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

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:

BOOM widget 363060 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?

BOOM widget 85173 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.

BOOM widget 82236 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.