The Year Ahead: 2011

We will return to our normally scheduled program -- Elysium Picks Something You Hate to Focus on This Week -- next time, but first it's time to close the door on the corpse of 2010 stuffed into so many Hefty bags at the backdoor and turn our eyes forward to 2011, which, I think we can all agree, will certainly be the best year ever for videogames.

A bevy of announcements and sneak peeks at the culturally bankrupt VGAs late last year added to an already intriguing list of possibilities for the incoming class. A solid lineup of highly anticipated sequels is punctuated by a few potential standouts in original games and even totally new IPs. Big hitters like id and Rockstar are set to launch big titles without falling back comfortably on the crutch of past successes, while BioWare is all in for 2011 with 3 major launches from major franchises. Kinect has launched to a successful reception, but now faces the same challenges the Wii once did to actually build games that take advantage. The 3DS is poised to provide the unique experience that is almost becoming trivially required with any Nintendo hardware launch, and Sony's plan is apparently to just keep being Sony.

Just thinking briefly about some of the titles we may have played by this time in our final apocalyptic year of 2012, our next long trip around the sun will likely see the launch of Dragon Age 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, LA Noire, Little Big Planet 2, Rage, Killzone 3, Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, Gears of War 3, Rage, Crysis 2 and Dead Space 2, and that's just the handful of major AAA releases that I'm interested in. I'm certain that I've criminally left out some absolutely crucial game of 2011, that you are all welcome to grimace and glower at me about for forgetting.

But, for my money -- because isn't is just more fun to pick a Game of the Year before anything's even come out -- I'm giving my personal most anticipated game of 2011 to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This is, of course, operating on the assumption that Diablo 3 is destined to slip to 2012.

So what game are you most looking forward to?

Comments

Brink is probably at the top of my "most anticipated" list right now.

After the tech trailer, LA Noire. I wasn't completely sold on Dragon Age, and Mass Effect 3, while an instant-buy for me, is still just another sequel.

Uncharted 3! Batman: Arkham City and Killzone 3 are close seconds. I'm still excited for LBP2, but not to the extent that I am for the others.

Definitely looking forward to LA Noire the most, out of the above listed. Maybe Bethesda can work some magic and get me excited about TES V, but after the abomination that was Oblivion I'm not holding my breath.

Batman or ME3 for me.

ME3, Batman and LBP2.

I see no one has mentioned Duke Nukem Forever or The Witcher 2 yet.

Dawn of War 2: Retribution.

Imperial Guard? Check! Huge weapons of destruction? Check! Single player campaigns for all the races? Check!

Oh yeah, I'm going to rekindle that fire!

Guild Wars 2 ... I wish.

Rock of Ages! Ok kidding, but only a little. LA Noire and The Last Guardian (like that's actually coming out this year -_-).

I would have said SW:TOR if you had asked me the same question a few months ago. But a combination of getting back into WoW and some disenabling on the podcast has dropped the game several notches on my hype-meter.

Mass Effect 3. Hell, I'd pre-order the deluxe edition right now knowing nothing more about it than it being "Mass Effect 3".

Also looking forward to the new Deus Ex and The Witcher.

I am most looking forward to the game that comes out of nowhere and blows everyone away with its creative gameplay and unique aesthetic.

Looking forward to Batman.

Playing anything on the 3DS.

Deus Ex for me at this point, though it's kind of sad how many of your list I already have pre-ordered. I'm with Podunk on Brink, though, too. Saw it at PAX and it intrigued me.

And I can't even know that Skyrim is coming. I have some vague hopes to get my younger son off my Xbox before 2013.

Scratched wrote:
The Witcher 2

Ooh, good call.

Man, I am so torn between a day-one 3DS and the next MtG Prerelease (card games are my latest sad phase). I guess I could wait a month on the 3DS, if it's indeed a Nintendo product the games probably won't start developing into something post-DS for a solid half-year.

El-Taco-the-Rogue wrote:
Man, I am so torn between a day-one 3DS and the next MtG Prerelease (card games are my latest sad phase). I guess I could wait a month on the 3DS, if it's indeed a Nintendo product the games probably won't start developing into something post-DS for a solid half-year.
And there are so many titles that are coming out that are triple A. I think I'll be playing a lot of those games for quite a while.

