Every year, E3 has one game on display that's almost universally tagged as the critical favorite, despite not having the big-name pedigree of a Halo or Grand Theft Auto. Last year, it was the underwater adventure BioShock, which -- thanks to a steady drumbeat of positive press coverage--went on to sell a few million copies and become a true sleeper hit.
This year, it's Fallout 3, a post-apocalyptic RPG set in the ruins of Washington DC. The original Fallout games were PC titles from the early '90s, so the franchise can't rely on the faded memories of aging fans to sell big holiday numbers when it's released this fall. Instead, developer Bethesda has modeled the game on its previous big hit, the popular 2006 sword-and-sorcery RPG Oblivion.