Eurogamer is delighted to announce the 10 nominees for its Game of the Show, Eurogamer Expo 2011.
The winner will be announced on Monday 26th September. The winner and nominees were chosen by Eurogamer.net staff.
As with our recent Gamescom awards, there's only one Game of the Show, and we make no distinction between platforms and genres in the selection process. Good games are good games.
Since the Expo is all about affording gamers - that's you, hello! - a chance to get hands-on time with the biggest and best upcoming games, all of our nominees are playable on the show floor.
Here's the list of nominees, in alphabetical order. Words by Tom Bramwell, Martin Robinson and Oli Welsh.
At a Distance
An Expo exclusive in more ways than one, VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh's latest is a game designed to be played amidst the scrum of a show floor. (Though it's probably not designed to be accompanied by Take on Me, but that's what happens when you pop the thriving Indie Games Arcade next to Just Dance 3.)
First aired at NYU's No Quarter exhibition earlier this year, At a Distance places a premium on co-operation; two players are plunged into an abstract pixelated maze and they must help each other negotiate to an exit. What follows over the next 30 minutes is like an episode of Knightmare with Escher acting as the dungeon master, though to say more would spoil the special air of mystery that At a Distance conjures. It's unlikely that this particular curio will get a commercial release, so play it while you can. (MR)
Batman: Arkham City
One of the longest queues on the show floor is for the feverishly anticipated Arkham Asylum sequel from local heroes Rocksteady, based just a few miles away from Earls Court in Highgate, North London. It's clear enough from the demo that Arkham City is only going to cement the studio's reputation as one of the hottest in the world.
After introducing Catwoman's lightning-quick, acrobatic combat moves, the demo switches to Batman himself, showing how the familiar mixture of stealth, muscular brawling, detection and exploration is linked by a new open-world structure rather than Asylum's meandering, Metroid template. Now you can glide between rooftops and dangle from gargoyles above city streets, Rocksteady's suite of Batman wish-fulfillment is complete. (OW)
DICE has brought over several different setups for Battlefield 3, so you can get a sense of the different aspects of the game ahead of its release next month. There's console and PC competitive multiplayer, plus the single-player Operation Guillotine campaign level, which sees players joining a platoon assaulting Tehran at night, racing downhill into mortars under a sky latticed by flares and tracer fire.
The final game also features a dedicated co-op section, so it really can be all things to all people. Can it topple Call of Duty? Who cares - you can't go wrong with either. (TB)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
A late addition to the Expo line-up but a very welcome one, Modern Warfare 3's setup lets you check out Spec Ops Survival mode, where two players have to work together to survive waves of enemy troops invading their space and getting up in their grill.
You can buy weapons, upgrades and tactical support - like riot-shield-wielding security forces, or airstrikes - in between rounds. But watch out for the enemy's own variations, like helicopter gunships, bomb dogs and juggernauts. (TB)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
"Do you hate freedom?" Yes! Then take a seat on the Terrorist side of the table and get to grips with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive version of the classic Dust map. (You can also play as Counter-Terrorists, if you're a flag-hugging hippy wimp.)
The new layout and weapon tweaks - not to mention the addition of things like the Molotov cocktail - alter the dynamic in interesting ways that CS fans should enjoy picking apart. It might be a steep learning curve for newcomers, but Valve promises CS: GO will lower the barrier to entry as well as raising the skill ceiling. (TB)
A quiet, intent huddle of players in a suitably dim corner of the show floor is getting to grips with the follow-up to fan favourite Demon's Souls, watching each other's screens and swapping arcane stratagems. Even though it's a game that takes time to get under your skin, there's a palpable sense of mystery, discovery and threat in the PS3 demo and final Xbox version on display.
We're already neck-deep in our review and can confirm that From's action RPG formula remains just as inscrutable, forbidding and totally compelling second time around. Oh, and they weren't kidding, it really is quite a lot harder. (OW)
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
When the doors opened on day one of this year's Eurogamer Expo, we had people running to Skyrim so they could plough faster and deeper into the expansive demo than anyone else.
From our lofty position in the press centre we can see the banks of screens they're playing on, and no two players seem to be doing the same thing - such is the sheer breadth of potential directions and actions in Bethesda's latest epic RPG. (TB)
Guild Wars 2
MMOs aren't the easiest games to demonstrate in short bursts, but Guild Wars 2's striking art, snappy combat and seamless, flowing construction are evident from the player-versus-player and boss fight demos on the show floor. Although of all the games at the Expo this is certainly the furthest away from release, the level of polish is remarkable.
But attending one of ArenaNet's developer sessions, you twig that it's not just about high production values. Populist yet genuinely innovative, Guild Wars 2 is no copycat; it might even be the next generation MMO. (OW)
Super Mario 3D Land
Arguably the 3DS's first true triple-A title, Mario's debut on Nintendo's new handheld has more than the hopes of fans pinned to it. A truly outstanding entry could be the shot in the arm the console sorely needs right now.
Nintendo's Mario Galaxy team look set to deliver, continuing their blend of 2D and 3D gameplay with a renewed emphasis on the former. The callbacks to Mario Bros. 3 are sure to delight the faithful, and for everyone else this is shaping up to be another small slice of perfection from the portly plumber. (MR)
The amount of love Uncharted has accumulated in under four years is quite phenomenal. Come to one of Naughty Dog's developer sessions and that love is brilliantly palpable - Nolan North, the man who provides the voice of Nathan Drake as well as sharing much of the adventurer's boundless charisma, has reached film star status amongst the many fans.
It's a love shared by Naughty Dog, and lead game designer Richard Lemarchand's dissection of Uncharted 3's cargo plane set-piece shows the amount of thought, care and hard graft goes in to creating such effortlessly breezy action. A brilliant game that's as smart as it is entertaining. (MR)