As my first gaming related post here on tumblr, I’d like to express my interests for this year in our wonderful industry. I’m very much excited for this year’s blockbuster line up, and I’m about to show you my top 11 picks for 2011, in order of how much I’m anticipating them. There will also be some honorable mentions at the end, but we won’t get into that quite yet ;) Enjoy!
11. JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME
Telltale Games, infamous for their Back to the Future game not too long ago, has been revealed as the developer of the new episodic video game adaption of the astonishing sci-fi Jurassic Park series. We haven’t seen a Jurassic Park game on consoles since 2003, and it’s about time that they return- regardless of whether or not it’s to the Xbox Live Arcade, or not. The story here is going to follow a popular plot amongst fan fiction writers: what happens to the embryos that Dennis Nedry drops in the mud in the first film as he attempts to flee the island, but is instead massacred by the dinosaurs. Sent by Nedry’s employers, you will take the role of a mercenary tasked with retrieving the lost can of shaving cream- er, embryos. From the screens I’ve seen thus far, this is looking nothing short of pure nostalgic awesomeness. I absolutely cannot wait for this game, which comes out this April!
10. DUKE NUKEM: FOREVER
This legendary fable has been rumored to be in develop for the last 12 years, and last September, it was officially confirmed that the developers over at Gearbox Software (2009 Game of the Year, Borderlands, anybody?) have taken control of the product and that it will be released in 2011! For anyone who doesn’t know the prowess of the Duke series, it’s full of vulgar, obscene remarks, equipped with graphic violence, and partial nudity. The game has been in development for so long that Gearbox has included the hiatus as part of the story’s official canon, even! As a person who first toyed with Duke on the original Playstation, I absolutely cannot wait to experience Nukem in his Xbox 360 glory, blowing shit apart in vintage style! Duke Nukem: Forever is due out in May of this year.
Now we venture to the random terrain of Brink, a new parkour-style shooter by developer Splash Damage. The story takes place in a futuristic “perfect” Earth city called The Ark, built above a flooded Earth. Two factions- Security and Resistance, respectfully, battle for supremacy in The Ark. The game has been called “The game that Mirror’s Edge should have been”, and in all respects, I’d have to agree. The parkour system in the game is ridiculously innovative, with the ability to vault, slide, and jump over/across virtually anything in the entire environment in very fluid movements. The game will include both single and multiplayer modes, and has four different character classes (Soldier, Engineer, Operative, Medic). The multiplayer aspect of the game is quite interesting, with the story mode being playable with up to 8 people online, either against bots, or competitively or against one another in team format. Brink is also due out this May.
8. UNTITLED ASSASSIN’S CREED SEQUEL
There has been a lot of speculation about this one recently, and with good reason given the fact that Ubisoft made a ton off of the last addition to their newest flagship series, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. There’s been numerous accounts of whether or not there would be an Assassin’s Creed sequel this year and earlier this year it was confirmed that another addition to this series would be added in the fiscal year (April 2011-March 2012). No specific details have been released to date, but you know the Internet and it’s tendency to speculate. There have been theories of exploring the comic world of Assassin’s Creed, such as in the Soviet Union and Caesar-era Rome. There’s also been talk of World War II, which has been subsequently shot out of the sky by Ubisoft representatives multiple times. Who knows what Ubisoft and Desmond Miles could have in store for us after last November’s astonishing cliffhanger?
id Software returns to the first person shooter genre with a vengeance this year, in RAGE. The former developers of the critically acclaimed Doom and Quake series and grinding the gears of Fallout and Borderlands by introducing players to a wasteland environment. Set on post-apocalyptic Earth, the player finds that he is one of the only survivors of a vicious asteroid collision with Earth due to him being in a cryogenic freezing pod as part of a program named “Ark” (what’s with all this Noah symbolism in 2011?). There’s due to be some other intriguing elements in this game besides shooting, however, as both roleplaying and driving sequences have been rumored as well. Some of the core gameplay revolves around the combat-driven driving, actually, in a Borderlands fashion I suppose. According to recent reports, the player might only be battling the radiation-driven mutants for half of the game, whilst the villains of the second half of the game have yet to be determined. RAGE is due out this September, keep an eye on it ;)
6. HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED REMAKE
Rumored to be helming this gargantuan project is former Timeshift developer, Saber Interactive (although no official reports from Microsoft have been issued as of yet). Halo: Combat Evolved revolutionized the way we view first person shooters on the console today, and nothing can every take that away from it. However, preparing for the ten year anniversary of this event, 343 Industries has plans to rock our world yet again by remaking this amazing title. No, this is not going to simply be a re-polishing of Bungie’s release, it’s going to be entirely redone. In a new art style, with a control scheme to match the recent Halo configurations of our time. It has not been announced yet which engine the game would be utilizing- but it’s been said that it will not be the Halo: Reach engine (WHY!????!!?). There hasn’t been any news on inclusion of a multiplayer mode as of yet, but co-op campaign is to be expected. Maybe the addition of Firefight, too? <3
Bulletstorm is… well, Bulletstorm. I’m not sure there are any accurate descriptions for this gigantic clusterfuck of epic awesomeness (no pun intended, or is there?). Bulletstorm is full of killing creativity, vulgar language, and sexual innuendos galore. Bulletstorm is SO over the top that even Fox News has even gone out of it’s way to crucify the game on live television for it’s vulgarity, saying that it is inappropriate for minors, et cetera. I’m not sure if Fox News realizes that the ESRB system is in place for a reason, and minors should not be purchasing the game in the first place when it’s an artistic display of adult humor in a video game form. Who cares about Fox News, anyways? Bulletstorm is set to have an action-packed story, and a gritty online mode that rewards you based upon exactly how innovative your killing methods are. Kill with Skill this Tuesday!
4. THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
Do I even need to explain what this game is? The massively-anticipated sequel to the 2006 Game of the Year, which was the sequel to the 2002 Game of the Year. The Elder Scrolls series has a massive following in which will be thrilled to see the beautiful new engine being utilized in the newest installment of the blockbuster series. For the first time in the history of the Elder Scrolls’ console games, we will be re-introduced to our favorite fantasy lore creature- Dragons. I mean, how epic is that? Bethesda is planning to blow our minds for the third time in a row with this astonishing sequel, which is sure to be supported post-release with tons of riveting downloadable content (much akin to Oblivion’s delicious Shivering Isles expansion). We, Elder Scrolls fans have been waiting pretty much since The Shivering Isles was released to see this game come into fruition, and it finally has. Our hopes and prayers have finally been met by Bethesda, rescuing us from the bland, brown color scheme of their other product… Skyrim is due out in November of this year.
3. DRAGON AGE II
The sequel to 2009’s downloadable content-packed epic of fantasy lore is approaching rapidly. Dragon Age: Origins let us explore the world of Fereldan (in all it’s Baldur’s Gate nostalgia) and combat the infestation of maniacal, murderous creatures named the Darkspawn. The sequel is going to be a tad different than the original, with a more artistic approach to the graphics, and a faster paced combat system. This time (like in Mass Effect), you’ll take control of a distinct character named Hawke, whom lives during the same time period as the main character of the first game, but his adventure stretches over the course of an entire decade. With the Blight of Darkspawn quelled, what could be in store for the world of The Champion of Kirkwall. SPOILER ALERT, for you Dragon Age fanatics… It’s been announced that returning characters include (but are not limited to) Justice, Anders, Merril, and everyone’s favorite “simple” son, Sandal! (ENCHANTMENT!?). Dragon Age II is due out in early March of this year.
2. MASS EFFECT 3
The epic sci-fi trilogy comes to it’s conclusion when the infamous Reapers invade the human homeworld of Earth in Mass Effect 3. Once again, it’s up to Commander (Goddamn, shouldn’t he be a fucking General by now?) Shepard to save the entire universe from impending doom. This blockbuster title will tie up the loose ends of it’s predecessors, and hopefully send us home happy with an astonishing story for the third time in a row. Players will, yet again be able to import their characters and choices from earlier games in order to personalize their experience with one of single most anticipated games of all time. This feature allows for over 1,000 different combinations of in-game events due to the complex web of decisions our Shepards have had to make since the first Mass Effect way back when. There is no doubt in my mind that Bioware will once more capture our attention (and 60 bucks <_<) with the third and final episode of their amazing series.
1. GEARS OF WAR 3
Yes, yes, the time is finally drawing near. We’ve been waiting for a God-awful long time, essentially since the release of Gears of War 2’s final map packs. After begrudgingly playing through hours and hours of Gears of War 2’s buggy-ass multiplayer, it’s finally time that us loyal Gears fans are rewarded for our hard work, determination, and high tempers in dealing with glitches and host advantage (P.S. Epic, please use your beta to learn that releasing a game with totally glitched multiplayer is not good to release to the public). In the campaign aspect of this overwhelming game, humanity is on it’s last leg in the war against the Locust horde. The stakes have escalated with the revelation of a civil war caused by a group of rebellious Locusts named The Lambent, who are infecting the entire planet of Sera with their plague. Marcus, Dom, Baird, Cole, and Anya are all back- despite the dissipation of the COG army, and they’re looking to “finish the fight” (sorry, Bungie) once and for all this time. Gears of War 3 will grace your television in all it’s gory glory this fall…
Thank you all for reading, leave me comments, and whatever else! :)