GamesBeat

Your Quick-n-Easy Guide to E3′s Shooters

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

Ever since we got back from this year's E3, a lot of us have been bitching about the overwhelming number of first- and third-person on display at the trade show. Do gamers need them all? Absolutely not. But can you find some gems in the pile? Absolutely. But it won't necessarily be easy.

If you're having any trouble sorting through this mess, don't fret — our quick-n-easy guide is here to help. Below, we give you the basic intel on all the shooters that we got to see, from systems they're on and release dates to a quick sentence or two about what makes that game stand out (if anything).

Got an itch to shoot some stuff up this fall, winter, and into 2011? Read on…and let us know in the comments which games you'd pick if you could only have three of these….

 

(With additional reporting by Omri Petitte, Rob Savillo, Brett Bates, and Demian Linn.)


Blacklight: Tango Down

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: Summer 2010

In this downloadable first-person shooter, as you earn experience, you start to unlock barrels, stocks, sights, clips, power-ups (via trinkets, like the smiley face you see in the screen above), and more to let you create a completely customize your gun from the inside out.


Brink

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: Spring 2011

Brink mixes the free-running abilities of Mirror's Edge with the team-based play mechanics of Team Fortress 2.


Bulletstorm

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: February 2011

In Bulletstorm, it's not just about killing, but killing with style — juggles, environmental traps, combos, and more define the over-the-top, testosterone-fueled gameplay here.


Call of Duty: Black Ops

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: November 2010

Missions that showcase the (just slightly) stealthier side of Call of Duty take place over different time eras, from the Vietnam War to modern day.


Conduit 2

Platforms: Wii

Release date: Fall 2010

A new Team Invasion mode brings Gears of War 2's Horde-style gameplay to the Wii, with four players cooperatively taking on waves of enemies. Conduit 2 also supports 12 players online or four-player splitscreen.


Crysis 2

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: Holiday 2010

While the overused New York City backdrop may be ho-hum, the same can't be said for the Nanosuit-fueled, alien-slaying action. The developers call it "choreographed sandbox" — an exciting mix of predetermined scripted scenes in a somewhat open environment.


Dead Space 2

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: January 2011

We're getting more of that great Dead Space atmosphere, with wild, set-piece boss battles. Sever a necromorph's spiny claw, then use telekinesis and impale the creature on its own limb — over-the-top and a bit horror porny…but fun.


F.E.A.R. 3

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: Q3 2010

The third F.E.A.R. game adds a full-on co-op campaign — with very different play styles for each character — to the series' patented mixture of the supernatural and super-smart A.I.

Front Mission: Evolved

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: September 2010

Evolved reboots the series as a fast-paced, squad-based, third-person shooter that puts players in the seat of giant Wanzers (read: mechs).


Gears of War 3

Platforms: XB360

Release date: April 2011

Beast (aka, "Reverse Horde") mode features almost a dozen different Locust classes that players can pick from to cooperatively take on A.I.-controlled COG soldiers. You can be the skittery, explosive Ticker that self-ignites to take out barricades and humans with equal effectiveness; the bull-rushing but near-sighted Beserker, the chaingun-wielding Grinder…or if you're old fashioned, just take the Drone (who plays like a traditional GOW character who uses guns and cover) out for a few kills.


Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC (also Wii, DS, and PSP)

Release date: Q1 2011

Use fancy, mostly real-world-inspired tech to down tangos with your fellow Ghosts, who can now literally disappear via active camo suits. You'd think the bad guys would notice a man-sized shimmery thing walking toward them but apparently not.


GoldenEye 007

Platforms: Wii

Release date: October 2010

This reboot of the Nintendo 64 classic (this time, starring Daniel Craig's James Bond) has cinematic moments, online play for eight, and four-player splitscreen. It definitely seems like an excellent shooter…by Wii standards.


Halo: Reach

Platforms: XB360

Release date: September 2010

The co-op Firefight mode in Reach has substantially more options than its ODST counterpart. You can play with all rockets or with specific objectives, for example — and you can change settings like you would in standard multiplayer. Oh yeah, outside of Firefight, you can fly spaceships now…in space.


Homefront

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: February 2011

A united Korea invades and occupies the United States in this story-driven, first-person shooter. Players take the role of a civilian freedom fighter through a gripping war experience that aims to subject them to the unpleasant sides of war. Jon Milius, who wrote Red Dawn and Apocalypse Now, penned the script.


Hunted: The Demon's Forge

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: Q1 2011

Think Gears of War with magic, swords, and bows and arrows. The other big difference: You can revive your teammate from a distance with potions — no more having your partner bleed all over you while you're healing him.


Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

Platforms: XB360, PS3

Release date: August 2010

Kane and Lynch 2 seeks to emulate the gritty cell-phone videos that crop up in the dark corners of the Internet by introducing intentional screen tearing and video artifacts.


Killzone 3

Platforms: PS3

Release date: February 2011

Goofy jetpacks that make you look like Doctor Octopus brings this series to new heights, but it's the stereoscopic 3D that's got us buzzing. If you've got the right hardware, then this is probably the best-looking FPS you'll get to play within the next year.

Medal of Honor

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: October 2010

A me-too revival of the esteemed shooter franchise that features box-like maps, killstreak rewards, and soldier classes befit of any modern warfare title. "Modern warfare"…that sounds strangely familiar.


Mindjack

Platforms: XB360, PS3

Release date: October 2010

Other online players can drop in and out of your single-player campaign to either assist you in your mission or impede your progress. Each level is a self-contained, multiplayer arena. Players "jack" into characters in the game, which allows them to take control of any model on the battlefield. When players die, they can jack into another character.


Quantum Theory

Platforms: XB360, PS3

Release date: July 2010

Tecmo tries its hand at a Gears of War-style cover-based game. One innovation: You can launch your lady co-op companion at enemies. I'd like to see Marcus try that with Dom.


Rage

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: 2011

If Borderlands is "RPG lite" then Rage is "RPG extra lite" — it's primarily action-based, with some vehicle sections, but you'll be able to stop in towns to talk to people and pick up new missions. The game's quite the looker, too.


Red Faction: Armageddon

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: March 2011

Armageddon takes the Red Faction series underground the surface of Mars as the player must eliminate an infestation of strange creatures. The fully destructible environments of Guerrilla return, and players now have new methods of wrecking havoc, such as the magentic gun that causes two objects to attract. Players will also pilot massive mech-like suits as they battle onward.


SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs

Platforms: PS3

Release date: Fall 2010

We're not too wild about the PlayStation Move setup (how many shooters on the Wii do you love playing with motion controls?), but the new (destructible) cover system, five-man squads, and customizable ways to issue commands to your A.I. teammates show the game still has hardcore cred.


Spec Ops: The Line

Platforms: XB360, PS3, PC

Release date: 2011

Set in Dubai after massive sandstorms destroy the city, The Line is a squad-based, third-person shooter with context sensitive commands, which allows players to order teammates to action in an evolving battlefield. Campaign follows a non-linear path influenced by player decisions, but all paths are to the same end.


Vanquish

Platforms: XB360, PS3

Release date: October 2010

A very Japanese, very arcadey take on the Gears of War-style cover-based shooter. Features a lot of slow-mo "bullet time" gunplay, screen-clearing weapons, and fast sliding from cover to cover (no more walking around like a sucker).


XCOM

Platforms: XB360, PC

Release date: 2011

XCOM is the classic strategy series reimagined as a first-person shooter. Its suburban, atomic-age '50s vibe is cool, but it remains to be seen how much of the original's quirky gameplay and deep strategy will show up here. Hopefully lots.


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