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5 Games Not to Miss at E3: Survival Horror, Multiplayer Mayhem and 'Lord of the Rings'

Attending the annual E3 Expo, held in L.A. from June 9-11 and want to cut through the eye-candy overload? Here are five games to try and play while you're there.

E3 Preview Shadow of Mordor - H 2014
"Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor"

EVOLVE (2K Games)

It’s a relatively simple conceit: Four hunters, one monster in a large but confined space. Who will win, the hunters or the hunted? Evolve is the most recent entry in a series of games that are all about the multiplayer experience – but this is one of the most fun. The hunters (each of whom has a specific role to play – the big gun, the trapper, the medic and the support) need to work together to achieve their goal. Lone wolves will get feasted on, and the more the Monster feeds, the stronger and tougher he’ll get. Games like this are all about balance and Evolve is up on the tightrope. (Fall 2014)

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THE ORDER: 1886 (Sony)

First-person shooters are a dime-a-dozen. They are what modern gaming is made of. Two things can distinguish a shooter from the rest of the pack: bell-and-whistle-style innovation and story. Me, I’m a sucker for an engrossing world and well-told story — and, at the very least, The Order has the world down pat. After all, it is set in a steampunk Victorian London, starring an order of knights with Arthurian names like Galahad and Percival, who wield wickedly devious weapons. (2015)

DESTINY (Activision)

This one comes from Bungie, the same developer that created Halo, arguably the most influential video game of the past 20 years (certainly the game that buttressed the Xbox’s various iterations until the current Xbox One). As such, expectations are high for this sci-fi first-person shooter — also a massively multiplayer online game — which sets its tale in a far-flung future where humanity is on the brink of extinction and defending the last city on Earth. (Sept. 9)

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MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR (Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment)

The world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy is vast and deep – a quick look at the voluminous appendices will reveal the mind of an author for whom enough was never enough – as is the fan interest in playing in that world. Set between the events of The Hobbit and LOTR, this third-person adventure game has some of the stealth and movement of Assassin’s Creed, some really well thought-out strategy components, constantly evolving villains and a lot of hack-and-slash release. (Oct. 7)

THE LONG DARK (Hinterland)

I am a bit of a wuss so, traditionally, horror games don’t do anything for me. I don’t want to be shock-scared or grossed out. But indie survival horror game The Long Dark aims to unnerve. It places you in a world getting colder every minute, a world without power, a world in which nature has become the alpha predator. It’s silent, eerie, covered in snow. Your constant companion is a meter showing how many calories you’ve got left in your body … and it’s always, inexorably counting down. You’ll spend all of your time alone, until you aren’t. See? Spooky. (October)

Honorable Mentions:

Batman: Arkham Knight (get a load of that sweet, sweet Batmobile), Battlefield: Hardline (cops and robbers) and Galak-Z (old-school arcade space-shooter)