Looking Forward to 2011 – Console/PC

I debated just tacking this onto the end of my 2011 MMOs post, since it could be condensed down to:

Mass Effect 3! Mass Effect 3! Minecraft! Minecraft!

But that feels a bit lazy and January is way too early for me to give into laziness, that’s what March is for.

Console Games

There’s only two games I’m excited to play on the Xbox 360 this coming year:

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Batman: Arkham City

Do I really need to explain why? Fine.

Mass Effect 3

Bioware has shown marked improvement in the game-play from 1 to 2, I can only imagine 3 with be even better. Honestly, I’m not sure how though, the mining mini-game was really the only part that was below excellent.

The story, characters, and dialogue have been consistently good through out the first two games, despite my concerns based on the way Mass Effect 2 was marketed. It will be shocking if they somehow manage to drop the ball for the finale.

Batman: Arkham City

It’s the rare superhero game that really recreate the experience of being an iconic hero from the comics. Besides Batman: Arkham Asylum only Spider-man 2 and Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction come to mind. I’m very interested to see if Rocksteady Studios can pull off a sequel. Will they be able to improve on the combat and the detective mode issues without losing the magic from the first game?

PC Games

I’m sure I missed one or two, but this was all I had in my wish-lists on Steam and Amazon.

Minecraft

Obviously there’s going to be a lot happening with Minecraft this year. Notch’s company, Mojang, is up and running, he’s got developers and an artist helping out now, and he’s got big plans. While I’m excited to see Notch does this year with all the resources at his disposal, to be totally honest, I’ve already gotten more than my $14 worth.

Portal 2

I hate puzzle games and platformers, yes even Mario Bros. I loved Portal though. The game did an excellent job of training you on how to solve the puzzles in the game and the difficulty curve always managed to challenge me without causing my to break my keyboard. I’ve been on a complete media blackout regarding this game, all I know is that it’s scheduled for 2011 and I want it.

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 – Retribution & Warhammer 40k: Space Marine

An expansion for DoW2 and a 40k shooter are both due out this year. I loved the single player game for DoW2 but it took a while before I really started to like the multi-player mode, mostly I just missed the base building. Still, I’m very excited to get to play my favorite race from DoW1, the Imperial Guard.

The shooter, Space Marine, looks interesting and given Relic and THQ’s track record with DoW 1 and 2, I’m definitely going to give it a shot. I’m assuming I’ll get the PC version, but there is an Xbox 360 version scheduled as well.

9 Comments

  1. AnjinNo Gravatar says:

    Somehow I missed the announcement about Imperial Guard in Retribution. Now I’m a lot more excited about it. If I played 40K, the guard would be the first army I would paint. I love the idea of regular people standing up against the biggest horrors the universe can throw at them.

    Lots of great picks there.

  2. xXJayeDuBXxNo Gravatar says:

    Why on earth would you want to play ME3 and Batman on a console? But I do agree they are two games to look forward to! So, what are the chances that there could be some DoWII coop before Retribution comes out?!?!? I am sadden at the loss of GFWL in Retribution cause I love me some achievements, but using Steamworks will hopefully make playing online easier and better.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I played ME1 on the Xbox, actually I bought the Xbox because of ME1, so I’m kind of locked in there since the save games are ported from 1 to 2 to 3. I did pickup ME1 and 2 for PC during one of the many Steam sales, but I’ve not played them. It doesn’t really bother me honestly, since I’m not a huge shooter/twitch gamer on either platform.

      Batman I supposed I could get on PC instead, really it just depends on if which platform comes out first. I’m not a patient man.

  3. DroniacNo Gravatar says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic for Mass Effect 3. If they combine Mass Effect’s storytelling and balanced cast of characters with Mass Effect 2′s gameplay (sans repetitive mini-games) that would be ideal. But I’ll certainly play it regardless of what they decide to do and continue on from my PC save games.

    But I think the fantasy RPGs will be more interesting this year. The Witcher 2 looks absolutely amazing and could well become the best RPG to date. And I’m even optimistic for Dragon Age 2 after seeing the combat trailer. Apparently “completely altering the entire combat experience” comes down to simply altering the camera perspective and pacing a little bit, which could be good.

