I find it hard to get genuinely excited about things any more. I certainly feel anticipation, but excitement? Not so much. Which is a pity as I miss it. I’m not sure why I don’t get excited any more. Perhaps its because so many things turned out to be a let down, perhaps I’ve become overly cynical, perhaps the tragically comprehensive previews of the modern media machine rob everything of mystery, perhaps I’m not quite as chemically tweaked since they stopped making Stinger’s (fuck I’d like a Dan Bar). Even though I don’t get all big in the pants thinking about whats coming I do still generally enjoy weeding through information on whats coming out and deciding what I’m really looking forward to. At this point in the year its hard to say whats going to be coming out for the entirety of 2011. Each week see’s new games released or release dates change. We also wont see very many announcements for the Autumn and Winter releases until the summer. So while I’ve called this “Games of 2011” it would be more accurate to call it “Games of the first half of 2011”.
Well I really should have got this out a week or two ago before some big releases “dropped”, but what can you do?
These are the games that I’m actively looking forward to. I want to play them and I want to play them now. They are the games that have the best chance of retaining my attention before something shiny draws it away.
What they say: Arcana Heart 3 (アルカナハート3, Arukana Hāto Surī?) is a 2D arcade fighting game developed by Examu (formerly Yuki Enterprise) and published by Arc System Works. It is the third entry in the Arcana Heart series. Arcana Heart 3 continues the series’ usage of Arcana, or celestial beings based on the characters from the Tarot. Who each have their own unique powers, to augment the abilities of 23 female characters. The game adds a Force Gauge to the fight system. When completely filled, the Force Gauge allows the player to perform an Extend Force, a maneuver similar to the Arcana Burst from earlier games. The game also adds a “Simple Mode” which simplifies the control layout into a single button for each major function: one button for normal attacks, one button for special moves, one button for moves involving Arcana, and one button for the game’s Homing Dash ability.
The console version of Arcana Heart 3 has a fully voiced story mode and HD anime graphics for super moves. It also includes the usual training mode, score attack, and online play.
Why I want it: God knows. I’m never going to find anyone to play against (yeah woe is me). Still, every time a cool new fighting game comes out I look forward to it and this certainly looks cool. It’s also nice to see a well animated 2d game in a genre dominated by 3d (and now 2.5d). The first Arcana Heart game was a fun in somewhat flawed game, the port was excellent though. The port of the second game, was fucking terrible, it was literally unplayable, with slow downs, collison glitches, crashes etc. The third port has been done by Arc System Works (of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fame) as is solid as fuck. I’ve played the import version and it plays perfectly. As well as the basic “combo fighter” bits and bobs (dashes, massive combos, etc.) the Arcana Heart has a few unique mechanics, the most intersting of which is the Arcana system. When you pick your fighter you then pick an Arcana, which can do a number of things from giving you additional moves to changing how your own moves work. This adds an enjoyable level of strategy to character selection, do you pick an Arcana that enhances your characters stronpoint? One that shores up a weakness? One that opens up new tactics? With twenty three characters and twenty three Arcana you have five hundred and twenty nine possible combinations. Which is both cool and serves as an excellent balancing mechanicsm i.e. the game has no “God Tier” characters or combinations. No english localisation has been announced yet but I imagine its just a matter of time. Though the import version is fine for everything other than story mode.
What they say: Dead Space 2 is a survival horror third-person shooter video game developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to Dead Space. Dead Space 2 is a survival horror third-person shooter. The player controls Isaac Clarke from a third-person point of view, looking over the character’s right shoulder. The game begins in a hospital on the Sprawl, a densely populated metropolis built on a shard of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Isaac Clarke has no memory of the last three years, having just been released by Franco, the protagonist of Dead Space Ignition.
Why I want it: I don’t, I’ve already had it! (ooh er) This game is already out and it is well worth your money. It improves in nearly every way on the first game (which was a previous “Game of the Year” nomination from myself). It’s certainly my favourite third person shooter, and to be honest, is more enjoyable than most FPS’s I’ve played recently (though I’m largely done with FPS’s so thats a bit biased). You dont have to take my word for it though, there are demo’s up on both XBL and PSN so try it.
What they say: After a decade of waiting, the biggest names from the Marvel Universe will clash head on with the combined might of Capcom’s best known and most feared roster of gaming characters. Powered by the mighty MT Framework engine, MARVEL® VS. CAPCOM® 3 will deliver the best ever match up of legendary fighters and no holds barred fighting action. Get set for the ultimate faceoff when MARVEL® VS. CAPCOM® 3: Fate of Two Worlds hits the Xbox 360® and PlayStation 3® on 2/15/2011.
Why I want it: This out in seven days (well in the US anyhow). I have my coke and alcohol stockpiled. I have the weekend off. My pants are tight with anticipation. Marvel vs Capcom 2 was an awesome game that suffered from serious balance issues (and which I also fucking sucked at). Marvel vs Capcom 3 will hopefully have no (or limited) balance issues and will be a game at which I do not suck. I love fighting games, my favourite fighting games of all time have been made by Capcom. I love comics, some of my favourite comics of all time have been made by Marvel. Like all people I like to mentally bit combatants from various things I like against one another. Really, do I have to explain the appeal of this game?
What they say: Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (タクティクスオウガ, Takutikusu Ōga?) is a Japanese tactical role-playing game created by Quest. A remake of the game by the original development team was announced in the July 22, 2010 issue of Weekly Famitsu for the PSP with the new title Tactics Ogre: Unmei no Wa (タクティクスオウガ 運命の輪?, lit. “Tactics Ogre: The Wheel of Fortune”). The game was also confirmed for North American and PAL region releases, under its original title Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.
The game has a similar style to most tactical RPG’s: the player builds up a team of several characters with changeable classes and fights on an isometric playing field. The order of movement is determined by the speed of individual characters, in contrast to games in which each side moves its entire team at once. The gameplay is intermixed with expositional cutscenes revealing the plot, shown in the same isometric view as the battles. Movement and team management between battles are done through a map interface.
Why I want it: I love strategy RPG’s (though I really fucking wish they would stop releasing them on handhelds as I find them hard to play). I love branching storylines and alternate endings. I like politcally complex stories full of saucy bastardry. I like sprites and square grids and animated intros. I love wanky mechanics based on tarot cards. I like stupid titles and enhanced ports. I like alignment systems on a Law Chaos axis. Tactics Ogre:Luct has all of these things and more. Of course Im going to fucking play it.
What they say: Catherine (キャサリン, Kyasarin?) is an upcoming action-adventure puzzle video game developed and published by Atlus for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game will be Atlus’ first game for seventh-generation consoles in high definition, described as an ‘adult’ title by the game’s character designer, Shigenori Soejima.
Players control a man named Vincent who, after meeting a strange girl named Catherine, begins having strange nightmares, during which he might be killed. The main story mode, Golden Theater, follows the story between Daytime and Nightmare scenarios. During the daytime, Vincent will converse with his friends as well as try to handle his relationship with the two women, Catherine and Katherine.
The Nightmare stages are where the main gameplay takes place. In a nightmarish dreamworld inhabited by other men, who are represented as sheep, Vincent must climb up giant staircases and escape from various horrors trying to kill him in his sleep. To accomplish this, Vincent must push, pull and climb blocks as quickly as possible while avoiding various traps such as spikes and lightning.
In the neighbourhood Vincent lives in, there have recently been a number of bizarre incidents in which people die in their sleep, with a look of anguish upon their faces. Strangely enough, all of the victims are young men. The story quickly spreads throughout the media, attracting widespread attention and theories as to the cause of death. A strange rumour begins to spread that if a person dreams of falling, if they don’t wake up they will soon become unable to wake at all, and die.
Vincent is at a bar contemplating marriage to Katherine, his lover of five years, who is pressuring him to get married, when he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman named Catherine. Although there are many vacant seats she sits next to Vincent and, well-proportioned and pretty, she is exactly his type. The two end up spending the night together at Vincent’s house.
After meeting the woman, Vincent begins to have nightmares every single night, which he believes may be related to the rumours. In these dreams, he, and several other men who appear to him as sheep, must escape from various horrors trying to kill him, for if he dies in his dream, he will die for real. As dreams and reality begin to blend together, Vincent must not only fight to survive, but he must choose between Katherine and Catherine
Why I want it: The Persona spin-off series from the main Shin Megami Tensei series has produced two of my top five games of the last twenty five years. I honestly dont think these guys could put out a game I wouldnt love. While Catherine isnt Persona 5 (mores the pity) it is for the moment the next best thing to it. Even if I wasnt interested in what I know of the game I’d buy it. Luckily I am interested in the game. I think these guys are one of the few game development stuidos who can do a genuinely mature story without descending into puerile sensationalism. Super excited about seeing this game imported. That the animation is being done by Studio 4°C is just icing on the cake. I hammed my way through the japanese demo and the puzzle elements of the game are already rather addictive. I’m sure when I know what the fuck I’m doing they will be even more so.
