As 2010 draws to a close, as we look back to all our favorite launches in what has been an awesome year, RipTen looks forward into the future to accurately* predict what’s going to be in store for 2011. So sit back and enjoy our thoughts on what we think is going to take off, what’s going to flop, and more importantly what’s going to be h to the o to the t – HOT.
*may not be accurate at all
We’re writing this with current knowledge, that meaning we’ve only chosen games we know are either slated for release or due for release in 2011. This is a two person editorial, with AA standing for Aaron Alexander, and BW standing for Bryce Wilson. This editorial doesn’t reflect the opinions of everyone on the RipTen Staff – just the ones down under.
BW: It’s the Cole-train baby! Yes, that world famous exclamation will be heard once again as Dom, Marcus, Cole and the rest of humanities scraps fight for our planets very survival. The main reason I’m voting Gears of War 3 for the Xbox 360 Best Game title is simply because of how amazing Gears of War 2 was. The story, the emotion, the gameplay, it all meshed to create one of my all time favorite gaming experiences. Hopefully it doesn’t get delayed into 2012 as it’s already teetering so close with its rough November launch.
AA: I’m voting Elder Scrolls: Skyrim as my personal Best Xbox 360 game of 2011. Why you may ask? Well there are several reasons, the biggest being a new engine. By using this I believe Bethesda will finally fix all the common complaints against the current Gamebryo tech, and make it damn pretty while doing so. Next is the all too common time Xbox 360 exclusive DLC, and this coupled with the track record of Bethesda’s DLC plans, the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim will no doubt be the premium copy to get. Oh, and its another Elder Scrolls game, which are usually pretty bitchin’.
Honorable Mention: Batman: Arkham City takes the honourable mention for Best Xbox 360 Game of 2011 as Rocksteady is bound to be incredibly motivated after the cult success of their smash hit; Batman: Arkham Asylum. Watch out for these guys as one of the best and upcoming studios the industry has to offer.
BW: I’ll confess right now, I’ve never owned a Playstation 3, however I can see from the trailers and concept art that Uncharted 3 is going to be the PS3 hypetrain of 2011. I briefly played moments of Uncharted 2, and as Aaron has stated below the gunplay and exploring was brilliant. Naughty Dog are excellent developers and I’m sure they will create one of the consoles best games, if not the best game to ever grace the Playstation 3.
AA: I picked Uncharted 3 as the best Playstation 3 game of 2011, simply because I loved Uncharted 2. The exploring, the gunplay, the banter between your comrades, everything about Uncharted 2 was amazingly well done and believable. The usual premise of a sequel is “Bigger and Better”, and I really hope this stays true when it comes to Uncharted 3, as it could easily have a promising shot at Game of the Year 2011. Naughty Dog are known for refining and improving their franchises over time, so I’m absolutely confident this game will be killer.
Honorable Mention: inFAMOUS 2 takes the honourable mention for the best Playstation 3 game of 2011. Instead of refining the wheel, Suckerpunch is set to re-create the wheel as we know it, following heavily remodeling and gameplay changes to the original.
BW: Originally my prediction was going to go to Diablo III. The dungeon play, the awesome story, it’s all so good. Even talking about it gives me a boner (EYOO!). However there’s another blip on my 2011 radar called Crysis 2. Crytek is back to make another amazing first person shooter and this time it’s set in New York City. I can’t wait to prance around in my nanosuit and destroy everything in my path. I hope there’s a lot of freedom of choice so you can approach missions in a number of ways. Another reason I chose Crysis 2 is because I know it’s going to be the primary PC benchmarking tool for the next 1,000,000 years with its graphics so sexy that they will melt your face, literally.
AA: Even though it’s not official, I’m fairly confident in saying Diablo III will be out in 2011. Further reinforcing my this belief is the fact that RipTen earlier reported a timetable showing various Blizzard projects and their dates, which later was confirmed to be real in a roundabout way. Whats more, Diablo III is rumoured to be coming to console, which is even more likely when Blizzard starts specifically hiring people with console experience. I tell you now though, you’re going to want to play this with a fucking mouse and keyboard. Diablo III belongs on a PC, and will most definately play bloody well. The footage shown so far is superb, the new (well, not you Barbarian) classes are a perfect re-imagining of older ones and the action looks super intense and gory. You get the impression that Blizzard made this first and foremost for Diablo veterans, and that is truly something to respect.
Honorable Mention: PC gaming is making a big come back, and one of the leaders at the charge is Defense of the Ancients 2. The original DOTA was a global hit, and now that Valve is backing the sequel you know it’s going to double the success that the original saw.
Best Wii Game:
BW: My Best Wii Game of 2011 is going to the Conduit II. The team at High Voltage Software really pushed the Nintendo Wii with the original game and showed that the console is capable of running a real first person shooter. The second time round the developers know their limits and will be looking to push them once again.
