There will be a bucketload of posts like this across the web as this year comes to a close, and I'm hoping to get mine in nice and early! Set up shop and see what everyone else thinks. I thought I'd tackle Gaming in its many and varied guises in this post, and say what I am looking forward to over the next year or so. I'm splitting this into two parts, one for Video Games, one for Alternate Reality Games. Here goes:
I really don't like the name "video games", it feels like the term "movies" - do we really need to define the film by the fact that the pictures are moving? However, no other term seems to fit "computer games" doesn't really cover consoles, jumpy-shooty-flippymajigg doesn't match either. So, video games it is. For me there are 3 exciting events (and one honourable mention):
Anywho, 2011 is a pretty big year for me. There are a number of titles on the horizon which get my juices flowing and to start off I think I'll go with Portal 2. Ho momma, Portal is a beast of a game - its funny, clever, witty, frustrating, mind bending, disturbing, scary and most importantly it is a whole troughload of fun.
HERE, then do so, and then tremble in fear at the last scene.
[EDIT=07/12/10] Originally watched this with the sound off - having watched it with sound I now realise that the voice is Stephen Bloody Merchant! First Danny Wallace in Assassin's Creed 2/Brotherhood and now this! Big few years for British comedians! My money would be on Harry Hill voicing the lord of the Sith in Star Wars: The Old Republic[/EDIT]
[EDIT 2=07/12/10]Oh, and Stephen Fry in Fable III[/EDIT]
Secondly, we have Batman: Arkham City. Arkham Asylum was one of the first games I got for the PS3 this year and I played it through in about a week. It was a game that just felt like all the little bits just worked, the combat was fluid and fun (particularly slowing down the final punch on a badguy just to watch his jaw break) the scenery was wacky enough to be almost Kilmer era Batman, but also dark and brooding enough to stick to the canon, and Batman himself was suitably gadget-filled to make the game varied and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience (even if it was somewhat let down by a final boss fight which could have been competantly completed by a blind 3 fingered sloth who'd just woken up).
I love games like this, quirky, a little scary, with a tongue in cheek way of approaching violence and horror. Fun. Can't wait for the next installment.
Thirdly and most importantly: Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars has been my almost constant companion now for about 5 years, I love this game, I love the lore, the combat, the characters and storylines, its awesome. Guild Wars 2 is shaping up to be awesome on a whole other scale. I'm hesitant about the persistant world (the only other foray I've had into persistent world MMOs is Aion, and, well, it wasn't good!), nonetheless, I'm squeeing with delight knowing its coming at some point next year. ANet are holding their cards characteristically close to their chest re: release date, but most people are predicting first/second quarter 2011.
I won't go on about it too much here as I could talk for hours, but I will make a post nearer the release date and when we have a little bit more info.
Honourable mention: American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns. One of my quite early gaming loves was the prequal to this game. It was downright scary on a fundamental level, not just jumpy and gory, but it was more like that time in the park in Amsterdam when I had a whooooole spacecake to myself and I fell into a Dali painting - it was kinda like that. I am looking forward to where they go from there.