What they say: In the near future, the earth is plagued by altered beasts known as Aragami. Just when all was thought to be lost, a biochemical corporation called Fenrir created the God Arc, the only weapon capable of killing the Aragami. In Gods Eater the player is a new member of an elite force created to wield the God Arc and crush the hostile gods. Your mission is to defeat the Aragami and gather material from them for research, but you come to realize that you are being drawn in to a giant conspiracy that will irreversibly alter the fate of humanity…
Gods Eater Burst is the enhanced version of the PSP hit God Eater (released in 2009) which has sold over 600,000 units in Japan to date. In response to the requests of fans and European gamers who have been eagerly awaiting the game’s PAL release, NAMCO will launch the reworked game with new content, skills, abilities and AI.
Why I want it: To be honest? Largely based on the animated intro (the first video above). I just love the look of the world, the weapons, the characters and the monsters. My interest is entirely based on its visual appeal. I’ve never been able to get into a Monster Hunter style game, perhaps this will finally convince me of how awesome they are? I really hope they keep the cameo characters from the Japanese version.
What they say: Yakuza 4 picks up the story of Yakuza 3 one year later and takes the player back to Tokyo. The story starts when a man is shot to death in the ruling territory of the Tojo Clan, the organisation that has featured in all games in the series to date. A small gang which belongs to Tojo Clan try to establish what happened and their leader is soon found stabbed to death. These events cause a heated battle between four men over money, power, status and honour. The truth becomes apparent as the lies, betrayals and entwined stories are revealed and when these 4 unflinching men get together, the new legend of Kamurocho is born.
• Experience the Japanese underworld under the guise of 4 characters – it would not be a Yakuza game if you couldn’t still play as Kazuma, but now play as three of the other key characters from the franchise. Each character has different missions and allows the player to explore the city from different viewpoints and engage in the Japanese underworld more than has ever been seen before.
• Authentic replication of Tokyo – In addition to the bright lights of downtown Tokyo, players can now go into the depths of the intricate underground, explore the backstreets of the city and take in the views from the rooftops of buildings.
• Become the ultimate fighter – enhanced battle mechanics and a new fighter training system allow players to work on their skills and become the ultimate fighter.
• Deep Japanese story – an intricate storyline that incorporates all aspects of Japanese culture including hostess bars, karaoke and city exploration.
Why I want it: Because they didnt cut out the hostess mini-game…no, really. Ok, that’s not true. But it certainly does make it more appealing. I was really looking forward to Yakuza 3 and then when I found out material was going to be cut I went off it. I always have a dis-proportinately negative reaction to material being cut or censored, no matter how minor those changes are. I suppose its an immature addiction to seeing the “true” version of something (as if truth was an objective thing). While I’m aware of it I still tend to fall victiom to it. So knowing that Yakuza 4 will be almost entirely uncut (one mini-game looks like it wont make it due to technical issues – http://kotaku.com/#!5656944/sega-yakuza-4-cuts-will-be-minor) is a big point in its favour. Ever since I played the first one (which was decent, but flawed) I’ve been interested in the series. But the second game was never localised and my own hang-ups have stopped me playing the third one. So I’m looking forward to getting back to it with the fourth. The game itself looks awesome, I like that there are four main characters and based on the trailer it looks pretty mental.
What they say: Shogun 2 is set in 16th-century feudal Japan, in the aftermath of the Ōnin War. The country is fractured into rival clans led by local warlords, each fighting for control. The player takes on the role of one of these warlords, with the goal of dominating other factions and claiming his rule over Japan. The game will feature a total of eight factions plus a ninth faction for the tutorial but nine if limited edition and a tenth for tutorial, each with a unique starting position and different political and military strengths.
Shogun 2 will have a combination of real-time strategy and turn-based strategy gameplay, a staple of the Total War series. The player plays the role of both the clan leader and general, alternating between the “campaign”, where the player manages his land and armies turn by turn, and the “battles”, where the player takes control of the army on the battlefield in real-time.
Why I want it: I havent played a genuinely enjoyable RTS since Dawn of War: Dark Crusade in 2006. Actually the original Dawn of War series is the only decent RTS series that I’ve played since Red Alert 2. Oh wait, there was Shogun Total War in 2000. So there you go, thats the main reason I want to play this game. I want to see if it can re-capture the appeal RTS games once held for me. Added to that basic appeal is the fact that I’m a big fan of the historical period and area the game is set in. The fact that the game isnt a pure RTS but adds in turn based strategy elements (another thing I enjoy) ups its appeal even further. The fact that it looks very, very nice is a bonus.
What they say: Darkspore is an upcoming video game based partially on the 2008 video game Spore. It is described as “a fast-paced, sci-fi Action-RPG in which you battle across alien worlds to save the galaxy from the mutated forces of Darkspore. The character editor in Darkspore has been described as an enhanced version of the one found in Spore. There will be thousands of parts to collect, enabling the customisation of several aspects of the characters, including body parts, armor, weapons, facial features and coloration.
Why I want it: The Spore creature creator was 10,000 pounds of awesome tied to a bag of shit (Spore the game). The creature creator was out a month or so before the game and that was a fun month of making every kind of monstrosity my mind could envision. It was so enjoyable that I had no compunctions about pre-ordering the game. Which I got, installed, played around with the exapnded creature creator, (foolishly) played the game and uninstalled. I’m not sure if I really like super customisable games but I’m sure that when I see ad copy talking about it my brain gets an erection. I’ve bought some shit purely based on the amount of customisation it allowed and lack of customisation has sullied otherwise solid games. So the creature creator expanded, re-jigged and tied to an action rpg is something I am very inerested in trying.
What they say: Disgaea 4 (魔界戦記ディスガイア4, Makai Senki Disugaia Fō?) is a Tactical role-playing video game for the PlayStation 3 and is the fourth in the Disgaea series by Nippon Ichi Software. The game tells the story of Valbatoze (a vampire boy), Fenrich (a boy with wolf-like traits), and Fuuka (a girl with a Prinny-themed school uniform).
The game once again takes place in the Netherworld, common in Disgaea titles, and follows the story of Valbatoze, a former tyrant and vampire who gave up on his powers and atrocities after an unknown incident. Due to the decline of his powers he was instead reduced to being the warden and Prinny Caretaker of the prison in the Netherworld. Displeased and angered at the corruption of the Netherworld’s rotten government, he rises up and seeks to overthrow it in order to take place as its Overlord. During his conquest he receives the aid of his loyal servant Fenrich, a fellow caretaker of the Prinny prison, and a young girl named Fuuka, a high-schooler who died for reasons unknown on earth and was meant to turn into a Prinny, but was simply given a hat due to the lack of Prinny skin.
Disgaea 4 has a political theme. Nippon Ichi, feeling finished with all the game systems a school setting can provide, made the story one of a more political nature. While aspects of Netherworld politics existed in previous games, like bribing senators in the first title, it is the central focus of the story and gameplay systems in Disgaea 4.
Why I want it: Because I love 90% of what Nippon Ichi produce and in particular I love the Disgaea series. That’s it really. It’s a new and improved release in a series of games every one of which I have immensely enjoyed, whats not to look forward to?
What they say: Not much, all the information at the moment is from a translated preview that ran in Famitsu. So far it seems that “Dark Souls will retain the overall look and feel of the original, but take place in a completely new time and place. Other changes include the removal of job systems and a renewed focus on exploration and player customization. According to the game’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Dark Souls will shed the shrine hub layout from Demon’s Souls for a much more open experience wherein gamers will travel over large distances of land and be able to see the next town or important landmark in the distance.
Dishing on the game’s online component, Hidetaka also revealed that the game will carry over the supportive and competitive multiplayer features from the first, but that it will not receive server support, thereby eliminating features like Soul Tendency.
Overall, Andriasang’s interpretations of Famitsu’s preview point to a great many improvements on the Demon’s Souls formula and, more importantly, that the sequel will not be backing down on the balls-out difficulty level that made the original both hated and loved in equal measures.” (source)
Why I want it: Demon Souls is in my top five games of all time. It was/is a simply phenomenal game. So an expanded spiritual sequel from the same development theme is “day one” for me (as the kid’s say). The existence of this game refutes the stance or state of being I espoused in the opening paragraph i.e. I am genuinely excited about this game coming out.
What they say: Dead State is a compelling, high-tension RPG set at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse – a deadly illness is rampaging through the world, turning those infected into the walking dead. As society is beginning to fall apart, the player must organize a scant handful of allies, working on fortifying a shelter, scouting for food and supplies, making uncertain alliances with others, and attempting to hold together a group as humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. And although the zombies lurk as an ever present threat, the biggest obstacle to the player may just be other humans with the same goal: survival at any cost.