AA: The Legend of Zelda takes my Wii Game of 2011, as I am a giant fan of the series. The newest entry “Skyward Sword”, looks to combine aspects from the Ocarina of Time theme, with the Windwaker visual theme. With full Wii-Motion Plus compatibility, the swordplay should feel more intuitive then ever, and using the new (and old) gadgets should be a blast. Miyamoto has been quoted saying that Zelda needs to change, and if this indeed holds true, color me with excitement for this title.
Honorable Mention: Our honorable mention for the wii goes to De Blob 2. The first game was fun as it was colorful, and we cant wait to get into the city and paint the crap out of it.
BW: My Best Shooter award is going to Crysis 2, simply because I know both the gameplay and new setting is going to rock. I can’t wait to see the new changes to the nanosuit, and I am even more excited to see how much freedom we have as players in New York. And after seeing the newest trailer I’m also looking forward to some awesome slide and spray the shit out of everything that moves moments.
AA: Killzone 3 is getting my vote for Best Shooter of 2011, and from what I’ve seen and heard, well let’s just say Guerilla has truly outdone themselves. Killzone 2 had both a brilliant and breathtaking campaign, as well as a truly diverse and original multiplayer mode. If Killzone 3 truly built around improving the previous mechanics, it could be one of the greatest shooters ever made.
Honorable Mention: Duke Nukem: Forever, and it “fucking better be after 13 years”. One of history’s most iconic and storied games is finally (AND OFFICIALLY!) back and it’s going to make a big splash when it lands. Awesome gameplay, witty one liners and a whole 44 galleon drum of kick ass is bound to be unleashed upon gamers in 2011.
BW: My Best Platformer award goes to Little Big Planet 2. I’ve been following Sackboy (Such a weird name) throughout his development life in this sequel, and I know Media Molecule is onto something amazing. YouTube is already filled with hours of video footage of people making all sorts of games. I even saw a First Person Shooter game made inside LBP2 and it was awesome. Little Big Planet 2 has truly given creation to the player and I can’t wait to see all the wacky shit that the fans create. Also, little sack people dancing is distractingly cute.
AA: I don’t even know if Little Big Planet 2 can be qualified as a platformer anymore. It does have platforming, very good platforming at that, but the most interesting part about LBP is watching the community go completely apeshit as they make the most crazy and enjoyable levels as well as re-imaginings of current games. Little Big Planet 2 embraces this concept entirely, no longer is it just building levels, Media Molecule have said you can create entire games. LBP2 is very much a platformer at heart, and I’m sure Media Molecule will make some beautiful and smartly designed levels to quench any platforming desires you may have.
Honorable Mention: Although at its core Patapon is a rhythm based game, it does display platforming elements, and quite frankly we couldn’t really think of any other platformers coming out in 2011. I’m excited for the third game in the Patapon series and I’m sure it’s going to make for more addictive gameplay.
BW: My Best RPG award goes to one of the most true-to-it’s-roots RPG’s on the market: Diablo III. Blizzard is back with another installment in my favorite gaming series and I can’t wait to get my hands on this little gem. Like Aaron stated below, Diablo has always had brilliant character development and simple point and kill gameplay, but that’s exactly what makes Diablo what it is – amazing.
AA: Once again Diablo III finds itself in another “best” category, and this time it’s for best Role Playing Game. The Diablo series has always had a well crafted, dark, and brutal story which drives the gameplay, the gameplay being “click” on this critter and kill it. While it sounds simplistic and dull, Diablo has always had a great character progression system too it as well. Blizzard constantly patched Diablo 2 with balance changes to each class, and they of course will do so here. Simply put, Diablo II has already layed the groundwork for an excellent RPG game that holds up today, and Diablo III will take that existing concept and push it to the next level. In doing so, I believe Diablo III will be the definitive RPG experience for 2011.
Honorable Mention: Dragon Age II hands down wins the honorable mention for the Best RPG of 2011. Dragon Age II is set to see a refined experience plus an even more vivid story mode and fleshed out characters.
Editors Note: You Aussie arses forgot to mention The Witcher 2 – which will win probably every PC RPG of the year award. If it doesn’t I’ll give you both $20.
BW: My award is a bit of a curveball, even more so because the game I am awarding it to was just announced. My 2011 Best Action/Adventure award is going to the recently announced Tomb Raider game, simply because the premise and idea sounds amazing. Lara stranded on an island fighting for survival yet still learning who she really is? Talk about wow. I think Crystal Dynamics is going to carve an amazing story and an even more amazing set of new gameplay mechanics. I hope the survival aspect is tightly integrated and not watered down to a “go and get water every 6 hours” point.
