Friday, 13 April 2012

Critical Rockets most anticipated games of 2012


Yeah so you may have guessed by the title that I have no new games to review or wrestling to discuss.  But yesterday I was looking at the releases on both the PS3 and PC that will be coming along later in the year and I thought I would talk about each of them and explain why I personally want to get them.

Prototype 2 - April 24th

Coming out at the end of the month the sequel to 2009's open world slaughterfest is looking pretty good (well to me at least).  This time we get a new protagonist, although the word seems to be used very loosely considering the willingness of the player character to butcher innocents a plenty.  We get a new bigger map featuring three seperate zones, each representing different levels of difficulty, with the red zone being home to Alex Mercer, the antagonist of this game and eventual final boss presumably.

Yes you won't be playing as Mercer this time round, instead you will jumping into the boots of a soldier who was infected by mercer.  To make matters worse he believes Mercer killed his wife and kid so he really hates Mercer's bioweapon enhanced guts.  The game will feature all new and interesting ways of destroying equipment such as being able to uppercut helicopters in flight, perform vicious beatdowns on foes and bisect anything that comes within reach of your new tendril powers.

You can still shapeshift and stealth your way around in the more secure area's of the green and yellow zones and gather intel and learn more about whats going on.  This can now be helped with a new bio pulse effect, which basically acts as a filter to show you important people to absorb, or highlight areas of interest to the player.

Open world games are some of the best fun you can have in gaming and I found Prototype to be a real refreshing change of pace.  It was gory, adult and didn't pull any punches with the story, the combat was varied and the powers cool to use.  Prototype 2 looks to have built on that and added more powers and more horrendous monsters to the mix.  My only concern with the game is activisions insistance on trying to shove this radnet DLC system down our throats.  Radnet is basically like paying for Fan Axxess on WWE games, or Modern warfares elite subscription, you pay for radnet and you get drip fed DLC, apparently 55 pieces of it in all.  No doubt all of this will make its way into the game at a later date, but I can understand some gamers frustration.

Don't let that get in the way though since this game looks like a tonne of fun and is out soon.



Official Site:  http://www.prototypegame.com/



Dragon's Dogma - May 25th

This game from Capcom is looking to change the way singleplayer RPG games are played.  Part white knight chronicles (not the skill or combat I mean the free roaming) and part Shadow of the Colossus, Dragon's Dogma has some pretty nifty elements going for it.

Your character is informed by a dragon that he is "the chosen one" and then promptly has their heart ripped out by said dragon.  Most people will die from this if not treated immediately, but no your character just gets angry and comes back from the dead as an enlightened one ready to find and kill the dragon that stole your heart (in a non fantasy romance kind of way).

There are several classes to play as in the game from your typical sword swinging fighter to a spell flinging wizard with some flexibility to multiclass to your own liking.  One of the more unique features of the games party system is the fact that your party of four is made up of one NPC which you create and unique to your game world.  The other two party members are NPC's from other players worlds.  Now I know that this could mean you get a couple of mutant looking characters in your game, but I assume there will be a way to have the game find new ones.  You don't have to be connected to the internet though to fill out your party.

Combat is where the game truly stands out though, with some massive enemies to take on, ranging from hydra's to drakes and plenty of other fantasy monsters like Chimera's and Gryphons.  Smaller foes exist also, such as Goblins and the like.  So you have these massive monsters and in any other RPG you would just stand by its feet and stab it until its health bar depletes.  Not in this game oh no, in Dragon's Dogma you get to climb these monsters and hack at their weak spots.  That Chimera's snake tail pissing you off?  Climb on its back and chop it off.  That Gryphon flying around too much before it lands?  Grab it, climb it and chop its wings to shreds.  Smaller enemies can be grabbed also, along with objects in the enviroment.

The landmass itself looks pretty big and varied and the game also features a large city hub area for quests and the like.  Apparently the city will have over 200 NPC's who work to a daily routine as the game passes from day to night, and there is some suggestion that combat can take place in the city also.  There is no multiplayer to speak of, so the game is entirely singleplayer, sorry multiplayer fans.  The game will supposedly take somewhere between 30 - 100 hours to complete, with 100 hours being the time taken if you complete every sidequest etc.  Dragon's Dogma will also feature a reduced difficulty for players relatively new to these types of games, giving you much tougher party members to handle the meat of the combat.

I am really looking forward to this, mostly for the gimmicky combat system more than the story, but at least its trying something different from the tradtional hack 'n' slash RPG, and who knows Capcom might actually leave the DLC off the disc.



Official Site:  http://www.dragonsdogma.com/



Sins of a solar empire: Rebellion - 12th June

Yeah this may seem a bit far off, but if you pre-purchase now you basically get to play the game from then on in its beta stages right up through to release.  This is the way Ironclad games have always run their preorders, since they only start selling a game when its in beta so users can experience the product as it nears completion and can add some constructive feedback.

