Monday, January 3, 2011

Random Shots: Things To Look Forward To In 2011

  • Here are my predictions for 2011. But instead of the usual prognostications, I'm going to predict my eventual feelings for the game. This list is ordered as I thought of titles and no ranking is implied. In fact, I'm leaving them in this order just because I'm too lazy to switch it up.

  • Diablo III - I was looking forward to D3 last year even though I knew it wouldn't come out. I continue to look forward to it this year. Torchlight scratched that itch for a good long time, but I'm curious what the team at Blizzard has waiting for us. Whether it will actually come out this year is a matter for debate, but I wouldn't be surprised if they get it out in time for the holidays.

    Prediction: I'll play this game quite heavily for a week, then I'll get distracted some time around Act III and forget to go back to it for a couple months. Eventually I'll go back and finish the game, but I won't be adding this to my Top Five list at the end of the year.

  • Guild Wars 2 - Another game on my long term wish list, I've been waiting for GW2 for what feels like just about forever. Again, I don't know if it will come out this year, but I desperately hope it will.

    Prediction: I could go two ways with this, but hedging my best would be a cop out. So I'm going bold. I believe that the game will come out in 2011. I'm going to fall in love with the story and dynamic events so much that it becomes the game I log into out of habit. I'll start writing an FAQ of some sort that I'll abandon when someone else does it faster and better. And at some point my wife will wake up in the middle of the night, walk into the room, and ask if I'm still playing at 4am in the morning.

  • Dragon Age 2 - To me, Dragon Age was particularly "meh." As the spiritual successor to a series that I didn't really enjoy, you would think that I would have skipped it. But when the blogging community erupted with love over the game, I got sucked in. It did not live up to the hype. Even playing on Easy, the combat was so annoying and tedious that it disrupted any enjoyment I might have received from the story. I do appreciate that the DA2 team is shaping their game a little more like Mass Effect, but I doubt it will be enough.

    Prediction: Everyone falls in love with DA2 but I successfully ignore it for several months. At least, up until Steam has a big sale and I buy it despite myself. Which I will eventually regret.

  • Mass Effect 3 - Mass Effect 3! MASS EFFECT 3!!!!

    Prediction: I will buy, play, and love the hell out of Bioware's next masterpiece. But some idiot will post a spoiler that ruins the ending for me and I will always wonder what my experience would have been like if I discovered the big ending for myself.

  • Torchlight II - I really enjoyed the simplicity of Torchlight, enough to play all the way through to the end. Once. Since I lost my save game during a hard drive failure, I haven't given the game much attention since then, but I'm looking forward to what Runic adds to the new game.

    Prediction: I will preorder TL2 and play when it launches and have a good time doing so. It won't feel like the second coming for the action RPG, but I will see it through to the end.

  • Dawn of War II: Retribution - I liked DoW II even though I generally dislike real time strategy games. Probably because it was such a hybrid game that it was much more manageable for me. That said, I didn't get into the expansion at all, having stopped playing after I finished the first campaign.

    Prediction: I don't see myself buying Retribution. At least, not this year. Or unless it goes on some crazy sale next Christmas.

  • LA Noire - I learned a whole new appreciation for Rockstar after playing Bully and Red Dead Redemption this year. Considering how much I love post-war Los Angeles (thanks to Raymond Chandler), my expectations are unreasonably high for this game. The technology looks awesome, but we haven't seen much of the gameplay yet. If the game leans on its story and the gameplay is good enough, I'm expecting to love it.

    Prediction: I'll buy LA Noire within the first week of launch and then play it through to the end. It won't be my game of the year, but it will make my Top Five.

  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - How many Elder Scrolls games do I have to buy before I learn my lesson? I liked Daggerfall a lot, but that was the last time.

    Prediction: Skyrim will come out on the expected launch date and I won't care. Ever.

  • Portal 2 - You've heard of Portal, right? This will be more of that. And I really, really want to play more Portal.

