GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2009

2009 has, in my opinion, been one of the best years ever to be a gamer.

With so many great games arriving and with plenty of 2008′s hits (Bioshock/Fallout 3/GTA IV/Metal Gear Solid 4 etc) falling in price it’s a great time to own a PS3.

Throw the PSP resurgence into the mix and it adds up to one brilliant era for games.

Anyway, now onto the main event! The awards you’ve been waiting for…

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BEST DLC (Downloadable Content)

WINNER: Fallout 3 – Expansion Packs

 

Offering hours and hours more gameplay and an extended level cap to boot, the various DLC packs for Fallout 3 were well above anything else that arrived this year. Getting back into the Capital Wasteland never felt so good. :smile:

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 2 – Maps

LittleBigPlanet – Various Costumes

Batman – Play as Joker Challenge Maps

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: Killzone 2 (Changing Game Modes Within A Consistent Online Match)

Killzone brought the noise in more ways than one but the changing game types within one online game was pretty sweet. Meaning that just as you’d be capturing the flag (speaker) the game could switch to deathmatch (Body Count) or whatever which in turn means that no two rounds are ever the same – genius.

RUNNERS UP:

InFamous (Karma System Working Within Empire City)

Prototype (Running Up Buildings)

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Deathstreaks)

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BEST TRAILER

WINNER: Assassin’s Creed II

There were lots of amazing trailers in 2009 but for me the most impressive both visually and with respect to what the gameplay promised, was Assassin’s Creed II. A fantastic game that saw you playing through the 1400′s in Italy, the trailer showed off exactly what the game had to offer.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

God Of War 3

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2010:

WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Heavy Rain was nailed on for this and while it’s still one of my most anticipated games of next year, playing through the beta of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has swayed me in favour of DICE’s first person shooter. With vehicles as well as guns this one looks set to rock it come March 2010.

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: Killzone 2 (Joris De Man)

There have been plenty of great scores in the games of 2009 but Killzone 2′s is awesome. ‘Helgan Forever’, the main theme, will live long in the memory – mainly due to the fact that it is a fantastic, stirring, piece of music. Brilliant throughout the game, Joris De Man’s score is a great companion to a stunning game. 

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 2

Infamous

Prototype

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: Dirt 2

With a soundtrack featuring the might of Elbow, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Subways, Black Tide, Ladyhawke and Queens Of The Stone Age, Dirt 2 takes pole position in the soundtrack stakes. With a nice variety of styles it says a lot when you don’t get bored of the tracks after hearing them a few times and the inventive use of music through the menus and loading screens was a great touch.

RUNNERS UP:

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge (PSP)

Wet

Brutal Legend

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Well, what can you say about the voice acting of Uncharted 2. It has to be one of the very best performances ever given in a game. I listened to an interview in which the cast compared the experience to theatre as they were all in the same room together for all of the voicing/motion capture and boy does it show. The chemistry between all the actors involved is apparent throughout and some of the ad libbed stuff is stunning.

RUNNERS UP:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Wet

Batman: Arkham Ayslum

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Killzone 2 ran Uncharted 2 very, very close for this award but in the end Naughty Dog takes it on the variety of stunning locations they manage to fit into the game – especially the areas with some of the most realistic snow I’ve ever seen. The character models are superb and the animation is extremely well done. 

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 2

Dirt 2

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 10

If you’d told me 18 months ago FIFA would be winning an award on my blog I would’ve thought you were insane. In tandom with the decline of PES, FIFA has risen to former glories and is now the definitive football (soccer) game. This game actually makes you think about the build up play well in advance and, even more importantly, lets you have full control over the action on the pitch.

RUNNERS UP:

Fight Night Round 4

Dirt 2

Madden 10

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BEST PSP GAME

WINNER: GTA Chinatown Wars

There have been some great titles for the PSP this year but GTA Chinatown Wars pips them all at the post for sheer volume. There is so much to do in Liberty City and while the missions are bite sized there are plenty of them to get stuck into. A cast of colourful characters (as usual) helps matters and this is a fitting entry into the GTA universe. 

