As we say a fond farewell to 2010 and all the games it brought us, it seems like the perfect time to look forward to 2011. So I bring you my five most anticipated games for the next year.
1. Portal 2
PS3, X-Box 360, Mac and PC
If you have never played Portal then stop reading. Go to the Steam website, buy it, play it, take a moment to bask in its glory then return here to carry on reading. Done? Good, I’ll continue. I’m going to put Portal 2 at the top of my ‘Games I cannot wait for list’ as, in my opinion, Portal is the best game ever made. From the trailers released so far Portal 2 may actually beat Portal in terms of originality and levels of fun. The sequel will have a longer playtime, a more developed storyline and a multiplayer option as well as more physics puzzles and Valve’s own special brand of dark humour. Honestly, even if you have never played a video game in your life you still should be looking forward to the release of Portal 2.
2. Bioshock Infinite
PS3, X-Box 360 and PC
Unlike the ground breaking original and it’s mildly disappointing sequel, Bioshock: Infinite is no longer set under the sea; it’s taken to the air. Very little is known about 2K’s new venture but if the announcement trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be awesome. As far as game play goes it doesn’t look like much has changed from the original, it’s a first-person shooter with a side dish of genetically enhanced super powers and that’s fine by me – don’t fix something if it’s not broken. The super-powers themselves (plasmids) have had a serious upgrade since Bioshocks 1 and 2; the player can now control a huge range of things from the elements to a whole murder of crows.
3. Batman Arkham City
PS3, X-Box 360 and PC
Stealth Games are a dying breed so it’s always nice when a new one steps up to the plate. Batman: Arkham Asylum managed to perfectly combine the ‘hiding in dark spaces’ elements with the ‘punching a guy in the face’ elements to make some pretty perfect stealth game play. The story was pretty spot-on as well and had enough nerdy references to keep any hard-core batman fan pointing and nodding at the screen for hours on end. In short, if Arkham City is half as good as it predecessors then we’re in for a treat, and if Rocksteady Studios have managed to work out the game play kinks (especially the cape mechanics) and add some real boss fights then get ready for the best stealth game since Thief.
So, if you liked Batman Arkham Asylum and The Thief Series, or you’re a major batman nerd, then go grab your cape and cowl, you’ve pulled.
Survival horror is a genre that has been taken over by action and first-person shooter based game play, so much so that it’s no longer about the scares or the atmosphere but more about the weapons and the combat. Asylum appears to be a game that is taking survival horror back to its roots: dark corridors, things jumping out at you and a lack of any real weapons. The game is based, as the title suggests, in an insane asylum, you have the ability to roam around as you please as well as delving into the dark storyline.
If you liked Penumbra, Amnesia: the Dark Descent or Silent Hill 2 then you are probably much braver than me. Oh and you may like this game.
5. Sims Medieval
PC and Mac
I have spent many hours playing the Sims thinking: ‘If only there were more dragons in this game’, well my dreams have finally come true. The Sims Medieval allows the player to create a huge number of characters from knights to wizards and then go out on quests to save the princess, defeat the bad guys and find the Holy Grail (that may have been Monty Python). The Sims franchise may have been going on for about a decade now but in my opinion it has yet to go stale. EA always manage to bring something new to the games and it looks like Medieval is no different.
If you liked the Sims or Black and White, get ready for the pure schadenfreude that the Sims always brings.