The Year Ahead, Part Two

By Jim Rossignol on January 15th, 2010 at 3:00 pm.


We’re peering through the futurescope at the games we can expect to see in the coming year. There’s plenty to work through, so let’s get on with a look at some of the notable games of Spring and Summer 2010. (You can read part one here.)

APB is due to appear in the next few months. It’s already in closed beta. Frankly, I don’t really know how this keeps falling off people’s radar. The cops vs robbers MMO has ambition written all over it, so much so that it’s one of those games that’s aiming so high it seems hard to believe they’ll manage it. Worse, it’s a multiplayer shooter, and we all know how wrong those can go if the balance is wrong, or if the server infrastructure isn’t in place. Nevertheless this is a huge game from the man who invented GTA, so there’s every chance it’s going to set the world on fire. We can’t wait to get our hands on this, and will be poking RealTime Worlds in the eye, repeatedly, until we get access. Right!

One title that I probably should have mentioned in the last piece was Alien Breed Evolution, the remake of the classic Aliens-alike shooter by Team 17. We interviewed them about this a while back, but still don’t have a precise PC date. The episodic, co-op action game should be appearing fairly soon, however, so keep your eyes open for an announcement. (RPS does not feature sound-based headlines.)

And another March release – that isn’t a sequel – is the Russian post-apocalyptic shooter Metro 2033. This game has been on and off for years, so we’re very excited that it has finally, and fairly suddenly, come up with a release date – March 16th. The game is a linear shooter through the abandoned underground tube system of Moscow, and up in a mutant-ravaged surface world. Overtones of both Stalker and Cryostasis abound, with a few other survival horror/shooter feelings to boot. Looking forward to this one, although I’m not expecting revelations.


Back to the it’s-a-sequel roster and we can see that the spectacular-looking Supreme Commander 2 is due on March 2nd. Wuh, holy crap, I had no idea it was that soon! I’m going to be clearing the decks for that. I was a bit of a late-comer to the original game, but Taylor’s recent chatter, as well as some insane screenshots, have perked up my attention for the release of this one. Go check out Alec’s Eurogamer interview to see what I mean.

Spring should also see Silent Hunter 5 surface on PC, which is a welcome return for the submarine-sim. It’s a few steps beyond the previous games in terms of visual finesse, and additional features such as being able to walk around your U-Boat at will should make for a more engaging experience. Of course, it should also allow crazymen to play campaigns in real-time, too, so expect news of how someone died of real boredom in a virtual Gibraltar Strait by the end of the year.

We should also expect this early-to-middle part of the year to reveal Stardock’s new tactical RPG, Elemental – War Of Magic. It’s going to be an opened-ended although quest-driven beast, allowing you to do both diplomacy and conflict in a fantasy world. It’s certainly one of the strategy games we’re most looking forward to in the coming months.

Speaking of fantasy, Two Worlds II should be popping up in early spring. It’s really not looking particularly promising, but I know the original had a small army of unlikely fans out there, so maybe there will be a few despondent fantasists out there who will be cheered by its arrival.


There have been few new RPG games – as opposed to sequels – recently, but even they have generally hunkered down in familiar fantasy lands. Alpha Protocol aims to change that, with a spy-based action RPG. Think Mass Effect with secret agents, and a contemporary theme of global illegal shenanigans. This has been much delayed, but it’s by RPG-designing heroes Obsidian, so there’s all to play for. Hopefully the extra time allowed for this by Sega will pay off. We could really do witah an RPG that isn’t in space, or elf-land, and isn’t all fucking wonky. The game is currently sporting a vague “spring 2010″ release badge, but rumour has it this could be as later as earlier June.

More espionage happenings, of a distinctly actionier variety, can be expected from Splinter Cell: Conviction. Currently scheduled for April 10th, the return of the Splinter Cell series looks to have benefited enormously from its holiday in development hell. The game is looking slick and lavishly violent, and hopefully it’ll still manage to tax our infiltration glands as we search for Mr Trinoculars’ missing daughter. He’s old, and he’s cross. There’s much that the Hivemind can empathise with.

