Top 10 Must Play Games of 2011

2 01 2011

2010 Was a great year for gamers, with the release of titles like Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo: Reach, God of War III and Super Mario Galaxy 2, it was like pixel heaven. If you enjoyed the games of 2010, prepare to blown away the new releases coming in 2011.

In a sea of triple A titles which ones are the cream of the crop, top dogs, kings of the hill? Well trusty reader, have no fear as I guide you into The Fourth Wall’s Top 10 Must Play Games of 2011!

 

10.  DEAD SPACE 2

When we last left Mr. Isaac Clark, he was having a really bad day. He had just fought a whole crap load of Necromorphs (that scared the hell out of who ever played it) on a deserted space station and his girl… Well without revealing to much, let’s just say it didn’t end well. You would think Isaac would get some much need rest now, right? Not quite… The people at Visceral Games decided they didn’t screw up Isaac enough and wanted to put him through even more hell. And that brings us to Dead Space 2.

The story takes place three years after the original and finds Isaac onboard the “Sprawl”, a space station where the Necromorps are slowly taking over. Throughout the game, Isaac will slowly be losing his mind causing terrifying visions as the player navigates the Sprawl. Hopefully, the exciting new additions will live up to the standards set by the original game.

The placement on this list secured purely because of the first game. Its atmosphere, chilling story and challenging game play made it an instant hit. But can the developers strike gold twice? A demo was released recently and while it was short it did show off some new stuff, including the new javelin weapon and the free Zero G movement. All seemed pretty solid and the visions that haunt Mr. Clark do provide a momentary startle. But my question is, even with all the new features (including multiplayer, ugh) can Dead Space 2 still capture the same vibe and mystery that it’s elder did so well? Honestly, I can’t wait to find out.

9. MORTAL KOMBAT

After Mortal Kombat vs DC came out I thought that was it for the Mortal Kombat franchise (see our review in the video section). How could they bounce back from such a mess? Make a reboot of course! Taking a page from the film industry, Mortal Kombat goes back to the basics of absurd violence and fun fighting controls.  The people at NetherRealm Studios really wanted to capture the spirit from the original games, including 3D fighting on a 2D plane and having only characters from the first three games in the series (except for Kratos from God of War for the PS3 version of the game, which is odd).

The new controls are one of the things that have long time fans excited. Each face button is connected to a body part and with each attack the body part is damaged more. Weaken it enough, and you’ll get what they call an “X-ray move.” The move makes the screen go dark and all you see is an X-ray of your opponent and the damage your attack has just caused. New game modes, stages and a refined multiplayer round out the new features to fill this title to the brim with content.

With the brutality and old school feel of this game it’s easy to see why so many people are excited.

8. L.A. NOIRE

This game is on my list because of the mystery surrounding it. In 2004, the game was first hinted at. Then in 2007, it was announced for a 2008 release. A short teaser was shown, but it was then announced by Rockstar Games that the title was delayed until 2009.

2009 passed and word of L.A. Noire faded into nothingness. But finally in 2010, Rockstar’s elusive project showed itself and was announced for a 2011 release.

Set in “a perfectly re-created Los Angeles of 1947” players will guide Cole Phelps, an LAPD detective trying to solve multiple crimes. Along the way you will have to interrogate, investigate, chase and shoot your way to the truth and of course… all in a open game world. Interrogations sound fascinating as the characters facial reactions will play a huge part in what the players learn. There will be multiple paths the game can go and it all depends on the evidence you find and the questions you ask during interrogations.

The graphics look outstanding and the voice cast is already shaping up to be top notch. Aaron Staton (Mad Men) plays Cole with a reported 20 hours of voice over recorded.

While we have to wait and see how this game performs, the buzz is already building and I can’t wait to see more.

7. DUKE NUKEM FOREVER

I still don’t believe this game is going to come out. I’ve been following this title for over 12 years and it has been teased so much it’s hard to believe it’s going to see the light of day. But apparently it’s going to be released in early 2011.

I’m sure some people will wonder why this isn’t #1 on the list. My reasoning is simple; I don’t think it’ll be that good. I’ve heard all the horror stories with the development and how it was constantly changed, I’m sure screwing with the game play in some way. Sure I’m going to love every second of the game and it’ll be pure joy getting my hands on it but in the grand scheme of things the games higher up on this list are way more appealing to me and will play much better in my opinion.

