The Next Big Thing

So, we’re in a bit of a quandry. Bioshock was quite exciting. The Orange Box was simply incredibly wonderfully enormo-exciting. The writers and readers of RPS alike rode these zeitgeist waves in something like ecstasy, hollering happy, happy words all the way. But what now? While there’ll doubtless be yet more Portal posts here before the year is out, really it’s time we look to tomorrow…

What’s going to be good? And I’m not thinking purely “ooh, that’ll be fun”, but also what’s going to incite interesting discussion as well as (or even instead of) happyfuntime play? I’ve combed through the UK PC release schedules up to the end of the year, and cherry picked the highest-profile titles – doubtless there’ll be some ommissions, either because I’m a cretin, the date is still TBC or it’s a case like Assassin’s Creed where the PC version is due next year, rather than alongside its console brethren in November. Feel free to identify such lost lambs in comments, but 2007 PC titles only, please.

I’ve also stuck a number, from 1 to 5 (1 being ew yucky, 5 being a wryly-raised appreciative eyebrow, which is about as excited as I get), next to each, indicating not its greatability, but simply my own level of personal interest in it. These are not review scores, these are will-Alec-play-these-games scores. In a few cases, I’m as predictable as an EA FIFA sequel. In others, my feelings are affected by having played early or finished code, though I won’t say which as I have some review commitments – don’t pry, because I’ll simply ignore you, like all those girls in high school did me. In others I’m going on little more than gut reaction, and unfortunately my gut can be a total dick sometimes.

So, it’s entirely subjective based on what I’ve seen, heard and played – you may disgree entirely. If so, say so – it’d be great to get a sense of what games you guys are dead excited about at the moment. If trends reveal themselves, then we’ll have a good idea of what kind of stuff we should maybe be writing about on RPS. Or maybe we’ll just write more about Portal anyway. God, we’re fickle.

October

26th

Clive Barker’s Jericho – 2
The Witcher – 2
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 –1
30th
Timeshift – 4

November

2nd

Age of Empires III Asian Dynasties – 3
Hellgate: London – 2
Championship Manager 08 – 1
Richard Garriot’s Tabula Rasa – 3
9th
Beowulf – 2
Gears of War – 3
Call of Duty 4 – 3
Empire Earth III – 3
Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa – 2

16th
Crysis – 5
FEAR Perseus Mandate – 2
Sim City Societies – 4
Blacksite: Area 51 – 4
23rd
Kane & Lynch Dead Men – 4
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance – 4
30th
Unreal Tournament III – 5

So which are on your non-denominational annual Wintertime festivities list?

57 Comments

  1. Inflatable Moron says:

    Im still pretty unconvinced by Timeshift. The lengthy recent video released made it seem drab and dull looking. The powers didn’t seem to be that interesting and the action seemed formulaic. I will of course take all this back if it turns out to be a work of puzzle genius, but somehow i doubt it.

  2. la0s says:

    What about Mass Effect?

  3. Chis says:

    Crysis, perhaps? Although if Crytek use checkpoint saves only again, I will personally seek out their dev staff and slap them all. (Yes, I’ve played Farcry… about an hour of it, and it’s really not much fun doing that bloody helicopter section on the ship, over and over and over)

  4. Alec Meer says:

    Mass Effect probably got a 5 in the alternate reality where we made Rock, Paper, Xbox instead of this site.

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’d give Timegate a 2, tops.

    KG

  6. David says:

    @ Alec – Ouch.

    I’m quite looking forward to playing The Witcher, even if my PC is borderline capable of handling it. Maybe an early Chrimbo present to myself is in order… I might even start entertaining notions of Crysis then.
    Also: GalCiv2: Twilight of the Arnor. Yes, you only get to play against the AI, but the AI in GalCiv2 has been consistently challenging so this isn’t a downside to me.

  7. Chris says:

    Crysis, definitely, COD, maybe, depending on reviews. UT, possibly, depending on if my friends buy it.

  8. Thelps says:

    Wowie! So nice to see Forged Alliance got a 4 off you. You get one free roll of the dice on my Respect Table! Nah, seriously, I love you, perhaps more often than is strictly healthy. I have high hopes that it’ll take Chris Taylor’s hors-de-box game and refine its admittedly rough edges down into a form truly worthy of its intermittent strokes of genius.

