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Video Games to Watch for in 2010: Alice's Picks

by Alice O'Connor, Dec 31, 2009 3:00pm PST

With the New Year upon us the Shacknews editors looked at the upcoming release calendars and chose our three most anticipated games of the lot. There's nothing remotely scientific or analytical about it. These are the games, though, that as gamers we're already wishing we had in our systems. Here's what's got Alice going for 2010:

Deus Ex 3

I am so very, very curious.

I realise Deus Ex 3 is developed by entirely different people. I'm fully aware that Deus Ex is one of the greatest video games ever. I know Deus Ex: Invisible War was disappointing. With that out of the way, how could you not be excited by the prospect of more Deus Ex?

Comments (albethey lacking much in the way of context) from lead designer Jean-Francois Dugas concerning the original Deus Ex have a fair number of fans riled up but there's the glimmer of a creative spark there that at least sounds somewhat encouraging.

Deus Ex's gameplay isn't copied exactly but we're told the spirit is intact. While there is a cover system--gasp!--and regenerating health--hiss!--the focus is still on non-linear play--hooray!--in open-ish cities across a dystopian world. The setting is interesting and what I've seen of the cyberpunk Renaissance aesthetic is downright gorgeous so I'm already looking forward to exploring.

Eidos Montreal has yet to be tested, faces a mammoth task, and the deck is stacked against it. Should Deus Ex 3 prove to be worthy of its name, though, what does that mean for that other classic series continuation currently in development at Eidos Montreal--Thief 4?

Brink

Brink is the latest Enemy Territory in all but name and seems it might be the finest yet.

Drawing more from the original Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory than commercial sequel Quake Wars, Brink packs class- and objective-based shooty fun with a lovely art style. See for yourself in the gameplay walkthrough trailers released recently.

The context-sensitive 'SMART' movement system embodies why I am so excited about Brink. When I first heard players could vault over, climb up, or slide under obstacles with the single 'SMART' key, I thought it all sounded a little odd and Mirror's Edge. I was imagining full-on parkour, scampering across rooftops in pursuit of foes--little like the ET I loved. In reality, SMART simply streamlines movement. It cuts out the faffing so you can focus on playing the game.

That's Brink then. It takes tried-and-tested gameplay and applies lessons video games have learnt over the past few years. Splendid.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Last year, Nick was anticipating StarCraft 2's release in 2009. This year, I'm excited about its 2010 release because this is the year SC2 will arrive...no, seriously. Well, the beta, at least.

While I am excited to play StarCraft 2, most of all I'm looking forward to watching it. I have, to my great surprise, become a huge fan of professional StarCraft and eagerly await pro SC2. The original is by far the best video game spectator sport out there so I'm curious to see how much of an audience the shiny new StarCraft 2 can find outside South Korea.

I've also decided that StarCraft 2 will be my inspiration to learn how to play real-time strategies in multiplayer. I generally only play RTS campaigns--which massively encourage turtling--so my brief forays into multiplayer are crushing and humiliating. No longer. Aided by the 'Challenge' tutorials, I will develop macro skills and buff up my micro play and then, Mr. Nicholas Breckon, we shall see who has the last laugh.

Throw in a singleplayer campaign which is shaping up to be quite excellent and exciting prospects for modders and it seems StarCraft 2 is bringing a whole load of fun our way in 2010. Theoretically.




Comments

  • Well what made deusx Ex sooooo great was the magic touch of the ex-Looking Glass team that john romero hired for ION STORM....
    The game simply was more then the sum of its parts.Especially in the Hong Kong part everything just clicked.A large very detailed city area (made by many interconnected levels)with hundreds of things to do and people to speak not necessary about the main goal.Slowly you got to your objective but the trip was its own reward here.Great story,great voice overs and dialog trees,a huge skill set that affected the way you tackled with situations and the outcomes of those.And last but not least a memorable techno -classic music worthy of a score of Vangelis or Vasilis(if he was still alive...). Classic Looking Glass stuff here...If you have not played it go buy it immediately -BUT REMEMBER THERE IS A HD TEXTURE
    MOD AND ALSO SOME ENGINE UPDATES THAT REPLACE THE RENDERER WITH A DX9/DX10 RENDER AND THERE IS ALSO A HDR ADDON !!!!!!!!!!!!! DONT FORGET THOSE !!!
    Also remember to check some other games by those people(including irrational games-another ex looking glass team) like Terranova Strike Force Centauri,SYSTEM SHOCK 2,thief 1,2,3,Tribes vengeance and biochock....also remember Anachronox.
    Deus ex 2 was a big dissapointment for one simple reason....They cut the levels to make the game playable on xbox.....And when i say cut.....i mean the imaging a school of 3 students with 3 rooms....coffe shops with 2 tables,bars with 3 stools,clubs with 4 people inside,and citys with 10 like people......hhehheh....
    I am really puzzled about Deusx Ex 3..From the one hand it is clear to me that the team that makes the game really love the original game and constantly talk in the forums with the fans-even inviting some to their offices...Yet.....
    On the other hand they are too stubborn about things that many fans cryed out loud....For example the covers system which everybody thinks its not necessary in a first person shooter...(though it could lead to some better enemy ai? who knows...) Also the auto health regeneration takes a good game mechanic away...(In the original game if you got shot in the leg with would limp or even crawl on the ground!!,loose your aim or even the ability to wield 2 hand weapons and that led to some memorable fights.....Still they have a lot of interesting ideas so i want to pass my judgent for a later time...
    Also remember to check games like stalker clear sky,stalker call of prypiat,mass effect 1/2(upcomming) ,fallout 3 -game of the year,mafia and the upcoming MAFIA 2..












  • I have low expectations for Eidos Montreal with DX3 (and Thief3 for that matter). Any time an IP gets juggled around from its original studio, the chances are low that a new studio will understand the intrinsic essence of what made the license special. Not saying it can't be done. I'm just saying that 99% of the time the new studio latches onto elements that turn off the original fans while hoping to take the IP mainstream and usually fail to do that too. There tends to be a lot of pressure to please many masters, an d in the end too many cooks, not enough direction, ends up with a mess in the kitchen.

    I expect a very craftsman-like approach that tries to do a good job and misses the point of the IP entirely. I guess that's why I can't look forward to DX3 on your list. I'll look forward to a clearer combination of good studio and good project, not a cheap attempt to cash in on a license that a publisher wishes to revitalize but never cared very much about to begin with. Eidos never really cared or understood DX and dropped the ball on marketing it for years. The thought that it'll be different and better now that Eidos has full creative control and no Ionstorm involvement... good luck.