But really what is Sins of a solar empire?  Well its a 4X space strategy title, the four X's standing for 'Explore-Expand-Exploit-Exterminate'.  You choose one of three factions each with different styles of play and begin to expand your star empire from your home planet.  Maps in this game are vast containing hundreds of star systems, each with different atmosphers and resources to exploit to expand your fleets.  Space combat plays the biggest part in game, with fleets ranging from a few small ships to hundreds of vessels spanning all classes.  Combat looks good in these games and the strategies for each faction really come into play.

Rebellion is the latest stand alone product of the series, featuring three new factions that are splinter groups of the games core factions.  They get their own unique ships and tech and really open up the possibilities in game.  The graphics have had a major overhaul, which is nice since the game already looked pretty impressive to begin with.  New classes of ship have been added from the nimble corvette to the planet killing titan class, alongside new capital ships and fighters.

I would recommend trying a demo of the original title, since 4X games are very time intensive but can be really rewarding.  Sins can be played against the AI or onine with friends, with either team setups or running off a diplomacy system, involving trade deals, performing favours for other factions or straight up putting a bounty on someones head for the local pirate fleet to attack.


Steam Link:  http://store.steampowered.com/app/204880/
Official Site: http://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/


Tranformers: Fall of Cybertron - 28th August

This is likely to be the game I mark out for the most, I am a massive G1 Transformers fan and loved the original War for cybertron game.  Unlike the recent movies the games kept the original G1 looks of the characters and made them more modern, and guess what they looked a hundred times better than the movie versions.

This sequel promises more with more characters, more epic moments (Bruticus combined) and a neat tie in to the original cartoons beginning with the ark and nemesis crashing on earth.  New features include weapon upgrades, more weapon variety, a more concise story, the largest levels ever made in the unreal engine, powerful moments such as laying waste to autobots as Bruticus or crushing decepticons as Grimlock, much more vertical level design and a heavily updated multiplayer.

The multiplayer will now allow you to create your own bot made from pieces of the existing character lineup.  Its better than simply using the characters from the game recoloured, which was a little disappointing but still fun in the original game.  Although no footage of the multiplayer has been released, if its anything like war for cybertron it will still be pretty good.

I am hoping they announce some kind of special edition or collectors box for europe because you can be damn sure I am getting it.  Also this game has Jazz as a playable character, what more could you ask for :)


Official Site: http://www.transformersgame.com/




Borderlands 2 - 21st September

This game will likely take up months of my gaming time on PC when it releases later this year.  Borderlands was a massive amount of fun from start to finish and had in my opinion the best DLC released for a game to date.  Borderlands 2 is set to improve and add to the original in almost every regard, from better character development, more varied weapons, new enemy types, new locations on Pandora, new characters, more of Borderlands dark humour and a bigger story to give it all context.

The classes each have new ways to bring the pain, but the most notable is the gunzerker who can dual wield any combination of weapons in the game, so if you always wanted to dual wield rocket launchers, now is your chance.  Characters from Borderlands will come back such as Marcus the opporutnistic gun runner, Mad Moxxi the good time girl and deathmatch arena owner, Scooter and his over charged vehicles and the previous playable characters, who seem to be integral to the story.  Of course new faces will populate the story and will likely be as dubious as the returning cast.

Every gun manufacturer in the game will now have more unique traits to set their weapons apart.  Tediore for example have a system that instead of reloading your gun, you simply throw it away and it explodes, for a new one to materialise in your hands.  The other weapons will have other unique effects in combat and new manufacturers have been added such as the bandit weapon types.

This is another title I would like to get a collectors edition of since the developers (gearbox) really do make some of the best games out there today.

Official Site: http://www.borderlands2.com/






XCOM: Enemy Unknown - October TBA

This is a title I have to say I have never had any previous experience of.  I have seen the original games from the early to mid nineties being played, and could see the depth the developers went to.  The basic premise is that you are the commander of an anti-alien task force, equipped with the latest tech and military weapons to face off against numerous extra terrestrial threats to earth.  You can build a base that adds new functions and abilities such as research labs to reverse engineer alien weapons or design new ones for your team, scanning facilities to more accurately pinpoint enemy ships and their intended target allowing you to send interceptors up to knock them out of the sky.

The game will be very unforgiving to players who have a run and gun mentality, as soldiers who die in combat stay dead, so training is imperative back at base to replace those who fall in combat.  The combat arena's themselves are fully destructible with grenades, rockets and large aliens being able to smash walls and level cover.  Snipers and other operatives can climb structures for a better vantage point revealing more of the fog of war.  The graphics look nice and are something of a callback to the games older 2d sprites, while having a certain charm to it.

I can see myself playing this alot off and on over the years since it seems like the kind of game that rewards patient play and careful management of your troops.  Plus its hard to find these turn based combat games these days.

Official Site: http://www.xcom.com/enemyunknown/


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