    As for Crysis, I can’t stop drooling over this game. To be absolutely frank I can’t think of any real leaps in game design that it represents (apart from, maybe, the massive scope of the environments, and the general scaling up of most FPS design elements) but the engine itself appears worthy of premature praise, if for no other reason than it makes for pretty preview trailers and game convention demos. Then again, it just could turn out not to be all that, but I have faith, mostly to do with the fact that Mr. Yerli just seems like such a genuine, straight-up game designer, who’s truly passionate about what he’s making.

    UT3 seems to be my main point of divergence with you. Judging by 2003 and 2004, while well balanced and polished, I’ve always felt each new sequel didn’t really add a whole lot to the table, design-wise. Sure, they added vehicles, but they just didn’t kick start my imagination all that much, and even seemed to detract from the foot-based elements that the designers had still obviously intended as essential on the vehicle maps. But that could just be me, it often is. Still, that would get a 3 from me. It’s high profile and big budget, but I reserve judgement utterly.

    My 2 centrinos.

  9. Phil says:

    Sam and Max season 2 episode 1 has got to be worth a 4 – providing they’ve moved offices and Sam finally shoots Bosco, damn price gouging swine

  10. Alec Meer says:

    Ah yes. I’ve added Sam & Max in, but I’m afraid I don’t share your (or, I realise, a great many people’s) keenness. Enormous fan of Hit The Road, but to me the Telltale series, with the exception of the vastly superior Lincoln episode, was just coasting on its zaniness. The trailer featuring the unholy unfunny trinity of Sybil, Bosco and the dwarf triplet guys doesn’t do much to convince me season 2 will be any better, sadly.

  11. Matu says:

    Unknown – New computer – 5

  12. Jeff says:

    A 2 for Witcher? Seriously? This game looks like it combines the best of Gothic and Black Isle games, and it only registers a 2?

  13. Monkfish says:

    Crysis is pretty much a forgone conclusion. Friday’s single player demo would have to be an unmitigated disaster to prevent me from buying this on the 16th of November.

    I’ve already made the decision to buy UT3, too. OK, there’s a few probs with the recent beta demo (such as the unforgivably poor server browser), but I remain hopeful that Epic will sort these out. Besides, I just can’t see myself skipping an Unreal Tournament game.

    Unsure about Hellgate London. I didn’t expect to like it, but it has something about it that I’m finding myself drawn to – and that’s on the basis of playing the somewhat empty demo. On the “maybe” list.

    And then there’s Gears of War. I haven’t got one of those 360 thingamybobs, and I’ve been wanting to give it a go since I saw it reviewed on VideoGaiden. Still not sure if I’m going to rush out to buy it, though. One for Santa to bring me, perhaps. Along with CoD4 and Blacksite…

  14. phunkysai says:

    I downloaded the ‘Jericho’ demo thru Steam last night, and I gotta say, it has risen up a few notches for me given the different gameplay style and Clive Barker’s atmospheric touch. The engine looks beautiful too.

    I’ll definitely be checking it out now along with all the other great releases (altho it might have to stay on the back-burner a little bit).

  15. born2expire says:

    a 2 for jericho? come on its Clive Barker, did any of you even play Undying?

    i cant belive Timeshift got a 4, I mean this demo even sucked on console.

    Im excited to see the Witcher, but its a “it’ll either be great or it will be terrible” kinda thing.

    I agree with everything said about Crysis, and COD4 gets a 5 for me just on the anticipation of the multiplayer.

    Couldn’t care less about Blacksite, the demo was god awful on xbox, so my expcetations are low.

  16. Incognito_gbg says:

    “with the exception of the vastly superior Lincoln episode,”

    That seems a bit strange since Reality 2.0 was the best episode. :)

    But its a strange period for PC-games. Since Spore, Age of Conan, A Vampyre Story and Gray Matter all were moved to 2008, there really aren´t that many games to choose from if you already have gotten your FPS-fix with the Orange Box.