-Strategic turn-based gameplay: combines single-player character control with streamlined ally AI management, allowing for innovative party control
-Lush graphics: expansive maps and detailed character models brought to life through the power of Torque 3D
-Unique perspective: Combination of classic isometric perspective and field of view based on character line-of-sight allows for a tense and exciting game experience
-Open-ended gameplay: Large explorable world and non-linear storyline allow players to explore the landscape of Dead State freely, and encounter new challenges each time they play
-Engaging story and characters: Story and characters written by veteran game developer Brian Mitsoda (Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines) – features realistic and compelling dialogue and expertly-woven story elements
-Compelling player choice: Players not judged by a linear morality scale, but asked to make difficult and challenging decisions to keep themselves and their fellow survivors alive
-Complex and reactive character AI: Allies react realistically in combat situations, human enemies employ variable tactics against other character, zombies follow frightening mobbing behavior
-Innovative mechanics: Noise mechanic affects how zombies track prey by sound, resource management within player shelter allows for streamlined upgrades and organization of ally tasks
Why I want it: Are you bored of zombies? If your answer wasnt “Yes” then you are either a) wrong (because I am, and my opinions are the foundation your universe is built on), b) insane, c) really, really, really, really fond of zombies (to a point where you are banned from graveyards) or d) have been living in a cave. Zombies are played the fuck out, “Not-Zombies” are also played the fuck out. So why am I looking forward to a zombie game? Because this is the zombie game I always wanted. It sounds awesome. There’s an excellent extended preview here – http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/08/25/a-blood-red-state-dead-state-revealed/
What they say: The game uses the same engine as Age of Conan. There will be neither levels, nor classes in the game; instead, the character building will be skill-based. This way, the developers plan to avoid level grinding, allowing new players to join the game more easily. The player characters will be customizable to a large degree, particularly in their choice of clothing, weapons (which range from shotguns to swords and can be customized and upgraded), and the supernatural powers they acquire. Combat against computer-controlled monsters will be one of the game’s central points and will require more of player’s attention than contemporary MMORPGs. The players will be able to form teams to fight together but in an earlier blog posting, Tørnquist (the lead Developer) assured that the game can also be played in single-player mode, should a player choose not to play with a group. According to him, the game is story-driven and there will be an overarching linear plot, as well as numerous side-quests, ranging from investigation to sabotage and hunting, since diversity of the gameplay will be another central point.
The game is set in the “modern day real world” but also incorporates pieces of ancient mythologies, real and false history, urban legends, and pop culture, and ties them into an original back-story. The latter is said to go back in time for 100 million years and encompass long extinct ancient civilizations. The players will assume the roles of supernatural heroes who participate in a “future war between good and evil”, fighting dark monsters that threaten the modern world. Tørnquist identified the genre of the story as dark fantasy, mentioning vampires, demons, and zombies. The players will be free to travel across different locations of the world (both real, like London, New York and Seoul, and mythical, e.g. Agartha, the legendary city located within Hollow Earth) and even in time, to pursue the overall plot and investigate new mysteries in connection to the dark invasion. The overall plot will have a conclusion but the designers also leave room for future expansions.
Why I want it: I’m entirely bored of traditional MMO’s. I may eventually pick up World of Warcraft again but it wont be for long. I no longer want to level grind and slowly gear up to fight slightly different coloured versions of existing monsters to earn slightly different coloured versions of my current gear. I am bored of the standard MMO setup and off the cookie cutter fantasy milieus. Which is why out of twenty or thirty games there are only two MMOG’s and both of them are wildly divergent from the standard set-up. While I’m sure the design of the game will change over time once it stays close to whats above this will be a day one purchase for me. This is what I want to see from MMOG’s; a complete single player experience which can be enhanced by playing with others – not a crippled single player experience entirely reliant on strangers. I like the idea of a “flat world” with skill based progression.
Apart from the game design elements the settings ticks a lot of my “like” boxes. Lovecraftian horrors, modern day, firearms, secret societies, heavy customisation, etc. All of this stuff looks excellent. Im hoping this a) lives up to its promises and b) is released this year.
What they say: Fuck that, look at the video.
Why I want it: FUCK THAT, LOOK AT THE VIDEO!
Games I’ll probably play
If I was feeling like a dick (and when am I not?) I would suggest that these are the more popular and creatively bankrupt games and that they’ll be bought in bulk BY YOU SHEEP!. But that’s going a bit far. This section does feature a dis-proportinate number of “Triple A” titles though. I guess I’m drifting away from a place where mainstream games appeal to me. Games listed here are ones I will no doubt play but which are marred by one thing or another (quite often my own bizarre opinion).
What they say: Gamindustri – A parallel world protected by four goddessess, who are engaged in a war with one another in Celestia. Meanwhile on the human world, mankind wages war with monsters unleashed by a being name Arfoire. The tome, Histoire, contains the knowledge of the past necessary to end both wars and shape the future. What fate awaits Neptune in the present? The goddesses’ battle for Gamindustri, the Console War.
Hyperdimension Neptunia (超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ, Chōjigen Geimu Neputyūnu?, lit. “Super Dimensional Game Neptune”) is a 2010 role-playing video game developed by Idea Factory and published by Compile Heart
The game’s battles will take place in a 3D environment using turn-based gameplay.
Why I want it: Because the setup for this is novel and amusing. Your party is made up of anthropomorphised versions of various game systems and you adventure in a world where everything is a reference to games studios, consoles or games. It’s a cool concept which (probably has) hasn’t been done before. The concept alone would mean that I’d be playing it. While the standard Gust anime rpg formula of well drawn but static conversations followed by battle doesn’t really get the blood pumping it does do the job. However this game has more going for it than just its concept. As you can see in the screenshots above the battle engine graphics are very nice looking. Even better “players can edit symbols and special attacks, putting new emblems on characters or, better yet, designing new weapons to be summoned in combat.” You can also summon “guardian angels” from the pictures on your PS3; and lets be honest, if this list proves one thing its that in-depth customisation gets my brain wet(ter).
What they say: Bulletstorm is an upcoming 2011 first-person shooter video game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, and is published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.
Bulletstorm takes place in a futuristic paradise setting where a confederation is being protected by an elite band of mercenaries known as Dead Echo. When Dead Echo member Grayson Hunt, voiced by Steve Blum, and Ishi Sato discover that they had been working on the wrong side, they betray their squad commander and end up being exiled to the edges of the galaxy.
Incredible New “Skillshot” System – Every enemy presents a new opportunity for stylish, over-the-top and ever increasingly bloody ways to take them down.
The Circle of Awesome – Kill with Skill to rack up the points. Cash in these points for upgrades. Use these upgrades to pull off crazier “skillshots” and earn even more points.
Badass Weaponry – From the player’s trusty Peace Maker Carbine to the explosive Flail Gun, Bulletstorm delivers an arsenal of the most inventive, death-dealing weapons ever seen.
Why I want it: Because it will make me a better rapist. Who am I kidding? You can’t be better than the best. Anyhow, I want it largely because everyone else will be playing it and its been forever since I gave a shit about a first person shooter (thanks for killing the genre on me Halo 3). The juvenile humour (which some people attribute to cynical marketing, others to clever satire and yet others for what it is) looks vaguely amusing, the single player looks suitably epic (thanks for ruining that word internet) and the multiplayer sufficiently full of bastardry. If only there was cross platform multiplayer so I didnt have to worry about which platform to get it for.
What they say: Visari is gone, but the war is far from over. Helghast forces have mounted a devastating counter-attack, prompting the ISA evacuation of planet Helghan. As new Helghast battalions appear, armed with more powerful weapons, ISA forces find themselves outmanned, outgunned and surrounded.
Epic single player campaign with a gripping storyline, intense action, and an improved narrative – featuring Hollywood voice talent.
Battle your way through huge, highly diverse environments ranging from alien jungles to harsh arctic vistas, all shown in incredible graphic detail.
Face off against previously unseen Helghast enemies with an brand-new arsenal of deadly weapons, including the immensely powerful W.A.S.P. Launcher.
INTENSE VEHICLE GAMEPLAY
Increased vehicle gameplay, including aerial combat with jet packs and ground-stomping action in the Exoskeleton.
Join forces with a friend in local co-op and take on massive boss enemies as you fight your way through the Helghast army.
Award-winning multiplayer mode returns, with added game modes, new vehicle gameplay, brutal close combat system, more powerful weapons, and a more accessible experience.
FULL 3D COMPATIBILITY
Full 3D compatibility takes immersion to new heights, delivering a “boots-on-the-ground” experience like no other.
PLAYSTATION MOVE READY
Experience “hands-on” combat action, battling the Helghast using the PlayStation®Move motion controller the PlayStation®Move Sharp Shooter.
Why I want it: Because the Helghast look fucking sweet and I’ve never played a Killzone game before (well I played a bit of Killzone 1 and the PSP game) so logically I should start with the last entry in the series. I did try and play Killzone 1, but it was a rather flawed experience and I just couldn’t get into it (though I did watch JP play through it and I never regretted my decision not to). I played the PSP one a bit but eventually got distracted by something else (as I do with all handheld games I try to play). I never played Killzone 2. Though I don’t recall why, as the demo was sweet. I imagine it was the fact that the PS3 was unhackable and I prioritised my gaming euro’s on other things.
