GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2010

Well it’s that time of year again and 2010 has seen some immense games roll around – as well as continued support via DLC for some of 2009 biggest titles.

Sadly I didn’t have time to play every game that was released so if I’ve missed anything worth checking out shout me in the comments and if it’s not already in my ‘to play’ pile I’ll get it added.

Right, let’s go!

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: Destruction 2.0 (Battlefield Bad Company 2)

This was a tough one to call this year but I definitely think Destruction 2.0 is something that has helped put Battlefield head and shoulders above most other shooters out there. Enemy hiding in a house? Just blow the wall up in front of them and it’ll leave a nice big hole to shoot them through. Or just blow the building up completely and have it crush them to death.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Online Assassination Multiplayer)

Modnation Racers (Easy Track Creation)

Playstation Move

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

WINNER: Undead Nightmare (Red Dead Redemption)

 

No question of the winner here – with around 6 hours of single player and the fantastic Undead Overrun & Land Grab online modes, Undead Nightmare packs a lot of bang for your buck. This is one of the more comprehensive DLC packs out there and if you liked Red Dead Redemption then this is a must have. Props to Uncharted and Battlefield though – two strong modes added there but Undead takes this one.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain: The Taxidermist

Uncharted 2 Seige

Battlefield: Onslaught

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DOWNLOADABLE GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Dead Nation

I honestly didn’t see anything taking this award away from the excellent Joe Danger and then Housemarque’s Dead Nation arrived at the beginning of December. Dripping in HD visuals comes a twin stick shooter that makes you think about your every move. When to use the SMG and how much Shotgun ammo to conserve become regular questions. Your score gets added to total score for your country and you can keep a tab on which country is the best at fighting the Zombie invasion. Very cool indeed.

RUNNERS UP:

Joe Danger

Shank

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2011

WINNER: Killzone 3

Wow, this was a tough call – it had to be Killzone 3 or Uncharted 3. I’m sure Uncharted 3 will be awesome but having played Killzone 3 I can’t wait for this to arrive in February. Continuing the story from the second game and adding substantially to the multiplayer, I think this could be a game of the year contender.

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BEST GAME TRAILER

WINNER: L.A Noire

The standard of trailers has been so high this year I’ve decided to pop the runners up on here as well for you to have a look at. L.A Noire takes the crown though and man, those Rockstar guys know how to make a trailer! Another contender for most anticipated, L.A Noire sees you take on the role of Cole Phelps, a detective in 1940’s America. Great stuff and the trailer really captures that feeling of the time.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Spec Ops The Line

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Vietnam

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PSP GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to pick up God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta yet so that hasn’t made the cut. I’m sure it would’ve been a close call regardless as Metal Gear also oozes quality and is such a deep game that there is always something different to do. Whether it’s going on missions or recruiting more soldiers for your army, Peace Walker will keep you entertained for hours. My play through clocked in at 16 hrs, which puts a fair few PS3 titles to shame.

RUNNER UP:

Half Minute Hero

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 11

FIFA 11 is more of a refinement than anything else but it’s amazing the difference the changes make. While FIFA continues to dominate it’s interesting that PES gets a nomination this year – it shows that the series has made great strides this year to try and close the gap.

RUNNERS UP:

Formula 1 2010

Modnation Racers

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Heavy Rain

No doubt on this one as Quantic Dream’s stunning thriller has some of the best motion capture and facial animation ever seen in a game. Whether it was evading masked men as Madison, talking down a robber in a shop with Shelby or shouting ‘JASON!’ repeatedly in a mall as Ethan, Heavy Rain looked gorgeous. Gran Turismo 5 certainly deserves a heads up in this category as when it all comes together it looks stunning however Heavy Rain was far more consistent.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War 3

Red Dead Redemption

Gran Turismo 5

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Unexpected. Not a word you’ll often type when talking about the story of a game but that’s what you get with Red Dead. John Marston’s story of gunslinger gone good who is brought in by the government against his will to track down his old gang trundles along at a pace and has plenty of stand out moments but it’s the final third of the game that stands out as some of the best I’ve played in a game. Not to mention the ending, which is one of the most impressive I’ve ever experienced in a game. Genius. 😎

RUNNERS UP:

God of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: God Of War III

The final part of Kratos’ epic trilogy hit PS3 owners with everything it had back in March and as usual Gerard K Marino’s score didn’t disappoint. Dipping and soaring in the right places this was the perfect accompaniment to the on screen carnage. The score really does push the story on and is definitely well suited to Kratos’ character.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Red Dead Redemption

Bioshock 2

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: Mafia II

The music in Mafia II is a huge part of what makes you feel like you are actually back in that era. I remember the first car I got into had “At The Hop” by Danny and The Juniors playing. It was one of the coolest things I’d had happen in a game for ages. A wonderful selection of old tracks that are well worth checking out in their own right but that combined with gameplay help make for a memorable experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Bioshock 2