    Maybe Viva Pinata can be worth a look in November. But most gametime will probably just be spent with Football Manager 2008.

  17. Chis says:

    Undying has far, FAR superior acting to it’s not-so-spiritual sucessor. That gives it an extra point right there. Overall, the game seems a little clunky now, but the design, plot and enemies seem rather less “generic modern horror Silent Hill copy” than Jericho.

  18. Newblade says:

    Gimme The Witcher. The books are great, and the game looks awesome.

  19. Richard says:

    “a 2 for jericho? come on its Clive Barker, did any of you even play Undying?”

    Yes. Sadly, I’d also played the far more interesting Realms of the Haunting back at release, so its brand of incoherently themed haunted house non-scariness didn’t do much for me. An okay shooter, but I wouldn’t put it any higher than that.

  20. Citizen Parker says:

    Given the demo and beta for JERICHO and HELLGATE respectively, I think twos are entirely accurate if not a wee bit high. The former seemed awfully repetitive and the latter I can’t write about for another couple of days.

    The only one that is piquing my interest is KANE AND LYNCH. I was never much for iO’s HITMAN but I had a mad love affair with FREEDOM FIGHTERS in the day.

    I’m just eager to play as some truly bad, unlikeable people hurting other bad, unlikeable people. Heroes saving worlds is just tiresome these days.

    P.S. @Alec: I’m in the same boat. Sam & Max Hit The Road was truly hilarious, albeit nigh-impossible in parts. The episodes instead have a sense of forced craziness and irony, neither of which work for me. Not to mention that solving the puzzles barely requires firing a few neurons.

    I had pre-ordered the entire first season but didn’t even bother to finish it.

  21. Alec Meer says:

    I’m itching to say more about Witcher, but I can’t just yet. I will say that it’s not, however it might appear from afar, much like the Gothic or Black Isle games.

    Jericho I scored 64% in PC Gamer UK, hence the 2. As it turns out, the review’s on their website right now. (For the record, the intro (and a few later bits) is a bit different to the one I submitted to the mag; I suspect it’s because I wrote far too many words, as I tend to do, which is entirely unfair to their poor copy-editing staff.)

    Timeshift – releasing the part of the game they did as the demo wasn’t a smart move.

  22. Incognito_gbg says:

    “I had pre-ordered the entire first season but didn’t even bother to finish it.

    If you missed episode 4 and 5, then thats really some wasted money.

  23. Alex says:

    I think Incognito_gbg is not aware that there is a game similarly named to the show on CBS.

    It would make a terrible game by the way.

  24. Scott says:

    I’ve been playing the UT3 demo lately, it’s blowing my mind. It looks better than Bioshock at times, runs not just smoothly, but in fact frictionless, and this is with the settings all the way up. I really like the gameplay, it’s a lot more like the original, while still keeping the good parts of the 2k3/4 games. It’s got a bit of work left, namely the inclusion of mutators, but I’m extremely hopeful for it.

  25. Messiah Complex says:

    I’ve been playing CoD:UO for something in the neighborhood of three years going, so I’m looking forward to being able to play something else with that kind of staying-power. I hope that something else is CoD4. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the demo, but since I haven’t been impressed with any singleplayer experience after playing Half-Life 2, I’ll settle for some orgasmic multiplayer. I’m also hoping that being able to crank up the graphic settings to “high” or “ultra” in the full version of the game will make a very, very appreciable difference. I require seizure-inducing visual overload.

    That said, Crysis looks like it’s going to be the prettiest game out there for, dare I say, at least 18 months.

  26. Del Boy says:

    That Hellgate demo is beyond awful.

    A zero for me.

  27. Brant says:

    I dunno, I think I’d be just as happy reading retrospective pieces on the (g)olden games of yore. At times, games journalism can be forward-looking to the extreme. We don’t argue with friends over which of the upcoming season’s movies will be the hottest, (well, at least none of the people I know do) so why do we do the same with video games?

    That said, you gave Sam & Max a mere TWO?! WTF?

