The Ten Ton Hammer Best of E3 2011 Awards

Join us for the spectacular Ten Ton Hammer Best of E3 2011 Awards where we award the very best of the show in eight categories.
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E3 is big, it's busy and it's exciting. Out of all of the gaming conventions in North America in a given year, E3 is the one we know we can rely on to see some fantastic developments, both ongoing and the all-together new. So much talent and effort is put into this show and the games found within that it is only fitting that these companies be recognized for their accomplishments.

While many other sites offer awards on the myriad of different genres and platforms seen at E3, we here at Ten Ton Hammer know that you, our audience, has a specific passion for all things MMO and RPG. As such, Ten Ton Hammer's E3 Awards are tailored specifically to your interests.

There was much to see at E3 this year so it's not surprising we have eight awards. Some games we expected to see a lot of and were disappointed, while others we hadn't had many, if any, expectations and our collective socks were blown off. Have a look with us and see for yourself which of those games impressed us to that degree in this year's awards.

Either flip through the awards through the navigation below or select a specific award from the dropdown menu above. We've got lots to go through, so sit back and relax to enjoy Ten Ton Hammer's Best of E3 2011 Awards.

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One of the most anticipated features of E3 is something that most players don't actually get to experience first hand. Unless you've been to E3, it's impossible to describe the level of imagination and creativity that goes into the booths of the games we see.

The truly tragic story is that most of these booths will only be seen for a few short days during the show, and then they'll be dismantled and stored away, never to be seen in their full glory again.

This year was no different than any other. We were surrounded by a magical forest of choroplast and vacuform. There were cities of stone walls and metal dungeons of sci-fi splendor.

The winner of this year's Best Booth Award goes to a game we've all become familiar with over the past few months. It's that game everyone is talking about that seemed to have come out from nowhere. That's right, we're talking about World of Tanks.

World of Tanks

Nominees: RAGE, TERA, World of Tanks

The choice for World of Tanks as Best Booth was an obvious one. Wargaming showed up in a real, functioning tank with the men and women who operate them. And let's face it. Choroplast and vacuform stand no chance against a real live tank.

More World of Tanks E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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Bells and whistles, graphics and sound, none of these have as great an impact on a game as its raw gameplay.

When we play our games, we want them to be fun. Without that, gaming is just pointless. So deciding who to give the Best Gameplay Award to was going to be a challenge.

We wanted to give this award to a game that had us coming back for more. We see many games at these events but truth be told, there are very few of them that have us itching to just get back into the chair again at the next event and sit down to play.

For the winner of this year's award, that was exactly the case. All of us at Ten Ton Hammer who have played the game before have experienced that after-show withdrawal first-hand. It's one of the only games where we fight amongst ourselves to cover the game for the next show because we know it means we'll get another chance to play it.

This year's Best Gameplay award goes to...

(Bluehole Studio & En Masse Entertainment)

Nominees: Jagged Alliance Online, PAYDAY: The Heist, TERA, Torchlight II

TERA's gameplay is raw, unfiltered fun. A beautiful marriage of action combat and true MMORPG magic, to play TERA is to bask in gaming evolution. Combat is responsive and natural without dummying it down to a point where player skill does not matter. We all enjoy playing the game so much, we're already starting to fight over who gets to play it again next time.

More TERA E3 Coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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When reviewing this award, we had difficulty in deciding a name.

We wanted to award a game that we have seen before but has evolved so much further than its original state that it's worthy of a reward.

We didn't want to name the Award "Most Improved" as that implies the game wasn't much good to begin with, and in the case of this year's nominees that wasn't necessarily the case.

So we decided upon "Best Respawn" to represent an existing game that has made such leaps and strides since its original launch that it is almost a new game all together. Once narrowed down like that, our picks for the category became much easier. This year's winner is something we're all very excited about and very happy to see come back to life in a new iteration that not only addresses the concerns from launch but vastly improves the gameplay and sheer fun of the game.

Without further ado, the Ten Ton Hammer Best Respawn of E3 2011 Award goes to...

APB: Reloaded
(GamersFirst, Reloaded Productions)

Nominees: APB Reloaded, End of Nations

When RealTime Worlds closed down the servers for APB many of us were severly disappointed. We understood the reasons why the game wasn't succeeding: poor matchmaking, a huge chasm between poorly geared and well geared player performance, some annoying bugs, inaccessibility, and so on. But that didn't mean we didn't love the idea of the game. There was some potential there, but sadly it wasn't realized in time.

So when free-to-play guru GamersFirst acquired the rights to the game and poured heart and soul into polishing it up to address all the gamers' concerns, we were overjoyed. Even moreso, when we saw the new version of the game in action, we become nothing short of thrilled. APB: Reloaded is not only a brilliant fix to the old game, it's got so much heart and soul in it now that it's a completely new experience... and one we'll be playing quite a bit of.

More APB: Reloaded E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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RPGs are so closely knit with MMORPGs that it would be silly for us not to check them out at E3.

A good RPG has a great story, a wonderful world, and is so rich and in depth that one can immerse themselves for days or weeks or even months into the game before coming up for air and moving to something new.

This year was a real tough decision for us to make. We saw several formidable RPGs, all of which would be deserving of this award. But we had to make a decision on only one. And that decision wasn't going to be easy.