What they say: A period action adventure set in the days when a healthy paranoia about witches was considered de rigeur, Knights Contract follows the tale of Heinrich, a cursed executioner of witches, and young girl Gretchen, a reincarnation of a witch whom Heinrich previously had the job of be-heading and who returned the favour by cursing him eternally.
When a stupendously evil and deadly threat descends on the earth, Gretchen, having had her young life curtailed once already, decides she is less than enthusiastic about seeing it ended again so soon. She decides to tackle the threat head-on by putting her curse on Heinrich to good use, enlisting his business-like and highly effective executing abilities to help curb the supernatural blood lust of their foes.
Nothing is so easy of course, and a lot of blood and its supernatural equivalent needs to be spilled before order can once again be restored to the land. Razor sharp scythes and explosive sorcery are your spectacularly effective weapons in a twilight world where you’re never more than a stone’s throw from someone, supernatural or otherwise, who would rather see you six feet under. It’s time to let the combos fly and lay waste to the hordes of darkness with a liberal dose of medieval panache.
Why I want it: Largely because of the offensive size of the main characters weaponry. I love getting my hands on a big chopper… Actually I think that may be the real reason. Not just that the main characters weapons are huge. But simply that the game looks like cool, thoughtless, bloody fun. I don’t expect this to be awesome, nor do I expect it to be terrible. I imagine it will be a competently done third person action game which will take about eight hours to complete and be decent.
What they say: Gray Matter, the adventure penned by legendary game author Jane Jensen, masterfully combines the supernatural with the nightmarish.
Since losing his wife in a terrible accident several years ago, neurobiologist Dr David Stules has become a recluse, rarely leaving his English manor, Dread Hill House. One day, mentalist Samantha Everett appears unexpectedly on his doorstep – just when Styles is on the lookout for a new assistant. Sam gets the job.
Her first task is to find six volunteers from Oxford University to take part in one of Dr. Styles’ experiments. The experiment begins harmlessly enough, but a series of inexplicable incidents is soon set in motion, while Styles is haunted by his beloved dead wife. It’s now up to Sam to solve the mysteries of Dread Hill House.
Why I want it: You can just skip this and go download the demo from the games website. But if you insist – Because I never got to play Gabriel Knight. Back when I was a kid I got a PC magazine every month. I tried out the demo’s, I read the magazine from cover to cover (I miss magazines) and I generally lamented about the games I would never get to play. There was nowhere to buy them locally and I generally couldnt afford them. Which is why I missed out on the Gabriel Knight series. Well that and the fact that vampires used to scare the cock off me. So while the regularly featured (and still feature) in “Best PC Game” charts I couldnt bring myself to spend my limited resources on something that might end up not getting played. Years later when I could afford them (or get them as abandonware), and was as blase about vampires as its possible to be, for some reason I never got around to playing them. Perhaps because the genre had died and that in tandem with the old grpahics was too much of a hurdle to overcome? Anyhow, this is a new adventure game (a genre which now barely exists) from an author/game creator who’s work I always wanted to try.
What they say: Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version feature new Pokémon that players can catch, train and battle as they progress through the game, and some Pokémon can only be caught in one version of the game. For example, the Legendary Pokémon Reshiram can only be caught in Pokémon Black Version, while the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom can only be caught in Pokémon White Version. Additionally, the two games feature different areas for the first time in the series, with the game world of Pokémon Black Version featuring a unique metropolitan area called Black City, and a lush, green area named White Forest only found in Pokémon White Version. Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version also mark the first time in a Pokémon video game that the seasons will change in the game world. Certain Pokémon appear more frequently during different seasons, and players can only access some areas during a specific season.
Why I want it: Because I gotta catch em all! The last time I played Pokemon was then the original Blue and Red came out on the Gameboy. I never really got into the wider franchise (despite Matt’s insistence on watching the cartoon every day) and over the years largely ignored it. With the newer games I heard good things but just never got around to playing them. Put off by the image of the franchise I suppose. But Pokemon Black (I’m not getting the White one!) has all new (fairly cool) looking Pokemon. An expanded battle system and (I think) a darker tone. So it seems like a good time to get back into Pokemon (it also may be the first game I complete on the DS). Oh and Team Plasma look cool.
What they say: Experience the epic sequel to the 2009 Game of the Year from the critically acclaimed makers of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.
* Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
* Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
* Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
* Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
* Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.
Why I want it: Because I am an eternal optimist. I loved the first Dragon Age (and who knows I may even someday get around to doing that last mission); so needles to say I was really looking forward to the sequel. Then detail after detail emerged about the sequel and for each one I liked the sound of there was another one I loathed. At the moment these feelings have reached an equilibrium that could accurately be described as “meh”. I now have basically no expectations for this game, good or bad. It will come out, I’ll play it, and we’ll see what happens.
What they say: “Ivoire” A world of islands and a clear blue sea. There are various sized islands in the sea; one almost as small as a house, and others big enough for an entire colony. The owners of the islands are called the “Elders”.
Whole islands, or even parts of land, can be rented. Volcano Kingdom, Desert Kingdom, or Jungle Kingdom. Ivoire is full of unique islands with different weather and geography. The story begins on a small island called “Phantom Isle”.
On a small lonely island in Ivoire, lives Ash, a Phantom who lost his life in battle, and Marona, who has the ability to communicate with Phantoms. Sometimes Marona receives Bottlemails that float along the sea.
Marona, who lost her parents when she was very young, makes her living by completing the requests inside the Bottlemails, as a Chroma. However, because of her ability, the people called her the “Possessed”. Even if she completes her work, some clients will hesitate to pay her the reward because of her reputation.
Still, Marona stays optimistic and follows what her parents told her a long time ago; “Help people, and someday everyone will start to like you.” Her goal is to save enough money to buy Phantom Isle, which she’s currently renting. Like a subtle wave in the sea, the adventures of Marona and Ash are about to begin.
Why I want it: Phantom Brave is the only “mainline” Nippon Ichi game I havent played (I wish they’d localise the PSP port of La Pucelle Tactics, or even better, release it on PSN). That’s really the entirety of the reason behind it. I like Nippon Ichi’s strategy rpg’s and even the worst of them is still better than a lot of other games. I’m sure this game will have its own unique spin on the standard formula (if I recall correctly is uses 3D targeting zones) and that the PSP port will have extra material added in (such as the main character from Zettai Hero Project). But I’d be happy to pick this up sight unseen.
What they say: Homefront is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by Kaos Studios and published by THQ. It is scheduled to be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, and OnLive game service. Homefront is set in a near future America in 2027 when a now-nuclear armed Korean People’s Army invades the USA. The game is written by John Milius, who co-wrote Apocalypse Now and wrote Red Dawn. The beginning gameplay is reportedly set in Montrose, Colorado.
Homefront’s gameplay has been completely reworked from its origins in Frontlines: Fuel of War, focusing on a more cinematic, character driven experience.
David Votypka, the design director of Homefront, stated in an interview with G4TV that the gameplay will be based around guerilla style tactics, inspired by Half-Life 2. The same interview also contained information stating that one of the important facts concerning your surroundings is that they are built to try and build a connection with the user by using real companies and brands.
The multiplayer component of Homefront is focused on large-scale vehicle based combat reminiscent of Kaos’ first title, Frontlines: Fuel of War. The defining innovation of Homefront’s Multiplayer is its battle points system, which is an in-game currency that allows player to purchase weapons, gear and vehicles. Players earn points by taking objectives and getting kills and are forced to choose between many small purchases such as weapons versus larger, higher cost items like helicopters and tanks. It has been confirmed that the multi-player will support up to 32 players in one match, with 16 players on each team. Homefront on Xbox 360 will be getting a timed exclusive map called “Suburbs”, which will be set in the Suburbs of America and will be infantry / drone only.
Homefront’s PC version has been outsourced to Digital Extremes, a Canadian developer responsible for numerous Unreal Tournament games and Bioshock ports. Frank Delise, the executive producer of the PC version has stated that the PC version of the game will feature exclusive content and dedicated servers. Additional exclusive features include clan support, DirectX 11 graphics, and first person vehicle cockpits.
Why I want it: Mainly for the story and the fact that if the game does deliver on its promise of “guerilla tactics” warfare it will be something unique (to me at least) in the overly similar field of first person shooters.
What they say: The Middle Ages come to life with The Sims.
Introducing next-gen Sims tech and features
* A world of Sims filled with stories, adventures, romance, drama and comedy
* Enhanced environment and character graphics, lighting, and gameplay
Rich dramatic medieval setting
* Experience epic stories of the age, full of drama, fantasy, conflict, comedy, romance, and intrigue
New Features: Heroes, Quests, Kingdom-Building
* Create Heroes – Build up their skills and send them on epic quests
* Quests – Drive your kingdom’s story – Good or evil, cruel or kind, romantic or warlike
* Build a Kingdom – Start with an empty field and build up your kingdom, deciding its ultimate ambition and working to achieve its destiny
* Achievement system – Be rewarded you for your skill in reaching your kingdom ambitions and completing your quests.
