On the menu in 2010
The new year is upon us so it is probably the best time to sit down and take a look at what is coming on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2010. You will not find a complete list of all the upcoming games as it is quite difficult to be thorough with such release uncertainty but still, it should give you a good idea of what to expect in the coming months, whichever system you own. And you know what? Time and money might run short even sooner in 2010.
Being the most popular genre this generation, it is not surprising to see that we will have our share of first person shooters this year to come. Between brand new IPs, the revival of old successful franchises and the inevitable sequels we have come to expect every year, players will definitely have a high range of choice in 2010.
First game to deserve your attention, Splash Damage's Brink could do just as well as the unexpected Borderlands. ID Software's Rage is undoubtedly among the most anticipated games of 2010 and given the studio's heritage it will have to be good after such a long wait. Even Homefront by THQ could be worth playing if the good impressions of the press at last E3 are confirmed.
Also high are the hopes on the come-backs of Aliens vs Predator, still developped by Rebellion , and the new Medal of Honor whose new historical context is nothing but a declaration of war against Activision's Modern Warfare series.
Speaking of which, we should definitely expect a new Call of Duty by Treyarch before the end of 2010. The game will certainly be set during World War 2 once again, unless they finally decide to use the Vietnam war as historical background (who knows?). Xbox 360 owners will probably only be looking forward to one game, Halo Reach, especially since Halo 3 ODST was a nice surprise for most. Another promising sequel is Crysis 2, coming on consoles this time, and hopefully about as impressive as the first game. Moreover, though nothing has been announced yet, Far Cry 3 might be in the making at Ubisoft. Two years after Far Cry 2, the timing would indeed be perfect to propose a sequel that will avoid the previous game's flaws.
Before all that however, in the very near future, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Bioshock 2 will respectively offer joyful mass destruction and a very oppressive underwater atmosphere.
Though no new GTA nor GTA related DLC have been announced for 2010 yet, it does not mean players will lack the pleasure of freedom and big open spaces. Red Dead Redemption already looks very promising, as proven by our recent detailed first-look article. If riding horses in the dust of the Old West is not your cup of tea, you might want to give Mafia 2 a try if you are ready to give in to the ambiance of the fifties it conveys. For those of you who are more into tropical islands and crazy stunts, then Just Cause 2 should clearly do it for you. After a first game that was a lot more than some claimed when it was released with the Halo 3 beta, Crackdown 2 is also eagerly awaited by a huge fan base. To finish, let's not forget that True Crime has recently been announced. The previous two games have not left any long lasting memories in players' minds but who's to say that this time the mix between the John Woo action of the gunfights and the craziness of GTA-style car chases will not work.
Many expected titles, not all of them planned for 2010, still a wide range of promising games, whatever the console you own.
Splinter Cell Conviction will come out first in February on Xbox 360 and to say that the return of our favourite 3-green-light secret agent is a big deal would be quite an understatement. Later on, still on 360, Alan Wake will be released, with expectations as high as the development time was long. We’ve been waiting for ages for the first psychological-action-thriller from the guys at Remedy, but it is just around the corner now.
Everybody will be able to put their hands on the new Prince of Persia which will come out at the same time as the movie. We’re half impatient (for all the Sands of Time trilogy fans), half doubtful considering the long list of failed movie adaptations - though they keep saying it is not really one. Kane & Lynch: Dog Days will need to show a more convincing gameplay after a first episode mostly valuable for its atmosphere and its highly charismatic anti-heroes. Rockstar’s Max Payne 3 will also need to offer high quality content after two episodes that were absolutely excellent, thanks to both a typical “film noir” atmosphere and some revolutionary gameplay ideas at the time. Another sequel to looked forward to with Lost Planet 2 who will enable players to share this new adventure in a 4-player co-op against the Akrids.
Many titles remain and we’d love to be able to play them in 2010, first of them being The Last Guardian on Playstation 3, the brand new game from Team Ico. We don’t know much about the new Tomb Raider, but we will certainly know more about it this year. And of course, Mirror’s Edge 2, Batman Arkham Asylum 2 (even though 2010 doesn’t seem very likely for this one), Metal Gear Solid: Rising and, why not a potential GRAW 3 from Ubisoft. Eventually, if it’s allowed to dream a little, we’d definitely love to see a release for Michel Ancel’s Beyond Good and Evil 2, wouldn't you?
Quite under-represented until now on the current generation of consoles, will 2010 be the time for the great comeback of the genre? It’s not impossible, knowing that January will let Bayonetta and Darksiders try to rejuvenate the likes of Devil May Cry and Soul Reaver. Dante’s Inferno will be next and, with the team responsible for Dead Space working on it, it should be all good. In March, major event to come with the arrival of God of War 3 on Sony’s console, third episode of a franchise which already brought a lot to the genre. Last but not least, even if we’re not sure of a 2010 release, Castlevania: Lord of Shadow carries the heavy burden to be as good as its ancestors, all the episodes in 3D having failed to up until now.
