Upcoming video games 2011

Here’s a list of video games that I’d like to see more information on, if I’m not already anxiously awaiting the release.  Most of them come out by the end of the year 2011, but there are a couple early previews for 2012…

 

Assassins Creed: Revelations

The city looks beautiful.  This game takes place in Constantinople after the events of Brotherhood.  You’ll be looking for 5 keys to unlock the library.  Eighty-five percent of the city is sloped.  Zip lines utilizing the new hook blade are often used since the city is so sloped.  The hook blade is vicious.  It’s really cool.  You can tear into people and finish enemies with some interesting moves using the hook blade.  You can use a smoke bomb and “Eagle Sense” (like eagle vision) to see through the smoke and decimate a group of enemies.  A cool new feature is that instead of having to hunt people down to receive side quests, you’ll have people run up to you needing your immediate assistance as you play through the game, so you can be immersed into the action and smooth flow of game-play.

Release: November 15th 2011

Batman: Arkham City

You can play as Catwoman, who has a unique fighting style, very different from the Bat’s.  She has her own moves and gadgets, which include the use of her iconic whip.  Her story interweaves with Batman’s story.  You’ll switch off between characters to get through the campaign.  This game is set in Gotham, but it’s a walled off part of the city, acting as a large prison to contain many villains.  You’ll have twice as many moves and can take on more guys at once than in the first game.  You can glide around the entire city.  Once you’ve mastered the gliding ability, you should be able to get from about any point in the city to another without having to hit the ground.  Grapple and grapple boost will come in handy.  There have also been tweaks to detective mode.  Supposedly much improved from the first game, and you can use it as much, or as little, as you’d like.  We’ll see lots of new gadgets in this one as well.

Release: Mid-October 2011

 

BioShock Infinite

There are so many new/different things this time around.  This game has a new approach that is still set in the BioShock universe.  You are no longer in an underwater city.  You have a SkyHook which is both a weapon and a grappling mode of transport on the Skyline system which was a freight system that people started using as a way to get around when the war broke out.  In a game that seems dominated by the cool uses of the new Skyline system, you have options that allow the choice of avoiding the system at pivotal moments.  For example, I saw a demo where the player had to take down a Zeppelin.  You can fire at it, damaging it in order to take it down in flames; or you can SkyHook your way up and into it, sabotaging it from the inside.  Your choices predicate the flow and style that you play with.  Weapon in one hand, powers in the other; you’ll be able to experience a civil war in this floating city in the clouds.

Release: sometime next year.

Call of Juarez

Set in modern times with modern weapons.  Built as a three player co-op game, but if you play solo you get two AIs with you.

Release: July 19th.

 

Fable: The Journey

Not part of the normal sequential Fable series, it is an offshoot of the franchise.  Made for XBox Kinect, you’ll have motion and voice commands.  The Journey takes place after Fable 3 chronologically.  You primarily move around by carriage behind a horse.  You use the reigns to control the horse via Kinect.  It’s supposedly a free space and not on rails as many game enthusiasts have feared.  You can go where you want to go and do what you want to do.  Wander the world freely.  Bad things will happen if you leave your horse and carriage for too long though…  The fighting mechanic looks really interesting since you can wield magic using your hand motions.  The demo debuted at E3 was flawed, but we should see a fuller and more playable demo in August.

 

Game of Thrones: Genesis

It’s a Real Time Strategy game that takes place a few generations before the TV series (originally a series of novels).  You can build an army and destroy your opposition, or make cunning moves to dismantle your enemy’s power.  I’d like to see more details.  It’s been a long time since I played PC RTS games, but I think Game of Thrones is at least worth a look.

Release: later this year on the PC

 

Gears of War 3

There’s a much elaborated Horde mode.  You can earn money by killing aliens in order to build all kinds of fortifications and weapons, like the massive Silver Back.  The enemies you face rotate through at random.  Every tenth wave of attackers will be one of five different boss types. There is “Zero chance” that the franchise would ever play on a Playstation, they are loyal to the 360.

