New Year, New Games: Top 10 PS3 Games to Look Out for in 2011

2010 has come and gone. I’ve spent the last week off from work and in a haze of diet, exercise, and WoW: Cataclysm. I did have the time to check out a great new PSN game, EAT THEM, which is vaguely reminiscent of SNK’s King of Monsters, but focusing on the destruction rather than battling another monster. I’m about 2 hours in, and it’s a lot of fun so far. Also, I’ve recently realized that my RPG gaming has gone pretty much entirely to the DS and PSP. As someone with no commute, so I’m sitting around at home playing these, I find this kind of odd. I will say, though, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has been amazing for the 45-minute DPS queue for random heroics at lvl 85 in WoW.

We find ourselves, now, on the cusp of a brave new world. January 1 and 11, alongside November 1 and 11 will be inexplicably noteworthy to people with nothing better to do than put together the numbers in the date. We continue to inch closer and closer to the point at which Back to the Future 2 becomes a beautiful lie. We’ve all weathered 2010’s tsunami of games, here’s a look at what should be fairly excellent in the upcoming year.

10: Metal Gear Solid Rising

Honestly, I was never all that bothered by Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2. Sure, he wasn’t as badass as Snake, but he had a sword. Fast forward to MGS4, and suddenly he’s now a cyborg-ninja with a sword that can seemingly can through anything. I’m not complaining, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who was curious about how that happened. Not only does this game promise to answer those lingering questions, but you get to play as said cyborg-ninja with the same amazing sword. The trailers have shown Raiden cutting everything from buildings to limbs to slicing a watermelon with incredible precision.

Expected Release: June

09: Bulletstorm

I’ll be the first to admit to being tired of first-person shooters these days. For every Left 4 Dead, it feels like there are a dozen bland military shooters ready to glorify whatever war is cool these days. Then there’s Bulletstorm. From the studio that made Painkiller, Bulletstorm puts you in the shoes of a drunken space pirate who has to battle through a swarm of mutants to get at the mercenaries who exiled him. The gameplay is where this title looks to shine, though. Rather than focus on efficiency and cold, calculated actions, Bulletstorm focuses on free-form fun in how you kill the opposition. A scoring system rewards you for how creative you were in using the tools at your disposal, most notably an energy whip that reminds me of Shiny Entertainment’s (rather fun) Wild 9.

Expected Release: February

08: Child of Eden

At one point, this was easily in my top 3 most eagerly anticipated games of the new year. Since then a number of reports have come in saying that the Kinect version on the 360 isn’t all that good. The main criticism in those, however, is the controls. This is where the Playstation Move comes in. With its startling accuracy, the PS Move should be what this game needs to go from something exclusively for Rez fans to a shining example of just how much fun motion controls can be when used for something other than dancing or sports compilations.

Expected Release: March

07: inFamous 2

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I find a majority of sandbox games boring. Before 2005’s Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, I traded in every sandbox game I bought within 5 hours of starting them. That’s when I realized that what the rest of those games were missing was simple: superpowers. When the original inFamous was released in 2009, my initial reaction was: “Why make this instead of another Sly Cooper?” All doubts were quickly wiped away, however, when the world opened up and I was allowed to play with Cole MacGrath’s electricity powers. The game gave you the tools to freely travel the city and do what you wanted, while the morality system made sure you knew when your fun crossed the line. The switch to a New Orleans-esque setting for this sequel, as well as the addition of a melee… lightning rod thing should keep this high on my play-list once it (hopefully) drops later this year.

Expected Release: Late 2011

06: Portal 2

Some days, I envy those who haven’t heard of Portal. While they missed out on an amazing game that, honestly, no one should miss, they also most likely didn’t get repeatedly bludgeoned for the following year with “The cake is a lie” jokes. Once I’m done thanking the gods for killing that meme, I quickly get back to being excited for Portal 2Gabe Newell promised that the PS3 would be the definitive console version of Portal 2. After that, the 360 version might as well not even be released. While I’m sure not all of my fancy dreams for what Steamworks on the PS3 means will come true, the idea of it, the promise is thrilling. Anyone who can appreciate a good puzzle and some pitch black humor should definitely pick this up.

