By Forrest7 1 Comments
2007 was a great year for video games. It even rivals the great 1998. We had CoD4, Crysis, Super Mario Galaxy, The Orange Box, Bioshock, the list goes on for a long time. Many were (some still are) skeptical if 2008 could top 2007. With SSBB, Mario Kart Wii, DMC4, Frontlines, God of War: CoO, GTAIV (although I'm not fond of it), MGS4, GRID, Ninja Gaiden 2, Civilization Revolution, Braid, Madden 09, and Soul Calibur IV already out, it's looking pretty bright. Holiday season is looking very good as well. Here are my top 10 titles coming out this holiday season.
10. Animal Crossing: City Folk
OK, we all know Nintendo's E3 showing was weak. First Party support this season is basically Mario Super Sluggers, Wario Land: Shake, Wii Music (*barfs*), and this. Animal Crossing, released in 2002 for the Gamecube, has become a cult for Nintendo fans. It got a DS treatment with Wild World. That was also well received. Now in 2008, Animal Crossing comes to the Wii. It offers a more city environment than a village (hence the name). Shops are more prominent. Graphics have been improved (remember the original Animal Crossing was meant to be an Nintendo 64 game). Wii Speak is introduced alongside this game. Although it's not a headset, it gives gamers voice chat that fans have been craving for.
I was a big fan of the original, and I have high expectations for this. I wish there was a little more innovation than Wii Speak (which remember isn't bundled with the game). If it had some crazy innovation than this definitely would have been higher on the list. Animal Crossing: City Fold still looks very good though.
9. Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty 4 was massive. Activision loved it. So, in order to release one Call of Duty a year they use two development studios, Infantry Ward (Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4) and Treyarch (Call of Duty: Big Red One, Call of Duty 3, Spider-man 3). With Activision's yearly policy, Treyarch will be developing this one. Many "hardcore" CoD fans don't like Treyarch's work, and have low expectations for World at War. They took at back to WWII which (arguably) has been over-done.
So why'd it make the list? Well it's using the CoD4 engine for one. That's always a good sign as CoD4 had amazing visuals. They're sending it to the Pacific theater which hasn't been done that much (save Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault and Rising Sun). They're really looking to innovate. Flamethrowers are in. Multiplayer is improved. You got 4 player co-op, a first for the series. Co-op is offline and online. It will also use the perk system from CoD4 in traditional multiplayer. Though I don't fully trust Treyarch, I am impressed on what they have shown so far.
8. Tom Clancy's: EndWar
Can Real Time Strategy games be done right on consoles? Supreme Commander was too big for the 360. Universe at War was better, but suffered from man bugs and glitches (plus it wasn't a terrific game on the PC). Command and Conquer was the best by far, but that even couldn't match it's PC counterpart in terms of visuals and controls. Their are two main problems with console RTS's. RTS's are big, very big. Thus making them hard to port onto consoles. Two, RTS games have complicated controls, too many for a 360 or PS3 controller. EndWar and Ubisoft have a solution. Voice commands. You want tanks to attack infantry? Simply say that in the headset and the game does the rest. It also makes the game much more relaxing.
Of course. you have to own a headset to do this, but it optional. The game is based off of Tom Clancy's novel, which is a good sign for story. It had a strong showing at E3. The only thing holding it back is somewhat washed out visuals. But other than that, this looks great.
7. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
The original Mercenaries was widely praised. It's open ended style of the gameplay wasn't revolutionary, but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Tons of weapons and vehicles. Factions you could join. It's all there. It didn't sell that well though. Now the sequel is coming,and what does it promise? Nukes! Yeah well it's basically blow the heck out of stuff. Tanks, helicopters, rocket launchers, nukes, and much more. It also promises co-op which is very cool.
Why did this make the list? Well, it's fun. It looks good. Co-op, explosions, vehicles are all there. The first game was excellent. It's had a very good showing at E3. Shame it'll get overlooked.
6. Fable 2
The original Fable was released in 2004. It was well received by reviews and fans alike, despite it's flaws. It also received a strong following years after. Now, four years later, they make a sequel. Now I never played the original Fable, but from I've seen, it looks good, really good.