Release: September 20th 2011

Halo: Combat Evolved

This is the 10th Anniversary edition.  This is the same iconic game that has been updated to look glorious.  It is a remastered version of the classic, but you can switch off the new graphics during game-play to see how the original looked.  Multiplayer for this title utilizes the Halo: Reach multiplayer platform.  There are seven new Halo maps with Combat Evolved.

Release: November 15th, 2011

 

Halo 4

343 Industries is taking over where Bungie left off.  They’re bringing back Master Chief and Cortana.  The trailer shows Master Chief using a Jet Pack, which could be interesting.  It is confirmed that this is the start of a new Trilogy.  343 will be working hard to hit their production goals and next year at E3 we’ll see a lot more about it.

 

Inversion

Brought to you by namco. Inversion is a Fist Person Shooter that allows you to manipulate gravity during game-play.  It has the potential to be a great game, but we’ll have to see if it was executed properly.

Release: Febuary 7th, 2012

Mario Kart 3D

Classic game reinvented for Nintendo’s newest platform.  You can customize your Kart many different ways including flying through the air and even going underwater, all in 3D.

Release: Holiday season 2011

 

Mass Effect 3

The game looks really nice.  At the very beginning of the game, you face repercussions from your choices in the first two games that have carried over into the game-play of Mass Effect 3 at the get go.  Your hearing gets cut short and you must battle to save Earth.  Many characters are back and you get to interact with them again, unless you got them killed in one of the first two games, then you won’t be seeing them.  You’ll have some new combat abilities. There’s a new weapon called the Omnipresent Blade.  It’s a “holographic switchblade” that looks badass.  Laser or holograph, whatever it is, it could be a cool part of the game and I’m willing to give it a chance, even if it “defies physics” it’s a fictional video game.  Using the Kinect system gives you great voice commands to control your squad.  They will answer you and follow orders even while you’re busy with the controller.  Using the Kinect in this limited capacity adds to game functionality without being overly gimmicky.

Release: 2012

 

Skyrim

Skyrim is my prediction for Game of the Year 2011. Put 11-11-11 on your calendars.  Your character was born with the soul of a dragon.  Each time you kill a dragon you can absorb its soul and use it to learn shouts” in the game.  These shouts give you crazy powers including super speed, slowing time, and summoning storms that can annihilate your enemy with lightning.  You don’t have to be pigeon holed into a character type at the beginning of the game.  As you play, you can use weapons and level up with Warrior traits or use spells and level up with Mage traits.  The world is wide open.  You’ll have 16 miles of land to explore.  The details are amazing.  The inventory items aren’t 2D pictures, but 3D representations and can be rotated and inspected.  You have a lot of freedom in the game, for example you can cook the food you get.  A piece of Salmon has a certain nutritional value, but cooking it increases the food’s attributes.  You can also do any job you wish; such as smithing where you can improve your weapons.  You can even go up into the mountains and play with the snow.  There are over 150 handcrafted dungeons that you can get lost in.  A tip, follow the flow of water, like underground streams to find your way through a dungeon if you get confused.  If you are truly lost, you can use a spell called “Clairvoyant” to find your way through the world.  The dragons look great and the AI controls them in a really cool way.  There are many different kinds of dragons.  We are a long way away from knowing for sure if this game will live up to the hype of an all time great, but so far I have been blown away by everything I’m seeing on it.

Release: November 11th, 2011

See Jonathan’s SKYRIM post: http://nerdtrek.com/skyrim-e3/

 

Star Fox 64

The classic N64 game is coming to the Nintendo 3DS.  I remember the Jolt Cola and Mountain Dew filled late nights/early mornings of my youth spent playing games such as Star Fox and Golden Eye.  Games often seem to be better in memory, but I’m hopeful this one stands up to the test of time.  Bringing N64 games out on the 3DS is at least a clever way to try and raise sales of the slow starting 3DS platform.

