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E3 2012: Digital Spy's Best of E3 Awards

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Master Chief in Halo 4

© Microsoft Games


E3, the world's biggest gaming expo and the busiest week in the calendar for publishers, developers and journalists, has come and gone for another year. When it came to announcements, it was the most subdued for some time - due to a glut of pre-show reveals and first-party manufacturers holding off on their big showings for new consoles in 2013 - but it still proved that this console cycle will go out with a bang.

> E3 2012: Vote for Digital Spy's Game of the Show
> E3 2012: All you need to know - picture gallery


Best Action - Assassin's Creed 3

Assassin's Creed 3 looks better every time we see it, and E3 was no exception. Ubisoft's press conference saw new lead Connor in combat against a pack of wolves, exploring a base and sneaking his way into a camp, and Sony's conference revealed a surprising naval warfare section, proving that Assassin's Creed juggles stunning set-pieces and fluid moment-to-moment gameplay like few others can.

> Assassin's Creed 3 E3 2012 preview: Eight anticipated features
> Read our Assassin's Creed 3 interview with Ubisoft


Runners up: Resident Evil 6, The Last of Us, Dishonored


Best Shooter - Halo 4

While shooter fatigue has been present for years now, it felt stronger than ever with the majority of this E3's action-packed demos. Halo 4 offered by far the most unique showing, with a stunning spaceship crash followed by encounters with a new, mysterious robotic race in a lush, dense jungle, making for an incredibly strong start to both Microsoft's conference and E3 as a whole.

> Read our hands-on multiplayer preview of Halo 4

Runners up: Far Cry 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Gears of War: Judgement


Best Strategy - SimCity

EA's Sim games bridge the gap between 'hardcore' and 'casual' better than most, and the SimCity reboot looks to continue that trend. The E3 reveal was focused heavily on multiplayer, with player cities affecting one another in multiple ways, from crime waves to pollution, meaning that your decisions have wide-ranging impacts. If there's a convincing argument for traditional single-player games going online-only, this is it.

Runners Up: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, Pikmin 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


Best Racer - Need for Speed: Most Wanted

A title leaked ahead of its official reveal, it didn't spoil the impact of Criterion's second bash at the Need for Speed franchise. Most Wanted is practically a spiritual successor to Burnout: Paradise, with an open-city to explore and a bevy of exciting multiplayer modes that see racers painlessly group up and speed past cameras, race to checkpoints and notch up the furthest distance from freeway ramps.

Runners up: Forza Horizon, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed



Best Platformer - Rayman Legends

Despite being leaked weeks ahead of E3, Rayman Legends showcased the Wii U hardware better than the majority of Nintendo's own line-up, including New Super Mario Bros U, as players used the second screen to move platforms and reveal secrets hidden from other players. But it was the rhythm-action section that was the icing on the cake, bringing the Ubisoft conference to a standstill as timed prods to the music opened gates for two other players. Smart, fun and inventive, Rayman Legends builds upon one of last year's best platformers with some clever Wii U touches.

Runners up: New Super Mario Bros U, New Super Mario Bros 2, Epic Mickey 2


Best Multiplayer - Halo 4

Halo is well known for its multiplayer, but Call of Duty has taken its crown in recent years. The fourth game attempts to take it back in two impressive ways; WarGames cherry picks elements from the competition - from killstreaks, custom loadouts and faster action - and couples it with its ever-popular sandbox skirmishes. Spartan Ops, meanwhile, mimics the delivery of a TV show, offering co-op episodes with exclusive stages and story months after release.

> Read our hands-on multiplayer preview of Halo 4

Runners up: Rayman Legends, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Nintendoland


Best New Game - Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs was one of the biggest talking points of the show. Despite us seeing it twice - once at Ubisoft's conference, the other a behind-closed-doors presentation - we're still not quite sure what we can expect. But what we do know is that players will be able to use information flow for their own ends, using surveillance and traffic systems to manipulate an open world, and be joined with others for collaborative hacking. How it will play out is uncertain, but Watch Dogs is absolutely one to keep your eyes on.

Runners up: Beyond: Two Souls, Wonderbook, Nintendoland


Best Conference - Ubisoft

All five press conference this year were fairly limp in their announcements, with very few genuine surprises. While our pick of the bunch, Ubisoft's, wasn't crammed with new announcements, new titles Zombi U and Watch Dogs were among the best of the show. Meanwhile, excellent showcases of Rayman Legends, Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 made it by far the most entertaining of the bunch. We just wish Mr Caffeine had made a cameo appearance.

> Ubisoft conference E3 2012 live blog

Runners up: Microsoft, Sony



Best Publisher - Ubisoft

Ubisoft dominated E3 2012. As well as an enjoyable conference of its own, it gatecrashed Nintendo and Sony with strong exclusives and demos, and also provided one of Microsoft's best segments with a reveal of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Its line-up is also the most well-rounded and strongest, from blockbusters like Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 to the likes of Just Dance 4 and Rabbids Land, cementing its status as one of the best third-party publishers.

Runners up: Microsoft, Sony, EA


What did you think to E3 2012? Agree with our choices? Be sure to also vote for Digital Spy's Game of the Show.

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