Here we are, in the distant future, whizzing around in our jet cars, wearing silver jumpsuits and eating all of our food in capsule form.
Okay, so 2011 may not be quite as exciting as people thought in the 60s, but you know, there are some pretty good games coming out this year. And if you wanted a silver jumpsuit, you could make one out of tin foil and CDs.
Child Of Eden
Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the genius behind Rez, returns to the rhythm action genre with Child Of Eden, a masterful blend of music, sound and waving your arms about. Rez was a hypnotic marvel, a Winamp visualisation brought to life through a few controller presses. Child Of Eden carries on in the same vein, but places you in the centre of the action. It’s basically whack-a-mole on acid with a trippy techno soundtrack and utterly beautiful colours. Oh the colours.
Jonathan Blow’s enigmatic follow up to the brain bending platform puzzler Braid is set to be another head scratcher. Details are sparse, with the game’s site consisting of a cryptic poem and a development blog that’s well worth a read for anyone with even a passing interest in the mechanics of game design. All we know for sure is that the game is set on an uninhabited island and will feature puzzles. Braid‘s blend of time manipulation and intense narrative made it a huge sleeper hit in 2008 – expect The Witness to be even bigger.
Running, shooting, jumping, the holy triumvirate of modern videogames, brought together in a vastly customisable future cops versus rebels setting, and built by a team with vats and vats of multiplayer experience under its collective belt. I mean, fine, it was in the corresponding list last year, but it’s not my fault that release dates change, is it? What hasn’t changed is how exciting Brink looks. At the 2010 Eurogamer Expo, the queues to get to play the game stretched further than any other. Brink, if it ever comes out, will be something special.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
A prequel to what is widely recognised as one of the best games of all time, Human Revolution has been wowing gamers ever since it was announced many moons ago. Set to continue the trend set by the original, the game will allow players to choose their own way to play, guiding their super augmented, trench coated spy around a game world that owes a debt to the grim, smog stained vistas of Blade Runner. Deus Ex looks set to be the adult, exciting science fiction title that we’ve all been waiting for.
Not content with scooping up game of the year awards left, right and centre in 2010 with Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar has got its sights firmly set on the 2011 crown as well. A long time coming, LA Noire takes place in a perfectly realised 1940s Los Angeles, and features some of the most convincing character models that this, or any other generation of games, has ever seen. The game looks to be an evolution of the formula Rockstar has been perfecting since GTA 3, so you can expect a mature thriller, with lots of grizzled men in trilbys saying things about ‘dames’ and ‘broads’.
Multiplayer Portal is the stuff that feverish, brain bending nightmares are made of. The original Portal was a masterstroke of narrative, geek-ensnaring characters and utterly maddening puzzles, and if Valve’s track record is anything to go by, we can expect the sequel to be even better. From what we’ve seen, Portal 2 builds on the rock solid foundations of the original, taking the players out of the testing areas and into a brave new world. And GLaDOS is back, which will probably end in tears.
The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword
It’s a new Zelda game – what’s not to get excited about? The game sees Link living in the clouds, and using the titular sword to travel between his sky-based home and another world underneath, populated by monsters. 1:1 sword movements are promised, using the Wiimote Plus, and as with every Zelda game, there’ll be a compelling story, plenty of goo to fight, things to find in long grass and lots of stylish green hats.
One of the PS3’s killer apps returns for another outing, this time in MIND BLOWING 3D. Or non-mind blowing 2D, if that’s more your thing. Killzone 2 was a perfectly crafted console FPS, with some astounding visuals and a multiplayer mode that it was shockingly easy to lose yourself in. The sequel bursts onto the scene promising more bombast, more explosions, more polygons and more manly grunting and gun shooting. If you’re looking for subtlety, looking elsewhere would be advisable, but if sweaty men lugging heavy artillery around is your goal, Killzone 3 will sate your lust.
Mass Effect 3
The final act in BioWare’s epic space opera, Mass Effect 3, sees Shepard take the fight back to Earth. Details are slim at the moment, with the game only tentatively slated for a holiday 2011 release date. That could mean it’ll be on the Games To Look Out For In 2012 list, but hey, if any game’s worth two lists, it’s going to be Mass Effect 3. There will be tough choices to make, there will be aliens to shoot, there will be treachery and inter-species love making and you may or may not save the universe at the end of it all. Just wait and see.
Duke Nukem Forever
It feels ridiculous saying this, kind of like a grown man admitting that he believes in Santa, but Duke Nukem Forever is actually coming out this year. Personally, I won’t believe it until I have a copy in my hand, but box shots exist, a release date has been set and the world will finally see a game that began development over a decade ago. The story of how we got to this point is an article all of its own, but the Duke deserves his place on this list simply because the vast majority of us never thought this game would see the light of day.
Nobody’s allowed to mention Too Human though, got it?
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