  28. drunkymonkey says:

    Timeshift, to me, plays like a game that has nothing next-gen about it, apart from the graphics. I’m bored of scripted sequences of limited destruction that trigger only when killing enough clone enemies…

    Looking forward to COD4 though, and Unreal Tournament 3.

  29. The_B says:

    I’m in a weird way also looking forward to Pinata, if only for the fact it’s the first time we’ve seen a Rare game on the PC. (It is, isn’t it?)

    But mainly UT3.

    And Duke Nukem Forever. Shifty eyes.

  30. The_B says:

    Oh, and Guitar Hero 3. But that’s assuming the conversion comes out the same time as it’s console bretheren. Aspyr have been eerily quiet since the announcement.

  31. Nick says:

    The KOTOR 2 restoraton project.

    If it’s out by the end of the year anyway. So close…

  32. Tom says:

    been playing Hellgate beta and it rocks so far

  33. malkav11 says:

    I think my ratings would be nearly opposite with the exception of the sports games – ew. Okay, and Kane & Lynch looks hot, the F.E.A.R. expansion doesn’t, and I’m lukewarm about UT. But otherwise? Yeah, pretty close to opposite.

  34. Thiefsie says:

    Witcher 4
    Jericho 2
    CoD 4 2
    Crysis 3
    TimeShift 1
    Gears of War 1
    Kane and Lynch 4
    Blacksite 1

    rest are zero or negative

  35. CrashT says:

    Yeah, I must say neither UT3 nor Crysis would get a 5 from me, neither would really be above a 3. I’ve yet to see anything that makes me really want Crysis and I also have a feeling it’ll be “interesting” to run on my computer anyway.

    The Hellgate demo was weak but somehow oddly addictive, so that’d get a 4.
    The Witcher is looking good, if rather cliched, so another 4.
    The more I learn about Blacksite the more interested I am so that’s a 4.

    Jericho’s probably a 2, demo wasn’t terrible and I’ll likely pick it up if it’s cheap.
    Gears Of War gets a 1 as I’ve really no interest in getting it again, especially when I wasn’t hugely impressed with it on 360.

    Kane and Lynch is another 4, Hitman meets Freedom Fighters.

    The CoD 4 demo didn’t inspire me, it seems very difficult to keep track of what was going on and who was on my side and who I should be shooting (Yes I appreciate that it’s probably the same thing if you’re and American… ), so I’d say a 3 for that.

    I need to actually finish Supreme Commander before I consider the expansion, so that’s around a 2 right now.

    The rest aren’t really on my Radar. It seems the only “5” titles I can think of aren’t even on PC. I shed a little tear…

  36. finished_okami_a_while_ago says:

    witcher… witcher.. .witcher..

    only 1 hour and 13 minutes to go till lunch break. which today will mean going to the mall and getting witcher.. witcher… witcher..

    seriously, I can’t wait for that game..

  37. Alec Meer says:

    Witcher folks should probably wait for reviews, which I’m guessing will turn up in some places today and tomorrow.

  38. finished_okami_a_while_ago says:

    You say that, as if you knew something we don’t. I’m prepared for a game that’s buggy as hell and I know that the quality of the animations is seriously lacking. Anything else we should know?

    (Not that it will keep me from buying the game. This is something I just have to do and nothing on this world will stop me from doing it. Hell, I even bought Gothic3 on launch day, even though I knew it was going to suck. Which it did. Big time. Only thing G3 was good for was to show just how fucked up and corrupt german pc gaming magazines really are, since they all gave the game 90s reviews…)

  39. Shanucore says:

    Ahh, Realms of the Haunting! I loved that. Must have played through a good few times. And I never did see The Ire.

  40. AbyssUK says:

    Soldier of Fortune Payback is coming to the PC this year isn’t it ? I’d give that a 3

  41. Inflatable Moron says:

    You’re making me sad Alec! I had big hopes for The Witcher…sigh..that’ll teach me to get excited over Edge previews i guess..

  42. Schadenfreude says:

    I’m another one looking forward to the Witcher. It’s been getting good reviews off in foreign-lands; 90% from PC Jeux and 9/10 from Joystick (Another Frenchie). Full marks from some Norwegians too link to x6.no

    Hells, I love Gothic 3, gloriously broken though it is. Roll on the Witcher I say.

