The Electronic Entertainment Expo made its annual swoop down upon the unsuspecting masses like a badly piloted Warbird these past few days, causing all sorts of excitement/apathy/depression among those of a games playing disposition. We at SciFiNow have picked out some of the more promising looking sci-fi and fantasy bourgeois distractions that you’ll be gleefully wasting your life away on in the next year or so.
Mass Effect 3
Forget Star Trek, if they get this right, Mass Effect has the potential to be one of the most fondly remembered sci-fi sagas ever. More RPG elements are promised as well as improved combat, but these are secondary to the story, and by god if they make a conclusion that is anything less than ball blitzingly epic and satisfying there will be hell to pay. Will Shepard stop the Reapers? Will the galaxy find peace? Will Urdnot Wrex finally be a romance option (unless you killed him you heathen swine)? We’ll find out next March.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Bioware are gunning after World of Warcraft’s MMO crown with this, and what better way to do it than have big old George Lucas fighting in your corner. Described as ‘Knights Of The Old Republic 3,4,5 and 6’, it takes place thousands of years before Anakin Skywalker went a bit emo and got into cosplay. As with the last couple of E3 events nothing was shown of the game, save for some impressively rendered cinematics, chronicling the mother of all blarneys between the Jedi and an army of Sith, resulting in all sorts of acrobatic death defying nonsense. Of course you won’t be able to do any of that in game, you’ll just keep clicking on Jawas ‘til they fall over and you get lots of lovely experience points. Games are marvellous.
Alien: Colonial Marines
Now that Gearbox have finished off trying to breathe life into the bloated, drunken mess that is Duke Nukem Forever, they can concentrate on finishing off the Aliens game that they’ve been promising for so long. Rather than indulge in the demented fanfiction fantasies of the Alien vs Predator franchise it’s a pure Aliens vs Marines affair, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Hopefully we’ll be able to relive our favourite hysterical Bill Paxton moments later this year.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Resident Evil’s seen its survival horror crown indubitably pinched by Dead Space this generation, and it’s hard to see how the franchise can pick its decaying arse up. Rather than steam ahead with Resident Evil 6 they’ve gone back in time to the initial zombie infection of 1998, when Radiohead dominated the world, Eurotrash was still on TV and Bruce Willis still had some hair on his wildly shiny bonce. Rather than play David Bowie doppelganger Leon, you play as a squad of evil dicks from Umbrella, intent upon containing the situation and silencing any witnesses. Nice guys. If that doesn’t float your Resi boat, there’s always the imminent HD version of Resident Evil 4 to go gaga over, and it’s still the best thing ever.
The original Prey wasn’t the best received game, but it did feature portals before lovely Gabe Newell turned them into a meme conduit for terrible people the world over, so it deserves at least some respect. Or scorn. Whatever. The fact is Prey 2 looks immense. Unrecognisable from the first game, it features a new bounty hunter protagonist running parkour style through a Blade Runner-esque city, hunting alien scum for creds like it’s going out of style. Undoubtedly. Probably one of the surprises of the show to be honest.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Human Revolution looks better every time we see it, and is certain to atone for the disappointing Invisible War. Every trailer makes it look even more like a bullet sleek, cyberpunk enthusiast’s wet dream. Around 30 hours of augmented, RPG infused first person shooting mayhem are promised. And dang, those arm knives look cool.
DmC: Devil May Cry
Let’s whittle back on the aliens, viruses and cybernetics a bit and get our demonic hack and slash fantasy on. DmC’s revealed reboot last year resulted in an absolute shitstorm, as fans decried what had been done to their beloved half-demon protagonist Dante. Replacing the wisecracking, mega-camp plonker of yore with a sadistic chainsmoking yoof that listens to Skrillex may prove to be the series’ undoing, unless the gameplay measures up. It looked promising, but alas, has sweet Dante been undone by his inexplicable transformation into a Shoreditch prick?
Darksiders was unexpectedly one of the best games of last year, a blistering amalgamation of Zelda’s exploration and Warhammer’s chunky, day glow brutality, all wrapped up in the delightfully mad apocalyptic visions of Joe Madureira. Darksiders 2 looks even better. You play as Death for God’s sake, how can it not be brilliant?
You play an immortal that can tear his limbs off and throw them at demons. Looks like a mix of Max Payne and Katamari Damacy with deliberately corny dialogue. Thrash metal dumbells Megadeth wrote a song for it. Game of the century?
Silent Hill: Downpour
Despite what some may say, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories ended up being one of the best in the long running psychological horror series, and it looks like Downpour’s taken a few ideas from the stellar Wii title. Of course Downpour will never hit the triumphant, esoteric highs of the first two games, but it looks better than the travesty that was Silent Hill: Homecoming, a game that missed the point so hard it cracked it’s skull on the pavement.
And that’s your lot for this year. Of course that’s not everything. We could have written about Halo, but every blogger and his dog has written about Halo, so we’ll give it a rest for once. We’ve also forgotten to write about Rage or Elder Scrolls Vbut that’s due to personal incompetence to be honest.
Have we missed anything else out? Should we have written about Modern Warfare 3? Do we seem like mentally unhinged, militaristic fascists to you? Write in telling us what you thought looked good.