Release: September 2011

 

Star wars Kinect

Move around right hand to swing your lightsaber (with or without something actually in your hand). Move left hand to use the force like force push and pull.  You can put your lightsaber away and use both hands to lift something heavy using the force.  Lean forward to use force sprint.  You can force jump to span long gaps. Takes place between episodes one and three.  You’ll start as a Padawan, learn from Yoda, become a Jedi knight, even a Jedi Master as you progress.  Supposedly not on rails but it does have a somewhat linear story to move you along the campaign.

Release: This year, in time for the holiday season.

 

Star Wars The Old Republic

MMO

Takes place about 300 years after the Knights of the old republic game, about 3000 years before the movie series.  The Sith race was long thought to be extinct, but they reemerge and a multiple decade (about 40 years) war breaks out.  You can be a Sith or a Jedi, but your degree of evilness is not controlled simply by your initial choice.  You can be a good Sith or a bad Jedi.  It’s a large, free playing world.  You’ll choose your class, like a smuggler or a trooper.  Each class will play out differently.  You can get around on some cool looking short speeders.

Release: 2011 confirmed by Bioware.

Street Fighter X Tekken

Brought to you by Capcom

More like Street Fighter with Tekken playable characters, than a true Tekken game.  Street Fighter characters are good for long range projectiles; Tekken characters are tough up close.  I’ll need to see more from it to believe it’s more than another one of a hundred fighting games I’ve played, but I hear good things.

Release: 2012

 

 

SuperMario 3D

Also coming to the 3DS…  Nintendo may have a chance to save the 3DS from joining the rest of our generation’s barely sold consoles on the scrap heap if they keep bringing out games that we know and love…  Maybe…

 

 

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft: the early years. She’s a 21 year old straight out of college.  Lara is no longer a caricature of a person.  She is a realistic human, relatable to an extent.  You have a lot more freedom to move around and explore.  I’m looking forward to see not just a co-ed Lara Croft, but a gritty, realistic take on the franchise.

Release: Fall 2012

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

You’re on a cruise ship, with massive ocean swells, cans and barrels rolling back and forth.  The physics looks pretty darn good.  Drake shifts his weight as the ship rocks in the ocean.  Game-play looks fantastic.  The multiplayer engine looks impressive.  They’ve combined aspects of traditional single player game-play with multiplayer modes.  They seem to have brought a cinematic experience to multiplayer mode.  You play as 2 people vs 2 people teams…  You can play in a 3 team 2v2v2 format as well…  You can download the Beta version NOW!  It is open to everyone.  After you download it, they will update the content, so it should continue to evolve even before the full game’s release.

Release: November 1st, 2011

 

War hammer 40,000: Space Marine

A series that’s been around for 25 years, originally a table top game, there have been many incarnations.  This one is a third person shooter, but the developers stress it is also a third person melee combat model.  Space Marines stand in the way of alien invasions.  As a Space Marine, you are a confident bad ass that needs no cover, therefore you have no cover mechanic in the game.  The designers didn’t want to make a game where you had to run away from combat to recharge or gain health, so when being surrounded and losing health in battle, you can execute an enemy and harvest health without having to stop and run for shelter while taking on large groups of alien enemies.

Release: September 2011

Zelda: The Occarina of Time

The reinvention of an old favorite in the classic cross-genre Occarina of Time, on the Nintendo 3DS.

Release: It’s out now, I just don’t have a 3DS, so I’ll try to borrow one…  Is it any good?

 

Zelda: Skyward Sword

Wii motion plus is a must, you control in game flight, sword play and Beatles with the expanded capabilities tailored to using the motion plus set up. Music once again plays a pivotal role on the game with a huge score and a playable instrument as well.

Release: This holiday season.

 

What are YOU looking forward to?  Any of these?  Any I left off?  Have any thoughts or comments?  Any Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (set in New York) fans upset that I left it off the list?  Let me know!

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