What games are we anxiously awaiting in 2010? Here’s our sneak peek of the year in gaming!
While this preview certainly won’t tackle all of the awesome video games expected to hit stores/your life in 2010, our team will gamely (see what I did there?) attempt to cover a solid cross-section of upcoming life-suckers.
Between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Assassins Creed II and New Super Mario Bros, 2009 saw some awesome high-stakes sequels. 2010 looks to up the ante, taking some of our best loved characters and worlds to new heights in franchises like Bioshock, Metroid and Final Fantasy.
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
This is gonna be a big year for the Wii, you guys! And seeing as we nerds love lists for their combined efficiency and tidiness, you’ll find a few below. To ease your transition into this brave new world of 2010 gaming, of course!
One of the most highly-anticipated (at least by me) releases for 2010 is Metroid: Other M, the second game in the Metroid saga; made specifically to take advantage of the Wii’s innovative motion controls. The Metroid series follows the exploits and adventures of bounty hunter “Samus Aran” — one of the very first female protagonists featured in a video game! The games are generally known for relying heavily on exploration and puzzles much like The Legend of Zelda games. The maps are especially massive, scenic, and challenging in the Metroid Prime games.
This particular Metroid instalment is exceptionally unique/exciting because it’s one part first person shooter and one part third person side scroller- perfect for Metroid fans who miss the retro/arcade feeling of the NES, SNES and Gameboy Metroid games!
What You Need to Know About Metroid: Other M
– Nintendo teamed up with Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive) to create it.
– Chronologically, it’s set between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.
– Samus appears to actually speak words in it!
Although not much has been revealed about the plot, Other M is expected to give players a more in-depth look at Samus’ mysterious background- something that hasn’t been done before. Fortunately we can rely on the critical-thinking skills we picked up on in college/university to examine the trailer closely and figure out exactly what’s going on for ourselves, amiright?!
What We Can Deduce From the Trailer:
– Am I fishing, or is Samus sporting an alternative-lifestyle haircut? (I knew it!)
– The best way to deal with monsters is to put them in a headlock
– Ridley is still a jerk.
– In order to determine any plot-specifics, we will have to actually play the game.
Metroid Other M will reportedly be released on Wii in Summer 2010.
The Legend of Zelda (Wii)
If very little has been revealed about Metroid: Other M’s plot, even less information has been released pertaining to Nintendo’s follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The Legend of Zelda games follow Link (an Elf-like boy who I suspect is mute) as he consistently gets roped into rescuing Zelda (the Princess of Hyrule, where the games are often set) via a series of puzzles and conflicts that usually culminate in an epic battle with Ganon (Link’s nemesis), in one of his various incarnations- and he has many.
A Summary of the Internets’ (very) Limited Knowledge re: The Legend of Zelda 2010
– It’s going to take advantage of MotionPlus technology to allow players to more accurately slap enemies in the face with Link’s legendary and sacred blade.
– It’s sounding more and more like this release will be a major departure from past Zelda games in terms of interface and combat controls: Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has said that Twilight Princess would be “without a doubt, the last Zelda game as you know it in its present form.” Cryptic, much? [zeldapedia]
– The new Legend of Zelda will be released when it’s perfect. No really, they said that. So let’s hope that means 2010!
While I’m not sure that I’ll ever touch another game again now that I’ve broken the seal on Modern Warfare 2, here are a few games I would be looking forward to. Okay, I’m still looking forward to these, someone just needs to adopt my copy of MW2 a week before they come out. But I want it back. I’m serious.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
(Mac & PC)
I still haven’t zapped, whacked and slashed my way through all of Northrend from the last WoW expansion pack “Wrath of the Lich King,” but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to getting buried alive under a huge heap of new WoW content again. The Cataclysm expansion will transform World of Warcraft as we know it, rendering the old Azeroth an unplayable relic and changing the game forevermore. Forevermore! Instead of just tacking on a new continent ala former expansions, The Burning Crusade and “Wrath,” Blizzard will actually revamp the entire old world experience. That means that everything’s getting a makeover, from Orgrimmar to Stranglethorn Vale to the unspeakably ugly human male models.
