The moment this game was announced (and I saw the teaser video), I was immediately excited. It has been a long while since a good, classic Need for Speed game was released, and this seems to be it. I have been playing Need for Speed ever since the original Hot Pursuit was released, and I really loved the series. Unfortunately, ever since they started focusing on open world games, the series has deteriorated. It would seem like they are going back to their roots.
This time around EA has handed off the series to the developers of the very successful Burnout series: Criterion Games. This has me excited because I LOVE Burnout.
The coolest thing for me about this game (other than the back to roots approach) is that we get something that everyone has wanted ever since the first Hot Pursuit was released. You can now play through the whole game as either a good guy or bad guy. The cops can use some really nice cars too, like, for example the Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
I am very excited for this game, just from the little I know right now. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is set to release on November 16, 2010. More info can be found at hotpursuit.needforspeed.com.
Rock Band 3
Play a Real Guitar on Pro Mode
Music and rhythm games have always intrigued me (not that I'm actually good or anything). I started my music game experience with Guitar Hero 2, and when Rock Band was released, it replaced the Guitar Hero series for me. Rock Band 2 added a couple of new features, and polish. Now Rock Band 3 is set to potentially revolutionize the genre.
How are they doing that? They are trying to eliminate the "lame" factor of playing fake plastic instruments. A lot of real musicians resent the fake-ness of it. With the new Pro mode, you can essentially play the real thing. Not only is there software support for keyboards, chords on the guitar side, and more pads for drums, there is also hardware to go with that. You can get a real Fender (actually Squire, the cheaper brand) Stratocaster guitar, with strings, that can be hooked up to standard amps. There is also a MIDI peripheral that lets you hook up almost any keyboard, or drum set and play the games with those.
With the addition of Pro mode, you can actually learn the music in the game. Expert mode in Rock Band Pro will actually show the real chords and notes of the song.
This makes me very excited. I'm very tempted to drop the insane amount of money the Stratocaster will probably cost (hey, it's a real guitar too, and I don't have one). Rock Band 3 will hit the shelves October 26, 2010. Check out the Rock Band site for more info at rockband.com.
The Force Unleashed 2
Wield Dual Light Sabers
The original Force Unleashed may have just been a button masher, but it had an incredible story and some cool tech. It had a better story than any of the prequel movies (doesn't take much though)!
One of the new features that has been announced is the ability for Starkiller (or anyone I guess) to wield dual light sabers. Another new feature that many fans wanted is dismemberment. You can finally cut the limbs off those pesky stormtroopers. Speaking of which, it now takes less hits to kill smaller enemies (like stormtroopers). This makes sense, since light sabers can easily slice through stormtroopers, whereas in the original game it took multiple hits. I'm assuming this means they will increase the difficulty in other ways.
Force powers have gotten an upgrade too. For one, you can now use Jedi mind tricks, and tell those stormtroopers that "this is not the droid you're looking for" (okay, maybe not exactly that line, but you can trick them). Secondly, they added a feature called Force Fury that lets you go nuts with the Force temporarily.
All of those features sound awesome, and if the story is half as good as the last games, TFU2 will be great. The Force Unleashed 2 has a hard release date of October 26, 2010. Check out more atlucasarts.com/games/theforceunleashed2.
Bonus #1: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Looks to be the funnest MMORPG I will play
Alright, technically this game is not releasing until 2011 due to push backs, but I'm so excited I have to include it here. I have never really cared for MMORPGs, but I really love Star Wars, and I loved Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Since this game is essentially Knights of the Old Republic with many online players (and of course new features) I am naturally drawn to this game.
In fact, this game could add absolutely no new features (other than those required for an MMORPG) and I would be just as excited.
One thing that I find really awesome about this game, is that every piece of dialog in the game has been voiced. That is a massive undertaking, but Bioware is apparently doing it. I'm pretty sure that is a first for any MMORPG (but then again, what would I know, I've never really played one before).
From what I've heard, the combat is good, the classes all seem really awesome, and you can even have your own ship. I can't wait. Hopefully I don't get too addicted and waste all my time playing this game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to be released in Spring 2011 (if it is not pushed back any more). More info can be found at swtor.com.
Bonus #2: Portal 2
The Aperture Science Enrichment Center RuinsThis is another game that got pushed back into 2011, and another game that I am very excited for. The first Portal was a revolutionary little game made by Valve (or rather a team of students, hired by Valve). The sequel is set to be a full, standalone game this time, which hopefully takes longer than a couple hours to complete.
The humor and inventiveness shown in Portal is what makes it unique. GLaDOS is "still alive" and back for another round of torture, hundreds of years after the original game. Chell is also somehow back. The Aperture Science Enrichment Center has decayed over time, and now that GLaDOS is awake again, she starts to rebuild it. Finally we get to see what it was purposed to be in the first place (turns out it was supposed to be much more complex).
New paint-like gels have been introduced that you can spray on to surfaces to make objects do certain things like speed up, jump higher, etc. Air currents from Pneumatic Diversity Vents add a suction element also. More cool objects that can be used include Redirection Cubes, Aerial Faith Plates and Weighted Storage Balls (which do appear in part in the first Portal). All these features add a whole new level of difficulty. Add in the new 2 Player Co-op mode, and you've got one hell of a video game.