We can also expect the Left 4 Dead 2 expansion, The Passing, to arrive some time in Spring of 2010. This will be a new campaign, with some survival and versus stuff, that apparently features both the Left 4 Dead 2 team and the survivors from the original game. How will it work! We just don’t know, but we’re intrigued to find out.

Another game that has been confirmed for PC but seems to be lacking a firm release date is zombie-carnival Dead Rising 2, which is set in Las Vegas as the shambling ones attack. It had, I hasten to remind you, the best trailer from last year, and should therefore be considered with a hand on chin and one eyebrow raised. If you can raise one eyebrow on its own, which I can.

It’s worth noting that we are still waiting for a confirmed Starcraft 2 date, despite the rumblings towards the last quarter of 2009 about imminent beta and Battlenet changes. Our best guess is that we’ll hear concrete news pretty soon and see the first part of the much-delayed RTS mega-sequel arrive in the summer, or therebouts. The most recent news is that that the first episode of the game, Wings Of Liberty, which introduces the Terran faction, will now also feature a Protoss mini-campaign. Intriguing stuff. It seems impossible that Blizzard will fuck this up, but hell, it’s been ages. I wrote the world’s first preview several years ago, and it seemed finished then.


Anyway, we should also finally get Raven’s time-warping shooter, Singularity. This didn’t impress people who got a glimpse of it last year, despite the strong premise of time-weapons. It’s had more time from Activison, which means it should turn up in spring or early summer. Not holding out too much hope for this being a classic, but you never know.

Finally there’s Mafia II. Due some time between May and July, the open world gangster game from 2k Czech pretty much promises to be among the two or three most exciting games in 2010. John’s look at the game last year promised a great deal, but it also made it look as if there was a lot of work to be done. I’d expect this one to slip a few more months yet, and probably arrive in time for Christmas 2010.

Speaking of which, we’ll have more of the other, later, games in the next article.

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61 Comments »

  1. Wednesday says:

    I’m honesty surprised there isn’t more excitement about Alpha Protocol.

    Looks like Deus Ex meets Mass Effect. I can’t wait.

    • CMaster says:

      If it’s more of the DX and less of the ME, great.
      My concern is that it will end up being very ME – linear sections with very little choice as to how you deal with them, other than “shoot everything”

    • CMaster says:

      Meant to add:
      But yes, it sounds like it could be pretty damn good fun.

    • Vandelay says:

      I have similar worries with Alpha Protocol as CMaster. It has potential, but I’m not sure it will meet them. I remember seeing the inventory system, which seemed to bare a striking resemblance to mess that was Mass Effects system. I hope that that isn’t a sign of things to come. Then again, it looks like Obsidian are being given plenty of time to get this right, so hopefully they will actually be able to release a complete game.

      Mafia 2 is the game I am looking forward to the most this year. Disappointing to hear you think it may slip once again.

      Also Starcraft 2, which I hope builds on the original without making too many significant changes. Bring in a few of the streamlining features of modern RTS games, but without removing the core gameplay that is Starcraft and I’ll be happy.

  2. Ian says:

    APB – It’d be awesome if this was good, not least because it sounds like it’d be good for just dropping into it for half an hour without having to have organised with folks you know to get the most out of it.

    Metro 2033 – Probably won’t be anything special, but I still like a good linear shooter so hopefully it’s fun.

    Alpha Protocol – Another one I’m just hoping turns out well. Mixed feelings on what I’ve seen so far but the trailers have been a little hard to judge.

    Splinter Cell: Conviction – Doesn’t look much like Splinter Cell to me but could be fun provided the lock-on-to-a-bunch-of-guys-and-watch-Fisher-kill-them thing doesn’t make it a complete cakewalk.

    Left 4 Dead 2 stuff – More L4D is always good though I need to get some more of the current one played. (Too many games in my life.)

    Dead Rising 2 – Never played the first so I’m glad this is coming to PC as it looks like it could tickle the stupid gore itch, even if it’s MORE ZOMBIES.

    Mafia II – Need to go back and try the original again, actually. Thought the first mission with the car was balls but I was being unduly impatient and keep forgetting to go back to it.

  3. wvanh says:

    Another one excited about Alpha Protocol here; that, Red Dead Redemption, and Mafia 2 are probably going to dominate most of my scarce gaming time this year.