Expected Release: April

05: Dead Space 2

The first Dead Space came completely out of nowhere to become one of my favorite games of 2008. The atmosphere was tense and creepy from the moment you stepped into the Ishimura, and it didn’t let up, even in those rare moments when you encountered another living person. The progression of the game had a solid Metroid feel about it, going from sector to sector of this gigantic ship while trying to survive the infestation. Also noteworthy was the inventory system which all happened in real time as you were playing. It’s strange how much I took for granted the pause in gameplay that comes with inventory management in most survival horror games. The sequel sees the return of hero Isaac Clarke, but with updated armor that can actually show his face for story segments instead of all helmet all the time. A demo is currently available on both the PS3 and 360.

Expected Release: January

04: Team ICO Collection and The Last Guardian

The fact that I have to group the two of these together should be a good indication of how great a year for games we have coming up. Anyone with an interest in adventure games during the PS2 era has to have at least heard of the titles in the Team ICO Collection. I completely missed Ico when it was released, and by the time I played Shadow of the Colossus and was dying for more, Ico was scarce and rather expensive. SotC is easily one of the best games ever made, featuring some of the most enjoyable boss fights ever playable with a simple, yet sad story. This collection does the right thing by not changing anything but remastering the games in HD.

The Last Guardian is the newest game from Team ICO. So far, the trailers for the game have shown glimpses of exploration with bits and pieces of combat here and there. The highlight of the available info about this game is your companion, a griffin/dog creature who you free and it helps you escape from the ruins shown in the trailers. Not much information has been released about this game so far, but the gorgeous visuals in the released trailers combined with the fact that Team ICO has a flawless record make The Last Guardian an easy game to recommend, even at this early point.

Expected Release: Team ICO Collection – March / The Last Guardian – Late 2011

03: Little Big Planet 2

I barely even touched the massive level creation tools in the original Little Big Planet, and it was still one of my favorite games of 2008. The amount of creativity and sheer fun to be found in every single level is still unmatched. I loved the game the first time through on single player, and each and every level was still tons of fun playing co-op both locally and online. This second installment looks to leave the good parts alone, namely the adorable character design and the great platforming, while adding a bunch of new levels, costumes, and stickers. The level creator underwent some massive improvements as well, gaining the ability to not only make platforming levels, but to make different game types as well. Videos from the beta have shown first-person shooters, kart racers, and even a 1-on-1 fighting game. All together, Little Big Planet 2 should easily be one of the best games of the next year.

Expected Release – January

02: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

At this point, even if you’ve somehow missed Marvel vs Capcom 2 in the 10 years since its release, you’ve probably seen or heard of the “Mahvel Baybee” video. Between the hordes of MvC2 fans and the lesser, but still hardcore, fanbase for the more recent Tatsunoko vs Capcom, the fighting game community can’t wait for Marvel vs Capcom 3. Even if you’re not a big VS-series fan, Marvel and Capcom made sure to put in plenty for everyone to enjoy with a more varied cast than any previous fighting game with the possible exception of King of Fighters 2002. Liked Iron Man? He’s in there. Resident Evil? Chris, Jill, and Wesker are all playable.  Even more obscure Marvel characters like Dormammu and MODOK are included in the playable cast for what should be just about the best console fighting game out there.

Expected Release: February

01: Uncharted 3 – Drake’s Deception

Like my initial reaction to inFamous, I first looked at Uncharted and thought: “Why this instead of another Jak and Daxter?” All doubts were discarded, however, upon playing that first demo of the original Uncharted. There was adventure! Excitement! Climbing! Shooting! Elena Fisher! That turned into the first game I replayed multiple times just to get PSN Trophies, because it was so damn fun. The Second was a Day-1 purchase and I couldn’t even fathom playing another game until I finished it. The not-so-secret thing about the Uncharted series is that it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a good, new Indiana Jones story. The cast of characters are brilliant in each game, with protagonists you can cheer for and villains that play the role so well. Combine that with some of the best graphics in gaming, and fantastic gameplay systems to match, and you can easily see why this series has so many fans. This third installment looks to keep the winning streak going, and I really can’t think of a reason to pass on what should be a contender for 2011’s Game of the Year.

Expected Release – November

Posted on December 31, 2010 at 17:42 by Rajiv Miller · Permalink
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