* Magic – Your wizard will learn a variety of powerful spells that will help him complete quests and carry out his duties to the kingdom.
* Crafting system – Your blacksmith will forge weapons of varying quality you’re your physician will create cures for a variety of ailments.
* Diplomatic system – Negotiate treaties, conduct trade or declare war on surrounding kingdoms.
* Fishing – Yes, there is fishing.
Why I want it: None of the “The SIMS” games have been as enjoyable to me as the first one. I’m not sure if its because the formula hasnt changed in any meaningful way since then or because I miss the “hot-seat” play of the first game. Everyone in the house played it, we all had our own families and the bastardry involved in trying to lure away one anothers family members was really what made the game. I’ve never really quite captured the same interest in the game since then. Sure, Ive installed them and let them suck up a week or two. But eventually I dont just get bored of them, its almost as if they no longer exist, as if I have negative interest in them. But this looks different enough, both in terms of setting and game elements, that I feel it should be able to hold my interest for a good while (which may be a bad thing considering what else is coming out in March).
What they say: Hideous creatures descend on Manhattan. Ground reports from the squad tasked with containing the pandemonium refer to these life forms as “the Twisted.” An investigatory team know as the CTI is formed within the year. The Overdive system emerges as a means of opposition, but only one viable candidate exists- Aya Brea. A gift as she awakens from a lost past on this, the occasion of her third birth.
Why I want it: Because the teenage Mick who dwell’s within still remembers the shower scene from Parasite Eve 2 and a reprise of that plus clothing that rips = victory? Well not really. Thanks to the internet its going to take more than pre-rendered CGI titallation to draw my interest. Like a lot of other games here I’ll be taking a look of this based largely on the laurels of its predecessors. Parasite Eve 2 was a really enjoyable more action heavy version of the old Resident Evil’s with a cool, if slightly odd, story. Parasite Eve The Movie was a travesty which wasted both my time and my money. I’m hoping 3rd Birthday is more the former than the latter.
What they say: The second instalment in the RPG saga about the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, features a thoroughly engrossing, mature storyline defining new standards for thought-provoking, non-linear game narration. In addition to an epic story, the game features an original, brutal combat system that uniquely combines tactical elements with dynamic action.
A new, modern game engine, responsible both for beautiful visuals and sophisticated game mechanics puts players in the most lively and believable world ever created in an RPG game. A captivating story, dynamic combat system, beautiful graphics, and everything else that made the original Witcher such a great game are now executed in a much more advanced and sophisticated way.
Why I want it: Not sure to be honest. Because people told me I should? I had to stop playing the first game after a few hours because one of the games main combat stances had the protagonist swaying from side to side like a drunk belly dancer. It was so fucking stupid looking I couldnt play the game. But the sequel is getting attention and preview recommendations from websites that I trust. Also it looks very nice. Which is enough to get me to give it a spin. (Oh and you can bang people in it, yay!)
What they say: You play Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT specialist who’s been handpicked to oversee the defensive needs of one of America’s most experimental biotechnology firms. Your job is to safeguard company secrets, but when a black ops team breaks in and kills the very scientists you were hired to protect, everything you thought you knew about your job changes
Badly wounded during the attack, you have no choice but to become mechanically augmented and you soon find yourself chasing down leads all over the world, never knowing who you can trust. At a time when scientific advancements are turning athletes, soldiers and spies into super enhanced beings, someone is working very hard to ensure mankind’s evolution follows a particular path.
You need to discover where that path lies. Because when all is said and done, the decisions you take, and the choices you make, will be the only things that can change it.
* A divided near-future: discover a time of great technological advancement, but also a time of chaos and conspiracy. Mechanical augmentations of the human body have divided society between those who can afford them, and those who can’t. Opposing forces conspire from the shadow to control the destiny of mankind: a human revolution is coming.
* A perfect mix of action and role-play: the game uniquely combines action-packed close-quarter takedowns with intense shooting, offering a vast array of character augmentations and upgrades for the many weapons at your disposal. Unlock new abilities and increase your stealth, social, hacking or combat skills: the game rewards all styles of play and approaches. Determine how you want your character to evolve, based on how you want to play the game.
* Choices and consequences: shoot your way through your enemies, sneak up behind them without being traced, hack systems to retrieve crucial information, or use your social skills to extract information from key characters – there are always choices, multiple approaches, multiple paths and multiple tools at your disposal. Choose your playing style and face the consequences of your actions: you decide how the story unfolds.
Why I want it: To make up for the terrible nerd shame of never having played Deus Ex? A game which is regularly hailed as one of the best PC games ever. But it clearly cant be as I havent bothered to play it. I want to play this simply because it looks like an awesome game. The reason it isnt a definite is because a lot of big promises have been made and experience has shown that these promises very often proove false. I’m sorry Deus Ex but your comrades in the game production business have made me cynical.
Of course if it does come through with what its promised it looks like it could be one of the best games of the year. I love the setting presented so far, and, while cyberpunk worlds arent exactly under-represented, well realised and executed ones are. The same holds through for games which actually make their story choices matter as opposed to simply using them for publicity. So I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be awesome.
What they say: Torchlight II ignites the franchise created and developed by Runic Games in this exciting sequel to the award-winning Action RPG Torchlight. Runic Games, located in Seattle, is a veteran team composed of the designers and leads of projects like Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos, Fate, and Torchlight, which won the Game Developer’s Choice Award for Best Debut of 2009.
Torchlight II is richly textured with our unique art style, drawing from traditional animation influences and expanding on the whimsical and quirky world captured in the original Torchlight. We aim for that broad appeal that’s appropriate for older kids, but is really intended for the kid in every adult.
The most exciting new feature of Torchlight II is the multiplayer element. Play with your friends, and use the free peer-to-peer matchmaking service to meet new players of a similar level and interest. Together players will discover expansive randomized outdoor areas and deep ominous caverns; random instanced and persistent dungeons, a huge variety of all new monsters and villains, endless variations of loot to find, and quests to complete. Players journey through the perilous Overworld, enjoying all new weather features, time of day events, and a rich and cunning story to drive gameplay.
Beyond the town of Torchlight lies a world shrouded in adventure and mystery. Guardian-warrior Syl appears in a prophetic dream, summoning the player to the Estherian Steppes. There, you meet with the Destroyer and soon venture across the continent of Vilderan, an exotic frontier besieged by forces of evil. A discovery unfolds, that the Alchemist, following his conquest of dark ember, disappeared on his quest to defeat the unknown corrupted force responsible for destroying the mystical race of Estherians. Aided by Syl, the remaining Estherian Guardians, and clues left behind by the missing Alchemist, you will find yourself battling a powerful enemy that threatens to unravel the elements of the entire world.
Runic Games will release Torchlight II initially as a digital download in 2011.
* Multi-player – Play with your friends over a local area network, or over the Internet. A free matchmaking peer-to-peer service lets you make new friends for exciting co-op play.
* Customizable Characters – Players create and customize a character from one of four classes available and choose an animal companion. Through cosmetic, class, and gender choices, skill path decisions, and the treasures they acquire, each character can be custom-tailored to each player’s needs.
* Moddability – Torchlight II will release with an updated version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor. Players have the option to create their own mods, adding even more content to the world. You and your friends can download the same mod and play together!
* New User Interface – Torchlight II boasts an entirely new, improved user interface, designed to be easier than ever for new players to pick up and play. Thanks to this intuitive interface, players have immediate access to a rich and varied world, with little experience necessary.
* Overworld Areas – Torchlight II has large randomized overworld areas to explore with weather, time of day cycles, and random events that provide players with even more content to experience.
* Random Dungeons – Delve into randomly generated dungeons within the game at any time for extra experience and rare loot. Dungeons in Torchlight II have even more branching paths to explore with friends filled with random events, rewards and dangers.
* Retirement System – Once characters are sufficiently leveled up, they can “retire” and bestow specific benefits and perks onto new characters.
* Pets – Players choose a pet to accompany them. Pets level up along with the player, and help in battle, learn spells, carry items, and perform a variety of support services.
* Fishing – Fishing returns in the sequel! Players can take a break from the high-energy pace of adventuring to relax by one of the many fishing holes and see what they can catch. Fish have unique benefits for the player and pet, while a number of other rewards can also be discovered.
Why I want it: Not to denigrate the work being done by the guys at Runic Games; but to hold me over till Diablo III comes out. Now I’m willing to be surprised and find this to be superior to Diablo III. But it seem’s unlikely as its basically a very polished Diablo clone. Which means it should suck up a dis-proportinate amount of my life. Which is good as fuck all is coming out in the summer.
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus: The Collection
What they say: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are receiving a high-definition remaster for the PlayStation 3 that will be released in the second quarter of 2011, before the release of The Last Guardian later that year. In addition to improved graphics, the games will be updated to include support for stereoscopic 3D and PlayStation Trophies. The Ico port will also be based on the European version, and will include features such as Yorda’s translation and the two-player mode.