  4. diebroken says:

    Jim, I’m assuming Natural Selection 2 will make it on Part Three (there is a Part Three, right)? Then again maybe it won’t be released this year… j/k! ;)

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    There is a part three.

  6. Tei says:

    There are a good list here. Good things.
    2011 will be a good gamming year. 2010 too if some of these games are not delayed.

  7. Kadayi says:

    Pre-ordered Alpha Protocol back for the original release date, only for it to be rudely yanked. So looking forward to that coming out and hoping it lives upto the DX style it seems to be aiming for.

    APB is definitely on the Radar. I’m interested to see how it all works, and I’m curious to see whether EA roll it out via Steam, as I think it’s the sort of game that would probably thrive there.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kadayi

      Much as I’m not a big fan of Steam for single player games, I think for an MP-only shooter like APB it makes a world of sense. Valve’s MP matchmaking really is some of the best I’ve seen, EA would be wise to make use of it. Just, please, no GFWL.

  8. salejemaster says:

    HEROES OF NEWERTH!

  9. Taillefer says:

    I can lower an eyebrow thus making the other look raised by default. Does this count?

  10. Rinox says:

    Silent Hunter V:

    Walk around in first person in your sub. Need I say more?

    Fish me out of the Gibraltar Strait sometime next year.

  11. But It Might Not Be says:

    I’m assuming it’s within the terms and conditions of the beta to say that APB is probably going to be great.

    • Jad says:

      Is it within the terms and conditions to opine if the shooting is solid and tight? Because that’s the thing that worries me. All the secondary stuff, the character creation and social architecture and last.fm integration sounds cool, but if the moment-to-moment mechanics aren’t fun, I won’t spend much time with it.

  12. Heliocentric says:

    Very excited for conviction, but as I’m paying for 2 copies there is no way in hell I’m paying rrp. Argh, i find not being richer than the pope very inconvenient.

  13. Schmung says:

    You should beg Realtime Worlds for Beta keys so that you can give them away as compo prizes. The thought of it has me giddy, but with an edge of fear because of the possibility of disappointment should it be crap.

  14. Duck says:

    The best games of 2010 will be:

    Battlefield Bad Company 2
    Supreme Commander 2
    Alpha Protocol

    I only have enough money for none of these games, however, but I do have a special occasion in March that might let me cajole people into giving me free money for the purpose of buying these games.

  15. Lambchops says:

    I’ve always been a tad more excited about Alpha Protocol than Mass Effect – here’s hoping it lives up to it’s potential.

    APB has also intrigued me from the off – i was always kind of suprise how quiet things went on that front after there being a lot of news about it midway through last year. if the reviews are solid I’ll probably buy it,

  16. Leelad says:

    I’m voting on Cataclysm for a Q2 Release.

  17. Santiago says:

    Considering there’s a part three I am sure (I AM SURE) that you will cover exceptional releases in the extra-fun simulator arena such as Lock-On: Flamming Cliffs 2.0 and DCS:A-10 Warthog.

    If you don’t, be sure to expect an imminent impact of one of my laser-guided Vikhr missiles directed at your most beloved cupboard. Just wait for it. Just let me stabilize the helicopter, right, aim tv targeting system, done, turn on the laser, range… that’s it. Oh wait let me realign the chopper to aim correctly. Done. So now you know.

    Only please can you give me an estimate on when you’ll be deciding whether to include these or not? because the laser rangefinder tends to overheat and I might need to wait for it to cool off before the aforementioned retaliation. Ah, much obliged!

  18. int says:

    Is that Kirk Douglas?

  19. Resin says:

    Looking forward to APB.

    The games I’m looking forward to, not mentioned:

    Mortal Online (Hell Yeah!)

    Secret World (hoping against hope this isn’t a total fail)

    and

    Overgrowth (go ninja rabbits! I don’t know if this will be for 2010 though)

  20. Crusoe says:

    I’m in the APB beta, and while there’s still a fair distance to go, it’s very safe to advice rubbing your hands with glee as it approaches. It’s fast shaping up to be the game I once fantasised about after first playing GTA III

  21. bookwormat says:

    “We should also expect this early-to-middle part of the year to reveal Stardock’s new tactical RPG, Elemental – War Of Magic.