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines

Resistance: Retribution

LittleBigPlanet

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: InFamous

 

Infamous was a surprise hit for me as I was looking forward to Prototype a lot more. However Cole McGrath’s story of dealing with superpowers and finding out how the explosion happened was so great I played the game twice. With a few twists I didn’t see coming this game boasts a really great story. Uncharted 2 ran this close as it had a brilliant story but Infamous just pips it at the post.

RUNNERS UP:

Wet

Assassin’s Creed II

Uncharted 2

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Undoubtedly the best single player game for some time, Uncharted 2 makes you feel like the star of the best action movie ever. This is one of those games where all the pieces come together so well it’s a completely seamless experience. Brilliant.

RUNNERS UP:

Infamous

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Assassin’s Creed II

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Killzone 2

Is there a more satisfying sound that the ping of a kill on Killzone 2? :smile: Giving the players more weight made the game feel heavier but seemingly fairer than a ‘twitch’ shooter like Modern Warfare 2. Killzone 2 is certainly the game I spent most time online with this year – clocking up in excess of 100 hours, which is a first for me. Great online fun.

RUNNERS UP:

Dirt 2

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Uncharted 2

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 2

Naughty Dog’s excellent Uncharted 2 is no surprise as game of the year. Having already seen it take the gong at Spike’s VGA Awards I am following suit and giving Uncharted 2 the Game Of The Year Award for 2009. A fantastic, deep gaming experience with a great multiplayer added to boot. Seriously I’d like to speak to someone who played this and didn’t like it. As a whole Uncharted 2 is the best game in years and a very worthy winner.

RUNNERS UP:

InFamous

Assassin’s Creed II

Killzone 2

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Wow, still struggling to believe we’re nearly done with 2009!

It says a lot about this year that a title as great as Batman: Arkham Asylum can be nominated for 4 awards and not win one. Quality titles abound.

It’s been an amazing year for gaming and the quality looks set to continue into 2010 with a host of great releases.

Let me know what your highlights were for 2009!

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Wet – Review (PS3)

Wet

I’d been eager to play Wet since the initial trailers surfaced and finally got my hands on the game when it was released earlier this month.

It takes on the style of Tarantino / Rodriguez’s Grindhouse films – a sort of knowing nod to the original genre, with a scratchy film reel effect over the action which adds to the feel of the game.

Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) lends her voice to main character Rubi – an assassin who is highly skilled with guns, swords and even crossbows :cool:

With Rubi’s heightened ninja-like senses time slows down whenever she is firing her weapon while in the air or sliding on her knees. As I said in my Demo Impressions blog, this leads to some superbly satisfying gunplay whereby it’s possible to take out three or four enemies at a time with the gun and then finish the combo by taking down another with the sword. :smile:

Wet 2

Overall the presentation in Wet is wonderful, Bethesda really have nailed a stylish feel and the voice acting is strong – helped by the memorable (yet cliched) characters.

The main problem I found with the game was the camera and control system. The basic controls were fine but often Rubi wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted her to do – sometimes when attempting a wall run she’d just back flip off the wall. Sounds like a little thing but when it results in death and a horribly long restart it became frustrating.

And when I say horribly long restart I don’t mean load times. For some insane reason you could often go through a lengthy gun fight move onto the next section and die then have to do both sections again.

At times the camera would swing wildly, leaving you with no idea of where you were about to jump or what you were aiming at.

Wet 3

That’s really it for the bad stuff and none of that was frustrating enough to not make me want to play the game.

Having said that the finale of The Opera House chapter almost beat me. It was 1.30am. I’d been trying to beat this boss / spawn door room for an hour. I was almost ready to quit :sad: but my gaming pride wouldn’t let me and eventually I made it through.

The levels are well designed and you do get a variety of internal and external locations so it never feels too samey. Graphically the game doesn’t stand up against a lot of next gen games but it’s better than Fallout 3 and several others – it’s certainly not really an issue.

