E3 2011: X360A's Top 10 Most Anticipated Games
Written Saturday, June 04, 2011 By Dan WebbView author's profile
This year’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Games feature is a who’s who of triple-A franchises, with all of them being sequels for hugely anticipated franchises. That’s not to say originality is dead, by no means, but it’s not often the case that we’ll be able to look forward to the first title in the series without having checked it out numerous times already.
This year’s top 10 is that kitted out with triple-A titles that even other established franchises and hugely anticipated IPs can’t even get a mention. We’ll do a few notable mentions at the end for those games, because although we’re definitely looking forward to them, we’ve either seen them a lot of times before, the release is just around the corner or they just aren’t quite up there to make our list. In short, 2011 and 2012 has some really strong games and we can only pick 10!
Unlike last year, mainly because everyone skipped over the fact that we weren’t ranking them in order, so this year we’ve decided to… errrr, rank them in order… Why? Because we can. It’s what we do best.... you know, put everything in rank order, from what order we’d eat staff members if we were marooned on a desert island to our favourite ice creams. Rich would go first by the way and we frickin’ love vanilla.
Ladies and gents, without further ado, these are our most anticipated (announced) games of E3 2011:
10. Forza Motorsport 4
With Forza, Microsoft added another must-have exclusive to their ranks – to join Gears of War and Halo, amongst others – and with Forza 3, Turn 10 raised the bar and propelled the franchise into the stratosphere. Although it’s a bit of a unknown quantity at the moment, well officially anyway, the games been subject to information leak after information leak and everything we hear from the title just goes to show that Turn 10 haven’t finished innovating and building upon the rock solid foundations they’d already laid down. Whether that’s the Kinect features – including head tracking – 16 player online or an all-new career mode, all signs point to awesome. Now if we could get confirmation of weather effects and an improved damage model, we won’t be able to contain our excitement. Dan Greenawalt, the game's Creative Director, seemed excited when we caught up with him a few months back, and so are we!
9. Hitman: Absolution
While IO Interactive have been faffing around with their two new IPs - Mini Ninjas and Kane & Lynch – the rest of us have been pining after a new Hitman title to grace our consoles. Our prayers were answered recently as IO and Square Enix put us out of our misery and announced the next iteration in the series: Hitman: Absolution. As soon as it was announced excitement hit fever pitch status in the X360A camp and we started to countdown the days to seeing it at E3. Considering it’s been 5 years since Blood Money – which we loved to pieces – IO have had a lot of time to create the Glacier 2 engine and E3 2011 marks the game’s debut showing for the world’s gaming press. With vastly improved AI, the return of the infamous Agent 47 and the potential to infiltrate even more iconic locations and events, Hitman: Absolution is ‘absolutiony’ worthy of a place in this year’s E3 top 10.
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Having already checked out Modern Warfare 3 recently, we pretty much know what to expect with the Infinity Ward sequel – more of the same and then some. There’s something about Call of Duty 8 though that is stopping us from getting too excited about the title, which is why it only comes in at number 8 this year… maybe it’s Call of Duty fatigue – after all, this is Call of Duty 8… Yes, 8!! – or maybe we’re still a tad concerned that having too many developers on the title might spoil the broth. Regardless, yes, we’re looking forward to the sequel, but our excitement for the franchise is starting to waiver slightly and our attention seems to be going elsewhere. Hopefully with some iconic locations, Call of Duty: Elite and a little innovation though, Modern Warfare 3 might surprise a few people. And by surprise, we don’t mean sell millions and millions of copies because that’s a given, we mean, break the mould and get us excited about the franchise once again.
7. Gears of War 3
Sure, we’ve already seen a lot of Gears of War 3, including having put more than a few hours into the beta, catching Beast mode at E3 2010 and heading over to Epic to check out their versus package, but E3 2011 surely marks Epic’s unveiling of some more of the campaign and hopefully what they’ve done with the trendsetting Horde mode. The recent War Pigs campaign reveal trailer has raised the excitement levels for the campaign, and combined with Beast mode and the excellent multiplayer, the game is already shaping up to rock our socks off. With E3 2011 we’re hoping to see Horde in its full glory and if Epic have innovated here like they have done elsewhere with the title, wow. Just wow.
6. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Ubisoft Montreal proved with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood that not only could they churn out an excellent sequel in a year, but they could do it with style, substance and more importantly, innovation. Brotherhood marked the debut of the multiplayer for the franchise and Revelations is promising to build on that, as well as expanding the single-player experience. With the new ‘hookblade,’ new environments to explore, the return of Ezio and Altair, the new improved ‘Eagle Sense,’ Assassin’s Dens, random events and improved facial mo-cap, that’s a lot to take in. With all that and more, how can we not be excited about Assassin’s Creed: Revelations at E3 2011? We can’t. Can’t not be excited that is… Ugh! Too many double negatives! Let’s just say, we can’t wait!
5. Batman: Arkham City
When a normal and non-impact making studio – like Rocksteady was a few years back – makes a truly epic game like Batman: Arkham Asylum, they project themselves forward in everyone’s estimations. Having already checked out Arkham City at Microsoft’s Spring Showcase in San Fran a few months back, we’ve already seen that Rocksteady have what it takes to make the sequel every bit as impressive as Arkham Asylum and more so. Whether you’re talking about the new sandbox-esque open-world Arkham City, the new gadgets or the new line-up of iconic Batman bad guys, Arkham City is already being touted as a potential contender for Game of the Year… No wonder we can’t wait to check it out at E3 again!
4. BioShock Infinite
We’ve not seen BioShock Infinite since it won our Gamescom 2010 Game of the Show award and with E3 2011, we finally get to see it in action again. With Irrational Games and Ken Levine back at the helm and a new game world that’s set in the clouds, but is every bit alluring as Rapture, BioShock Infinite is looking to be a standard setting game in 2012, just like the original was. Our first viewing of the game gave us goosebumps and we’re hoping that the second viewing is just as powerful, after all they’ve had a good 10 months to work on it since then. We want more mystery, more questions than answers and more of what we saw from Gamescom; chances are, we’ll get just that!
3. Mass Effect 3
Although we might be a tad disappointed that Mass Effect 3 slipped from 2011 into early 2012, we got over that very quickly in the knowledge that they won’t have rushed the game out to meet a release date. E3 2011 marks our first glimpse of the title in action and we couldn’t be more psyched to see what BioWare have done with the epic space-opera. After the excellent Mass Effect 2 and plenty of fan feedback, we’re hoping that BioWare can take the franchise up a notch and finish the trilogy off in style. What’s going to happen to Earth? Which squad members will we get to see in the limelight? What are BioWare bringing to the franchise this time? All valid questions that we hope BioWare are going to explore a little at E3 this year.
2. Battlefield 3
Having checked Battlefield 3 out at GDC this year, we’ve been excited to see what DICE have been able to do with it ever since. We’re hoping that DICE use E3 2011 to showcase what we can expect from the console version, especially after they assured us that they can raise the bar for console visuals with the Frostbite 2.0 engine, but even if they don’t, we’ll take whatever Battlefield we can get. Having not seen a genuine Battlefield game for quite sometime – not including the port, of course – anticipation is high for DICE’s return to form and although we don’t think Battlefield will have what it takes to rival Call of Duty’s sales figures – unless EA get their marketing spot on that is – we truly believe that they can rival the franchise’s quality, and maybe even raise the bar for what we expect from a military shooter.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls is a beast of a franchise and having already checked out Skyrim in Utah recently at Bethesda’s BFG Showcase, we already know that we’re in for another epic ride. The fact that we’ve seen it only a few months back and it’s still our most anticipated game for E3 2011 is a testament to its sheer stature and potential. We’ve already been promised mammoths amongst other things for E3 2011 and whatever Bethesda bring to the show this year, we’ll be more than happy to lap up and report back. Our extensive hands-off look at the November title showed off Skyrim’s beautiful environments, some of the finer new engine enhancements and the diversity of the game’s dungeons, and despite all that, there’s still so much more we want to know about the title and so many questions left unanswered. Here’s hoping that E3 2011 answers a few of those questions for our most anticipated game of the show.
And that’s it, before we leave you, let’s take a minute to give a few honourable mentions, which go to: Saints Row 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Rage and Ghost Recon: Future Solider. All titles that we’re looking forward to seeing once again, but not quite worthy enough to make the grade here.
Check back tomorrow for our look at the top 10 game announcements we want from E3 2011.