Many of us around the industry had dubbed 2010 one of the best years of gaming in recent memory. Well we are once again posting for headlines as 2011 looks to trample it in terms of big name games. Also dubbed the year of “3s” this lineup below contains games that have already shipped, are about to land, and are going to be coming before the end of the year. Step back, say goodbye to your wallet and just think; these are just the games we know about so far.
It is hard to believe it, but this will be the ninth MK game in the series long-running history. Boon and company have changed publishers and gone back to the roots of the series focusing on fast-paced combat, creating your own combos and of course the gore and fatalities that made the series famous. The team at Netherrealm Studios calls this a return to the series roots focusing more on 2D fighting action on a 3D plane. What we have seen so far is stunning to say the least and coming from a massive MK fan this is one of my most anticipated games of the year by far. We will see how it turns out, but this is truly the resurrection of fighting games and Mortal Kombat is leading the charge this April.
Want to create your own level? Pah, this time round you can create your own game!! Many people were surprised to see a sequel to Media Molecules cute fest, seeing as it was touted at more of a platform than a game. But if MM can pull it off, it may well be one of the biggest leaps in games industry in years. The game promises to give you all the tools needed to make any type of game you desire. RPG, FPS, Side-Scroller etc. There are already some amazing creations out there (through the Beta) that make the whole process look easy. And that’s the real key to the success of the game, how easy will it be to use all of the amazing tools on offer. One thing is sure; expect to see some iconic games recreated in cloth.
Another game, another 3rd installment. Killzone 3 is only a month or so away and looks to push the PS3 further than ever. The 2nd game delivered on that infamous pre-rendered video shown at E3 2005 and went on to sell over a million copies within 2 months. This time round we are promised more of the excellent gameplay and some new locations to bring a little more color to the Helghast world and some stellar vocal performances from Malcom McDowell and Ray Winstone.
Pokémon Black and White
Let’s face it. Pokémon has become one of the biggest franchises known to man. It has spawned television shows, comics and manga, toys, and a giant line of video games. I can safely say I’m a 25 year old man, and I play Pokémon video games. So, you can probably tell, I’m actually rather excited for Pokémon White and Black, the newest addition to the RPG video game series. What so great about White and Black are the complete overhauls being made to the game. All new areas, 150 brand new Pokémon, updated graphics, and new battle modes make this upcoming DS game a must have for both Pokémon fans as well as RPG players. Get ready to catch ’em all once again this March.
Mass Effect 3
The most popular space opera not to have “Star” or “Wars” in the title finally receives its epic conclusion near the end of 2011. Mass Effect 3 should blow out the insanely popular trilogy by offering more freedom in the way of player choice, and more profound consequences to the choices your Commander Shepard has made through the series thus far. Featuring an enhanced graphical engine and promising more combat and RPG options than ME2, ME3 should prove itself a worthy successor to its critically acclaimed predecessors. Can Shepard save Earth from the Reapers? Will your favorite characters survive the final battle? Hopefully ME3 will wrap up all these questions when it releases late this year.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3
It’s Mahvel Baybee! That’s right, if that phrase makes any sense to you, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the one fighting game that fans have been waiting for over 10 years. The three character tag team game revamps the controls to fit a more casual player while keeping the complexity of the combos and special moves for the hardcore veterans. With a brand new roster comprising over 30 all-star characters from Capcom’s popular video games and Marvel Comics’ library of comics and graphic novels, you can rest assure that this title will please fans of both. The fast paced action fans know and love returns on the current generation of consoles this February.
Dead Space 2
The horror game genre got its first dose of deep space fear back in 2008 with Dead Space. Now, 3 years later, we’re finally getting the much anticipated sequel full of gore, horror, strategic dismemberment, and a ton of Necromorphs. Construction engineer, Isaac Clack returns (now with a voice) to take on the alien zombie hoards aboard the space station, Sprawl where the infection has run rampant. Want to get a little taste of the new game? Look no further than the Xbox Marketplace and PlayStation network store. The demo is out now. So, get ready to turn the lights off, put on some headphones, and be scared out of you mind in this new space action horror sequel.
