Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 Gaming

This subject is massively important to me. I have been playing games since a relatively young age and watching films even before that. I’ve watched the progression in technology catapult the gaming industry from something geeks and nerds did in dimly lit rooms to the dizzying heights of full mainstream attention. Similarly, movies are constantly evolving with new techniques and state-of-the-art special FX which even appear to be 3D.

I find it genuinely exciting to be part of the era where storytelling is pushing beyond the veils of the silver screen and interactive experiences are becoming ever more realistic. But should we be careful? There are politicians that tell us we’ve gone too far, that realism is desensitising the masses and clouding people’s sense of right and wrong.

Across the course of my blog I will cover individual games and films and my thoughts on them. I’d also like to explore some of the political and health issues that arise when discussing the industry as a whole. I hope to provide good information that everyone will find interesting and maybe even inspire a few people to play/see some things they wouldn’t ordinarily try.

Top 5 anticipated for 2011
The coming year is going to be an exciting time for gamers. There are a host of massive sequels releasing as well as some new franchises coming to light. In fact, 2011 may just be the toughest Game-of-the-Year decision yet! Here are my top 5 games to look out for:

Mass Effect 3
The previous two instalments were both epic games, with ME2 receiving GotY 2010 from many sources. ME3 looks set to continue the RPG Action gameplay of the rest of the trilogy whilst expanding on all the great elements of ME2. Of course, those that have played the previous titles will be able to use their saves to carry over all their choices, but this time around newcomers will be able run though an interactive comic to make all the major plot decisions. Release date TBC.

Batman: Arkham City
The original Batman: Arkham Asylum took the gaming world by storm. Created by Rocksteady, it was evident from the start that they were batman fans. Some have called it the best Batman game ever created. Gameplay was a great mix of stealth action, fight sequences, epic boss battles and detective work. Arkham City follows on the story line, seeing the asylum expanding. This will lead to a lot more outdoor Batmaning across wider areas. It’s almost a guarantee this will be super polished and every inch as good as the last. Available from 21/10/11.

Battlefield 3
Battlefield has a long standing pedigree of massive online action with an emphasis on vehicular warfare rather than fast paced action you might see in Call of Duty. Previous console iterations have been a haven for those who prefer tactical thinking and teamwork based action. A new graphics engine has been built for this game, as well as fresh sound recordings. Release date TBC

L.A. Noire
From the creators of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire is a fresh IP that looks set to shake up the standard ‘go here, do this, speak to them’ format that has been Rockstars’ bread and butter for many years. There will be a greater emphasis on figuring out your own cases with detective work and chasing down criminals in the 1940’s setting. Get your hands on it 30/05/11.

Portal 2
The original Portal was released as part of The Orange Box collection, which contained Half Life 2. Gameplay consists of a puzzle game that lets you place portals around the environment to complete various objectives. Although it started out easy, the learning curve ramped up very quickly and became mind boggling. Portal 2 is a stand alone title that expands on the concept to increase the over all length of play from 6 hours to a full sized game. Add to the mix a coop mode (four portals at once!) and a wealth of new features and you’ve got yourself a massive reason to get excited for the April 21st release date.

These five titles have my taste buds tingling (and my wallet screaming) and I shall no doubt be breaking my vow of not buying brand new games on day 1 for most, if not all, of them!

Of course, there are plenty of excellent games coming out this year that didn’t quite make my list (Eldar Scrolls V, Operation Flashpoint Red River, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3). What games are you most looking forward to? Do you have a top 5 of your own?

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