Hit me one more time
October, November and December… For us gamers that period of time is just a blessing, for us responsible grown-ups it is also a nightmare when it comes to our bank accounts. The “gaming season” is upon us so I thought it would be a good opportunity to recapitulate the list of potential hits we’re about to play on our HD consoles.
The first thing to notice is that we can pretty much count on every possible genre to be there: action, adventure, sports, platformers, RPG, music games… You’d need to be very picky not to find something to your liking if you ask me. You might wonder the point of going through a list of games you all very much know by now but I really wanted to take a little time to make the most representative selection of more or less highly anticipated games. I’m fully aware that given the numbers of games that are to be released in the upcoming weeks, I might forget some but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about them in your comments.
Let’s begin with the nerve of war, that is to say the games that will only be available exclusively either on Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. The good news is that, whatever the hardware you picked, you’re in for a real treat as both Sony and Microsoft have something to make you proud of your precious.
The first game from Microsoft I’ll mention is Fable’s highly anticipated sequel. Fable 2 will sure have to hold on to the promises Molyneux had made for the first game but it should offer a great adventure – playable in co-op – in the enchanting world of Albion anyway.
Rare hasn’t decided to play it safe with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts as not only does it have the usual gameplay mechanics of a platformer but it also tries to innovate with a powerful vehicle construction tool that will allow players’ craziest inventions to come to life. Many of you guys already think it’s going to win the bet, we’ll find out soon.
Gears of War 2 is without a doubt the most anticipated game of late 2008 and it also is the flagship of Microsoft’s Xbox 360. The game is announced to be more badass so expect more action, more interaction and more dead locusts. Whether you want it for its co-op mode, its addicting multiplayer or its incredible graphics, I’m sure you’re all more than eager to “finish the fight”.
After their fantastic Orange Box, Valve is working on a ferocious multiplayer game called Left 4 Dead, only on PC and Xbox 360 for the moment. I can’t think of anything more appealing than facing a huge number of zombies with some friends. Unless maybe facing my friends as a zombie…
Before taking a look at what’s coming on PS3, I thought it would be fair to talk about Square-Enix’s new franchise: The Last Remnant. We haven’t seen much of it yet but considering it is a JRPG and they always have that little something, I think it’d be a mistake not to keep an eye on it. Infinite Undiscovery may have disappointed a bit but I’m convinced The Last Remnant will have some fans, even though it seems to be very similar to previous games by the same publisher.
Sony can also be proud as their lady in black has what it takes to please its users. I don’t think it is necessary to say more about LittleBigPlanet since we praised the game so much in our Gamersyde Awards article, suffice to say that we’re more and more impatient to play the game and that the bundle including both the game and the PS3 should sell like pancakes.
Santa won’t get his hands on Killzone 2 in time for Christmas but Resistance 2 will be there to satisfy those of you in need for action. The first game already was a lot of fun and to think the sequel will feature a promising 8 player co-op mode and a 60 player multiplayer frenzy in the other modes is rather exciting to say the least.
PS3 owners are also waiting for another sequel: Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The demo that was released with Qore worried some of you but rest assured that the final version will be more polished as we could read everywhere on the net that the demo was based on an old build of the game. Other than that, the game still promises a hell of an adrenaline rush and it will also include some solid content this time around.
Xbox 360 owners will have a Naruto game to play but I chose not to mention it as it seems to me NamcoBandai’s Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm unleashes more enthusiasm with the fans. With a graphical style that couldn’t be any closer to the anime and some very dynamic fights, the game is shaping up well but we still need to see more of the adventure gameplay.
Most of the great games that are to be released by the end of the year aren’t exclusives and that’s great news for those who can’t afford to own the two systems. The bad news is it’s going to make it even harder to choose between them all.
Like every year, sports fans will get to use between games from publishers like Electronic Arts, Konami or 2K. Football – or soccer – fans have already been much impressed by Fifa 09’s demo though some still have issues with the way it handles. After a disappointing version last year PES 2009 more than ever needs to be convincing and we hope the demo – that should supposedly be available before the end of September – will do the job. Basketball fans won’t be left aside as NBA Live 09 has much improved since last year’s installment but it still remains to be seen if it will be strong enough to resist NBA 2K9 whose recent trailer was pretty amazing.
Racing sims fans will probably be disappointed but there will be no Race Pro before early 2009 on 360 and no Gran Turismo 5 before long on PS3… This year, it’s all about arcade racers and thrills in games like Pure - the excellent game from Black Rock Studio, released as soon as this week - and also Midnight Club L.A or Need For Speed: Undercover that could both be a pleasant surprise.
Survival horrors are pretty scarce these days but things are about to change with Dead Space, best surprise at last Game Convention and the new game in the Silent Hill franchise: Silent Hill: Homecoming. We’re pretty confident EA game will be good thanks to great graphics and a very good sound design but, like many people, we wonder if the new Silent Hill will be as effective as the first three.