Why I want it: Bro I knowz I can trust you to keep this on the down low, ai’ght? I never played ICO…I know, THE SHAME. While it features regularly and prominently in “Greatest games of all time!!! Havent you played them you fucking loser?!” lists I just never got around to it. I did however play its sequel, Shadow of the Colossus. Though play is perhaps a mis-nomer, as in terms of gameplay it was a joke, far too easy, piece of piss, etc. However as an interactive experience it was top notch. It was often genuinely beautiful and was well worth the time. So now that both of them are being re-released in a “re-mastered” i.e. high definition version its almost certain that I’ll be picking it up.
What they say: Arkham City, like its predecessor, is an action video game that incorporates elements of stealth and predator tactics. All of the gadgets previously obtained in the first game will be present at the start of Arkham City, some possessing improved or new capabilities. At least two additional gadgets have been revealed: smoke bombs which Batman can use and sneak away in the confusion, and a broadcast tracer device to locate signals and track them to their sources. The game incorporates more puzzle elements; the use of Batman’s “Detective Mode”, which highlights elements such as enemy skeletons and clues on-screen, is used to perform forensic analysis at crime scenes, such as tracing the origin of a sniper round. The player also has access to a criminal database that tracks the major villains across the city that is used within Detective Mode and the forensic puzzles.However, Rocksteady’s art director David Hugo stated that the use of Detective Mode will be changed to an “augmented reality mode”, as they found players had completed Arkham Asylum using Detective Mode all of the time. Challenges from the Riddler will also be present, but it will require additional effort to locate these, such as through interrogation of men loyal to the Riddler.
Why I want it: Because videogames have replaced VHS tapes in my spending and time wasting habits. I used to buy and watch any video that featured superhero’s, more or less indiscriminately. I now do more or less the same thing with superhero videogames (though ironically I generally avoid film tie-ins). Which would have meant this was going to get a look no matter what. The fact that it’s a sequel to the best Batman video-game (and one of the better superhero games) is just icing on the cake.
What they say: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is an upcoming third-person action video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ. Players take the role of Captain Titus, a Space Marine and humanity’s last hope for survival in a dark future that knows only war. An ork invasion of an Imperial Forge World; an entire planet covered by factories, responsible for producing weapons and armour for the Imperium of Man. The plot is further revealed that the Warboss leading the ork invasion is attempting to steal and salvage a Warlord class Battle Titan (a walking tank hundreds of feet tall), and Captain Titus (the player character) of the Ultramarines Chapter is sent, along with his Company of Space Marines and Imperial Guard, to prevent the Warboss from getting his hands on it.
Why I want it: A third person action game set in the 40K universe and made by the unargued masters of depicting the universe in computer game form? Yes please! The only possible way this could be better is if it was being made by the guys who made Darksiders. But they’re making the 40k MMOG so I can excuse them. Every 40K from Relic has been quality (even if I’m personally not a fan of the gameplay in Dawn of War II and its expansions) so there’s no reason to suspect this wont be. Still it appears one can only be Ultramarines (boo), fight Orks (boring) and third person action games are the ham sandwiches of video games these days i.e. a good one is nice, but nothing to write home about.
What they say: Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the earth.
Why I want it: How much I want this is currently up for debate. I loved the first game. It was excellent, but there was room for improvement. So to say that I was looking forward to Mass Effect 2 is something of an understatement. Then Mass Effect 2 came along and felt almost too different from the first game. Up until recently I thought I hated it. But then I went back and read the mini-review I posted just after I completed it and it seems I actually did like it. Along with that unsettling revelation I had been reading various play threads about it and had a weird urge to play it again. So I picked up the definitive (PS3) version of the game and started playing it again on Tuesday. So when Im done I’ll know if I’m interested or very interested in this game.
What they say: UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception features the return of famed fortune hunter Nathan Drake and follows him through a gripping, action-packed storyline that will take you all over the world. In his search for the fabled “Atlantis of the Sands,” Nathan Drake and longtime friend and mentor Victor Sullivan set off on a daring trek into the heart of the Arabian Desert. But when terrible secrets of this lost city are uncovered, their journey becomes a desperate bid for survival that will force him to confront his deepest fears.
Throughout UNCHARTED 3, you’ll be taken to spectacular new locations around the globe that will showcase all of the work we’ve taken on to take our physics, particle and visual effects to a new level.
Competitive and co-op multiplayer will return as a key ingredient to the UNCHARTED 3 package, where all of the new features we have planned will combine with our signature single-player cinematic gameplay to create a unique action-adventure multiplayer experience that can only be found in the UNCHARTED universe.
Oh, and there’s one more thing – UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception fully supports high-resolution Stereoscopic 3D.
Why I want it: Prior to playing Uncharted 2 this would have been a “must-play”. After playing Uncharted 2 it’s unfortunately a maybe. That’s not to say Uncharted 2 was a bad game, it wasnt. It just lacked the same kind of impact as the first game (which was amazing, though objectively not as polished on a gameplay front as the sequel). It felt “short”, not in terms of play-time, but in terms of story. The story just felt vaguely boring, it didnt grab me or wow me like the plot in the first game. Maybe playing God of War III directly afterwards didnt help, but whatever it was it sort of killed my love for the franchise. Which is why this is a probably as opposed to a definitely.
What they say: The Last Guardian, known in Japan as Hitokui no Ōwashi Trico (人喰いの大鷲トリコ, Hitokui no Ōwashi Toriko,? lit. “Trico, the man-eating eagle”) and previously referred to by the working title Project Trico, is an upcoming video game developed by Team Ico, to be published exclusively for the PlayStation 3 video game console by Sony Computer Entertainment. The title is being designed and directed by Fumito Ueda, and is expected to share stylistic, thematic, and gameplay elements with his previous titles, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, though it is unknown whether it will be directly related to either.
Why I want it: Because Shadow of Colossus was an awesome experience (though now a great game) and I’m willing to believe what people say when they say ICO was also awesome. So that’s two games released – two hits/instant classics. I have no reason to believe that their third game wont be equally awesome.
What they say: Frozen Synapse is a thrilling PC and Mac strategy game. It brings the simultaneous turn-based strategy genre bang up-to-date and lets you give detailed, accurate orders to your squad.
Plan your moves, test them out, then hit the “Execute” button: both you and your enemy’s turns are executed simultaneously.
Bite-size, critically-acclaimed hardcore strategy with a striking sci-fi aesthetic.
Frozen Synapse is the turn-based tactical game you’ve been searching for.
Each match immediately places you in an intense tactical situation: there’s no waiting around for the fun part.
Blast a hole in a wall with a rocket and then send in your close-range units, or take a stealthy approach and set up cover with a sniper: your approach is entirely down to your own creativity.
If you can predict your opponent’s moves, you can win the match: this game has been crafted so that superior tactics will triumph!
Once you’ve outwitted your opponent with a series of perfect turns, watch your Global Ranking climb and export the resuts to YouTube instantly!
If you’re a fan of classic squad-based games you’ll love this modern update that’s achieving critical praise from every quarter!
Why I want it: Because I’m convinced that I like turn based strategy/tactical games. Well that’s not entirely fair, I do like them and I play quite a few of them. But it seems like once a game includes any combination of the phrases “turn-based”, “tactical” and “strategic” in its promotional material then I’ll be picking it up. In this case I don’t feel bad about it though as Frozen Synapse looks pretty awesome. I love the visual aesthetic and the gameplay looks awesome. It seems somewhat akin to a modern version of the Jagged Alliance series, which I tried to get into but was put off by the antiquated grahics, etc. I also like the multiplayer aspect, I’ve yet to find a decent multiplayer turn-based game for ye olde computay. I always wished I’d had the chance to play Laser Squad.
What they say: The player controls a wise cracking human demon hunter named Bryce, who was cursed with immortality five-hundred years ago by a demon king. Now in modern times, he hunts demons for money and revenge and continues his hunting escapades with a female private investigator in order to stop a demonic invasion that has nearly destroyed the city.
The character that the player controls will be immortal, so the character will be able to survive taking injuries. The player will also be able to cut off their body parts and get them to attack enemies. The player will have to collect removed limbs. The player will be able to cause large objects to crush them when they are near enemies, which will harm the enemies but not the player. Gameplay will also feature puzzle elements. A female partner will assist the player, however she will not be immortal and so the player will have to take damage to protect her.
Why I want it: As I mentioned under SpaceMarine; third person action games are unfortunately so omni-present as to make the genre rather dull. Thus to garner my interest and play time the game needs to have something to make it stand out, whether thats a setting I liked (SpaceMarine), big name developers (Shadows of the Damned) or (as is the case here) a unique gameplay mechanic. The ability to dismember yourself and the fact your character is actually immortal in both the setting and mechanics of the game is fairly novel and is more than enough to make me interested in the game.