Still, you can’t deny the excitement of getting to play Duke again. Blasting aliens, getting chicks and just plain kicking ass on a next gen console sounds good to me. The multiplayer, I’m sure will be fun as hell, though maybe not as polished as Call of duty or Halo but still arcade shooter fun.

All in all the release of this game could be the event of 2011…that’s if it comes out at all.

6. STAR WARS: THE OLD REBUBLIC

Easily one of the most anticipated MMO’S of 2011, Star Wars: The Old Republic promises to change online multiplayer in a big way.

The team at Bioware is taking what worked so well in their RPG Knights of the Old Republic and creating a world that sounds so appealing it’s sure to draw in even non-online multiplayer fans. The game takes place 300 years after KOTOR during an uneasy peace between the Republic and the Sith Empire.

Players will get to choose between a number of different classes including the Jedi and the Sith. Each character has a unique storyline but it still fits into the overall arc that has been created. The one note “tanks” or “healers” are gone. Now every player can change on the fly to fit any situation they are in. Unlike other MMO’s, the story takes importance over all else making the player feel like they are a part of something huge, even allowing the players to choose dialogue options with in game voice acting.

Space combat is also included through a “tunnel shooter” segment, which sounds much more appealing than Star Trek Online’s confusing, and bore inducing combat.

Honestly, everything about this game seems like a dream come true.An MMO with a constant narrative, voice acting for almost every character, exciting combat, space battles and light sabers? What’s World of Warcraft again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. BATMAN: ARKHAMCITY

In 2009 Batman: Arkham Asylum surprised the gaming world with it’s amazing atmosphere and fun stealth game play. Batman fans finally got the game they deserved. Now in 2011 Rocksteady Studios returns to Gotham.

The synopsis from Wikipedia reads:

“Taking place a year after Asylum, Quincy Sharp, former warden of Arkham Asylum, has taken credit for stopping the Joker, and used that notoriety to become mayor of Gotham City. As neither Arkham nor Blackgate Prison are in any condition to hold inmates, Sharp buys out a large section of Gotham‘s slums and arms the perimeter with private military contractors from a group called Tyger in order to create “ArkhamCity“. The prisoners are brought into ArkhamCity and are given free rein, as long as they do not attempt escape. To oversee the city, Sharp uses psychiatrist Hugo Strange who appears to have his own secret agenda for the city. Batman maintains a vigil over the city, worried that the situation may get out of hand.”

 

To say the least, the setup is genius. A lot of fans wanted the next game to take place in Gotham City and with this not only are we in a city but also it’s still connected to the craziness of Arkham.

Batman will be joined by a slew of new characters including Catwoman and Two-Face. The game play will be improved over the last one, including new combat options and new gadgets for the Dark Knight to use. The environment will be more of a character this time around, using buildings and alleyways to aid Batman.

Missions are more varied thanks to the side quests that Rocksteady put in and will lead to more characters that the caped crusader will interact with. Also investigating crime scenes will matter a lot more in this game since clues that you find will open up even more missions.

Even early on this game is shaping up to be one of the best of the year. The Dark Knight may not rise till 2012, but Batman will have a triumphant return to consoles in 2011.

4. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD

It’s a Zelda game. Enough said. But if I had to elaborate why it’s so exciting I would point out that this is the first Zelda title specifically made for the Wii. The last console game in the series (Twilight Princess) was originally built for the GameCube, but since the development period bled over to the beginning of the WII’s life cycle it was ported to the new system.

Now with Skyward Sword, the team at Nintendo has built the game from the ground up for the Wii. Having played this title at E3 2010, I can honestly say the controls are much more refined and make good use of the Motion Plus technology with much more accurate sword swipes.

Though the story is being kept under wraps for now, it is known to be a prequel to “Link to the Past” and will take place on two worlds. One in the sky and one on the ground. Link somehow comes in possession of the “Skyward Sword”, finds out that it has a spirit inside of it, and the adventure begins.

With a new art style, an intriguing story and responsive controls, the next entry into the Zelda saga looks to be an amazing one.

3. MASS EFFECT 3

This was announced recently as a huge surprise too much of the gaming world, being that the second title just game out in 2010. But honestly I’m not going to complain since Mass Effect 2 was one of the greatest games ever created.

