Editors' Picks For The Rest Of 2010
September is here, and we're steadily gaining momentum toward the holiday release season. That means a flood of great titles and some tough choices. There are so many big names coming out over the next few months that it's tough to pick just one. We've tried to do just that, though—with some of us doing a better job than others. Here's a look at what the Game Informer editors are most looking forward to as we approach the end of 2010. As always, we look forward to reading your feedback in the comments section.
Nick: Honestly, I cannot figure what I want to fork over $60 more on—Fallout: New Vegas or Call of Duty: Black Ops. While they’re two completely different games, they both have a huge appeal to me. On the one side, you have a new wasteland to explore, exploit, and whatever Bethesda and Obsidian have dreamt up. On the other, there’s a new Call of Duty multiplayer season ahead full of new weapons, maps, and most exciting, game modes. I know the Infinity Ward (for obvious reasons) didn’t develop this latest installment but after seeing videos and reading Dan’s preview, I’m more than giddy. So what’s a guy to do? Easy: suck it up and buy them both.
Reiner: I’m going to change the flavor of my picks to the games I'm the most excited/curious/nervous about. All three of these descriptors fit perfectly for Fallout: New Vegas and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Both games are sequels/follow-ups to two of my favorite games this generation, yet New Vegas is under the guidance of different developer (Obsidian), and Call of Duty is in the hands of the talented Treyarc, a team that has made great COD games already, just not to the level of Infinity Ward yet. Along with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, these are the big releases for the fall. Hopefully they live up to their namesakes, otherwise it could be a brutal holiday for video games.
Adam: I’m almost certainly going to still be neck-deep in Civilization V over the holiday, even though it comes out September 21. The early press build I’ve been messing with, despite being pre-release with all the problems that come with that, is already the best strategy game I’ve played this year. I can’t foresee a situation in which the final build isn’t significantly better than this one is -- unless Firaxis has taken the last month of development off, which isn’t terribly likely. This dramatic shakeup of Civ gameplay is exactly what the series needed.
WoW: Cataclysm gets an honorable mention here, as I’m sure it’ll suck me back into WoW just like TBC and WotLK before it. And I’ll love every minute of it.
Jeff M: There are a couple of cool shooters coming out before the end of the year that I’ll be keeping my eye on, but the game I’m most excited for is LittleBigPlanet 2. I played a couple of LBP 2’s multiplayer-oriented minigames at E3, and was impressed by the greater level of variety and customization offered by the sequel. There are still about a bajillion user-made levels that I haven’t played for the first game, but I can’t wait to check out all of the new tools, and the countless fan creations that will surely take advantage of them. Being able to still play all of the first game’s content in LBP 2 doesn’t hurt, either.
Kato: I was late to the AC 2 party, but I’m definitely first in line for Brotherhood. I’m glad that the team didn’t just give us multiplayer, as the single-player campaign seems to have plenty behind it. And man – Rome! I can’t wait to see how the city looks and feels. I really hope it’s not just a re-skinned Venice.
Ben: Since Portal 2 got pushed into 2011, I feel like my year will be short on humorous first-person puzzle action. I’ll have to hope that the combination of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Halo: Reach, and Civilization V can fill that hole. I’ll probably play some DJ Hero 2 and Fable III for good measure. My dark horse for the year is Hudson’s Lost in Shadow. Keep your eye on that one, just in case.
Bertz: When I heard Ubisoft was turning around the sequel to my personal game of the year from last year in only 12 months, my skepticism meter went off the charts. Then lead Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Desilets left Ubisoft Montreal. Recipe for disaster, right? After seeing the stellar E3 demo for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, however, any reservations I had about the game were put to rest. I love the Italian Renaissance setting, the combat improvements look promising, and I’m very curious as to how the assassination-based multiplayer will fare.
Jeff: I’ve been looking forward to Dead Rising 2 since it was announced a few years ago, and it’s still probably my most anticipated game of 2010. Blue Castle Games and Capcom have ironed out the majority of the kinks from the first game while adding a bunch of new stuff. The weapon combo-system is pretty slick, the setting is great, and the tech is looking great. I’m still not sure if Chuck Greene is going to be as interesting as Frank West was, but I’ll know for sure pretty soon.
