Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2011

A few weeks ago, I celebrated the start of yet another new year (a bit too much for my liking, as well as that of my colleagues) and, along with it, all the games that are to hit store shelves in 2011. Taking a glance at the paucity of 360 exclusives coming down the road, I turned my hopeful eyes to the multiplatform side of the spectrum and was feeling a whole lot better in a matter of seconds, thanks in large part to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, and Batman: Arkham City. Usually, it’s the exclusive titles that I  always look forward to the most, but not this year…

That is until I made a quick decision to finally get myself a PlayStation 3, spurred by the large amount of overdue income I had just received. The funny thing is that I was thinking of getting one last Spring but decided against it, because I wasn’t able to count on the fingers of my two hands the number of PS3 exclusive titles I had interest in playing, so I thought it best to just rent my friend’s PS3 sometime by the end of the year. However,  by the end of 2010, Sony announced plenty new PS3 exclusives scheduled for 2011/2012 which made me think about getting one again. After counting more than 20 titles, I told myself I couldn’t ignore it anymore and simply HAD to get one. All of this (from the time I started considering it again to the point of actually hooking it up to my LCD) took less than two days which made many of my friends peg it as an impulse buy. Not according to me, of course! 🙂

Anywho, going back to the actual topic of this post, which is my top 5 most anticipated games of 2011, here are my most awaited titles this year on both Xbox 360 and PS3:

5. L.A. Noire

Man, was I happy to hear L.A. Noire was coming to Xbox 360 as well last year (remember, I didn’t have a PS3 yet back then). We heard very little about the actual title before we got a first look at the title in video form in November which is why I didn’t pay too much attention to it (it was just the idea of it being a previously PS3-exclusive title that got my attention). It wasn’t until I witnessed the MotionScan technology in that first trailer that I put the game not only on my radar, but also my must play list. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! In addition to the promising facial animation system, the game also boasts top voice acting talent, part of which is the excellent Aaron Staton from Mad Men, the (first?) chance to play the role of an actual detective (note, not a raging, trigger-happy, murderer in disguise), dynamic gameplay filled with numerous possibilities of how to solve a muder, and, above all (for me) a story which doesn’t take a back seat to the other features (I’m a huge fan of crime drama).

If that wasn’t enough, it’s being published by none other than Rockstar Games, the developer/publisher behind last year’s heavy Game of the Year contender, Red Dead Redemption. Yeehaw!

4. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Now, I have to admit, I have never played an Uncharted game (I’m waiting for Uncharted 1 to show up on my door step from Zavvi.com), but I have heard/read so many incredible things about the franchise, especially the jewel of PS3’s first-party line-up, that is Uncharted 2, that last month’s announcement of the threequel got me totally pumped up for Uncharted 3. Also, the debut trailer look absolutely drop dead gorgeous.

I was on the fence between Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3 for this 4th spot but chose the latter in the end, because I tend to like action-adventure games a lot more than shooters. Sorry, Gears. I still love ya, though!

3. Batman: Arkham City

Like many others, I was very taken aback by the high overall quality of Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009. Who expected a licensed game to kick so much ass? And from the developer who previously made Urban Chaos: Riot Response?! I thought so… Now that the bar has been raised for comic book games, the question that bugs me more and more is whether or not Rocksteady Studios is capable of one-upping the original with the sequel. From what we have been able to see so far (still no gameplay footage sadly!), the game makes us hopeful for an even better Batman experience than Arkham Asylum was able to provide.

Now that high expectations are pinned on the title, can it still deliver the goods? I sure hope so!

2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A new Elder Scrolls game is expected later this year and it’s not an MMO, as was heavily rumoured up until its announcement last month which makes me extremely happy. Kameo: Elements of Power may very well be the first Xbox 360 game that took away my HD virginity, but it was Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that truly wowed me for the first time on the system and gave a nice taste of what I can expect in the years to follow. Even now, a little less than five years later, I still fondly remember traversing the beautiful beast-infested lands of Tamriel, slaying monsters left and right, and leveling up my knight more and more, only to find out those pesky rats level up with me. It’s the only game in my life in which I invested over 200 hours and that speaks volumes (usually, I’m done with a game after the first playthrough) and because of that it still remains to be one of my absolute favourites on the Xbox 360.

1. Mass Effect 3

For years, Oblivion was my favourite Xbox 360 game, but when Mass Effect 2 graced the 360 with its release, Oblivion was dethroned (at long last). What Mass Effect 2 did for me can hardly be expressed in words. I’ll just say this: it totally eclipsed Mass Effect 1 and fixed everything that I didn’t like about the original – the unintuitive inventory system, clunky shooting mechanics, odd pacing and some more trivial stuff (I liked the elevator rides, though – much better than a static screen that says loading). I loved the story, the atmosphere, my reliable intergalactic team, the superb voice acting, seemingly endless dialogue, the fun combat system, the surprisingly calming mining mini-game etc. In other words, I can safely say I loved EVERYTHING it had to offer which is an incredible feat, as I can be quite a critic when it comes to new media. To say I am psyched for Mass Effect 3 is a colossal understatement!

There you go, my top 5 most anticipated games of 2011. Next time, I hope I’ll have a better idea of what to write about :).

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About zantoplisek

Works at Outfit7, videogame apostle, movie buff, air guitar extraordinaire, tech junkie & comic book fan. Lover of all things burger.

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