FIFA 11

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar usually deliver on the voice front with the GTA titles and Red Dead Redemption certainly doesn’t disappoint. Every character feels well rounded and has a voice to suit them perfectly. Even the supporting cast: Bonnie McFarland, Seth, Irish and, of course, West Dickens. This was a strong category this year with Mafia II in particular impressing but with such strength in depth it has to be Red Dead Redemption.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption tells a well crafted story in a beautifully rendered environment. There is so much to do and see that I still don’t feel like I have fully explored the world of the wild west. Rockstar have created a varied and expansive playground with enough going on to keep even the most hardcore of gamers entertained for hours and hours.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Mafia II

Alpha Protocol

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

It was nice for me personally that my most anticipated game of 2010 lived up to expectations and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 nailed team based multiplayer like no other game I’ve ever played. The sense of satisfaction at winning a tense round of Rush and the feeling of being part of a bigger team is hard to beat. With the upcoming Vietnam expansion pack this game will only get better and better.

RUNNERS UP:

Modnation Racers

Red Dead Redemption

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

There could really only be one choice this year, with Rockstar’s Western epic taking the title of Game Of The Year. With a brilliant single player campaign and an ever improving multiplayer mode, Red Dead Redemption is a title that will keep you entertained and provide you with plenty of value for money. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes a close second as that has been my most played multiplayer title but overall Red Dead pips it.

RUNNERS UP:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Heavy Rain

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

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So there we go. Another year of gaming done and dusted with Red Dead Redemption taking home an unprecedented FIVE awards!

Some great games didn’t even make the nominations – that’s how tough it’s been to make decisions.

The likes of MAG, Bayonetta, Just Cause 2 and Vanquish unfortunately didn’t make the grade but goes to show how strong the line up of game releases has been in 2010.

So what games would you guys have given awards this year?

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Eurogamer Expo 2010

So it’s that time of year again, when the post E3 games roadshow hits London and we get to play some of the stuff that’s coming up in the remainder of the year and into 2011.

3D played a big part in Sony’s presence and I’ll discuss my thoughts on that aspect of things after we’ve been through the games.

So in no particular order, here we go:

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NEED FOR SPEED: HOT PURSUIT

I’ve quite liked the look of this one for a while as it reminds me of an updated version of the old classic Chase H.Q. Multiplayer for 8 people was on display here with you taking on the role of cop or racer (I was racer) and attempting to either finish the race (racer) or take out the racers (cop). You have weapons at your disposal in the form of road spikes or road blocks, among other things, that can help slow down the opposition and this game was fun. Not sure if it’s a purchase for me but I enjoyed giving it a spin.

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KILLZONE 3 (3D)

Thankfully my most anticipated game of the show lived up to it’s billing as I had the chance to play through two level sections of Killzone 3. The levels, which were shown at E3 back in June, were in 3D (more on that at the end of the article) which meant I wasn’t seeing the game running at it’s best but it was a blast gameplay-wise. With a slightly quicker control scheme and improved melee combat Killzone 3 looks set to improve on the brilliant 2nd installment.

* ‘KILLZONE 3’ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S BEST IN SHOW – Eurogamer Expo 2010*

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BULLETSTORM

This is a slightly more tongue in cheek, combo based FPS. The level we played saw us taking on several different kinds of enemies and having the option to dispatch them in various ways using the tools at our disposal. As well as your general weapons you also have an electrified leash that be used to throw enemies towards you (in slow motion) and the sole of your boot. Yep that’s right a good old fashioned kick sends enemies into the air (again in slow motion) so you can finish them off however you like. This one could be an interesting prospect.

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DEAD SPACE 2

More of the same from the Visceral guys and to be honest I’m happy with that. They have tweaked a few bits here and there in terms of movement in the air but the shooting felt as tight as ever and the sense of claustrophobia was back. Obviously judging from the trailer there will be more open sections of gameplay but making my way through narrow corridors with things jumping out felt as freaky as ever and graphically Dead Space 2 looked great.

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MOTORSTORM: APOCALYPSE

Motorstorm is a brand that usually delivers a top notch product whether that is PS3 (Motorstorm/Motorstorm:Pacific Rift) or even PSP (Motorstorm: Arctic Edge) and Apocalypse is no different. Right from the off things are as chaotic as ever, with buildings collapsing and the public taking the streets in panic. Meanwhile you’ll be trying to boost your way to victory in what promises to be a fun ride. Multiplayer should be a blast and this is a game that has gone from being on the radar to becoming a purchase for me.

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MEDAL OF HONOR

There were a few games that going into Eurogamer had to impress me to have any chance of me picking them up. Medal Of Honor was one of them. We played the multiplayer, team deathmatch with (I think) 8 players a side. Graphics-wise this looked great, especially for multiplayer. It played well enough – essentially it’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2 but with the control scheme of Modern Warfare 2. The problem was it was a small map and turned into a bit of a frag/rocket fest which isn’t something I enjoy. Better than I thought it would be but not different enough to Battlefield to prompt me to switch. Will certainly rent this at least and give the singleplayer a go though.