Wet 4

The highlight of the game, graphically at least, is the awesome ‘Rage Mode’ – a Sin City style section, where the screen goes red and enemies appear white. In these sections enemies are easier to kill as Rubi is more powerful and it’s possible to rack up huge chain kills – 31 being my personal best :cool:

There are also a few car chase sections, with the twist being that Rubi ‘car surfs’ as opposed to drives. A mixture of shooting at the other guys in the cars and quick time events to avoid obstacles/move vehicles, this was also great fun and really cool.

So Wet is a fairly diverse game. I suspect casual gamers who pick this up may find it a little too difficult control-wise to really get into but for your average gamer the controls are mastered fairly quickly.

For all the annoyances and frustrations that you’ll have when playing this game it is definitely still worth playing.

Wet 5

It depends if you’re willing to give a game with flawed camera/controls a shot or if you’d rather just pass on it. Personally I’d rather play a slightly broken but extremely fun game. (Hiya Kane and Lynch :smile:)

At one point, as I got towards the end of the game, I ran along the side of a parked truck firing in slow motion, shot a far off enemy manning a Gatling Gun in the head, flipped off the truck and killed two more enemies on the ground and then, while coming down to land, slashed a remaining enemy with my sword to kill him. It. Was. Cool. :cool:

Rating: 7/10

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Top 20 Kick Ass Female Characters: Part 1

Echo (Dollhouse)

Having just pre-ordered the game ‘Wet’, which stars Eliza Dushku as Rubi Malone – a female assassin – I started thinking about other strong female characters.

In honour of the harder side of the fairer sex I’ve put together twenty of the toughest female characters out there.

No superpowers, I’m talking about hand to hand, gunplay and ninja type skills. :cool:

It was supposed to be a Top 10 but the list just grew and grew. So I’ve had to do it in two parts.

Here’s part one.

And no, before we start, Lara Croft is not on this list. Every woman on this list could take her down :cool:

 

20) Lian Xing (Syphon Filter)

Lian Xing

A former member of the Chinese Secret Service, Xing teamed up with Gabriel Logan in Soviet occupied Afganistan.

She is a skilled marksman, known for her sniper work. Lian Xing is always on hand to help Gabe out of trouble – whether that’s by his side or over the radio.

 

19) Faith Connors (Mirror’s Edge)

 Faith Connors

Faith is a parkour expert with some pretty nifty footwork. She lives in a city where the oppressive government keeps tabs on everybody – spying electronically on them. Faith delivers packages or messages by hand, the only way to safely converse.

She can handle herself with a firearm but it’s her awesome hand to hand combat skills that get her onto this list.

Check out the video below for evidence!

 

 

18) Anne Lewis (Robocop)

Anne Lewis

Ever since I first saw Robocop I’ve always thought his female partner Anne Lewis was underappreciated.

Officer Lewis is shown having a fist fight with a male suspect moments before meeting Murphy/Robocop for the first time – always a good introduction.

Her gun skills are good and she even helps Robocop reallign his targeting system with her accurate aiming.

She is willing to go to extreme lengths to assist her partner, helping him recover when he is seriously injured and then backing him up, with almost fatal consequences, in the last stand against Boddicker’s gang at the steel mill.

A real tough nut with a big heart, Anne Lewis is exactly the kind of partner you’d want if you were a cop, especially in Old Detroit :smile:

 

17) Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat)

Sonya Blade

Lieutenant Sonya Blade is a member of the Outer World Investigation Agency, a top United States Special Forces unit.

She is also the first female entrant into the Mortal Kombat tournament. One of her moves includes doing a handstand, grabbing her enemy between her legs and smashing them into the ground. :eek:

Using her army training to her advantage Sonya is as tough as any of her male counterparts – she doesn’t even have to actually touch her opponent to finish them off… she simply blows them a deadly kiss (see below)

 

16) Echo (Dollhouse)

Echo - Gun

Echo is an ‘active’, someone that has signed a period of their life away in exchange for cash. During this period she has her memory wiped and is regularly imprinted with other people’s memories to carry out various jobs.

We’re talking some serious skills – safe cracking, martial arts, street fighting… the list goes on and on.