The social AI looks is very deep. Co-op has been introduced, and that looks amazing. Graphics are top of the line. It has a very artistic design, and is very good looking. Of course Fable 2 keeps the theme of choosing your path, good or evil. Although this been done before (original Fable, Knights of the Old Republic), but Fable 2's go beyond just good and evil. Many things you do affects your appearance, reputation with the people, relationship with family, and much more. This looks really good.
5. Gears of War 2
Oh my. When the original Gears of War came out in 2006, it was an instant hit. A sequel was almost inevitable. Now, two years later, it's here. Watching the E3 demo, I feel this has a very similar look to the first. That is not a bad thing. The graphics are simply stunning. Action is everywhere. The first game was known for it's innovative cover system. That still looks very good in Gears 2. The chainsaw was widely praised in the first game. This time, you will be able to have chainsaw duels with other A.I. characters. Co-op, another popular feature has been improved so both players can select different difficulty levels instead of fighting on which they should choose.
Gears of War was criticized for it's short story mode. Cliffy B has promised a deeper and longer story. Of course the usual suspects are here, new weapons, enemies, and characters. Multiplayer has been improved to 10 players online. Three new modes has been confirmed. A matchmaking system (much like Halo 3) is in. As you can see, it's the same kind of awesome game, with a lot improved. That's what a sequel should do, and that's why it's on the list.
4. Project Origin
Ok for those who don't know, this is the sequel to FEAR. FEAR was very well received when it first came out, but it hasn't aged well (much like Far Cry). The game is like an Asian horror film with strange illusions around every corner. The combat was innovative as well, featuring slow-mo which allowed you to shoot targets slowed down (much like the Prince of Persia series). The graphics, while good for it's time, haven't aged well. Never the less, FEAR was one of my favorites.
Which is why Project Origin is on the list. Lately developer Monolith have been working on the Condemned games for the 360. They've been working of Origin for several years now. The game was quietly showed at E3, showing the more combat side of the game. They have confirmed the game will retain it's scariness. The combat showed slow-mo was back. New is the ability to get in giant mechs and blow the heck out of stuff. The game is expected out fall. We haven't seen too much of the Origin, but it definitely looks good. Despite the massive popularity of the first game, I feel this game is coming out at the wrong time (that doesn't affect the list). I think this will definitely be a sleeper hit later this year.
3. Far Cry 2
The original Far Cry was extremely well received when it first came out. Like FEAR, it hasn't aged well, but it good when it came out. It was also the first game to use the Crytek engine that Crysis used. It was an earlier version of course. Far Cry 2 has nothing to do with Far Cry 1. It uses a different yet amazing graphics engine. It gets rid of the cheesy mutants from the first game. We go from a tropical island to Africa. The main character isn't even in it. Some things changed from the first games are missed, but the things Far Cry 2 offer is definitely for the better.
The main feature in this is the ability for the play the way you want to play. If you want to go stealthy, get a dart sniper and pick 'em off. Want to go guns blazing? Do that to. want to set stuff on fire and blow stuff up? You can do that too. It all takes place in a beautiful open world environment. Vehicles are in. It's just all there. Multiplayer has been kept quiet so far. So far there's a ton to do in a beautiful package, and that's why it's on the list.
2. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Star Wars geeks rejoice. Play as Darth Vader's apprentice and use your incredible force powers for tons of fun. The physics engine is amazing, and the graphics are great too. It seems I might have a new favorite Star Wars game over Battlefront.
The thing about this game is, it's just plain fun. It'll never get old "playing" with storm troopers if you know what I mean. It has a cool leveling system too. It looks to have a pretty deep story as well. After a strong showing at E3, this has a very good chance at Game of the Year.
1. Fallout 3
How do you make the perfect game? Take a classic franchise and revive it is a good start. Get legendary Bethesda developers to make it is the next step (the make the Elder Scrolls games). Next you use an amazing graphics engine and a huge open world. Use Western style RPG gameplay combined with guns. The storyline is great. The shooting system is amazing and extremely innovative. You can shoot real time or turn based style. This means you pick a body part to shoot at. Each body part has a certain percent it will hit. Mix that with bloody slow mo kills. Add a bit strange humor in the game. Welcome to Fallout 3. Likely Game of the Year.