I’m back!

It seems appropriate that my last post before taking time off was about a lack of excitement. I hadn’t actually intended to take a break but I’m glad I did. I’d hit a dead spot gaming-wise and myself having nothing to say. Not to mention, I had my family summer vacation (took the wife and little Kae to Michigan, it was amazingly fun).

Even though I took my netbook with me and had some small Steam games loaded on it as well as Minecraft and a copy of my current single player world, but I didn’t end up playing anything. I also didn’t miss playing MMOs while I was gone. Which surprised me.

Instead I was mostly unplugged for the week, and read a lot.Although you can’t tell from the massive pile my backlog of books makes. I swear it grows even faster than my backlog of games.

So now that I’m back, what’s going on?

  • There’s a demo is out for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and it looks amazing. I played a bit last night and had an absolute ball taking a chainsword to hordes of orcs. If the rest of the game plays the same it will be a ton of fun.
  • A surprise MMO came of of Gamescom this year: Wildstar. The videos I’ve seen look great and the features I’ve read about sound promising. The studio, Carbine, has a good pedigree and some experiences people, but the publisher is NCSoft and that gives me pause. NCSoft is infamous for killing games quickly and having security issues. Granted they’ve given a lot of support to ArenaNet and I haven’t heard much lately about account hacks, so maybe they’ve learned from prior mistakes. I also agree with MMOGC and would almost prefer to see the IP done as a feature-length movie instead of a game. Either way, I’m keeping my eye on it.
  • Stargrace made a very excellent point about games being a way for people to entertain themselves. I’ve actually worked on a post similar to hers talking about how lazy some players seem to be. There seems to be a growing expectation that a gamer should be able to sit back and almost be forced to have fun, kind of like watching TV, instead of having to invest some effort in the experience.
  • Big news at STO… the Perfect World acquisition is finally completed. The game had been in an odd limbo state since the release of Season 4. Because of the acquisition, Dan Stahl and the other developers had been much quieter than usual and the game had kind of stalled out content-wise with the Foundry being offline because of bugs. The floodgates have opened though. Dan posted a very interesting response to one community member talking up PW’s confidence and interest in STO, and Cryptic seems to be following up by posting a lot of job openings. Add in the fact that the Foundry is finally back to 100%, and I think the rest of the year should be pretty smooth sailing.

I’m likely forgetting some things but those are the major events I wanted to catch  up on.

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.


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.