2010 was a fantastic year for games and 2011 is set to be even better. With BioWare, Valve, iD Software, ArenaNet, Gearbox Software, Creative Assembly and many other acclaimed developers working on releases for next year, it is becoming increasingly hard to determine which games are worth focusing on.
Not to worry, GamerZines has collated the ten biggest releases scheduled for the forthcoming twelve months. Some may slip, others will stay on course but whatever the case these are the titles which should be on every PC gamer’s radar.
Mass Effect 3 ETA: Late 2011
The final chapter in this epic sci-fi trilogy sees Commander Shepard finally venturing to Earth, only to find humanity’s home besieged by a rampaging army of Reapers. Mass Effect 2 won our game of the year award earlier this month and we’re expecting BioWare to pull out all the stops for this sequel. At this point we’re dying to know what will happen to the likes of Thane, Grunt, Mordin, Liara et al and frankly this game cannot come out soon enough. We better find out what Tali looks like out of her suit, that’s all we are saying.
Portal 2 ETA: April 19th
Instead of Valve giving PC gamers the sequel that they actually want (Half Life 2: Episode 3 anyone?), they’ve decided to expand on their award-winning Portal series by formulating a new plot post Aperture Science’s demise and the ability for gamers to tackle the unique FPS puzzles with a friend. Portal was released as part of the barmy Orange Box compilation way back in 2007 and even though this release isn’t flanked by any additional games we’re still very excited. Valve are more consistent than any other developer on the planet and their next game is sure to be filled to the brim with revolutionary ideas and imaginative concepts.
Guild Wars 2 ETA: 2011
The term WoW killer gets tossed around whenever any premium MMO is launched, but ArenaNet are already known for their brilliance in the online game space and if Guild Wars 2 can live up to the hype Blizzard better watch their back. This is sure to be one of the prettiest and most awe-inspiring games ever, but more than that the developers are seeking to reinvent the MMO wheel with a new event system, more action-based combat and finally no grinding. Here’s hoping they deliver.
Star Wars: The Old Republic ETA: April (at the earliest)
Star Wars Galaxies was…well…let’s charitably describe it as disappointing, but thankfully George Lucas’ license will be put to good use by BioWare’s massive MMO project. The first fully voiced MMO to ever be attempted we’re hoping that the developer Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic can continue their run of good form and produce not only an accomplished online experience, but one which fans have been waiting over a decade for. Don’t let us down guys, there’s no pressure.
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge ETA: May
There are so few dedicated co-op experiences on the PC nowadays, but inXile Entertainment are looking to change that with their fantasy adventure starring a muscular warrior named Caddoc and a feisty witch dubbed E’lara. Crafted by former Interplay veterans this is the kind of dungeon crawling experience every PC owner relishes and from what we’ve previewed thus far, this game looks outstanding. The fantasy genre is set for a resurgence in 2011 with Diablo III and Dragon Age 2 on the horizon, but you can bet your mortgage that this title will be a real hit in 2011.
Crysis 2 ETA: March 25th
One of the delay casualties of 2010, Crysis 2 is looking every bit the proper successor to the CPU melting original. This time set in New York with multiple alien menaces and a focus on vertical combat, expect this sequel to be much more accessible and even prettier than the original thanks to the all new CryEngine 3. We have our fingers crossed that the core freeform gameplay won’t be diluted too much, as it is also appearing simultaneously on consoles.
Rage ETA: 2011
Any game from id Software is massive event on the PC platform, but this is the first time the company is adding vehicles and RPG-like exploration to their point and shoot format. Players will get to explore a vast open wasteland which is occupied by humans and a variety of disgusting looking mutants. Driving will also feature heavily with upgradable off-road buggies providing the main method of transport. Visually this game will also be extremely hard to beat as the new id Tech 5 engine is being deployed for the very first time and promises organically produced textures, as well as a super-smooth frame rate.
LA Noire ETA: 2011
Rockstar like to keep their games under wraps for as long as possible, but finally some clear details are beginning to emerge about their crime investigating thriller set in the fifties. Anyone who’s seen the trailers thus far knows that this title is going to easily stand out amongst the crowd with the most realistic facial movement ever seen in a game.
Total War: Shogun 2 ETA: March 15th
Over the past decade Creative Assembly have emerged as the most reliable strategy developer on the planet and even though their next game takes the series back to its roots, they are trying to tame an area they’ve never given much attention to; multiplayer. Shogun 2 will feature a dedicated league structure, the ability for commanders to team up in a single campaign and persistent rewards to help players rule over Japan. This is set to be the most fully featured Total War game yet with an improved UI, more detailed campaign, the ability to specialise units via their own skill tree and the return of contextual movies. We have high hopes for this one and the last time we played Shogun 2, it was extremely impressive.
Duke Nukem Forever ETA: 2011
We’ve written about the Duke’s return plenty of times at this point, but we still can’t help wondering whether he’ll actually appear again. Yes the makers of Borderlands and the criminally underrated Brothers in Arms series are behind the surprise comeback and they can always be relied upon to deliver games in a timely manner but still, is this really coming out? We hope so because if there’s anything PC gaming needs is more comedy and we suspect the Duke will once again deliver, in spades!
It’s going to be one hell of a year…
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