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Most Innovative Game of E3 2008

29 July 2008

Innovation is what drives the videogame industry forward. Despite all the carbon copies of other titles out there, great games with original ideas are almost always more successful their clones. More importantly, they're the games that go down in the annals of history. Nobody will ever forget the first Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Grand Theft Auto III simply because of the sheer originality of their design. With that said, which PlayStation games were not the followers, but the trailblazers at E3 2008? Here are our nominees.

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In Mirror's Edge, you're put straight into the shoes of Faith as she performs parkour through a vertigo-inducing cityscape. Despite its first person perspective, Mirror's Edge isn't solely a platformer, fighter, puzzler or shooter. The game's focus is divided between intense combat (both hand-to-hand fighting and gunplay), fast-paced chases and challenging puzzles. Featuring a never-before-seen sense of movement and spacial awareness, Mirror's Edge is all about bridging genres and providing an epic experience you won't soon forget. 

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Here's the thing, Flower isn't a great game. It's great, but it's not a game. Flower can only be described as an experience, one that lies on the opposite side of the spectrum from nearly everything else currently available. Using only Sixaxis motion control and a single button, Flower has you playing, nay, experiencing the dreams of flowers. The point of Flower is to revitalize the earth and bring color to the world. Once you've flown about in the wind and garnered a sufficient amount of flower petals, vibrant color and nature will sweep across the previously-barren landscapes, much like in Okami. Frankly, if we can compare anything to Okami, it's probably awesome, and that holds true here. 

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At first glance, Tom Clancy's EndWar seems like your standard real-time strategy game, albeit a quality one. Once you dig a bit deeper though, this World War III speculator breaks a lot of ground in several different areas. First of all, it's an RTS built from the ground up for consoles. First thing that comes to mind? Control problems. Although the developers state that the game plays perfectly fine with a controller, if you've got the right equipment -- a microphone and some vocal chords -- you won't need a controller at all. That's correct, the entire game can be played using voice commands. But that's not all. EndWar's other major innovation lies in its persistent online Theater of War mode. In Theater of War, online proxy battles contribute to the overall balance of world power. If your faction wins enough individual battles, they can seize control of more and more areas and inevitably control the world. World domination from the comfort of your own home... it sounds pretty appealing to us. 

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LittleBigPlanet is the one game on this list that truly needs no explanation. Fully embracing the "Game 2.0" ideology, LittleBigPlanet is not only a game for its users, but a game by its users. With a revolutionary yet user-friendly toolset, you'll be up and crafting your own levels in no time. Don't want to make a whole level? You don't have to. Make an object, vehicle, gadget -- whatever you desire. Save and share it so other people can implement your creation into their levels. Just when you think you've finally reached the limit of what LittleBigPlanet can offer, you'll download a level that will open up your mind to endless other possibilities. Play, create and share to your heart's desire when LittleBigPlanet launches this October.

And 'Most Innovative Game of E3 2008' goes to... 

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Anybody surprised? The folks at Media Molecule have yet to disappoint us; each time they show off LittleBigPlanet, our urge to spend just one more level with Sackboy and co. grows ever greater. LittleBigPlanet seeks to redefine the entire user gameplay experience. No longer will developers merely make the game and players purely play. In LittleBigPlanet, the making is the playing. It's not that LittleBigPlanet is the first game ever to feature user-created content, but it's in its extraordinary ease of use for us everyday folks who can't forge an Unreal Tournament map or Half-Life mod that lies its unmistakable appeal. And, a few months after the game's release when you hop online and see all the content created, you'll finally see how big this little title really is.


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