And she certainly isn’t afraid to use her skills – the Chinese kitchen/alleyway fight scene was particularly gruelling and incredibly fun to watch. :cool:

 

15) Tyris Flare (Golden Axe)

Tyris Flare

An Amazonian who is deadly with a sword, Tyris Flare cuts an impressive figure.

Orphaned by Death Adder, the game’s main bad guy, she is out for revenge and doesn’t care who gets hurt on the way.

As well as being adapt with a sword Tyris commands the power of fire magic – but she makes the list based on her swordplay and general toughness.

 

14) Rubi Malone (Wet)

Rubi Malone

I haven’t even played the full game yet but having seen the demo in action I have no hesitation in including Rubi on this list.

An acrobatic assassin skilled in dual wielding pistols and deadly with a sword, Rubi always gets the job done – despite increasing numbers of enemies :smile:

Having said that her temper may cloud her judgement at times – she often leaves a trail of dead bodies in her wake trying to get to her target, which might not be the kind of hush hush hit you’ve asked for.

 

13) Trinity (The Matrix)

Trinity

I know Trinity kind of has superpowers but really she’s just a normal human who has learnt the ability to bend the Matrix. So she’s in the list.

I remember seeing The Matrix in the cinema and being blown away by it. That opening scene where Trinity deals with the group of cops… amazing.

With a mix of martial arts and general Matrix bending merriment Trinity takes care of the bad guys in the best possible way – hard and fast.

 

12) Nariko (Heavenly Sword)

Nariko

Nariko’s clan were awaiting a male to fulfill the prophecy of the powerful weapon Heavenly Sword – turns out it was always gonna be a girl who got the best out of the weapon.

When all else around her seems to be falling apart it’s Nariko that steps up to the plate and takes on the bad guys.

With some serious sword combos and plenty of attitude, she is not one to be messed with, as King Bohan and his cohorts found out in Heavenly Sword.

 

11) Blaze Fielding (Streets Of Rage)

Blaze Fielding

One of three members of a special police task force set up to deal with unrest in the city, Blaze is a Judo expert.

She uses a mixture of her martial arts, slams and throws to clean up the streets.

Hard as nails and willing to risk it all to protect the public, Blaze’s German Suplex move finished off many a bad guy in Streets Of Rage.

 

So there we have it the frist half of the count down with the Top 10 coming up soon!

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Wet – Demo Impressions (PS3)

 

I’ve been looking forward to Wet pretty much since it was announced.

The Grindhouse/Tarantino feel and having Dollhouse’s Eliza Dushku voice the character was enough to get my attention.

This is the first time I’ve gone into a demo knowing I’ve already pre-ordered the game. So I felt a sense of unease in case it turned out to be terrible.

Judging by the demo Wet is not gonna win any awards but the fact is it’s stylish, cool and very fun.

You play as Rubi Malone, an assassin for hire, who has an extensive acrobatic repertoire and can handle guns and swords with ease.

The demo essentially showcases the main parts of the game – fighting, ‘rage’ mode and on rails driving.

Let’s start with the controls before anything else. A bit complicated is the best way to describe them – R1 is shoot, x is jump, o is slide, triangle is action, square is sword and L1 is wallrun.

I suspect as you play the full game and get accustomed to the control scheme this will prove no problem at all. But for the demo it was a touch confusing at times.

So first after a brief tutorial in how to shoot/wallrun etc you’re thrown in the deep end of a Crazy 88 style fight in the middle of China Town.

Time slows down for Rubi whenever she is firing her weapon while in the air or sliding on her knees. This leads to some superbly satisfying gunplay whereby it’s possible to take out three or four enemies at a time with the gun and then finish the combo by taking down another with the sword. :smile:

The fight lasts until you destroy 3 spawn points with each closing one of the doors the enemies are spawning from.

The next section sees Rubi taking out enemies in the more enclosed setting of corridors and stairwells. But first the fantastic ‘rage’ type mode is triggered.