    Looking at the status of the Elemental beta, I think it is unlikely that the game it going to be released before QT4.

    • Kynes says:

      I’d have to unfortunately concur; talking with one of the devs on the beta IRC, it’s unlikely we’ll see the game released before 2011.

  22. Shalrath says:

    Holy crap, I was thinking the same thing, it DOES look like Kirk Douglas.

  23. mac and the nubs says:

    Pretty böring stuff so far, I want to hear moar about them upcoming indie games or whatever popcap is making.

  24. Vinraith says:

    2010 is looking to be a great year for big releases so far. I’m particularly looking forward to Mass Effect 2, Call of Pripyat (despite still needing to play the first two, oddly), Bioshock 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, the Dragon Age expansion (if it actually contains enough content to validate its price tag), Alpha Protocol, and Silent Hunter 5. I don’t expect Elemental will come out this year, unfortunately, but I’m certainly keeping an eye on it. Sup Com 2 and Just Cause 2 might be worth checking out as well, but I’m a bit skeptical.

    Anyway, a very solid spring line up of big games, now how about an “Unknown Pleasures” feature so we can see how 2010′s going to stack up against 2009′s indie roster?

  25. Spork says:

    Haven’t a clue when it’s out (was ’09, now ‘done when it’s done’), but I’m still keeping an eye on Black Mesa for my HL dose this year.
    Also DCS: A-10C despite getting nowhere near as much time in the KA-52 as I’d like.

  26. Enoch says:

    Some Alpha Protocol basics here: http://blogs.ign.com/Alpha.Protocol/

    The Dec. 9 entry on how Obsidian writes dialogues should shelve any concerns about the game being as shallow and linear as Mass Effect. My main concern is how they’re going to pull off the action elements and level design– two areas where Obsidian’s track record is either shaky or nonexistent.

  27. UK_John says:

    “Speaking of fantasy, Two Worlds II should be popping up in early spring. It’s really not looking particularly promising…” And what information have you seen to say this?! Oh yes, because it’s an RPG and it’s not from Bethesda or Bioware I presume! Love to see you say this about any Bioware or Bethesda or Valve or Blizzard or EA title. Seems because you daren’t say anything bad about the big guys you can just beat up on the small guys! I mean we get 80 or 90 old school deep RPG’s every year, don’t we, so we can afford to beat up on one with little or no real information!!!!

    As to Alpha Protocol, when the developers themselves have said it will have about 25 hours gameplay, I don’t see how they or anybody can think for a moment that it’s actually an RPG!!!! I have heard, fro example, that just by adding a silencer to a gun, you go into stealth mode! How dumb is that!

    So I will dump on Alpha Protocol because of what I have read about it, and I will look forward to Two Worlds II based on what I have read about that.

    Shame this site doesn’t operate on the same basis…..!

    • Hmm says:

      Well in the Two Worlds Two dev interview, the dev says: “It’s really not looking particularly promising…”

    • Nick says:

      Baseless and false accusations aside, um.. what?

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Love to see you say this about any Bioware or Bethesda or Valve or Blizzard or EA title. ”

      You’ve not been here long, have you?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Psychopomp

      He actually has, he just has an extremely selective memory. Personally, I’m just amazed to see him post something other than another rant on how PC games are dying and we’re all doomed.

    • Web Cole says:

      You really HAVEN’T been here long. RPS is one of the best written games sites on the interwebs, with one of the most well mannered communities there is.

      Btw, ever heard of a completely objective opinion? No, neither have I.

    • Kadayi says:

      “As to Alpha Protocol, when the developers themselves have said it will have about 25 hours gameplay, I don’t see how they or anybody can think for a moment that it’s actually an RPG!!!!”

      People with lives can.

    • ManaTree says:

      Dude, you’re still alive? Holy crap. Trolls just never die.

  28. Dominic White says:

    I’m catiously hopeful, but at the same time a bit worried about Dead Rising 2. It’s one of Capcoms outsourced numbers – the first game was pure classic Capcom style, but the second game is being developed by a Canadian outfit that nobody has really heard of.

    It could be good, or it could really miss the point of the first game.

