The Five Games I Am Most Excited For

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There are hundreds of games out there that are currently in development, dozens of genres to put them into and yet only a few dollars we have to spend on them. These are some upcoming games that you’ve likely heard of, as they are the most advertised and have had more than one pretty penny invested into them. If you want your money’s worth when you buy a game, these are some that will assuredly satisfy.

5. Borderlands 2

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Genre: Action roleplaying game, first-person shooter
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: 2012

The original Borderlands was a refreshing take on the first-person shooter genre. It combined the control scheme of modern shooters, almost exactly to the controls for Call of Duty titles, and the loot systems of dungeon crawlers. There were thousands of guns to be discovered. An original story with a lot of humor and cel-shaded art rounded out an original experience for the FPS-RPG. Borderlands 2 will deliver a new cast of characters to play as with all new special abilities. The story will take place on the same world of Pandora, and will expand on the story of the original.

Borderlands is a great game. If you are a fan of shooters or dungeon crawlers and didn’t pick this one up you have definitely denied yourself a worthwhile experience. Gearbox created a game with amusing characters, a world inspired heavily by Mad Max, and gameplay that is challenging yet manageable enough to make you feel like a true badass. There is some competitive multiplayer available, but it doesn’t sell this game like the cooperative story does. One of the best parts for me is the sense of humor and storytelling ability these developers have. I was laughing through most of the game, and yet I felt a very real sense of vengeance after finding one character’s mangled body early in the story.

I’m really at a loss for how to describe the game in a way that will do it justice. All I can really say is to keep an eye on this one. So far we only know that it will release sometime next year. Look for videos of the original and any that might come out for the sequel. This game probably has the smallest fan base of this list, but don’t think for a minute that it won’t be a trendsetter.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Publishers: Bethesda Softworks, 2K GamesDeveloper: Bethesda Game Studios
Genre: Action roleplaying game, sandbox
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: 11/11/2011

Somewhere between the Legend of Zelda games and the vast number of MMORPGs you will find the Elder Scrolls series. I’ve played the last two entries for hundreds of hours on different platforms. The Elder Scrolls has been setting a bar for fantasy action RPGs for a while now. Games like Two Worlds, Dragon Age, and others have drawn some ideas and inspiration from what Bethesda has been making of these games.

The game should appeal to anyone who loves Tolkien-esque worlds and stories. The game will, like its predecessors, offer an open world and character creation style that gives you freedom to create the character and story that you’d like. There is an over-arching background story that you can follow, but honestly you won’t have to if that’s not your thing. Dungeons, highwaymen, side stories as complex as the main one, and a sandbox world will provideyou with hours of gameplay to lose yourself in.

Something really appealing about these games is the diversity of characters you can make. Would you like to be a wizard who wears heavy armor and throws fireballs with his left hand while swinging a mace with his right? Thats perfect! You can do that in this game. This kind of freedom has set the series apart from its competition. We can only hope that Bethesda decides to turn this game into a multiplayer experience someday.

3. Battlefield 3

Publisher: Electronic ArtsDeveloper: EA Digital Solutions CE
Genre: First-person shooter
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS
Release Date: 10/25/2011

Battlefield is one of three contenders in the FPS market trying to get all the sociopathic murderous gamers (myself included) to buy their newest game. The other two being (in my humble [well, kind of humble] opinion) Call of Duty and Halo. Battlefield 3 will step away from the direction its creators took with Battlefield: Bad Company and will once again include fighter jets, lying prone and huge 64-man battles (for the PC). Battlefield 3’s setup is to have pre-built classes (Assault, Support, Engineer, and Recon) to select from in multiplayer. Some players may see this as restrictive, especially Call of Duty enthusiasts, but really it’s a balance mechanism that I thought worked rather well in previous versions.

Shooters are something I usually play with a group of friends. It’s something I’ve grown accustomed to after late nights in the dorms playing Halo. Battlefield 3, I have to say, has a lot of appeal for that aspect. The graphics are looking great, and FPS games are something that, as much as I enjoy them, need to be refreshed every now and then. Modern Warfare 2 lasted a full year, but sadly Black Ops and Homefront didn’t have the staying power to keep me in front of my TV all evening, every evening. I’m a little sad that the Commander mode is unlikely to be included, but I’ll still undoubtedly get the PC version of this game for its huge battles.

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Publisher: ActivisionDevelopers: Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software, Treyarch (Wii) n-Space (Nintendo DS)
Genre: First-person shooter
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS
Release Date: 11/08/2011

MW3 will pick up the crazy story right where MW2 left it. The Russian Federation is invading U.S. soil and will now branch that assault into Europe as well. Capt. “Soap” MacTavish and Capt. John Price will continue as the story’s main protagonists, though we will take control of several other named characters for different missions of the story. The main attraction for this game, like Battlefield 3, will not be its campaign, but rather its competitive multiplayer. Expect the game to play quite a bit like MW2, but with a few key changes in response to player requests and to the developer’s own tastes. The Spec Ops section will include a survival mode now, a la Gears of War’s horde mode.

The deciding factor between Nos. 2 and 3 on this list for me was pretty simple. My regular group of friends will all be getting this game. As much as I yearn for the change of style with Battlefield, Modern Warfare 3 is the one I’ll spend more time with. I’m not certain it’ll be a better game, but I play FPS games for a couple of reasons. First is to keep in touch with my friends, which is a lot easier when we play the same game. The second reason is to win. Playing shooters with my friends pretty much guarantees that we’re going to win 98 percent or more of our matches, and I get very competitive with these games.

I had to weigh these factors pretty heavily against the fact that Infinity Ward is no longer the same company that made previous installments of Modern Warfare that rank No. 3 and No. 4 on a different list: games I have invested most of my time in. Anticipation might not be the best word for how I’m really feeling about the release of this game. Truth be told there is a good deal of uncertainty about the quality we’re going to get out of this game. I am glad to hear some of the things Infinity Ward community manager Robert Bowling is saying, but also a little tense about other things he says. I guess you could say I look forward to this game more because of that uncertainty. I just want to know how it’ll turn out, dammit!

1. Guild Wars 2

Publisher: NC SoftDeveloper: ArenaNet
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release Date: 2012

I’d love to simply refer you to the game’s website, as there is so much to write about this game that I don’t know that I’d have time to finish before the beta sucks my life away. Thats right, the beta will suck my life away. Guild Wars 2 is an upcoming MMORPG that I and many others feel will give World of Warcraft a run for its money. Speaking of money, you won’t be paying a subscription fee for this game. You’ll pay about $60 for the box or download, and that’s all you have to pay. Micro-transactions will be available, but if they follow the standard set with the original, those micro-transactions won’t be necessary to stay competitive or to play the entire game.

GW2, like its predecessor, takes place in Tyria, which has recently suffered from a major dragon infestation. You’ll play as one of five races, each of which can pick from eight professions. There are a number of things ArenaNet is doing in an attempt to be revolutionary and set a new standard. Not least of which is the absence of a dedicated healing class. Each profession will be capable of self-healing, damaging enemies and providing some support for any other player characters fighting with them. The combat system is also going to be very dynamic. You won’t just stand still and cast spells or swing your sword, but rather you will be moving around the entire time. As an FPS fan, that is actually a big deal to me, as the always-on-the-move mindset from shooters can carry over now.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this game is that it will provide substance for a variety of gamers. Ask yourself what you want in a game and chances are you’ll find it in this one. You want a deep storyline? Check. Awesome music? I understand Jeremy Soule is involved *wink wink*. Do you want to solo this biatch? Go for it. Want to take a team along the whole way? Also good. Are you a hardcore PvPer? This game is for you. Are you a Care Bear who never wants to fight? This game is for you, too. Do you want to be a smith/tailor/cook? Do it. Alright, I’m done with the fanboy sentiments … for now.

Afterthoughts

In case you’re wondering which two games I have spent more hours on than Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 they are Guild Wars at No. 2 and Ultima Online at No. 1. Guild Wars crossed over the 1,000 hour mark a couple months back, which is about six full weeks of play time. It’s also my second account on there (I tried to quit, really I did!). Ultima Online didn’t have a tracker, thank goodness. I would estimate the amount of time I played that game to be near 2,500 hours. These probably aren’t impressive marks to many gamers, but keep in mind that most games I play won’t break the 50 hour mark. A handful break 100 hours, and the first two Modern Warfare titles were each just shy of 1,000. Most games don’t find their way into the disc tray after a year either. So for me, 2,500 is pretty hefty. It’s not even as many hours per day as some other games, but the fact that I played on and off for over three years with each title is a testament to their addictive nature. It’s not just MMORPGs either, I tried both World of Warcraft and Shadowbane and neither one could keep me playing like these two.

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