E3 Awards are a time-honored tradition, and while we're proud to present our picks for the best of the best at this year's event (and it was by no means an easy set of choices to make), we've altered our categories a bit to coincide with the changes we've seen in the MMORPG market. So, without further ado, check out Ten Ton Hammer's E3 2009 awards!

Surprise of the Show: Heroes of Telara

We were expecting cookie-cutter fantasy and saw a game built around
truly dynamic content and intelligent subclassing, both ideas worthy of a
place in the next generation of MMORPGs. It looks cool and better yet makes
sense for the game Trion is designing, and we're truly excited to see
where this one goes. (coverage)

Best Use of a License: DC Universe Online

Licenses are tricky, but SOE Austin has made all the right moves,
first by snatching up major league comic artist and writer talent like
Jim Lee, Marv Wolfman, and Jeff Jones. That investment is already
starting to pay off. Not only do the main storylines inundate you with
big time DC characters, you'll fight with or against them in
large-scale battles which eminate epic. TheHeadline
achievements and looted equipment that automatically adapts to your
costume colors - both concepts revealed at E3 - carry the DC comic book ideal to a new level too. (coverage)

Most Innovative: APB

Worlds is seeking to build a game which places such importance on
individual fashion and character customization that you won't even see
floaty names overhead as you walk around, and that's just the tip of
the iceberg. You'll be able to combine a huge array of vector graphics
to create your own tattoos, clothing graphics, and vehicle designs,
work with an in-game FM mod synth-styled music machine to give your
character your own theme music (read that one again), and have your
gang's music or style of music blaring out of the speakers as you drive
past other characters. We saw positional voicechat for the first time
during the demo too.We
could go on for paragraphs, but this game screams innovation and we
truly hope Realtime Worlds can tie all these great ideas together into
an awesome beta in the coming months.

Most Improved: The Agency

might be odd to talk about a game still in-development as most
improved, but for us seeing the demo mission legitimized the vision for
an espionage-geared MMO that SOE has been telling us about for years.
There's plenty of room for different playstyles - for guns-blazing gamers
and stealthy types, and the black tie side of the classic spy
motif is very nicely done in what we saw.
Overall character progression and overall cohesion are still question
marks, but E3 2009 made us believers that SOE truly has something
special going with The Agency. (coverage)

Best Gameplay: Global Agenda

saw a few "persistent world shooters" at E3 2009 this year, and Global
Agenda, in our opinion, has the most to offer traditional MMO players.
You build your character to suit your playstyle in the tank / DPS /
support roles you're already used to, and the equipment and abilities
you choose supports rather than dictates your style. The PvE sessions
let you earn equipment while infusing a typically flat genre with some
compelling storyline, and PvP is nothing short of a blast - think Team
Fortress 2 or Battlefield Heroes with an overarching purpose and a
z-axis. We'd dare anyone to play just one mission of this game, since
we had a very rough time putting Global Agenda
down when it was time to rush off to our next appointment. (coverage)

Best of Show - Star Wars: The Old Republic

Maybe it was the absolutely phenomenal trailer that BioWare led off
with (which many at E3 were calling the best Star Wars cinema in 30 odd
years), or the retro-styled booth where they were doing the demo of the
highly convincing bounty hunter and smuggler classes or the revelation
that a game can go full voiceover without obstructing gameplay. SWTOR
is still a long way away and we have much, much, much more to see, but
not only did Bioware bring the full package to this year's premier
games event, the core of the game looks very compelling
and so far, worthy of the hype. (coverage)

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Agency Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.