2010 was a great year for video games and 2011 looks set to be even better. With that in mind, the Train2Game blog presents a run down of our top 5 most anticipated games of the year. Some of these may not be absolute blockbusters, but represent what we’re personally looking forward to in the coming year.
5. Fight Night Champion
This might be a controversial one to begin with because previous comments on the Train2Game Facebook page suggest that the excellent Fight Night Round 4 wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, as a fan of the sport myself I thought it was an excellent game that truly represents an accurate simulation of boxing, without forcing you to step between the ropes.
Fight Night Round 4 looked great and played even better and it felt great taking a created boxer to the top in the career mode. If the trailers that have already been revealed are anything to go by then Fight Night Champion isn’t just an update with a few new fighters on the roster, the game looks like it’s been updated in every department.
If the screenshots we’ve seen are anything to go by then not only does it look better, but fighters will react more realistically to damage during fights. Noses can be broken, eyes can be bruised and the new stamina system where each limb has its own energy means you’ll need to do more than just throw right hooks for 12 rounds.
Not only that but the new story based champion mode means that the latest incarnation of Fight Night is set to become the first EA game to have a mature rating thanks to a gritty tale involving corruption, drugs, and prison. It should be excellent entertainment for boxing fans.
Fight Night Champion is due for release on March 4th.
4. Portal 2
The original Portal was released in 2007 and was perhaps the biggest surprised to come out of the rather amazing Orange Box. The charming little puzzler based around the use of portals may not have been very long, but it stole the hearts of many. (Over three years later this tribute recently turned up in Minecraft!)
Now, 2011 sees Valve release a full sequel to Portal that not only is at least twice as long as the original, and a lot of new features, but also full length game co-op game mode. As we’ve seen in previous posts on the Train2Game blog, Portal features a lot more character interaction for silent-protagonist Chel in the form of Wheatley, a small robot voiced by Stephen Merchant. Portal 2 also apparently features 13,000 lines of dialogue which points towards there being more conversations rather than listening to the oh-so-adorable sentry guns talking at you.
Personally, what I’m looking forward to most is the new co-op mode, especially when you take Valve’s track record with co-op and team based games into consideration. You may have heard of two little games called Team Fortress 2 and the Left 4 Dead series both of which make co-operation the utmost importance.
And if for some reason you need extra convincing that that Portal 2 should be one of the best games of the year, then remember that it’s from Valve, the team behind Half Life 2. (Of course, there will be some of you who’d hope that Half Life 2: Episode 3 or Half Life 3 will at least appear this year!)
Portal 2 is released on April 22nd. If that’s too long to wait, you can check out these trailers on the Train2Game blog.
3. Tomb Raider
No, Train2Game blog reader you haven’t angered a wizard and been sent back in time to 1995, Tomb Raider is coming out this year. Tomb Raider is simply a reboot of the entire franchise that see’s a 21 year old Lara Croft stranded on an island and fighting for survival.
From what we’ve seen so far this open world adventure not only takes a number of elements from the world of survival horror, but will also require the player to sustain Lara with drinking water. It’s another game that looks set to have a mature rating with Lara able to suffer a number of brutal deaths if the player isn’t careful enough.
The open world nature and change in tone from previous games in the series certainly marks Tomb Raider out as one of top prospects of the year.
You can check out some artwork for the upcoming Tomb Raider here on the Train2Game blog.
There’s no official release date for Tomb Raider yet, but it should be with us before the year is over.
2. Uncharted 3
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was an impressive video game, while Uncharted 2 was arguably even better. Will Uncharted 3 continue the trend and trump them both? It looks like we’ll be getting a lot more of the fantastic character interaction that features in all of the Uncharted games thanks to screenshots and gameplay footage that show Drake and mentor Sully playing a bigger role in the game.
The intense action sequences, the game play and the dialogue between the characters have all helped make the Uncharted games classics of this generation and have near enough made Nathan Drake the icon of the PlayStation 3.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will see our protagonists spending a lot of time in the desert and from what we’ve seen so far it looks visually amazing. Expect fast paced action, an epic story and lots of twists and turns when Uncharted 3 is release for the PlayStation 3 on November 4th.
1. Dragon Age 2
So, given that how much we at the Train2Game blog have praised Dragon Age: Origins in previous posts, we may get called out as biased here, but Dragon Age 2 lets set to be amazing.
OK, some people aren’t happy that we’ll no longer be able to ‘truly’ create our own character anymore thanks to us now being restricted to a human called Hawke. But we’ll still be able to make decisions through now fully voiced dialogue and decide which class our main character will be. The Dragon Age 2 team recently released this video saying why focussing on one character will make it a better game.
Some PC gamers are also worried that Dragon Age 2 has been ‘dumbed down’ for the console market but Bioware have been keen to show that the tactical option is still available for players who want to experience Dragon Age 2 as a true role playing game.
But looking at any of the trailers for Dragon Age 2 that have appeared which demonstrate shiny new graphics, a new visual style, both old and new characters and lots of huge battles, it looks like Dragon Age 2 is sure to be very impressive indeed.
Personally it’s a PC release for me, but when Dragon Age 2 is released on March 11th, it’s also available on PS3 and Xbox 360
Of course, this list is just my opinion, and will focus on the sort of games I like. Perhaps you’re looking forward to other games in 2011? If so, why not leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum?