Assuming every title on this list isn’t delayed and actually gets released, this year promises to be one of the best years in video gaming ever, especially with first and third person shooters. You might think I’m exaggerating, but the onslaught of sequels to some of the best games ever made suggests otherwise. It’s hard to turn your nose up at Uncharted 3 and say “sequel-itis, harrumph!” if you enjoyed the first two games (and you probably did). If you do, that’s okay, too. You’re not fooling anyone.
Dead Space 2
The first game had dead babies that launched spikes from the small of their backs to latch onto your face. That's a scary enough concept to think about without having to wonder about what Visceral Studios will be putting into the new Dead Space.
This one has dead teenagers, in a mall infested by Necromorphs. Hordes upon hordes of pesky, dead teenagers for you to blow away. It's an amusing concept, but the thought of being set upon by countless skinny fingers and ripped to shreds isn't particularly pleasant.
Isaac, the game's formerly mute protagonist speaks now. I guess coming to terms with the death of his girlfriend Nicole has finally jarred him into speech. Though with the Sprawl (that's where you'll be trying to survive) so full of dead people and nothing else, it's a wonder who he'll be speaking to.
Not to be confused with the Australian-designed electric railgun, Bulletstorm is Epic Games' latest take on the bros-with-guns-who-spout-one-liners genre.
Bulletstorm is so over-the-top with its one-liners and violence that it almost resembles a satire of itself. It'd be almost laughable if it didn't also look like a total blast to play. Featuring tons of combat moves and a huge variety of weapons, Bulletstorm lets players perform "skillshots", a system which rewards you for causing as much mayhem as you possibly can in the most creative way possible. The more unique the skillshot, the more points you'll receive to upgrade your character to perform more moves and more exaggerated skillshots. It's a shooter that encourages you to have fun while having fun.
Before there was Quake, there was Doom. Before Doom, there was Wolfenstein 3D. Each of them, milestones for the FPS genre, and the products of id Software.
John Carmack is back with a new game called Rage. True to id Software's style, the game is made up of a single word. With Rage, I'd expect nothing less than the next generation of first person shooters, or at least an expensive tech demo with the next big engine. Either way, it's something to be excited about.
Set in some post-apocalyptic desert, the game looks like a cross between Borderlands and Fallout 3. It's got state of the art visuals, killer vehicles, and wide open area for you to go nuts with. What more could you ask for?
Kicking off immediately after the events of the second game, Sev and his compatriots find themselves trapped on the Helghast planet in a crossfire between the various factions that have emerged upon the death of the Helghast dictator (who kind of resembled Hitler, with hand gestures and all). Sev and his buddies will find himself fighting giant robot spiders and countless Nazi-like Helghast troops as they attempt to regroup with the main ISA force.
The new game will feature work from a dedicated writer who plans to inject new life into the series with better dialogue, more interesting personalities and a more polished storyline. Killzone 3 will also be the first FPS with full support for Sony's Move control system. Not bad.
Mass Effect 3
As if no one already knew Mass Effect was designed as a trilogy of games, everyone got all excited when the third game was announced at the Video Game Awards some months ago. Was anyone genuinely surprised? Well, even if they weren't surprised, they certainly put a lot of effort into acting like it.
With the Collectors dealt with at the end of Mass Effect 2 and Shepard's crew loyal and ready to serve, humanity now faces its most dire threat. The Earth is under attack by the Reapers, who've finally emerged from the outer regions of space to put civilization to the torch like the Romans did to Carthage.
Shepard is one man (or woman), and humanity's only hope for survival. Now you have to deal with it.
Battlefield 3 hasn't been formally announced, but EA's been dropping tons of hints to tell us that the game's being prepped for release in 2011. Until then, we can only speculate as to the setting it'll take place in or the kind of technology we can expect to see. At the very least, it'll be a step up from Bad Company 2 and offer a whole lot more of the multiplayer action that made the Battlefield series the success it is today.
In an industry filled with Call of Duty and Call of Duty clones, Battlefield is the one military-themed FPS that's actually doing something right.
Nathan Drake is at it again. Between the sea plane in the first game and the train in the second, there's no vehicle that Drake isn't bound to crash so long as he's on it. In the third game, it looks like he's crashed a large transport plane in the middle of the desert. No doubt the pilots are cursing themselves for trusting Drake's luck in transportation.
With Francis Drake's journal and the writings of T.E. Lawrence, Drake and his pal Sully set out into the Arabian desert to seek an ancient city lost to time. Along the way, they're beset by armed gunmen whom they will undoubtedly proceed to massacre–an act that'll no doubt go unmentioned as Drake makes a quip about Elena or some other wry observation.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Every time someone mentions the words "Deus Ex", a dozen people reinstall the game. Needless to say, a new entry in the Deus Ex series has been a long time coming, and Human Revolution looks like just what we want.
Taking place 25 years prior to the events of the first Deus Ex, Human Revolution tells the story of the Major Kusanagi-ish Adam Jensen, a security consultant who loses much of his body after a mission goes wrong, only to have much of it replaced with bionic implants and prosthetic limbs. Not a bad a trade-off, if you ask me.
True to the Deus Ex franchise, you can play much of the game in whatever way you choose, stealthing your way through missions or simply taking out your opponents with brute force.
Now if only someone would revive the Freespace franchise…
To say that the first game wasn't particularly well known for its good storytelling would be a huge understatement. The first game had very little story to speak of: you're a member of an elite squad of super soldiers equipped with state of the art nanotechnology suits. You're dropped onto an island in the South Pacific that's apparently been taken over by the North Korean military. This must be happening in some alternate universe where the North Korean military is actually competent enough to perform convert international missions. Anyway, when you land on the island, you discover that you're not alone with the North Koreans, who've apparently been losing men to some alien forces the scientists on the island managed to dig up.
Fast forward to Crysis 2: the aliens on the island were a vanguard for an invasion force, and this time, they've got their sights set on the Big Apple. Mew York City. It's ground zero for the alien invasion force and playing the role of yet another nanosuit-wearing future soldier, you have to defend the evacuation force while the US military musters some sort of defense against the invaders.
Unlike the first game, this one's being told by novelist Richard K. Morgan, who wrote the cyberpunk novel Altered Carbon, among other books. This might not mean anything to you, but the stories he tells are gritty and the situations he puts his characters in are brutal and unforgiving — just the sort of thing that a game like Crysis 2 needs to be better than the competition.
Gears of War 3 – Xbox 360
After Bulletstorm, Gears of War 3 is next in line for Epic Games and stands as the third and final entry in the Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War series.
Gears of War 3 returns with action-packed cooperative gameplay in addition to several new multiplayer features like Beast mode, where players take on the role of the Locust in an onslaught against COG forces. In addition to the new gameplay modes, achievements and leveling systems have been added to the multiplayer game. Gears of War 3 is set to include all new weapons, as well as new melee-oriented moves for more spirited gameplay.