First Person Shooters are on the contrary very common this generation but since most of them turn out to be good games, why should we complain? I’ve decided to narrow down the list to 4 of them and hopefully you’ll agree they should be the most interesting ones. Far Cry 2 and its huge open environment, the stylish and original Mirror’s Edge, Call of Duty: World at War and its usual effectiveness and finally Bioshock, a superb adventure that PS3 owners will soon discover. There are still questions about the quality of the AI in Ubisoft’s game, the interest of EA’s first person platformer in the long run and the choice of returning to WWII in Activision’s shooter but there’s a pretty good chance they all show some good stuff too.
For once, platformer lovers will have several games to choose from. Whether you’re more into mature adventures or you prefer more naïve worlds, you’ll all find something worth playing. Lara’s back in Tomb Raider: Underworld and she’s in pretty good shape - my numerous tries at Leipzig can attest to that – and she should not fail to deliver. The new Prince of Persia game may not be to everyone’s liking but it would be crazy not to consider it as a potential hit. Sonic Unleashed still has a lot of things to prove but it might turn out to be a fresh renewal of the franchise. As for Lego Batman, it’s a Lego game so if you’ve liked the others, there are no reasons not to fall for this one.
Not mentioning Fallout 3 in this selection would have been a huge mistake as we all expect so much from Bethesda’s RPG. Sure, you’ll hear some fans of the franchise bitch about the fact that Fallout “is not what it used to be” and criticize some of the choices made for this third installment. As for me, I have to say I was very impressed by the last bunch of videos they released and I’m really looking forward to playing the game.
Those of you who like sandbox games that allow you to do some crazy things and have a lot of fun will be happy to see Saints Row 2 return next month. I did try the game with Lunik at Leipzig and I can’t say we were particularly thrilled but we just got to play a bit of the intro level so if you liked the first game you should keep an eye on this one. Not everyone agrees when it comes to Saints Row 2 but it could be a nice departure from Rockstar’s game after all. What’s more, the “legendary” voice cast that has just been announced could make a big difference in the end. So the question is: suit up or not suit up?
Music games are very trendy these days because they appeal to a larger audience where casual and hardcore players meet to have some great fun. We’re all waiting for Guitar Hero: World Tour to show us what it’s made of and the tracklist that has just been announced is a very good start. However it will have to face Rock Band’s sequel in North America - which probably won’t be the case in Europe for a while at least. Because the first Rock Band is eventually coming to PS3 in Europe and that the price has dropped a bit - it’s still expensive but less of a rip-off – the battle could still be interesting here anyway.
I think that’s it. I could have mentioned more casually oriented games like Scene It 2, Lips or You’re in the Movies for Microsoft or Sing Star 2 for Sony, I probably forgot some too, not to mention those I intentionally left aside but I think you’ve done enough reading for one day - as for me I’ve done my share of translation for the month, believe me. So by the way, how much money will be left in your bank account in your opinion?
GriftGFX @KORNdog: Still very different. More like Diablo but the "game feel" is not as polished. Systems are more well designed, but I have to give it to Diablo when it comes to fit and finish. (1 Hour ago)
KORNdog @GriftGFX: like divinity? Better or worse? Might be one i dust off the xbox for. (1 Hour ago)
GriftGFX The economy is unique and will probably seem strange to new players.. but every system is cleverly tied together in PoE. (1 Hour ago)
GriftGFX And yes.. the passive skill tree is pretty insane. It has a healthy mix of rigid decision making in its passive tree and flexibility in the active skill system. (1 Hour ago)
GriftGFX Path of Exile is an endlessly playable action RPG and Pillars of Eternity is a turn-based single player game w/ a party system. (1 Hour ago)
GriftGFX No they are not.. they are both RPGs and they both have isometric cameras but that's where the similarities end. (1 Hour ago)
Tiz I always confuse the PoE abbreviation with Pillars of Eternity. Are they even the same type of game? (1 Hour ago)
Driftwood GSY is getting some nice content at 3 pm CEST with our July podcast and some videos of the Deus Ex Mankind Divided preview build. :) (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood For once we'll be live at 4:30 pm CEST. Blim should not even be tired! (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood More Quantum Break coverage coming in a few hours, 9:00 a.m CEST. (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood We'll have a full review up for Firewatch at 7 pm CET. Videos will only be tomorrow though. (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood Tonight's livestream will be at 9:15 GMT+1, not GMT+2 as first stated. (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood New GSY Live dedicated this time to Just Cause 3 on Tuesday 9:30 GMT+2 (> 3 Months ago)
Driftwood Join us tomorrow at 10 pm GMT+2 for a new livestream. We'll be playing Rise of the Tomb Raider. (> 3 Months ago)
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