What they say: From the creative genius of Suda 51 (No More Heroes) and Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) comes an all-new psychologically twisted vision of hell unlike anything seen before. Shadows of the Damned combines visceral action with dark, grotesque horror to create a mind-shattering adventure that has to been seen to be believed.
Why I want it: The appeal here is star fucking. Nearly everything Shinji Mikami has done has been gold and while I may hot have finished any of them I certainly like the concepts of the games Suda 51 came up with. The trailer also looks cool. Still, the 3rd person action genre is (as always) fucking jam packed this year. So it will need to deliver. Though it already has another step up on the competition as I love the main characters fucking ridiculous gun.
(??/??)(PC or PS3 – depending on how it turns out)
What they say: I Am Alive is an upcoming action video game developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and published by Ubisoft. The game takes place in Chicago after a major-scale earthquake has destroyed the city and separated it from mainland, while the rest of the world suffers a water crisis.
The player controls Adam (the main character) in a first person perspective. The player can use various tactics to stay alive, including using an empty gun to threaten enemies, finding food and water around the city in order to keep Adam alive and healthy and use of actual live weapons, including pistols, machine guns, and grenades if found. The player can also drive abandoned vehicles, driving the vehicles will be in the traditional third-person view, and running or walking can be toggled between first and third person.
Why I want it: Because the temptation of being able to kill a character called Adam, again and again and again is too much to resist? Or because I never gave Raw Danger the time it deserved or watched Tokyo Magnitude 8.0? Or because I never got to play that old and impossibly difficult game on the PC where you crash and have to survive (but often die of shit like sepsis)? When I first heard about IAA I thought it was something along the lines of the things I’ve just mentioned, a realistic survival simulator. That sounded cool, while not entirely original it was novel to see a largely non violent concept being released by a major studio. Unfortunately as more details emerge it seems that its just going be a slightly quirky FPS, which just squanders the games potential. At this moment things arent entirely clear, so Im still holding out some hope. Even if they have added in an arsenal if the combat is something “realistic” like Counter Strike it could still be cool. Guess I’ll have to wait and see.
What they say: For generations, war and chaos raged across the land of Tyria. Five great races competed and warred against each other, struggling to tip the balance of power in their favor.
Then the dragons woke.
The all-powerful beasts stirred from their millennial sleep under earth and sea. With their magical breath the dragons spread destruction and created legions of twisted slaves. A deathless dragon named Zhaitan raised the sunken nation of Orr, triggering earthquakes and tidal waves that destroyed entire cities across the Sea of Sorrows.
Zhaitan’s undead armies surged from the sea, hungry for the destruction of the five races of Tyria: the charr, a ferocious race of feline warriors; the asura, magical inventors of small size and great intellect; the norn, towering shapeshifters from the frigid northern lands; the sylvari, a mysterious young race of visionary plant folk; and the humans, an embattled but resilient people.
Now heroes from the five races must set aside ancient rivalries and stand together against their common enemies.
Magic, technology, and cold steel will determine the ultimate fate of the world.
Well thats the game background. You should go here and read the games design manifesto – http://www.arena.net/blog/guild-wars-2-design-manifesto.
Why I want it: Because as much as I whinge about them I do enjoy playing MMO’s. But I dont want to play the MMO’s we have anymore. I want something new. Which is why The Secret World is listed above. It looks like it has the two things I need a) awesomeness and b) something new. Guild Wars 2 looks like it has both of these. Though in an admittedly more familiar format. The Secret World looks like something new that I might lack whereas Guild Wars 2 looks like a new evolution of something I used to enjoy. My uncertainty over Whether Guild Wars 2 manages to achieve what it sets out to do is why this is a maybe.
What they say: Two decades have passed since the demonic lords, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, set out across the world of Sanctuary on a vicious rampage, twisting humanity to their unholy will. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils, the memory fades slowly.
When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram Cathedral seeking clues to defeat new stirrings of evil, a fiery harbinger of doom falls from the heavens, striking the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. This fire from the sky reawakens ancient evils and calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells once again.
Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game developed by Blizzard, making it the third installment in the Diablo franchise. The game, which features elements of the hack and slash and “dungeon roaming” genres, was first announced on June 28, 2008, at Blizzard’s World Wide Invitational in Paris, France.
Why I want it: It’s Diablo 3. That’s it basically. Even if they are just glorified skinner box’s the first two installments in the franchise ate my time like very little else before or since (the only things that match up are Frontier Elite and regular sex – neither of which I have access to any longer). The multiplayer options are also appealing (though perhaps not with strangers). Unfortunately I really dont think this will get released this year.
What they say: Subversion is the name for a planned game from Introversion Software. It makes heavy use of procedurally generated content. A generator capable of building a model city, complete with buildings, roads and highways was demonstrated at an Imperial College Games and Media event. Development of the software is being documented in the Introversion Software blog. Lead developer Chris Delay recently discussed the game in an interview with Eurogamer.
According to Chris Delay, he had always wanted to know what game developers went through when they developed games, so he made the approach with Subversion.
In Subversion, the player takes on the role of a criminal mastermind orchestrating a theft from a secured building:
“Subversion is going to be set in a modern High Tech environment, with you taking “mission control” over a team of skilled operatives in a hostile High Security building. You will be using Sabotage, Social Engineering and Grifting, custom Electrical and Mechanical devices, Distractions, Hacking, Stealth, Acrobatics, Precision demolitions, Trickery, whatever gets the job done. In the best case scenarios your enemies will never know you were even there. When things go wrong, a well prepared escape plan and well timed precision violence will get you out of a tight spot – or maybe not.”
Why I want it: Because I’m never entirely clear on what “procedurally generated content” means but it sounds futuristic and trendy. Well thanks to Wikipedia now I know what it means. Still seems futuristic. Also, while Leverage (the most visible modern example of the genre) has blown both its creative and entertainment load long ago, I still think there’s mileage in the basic concept of planning a high-tech heist. The way that the games being described by the developers makes it sound like it will be pretty cool. Introversion Software also have a solid track record of making novel and addictive games (none of which I’ve played).
Game’s I’m not likely to play but may
(ooh snappy title)
These are games that I’ve very little interest in but will probably end up playing because a) everybody else will and I like to have something to base my ranting on or b) just because. Some games are also here because there simply isnt enough information available at the moment to decide how interested I am.
What they say: Lord of Arcana is a new action game from Sqaure Enix for the PSP. Set in a unique and beautiful fantasy world, this new action game with exciting multiplayer gameplay is coming soon. Simultaneous multi-player gaming is available for up to four players, allowing you to team up with friend to face tough monsters and battle together.
The stunning monster artwork in the game has been designed in collaboration with many well-known illustrators who have been successful both abroad and in Japan, including some renowned Square Enix staff.
Why I want it: I dont, well, not really. I find Monster Hunter style games rather boring and this game is clearly an attempt by Square Enix to cash in on Monster Hunter. Unfortunately, unlike, say, God Eater Burst. It doesnt really seem to be brining anything new to the table. Normally I’d just entirely ignore this game. But a lot of the design work was done by fairly famous artists, such as, Todd McFarlane, Yoshitaka Amano and Hideo Minaba, who’s work I generally like. So that makes it worth a glance.
What they say: Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel (アルトネリコ3 世界終焉の引鉄は少女の詩が弾く Aru toneriko Sekai Shūen no Hikigane wa Shōjo no Uta ga Hajiku, literally “Ar tonelico III: The Girl’s Song that Pulls the Trigger of World’s Demise”) is a console role-playing game produced by Gust and Namco Bandai for the Sony Playstation 3. It is the final installment in the Ar tonelico trilogy, as indicated by “qoga”, a hymmnos word meaning “end”. It takes place in the Reyvateil-ruled country of Clusternia, which is within an area known as the Sol Cluster . Clusternia is situated on the third tower in the world of Ar Ciel, which floats above the uninhabitable Sea of Death. It is the first 3D game in the series.
Why I want it: Because it features “hot anime babez” who power up by getting naked? Oh, why do I want it? Not why does Sarah think I want it. The first game was an amusing game with excellent graphics which was let down by being far too easy and poorly paced. I never got around to playing the second game (or at least not for any great period of time). Oh wait I did play it for a while. Why cant I remember anything about it? TO GOOGLE! Yeah, never played it. The game had some unique systems, such as the ability to explore the mind of other part members and various romance paths. The setting itself was relatively cool. Some bits worked better than others. But so far this game looks pretty cool. It seems to include the best bits of the earlier games and includes a new (more engaging looking) combat system that hopefully makes things a bit more difficult (in a fun, not frustrating way). Still, I heard very bad things about the second game (admittedly a lot of it from people who’s opinion I’m unsure off) which is why I’m slightly unsure about this one.
What they say: After centuries of Mortal Kombat, Emperor Shao Kahn has finally defeated Raiden and his allies. Faced with extinction, Raiden has one last chance. To undo the Emperor’s victory, he must strike Shao Kahn where he is vulnerable…The Past.