Good news, everybody should find something to play in 2010. Should you prefer western RPG, Japanese RPG, or more experimental French adventure games, all kinds of games will be available, as soon as the first quarter. Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Heavy Rain, three completely different games, but that should all offer a rich and immersive experience. Less hyped - which is not necessarily a bad thing -, End of Eternity from Tri Ace and Obsidian’s Alpha Protocol will certainly know how to keep gamers busy while waiting for the end of the year and the potential releases of Fable 3 and a new Fallout (Vegas) from Bethesda. To finish, if you haven't caved to the joy of import, White Knight Chronicles will finally arrive on the PS3 to a western audience, just like Yakuza 3 from Sega.
The list is not very long for the moment but Dead Space 2 and Dead Rising 2 are nonetheless highly anticipated and should not disappoint. Different in their approach of horror and survival, the first episodes of each IP had managed to surprise the gamers when they were released. Let’s hope these sequels will be at least just as good. Resident Evil 5 will maybe find an occasion to get out of its box thanks to the arrival of a DLC offering a whole new chapter in a manor house, reminding the best moments of the franchise. Finally, Id also like to mention a title which has kept a very low profile since its announcement: Dead Island. The new game of the makers of Call of Juarez will maybe offer a one player alternative to Valve’s Left 4 Dead series.
The end of 2009 was very generous for racing games lovers, so let’s see what’s coming in 2010. Looking on the realistic side, we’ll certainly have to wait until next summer for the release of Gran Turismo 5. Being developed for almost 5 years now, Sony’s title will certainly not leave anybody indifferent. As a matter of fact, it is already the target of nitpicking gamers on the one hand, and the object of worship of the fans driven crazy by all the waiting. In the end, most players simply hope for a game full of content with a nice gameplay to go with it.
On a more confidential level, which does not necessarily make it any less interesting, the new rally game by Milestone has raised the hopes of all those who have been longing for the comeback of rally only dedicated games. The oldest among us will remember the first Colin Mac Rae episodes, Sony’s World Rally Championship or the hardcore Richard Burns Rally. Of course nobody knows if the game will be ready for 2010, nor if it will be any good – the previous games from Milestone having being average at best-, so don't hold your breath too much. One thing is certain though, those who love rally will surely keep their fingers crossed for the sensations to be there. Formula one should also be back this year on HD consoles with Codemasters' F1 2010 running on EGO engine, which should at least guarantee great graphics.
In a totally different style, Split/Second and Blur will hopefully make all arcade gamers happy. We’re also waiting for the new Need for Speed by Criterion (the makers of the Burnout series), which is obviously more likely to be arcade rather than simulation. And if you don’t like urban racing, Sonic & Sega All Star Racing should provide for a good Mario Kart-like substitute on PS3 and Xbox 360. Expect a lot of a multiplayer fun along with a chance to meet Ryo Hazuki again,which, you'll agree, is priceless…
After spending some time on some alien-butchering or one-man-army-world-saving games, how about relaxing a tad with some music games. Already planned, Guitar Hero: Van Halen and Green Day: Rock Band, the two new spin-offs of the two major franchises. This still shouldn’t prevent us from getting Guitar Hero 6 and Rock Band 3 in the end of 2010. We’ll see how long Activision and EA will be able to sell these new games at such frequency without getting gamers bored in the process. Maybe publishers are afraid of losing momentum somehow.
Standing between a strategy game and a massive beat’em up, Kingdom Under Fire II managed to make many players drool thanks to two impressive videos. Considering the warm welcome the first episode received at the time, we for sure are looking forward to its release.
Like every year, Sunday sportsmen will be able to sweat on their usual virtual basketball, hockey and football fields. Will PES confirm the progress it made this year? Will FIFA 11 still be interesting with the release of the inevitable World Cup version certainly planned for next summer? Let’s add to this EA Sports MMA, EA’s attempt at competing with THQ’s actually good UFC 2009 Undisputed. And for those who prefer riding than fighting, Skate 3 should be available within a few months, with even more community features.
At last, it's hard not to mention the ambitious Project Natal from Microsoft. Whether it is another funny but forgettable gadget (who said Eye Toy??), or a true revolution in gameplay still remains to be seen. As usual, it will be what developers decide to do with it that will settle the matter. Let's hope they will not only have the casual gamers in mind – for then we should expect very limited gameplay – and will be ready to take a chance with more innovative interactive concepts (Milo?). Of course Sony’s reply should be expected quite soon as well, and it will be interesting to see how these new technologies will be implemented in our favorite leisure.
Great thanks to Ikhnaton (images), LeFourbe (translation) and DjMizuhara (for giving the article a final reading).
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