The lights are on
Rift (Early 2011)
We play enough generic fantasy MMOs every year that it takes something special to stand out and make us want to level up yet another elf. Rift may just have that something special in the form of randomly spawning portals (known as “rifts,” believe it or not) that dynamically morph the world around them. Adding this interesting wrinkle and some beautiful graphics onto the well-worn MMO formula of dungeons, questing, and PvP could make for a surprisingly strong contender in a packed genre.
Portal 2 (April 20)
Valve blew gamers away with the original Portal in 2007 as a short pack-in with Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and the Orange Box. Now this puzzle-focused first-person title is getting a chance to stand on its own in a full-length game. Normally I’d be worried about a studio trying to take an idea that worked so well in such a small helping and stretching it out, but it’s freakin’ Valve. They’ll make it work. And on top of the single-player experience, we’ll be able to break our brains even more in a new co-op mode.
Stronghold 3 (April)
Although never quite critically acclaimed, the Stronghold series has always provided a unique spin on the real-time strategy genre by focusing on castle sieges and defense. The latest attempt will return to the series’ roots after the generally disliked Stronghold 2. Developer Firefly Studios has added in more realistic physics as well as a user-friendly UI.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (May 17)
The Witcher is quite possibly one of the most underrated RPGs of this generation, so you’d better believe I’ll be singing the praises of its sequel if it lives up to the first game’s quality. The developer seems intent on improving minor quibbles with the first game, such as creating a more stable engine and getting the dialogue to flow more naturally. I almost even want this promising sequel to make the journey to consoles so a wider audience has a chance to discover it. Almost.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (Spring)
Star Wars Galaxies, the first attempt at an MMO set in George Lucas’
ever-expanding sci-fi universe, was an abject failure, but The Old
Republic looks like it will have a much better shot at not letting us
down. When I played this ambitious project at for the first time at this
I described it as "what would happen if Mass Effect and World of
Warcraft had a baby." Some gamers may flinch at that thought for various
reasons, but Old Republic really seems to combine the best of BioWare’s
past efforts with lessons learned from Blizzard’s behemoth MMO.
Rage (September 13)
If you need any reason to be excited about Rage, look no further than the developer. This studio created Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. They are essentially responsible for setting the stage where first-person shooters have arguably become the most popular genre on the market. Rage is the first fully-realized new IP from id since the mid-90s, but it sees the developer tackling a new post-apocalyptic setting with the addition of RPG and racing elements. Oh, and it’s the debut of one of the most impressive game engines ever seen.
Diablo III (TBA)
Do I really need to explain why this one is exciting? Blizzard pretty much never releases a bad game, which is probably why we’ve been waiting 10 years now for the sequel to the game that taught many of us how crazy in love we were with cutting down monsters to get mountains of loot. We don’t know for sure that Diablo III will make it in 2011 -- especially since Blizzard did the unimaginable and released two new games in a single year in 2010 -- but it sure would make for a great, sleepless few months.
Guild Wars 2 (TBA)
The original Guild Wars surpassed our expectations in 2005 both by being a very good MMORPG and by not having a monthly fee. Guild Wars 2 is likely to continue both of those legacies, but it’s also turning several other MMO conventions on their head. Healing classes? Developer ArenaNet doesn’t think they’re particularly fun to play, so they’re out. Death penalties? Same business; gone. This is another game where we aren’t sure if it will actually come out in 2011, but hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the coming year either way.
All I need is Portal 2 and Old Republic, and my computer needs will be met for a while.
What, no Firefall?
Diablo 3....if it actually comes out in 2011 that will be awesome! And I'll be happy =)
Crysis 2. That is all.
Totally agree with the list had already planned on checking out most of them.Also in response to an erlier comment. I Hate to be a nerd but Knights of the Old Republic was released on Xbox so its not exactly a PC exclusive.
So many good games all around, everyone is going to be broke next year.
Am I the only one who thinks Bulletstorm looks a bit like Madworld but on steroids? It looks like it has more guns though and better graphics. Yay! Good list by the way, I cant wait for Portal 2 to come out!
I keep seeing ads for this Venetica thing, and it looks exactly like all the other mediocre medieval action-RPGs. It even has the same fancy title font against a dark, flaming background. I had no idea anyone actually cared.
I have to say I'm looking forward to the updates for Minecraft that'll come this year...
Bulletstorm, Rage, Witcher 2, and Portal 2 'nuff said.
TOR and GW2 FTW! I think one of these titles (maybe both together) will be the one(s) to finally steal away a large portion of WoW's subscription base. It won't kill it totally (only time will do that), but I foresee both of these games being very successful MMOs.
I played galaxies 14 day trail a few years ago. I didn't get me hooked. But SWTOR looks amazing. It would be my first real MMO. Most of my friends play A title MMOs, so this will be interesting. Although we all play BFBC2, BF2, and CNC at lans, when they jump in to the MMO for a break of FPS, i will have something lol. But anyways, very excited for SWTOR and portal 2. I'm also excited for brink but its not on here.