    Prediction: I will buy and play Portal 2, but not at launch. I'll be much too busy with other games. But when I get to it, it will be a lot of fun, even if it feels a little too long. I will never play the co-op campaign.

  • DC Universe Online - With the glut of fantasy MMOs on the market, you would think that I'd be happy to see something launch from a different genre. The only problem is that I don't care for the DC Universe at all. (Well okay, I like the new Batwoman, but that's mostly love for Greg Rucka.) I'm sure this game will be okay, but the license is enough to turn me off.

    Prediction: Although the game will launch early this year, I will not be playing it.

    Bonus Prediction: Very few of you will be playing it either.

  • Rift - Speaking of hype, there is no way to avoid Rift-mania right now. It wasn't on my radar until everyone started waving their beta tester credentials in my face. Nonetheless, it sounds halfway interesting and I'd like to see more.

    Prediction: I'll get caught up in the hype and jump in at launch. I'll play long enough that I get bored and stop playing within a few weeks. Then I'll forget to unsubscribe and accidentally pay for a month that I don't use. Shame on me.

  • Tera - So, there is this other MMO coming out, right? The one with the half dress women? (Oh, that describes most of them. Sorry.) Action based sounds interesting, but is it doing anything else to differentiate it? Don't know. Maybe we'll find out more when the hype curve slopes up.

    Prediction: Tera will come out this year and I will barely take any notice. Maybe I'll think about trying it out, but only get as far as looking at the stupid box price and never touch my credit card.

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic - And finally, we come to biggest game on the horizon. (I admit, I moved this one to the end, but I really did write it last.) SWTOR promises to be the most talked about game of 2011. Assuming, of course, that it actually launches.

    Prediction: Because my brother is a fan and will expect me to play with him, I will pick up a copy a couple weeks after launch. We will play a few nights together. Eventually, I will grow dissatisfied by the gameplay and the story will not be enough to keep me interested. He will keep playing without me. I'll drift away, having only rolled a single character, and cancel my subscription before the month in the box is up.

    Bonus Prediction: I will be spending a lot of time this year reading tweets and blog posts from SWTOR fans. Each time I will have to restrain myself to replying with snarky comments. Right up until the community turns on it and declares it the worst game ever. Then I will start in with the "I told you so."


  1. Nice list. I don't care much for DC at all either, but I'm shopping around for a superhero game I can get into and the stuff I've been hearing about DCUO makes me hopeful. Of course, now I'm kinda reconsidering getting it, with the Rift headstart for people who preordered (I joined that club just this morning) starting late February.

    I think maybe you'll end up liking SWTOR more than you predicted here. If you like Mass Effect, I'm thinking there will be things you'll enjoy in SWTOR as well. From the couple of cinematic clips I've glimpsed, there are elements that feel similar.

  2. If I had a PS3 I'd really be looking forward to DCUO. It's been ages since there was a decent MMO on consoles. However, for the PC I'm just not feeling it.

    As for DC, I like a lot of the TV shows based on it, and the last two Batman movies were great. The comics, I've never been a huge fan of, apart from Frank Moore's work on Batman.

    GW II is not really on my radar until it comes out and I can read whether promises of massive innovation hold up. I will say that I am starting to feel a bit stuffed on fantasy MMOs. Rifts I don't care about at all.

    SWToR I am expecting to enjoy, for a month or two. I'm sure it will last me at least as long as KoTOR I and II, the former of which I enjoyed enough to play through twice back to back. I think it's going to be a great RPG. Whether it will be a great MMO, I couldn't say.

  3. @ MMOGC - You'll notice that I was pretty pessimistic for many games. Maybe my low expectations will let me enjoy games more than I predict.

    @ Yeebo - Yeah, I should say that I like the whole Batman thing too, especially the recent movies, but it has always felt like he belonged to the wrong company. He would fit in just fine with Marvel.

  4. Boy oh boy do I want Diablo III and Dawn of War II Retribution, and maybe Dragon Age 2 as well....