* Making a big return to mature presentation and classic 2D fighting engine
* Captivating storyline that rewrites the history of the Mortal Kombat Tournament
* State-of-the art technology showcasing stunning 3D environments and characters
* Re-invigorating the franchise with new multiplayer components
* First fighting game to be displayed in Stereoscopic 3D
Why I want it: I like fighting games. Anyone reading through this should be well aware of that at this point. But the problem with Mortal Kombat as a franchise is that the games nearly always fail as fighting games (and tragically too often as games). The only solid entrance in the franchise was Mortal Kombat II. So seeing this game go back to that classic era means it actually gets me interested (which the name Mortal Kombat rarely does). While I do like entirely 2d games to a large extent I think 2.5d fighting games are superior. To a certain extent they combine the best of both worlds. But pretty graphics wouldnt be (and hasnt been) enough to redeem the Mortal Kombat games as viable fighting games. Luckily the developers have stated that they are making a concentrated effort to add an appropriate level of depth to the game. But considering their track record I’m less than convinced of how good the results will be.
What they say: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (also referenced as Skyrim) is a role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls action role-playing video game series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Skyrim is set two-hundred years after the events of Oblivion in the eponymous land of Skyrim. The country has erupted into civil war after the assassination of its King. Concurrently, the god Alduin, which takes the form of a massive dragon, arises to destroy the world. The player character is supposedly the last living Dovakhiin (Dragonborn) child, and must fend off Alduin and save Skyrim from certain destruction.
Why I want it: Because I still remember Daggerfall and Morrowind i.e. good Elder Scrolls games. Actually I still remember looking forward to the release of the very first Elder Scroll’s game but not being able to find it in the one shop in Newry that sometimes stocked PC Games. Tough old times. Anyhow, this was another franchise I used to enjoy but which was sullied by the most recent entry (a theme we’ve seen repeated quite a few times here) – Oblivion. Oblivion, while initially decent, was just so fucking BORING, that it required near herculean patience or now higher brain functions to complete. It could have been so good (and was bizarrely wildly heralded as awesome) but simply failed to be. Skyrim on the other hand looks like its going to be great. I’m not sure if anything will be able to recapture just how great Daggerfall was. I dont think anything really can in the context of modern game design, culture and journalism. But still, this looks like its going to be pretty good. Why is it down here then you ask? Oblivion was simply that boring (and its still too early to tell).
What they say: Who cares?
Why I want it: I’m only playing this because of my fervernt wish to see more bad things happen to Dom and Marcus Fenix. I mentally salivate at the thought that one or both of them may die. I loved Gears of War. Gears of War II was an affront on my existence. I need to recoup the hours of my life wasted on it.
What they say: Fate of the World is a dramatic global strategy game that puts all our futures in your hands. The game features a dramatic set of scenarios based on the latest science covering the next 200 years. You must manage a balancing act of protecting the Earth’s resources and climate versus the needs of an ever-growing world population, who are demanding ever more food, power, and living space. Will you help the whole planet or will you be an agent of destruction?
Fate of the World is the sequel to the popular BBC Climate Challenge
Why I want it: Social change games are generally balls. They fail as both a game and as a tool for communicating their message. But this actually looks pretty cool, has several big name and proven developers working on it and is already generating a lot of positive buzz from trusted sources. Which gets it a maybe at least.
What they say: Valkyria Chronicles III (戦場のヴァルキュリア3 Unrecorded Chronicles, Senjō no Varukyuria Surī Unrecorded Chronicles?, “Valkyria of the Battlefield 3: Unrecorded Chronicles”) is a tactical role-playing game, developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation Portable.
Occurring in the same time frame as the first game, Valkyria Chronicles III is a side story that follows the exploits of an unwanted and castigated Gallian Army squad during the Imperial invasion of 1935. Contrasting the previous games’ bright outlook and recognition for their protagonists, VCIII explores the themes of being outcast and the search for redemption. As described by its catchphrase, the game tells “The tale of nameless soldiers who, on the verge of despair, changed history.”
Why I want it: Because Valkyria Chronicles was awesome. It’s one of the best games on the PS3 and one of the few games in recent years that felt genuinely fresh. I can only assume SEGA hates me and thats why its realesed Valkyria Chronicles II and this on the PSP (a device which I own but am seemingly incapable of completing a game on). I still have yet to play the second game. Actually as I write this I think I’m going to drop this down a notch. While I would like to support the franchise I still havent played the second one (which is supposedly awesome) and I dont know when I will. RELEASE THESE ON A PROPER FUCKING CONSOLE SEGA! This is supposed to have quite a grim story, which when it comes to computer games generally means full of wangst and pseudo maturity. But the story in the first game was pretty decent so I’ll give it a chance. Oh cool, its actually set in the same period as the first game.
Oh and like a few other games listed here this hasnt officially had a localisation announced. But it’s more or less a foregone conclusion.
What they say: Infinity is a massively multiplayer online game set in a persistent futuristic universe, currently in development.
Infinity features an advanced procedural engine allowing for a seemingly infinite galaxy of unique star systems and planets to discover and explore, including seamless planetary landing. Infinity offers new and existing players an extensive storyline following the complex and often intricate political and social interactions of hundreds of corporations, organizations, and reputation groups through the games three primary factions: the Centauran, the Deltan Federation, and the Star Fold Confederacy.
Infinity employs an open-ended world design, in which a player can control everything from a small shuttle to massive military dreadnaught, a single mining operation to an entire vast corporate empire, all without having to change characters. A completely player-skill based game design, Infinity sheds the need for character classes and skills by embracing self-balance over arbitrary limitation, allowing players to choose their own path to make their name across the galaxy.
Although all players are expected to act in concordance with their personal motivations, Infinity is not a traditional role playing game. The actions of a single player greatly affect the evolution of their character. Your character might grow from their humble beginnings as a young military officer to become the master of a vast corporate empire, or even a wanted mercenary and pirate.
The game mechanics do not emphasize any particular game play style – combat, trade, exploration, social relationships, you are free to choose your own path and goals. Players can choose from a number of interesting character backgrounds that serve as your characters personal history, circumstances, and setting in the Infinity universe to help ground new players in their new boundless horizon of stars. The only limit is your own imagination!
Combat in Infinity functions in real-time, utilizing Newtonian physics to control the fluid realistic movements of player ships and objects. Where the outcome of combat is determined by your own intelligence and reflexes. Not the level and class of another player!
Like all massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, you will connect to an online server shared by thousands of other players at any time. But, unlike other MMOs, the Infinity universe is an entirely persistent. The actions of your characters do not stop when you log off – as the actions of your characters continue to progress and evolve, even while you are offline.
By utilizing the advanced procedural techniques of the I-Novae Engine, Infinity has unshackled itself from the limitations of its forbearers, allowing for the dynamic generation of countless star systems and planets, each unique and awaiting to be discovered by a player. Drawing upon plausible astronomic scales and distances of stellar objects, the precise orbital path of every celestial body is modeled, as each planet and star moves continuously within the galaxy. Allowing players to glimpse the double sunrise of a binary star system on some distant rocky world, to the total eclipse of a tiny moon orbiting a massive gas giant thousands of light years from your home planet – every vista, every horizon is wholly unique in Infinity.
Why I want it: I never played the original Elite. But I did play Frontier Elite for about nine months solid. That game consumed me for a while (less while I was in school, more when I was on holidays). There have been spiritual successors in the interim but nothing ever managed to appeal to me in quite that way. I’m hoping that this will be the one that does. I’m not sure if we can recapture feelings like that though. Still, looking forward to giving this a go.
What they say: The pioneers that brought you the award-winning PlayStation®Network titles flOw & Flower® are back with another title that challenges traditional gaming conventions. With Journey, thatgamecompany (TGC) continues its tradition of delivering simple gameplay and accessible controls in a rich interactive environment that invites players to explore and experience emotional chords that are still uncommon in video games.
An exotic adventure with a more serious tone, Journey presents TGC’s unique vision of an online adventure experience. Awakening in an unknown world, the player walks, glides, and flies through a vast and awe-inspiring landscape, while discovering the history of an ancient, mysterious civilization along the way.
Journey’s innovative approach to online play encourages players to explore this environment with strangers who cross their path from time to time. By traveling together, they can re-shape the experience – creating authentic moments they will remember and discuss with others.
INTUITIVE CONTROLS AND EXPERIENCE –Players with differing skill levels and/or moods can experience the game at their own pace.
LUSH AND EXPANSIVE ENVIRONMENTS – Grand landscapes filled with dynamic sand and cloth. Fully simulated sand dunes ripple and slide as players move across them.
FRESH ONLINE ADVENTURE – Players explore a mysterious world, discovering its hidden history. People are free to travel alone, or adventure with strangers that they meet along the way.
Why I want it: Because playing the “games” or more correctly, interactive experiences, that these guys create makes me feel better about spending all that money on a big HDTV. They are all amazing looking, even beautiful at times. So another chance to avoid the ever present spectre of buyers remorse is fine by me.
Listening to: AC/DC - Furor