  43. Kismet says:

    Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, Championship Manager 08: The last sport game I’ve extensively played was multi-event and the only discipline I remember (because it was utterly frustrating) involved throwing a log as far as possible, so they’re both ‘1’ for me too…

    Blacksite: Area 51, Timeshift: New single-player FPS franchises have an hard time grabbing my attention, especially when they’re multi-platform, so I know very little of both titles. Your ‘4’ is making me interested in knowing more about them, so I’ll hopefully find the time to check the demos and read further previews.

    Crysis: What I appreciated the most of Far Cry, was the freedom of approaching most areas of the game the way I preferred: scouting an area to find the best way to attack an objective it’s what made the game for me. The game design seemed to enjoy here and there frustrating players plans though: nothing worst than sneaking past a bunch of guards after having carefully studied their patrol routes only to find out you need to get past a 5 meters wide *choke*point you can’t get through without using your gun and therefore calling up all the grunts you’ve just skipped. And it felt a bit dull when your shooting from a vehicle made the whole army of enemies to run up to you, without any particularly clever tactic, resulting in piles and piles of corpses. If they’ve expanded the semi-sandbox approach and made it more deep, I won’t surely regret having bought it at release as I plan to.

    Beowulf: The last tie-in game I’ve extensively played was multi-ev… okay no, The Chronicles of Riddick wasn’t multi-event, still I have been burnt too many times in my youth by tie-ins not to generally have bad feelings toward the category…

    Kane & Lynch Dead Men: Looking ahead to this one. The setting seems interesting (psychos always are… but it’s not just that, okay?) and I’m looking ahead to play it in co-op too (without mentioning the Fragile Alliance multiplayer mode which seems nice as well). Given that it’s one of the few games that announced its release on Steam months ahead of hitting retail shelves I hope it will make use of Steam Friends features, so that it will be possible to arrange co-op games within the group easily. On the other side, it’s supposed to be one of the games pushing Live! for Windows, so it probably won’t be Steam Friends-friendly (!). This Live! thingie is the only bad karma I have toward the game at the moment…

    Clive Barker’s Jericho: I was keeping an eye on this one, mainly because of the hype surrounding Clive Barker’s previous effort, Undying (which is still waiting to be played on my shelves). My first comment on the story premise has been “meh”. After playing the demo (and watching the “Introduction to Jericho” video included with the demo), Jericho has been labeled in my gaming database as “ego-cuddler game”, which means it’s out of my tracking list.

    The Witcher: Never read anything by Sapkowski, but the promise of a morally complex world grabbed my interest. The action-oriented combat prevented me from building up any hype around the title though. It doesn’t seem like the “heavy on (interactive!) dialogues” RPG I’m looking for. Keeping an eye on it, though I’ll probably stick to the Neverwinter Nights world and hope that, some day, Dragon Age will be released, it will be good, and will bring back “serious” RPGs as a commercially viable genre.

    Hellgate: London: Hack’n’slash, random levels, random loot, additional paid content. No thanks.

    Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance: Yes, it will be mine.

    Richard Garriot’s Tabula Rasa: After four years of Anarchy Online I think I’m done with MMORPGs unless something really revolutionary comes out. I had some hope for Richard Garriot’s effort, having an altar in my bedroom dedicated to Ultima VII – The Black Gate, but what I saw wasn’t really much promising. Next MMORPG stop will be The Secret World I think, just because there’s Ragnar Tornquist behind it. Okay, maybe I’ll fall for the WoW chest including the original game and the expansion, but it’s going to be a fast incursion just to know what all the fuzz is about.

    Age of Empires III, Empire Earth III, Sim City Societies: All franchises I’m not following, and too much stuff to play already. Guess I’ll check those when the release stream will get dry, as usual, in early 2008.

    Gears of War: I’ll get it when it will be under 15€, like I did for Halo. Much more interested in Viva Pinata, which I may get at release, providing it doesn’t have a limited number of activations…

    Call of Duty 4: FPS in a contemporary, realistic environment? No thanks.