Matt: Now that L.A. Noire has slipped into 2011, I’m going to pass over some of the obvious blockbusters and pin my hopes on Super Scribblenauts. I gave the original a less-than-stellar score because I couldn’t overlook some of the inventive puzzler’s glaring control problems. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m hoping that improved mechanics, expanded vocabulary, and the addition of adjectives will make Super Scribblenauts a game that’s as good as I wanted the first one to be. If 5th Cell is successful in polishing the amazing concept into something that’s more playable, I think it could be a one of the most intriguing gaming experiences of the year.
Joe: It’s a close race for me, but LittleBigPlanet 2 edges out the competition. I’m excited to play through the new levels that the geniuses at Media Molecule have dreamed up, but I’m even more pumped to try out the suite of creation tools. I did some level creation in the original, but eventually gave up because doing the things I wanted to do became a complicated mess. With all of the additional gadgets and gizmos in LBP 2, I can’t wait to check out the new possibilities.
Dan: It’s certainly going to be an eventful holiday season for
FPS fans with Black Ops and Halo: Reach on the horizon. I played the
hell out of Reach (review coming in the next issue) and spent a full
day playing Black Ops multiplayer modes,
and I’m extremely excited about both. However, if I had to pinpoint one
game that I want more than any other, it’s probably LittleBigPlanet 2.
The original LBP’s community still manages to amaze me every time I
load up the game, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the new bag
of tricks Media Molecule is offering come November.
Tim: At first I thought writing about my most anticipated holiday release would be easy. Sure, Call of Duty: Black Ops is coming and it’s sure to be an adrenaline-fueled frag-fest. Furthermore, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is full of nostalgic bliss and simple, clean fun. Despite the familiar promises these titles make, I realize I’m looking for something different. I’m hoping that comes in the form of Majin and the Foresaken Kingdom. This Namco title seems to blend the teamwork elements of Ico with the lumbering creatures of Shadow of the Colossus. Most importantly, it looks different than everything else. That, along with the low hype around the game, entices me.
Phil: There are plenty of games coming out this holiday that I’m excited about, but for me, hands down, the biggest game is Fallout: New Vegas. Whatever slight concerns I may have about Obsidian being at the helm rather than Bethesda, everything I’ve seen of New Vegas looks just as incredible and addictive as Fallout 3. Considering that’s a game I poured tons of hours into and gave a perfect review score, I’m a bit psyched, yes. Even better, it sounds like Bethesda plans to continue the fantastic DLC support of Fallout 3 in New Vegas, so I can rest assured that I’ll be playing it well into 2011. How many other upcoming single-player games can you say that about?
Miller: The potential of Rock Band 3 has me really excited this year. While it remains to be seen how the new instrument options will fare in the wider market of players, I know that I’m more than ready for some new challenges within the music genre space. Last year, DJ Hero offered that new challenge, but this year I’m looking to RB3 to set the tone of the music game field with the addition of keyboard play and pro-mode features. The idea of becoming a better actual guitar player by playing the game is pretty remarkable. Add on a great new song list, and the ability to import the hundreds of tracks I’ve already downloaded for the Rock Band platform into my game, and I fear that Harmonix will be getting another several months of my free time after this next installment becomes available.
Bryan: Looking through the list of games for the rest of this year, I have to go the fanboy route and say Fable III. I just really like that series and even went back to play the first game recently. I’m working my way through post-endgame Lost Chapters content now. It’s fun to see how things have evolved, and I’m looking forward to whatever wild concepts Peter Molyneux has up his sleeve.
Annette: Fallout: New Vegas! I've never actually been to Vegas so a post-apocalyptic one sounds like a solid alternative (and will probably save me from gambling all of my real-life money away). A story involving a character who gets shot in the head a couple times, is left for dead, and lives to tell about it has got my attention. On the opposite side of the spectrum there's also LittleBigPlanet 2. I was lucky enough to get to try it out at E3 which reaffirmed my faith that the team at Media Molecule can do no wrong. And I fully expect continued support of the fan base with community events and excellent DLC long after launch. It's the game that will keep on giving. Can't wait!