on 2008-08-31 19:49:22
I'm not surprised EA got best booth. For the first time ever it seems like they're really using what strength they have accumulated over the years with all the mergers and everything.
Mirrors Edge
Dead Space
NBA Live 09
Fifa
NHL 09 (this should have won best sports game if it was there considering what it's trying to do, but I understand Europeans attachment to soccer :p)

All will be a sure hit and sell decently well when released

I wonder if PAX will yield anything good/new
Commented on 2008-08-31 20:03:27
The main issue with FC2's visual is that since it's an open world they simply can't optimize the pop-in/lod issues as well as in a very linear game like KZ2. So KZ2 looks a lot more polished and eye pleasing than FC2.
Commented on 2008-08-31 20:32:46
Regarding Prince of Persia, I'm pretty sure there will be a Game Over. Sakaguchi also said there'd be no Game Over in Lost Odyssey, and look at how that turned out. Countless people were stuck on the first two bosses alone =P

I gotta say though, on the whole this show wasn't that great. I'm much more excited for TGS. Hopefully we see some of Fumito Ueda's next Ico game
Commented on 2008-08-31 20:35:06 In reply to catfish
Posted by catfish
I suppose since Ive played crysis, FC2 just doesnt impress me as much graphically, while KZ2 is doing something different, with a more movie like visual style
You call a greyer, linear and respawning '09 Call of Duty 4 ... different?
Nothing against it, but different... it is not.
Commented on 2008-08-31 20:51:14 In reply to catfish
Posted by catfish
I just dont agree....

KZ2 looks far more flashy, with much more eye catching special effects etc...far cry 2 looks like a browner crysis in a less interestings setting (from a visual perspective)...Also, Ive heard reports that the console and pC versions of farcry 2 have quite a difference...is this true? Also, someone else was reporting that the ps3 version looked a mess...

The analogy you give is also poor...from what Ive seen, KZ2 is more action packed and intense than FC2...so how can you say one is only a pretty picture...

I suppose since Ive played crysis, FC2 just doesnt impress me as much graphically, while KZ2 is doing something different, with a more movie like visual style
For me and for many other people,far cry2 is more realistic,killzone2 can look good,but i dont play graphics,and for what i can see,and know you have 50km2 free to explore with does graphics-"incredibly realistic and there’s such a feeling of life in the environments thanks to the African wildlife and the trees blowing in the wind that you simply want to ask for more"-and you can interact with does things,on killzone2 is only visuals,and all the environment is pre rendered,things doesn´t happen in real time like on farcry2,farcry2 have real time weather dude.I think that killzone2 is just a simple fps with good grey visuals.I think many ps3 fan boys are trying to justify the money they have given for this console with this game.
And i am sure that farcry2 have more action than KZ2,and much more realistic.
Come on,only a gamer that doesn´t have a pc an xbox360 and a ps3,will buy this for a console,it´s very obvious that will be more powerfull on the pc.
Commented on 2008-08-31 20:58:43 In reply to BlimBlim
Posted by BlimBlim
The main issue with FC2's visual is that since it's an open world they simply can't optimize the pop-in/lod issues as well as in a very linear game like KZ2. So KZ2 looks a lot more polished and eye pleasing than FC2.
Finally i found someone that see the same as me.Thats whay i think farcry2 should have win,it was not fair.
Commented on 2008-08-31 22:00:33
And the best newsblog is ............. GAMERSYDE ))))
Commented on 2008-08-31 22:28:21
I'm mixed on Far Cry 2, I'll see how reviews go but open world games fall into repetition easiest.
Commented on 2008-08-31 22:30:28 In reply to silenthill12345
Blim blim:

Does the game look as brown in person? In most of the vids Ive seen it looks really washed out and brown? The colour contrast seems really poor..
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