Top 10 Most Anticipated Games
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (360, PS3)
Classic gameplay gets a shiny new coat of paint. After a decade-long wait since Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, fans and newcomers alike can duke it out in online and offline matches using a roster of 34 iconic characters. Owners of the Special Edition will also receive two downloadable characters: Resident Evil heroine Jill Valentine and Marvel Comics’ very own Shuma-Gorath. Capcom aims to please long-time fans of the crossover tag-team fighting franchise with more robust storylines and unique endings for every character. Newcomers should be able to pick up a simplified but dynamic control scheme similar to the one used in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. For the first time in the series, characters will be rendered in all their three-dimensional glory, but purists will be happy to know that gameplay remains restricted to a 2D plane.
Killzone 3 (PS3)
The raging war between the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance and the gas mask-wielding Helghast Empire continues right where Killzone 2 left off. Guerrilla Games has greatly addressed criticisms of its FPS franchise by hiring an external writer to craft a fresh story that takes place in a wider and brighter variety of locales. On top of the familiar first-person shooting gameplay, players can take advantage of jet packs and a new close combat melee system. The PlayStation-exclusive Killzone 3 is the first game in the series to be compatible with PlayStation Move and will fully support eye-popping 3D visuals.
Pokemon Black Version and White Version (DS)
The insanely popular Pokemon video game series enters its fifth generation, now featuring 156 all-new creatures to collect. Despite the familiar storyline, director Junichi Masuda and his team at Game Freak have added many significant features to keep the franchise fresh and exciting for fans and newcomers alike. In a far cry from its predecessors, Black and White will be set in a refreshingly urban environment modeled after districts in New York City. The ability to simultaneously use up to three Pokemon in battle introduces countless layers of strategies and tactics; Pokemon has truly evolved.
Dragon Age II (360, PS3, PC)
The legendary RPG developer BioWare improves on Dragon Age: Origins in almost every way. Taking on the role of the fully-voiced human Hawke, players can carve out their legend in Dragon Age II with a blank slate or transfer over game-changing decisions from the original. Hawke’s battle for survival and epic rise to power takes place over a decade in a never before seen area called the Free Marches. Player decisions will greatly affect how the fine-tuned story unfolds thanks in part to a new dialogue wheel system, and the swords-and-sorcery combat looks to be more responsive and satisfying than ever before.
Crysis 2 (360, PS3, PC)
Crytek’s Crysis made a big splash with its extremely lifelike graphics in November 2007, and its graphics are still nothing to scoff at today. Crysis 2, the first game to use the new and improved game engine CryEngine 3, promises to blow the first game out of the water in both graphics and gameplay. As opposed to the jungle environment of its predecessor, Crysis 2 will take place in a fictionalized New York City devastated by alien invaders in the year 2023. Players will don an improved version of the military-inspired Nanosuit to perform even greater superhuman stunts.
Portal 2 (360, PS3, Mac, PC – April 18)
Sharp, witty writing and ingenious platforming and physics-based puzzles return in this sequel to Valve’s critically acclaimed sleeper hit of 2007. The abilities of the iconic Portal Gun will remain the same, but various physical effects will now bleed through portals, allowing for a wider range of puzzles and solutions. In addition to the single-player mode, Portal 2 will feature a full cooperative campaign for two players. Both of the campaigns will be roughly double the length of the original, effectively quadrupling the geeky, mind-bending enjoyment all prospective human lab rats can look forward to.
Resistance 3 (PS3 – September 6)
Set in 1957 in the midst of an apocalyptic alien invasion, the next installment in the PlayStation-exclusive killer app first-person shooter series features a large variety of weapons, some new and some returning from previous games. In keeping with Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank pedigree, weapons will increase in power as they are used. Players taking on the role of disgraced protagonist Joseph Capelli will have to salvage for supplies to build much-needed weapons and battle the occupying Chimeran forces on a harrowing journey from Oklahoma to New York City.
RAGE (360, PS3, Mac, PC)
Set on a near-future Earth in the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a killer asteroid impact, RAGE seamlessly blends together elements of first-person shooters, role-playing games, and vehicular combat games into something pleasingly reminiscent of Fallout 3 and Borderlands. As their first title since Doom 3 to be completely developed in-house, I expect RAGE to add onto id Software’s already impressive legacy.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)
Thanks in part to Naughty Dog’s use of talented actors in both voice and motion capture roles, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was universally acclaimed for blending together Hollywood film techniques and video game mechanics. Its hotly-anticipated sequel has modern-day treasure hunter Nathan Drake battling the harsh elements of sand, water, and fire on an action-packed hunt for the lost city of Iram of the Pillars.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)
In the newest installment of The Elder Scrolls, players will be completely free to roam the entire world of Skyrim while completing main story quests and dynamically-generated side quests. Set two hundred years after Oblivion, players are caught between a deadly civil war and a dragon-god who seeks to destroy the world. Skyrim will run on a new in-house graphics engine, featuring more realistic weather effects and shadows and improved artificial intelligence. Highly accomplished soundtrack composer Jeremy Soule and actor Max von Sydow will lend their talents to this high fantasy epic.