E3 2006 Game of the Show: Gods & Heroes, Perpetual Entertainment / SOE
Last year, we were greatly impressed by the debut effort from Perpetual Entertainment, but something was just missing. Throw in the award winning visuals this year and you have the best, most complete and alluring game on the show floor. Perpetual has a hit on their hands and for once, we're not talking about Star Trek.
They're taking a chance and it's paying off with squad-based combat. They've solved the problem of everyone being a hero by giving each player the ability to hire and maintain their own personal army. Gods & Heroes features highly positional, tactical and visually interactive combat. It's unlike what anyone else is doing and definitely has imaginations on fire.
Of all the games at E3, none of them looked as ready to go as Gods & Heroes. They had the advantage of a year to polish the game out of the public eye, but while some may have forgotten them, we certainly did not. Now, with a topflight publisher in tow, the game has removed the last hurdle between them and success.
Generally, this year seemed a rebuilding year for MMORPGs. There were a lot of new games lacking polish and a lot of games on the home stretch. With the former group, it is far too early to hand them hardware. With the later group, Gods & Heroes was head and shoulders above the crowd.
For more information on our Game of the Show, check out our E3 Preview.
The following games also received consideration as game of the show.
Age of Conan, Funcom
Some were surprised by the comments in my blog about the state of the graphics. They're good, make no mistake, they're just not drop-dead gorgeous. That doesn't mean the game doesn't look like a blast! Combat, animation, variety of play and the RTS-style enemies of Kingdom war have us drooling.
It just looks fun. There is no other way to describe it. Auran's entry at E3 2006 looks like a blast. It's visually appealing and further along then anyone expected. Auran may have a darkhorse hit on their hands here.
Hero's Journey, Simutronics
They took home the trophy last year, but this year was a minor step back. Last year, they had no expectations and blew everyone out of the water. This year, it looked more like a game. It looked fun, it was visually appealing and the UI was amazing. It's a year older and a lot closer to reality. They're well on their way.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Mythic Entertainment
If this game wasn't so early, it probably could have taken home the hardware. There are simply too many designs and too many theories to give it the award, but from what we saw of the title, which only entered full development in late 2005, this game should have an inside track on this award in a year's time.