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SOCOM: SPECIAL FORCES

Having only played the previous SOCOM (which was online only) a handful of times I don’t have much experience with this series. However this turned out to be one of my favourite experiences at the show. Firstly let me say this demo wasn’t without its problems – crashing on the loading screen, giving the wrong button prompt and freezing up seemed to be issues but on the presumption that those types of things will be fixed by next year’s release let’s focus on the gameplay. The shooting felt a little loose but the controls in general were well executed and played to a fairly tried and tested method for the most part. With rumoured 4 player online co-op this could be a brilliant game to play through with friends. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.

* ‘SOCOM: SPECIAL FORCES’ : GREGHORRORSHOW’S MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE – Eurogamer Expo 2010 *

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CRYSIS 2

From the most pleasant surprise to the biggest disappointment on show at Eurogamer. Crysis 2 was another title I wasn’t sold on prior to the show and the demo I ‘played’ here has done nothing to change that view. The problems were insurmountable on the XBox 360 build of the game. Of the four screens where I was playing, three of them ended up dying while I was there. At least SOCOM’s problems were in the loading etc. Crysis 2 would load up and just be a black screen. You could hear your gun firing and the game would be going on but you couldn’t see anything. The guy playing in front of me had the floor disappear for a good 30 seconds or so and overall this just felt broken. Surely it would’ve been better to not show the game (or do it just for PC) than subject people to this? Everyone who played it left before the demo finished (or it died on them). Hopefully all these problems can be addressed – otherwise I won’t be picking this one up.

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 GRAN TURISMO 5

Gran Turismo looks wonderful. The trailers look great and the game matches up in that respect. It was a short play – you weren’t even given a full lap (perhaps because it was in 3D?) but it was fairly difficult to control and pretty much played as expected. For me this game will live or die on how much fun it is collecting cars or playing online. The PSP version has shown it can be a nice experience without being too harsh on the driving front and I hope the PS3 version follows suit.

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BRINK

One of the few games I needed to be convinced on that delivered – Brink is a futuristic first person shooter that allows you multiple objectives to earn xp as opposed to just blow this up/shoot everyone etc. It took me a few minutes to adjust to the game in terms of shooting because it seemed to take an age to down an opponent (perhaps to inspire people to go after the objectives rather than the enemy directly) but on the whole this was good fun. It was nice to play something not set in the modern day and the character customisation looks deep enough to keep everyone entertained. Definitely one to watch out for.

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THE SHOOT

This was my only experience with Sony’s new Move hardware and it was the only game with that support I was interested in trying. One of the problems with doing this stuff at an expo is that you often can’t calibrate the games how you’d like. So I was stuck with a gun that aimed much higher than it should. The game itself was fine – just blast everything away and I can really see titles like Time Crisis (confirmed) and House Of The Dead (rumoured) being a huge hit with Move. If the gun controller had been set up for me I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it more but as it was it was a fun little game.

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3D – GREGHORRORSHOW INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I’m not a big supporter of 3D in games (see this article) just because I feel it doesn’t bring enough to the table. It was Sony that highlighted 3D at this event with the following flagship titles available to play: Killzone 3, Motorstorm Apocalypse and Gran Turismo 5.

In my opinion Motorstorm had the best use of 3D but even that had it’s problems. The gameplay itself was fine but the cut scene intros had cars that looked like they were cardboard cut outs! It may be the same in 2D but knowing the pedigree of the previous Motorstorm games I’d presume not.

Gran Turismo 5 added a bit of depth to the car but the effect wasn’t that noticable. Perhaps I picked the wrong track for it as there wasn’t much surrounding it.

Killzone 3 was a weird one, a couple of times the 3D did look really good but generally it just added a bit of depth to everything.

And that seems to be the issue – with 3D cinema things fly out of the screen at you. With these games that doesn’t happen, bullets, dirt or whatever comes at you but ends where the screen ends.

I expect in 4/5 years we’ll see some really great implentation of 3D in games but until then I’ll be steering well clear.

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Overall then a great show with a chance to play some brilliant upcoming games. I would’ve liked to have seen Infamous 2, Rage and Homefront but I think other that those titles everything else was covered. Roll on next year!

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GT Academy Demo Impressions (PS3)

Is this a demo for Gran Turismo 5? I still don’t know. 😕

I’m not a big fan of the Gran Turismo series anyway and I get the feeling that for me it will have to go some to unstick Dirt 2 as my driving game of choice.

On the other hand this demo was pretty good fun as a few of us all went online to try and find out who could post the best time.

It looks good graphically and is realistic in it’s handling – so much so that everyone I’ve seen play it has skidded off the first corner muttering obscenities. 😆

I know that this ‘demo’ is meant as some kind of marketing thing with the Nissan tie in and the whole ‘win a place as a driver’ brings some interest but the entire Gran Turismo 5 thing is becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Is it even gonna arrive in 2010? Does anyone really care that much anymore?

I’ll be really happy if they prove me wrong and come out with a great, top quality product but I fear it’ll be the best looking, most realistic driving game around and it won’t be any fun at all 😦

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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 😳

 

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 😉

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 🙂 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!