With E3 next week and our schedules chock full of gaming goodness, we thought we would share a few of our most anticipated titles that we’ll be seeing in Los Angeles. Certainly, this doesn’t cover every game that we’re excited for, but these are topping our list.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

 

 

You can’t tell from this screenshot, but unlike so many other strategy games, the battlefield is anything but static. When I saw the game in action at PAX East, I wanted to rip the controller out of the hands of the gentleman handling the demo. He was doing a great job, but the armchair tactician in me was salivating at the presentation. Using your sniper to grapple to higher ground, blowing out the façade of a building and running and diving for cover all with a cinematic approach just looks good. I’ve got an interview set up with the game’s lead producer, Garth DeAngelis. First question, “What happened to the hyphen in X-COM?”

Check out our past coverage of XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

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Assassin’s Creed III

We had the chance to get a closed-door look at the next stage of the timeless Assassin v Templar battle when we were at PAX East. You can read Catherine Cai’s writeup of the huge Bunker Hill battle here. One of the things that astounded me was how organic the environments feel. Climbing trees, scaling rock faces and creeping through bushes all to get the best angle on your target will make this latest entry in the series feel more natural than ever.

As much of an improvement in gracefulness that Ezio was over Altair, Connor is over the Italian protagonist. He’s constantly in motion, clawing, stabbing and diving toward his target. We can already tell that he is tenacious and fierce. He’s one character we can’t wait to meet this fall.

Check out our past coverage of Assassin’s Creed III.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard

Dave Oshry, our Consigliere would have my head (or put a horse head in my bed) if I didn’t include Dawnguard on this list. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t put in nearly enough time with Skyrim to be able to comment on how awesome it is, but after speaking with Dave and hearing his voice climb in both pitch and volume as he was describing the expansion, I’m comfortable including it. In addition, we’ve got a brand new trailer right here for you.

 

 

Check out our past coverage of Skyrim’s Dawnguard expansion.

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Lollipop Chainsaw

Oh, WB. You were such a tease at PAX East. Limiting us to a mere five minutes or so of gameplay just wasn’t fair. I haven’t always been a fan of SUDA51, but after falling in love with last year’s Shadows of the Damned, I’ve got high hopes for Grasshopper Manufacture’s latest outing. What I did get a chance to play involved tight combat, Suda’s typical humor and lots and lots of zombies. I’m looking forward to a more extensive experience with Juliet Starling in Los Angeles.

Check out our past coverage of Lollipop Chainsaw.

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New Super Mario Bros. Mii

Justin would never let me live it down if we didn’t include a Nintendo title on this list. Things are looking good for Mario’s first outing on the new console. It’s likely to be a showcase for the power and unique functionality for the hardware, all while tying in those lovable Miis. Expect a full report on everything Nintendo from our own KingNintendoFanboy.

Check out our past coverage of New Super Mario Bros. Mii.

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Heroes of Ruin

I’ve had my eye on Square Enix and n-Space’s portable action RPG for a while. Every time a new video hits, it feeds my love of dungeon crawling and loot collecting, making me yearn for the game’s July 17, 2012 release. The classes look interesting, the multiplayer options seem robust and it’s even got me thinking about picking up a second 3DS so I can introduce my daughter to the genre. We’ll be spending some time with the game next week, so expect a full report.

Check out our past coverage of Heroes of Ruin.

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Borderlands 2

Last, but certainly not least, is the follow-up to one of the most addictive shooters I’ve ever played. I’ve had my hands on time with Borderlands 2 twice so far, and I look forward to seeing what Gearbox has put together for E3. We already know that there is a fifth class planned for further down the road, but I’m eager to get my hands on the Commando and the Assassin. We also haven’t seen Claptrap yet, and really, what’s the planet of Pandora without a bevy of dancing, beatboxing robots?

Check out our past coverage of Borderlands 2.

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Be sure to visit us regularly during E3 next week for all the latest announcements, previews and more.