    FEAR Perseus Mandate: I liked FEAR gameplay, but the original game is probably going to be enough until Project Origin gets released…

    Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa: The first season has been good, but not *that* good. I’d love if the big names that made the story of adventure games made an effort to push ahead the genre to something new instead of just making the old formulas more accessible to the big audience. Not sure if I’ll pre-buy the whole season this time, though I’d probably fool myself if I said TellTale won’t receive any cash from me this year…

    Unreal Tournament III: Last but not least. The last Unreal/Unreal Tournament I truly appreciated didn’t have any number next to their title, but I was positively surprised by the demo. They’ve removed the molasses feeling of UT2003/2004, at very last (or that was my impression… it’s a while since I played UT2004), and I didn’t get stuck anywhere in the maps included in the demo. The tripod thingie will be removable with mutators like the redemeer, hopefully, and there will be vehicle-free maps too I hope, so that should resolve what I mainly didn’t like in the demo. Thumbs up for the overboard. Thumbs down for the heavy blur-effect on things distant more than a few meters from the player: my optical nerve didn’t appreciate the unneeded strain, though I guess the purpose is to make other players’ figures stand out better. Anyway what will probably make me buy the game, considering that I’ll probably still be heavily lost in Quake Wars by UT3 release, is the 10 hours of tutorial videos on using the editor included with the Collectors Edition. Being one of those who would have traded the action figure and the poorly printed art book included in the Neverwinter Nights 2 Collectors Edition if not for tutorials on the new toolset or for a functions reference book at last for a fully printed manual, I can only appreciate Epic decision of what to include in the special edition.

    I guess Viva Pinata and Alone in the Dark aren’t coming ’til 2008 eh?

  44. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Why does BlackSite merit a four? Thus far I’ve heard Harvey Smith talk it up, but all I’ve seen is some rather generic looking shootery. Is there something I’ve missed?

  45. Ghiest says:

    In order which im most looking forward to (and have played)

    Hellgate : London
    It’s 3d diablo, with added gizmo’s it’s not for everyone but most will like or love it I’ve played it for a few months now and I absolutely love it. The paid content doesn’t need to be purchased you can enjoy the game just as well without it.

    Call of Duty 4
    Wasn’t a big fan of CoD/2 but having missed 3 but played 4 both xbox360 MP beta and the PC demo I can assuredly say this is my most anticipated FPS game.

    Unreal Tournament 3
    Big fan of Ut99 and UT2k4, this combines both into a nice package and manages to still run smoothly on my machine … probably end up playing this competitively.

    All 3 are fantastic games which I’ve pre-ordered, gonna be a fun few weeks :D

    Others that I’ve played (demo’s/beta) that will not be bought:
    Supreme commander
    Blacksite (very basic imo)
    Jericho (seems very awkward game to play)
    Crysis (hi2u over hyped)
    Tabula Rasa (lvl 50 in beta and I still can’t fathom why I even bothered)

  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    Blacksite has drop in drop out co-op throughout. That alone merits some interest from me.

  47. finished_okami_a_while_ago says:

    Ok, it’s done. Just shelled out 70 eurobucks for The Witcher SE. Now, as far as Atari SEs goes, this isn’t as much of a rip-off as their usual stuff. But compared with others (i.e. World in Conflict) it is.

    Anyway. Nice 240 page artbook (with a lot of nude pictures of elves with green nipples and other stuff that would have gotten me very excited if I still was 13), Making Of DVD (I still have to see a computer game Making Of that’s not just a glorified piece of PR and I’m not holding my breath for this one to break the mold), big map of the game world (yea, as if you’d really need it) and a soundtrack CD (which would have me far more excited if I hadn’t gotten over my fascination with medieval music ten years ago).

    Can’t really give any impression of the game itself at this point, since my lead wouldn’t be too thrilled to see me play games during working hours..

    Now that my Witcher cravings have finally been satisfied, it’s time to plan my next moves..

    Gears of War: I don’t own an X360 (which makes me some kind of outcast-weirdo-freak among my coworkers and nerd friends..) and I’ve been waiting for good chainsaw-on-mutant action since the halcyon days of DOOM. Also I’m still very much under the influence of the “Mad World” trailer and want to get it out of my system.

