Sick of military shooters, third-person action adventure and grinding for experience points? There's still something for you at E3 2011 in this, the best of the rest of the games we're expecting to see grab our attention next week.
These are the less crowded genres of E3: racing games, music games, fighting games, action games that are more action, less adventure, shooting games with a different approach to shooting and games that defy easy categorization. That doesn't mean they're not big games. On the contrary, there are exciting, genre-bending and genre-avoiding video games here on both home consoles and portable game machines.
Without further ado, this is the best of the rest, the other big games of E3 2011.
Look! Up In The Sky!
Starhawk (PS3): This semi-sequel to PlayStation 3 shooter Warhawk, Starhawk is full of the same brand of intense aerial dogfights and on-foot combat, takes the war to the stars, further complicating matters with an injection of real-time strategy. Plus, it has transforming war machines, a shooter that's more than meets the eye.
Star Fox 64 3D (3DS): Barrel rolls enter the stereoscopic third dimension with this, the other important Nintendo 64 remake for the Nintendo 3DS. Expect multiplayer for Star Fox 64 3D, but sorry, Starfox, can't let you take that mode online.
Twisted Metal (PS3): What the? Isn't Twisted Metal a car combat game? Yes, but you'd better keep your eyes on the skies amidst the hyperviolent vehicular slaughter in the new Twisted Metal. Watch out for enemy helicopters and nuclear missiles flying overhead in the game's new and exciting Nuke multiplayer mode. Read our preview.
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS): Nintendo finally gives Kid Icarus fans the sequel they've been clamoring for, but in a different form than some of us were expecting. Pit returns to fight Medusa, Reapettes and Eggplant Wizards, but with aerial combat and a dash of attitude, courtesy of the man behind Super Smash Bros. Hopefully, we'll get a more firm release date for Uprising at E3 2011.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (PS3, Xbox 360): Namco's venerable Ace Combat series is also getting a once-over with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, which adds the "Close Range Assault" effect, bringing the camera closer for more intense dogfighting action.
On The Road Again
Driver San Francisco (PS3, Xbox 360): The Driver series is back on track, thanks to this unusual driving game with an inventive new mechanic. Players can bounce from car to car at any time during its story mode or multiplayer modes. It's one of the few games you'll play while in a coma. Expect this game's neat innovations to be copied by others.
Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360): Microsoft's take on driving simulation adds Kinect support, Top Gear credibility and way too many features to list in a blurb like this. Fortunately, many of those features have already leaked.
Need For Speed: The Run (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, 3DS): Take part in a high-stakes race across the country, from San Francisco to New York City in this year's new Need For Speed effort.
Mario Kart 3DS (3DS): It wouldn't be Nintendo hardware without a new Mario Kart game. What will Nintendo deliver? Shells? Banana peels? We'll find out at E3.
Ridge Racer Unbounded (PS3, Xbox 360): The Ridge Racer series takes a sharp left turn, focusing on high-speed crashes and destruction. It's also in the hands of a new developer, Bugbear Entertainment who created another destructive racer, Flat Out.
Kung Fu Fighting
Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3, Xbox 360): Capcom's beloved fighters take on their rivals from Namco's top-tier fighting game series in a crossover that keeps the Street Fighter rules, but tosses in Tekken characters. It precedes Tekken X Street Fighter, Namco's likewise effort to bring Street Fighter characters into 3D battles.
Soul Calibur V (PS3, Xbox 360): The soul still burns 17 years later—in video game time, not real time—in Namco Bandai's next iteration of its long-running, weapons based fighting game franchise. Expect a smaller cast of sword-wielding fighters, plenty of fresh new faces, and a few new guest characters to battle for the Soul Edge and Soul Calibur.
Songs, Sand, Sheep and More
Journey (PS3): This beautiful desert adventure is still something of a mystery to us. We know it involves singing, surfing on sand, puzzle-solving and beautiful fabrics, and that it's from the inventive thatgamecompany, creators of flOw and Flower.
Rocksmith (PS3, Xbox 360): If the rhythm game genre is dead, someone forgot to tell Ubisoft, who enter the guitar game fray with a game designed to teach you how to play guitar.
Dance Central 2 (Xbox 360): Last year's Kinect hit is due for a sequel and we're pretty certain Harmonix is working on a new Dance Central for the Xbox 360's Kinect sensor. What will a Dance Central 2 bring to game-hungry Kinect owners? Potentially a very, very long list of new features.
From Dust (PS3, Xbox 360, PC): The designer of Out Of This World, Eric Chahi, let's us play god with a small group of needy villagers. Manipulate sand, sea and lava to protect the lives of innocents. Read our preview.
Wii Play Motion (Wii): One of the few Wii games due this year is also one of the few designed with the Wii MotionPlus in mind. The original Wii Play is one of the bestselling games of all time, but expect less excitement and more contentment for its sequel.
End of Nations (PC): Can a massively multiplayer online real time strategy game work? RTS vets Petroglyph aim to try. Read our preview.
Crush 3D (3DS): Sega's unexpectedly great PSP game gets expanded into stereoscopic 3D for Nintendo's competing handheld.
Catherine (PS3, Xbox 360): Atlus' bizarre erotic horror puzzle game is all about love, loss, sleep and sheep, with some block-climbing, brain-teasing action thrown in. Look, it's weird, OK?
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