    Dawn of War 2: Retribution looks good with its multiple campaigns and Imperial Guard. I would have preferred the Tau, but you can’t have everything. A public beta will start in February for everyone who has pre-ordered (February 1st) or owns Dawn of War 2 (February 8th). That might be worth a look to see how things may have changed on the multiplayer front, before the game actually comes out. The transition from Games for Windows Live to Steam sounds promising.

    I think 2011 is looking to be a much better year than 2010 when it comes to games. Not just in terms of MMORPGs (Rift, The Old Republic, LotRO: Rise of Isengard and especially Guild Wars 2), but even more-so in terms of singleplayer games! Brink, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, Rage and The Witcher 2 all look set to be outstanding games. And those are just the cream of the crop with games like Crysis 2, Dungeon Siege 3, Homefront, Might & Magic: Heroes VI, Sword of the Stars 2, Torchlight 2 and Trine 2 following in their wake.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Bioware has had an excellent track record on improving Mass Effect so far, so I think Mass Effect 3 should be pretty good.

      I’m interested in the Witcher sequel, although the original game is one that I always intend to play but never quite get around to. Dragon Age 2 I couldn’t care less about. The first one bugged me a bit too much with the combat mechanics and how much micromanaging was required, plus the story failed to draw me in. Having all of the characters voiced except the protagonist was a constant irritation to me, I felt like my character was a mute. That’s all personal preference though, I know of several people who prefer that method over the Mass Effect-style dialogs.

      Tau are my second favorite race, I’d love to see them added to DoW2 but I wonder if they’ll do a third expansion of just start working on DoW3.

      • DroniacNo Gravatar says:

        Mass Effect 2 was a better game than its predecessor, but in some ways I preferred Mass Effect. ME2 spent so much time on its cast of characters that it practically forgot to include an actual plot. Hopefully ME3 won’t suffer from the same lack of direction. And I hope they’ll make the decisions made in the previous Mass Effect games matter more, because there were relatively few consequences to be found in ME2 aside from a few news broadcasts and emails.

        The lack of voice acting for DA:O’s player character made sense, because it was a rather custom character (much more variety than Mass Effect in character creation) and it would’ve been rather a lot of work to implement 6 different voice actors for the player character alone. But Dragon Age 2 will essentially feature Mass Effect’s dialogue system, which I see as both a good thing (voiced player character) and a bad thing (atrocious dialogue wheel). And supposedly the combat will be more approachable on the lower difficulty settings, to the point where pause-and-play really isn’t necessary at all (judging by the combat video). Only the higher difficulty settings retain (the need for) Dragon Age: Origins’ more tactical approach.

        Dawn of War had three expansion packs and DoW 2 sold rather well, so I could see them doing another expansion. But a third game might be interesting just to see in what direction they’d take the franchise.

        • BrianNo Gravatar says:

          Yeah the pacing for ME2 was a little odd. The story starts out with this huge conflict that feels very urgent and then shifts you into all of these loyalty missions and side quests. I do wish they’d figured out a way to make the loyalty missions (at least) a bit more integral to the plot, but overall that’s a minor issue compared to how well done the game is as a whole.

          I agree that the lack of voice for DA:O made sense technically, but it still kept me from enjoying the game. I also found that some of the origins seemed to railroad me along. Meaning that there were choices given in a dialog but the choices didn’t seem to impact the direction of the story at all.

          Yeah, I’ve heard that DA2 is changing to be more ME-like, but I think the franchise has missed it’s opportunity to hook me. I haven’t decided to not buy it but I’m not anticipating it at all.

          True, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a Tau expansion. Would be cool to see the Necrons back too.

  4. [...] Last January, I wan’t looking forward to much on the Xbox. In fact, there were just two games: Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Akham City. Unfortunately Mass Effect 3 was delayed, but Akham City more than made up for that. The game had¬†everything I loved about the first Batman game but added improvements, and even though I’ve finished the game, I still pop it into my console occasionally to beat on some thugs. [...]