    Call of Duty:NOT. Can’t stand modern military games. I have no problem shooting virtual represantations of my grandfathers and their friends in WW2 games, but there’s something in my bleeding liberal heart that can’t bring itself to play as a modern day soldier (This does not include RTSs and World in Conflicts cheesy story is awesome! But it’s not modern day anyway, it’s 80s.).

    Orange Box: Yea, it’s not in the list. But I haven’t played it yet (go ahead, sue me) and there’s a hole inside me that needs to be filled with sweet companion cube love. I think.

    UT3: I’ll get Gears first, because I’m more of a single player person myself. But I’ll get UT sooner or later, I guess.

    Beowulf: Didn’t know it was coming out for the PC. I’ll have to take a look at it first, I guess. But since Severance (hey RPS: How about a retrospective about Severance? That game was awesome) was awesome (see, told you) and I really don’t think that Beowulf is going to be a japanese dating sim, I guess I’ll like it.

    Sam & Max: Damn. I knew I forgot something last year. Need to play Season One of S&M. Maybe I should start paying people to play games for me.

  48. Alec Meer says:

    Marking Blacksite a 4 is largely the Harvey Smith thing; even if it’s terrible, I’m still interested in finding out how/why.

  49. kuddles says:

    Your interest in TimeShift is bigger than COD4? Really? I know COD4 seems like it probably won’t be anything more than a repeat of COD2 with a new “modern” skin on it, but of all the good-to-great shooters coming out this season, it’s by far the most generic looking to me.

    My interest in Jericho has increased after other people I know have played it. Apparently the levels are for more interesting looking than the demo, and the squad-member dynamic is actually well-implemented (You can’t just pick your favourite character and stick with him/her). I’ll still probably wait until the spring drought to get it though.

    I’m really interested in the Witcher. I would want to support them anyways, because it’s one of those genres nobody except small Eastern European developers makes anymore (along with turn-based strategies and point-and-clickers), and by most previews it looks more polished and contains fewer of the problems usually associated with small European games.

    I’m also really interested in Kane & Lynch, I really liked Freedom Fighters and so far every preview explains it by saying it’s like “Heat: The Game”, so that sold me. However, like Freedom Fighters, it looks like one of those titles that’s going to be lost in the shuffle, especially since every trailer and ad they’ve released so far for it does a horrible job of explaining what the game is like, as well as the fact that it clearly didn’t have a huge blockbuster budget to put into graphics.

    Also, even if Blacksite turns out to be a generic shooter, the fact that it’s supposedly very political, like no other game tends to be, wants me to try it. Again, though, in a year as crazy as this, a decent shooter isn’t enough for me to play it when it immediately comes out.

    Crysis I’ll play even though it’s one of those games where if you really want to play it the optimum way, the way it looks in the screenshots and videos, you need to buy it two years later when it’s in the bargain bin and computers exist to play the high settings
    .
    @ Jim Rossignol: You might want to wait and see, apparently due to time restraints, they might have to cut out the co-op.

  50. KingMob says:

    I’ve played / am playing in the beta for both, and I would suggest trading the scores for Tabula Rasa and Hellgate.

    I would be preordering Hellgate right now if it wasn’t for the crash bugs… the game is a frantic, actiony, cranky gem. True the melee combat is too FPS, and the FPS is too melee, but the pets are fun to play with and the enemies are nicely varied, the augmentation system is fun, and most importantly, when it works I can’t stop looking for the next monster to kill, loot to find, or taking the next mission. So it’s formulaic but has that core of MMO addictiveness. Unfortunately it is still crashing for a lot of players this close to release… and maltreats us when we linkdie (we lose xp, items, and progress in our latest mission), so yeah… I can’t buy it.

    Tabula Rasa on the other hand gets points for the cloning system but the FPS mechanics are just shabby. How much sense does it make that you can park in front of a boss with a shotgun and never see them react to it at all, meanwhile they’re not hurting you at all? If you rely on FPS elements enemies have to show reactions, guns need cool effects, and a shotgun should really have some effect on enemies close range. The story was better, but frankly, who plays these things for their stories… ?