Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Bleak, Bleak Future With Great, Great Games

In Video Games on November 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I hope you’re all looking forward to being completely broke, as choosing which games to leave behind is going to be difficult.  Here’s a few upcoming releases along with a few lines on why each one is significant.

Dead Space 2 is something I know nothing about, owning but never having played the first one, but I do so enjoy games with numbers after them.

Portal 2 looks like it will introduce a large overhaul into the stagnated Source engine, which is notable among its other notable features such as a unique cooperative campaign, more gadgets and more Portal.

Dragon Age 2 shows that Bioware isn’t above a little humility, having realized that Dragon Age would have been antiquated (if novel) gaming experience if it came out in 2007.  Here’s looking forward to a more cohesive story with an actual protagonist instead of playing mad-libs with NPCs.

Deus Ex: The Human Revolution is for some reason a prequel to all current Deus Ex games, which might make sense given just how many dangling multiple endings they’d have to deal with if making a sequel proper.  Returning to an age of cybernetics, rather than some kind of abstract superpower-granting cybermodules, will offer access to new-to-the-series but old-to-the-world classic cyberpunk transhumanist themes, if they don’t go for a generic post-cyberpunkian down-with-the-corporations plot.

Rage combines a free roaming RPG with more true-to-form FPS elements and has a dedicated, well-constructed driving aspect as well, and is coming out on the state-of-the-rat ID-tech 5 engine.  Annoy its fans by referring to it by its two Indian names, not-Fallout or realistic-Borderlands.

Bioshock: Infinite.  At this point, I’m not going to fault the developer for clinging to the Bioshock nom de guerre as this marks their greatest success since System Shock 2 was well liked by critics and well-hated by their goldfish consumer base.  All you really need to know is that this is typical gameplay and not the result of an overly-scripted sequence.

Duke Nukem: Forever, which is being actually released (!), with finalization and polish by the company that did Borderlands (!!).

Gears of War 3, which will finally cap off the three seconds of story we get at the beginning and end of every Gears game to date.  Also featuring female gears!  And a knife-bayonet that is totally not a chainsaw I mean what the hell.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds.  Isn’t it cute that a subtitle is tacked on like the story will matter in this game?

Mass Effect 3, apparently on a development fast-track due to them not having to worry about making Mass Effect 4 afterwards.

Mortal Kombat, rebooting the franchise thought dead after Midway’s financial failures and going back to the series’ roots of playing fifth-string to the ever-unchanging Street Fighter.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The original Witcher is also known by its maiden name, like-Dragon-Age-but-better-and-actually-mature-but-came-out-like-two-years-before, the sequel will apparently be using a custom game engine and not a heavily modified Aurora (Neverwinter Nights 1) engine.

Hunted: Demon’s Forge.  To sum up the sell-line of this game: Gears of Warcraft. Yes, please.

Brink, also humbly known as the game that will change first-person shooters, like, forever, it features team-based objective-driven gameplay with dynamically-generated objectives (based on player actions) and heavily story-driven teams and maps, with a multiplayer experience that merges with its singleplayer experience.

Dungeon Siege 3, made by those perennial sequel experts at Obsidian Software, it might be the first game in the series worth mentioning.

Neverwinter, the ostentatiously-titled sequel to the Neverwinter Nights series, will feature some kind of easy multiplayer and on-the-go DMing and module creation.  This goes a few steps beyond the previous offering, if you suddenly feel like your players should be seeing a lava-themed dungeon, you can actually craft one, in-game, in moments.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is the combined effort of R.A. Salvatore (setting, history) Todd McFarlene (art, character/monster design) and the guy who masterminded Morrowind and Oblivion (game design), this open-world RPG is going to serve as the appetizer to an aggressive, product-driven campaign with the final goal of producing an MMO in the setting.  Still, it’s nice to see a new IP getting so much tender love and care, if not forethought.

From Dust was a shoe-in for this list until I saw it listed as a god game / sandbox title.  Whatever.

End of Nations is an MMORTS by those wacky Westwood-holdovers at Petroglyph studios.  Why not?

Contagion is going to be the retail release of Zombie Panic Source, hopefully with the quality to match.  It’ll be a darker, more simulationist L4D.

Dead State is some kind of zombie-based survivor-horror RPG made by leftovers from Obsidian (of every sequel ever’s fame) and Troika (of Arcanum fame), both of Fallout fame.

Might and Magic Heroes VI. I like turn-based RPGs in the same way my dad likes WWII books and historical miniseries: it offers some kind of weird pedigree of taste and refinement.  Whether I’ll actually play and/or enjoy it is another matter, but the M&M boys might want to keep an eye on King’s Bounty, who has been filling the role of high-quality turn-based RPG developer in their absence.

Jagged Alliance 2 Reloaded will be a straight-up graphical remake of Jagged Alliance 2, with the same features, gameplay, story and possibly voice acting.  They also promised to add a tutorial so you can make sense of the (incredibly complex) gameplay.

And there you have it.  I’m not sure this actually covers everything that’s even coming out next year, but it’s a partial list at least.