The Last Guardian, Project Dark, and Diablo 3 on the off-chance that any of them ship in 2011.

Otherwise, probably Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, and Portal 2.

The Witcher 2 and Forza 4.

I have to agree with Elysium, Skyrim is really the only game I'm actively longing for right now. After spending so much time getting lost in Oblivion I'm looking forward to the same type of complete escapism. My only debate is whether to wait for all of the inevitable DLC to drop before getting it; I played the Oblivion GOTY and having everything already there made for a more cohesive and complete experience.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution by a long shot, even over Batman: Arkham City. It also is the greatest risk to be my disappointment of 2011. Both games will be 1st day purchases, but the new Batman game will still provide me loads of happiness if it is just more Batman.

Deus Ex has some lofty expectations that I don't think will be easy for them to pull off. I suspect the game will be quite a bit different than any of us are actually expecting. And that could go drastically great or poorly. Deus Ex is so old now, that they can't just do more Deus Ex. but they can incorporate some of our favorite gameplay and story mechanics from Batman, Bioshock, and a host of other games.

I don't think Deus Ex has to be innovative. But I am really hoping that the story is compelling, and the developers use the right tools to tell it.

As a sports gamer, I'm really curious as to what 2011 will bring. I think MLB 2K11 might be the game that has been promised since 2K8. But most of the franchises are at a point in this generation of consoles where they just don't have much more to add.

The dream would be for EA's NHL 12 to steal liberally from 2K's NBA franchise. the gameplay in NHL 09-11 has become darn near perfect for a console based sports game. But if they could enhance that with the over thetop presentation of NBA 2K11, it would be the innvigoration the series needs. NHL 11 was a nice improvement, and one of my favorite games. But I have not spent near the time with it.

But that's is because NCAA 11 has taken over 90% of my sports gaming time.

I'm really enjoying NFS: Shift at a time when most of us have latched on to NFS: Hot Pursuit. I don't know what that means for Shift 2, which is also due this year. the word is, they are going to take on Forza 4 and GT5 instead of continuing on the more sim/arcade path of PGR. The visceral feel of their driving could make it and interesting battle. I am anxious to hear what the more sim racing fans have to say about it.

If The Witcher 2 was a 360 title, I would probably be all over it, too. I tried to get the first one to run on my iMac to know avail. It just seems like the RPG that could suck me into the genre.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Portal 2.

I think there are more games in 2011 that I am desperately excited to play than any year in recent memory. LA Noire probably squeaks in at the top of the list, just by virtue of it being a unique setting and potentially new gameplay mechanics. But Portal 2, Mass Effect 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Dragon Age 2 are games that I can hardly wait for. The next tier of anticipated titles is no slouch either, with at least of half a dozen other games that will likely be day 1 purchases. This year promises to be an incredible year for gaming.

Deus Ex, Deus Ex, and Deus Ex are my top three most anticipated titles of the coming year. The quality of world-building, the quality of the visuals, and the "gameplay" footage we've seen are all top-notch.

LA Noire also looks interesting, but my expectations of it are lower. I expect it to be sort of like Mirror's Edge: Doing one thing really well but not quite putting it in the right context yet, because it's the first time trying it.

Not at all excited for Skyrim, but that's because I'm a mutant who has never been able to enjoy any of the elder scrolls games, no matter how much I've tried.

I'm excited for Portal 2, granted its April ship date is meaningless on account of Valve Time being so unlike Regular Time.

I can't pick. I'm too excited for all of them!

I'm looking forward to playing Torchlight 2 and Dungeon Siege 3. I enjoyed the Dungeon Siege games way back when and I'm interested in seeing how they shape up. Granted, I probably won't play it until 2012 when Obsidian has patched it to a playable condition and the price has come down to $20 or less.

Oh, and the optimist in me is hoping that Skyward Sword comes out this year.

Definitely Witcher 2, Followed by Mass Effect 3 and Portal 2.
Morrowind was the last Elder Scrolls game that managed to hold me for more than 5 hours and even that one, while having a beautifully imaginative world, had a lackluster story.