I thought we’d kick start this shindig with a look at what’s on the horizon. There are dozens of must-play games coming out this year, and I thought I’d highlight some of the best to help you guys spend your precious gaming budget wisely. There is something for everyone this year, and it can be a little overwhelming.
First, for the RPG lover, we have some amazing sequels coming out this year. We have Dragon Age II coming out on March 8th. It seems like only yesterday we were graced with our first battles in Ostagar, and now we have another chance to battle across Ferelden. We’ll have a break long enough to enjoy Dragon Age II, as well as it’s inevitable DLC, but in Novemeber we get two more powerhouses: Mass Effect 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Mass Effect will mark the end of Bioware’s epic space opera. For fans of the series that have played through the first two games, your decisions will carry over into the finale, offering a different experience to each player. In Skyrim, the story takes place after the gates of Oblivion have been opened, and Bethesda promises to improve on everything that was great in The Elder Scrolls IV.
Perhaps you prefer a more intense gaming experience, playing online with others from around the world, relying on only your twitchy trigger finger to save you. We’ve got you covered, too. Next week, on February 22nd, two great first-person shooters come out, both catering to a very different audience. Killzone 3 for the Playstation 3 looks to be more of the same as the first two. And that’s a good thing. Once again you are placed in a battle for Earth, between the ISA and the Hellghast. The other game is Bulletstorm, a new Intellectual Property from Epic Games. While Killzone has a gritty, realistic feel, as you dodge from cover to cover, Bulletstorm is pure, unadulterated action. The tag-line “Kill with Skill” says it all.
This year truly is the year of sequels, as we kick off the holiday season with Resistance 3. The successor to two games rated over an 85 on Metacritic.com, Resistance 3 has some big shoes to fill, but I trust Insomniac Games to come through a third time. After September, we begin to run what I call the gauntlet. That time of year where we can’t keep up with the games that come out, either with our time OR our wallets. Within a couple of months of each other, we are going to be getting a slew of great titles. Batman: Arkham City, Forza Motorsport 4, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, then finally Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
With all of these great games, what is a gamer on a budget to do? There are a couple of tactics I like to use to maximize my gaming potential. The first is simple; make a list, in decending order of the games that you just have to play this year. Then figure out how much you can realistically spend, because lets face it, games are getting expensive, and there are just too darn many. For example, if you have 10 games you want, that’s going to be around $600 over the course of the year. Do you only have $400 to spend? Looks like the last 4 games have to be dropped off the list. This will really save agonizing over getting the game you kind of want now instead of the one you REALLY want later.
Secondly, for those single player games that you play through and then put on your shelf, trade them in! At Gamestop, of which there are many around the Twin Cities, if you have a relatively new AAA title, you can easily get half of your money back to put towards a new game. Their business is based on pre-owned sales, and if you know you want to put the money towards another game, they actually can make it worth your while.
This was only a small smattering of the great games that are coming out over this year, and more will be announced I’m sure. For my money, I think the games to beat are Mass Effect 3, Gears of War 3, and Modern Warfare 3. If anyone has any other games that they think are going to knock our socks off this year, I would love to hear them! Please share them with me and the other readers in the comment section!