We had three nominees this year and each of those three received the exact same amount of votes. So we digested these games a little further, and discussed the games for hours on end. We still weren't getting any closer to a resolution. So at that point we had to pull in an additional party to consider the nominees and cast another vote. This time we did come up with a winner.

And the winner of Ten Ton Hammer's Best RPG of E3 2011 goes to....

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Nominees: Mass Effect 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim has everything it takes to make a fantastic RPG. A deep and meaningful story, a fantastic gigantic world, fluid combat, and a level of detail that will leave you wondering if you're playing a video game or actually inside an alternate universe. We couldn't force our eyes away while watching the presentation and were left stunned at the end. We can't wait for launch and delve deep into the world of Skyrim.

More Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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There were a few new reveals at E3 2011 so we had to determine which could be called "the biggest."

The game that we came up with we had found most intriguing. We weren't able to get too much information about the game, but we were able to see a bit of it in action.

When the game launches it will mean a new era of MMO Gaming. It has all the elements it takes to make a splash in an industry that is becoming increasingly populated.

For that reason alone we were quite content awarding this game the Biggest reveal award. If this game can make as big of an impact as we think it can, we're going to be in for some fireworks in the near future.

The Ten Ton Hammer E3 2011 Award for the Biggest Reveal goes to...

(Trion Worlds, Syfy)

Nominees: Defiance, World of Warplanes

Defiance is an action based shooter MMOG that teams Trion Worlds (Rift) with Syfy in a game that will share the same world and story as an ongoing television series aired on the Syfy channel. The game will be available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and while there's still no resolution yet between Sony and Microsoft on cross-compatibility Trion Worlds hopes to have the game world shared by the three platforms if it is going to be possible come launch.

As far as shooters go,  Defiance looks to bring in all the fun of a third person shooter while tossing in a nice dose of RPG to make the game a fun and immersive experience for players. Coupled with the guest appearances from the TV series' stars and players names making their way into aired episodes, this could be one heck of an evolutionary leap in entertainment.

More Defiance E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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We all love surprises, and E3 tends to be the King of Surprises.

Sometimes games slip under our radar, sometimes we know of games coming up but have yet to see them. Whatever the case may be, we're often pleasantly surprised at E3 and this year we got tickled with a wonderful surprise.

Surprises can come in the form of a new announcement, but usually they show up as games that we have heard about, but have seen very little of. We try to go with few expectations, but that can sometimes be easier said than done.

This year we had no expectations from the winner. We didn't know what to expect, so we didnt' expect what we saw. It made for a smack-across-the-head surprise (in a good way!)

The Ten Ton Hammer Biggest Surprise of E3 2011 Award goes to...


Nominees: Neverwinter, PAYDAY: The Heist, Rusty Hearts

Neverwinter looks to be a promising and fulfillling RPG with enough content to keep players and D&D fans interested for some time. However, the real surprise for us comes in form of The Foundry toolset which allows players to generate their own adventures to share with friends.

Player generated content is an important part of any D&D universe and Neverwinter empowers the players with tools that are easy enough for first-time builders but powerful enough to create incredibly detailed and expansive adventures.

The sky's the limit and we expect there will be some pretty amazing content created by the game's fans.

More Neverwinter E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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We like to believe we're in touch with our readers. After all, we're all not just gamers here, we're MMO gamers.

One title in particular keeps coming up over and over again. On the forums, in the news, on blogs, on facebook, in conversation, in email. We all know which game we can't wait to see.

Lucky for us, we have gotten a few chances to see this hotly anticipated mega-title. And every time we see it, it just looks better and better.

We know you love it, as do we, so it should be no surprise...

This year's Ten Ton Hammer E3 2011 Gamer's Choice Award goes to....


At E3 2011,  Star Wars: The Old Republic was simply impossible to see unless you had an appointment. The more public lines for 15 minutes of hands-on with the game yielded a mass of people where the ones at the very end were doomed to disappointment with the closing of the show floors doors well before the players got a chance to check it out.

It's big and beautiful, and well deserving of the Gamer's Choice award this year.

More Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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Picking this year's Best of Show Award was a surprisingly easy task.

Sure, there were tons of great games, many of which were deserving of their own awards. Heck, many of them got their own rewards.

But at the end of the day, we simply asked ourselves: Out of all the awesome games we got to see and play this year, if we could only take one home with us to play right now, which would it be?

Would it be one of the single player RPGs? They were great, but we like our MMOGs. Would it be something we haven't yet had a chance to play? Of course not. Games may look good, but they have to feel good too, so we'll wait on those titles. Which game did we just enjoy playing the most this year?

The answer to that question, we all agreed, and thus the Ten Ton Hammer Best of Show Award of E3 2011 goes to...

(Bluehole Studio & En Masse Entertainment)

From GDC of 2010 to E3, gamescom, PAX and again this year, every time we play TERA all we want to do is play more.

Sure, the graphics are great, the world is begging to be explored, the story in captivating, but it all comes down to the simple truth that TERA is fun. The action based combat and the sheer joy of successful co-op group play makes this game an easy winner.

We'll be looking for you at later events this year, TERA. Please keep our seats warm for us. We'll be back soon!

More TERA E3 Coverage from Ten Ton Hammer:

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