It’s been 2 years since we last saw our favorite electricity throwing super hero (or villain), Cole MacGrath in action. Since the end of the first game, fans have been waiting to find out if Kessler’s plan actually worked in helping Cole prepare for “The Beast” that is coming to destroy life as we know it. From the looks of the trailers, the plan didn’t work they way he had hoped, but that doesn’t stop Cole from trying to hold off the apocalypse. The open world game takes place in the city of New Marais, a New Orleans-like city where Cole and best friend, Zeke take refuge. Although we haven’t seen any in action, the developers, Sucker Punch, hit at Cole obtaining ice powers to go along with his lightning. Prepare yourself to become the salvation (or condemnation) of New Marais later on this year.
Batman: Arkham City
The Dark Knight returns in this massive sequel to one of the best games of 2009. Arkham City is an ambitious sequel that brings developer Rocksteady back to try and outdo the greatest comic book videogame of all-time. This time around the team is delivering a game that is five times the size of the last one with all new villains and the return of Batman’s greatest nemesis The Joker. Only time will tell if the team can possibly capitalize and improve on one of the greatest experiences not only for comic fans, but for fans of action/adventure games in general.
Dragon Age 2
The other half of Bioware’s big fat 2011 is Dragon Age 2, the sequel to 2009’s fantastic action RPG. Rather than a direct sequel to the activity in the first game, DA2 tells the story of Hawke, Champion of Kirkwall and a famous hero. The action will span the course of a decade in the legendary hero’s life, framed in the context of a story. Just because it’s not a direct sequel doesn’t mean your actions from the first game won’t have an impact on the story, as different consequences from your decisions in DA1 will change the course of Hawke’s tale. DA2 features an updated graphical engine, a completely reworked dialogue system based on the Mass Effect series, as well as new combat and spell options. Dragon Age 2 should expand on the fantastic universe presented in the first game and successfully draw gamers back into Bioware’s dark fantasy setting.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The long awaited fifth entry in the seminal Elder Scrolls series finally arrives this year in the form of Skyrim. A direct sequel to Oblivion, Skyrim takes place 200 years after the events of Bethesda’s 2007 classic in the land of (where else) Skyrim. Retaining the series’ classic open world “go anywhere do anything” gameplay method, and featuring a full palette of new additions, Skyrim promises to cost TES fans 100’s of hours of their lives. You can smith your own weapons, farm and mine for minerals, and complete a huge amount of side quests generated by your actions. Plus, it’s got dragons! Freaking dragons! If its lineage is anything to judge by, and assuming they can learn from some of the series previous mistakes, Bethesda should have another RPG classic on its hands.
Let’s face it, the most anticipated game on the PS3. Uncharted 2 blew us away with its lush visuals and adrenaline inducing gameplay and won many a GOTY award in the process, so the announcement of Uncharted 3 didn’t exactly take us by surprise. Subtitled Drake’s Deception, all we know so far is that there will be an epic plane crash and at least some of the game will be set in a desert. Sony will no doubt spill a few more beans at E3 this year, but you will have to wait until November 11th to get your grubby little mitts on it.
Atlus has shown off very little footage of their upcoming horror/puzzle/RPG game, Catherine. Loosely based in the persona 3 universe, you play as a man named Vincent, who meets a young woman named Catherine. After his encounter with the strange woman, he begins having nightmares where he constantly has to climb stairs and other platforms in order to escape some horrible creature chasing after him. People in the woken world that die in their nightmares end up dying in real life. Atlus has a knack for creating games with very strange stories and concepts. Catherine is no exception, but if you are fans of their RPG’s you can’t help but be interested in Catherine. The game is releasing in Japan in February. Let’s just hope we get this sexually charged horror-fest by the end of the year.