If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The Last Guardian (PS3)
Okay, so I fully except this one to be pushed back to 2012, but in the mean time we’ll have a sexed-up ICO \ Shadow of the Colossus HD pack to keep us going. The latter being one of my all-time favourite games and the finest to grace the PS2 in my opinion. Masterful. And ICO I never played so more fun for me! :D
The first Dragon Age was the last game I got truly obsessed over. It was my final year of university but when I should have been hard at work studying, I just couldn’t claw myself away from it. I don’t usually go for these ‘high-fantasy’, Tolkien worlds. The smell of nerd is just too overpowering. But Bioware worked their odoury magic and successfully masked the smell to produce something as addictive as crack sandwiches.
Don’t except any radical changes for the sequel though. Just more of the same, done better. And that ain’t not bad no how!
Presumably not the game’s final title and another one I expect won’t make its 2011 release date. Dark Project is the spiritual successor to Demon Souls: One of my all-time favourite games and the finest to grace the PS3 in my opinion. (I see a trend emerging here…) It was punishingly difficult, but ball-tinglingly satisfying as well. The difficultly was never unfair either; just very strict, demanding patience, learning and a methodical approach to combat. Not something for everyone, but dammit I loved it!
I must admit, I’m not as big a fan of the Mass Effect series as I would like to be. I love Bioware and have done ever since Knights of the Old Republic on Xbox, but for me, Mass Effect is just…missing something.
It’s the bug-eyed expressions, the stiff animations that haven’t changed since KOTOR, the hammy voice acting of male Shepard, and unreality of some of the indoor environments which beg the question: ‘What is this network of corridors and random spaces supposed to be anyway?’. It’s like they were designed for their utility as gaming environments rather than as believable buildings.
Nonetheless they are great games with compelling stories, (mostly) interesting characters and since ME2, tight combat. I also love shooter-RPG hybrids so it automatically gets a big thumbs up from me. I just wish those problems weren’t there so I could get a little more absorbed into the world that Bioware have so lovingly crafted.
This is near the bottom of my list only because I’m sceptical as to how it will live up to the original. Deus Ex was one of my all-time favourite games and the finest to grace the PC in my opinion. (THERE IT IS AGAIN!!!)
But I am willing to give it a chance.
I never dug the original that much. It seemed to be all style-over-substance with charming visuals but rather uninspiring and overly simplistic A to B platforming. This time around Media Molecule have pulled out all the stops and expanded the gameplay beyond the basic platforming and into other genres like side-scrolling shooters and racing. The level creator has also been streamlined; the idea being that - with enough creative juice - you could create just about any type of game you can imagine.
Honourable mentions should also go to Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Rage. The former I think is so unlikely to come out this year that it’s not really worth writing about, while on the latter we know nothing except that it looks really, really purrty.