    For those of you unfortunate enough to not have played the first, here’s wise old scottish sage Rab Florence singing its praises:

    Edit: On an aside, youtube comments on Videogaiden reviews make me want to scoop out my brain with a rusty spoon. It’s wall to wall “What accent is that?” or “I can’t understand anything he said!” or even confusing pseudo-racist rambling. I try to rise above the traditional British instinct here, but sometimes America makes me sad.

  29. BlazerKnight says:

    As a jaded MMO player, I’m hoping that between APB, Global Agenda and The Secret World I’ll find something to renew my love for the genre. Brink looks mighty promising too. Fingers crossed!

  30. DarkNoghri says:

    I was excited about APB last year, and then it just disappeared. I haven’t seen any sort of news on it for months (which I realized when I remembered last week that it was supposed to come out soon). It seems odd.

    While you’re poking them in the eyeballs for beta keys, see if you can get an interview or more news or something. Heck, a new video even.

    Edit: Also, I love the fact that you had to spell out that “MORE ARTICLES ARE FORTHCOMING” at the end of this one.

  31. Turin Turambar says:

    “We should also expect this early-to-middle part of the year to reveal Stardock’s new tactical RPG, Elemental – War Of Magic. ”

    WTF are you smoking. Tactical RPG? That’s something like King’s Bounty.
    It’s “just” a turn based strategy game, a 4x empire-based one, like Civlization, Age of Wonders, Master of Magic, Galactic Civlizations.

  32. Dreamhacker says:

    METPO 2033 has been pushed back to november :(

  33. Dominic White says:

    Ah, on the earlier Capcom-related note, Lost Planet 2 is also coming to PC. As with all their games using their MT Framework engine, the PC is the lead development platform, so it’s the best kind of multiplatform game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQEJIEtU3tQ

    The original game was apparently anathema to PC gamers. Hell, a lot of dyed-in-the-wool western gamers in general. I really dug it, though. The sequel is taking it in a different direction – boss-centric co-op, ala the Monster Hunter series. Huge, HUUUUGE bosses that four players on foot or in mechs (of the chunky exoskeletal kind) team up to kill.

    The demo on the 360/PS3 was rather impressive. Four player Vs a fifty foot tall alien salamander thing. One player might be in a mech, slowing it down by shooting its knees (trying to break its legs off), another will be grappling on top of the beast to force an exposed weak-point down into its body, and a gutsy player or two will let themselves be eaten by the monster so that they can attack the internalized target from the inside, while fighting off the smaller aliens spawning within. All happening at once.

    If the full game manages to make fights like that consistent and regular, I will be very, very happy.

    • luminosity says:

      You make me sad that I don’t know 3 other games I can reliably play games with.

    • ManaTree says:

      Reach out to the RPS community, I’m sure they’ll reach back (hopefully not reach AROUND though :P). I’m sure there are tons of co-opers out there. I certainly will be one, if it’s good.

  34. choie says:

    For those wondering about the image, it’s Kirk Douglas and Jane Wyman, presumably from The Glass Menagerie. I’d love to know what the heck led to choosing this particular screenshot!

  35. Frank says:

    APB+Alpha Protocol+Starcraft 2 would make for a good year

  36. Anthony says:

    I need me some new Sam Fisher.

    From what I can gather, the auto-shoot thing isn’t available until you knock off some stealth kills first, so it doesn’t look to be game-breaking. And I still love that projection of mission goals, etc, on the walls of the environment thing.

  37. Urthman says:

    If the Metro 2033 team is 1/2 as good at making games as they are at making trailers, that’s going to be a pretty good game.

  38. destroy.all.monsters says:

    Is the Metro 2033 team somehow related to STALKER? I ask because I read that rumor somewhere. Don’t want to spend 30+ minutes googling it to find out all the fine details.

    If someone knows I’d appreciate it.

    • ManaTree says:

      Haha, nope. Just from the same country of origin: Ukraine. The teams are completely separate. It’s not a surprise that Metro 2033 has some influence from STALKER though.

    • alseT says:

      Actually the guy who made the X-Ray graphics engine split off from the team before the original STALKER release and made his own game which is Metro 2033

  39. ZIGS says:

    NOW WAIT JUST A GODDAMN MINUTE!!! Metro 2033 was pushed back to November? SOURCE NAO!!

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