Whenever Rubi is splashed by the blood of an enemy as she kills them she enters a mode where the screen goes red and enemies appear white. It’s a lot like Sin City, which is a good thing. During this time she has heightened abilities and can chain kill enemies well into double figures (I think I got 14 in a row). This was very, very fun and if used sparingly could be amazing. :cool:

The final part of the demo sees Rubi involved in a car chase – as in on top of the cars rather than in them :surprise: A mixture of shooting at the other guys in the cars and quick time events to avoid obstacles/move vehicles, this was also great fun and really cool.

Overall I’d say despite a slightly cumbersome control system Wet is shaping up to be a really great game. It’s different to anything else out there at the moment and has enough cool features to stand out from the crowd.

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MOST WANTED GAMES 2009/10 – PART TWO

So here’s Part Two of the Most Wanted Games 2009/10 and in this part we are going to look at some of titles that will be coming out the back end of the year, early next year and even a few that don’t have official release dates yet.

Enjoy!

 

Uncharted 2

Release Date: TBA 2009

The return of Nathan Drake is very welcome and it will be great to step back into the shoes of the plucky adventurer.

Graphically I suspect there will be only minor improvements – the first game was stunning visually and was the first time I felt a game did HD justice.

But it was the gameplay that hooked everyone and Uncharted 2 looks to maintain the same level of brilliance – the game will be set in different environments but most of the gameplay will be similar to the first game.

One big change is that multi-player will feature in the new game, both co-operative and competitive. See the trailer above for more on that.

Again this is one that will be a huge release and is a game I am really excited about. If you haven’t played the first game get it now in preparation for the next installment.

 

Bioshock 2

Release Date: TBC 2009

I’ve only just started playing the first Bioshock and am really enjoying it so far.

If it carries on at this level and turns out to be as great as everyone says then obviously the second game will be one to watch out for.

Looks like the theme this time is sand rather than water but I’m too scared to dig any deeper in case I uncover something that will spoil the first game for me :oops:

 

Dirt2

Release Date: Sept 2009

Well that’s certainly a departure from the previous direction of the Colin McRae Dirt game. Last time out it was strictly a point to point rally racing game which was enjoyable but not a huge amount of fun online.

This time they’ve gone all ‘off road’ on us and I think it could really take the series to the next level.

Graphically it looks amazing so fingers crossed we be enjoying some quality racing come September!

 

Dante’s Inferno

Release Date: TBA 2010

I loved Dead Space so I was immediately interested to see what the guys that made it are working on next.

Dante’s Inferno is the story of the Divine Comedy, a piece of literature revered around the world.

Dante must fight his way through the nine levels of hell, encountering plenty of fiendish opponents on the way.

Could this be a possible rival to God Of War 3? I suspect it’ll be different enough not to go head-to-head, in fact it reminds me more of a much darker Devil May Cry – which may not be a bad thing.

No gameplay as yet but I will be hoping for some more details soon.

 

Assassin’s Creed 2

Release Date: Jan/Feb 2010

Not a great deal is known so far about Assassin’s Creed 2 but I am just glad the game is on it’s way as I thoroughly enjoyed the first game after a few niggly bits (having to unlock so much of the map :mad:).

There was nothing better than carrying out an assassination successfully and the game gave you plenty of different ways to do it.

Check out some kills from the first game on the video below:

There aren’t many games you could do that on (not that I could do all of them anyway :grin:) and my hopes are high for the sequel.

Hopefully they have created more varied means of locating your target rather than the three methods in the first game but either way this should be a brilliant title.

I’m looking forward to seeing some actual gameplay footage.

 

I Am Alive

Release Date: TBC 2009/10

I’m always slightly dubious with games that release a stunning trailer and then nothing.

I Am Alive appears to be a survival game in the same vein as ‘S.O.S Final Escape’ on the PS2. You’ll be tasked with making your way through the aftermath of a natural disaster (earthquake in this case) and doing you best to survive.

Hopefully this is the case and it’s not a government conspiracy/alien invasion (delete as appropriate) because S.O.S was an awesome game and it would be great to have a similar experience in HD.

Fingers crossed that it lives up to the promise of the trailer and hopefully we’ll have some gameplay footage or more details soon.