Cataclysm sees WoW’s villian line-up return to retro-RPG roots. Because what’s more old school than a dragon, really? With the Burning Crusade, we fought angsty fallen night elf Illidan Stormrage; with Lich, you square off against the bossy Lich King and his armies of the undead. And now, the evil ambiguous powers of the Dragon Aspect Deathwing are upon us! Upon us, I said!
I still can’t figure out wtf a “dragon aspect” is, but I’ll take it. Happily, Deathwing will wreak a lot of general havoc, causing tectonic shifts and ravines and volcanoes and shit. So, since he’s sundering apart Azeroth as we know it, Blizzard decided that they’ll not only be updating tons of old zones with new content, but they’ll revamp all of the graphics too! I’m so excited about this! While Northrend has pretty sexy 2008 graphics, the old content still looks just like it did in 2004. Which is to say it looks dated.
And that ain’t it! There’s a shitton of stuff to look forward to in Cataclysm!
– New Races!: Alliance will get Worgen and Horde will get Goblins will both become playable races in Cataclysm. I’m not that into the goblins, but I want to be a werewolf like whoa. Worgen druid, here I come! SWEET. Also the new racial starting areas look awesome. Also, this balances the factions more because Alliance will have something ferocious and Horde will have something small and irritating.
– New Level Cap: You’ll max out now at 85.
– New race/class combinations! Tauren priests! Night Elf mages! I’m all shook up!
– 3 New Battlegrounds (You can find me here).
– You can fly anywhere now! Zoom!
– Messed up old zones! The barrens gets sundered in half and apparently a tidal wave washed Southshore away. Oops. And there are a ton more catastrophic old world changes to look forward to, of course.
– Tons of new quests, critters, content, loot and instances!
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as you know it some time (probably late!) in 2010. We’ll keep you posted.
Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360 & PS3)
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy is solely responsible for my gaming renaissance, so of course I’m looking forward to their latest and greatest Japanese RPG cinematic masterpiece: Final Fantasy XIII.
It all began at some point in early middle school I actually rented (rented! weird!) FFVIII from my local video place on a whim. I started playing it and was absolutely totally baffled by the immersive story, gorgeous graphics and most of all the depth of the content.
I returned the game a few short days and sleepless nights later. But during the course of that rental experience I came to realize just how vast and elegant video games had become. And I knew I’d only scratched the surface. A short time afterward, I bought a used copy of FFVII and it blew all of my existing assumptions about gaming out of the water. Final Fantasy VII was a game-changer for a lot of folks, of course, and now it’s often regarded with an fierce kind of glassy-eyed nostalgia unrivaled by most other gaming experiences. And we shall never speak ill of it.
And as a requirement when speaking of the Final Fantasy series we must pay tribute at the altar of Cloud Strife and his big mofoing sword and big mofoing hair before we dare to discuss the direction and future of Final Fantasy. So we did that: check. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m totally stoked for Final Fantasy XIII! I’ve played every FF game since VII (since I’m not a purist, I didn’t bother going back to the proto-classic games) with the exception of Final Fantasy XI, the only MMORPG (massively multiplayer online take-over-your-lifer).
I’m in the rare camp that loved FFVIII, though it did singlehandedly reignite my love of gaming. FFIX was great (tiny mages, ftw!), though I kind of prefer the series to lean toward realism. FFX’s Polynesian vibe was refreshing and awesome (but I seriously cannot deal with Tidus’ voice acting). And that brings us to FFXII, in which I am still lost in the Estersand covered in Moogles (Seriously. Help). I still this Estersand/Moogles joke is the funniest thing I’ve ever said, so I’ll keep repeating it, article after article, until someone notes how clever and hilarious it is.
