Does anyone remember way back in 2010 when Starcraft 2 launched and Azeroth was shattered? Me neither. It’s just been too long. 2011 is finally here and has brought with it a plethora of new and exciting games. Some of them have us at Crave all antsy in the pantsy. We obviously need something to do while waiting for extra lives to regen on Zuma Blitz. Let’s take a look at the games we just can’t wait to get our hands on this year.
Blizzard is well known for keeping their fans waiting; but as we all know, the games are always well worth it. Diablo is no exception. Players are looking forward to getting their hands on the four new classes in addition to the ever-lasting Barbarian.
Combat should maintain a faster pace now that health and mana potions are things of the past. Red and blue orbs will drop from monsters that you simply move over to recover spent resources.
Blizzard is bringing something new and long overdo to Diablo: organized PvP. Players can team up with their buddies and enter the arena to test their skills and move up the ranks.
A leaked copy of Blizzard’s product timeline predicts a fourth quarter launch for Diablo III.
Dragon Age II
Gaming juggernaut Bioware continues where they left off with the sequel to the best-selling Dragon Age: Origins. The cinematic trailer for Dragon Age II is enough to leave me begging for more.
In the new game, players will take control of Hawke, a human whose gender, appearance and class are customizeable. Like Mass Effect, players have the option to import their playthrough of the previous Dragon Age. Doing so will make the storyline react to the types of decisions you made in the original game.
Romantic encounters with party members and other NPCs will now be available. Put on your +4 to charm hat and get ready for some hot action starting March 8th, 2011.
Duke Nukem Forever
It’s hard to believe that this game has only been 14 years in the making, but we are finally expecting to see the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D released this year.
I still have fond memories of the first time I pressed spacebar in front of the go-go dancer who spun her tassles in exchange for a crumpled dollar. Completing Duke Nukem 3D: Episode 2 awarded players with one of the most satisfying ending sequences in gaming history. What better to top off an adult themed first-person shooter than to tear the head off your enemy and defecate down its neck. Classic.
Expect to see Duke Nukem Forever hit stores with a vengeance in the second quarter of 2011.
The original Portal is hands down the best first-person shooter/puzzle game involving a portal gun and perpetual cake promises. Portal was ground breaking, original and incredibly addicting.
Valve has upped the ante for the second installment introducing co-op play in Portal 2 (I peed a little when I saw the trailer). The game is set to release on April 18th. Welcome back GLaDOS, I want my cake.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Nerds Assemble! No matter what your current PC game addiction is at this moment, I’m fairly certain every one of us will be pausing to try our hand at being a Jedi (or Sith, or Storm Trooper, or Smuggler, you get the point). If there is one company I would want to create a story driven-RPG about Star Wars, you can be damn sure I’d pick BioWare. Just go watch the cinematic trailer, I’ll wait.
Players will have the option to choose which side of the Force they fancy and pick a class accordingly. Based on your class you will get a corresponding ship to parade around the galaxy, spreading destruction or peace-keeping, ass-whooping justice. Players will meet and gain companions who will help them with their missions and become part of their crew.
There is no official release date for SWTOR, but odds are it will be available for Windows sometime in the second or third quarter.
Guild Wars 2
Lets all admit that we can’t wait to play Guild Wars 2. Once again ArenaNet promises no subscription fees for their follow-up to the critically acclaimed series.
Players will be thrust back into a revamped Tyria sometime in 2011. The game world and characters look much more artistic and stylized this time around, and combat effects are spectacular. The developers of Guild Wars 2 promise to stray from game worlds and story lines that tend to leave the player out or feeling less than heroic. ArenaNet also swears against the leveling grind promising a pleasurable experience for fans and critics of the genre alike.
Believe the hype, folks. Playing the Rift beta has been exciting and refreshing. Open world rift events feel like the end-of-expansion invasion happenings that Blizzard threw into World of Warcraft. The only difference is that these are fun. They’re accessible to everyone and they’re occuring all the time.
Soul trees can seem daunting at first with 24 specializations to choose from, but offer a new type of spell progression and customization that I’m not used to in an MMO. Judging by how well the beta looks and feels I can tell you this game will be a hit. Rift is scheduled for release in early March.
Did you miss Diablo as much as I did? Did you also miss out on Runic Games’ Torchlight? Well then… you missed out. The original Torchlight was a single player game created by former Blizzard-North employees who created the score for, and designed Diablo and Diablo 2.
Torchlight 2 brings the much anticipated option of multi-player to the game and four new player classes with customizable appearances. Players will welcome back their permanent companion pets and retirement system to boot.
Torchlight 2 launches in May or June of 2011.
From some of the brightest minds behind World of Warcraft and Tribes comes Red 5 Studios’ Firefall. Firefall is a free-to-play MMOFPS in the works for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Red 5 Studios promises open world events with hundreds of players able to participate. Different classes will cater to the hardcore FPS player, the more passive RPGer and those that are somewhere in between. The developers say that even though there is a clearly defined leveling system, player competition will still be viable with large level gaps.
The real question remains: with big guns and jet packs, what more could you ask for?