Monday, December 27, 2010

Games to Look Forward to in January 2011

So, it's just after Christmas and maybe hopefully you got yourself a bunch of cash for spending on whatever you want. Lets also just say that you hypothetically have all the good games of 2010, and in that case go you! Or maybe you just want to wait for 2011s games, so here is my list of January's games that would be worth the cash.

1. Mass Effect 2 (January 11)
The PS3 edition of this game is late to the party, no doubt. A year late actually, but you know the saying: better late than never. Mass Effect 2 is an amazing experience. A role-playing-game, you play as the revivedCommander Shepard after the events of the first game. You play the game as you like, and are given decision after decision which all effect the progression and ending of the game in several ways. You must recruit a team and investigate the organization that took your life at the end of the first game.

No Collector's Edition has been recorded yet for the PS3, but it has been confirmed that the PS3 version uses the graphics engine planned for use in Mass Effect 3. There has been some skepticism on this issue as to if the graphics are actually "better" or not. Either way, this genre-defining game is finally available for the PS3 and any users that don't already have it for 360, ought to get their hands on this one.

2. DC Universe Online (January 11)
DC Universe Online is set for release in January and should prove to be a very engaging experience. An MMORPG, one of the only ones for PS3 and consoles in general, DCUO (holy acronyms!) will let you make the shoes you want to be in. There are over 100 different DC Universe NPC characters in the game and you can pick a major Hero or Villain to be your NPC mentor for growth in your skills. Also, quests can be taken from many of these NPCs depending on your faction.

Several DC Universe locations have been revealed as playable locations that will progress you through the storyline. The plot is one of that of the cliche world domination by the villains and the stoppage happening is done by none other than the heroes. It looks to be somewhat deeper than "cliche", but in this instance too much development might not be a good thing. Sony Online Entertainment (the devs) have a pretty good history, so I think it will be in good shape in their hands. One of the neat defining features is the random encounters in the environment that let you exercise your faction's purpose. Like heroes must stop crime in the city while the villains help out the criminals. These instances will be rewarded like many other areas of the game, giving you upgrades and such. Definitely should be a great buy for those of you that are fans of the DC Universe, and honestly who isn't?

3. LittleBigPlanet 2 (January 18)
A sweet PS3 exclusive, LBP2 will refine the amazing experience of user created content from the first game. With new features that will allow for much more dynamic creativity, this game will practically be endless. A huge story mode already created by the Media Molecule team will be astounding, but some of the user created levels may even surpass these. LBP2 will not only feature platforming levels, but will allow you to create your own levels of almost any type, plus customizable HUD.

The first LittleBigPlanet was known as one of the most innovative games of all time, and helped in the argument for Video Games being art. If you wanted to make it, then you could (with restrictions). LittleBigPlanet 2 removes tons of these restrictions. Also, all the DLC and levels from the first game will be moved over to the second one, making the original experience grow instead of creating a new one.

Also available for LBP2, is PlayStation move support. This will most likely resemble the experience in Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves, which I will be reviewing within the next couple of days. The Collector's Edition comes with a Sackboy plushie and LBP game(book)ends, as well as several PSN avatars and in game costumes. If you are a PS3 user, this is a must have.

4. Dead Space 2 (January 25)
Isaac Clarke is returning once more to bring us one of the scariest experiences yet. Set in The Sprawl, a space station near Saturn, Clarke's craziness which was introduced in the first game is manifested as he still must deal with fighting the Necromorphs and dealing with many other psychotic issues.

I guarantee that this will be one of the scariest games of 2011, if not THE scariest. The first game delivered an amazingly creepy experience. One of my favorite things was the vacuum. No sound except breathing, so you never know when something is near, ready to rip you to pieces. From what I've seen, the second installment is going to deliver a much more immersive story and creepier environments and more startling encounters.

The PS3 Limited Edition will also come with the original Wii game: Dead Space Extraction. A railed shooter experience, the accuracy of PlayStation Move and enhanced graphics should be a nice exclusive addition to the game. Also available is the Collector's Edition which includes: replica plasma cutter, soundtrack CD, DLC voucher, and some form of artwork all complete in a sweet looking box. Definitely a great buy for early 2011.

So the beginning of 2011 seems shallow as only four exceptional games are coming out, one of which is PS3 exclusive and the other a late PS3 installment. Another odd thing is that only one of these games ISN'T a sequel, but I'm not complaining. Any way you look at it, one of these games is meant for you. Stay tuned every month as I preview the upcoming games.