On the eve of Final Fantasy XIII, I thought it only appropriate to take a trip down RPG memory lane. Because I’ll be playing FFXIII no matter what, thanks to the long, winding, Moogly path Square has led me down, over the years. And I think 2010-era technology coupled with such a cinematic game can only yield totally mind-blowingly gorgeous cut-scenes. Their graphics have always seemed ahead of their time to me. So prob FFXIII will actually be in 5D. Forget 3D guys.
Other FFXIII treats in store:
– Chocobos like that little fella above, of course!
– Epic Sidequests: Chocobo racing! Blitzball! The Island of Heaven and Hell! Ruby weapon! Obsidian Weapon! Plexiglass weapon! Everything, please! Note: these things are not in store, so much as I wish they were.
– A FEMALE PROTAGONIST! Square’s been pretty good at incorporating female characters as more than just useless eye-candy, and FFXIII will follow Lightning, a super hot, aloof gunblade-wielding twentysomething named Lightning, guys. She’s a little gay, right?
Final Fantasy XIII is slated for a March, 9 2010 release.+
Bioshock 2 (Xbox 360 & PS3)
Sam’s Bioshock On the Rocks Recipe:
1 part Ayn Rand, 1 part Orwell’s 1984, 1 shot FPS, 1 shot RPG, top off with salt water
Shake over ice, serve
Bioshock 2 is without a doubt one of 2010’s most anticipated sequels. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed original Bioshock (released in October of 2008) is guaranteed a hungry fan base. Produced by 2K games, the sequel will be (like the original) a voyage into a world that’s part Orwellian 1984-ish dysotopian story, part Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism. That’s heavy stuff for a video game — but BioShock tends to get this shit right.
Also like the original, BioShock 2 will take place in underwater city “Rapture,” created as a laissez-faire utopian experiment by businessman Andrew Ryan. Predictably, all did not go according to plan as soon as somebody started messing around with some ADAM. In BioShock, ADAM is like a steroid that makes you mutate all kinds of super powers. In the first game, we learn that ADAM is Rapture’s black gold; causing all hell to break loose. You know; over-mutated weirdos running around harvesting ADAM from little girls or “Little Sisters,” stuff like that. In the wake of the ADAM-rush, you’ll make your way through an underwater ghost town that has cannibalized itself, leaving mostly terrifying inhuman inhabitants. It sounds creepy. That’s ’cause it totally is creepy.
In the first Bioshock you play as Jack, the only survivor of a plane crash that maroons you in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But BioShock 2 ups the ante, and you’ll play as one of your creepy former-foes, a Big Daddy. Yup, that’s the guy up there wearing the diving suit.
Set a decade after its predecessor, Bioshock 2 pits you against newly evolved army of Big Sisters; creepy, agile mechanical enemies that will terrorize you in different ways than the nice kind of big sister (lowercase) might. In addition to dealing with a former enemy-turned-protagonist, players will also be challenged by the ability to combine certain plasmids.
Plasmids are your physiology-boosting, ADAM-fueled power source throughout both games. For example, the “geyser” power allows you to create a pool of water which you can in turn electrify to execute your enemies. Fun!
BioShock 2 will also feature a story-driven multiplayer mode as well that takes place in 1959 during Rapture’s civil war, one year prior to the original BioShock. In multiplayer, you’ll be a citizen of Rapture and a test subject for plasmids. It’s an unfortunate fate for sure.
The multiplayer has five game modes, including Capture the Flag-Style. I’m intrigued by the idea of a multiplayer Rapture-set game though I fear the single-player story could suffer as a result. It’d be a shame; the first Bioshock really succeeded for its intricate & involved plot.
I expect BioShock 2 will follow the grand footsteps of its predecessor with mortality at its thematic center. The first BioShock forced the player to consider all kinds of nasty utilitarian decisions, so above all I’m looking forward to discovering which ethical swamps we’ll wade into this time.
Bioshock 2 drops February 9th 2010.+
2010’s already brought us some great games, like Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and Mass Effect 2. And hell, it’s only February! So, what games are you looking forward to this year?