Posted by: maddrcliche | March 25, 2011

Most Anticipated Games of 2011

I figure why not start off a new blog with something terrible cliché. It is in my name after all. What follows is a list of my personal most anticipated games of the current year, although admittedly it is a little late to say this now and one of the games I was looking forward too has already come out, but I’ve seen other people do them and I figured I would throw in my five cents.

5. Catherine

Made by Atlus, the creative minds behind the Shin Megami Tensei series, Catherine is an odd sounding game to say the least. You control Vincent, a 32-year-old who is under pressure to get married but wants to continue his carefree lifestyle. He meets the mysterious Catherine who seems to be everything he wants and has an affair with her, and after this begins having strange dreams. Rumors are going around about young men dying in their dreams and never waking up. Half the game is puzzle based challenges in your dreams and the other half is a sort of adventure game where you witness the story.

The most interesting thing to me is that you don’t make decisions at the biggest moments in the game. Rather, you get to make smaller decisions that don’t seem to impact the story much and these change Vincent’s personality when the big moments come up. All in all it sounds pretty interesting and I hear that the story in the game is quite good. Reports on the Japanese version say that the difficulty was a bit… terrible in the Japanese version but the patch to fix the Japanese version will supposedly come standard in the English version.

4. Duke Nukem Forever

My dad is an engineer on ships and as such knows a lot about computers. He was actually the first one to get me into gaming and I grew up on PC gaming and came to consoles later, the complete opposite of most people. So while the average gamer remembers Mario as their gaming mascot for me it was the old side scrolling Duke Nukem. Back when Duke was a disgruntled Opera viewer out for revenge because the vile Doctor Proton had interrupted her show. Duke changed a lot over the years but I always stuck with him.

This damn game has been in development for most of my life and I can hardly believe that it is finally going to be released. This would be higher up on my list but I’m a little worried about it because most big budget FPS games have been disappointing as of late. I get tired of the same old regenerating health pop up and shoot a guy then duck into cover gameplay, and I’m actually hoping that this will be more of an old school shooter. It is being produced by Gearbox, the creators of the hit Borderlands which I have plenty of good things to say about. Even if it turns out terrible, this is Duke and I’m excited as hell to see his return.

3. Shadows of the Damned

 

The genius Suda 51, creator of Killer7 and No More Heroes, joins forces with Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil Series, to bring us a game about a demon hunter with a ridiculous name who travels into hell to save his girlfriend. Need I say more? Seriously, just go watch the trailer. I’m not even going to write more about this game, just go watch the trailer because it is awesome.

2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

The original Deus Ex is one of my favorite games of all time. A great blend of first person shooter and role-playing game, there are multiple ways to get through each level and whatever actions you take are reflected in the world of the game. Is it perfect? Hell no, but it is awesome. There is a reason it is consistently listed among the best games of all time. The art direction of this prequel looks amazing, as do the cut scenes we have been shown of it so far. If developer Eidos Montreal and publisher Square Enix deliver on their promises of intelligent squad AI, multiple paths to solve each problem, and an engaging storyline then this may well take its place alongside the original as one of the best games ever made. If they fail to deliver on those promises… well, it’ll at least be one damn good-looking failure.

1. Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect is a series unlike any ever made. The first time I imported a character from the first game into the second and saw my old Shepard back in action and the results of choices I had made long ago I was stunned. No other RPG series has ever been like this one before and I love it. Some people bemoan the loss of classic style RPGs like the original Fallout games, and while I love those and miss them I think there is a great deal of merit to this new style of game. They may not be as open-ended and non-linear, but the more structured storyline allows for a deeper experience. You get to know the characters better and have more personal relationships with them, you get to see real long-term circumstances to your actions rather than just the short-term and a clip of narration at the end of the game, and you get to experience epic events unlike what you get in an open-ended game.

Compare the original Fallout to Final Fantasy 7, both games released in 1997. Fallout offers you a personal experience as you travel the California wasteland while Final Fantasy 7 offers you a very linear experience as you journey through an entire world, go to space, fight all manners of beasts, and eventually save the planet from a giant meteor that is going to make all life go extinct. Fallout is the more personal experience and I personally like it more than Final Fantasy 7, but the journey to battle The Master is not nearly as epic as the battle to defeat Sephiroth. I see the modern western RPG style pioneered by BioWare as the best of both worlds. Not as open ended as old school classics like Fallout but much more epic in scope.

The biggest challenge Mass Effect 3 has in my eyes is wrapping up the story. I love the mystery of the Reapers and I can’t wait to experience the final battle. I just hope that after four years since the first Mass Effect the answers to all our questions aren’t going to be dissapointing. BioWare has a big challenge with this one but I think that they’re up to the task.

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