Another game where the story is under wraps since it’s so early. What we do know is that it will show the earth under attack and Commander Shepard must save the human race. Though the story does sound good, the real treat here that most people are looking forward to, is the continuation of the story that the player themselves have created.

Save files from ME 1 changed the game play of ME 2 in sometimes subtle and other time’s monumental ways. Bioware has been able to create ever-evolving characters and stories that respond to the player’s choices and style. And of course, this will continue into the next and final chapter with reportedly over 1,000 variables from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.

Now the real question is what will change? Bioware is known to listen to fan responses and make changes. People complained about the RPG elements in the first game, so they toned it down. The driving sequences from Mass Effect?Gone. (On the game disc anyway). So, will the complaints about the planet mining make it disappear in this version? And will the combat see any new additions with new weapons as well? Will ship customizations be as important and will we finally be able to pilot the Normandy in combat?

All will be revealed in the coming months. What I can say right now with out a doubt, is that this game is a must play, no matter what.

 

 

 

2. UNCHARTED 3: DRAKES DECEPTION

All though predictable, this announcement was still huge. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this game since the end of Uncharted 2. Trying to follow up a game, that to me at least, is the best PS3 exclusive game there is, (with God of War III close behind) and one of the best games of 2009 is no easy feat. But if anyone could do it, Naughty Dog can.

Story details are sparse but what is known is that the game will show our hero Nathan Drake and mentor Victor Sullivan travelling around the world to such places as the Rub’al Khali desert, in search of the legendary lost city, the Iram of the Pillars. Borrowing some of its story from the history of T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia),the game will also delve into the back-story of Sullivan and it will tie into the main plot.

From game play previews shown, it looks to be continuing with the huge action set pieces that the last game did so well. One clip shows Nathan and Victor in aburning villa trying to out run thugs. The developers have said that the combat has changed a bit, allowing Drake to fist fight multiple enemies at a time. Also, the AI has been refined so now enemies will cluster together and will be much tougher. The movements of the characters have been made to appear much more realistic, while trying to capture the action movie vibe as much as possible.

If you haven’t played Uncharted 2 then you should do yourself a favor and go buy it right now. I’ll wait. Then play that over and over again until Uncharted 3 comes out this November. Again, I’ll wait.

Now, for number one and I am not going to lie, it’s very biased. Long time fans of the podcast will know exactly what I mean. But it’s my list so screw it.

1.     MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3: FATE OF TWO WORLDS


As a kid, I dreamt that one day I would play MVC 3 and it would be glorious. As the years passed, I grew more depressed, knowing my dream would never come to life. Cut to early 2010, when Capcom stunned the world announcing the impossible… Marvel vs Capcom 3 for 2011.

Now anyone who didn’t play the Marvel vs games will never understand why this is such a big deal, but for people like me, who played every single one since the start and have wasted days playing MVC 2, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. For those who don’t know MVC features heroes and villains from both franchises battling it out. The original games were 2D and focused on frantic game play and high combos. This new entry will use 3D graphics on a 2D plane, much like Street Fight 4, but the frantic high combo fighting remains.

The graphics are, simply put, beautiful. The characters bleed with color giving them life and style. And the backgrounds are stunning, making them a joy to fight in. Having played the game at E3 2010 (and going 7-0 mind you) the controls feel solid and veterans will have no problem adjusting to the changes.

The new characters breathe life into the franchise and take it into exciting new directions. Multiplayer of course will be blazing fun and the different modes will keep players busy for quite some time. Throw in some DLC down the line, and you have yourself a bucket full of win.

There’s two reasons why this is number one above all else. One: I haven’t been this excited for a game in a long time. Two: Out of all the games on the list this is the only one anyone can pick up, play, and enjoy the hell out of it for ten minutes or ten hours. No, this game most likely won’t win any game of the year awards like the other titles, but you know what, that doesn’t matter. In my opinion this game will be the most fun out of the entire year. In the end, isn’t that what playing games is all about?

Take my advice. Pre-order Marvel vs. Capcom 3 now and enjoy it all year.

And that does it! Happy New Year!

-Jesse

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One response

2 01 2011
Seth

Duke Nukem Forever, like the cake, is a lie!




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