 

Red Dead Redemption

Release Date: TBC 2009/10

I thought Red Dead Revolver on PS2 was an excellent game and it highlighted an under used environment in gaming recently – the Western.

In the same way InFamous and Prototype are clashing so are Red Dead Redemption and Call Of Juarez (see Part One).

But the games appear to be fundamentally different.

We’ve seen footage of Juarez but not Red Dead however my interest really peaked last week as a journalist set the internet on fire when he twittered about having the Rockstar guys in the office and said he couldn’t say what they’d been shown but that ‘it could be GTA5′.

Most people presumed it was GTA5 but it turns out it was likely Red Dead Redemption.

So GTA set in a Western environment – hell yeah!

The story would presumably be a lot less linear than the first game and I think if that is the way the game is going it could really reboot the franchise in a positive way.

 

Alien Vs Predator

Release Date: TBA 2010

a-vs-p 

So that’s where Aliens: Colonial Marines went :wink:

Very little is known, the screenshot above is one of the few bits of info we have.

This could be a fantastic game with (hopefully) a brilliant multi-player aspect.

Not sure whether the game will take it’s cue from the old PC game or feature a brand new story but either way excitement levels, especially among fans of either film series, will be reaching fever pitch through the rest of this year as we get more info.

 

Wet

Release Date: TBA 2009/10

Again, not a huge deal is known about this game but I think it looks pretty cool based on the trailer above.

Wet sees you take on the role of a female assassin.

It doesn’t seem to be too fussed with an Agent 47 methodical style of killing the victim and getting away with it, more a sort of Angel Of Death bloody rampage type of thing.

Shooting someone while sliding on your knees is the rock n roll of the assassin world :smile: so let’s hope the game can provide plenty of stand out moments alongside the shoot to kill gameplay.

 

The Agency

Release Date: TBC 2010

Sony’s multiplayer extravaganza is shaping up to be great fun.

Each player takes on the role of a spy and has to complete various objectives within a 24 hour real-time online world.

Effectively there will be no single player mode, only challenges against or with the help of other players.

There will be non-playable characters who players will have to do missions linked to – and they can enlist the help of fellow players online if they want.

There will also be player v player missions, although we’re not sure yet if that means team v team or individual v individual.

I would guess maybe one person would have ‘guard this paper with your life for 15 minutes’ while a numerous amount of others would be trying to track them down and get the paper.

Sounds cool as long as enough people are playing it and I look forward to trying it out.

 

Formula 1 2010

Release Date: 2010

I’m not a huge fan of F1 but the games of the past have been fairly straightforward affairs – always enjoyable but never really impressing.

Now that Codemasters have the licence I honestly think they can do great things with the game. Their pedigree recently, Dirt/Grid/TOCA, has been rwally good and I’m looking forward to seeing what this game turns out like.

 

Deus Ex 3

Release Date: TBC 2010

Deus Ex on the PS2 was one of the best games I’ve ever played.

The amount of choice you had and the amazing story was so awe inspiring I was gutted I never got the chance to play the follow up.

Now it appears they are bringing the third installment to PS3 – with the increased AI the PS3 is capable of, not to mention the leap the graphics, this is one game I can’t wait for.

 

Gran Turismo 5

Release Date: TBC 2009/10

The Real Driving SimulatorTM returns for it’s fifth installment sometime in the future – although nobody seems to know quite when it will be ready.

Expect the usual race based realism with lovingly recreated vehicles. I’ve never really been a huge fan of Gran Turismo – the last one I played seriously was GT2, the others I dipped into.

The difference here could be online, which could really make things interesting. Real life races and championships are a must and I think GT5 will offer a completely different driving experience to both Dirt2 and Formula 1 2010.

I’m sure it’ll look amazing but I will want a lot more info on the different game modes before committing to this one.

 

So there we go, that should be enough to keep you all busy for a while.

I know that not all releases are covered here, this isn’t a definitive list by any means – just stuff I’m looking forward to that I thought it would be cool to share on the off chance you haven’t heard of it.

Thanks for reading!

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