First things first, apologies if you were disappointed, having read our Eurogamer Expo preview on Monday, to discover that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift vehicle outside the Expo entrance was a monster truck instead of a Humvee. We are also sorry that so many of you missed the chance to touch Bertie's moustache, which endures even now atop the sweater-clad granite torso and arms of news-typing sultriness.
One thing we are happy about is that loads of you filled out our Eurogamer Expo exit poll form thing, which gives us all sorts of useful feedback to plug into our thoughts for next year's show, assuming we do one. And we are assuming we do one, since over 90 per cent of respondents said they'd come again. That's not why we're happy though; we're happy because we can present your Eurogamer Expo Top 10 based on the time you spent playing the games on display. You.
One day we'll write the whole site in italics. Until that day, let's do the top ten in reverse order starting with...
10. Prince of Persia
Ubisoft's decision to reboot the Prince of Persia series with stylised visuals, an elegant (if slightly controversial) new combat system and a new female counterpart, Elika, went down well with a good number of you at the Expo. Building on the running and jumping mechanics fine-tuned in the Sands of Time trilogy, the new Prince bounces around with typical deftness at the behest of simplified controls, as he and Elika pursue the naughty old god of darkness, Ahriman, in an attempt to cleanse his corruption and save the poor old Tree of Life from certain wilting. A fate, to judge by your enthusiasm, unlikely to befall one of Ubisoft's oldest and grandest properties.
9. Fallout 3
Having gone up on the first day of the Expo, Kristan's towering 10/10 for Bethesda's own series reboot was the topic of a lot of conversation, and came up during both of our Ask Eurogamer panels. Over a shorter distance than the 60 hours Kristan travelled touring the world outside the Vault, though, you were able to appreciate the VATS combat system, and Bethesda's imperious wasteland, before voting the game among your favourites of the whole show. It's out today in Europe on all three formats, and if you can't make up your mind about which format to buy it on, look out for a special Face-Off Bonus Round next week taking in all three platforms, along with another Fallout-related live treat.
8. Gears of War 2
- Xbox 360
- Out on 7th November
In a sea of new IP and fascinating overhauls, it's almost boring to be excited about Gears of War 2, but enough of you were undeterred by the shiny new things sitting a few metres to either side to propel it this far into the top ten. As covered extensively over the last few months, Gears 2 is a self-conscious sequel that aims to do everything the first game did with greater aplomb, throwing a few addictive new modes like Horde onto the disc to bolster the feature-set. With the game out on 7th November, we won't have to wait long to find out if Marcus and Dom finally kiss, and you won't have to wait long for our verdict, either, as the review embargo lifts on Monday afternoon...
7. Call of Duty: World at War
Publisher Activision has been working overtime to position this as a true sequel to last year's massively popular Modern Warfare, despite the change of developer, but the benchmark for placement here is the game's performance itself, so it's a testament to Treyarch that Call of Duty: World at War finds itself ahead of Gears 2 after its bow at the Expo. Even more so when you consider that the core Expo audience will have been among those hoovering up our beta keys last month, if not playing on the PC beta this week. For a game with that much exposure to outgun triple-A games most of the people present had never played before suggests a thoroughbred. Plus: zombies.
6. Left 4 Dead
Zombies, of course, will only get you so far. Good thing, then, that Left 4 Dead has Valve's incomparable craft to back them up. A co-op shooter by design, the time that design has taken would be a source of concern were it any other developer besides perhaps Nintendo. But the AI created by the Valve's since-absorbed comrades at Turtle Rock ensures a new experience on every playthrough of the game's tight levels, while numerous other ideas gently conduct the party into concert, rewarding team-play and emphasising the perils of playing Rambo with subtle authority. The fact you can take leading rolls in the monster pack that haunts the human survivors trying to escape a zombie-infested city is another reason to keep an eye on this one. And you seem to agree.
5. Street Fighter IV
Permanently manned by Capcom's effusive British PR Leo Tan, the SF IV arcade and Xbox 360 pods at the Expo were popular, to say the least. Told that the beat-'em-up - yet another series reboot - had ranked fifth in the exit poll, Leo explained that he must now "kill everyone who reads Eurogamer", but we'd advise him to stay his hand, because it is so close at this end of the top ten. While some of the titles in the first half are strung out, there's almost nothing to separate SF IV from the games above it, and the fact that a 2D beat-'em-up built on decade-old principles can stand toe to toe with the best action games of this generation speaks volumes for the work already completed by Yoshinori Ono and his Japanese development team. That said, Leo is correct when he points out that Ryu is best, because he fights with honour, innit. Filthy Ken.
- Media Molecule
- Out on 5th November
We had nothing to do with the recall, you know. It was just a coincidence. But like COD 5, it's impressive that LittleBigPlanet managed to hold your Expo attention so effectively given its recent beta exposure, and it seems safe to say that this most obscure and brilliant of Sony's new-model IPs is destined to enjoy success in the hands of PS3 owners when it finally hits shop shelves in Europe next week. Again, there's not much to separate this one from the top of your list, and, interestingly, it's not even the highest-placed PS3 exclusive. After two cold winters lagging behind the guts and guns of Microsoft's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink first-mover desperation, could this be Sony's Happy Christmas? We shall see.
=2. Resident Evil 5
=2. Killzone 2
- Out in February
We told you it was tight at this end of the table. Despite a huge percentage of attendees putting their names to a favourite game, there isn't a single vote to spare between Resident Evil 5 and Killzone 2. Very different games, the one thing that unites them is that you won't be able to buy either until next year, and we're very grateful that Capcom and Sony were prepared to let you get your hands on them so early. After the critical success of Resident Evil 4, the fifth game seems to have lost little of its appeal to series fans despite being transplanted to a new African setting and - gasp - daylight gameplay. Familiar, oppressive controls and atmosphere, and some promising co-op elements, were among the things our conversations around the pods suggest are appealing to you lot, but we suspect the series' nearly 35 million sales have built up a bit of loyalty too.
Killzone, of course, has nothing like that to fall back on, but with nearly 17 million PS3 owners around the world desperate for Guerrilla to deliver on the promise of that CG trailer back in 2005, there's a comparable sense of excitement. The multiplayer components are elaborate and extensive, binding discrete sessions together through customisation and reward systems. It's an evolution of principles embodied by Call of Duty 4, to some extent, but the single-player game arguably owes Infinity Ward a greater debt, from our experience, as it assembles a tightly-staged succession of dramatic in-game events and drives you through the middle of them with a fancy gun. For those of you who played it at the Expo, you might be interested to learn that the build of the game on display was several months old. We'll be heading to Holland soon to catch up with the latest tweaks.
1. Mirror's Edge
We're surprised. Not because Mirror's Edge is a dull game - it's a fascinating attempt to repurpose mechanics in a way that nobody else has dared. Not because Mirror's Edge is a risky proposition - after all, last year's biggest games included Portal, BioShock, Crackdown and Mass Effect, and this year looks to be ruled by the likes of LittleBigPlanet, so new IP is definitely hitting home. But we are surprised, because Mirror's Edge is the sort of game that you have to really work with to get. No doubt you'll be filling in more of your impressions now that the demo's available on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, but if the game's reception at the Expo is anything to go by, the new-look EA is not just delivering on John Riccitiello's aim to produce new games in addition to the usual rush of sequels, but capable of turning out original ideas in the process. Whether or not the finished game stands up to extended inspection, we want more of this please, EA. Thanks.
And thanks to all of you who voted.