AA: And another repeat offender shows it’s face, this time Uncharted 3. For Action/Adventure I find its hard to beat the example Uncharted 2 left us with last year. The game spanned across the globe, throughout ruins and ancient mechanical caverns, hell the adventure even finds its way into the mythical land of Shambhala. But it’s not just adventuring that sir Nathan Drake will do, no sir. After you’re done exploring these wonderous places, it’s then time to shoot your way out. The shooting was exceptional in Uncharted 2 with its solid cover mechanic, precise aiming mechanics and the weapons were a blast (no pun… whatever) to use. Nathan Drake eats, pisses and shits out Action/Adventure. And that’s that!
Honorable Mention: Although it met some mixed response at E3 2010, Zelda: Skyward Sword looks promising enough to receive an honorable mention. Established gameplay, memorable characters plus a franchise we all grew up with and love, that’s why Zelda: Skyward Sword is going to rock your world.
BW: As with Aaron, my Best Fighter award is going to Mortal Kombat 9. Holy shit, there’s seriously nine bloody games? And yes they’re literally bloody, and yes Netherealm is taking the game right back to it’s insanely gory roots. Wanna smash someone in the ribs then see their body shatter as you smash them in one hundred different spots? Well now you can thanks to the new X-Ray dynamic that they’ve implemented. It reminds me a lot of the game Nina (From Tekken) starred in. I can’t wait to play the finished product and I seriously hope this sells well because the team deserves it, and so does one of histories most established fighting franchises. GET OVER HERE!
AA: Fighting games are back thanks to the sudden rush Super Street Street Fighter IV gave the world, and with 2011 it’s definitely no different. However there can only be one Best Fighting Game (or so the magical RipTen future looking orb tells me), and while I’m sure most of you are screaming out Marvel Vs Capcom 3, my vote swings in the favor of Mortal Kombat 9. Mortal Kombat finally returns to its savage roots, with an all star cast, new lethal X-Ray moves and brutally insane fatalities, it’s truly the 90’s again. Mortal Kombat has been losing its way up until now, but Ed Boon and the guys at Netherealm have done a spectacular job retaining the classic gameplay of the original Mortal Kombat titles, whilst modernizing it to appeal to newer fans as well. I mean, you could throw a fireball, or you could rip some guys head off after smashing his ribs. Is there really a choice here?
Honorable Mention: Marvel v Capcom 3 is the clear choice for this honorable mention simply due to the epicness of the series. When you think about over 30 characters, a timeless rivalry and a game you know will come out with the goods, Capcom has once again proven they make the best fighting games ever.
BW: My Best RTS award is going to Chris Taylor’s Kings and Castles. Although there’s no 2011 release date set I’m quietly confident it will launch during Q4 2011 as the game just went into production after wrapping up pre-production in October. I like the fantasy based concept, and after watching 35 development logs over the pre-production time I am super excited to see Chris Taylor make another awesome RTS as I felt Supreme Commander 2 was a bit lacking and watered down. Also, in terms of graphics, this game looks amazing.
AA: Look, I’m not going to lie, I’m glad I’m already excited for Shogun 2 because if I had to name another RTS launching in 2011 I’d be stumped. Shogun 2 looks brilliant, the changes and refinements they’ve made impress me as a long time Total War veteran. The return to feudal Japan is an excellent choice and setting, and it really looks stunning in the new engine. If Creative Assembly really strive hard enough, Shogun Total 2 could be the culmination of all the series ideas and gameplay features, all in one beautiful looking war game.
Honorable Mention: Assuming it launches within 2011 Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm will undoubtedly make a splash in the world of PC RTS once again. Although it’s essentially an expansion pack, we’re just as excited to see the next chapter in the Starcraft universe.
BW: My best story award is going to Homefront, Kaos Studios upcoming alternative history first person shooter. A Korean based military has invaded the United States of America and now it’s up to you to take the fight back to the oppressors. How you may ask? Well you do so via a variety of guerilla tactics, military might and just a dash of luck. I think Kaos Studios are onto something amazing here and if the story is handled right it will be great. Plus it doesn’t help having CIA consultants on board to authenticate everything and make sure it sounds as real as possible.
AA: If trailers are anything to go by, then Best Story of 2011 is the upcoming Action/RPG; “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. The original trailer played with ideas like corporate control, conspiracy, uprising, hell it’s enough to bring out the little freedom fighting nerd in all of us. The struggle for the main character will no doubt be adjusting to his new robotic bodyparts, of which he obviously doesn’t care for, “I never asked for this” we hear him say. The dark and subtle tones the trailer provides us with is amazing, and the game is perfectly structured to deliver a fantastic story. Here’s hoping it lives up to the weird cult following it has!
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect 3 is our honorable mention for the Best Story award. From the brief trailer things already look intense and down to the line, and I can’t wait to see what predicaments Shepard and his crew get into in the last installment of the Mass Effect trilogy.
