E3 2010: X360A's Top 10 Most Anticipated Games
Written Friday, June 11, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
With E3 just around the corner, it’s time to turn our attention away from the games that we want to see announced and over to the more concrete titles that will definitely make an appearance – all of which we’re going to be checking out at this year’s show, so stick close to us and you won’t miss a thing.
Like our top 10 most wanted game announcements list, we’ve decided not to rank them – again, it was hard enough to whittle it down to 10 (we’ve even had to resort to notable mentions!), yet alone rank them – and so without further ado, here are our most anticipated games of this year's E3:
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
To put it bluntly, we loved Assassin’s Creed II. In fact, we only went and gave it our Game of the Year award last year – and rightly so as well. Admittedly it was surprising to hear that another Assassin’s Creed project was coming so soon, and even more so, that it would contain multiplayer. After the shock wore off, we were rubbing our hands together in anticipation that we get to enter the world of Ezio and co. once again – something that we thought would never happen considering the structure of the franchise. The major addition seems to be the multiplayer which in all honesty could go one of two ways: brilliant or absolute codswallop; and we’re excited to see the direction of Ezio’s trip to Rome at this year’s E3.
Unfortunately for Brink it won’t be winning our “Surprise of the Year” award at this year’s X360A E3 awards, but it’s for a good reason: we now have high expectations for Splash Damage’s shooter. After being pushed from spring to fall, we’re most definitely excited to be able to get our hands-on with the game for the first time and being able to see whether it really is as good as it looks. There are just so many niggling questions that can only be answered with some time on the pad; does the SMART button work as Splash Damage said it would? Is the class system as dynamic and intuitive as they made out? Is it a responsive shooter? And possibly the most important question, is it any good? All these questions and more will be answered at this year’s E3.
After seeing Crysis 2 in New York earlier on this year – on a console may I add – it was pretty clear that Crytek are looking to set a new standard on consoles by making a bloody beautiful shooter. Now set away from the dense greenery of some far away island and in one of the world’s most iconic cities, watching our new hero jump from rooftop to rooftop in the Big Apple and switching from stealth tactics to sheer brute force on the fly made for some compelling viewing. From a personal standpoint, I’ve seen most, if not all, of this year’s big shooters and the one that really sticks out in the back of my mind is EA and Crytek’s fall shooter, Crysis 2. Looks like we’ll be meeting the Pinger in LA this year as well!
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The original Deus Ex is generally held as one of the greatest games of all time and whilst Invisible War wasn’t as well received as the original, it was still good enough to be labelled as a great game. That was almost 8 years ago though and since then the development has not only swapped hands from Ion Storm to Eidos’ very own Montreal studio, but they’ve since enlisted the services of Square Enix’s impressive CG studio to add in that wow factor. You know, the wow factor that we saw in the recent Deus Ex CGI trailer that was steeped in a moody ambience, complete with a strong Blade Runner vibe – something which is frankly enough to blow our minds, if only a little. We’ve not seen an iota of gameplay to date, but we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how this one is shaping up at this year’s show. After all, it is Deus Ex.
Say what you want about Fable’s founding father, Peter Molyneux, but he sure knows how to make a compelling game – even if sometimes he does over promise. The key to Fable is to make up your own judgements and don’t focus too much on what Mr Molyneux says. That way, you can enjoy it for what it is and that’s an engaging franchise. Fable 3 looks to be expanding on the brilliant Fable 2 by not only offering a much larger environment to play around in and plenty of emphasis on this “touch” mechanic, but the promise of ruling a kingdom and making the tough decisions is something that sounds a little too good to be true. Maybe it is, and we’re hoping to find out when we go hands-on with the title at this year’s show. Truth be told, we’re expecting more of the same, just bigger, and hopefully we get to see this Natal integration that seems to be brought up every time Fable is mentioned. Either way, it’s more than fine by us.