BW: Once again I’m throwing another curve ball, and I’m behind this one 100%. My Look Out For award is going to I Am Alive, a relatively unheard of yet promising title developer by Ubisoft Shanghai. Set during a natural disaster ridden Chicago, the game sees you placed in a survival role where it’s you against everyone else. Players will have to survive amongst the rubble as they try to scavenge water, food and weapons. Players can navigate the whole city in their search for survival, but remember, there’s always someone else out there trying to do you harm. I can’t wait to play this game and I hope it’s worth the wait.
AA: I’m sure Bulletstorm will be popular enough, but I think it’s really worth keeping an extra eye on this game, assuming you’re Buddha and you have three. The game manages to capture that crazy Unreal Tournament 2k4 vibe, but brings it into a fresh modern shooter environment thats sure to be immensely enjoyable. The creative ways to kill and butcher your enemies, the Tony Hawk like score system coupled with People Can Fly’s history around the Painkiller series, is sure to equate to a killer combo that I believe will lead to one of the most enjoyable IP’s of 2011. Also, you earn points for shooting people in the ass!
Honorable Mention: L.A. Noire is really starting to ramp up its trailer and information output and as more and more media is released the gaming crowd becomes more enthralled by Rockstars crime thriller. Hopefully this is what Mafia II should’ve been.
BW: I’m quite happy to say that the Biggest Flop award goes to (Not our Editor; Dave Oshry – EYOO) Darkspore. Seriously, when during a brainstorming session was it decided that combining Spore and RPG elements was a good idea? Spore was fun, I’ll admit that, but at the same time it was a bit of a one trick pony. I can’t see Darkspore taking off, although I’ve been wrong before.
AA: The Biggest Flop of 2011 will undoubtebly be Final Fantasy XIV on the Playstation 3. When you look at how pathetically it’s doing on PC, and the fact it’s already delayed on Playstation 3, the chips are really stacked against this game. If it comes out, and does well for Square-Enix, well then consider my mind to be completely blown. I really don’t understand why Square Enix hasn’t already left this game dead in the water, though there’s something to be said for publishers/developers who stand by and support their product post launch.
Dishonorable Mention: Twisted Metal gets our Dishonorable Mention for the Biggest Flop of 2011. Car combat is a genre that has long passed its expiry date, and it seems the game is coming out as more of a fan service then a modern video game.
BW: I’m with Aaron in saying that Activision will quite clearly release another annual Call of Duty title, and for that same title it will go on to sell millions of copies. I’m a bit confused about the future of the series though, specially with Sledgehammer Games rumoured to be making a 3rd Person Shooter in the series. Oh well, hopefully the PC version isn’t as buggy as Treyarch’s latest installment…
AA: I’m assuming you know what Activison is? And I’m also assuming you know they like to put out a game entitled “Call of Duty” every year. I think I’ll go ahead and say, Activision will put out a Call of Duty title in 2011, and it will go on to sell amazingly well. That’s that.
Honorable Mention: Although games will sell well across the board, there is unfortunately a large majority of gamers who still buy The Sims games, and for that reason we’re nominating EA’s long running franchise for our Best Sales honorable mention. So far the game looks interesting and we’re collectively excited to see how it pans out.
BW: I think Hitman 5 will be 2011’s biggest announcement. The last installment in the game was amazing, and I spent hours finding out various ways to carry out each mission in the most silent and deadly way possible. It has been quite a while since we heard from Agent 47, but I’m making an educated guess that IO Interactive will announced Hitman 5 towards March of 2011 seeing as they’ve said the game has been delayed until Christmas 2011 “at the earliest”.
AA: The biggest announcement I can see happening next year is the next chapter in the storied franchise, Grand Theft Auto. Whether it be GTAV, or GTA IV: Vice City, it’s about time for Rockstar to unveil their latest GTA game. I’m willing to bet it will use the same engine, with some minor performance improvements, probably add planes (Personally I don’t think they’re needed), and a multitude of other new features. Earlier it was rumored that the next chapter could be set in Vinewood, as Rockstar Employees have been researching the Hollywood area. To me any Grand Theft Auto is good Grand Theft Auto! Well except for London, that wasn’t so great.
Honorable Mention: Aaron and I had a hard time deciding the ultimate receiver of 2011’s honorable mention for Biggest Announcement. I argued the new Splinter Cell game would be a big announcement whilst Aaron still holds onto his dear childhood and argued that Shenmue 3 would be even bigger. Help us decide by leaving a comment.
Well that’s our predictions for the year of 2011. Maybe you don’t agree, or maybe you do (we’d prefer the second!). Whatever the case leave us a comment below. We will be sure to periodically check back to this post throughout 2011 to see if any of our magical predictions are correct, and if they are, well we will definitely rub it in your faces!