Gear of War 3
Gears of War is back baby, and this time with far less testosterone – thank you Anya – and far more Ludicrous – thank you Jace. After a fluffed game announcement – good ol’ Microsoft and that damn Justin Bieber kid – everything is right in the world of Gears again, and Microsoft and Epic’s revered franchise is set to make its first proper trip out into the wild at this year’s E3. With an April release date already set in stone, E3 is more than likely going to be Gears of War 3’s only truly monstrous outing. We expect to see it feature heavily at Microsoft’s Monday press conference and we’re psyched to be heading behind-closed-doors to get our hands-on with this bad boy. New monsters, new weapons, rumoured underwater battles and Dom’s got a new scruffy beard. That’s 4 of the 5 things we wanted in the sequel. The 5th was for Dom to grow some balls. No time for a love story, soldier, there’s Locust to stomp!
After spending some serious time with Halo: Reach’s beta the other month, we have to say that the main pull for us this time around is actually the game’s single player. Sure, the Halo-ites loved the multiplayer, but it’s hard to get excited by something where the weapon balance was off and you’re stuck playing the same old maps over and over again – it was only a beta though, so we're not damning it to hell just yet. Anyway, we digress. We fully expect Reach’s single player campaign to be Bungie’s secret weapon at E3 this year and if I can draw your attention to something Markus Lehto said to us at X10 for a minute, you’ll see why we’re excited.
“In Halo 3 we could have about twenty active characters within the combat zone - that includes both friendly and enemy units,” said Lehto, “In Halo reach we can have sixty AI, or like forty AI characters and twenty vehicles – all of that with weapons and explosions going off everywhere. Yeah, we’re definitely going to have much, much bigger, open battles than ever before.” Frankly, that excites us... it really does.
I’ll always remember the first time I saw Rage. It was last year in a pokey, over-crowded booth in the corner of the EA stand at GamesCom - incidentally, the same show where we crowned it our Game of the Show. A shooter that oozed class and style. A shooter with more gadgets than James Bond himself. A shooter with variety, panache and one that did all that whilst still looking bloody gorgeous. It’s just a shame we have to wait till next year to sink our teeth into it, but seeing it again and writing about it for you fine folks is enough to keep us going.
Taking advantage of id Software’s id Tech 5 engine, Rage is surely going to do what it’s done every time we’ve seen it... and that’s leave us craving for more. I don’t usually like to add to the hype-machine and what not, but Rage is shaping up to be every bit as epic and every bit as influential as id’s other legendary shooters, which is a pretty bold statement.
The Force Unleashed II
The original Force Unleashed was a title that might not have hit home with all the critics, but the title demonstrated oodles of potential – oh and it sold pretty damn well as well! Most of what LucasArts did in the original actually worked quite well and with a bit more refinement and dare I say it, polish, it could have been so much better.
Seeing how it is with sequels in recent times, we fully expect from The Force Unleashed 2 what the sequels to Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect did for their respective franchises. We’re hoping for huge strides forward here, because let’s face it, there isn’t anything cooler than using The Force to throw shit around. I mean, that was why it was invented, right? And yes, The Force was invented and does actually exist... have you not seen Uri Geller bend spoons?
There are many shooters at this year’s show – in fact, more than a few feature in our list here – but it’s Platinum Games’ Vanquish that manages to stand out from the pack. No, not because it blows the opposition away, but because it’s taking the rule book and ripping it up. From the early clips of Vanquish, it’s looking every bit as outrageous and fast paced as Bayonetta was, but instead, here you have some badass soldier dodging missile barrages every two seconds and kicking the crap out of beasts three times the size of you, and that sounds like something right up our alley. That, and it seems like everything Platinum Games’ hugely talented team touches, turns to gold... or should that be platinum? If you’re looking for a fast paced shooter, I’ve not seen one this fast in quite some time. It’s like Halo on acid.
That about wraps up our list and a mighty fine one, may we add. Of course, there are a ton of other titles we’re supremely excited to see more of, but it is a top 10 after all and sacrifices must be made. For those close-but-no-cigar titles, our honourable mentions are for the following games: Bulletstorm, Dead Space 2, Driver, Fallout: New Vegas, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Portal 2, Red Faction: Armageddon and Spec Ops,.
The show kicks off in a few short days, so get ready... it’s going to be busy, so brace yourselves.