Gaming Enthusiast’s Most Anticipated PC Games
Well, the last few months have been pretty great for game releases. On the multiplatform front, we’ve seen the release of Mass Effect 3, Silent Hill: Downpour, Silent Hill: HD Collection, and others. Among exclusives we can spy long-awaited games like Fez, Journey, and the Wii’s Operation Rainfall Trifecta (albeit among different regions). With that in mind, I took a look at the future and realized that the titles I’m now anticipating are now comprised mostly of PC games, and when I took a look at the list of future releases, I couldn’t help but notice that the PC is looking very damn good, in fact.
So, I got together with my fellow PC editors here in Gaming Enthusiast, and put together a little list of our most anticipated PC games.
The first list of games is brought to you by Toddziak, our resident Adventure game fan.
My gaming life revolves mainly around adventure games and RPGs and the year 2012 was and will be abundant in great representatives of both genres. So here are the three games that I’m waiting for and that I want to play really badly and really soon. They’re less mainstream than other big titles on the list, but I definitely recommend giving them a chance.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
This game is a total must for me, even if I have to sell a kidney to get it. I love what the studio Frogwares has done to Sherlock Holmes and I watch with pleasure how they’re constantly developing the series to make it better and more enjoyable for players. I really hope that The Testament of Sherlock Holmes with live up to the fans expectations and be the best adventure game that has ever been created in this galaxy.
The plot shows signs of a really dark and morally ambiguous adventure. Sherlock Holmes, the all-beloved consulting detective, loses his credibility as he becomes a suspect in a criminal case. Even his faithful companion, Doctor John Watson, begins to doubt him in the face of presented evidence and Holmes strange behaviour such as mysterious night escapades and destruction of items vital to the ongoing investigation. This is just the starting point to a hopefully gripping and emotionally investing tale of pursuit and deception. Just add a set of cleverly developed puzzles to the drama and every crime stories enthusiast should feel like it’s Christmas.
A worth-noting fact is that the Testament of Sherlock Holmes will use a completely new game engine, so the graphics will be vastly improved. If you don’t believe me just check out the screens – they look amazing even without adding the condescending phrase, “for an adventure game”. We may also expect a great soundtrack and top-notch voice acting. All in all, the Testament of Sherlock Holmes is a game you certainly wouldn’t want to miss. It’s elementary!
The Lost Crown: Haunting of Hallowed Isle
The next two games on my list have been in development for a long time now and it’s not certain if they will be even published this year. Or ever. Still, a girl may dream, so treat them as my gaming wishful thinking.
The Lost Crown: Haunting of Hallowed Isle is a sequel to The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure, the game which had animations more wooden than the content of any sawmill, horrid voice-acting that made your ears bleed and poorly written dialogues. So why I am waiting for the sequel? THE ATMOSPHERE! Rarely have I seen an adventure game with such an amazing and atmospheric setting, which at times could scare the living daylight out of you. Well, that’s to be expected from a game about ghost-hunting. It needs to be simply terrifying and not rely solely on uncreative jump scares.
Sadly, we don’t know much about the plot yet. The authors, however, disclosed that we will once again follow the footsteps of two ghost-hunters – Nigel Danvers the believer and Lucy Reubans the skeptic, as the creators describe them – who want to unravel the sinister mystery of Hallowed Isle. We’ll once again use various ghost-hunting equipment and the graphics will be presented in black and white with an occasional tint of colour, just like in the original. All that makes the game look very promising and I have high hopes regarding the amount of fun one can squeeze out of The Lost Crown: Haunting of Hallowed Isle. The only thing left now is to wait patiently and keep our fingers crossed for Darkling Room, the developer.
Legends of Daemonica: Farepoynt’s Purgatory
Another sequel and another game with an uncertain future. Legends of Daemonica: Farepoynt’s Purgatory is a second part of Nicholas Farepoynt’s adventures in the grim world of medieval England. We met this unusual character in the first Daemonica, where we learned that Nicholas has a special ability, namely that he can talk to the dead. This gift will certainly help him in his new predicament – he and twelve other people were imprisoned on a mysterious island somewhere near Scotland. Our hero of course wants to get the hell out of there. The story’s starting point sounds very intriguing and I wonder if we will witness a plot similar to Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” book, where the characters trapped on a island began to die one by one. Taking into account Farepoynt’s speciality, we may safely assume that this will the be case. I simply love that motive and I really hope that the creators won’t blow it.
As opposed to Daemonica, the sequel will not contain any RPG elements and will be a traditional point’n'click adventure game. The graphics will be shown in full 3D and will use shaders, so we may expect that the visual side of the game won’t be disappointing. I’m looking forward to Farepoynt’s Purgatory and I pray that it will turn out to be a gaming heaven.
Now we bring you the list of Felix Garcia, resident Mecha nerd.
The original Borderlands is a fantastic stylized FPS journey across a loot-filled planet with RPG elements to make the combat interesting. Borderlands 2 is a sequel to that game and I am very excited about it because things are looking even better than the first in every conceivable way. The fact that Gearbox, the people behind the game, have taken in voluminous consumer input about every aspect from the monotonous environments to the similar lack of variety in weapons and character customization of the original game is, by itself, a good enough reason to anticipate this title. Addressing every major issue people had with the game while maintaining integrity by not pandering to fans is something to be respected. The various DLC, which acted more like mini-expansion packs, also gave us a look at the evolution of their writing, which I found funny, charming, and even iconic. The PC version is to receive a UI designed for mouse and keyboard and expanded graphics options, so it won’t be just another lazy port. Though this is indeed welcome news, it is disheartening in general that doing so does not go without saying among today’s multiplatform developers. What gameplay that has been shown looks promising, diverse, and beautiful. The environments truly stand out with their colors and style unique to the series, proving that high-end graphics doesn’t need high-end hardware. The weapons are what call to me next, their expanded uniqueness looking to change how one plays the game. Be informed, though, that there is a launch-window DLC character that is free with pre-order, something I efinitely recommend for this game. If you love loot, witty writing, or just shooting a ton of stuff, this is a game to get moist over.
Metro Last Light
Metro 2033 was easily one of the most atmospheric and enrapturing games of last year. It was very easy to get pulled into the story of the main character and his fight to merely survive his post-apocalyptic circumstances. It was not Fallout but a fresh hell that frightened, entertained, and, yes, frustrated with its interesting enemies, environments, and mechanics. I’m hoping that Last Light will keep the great atmosphere of the first game while doing away with the opaqueness of what it takes to acquire the “true” ending. The writing of the first game was very good, and new stories set in an interesting world are always welcome, especially since the author of the novels has been working closely with the development team. The mechanics from the first game are welcome to stay in the second as they were tight and had few defects. The enemies, too, were enjoyable to fight or avoid, though at times they could cease to be frightening and start being frustrating, breaking immersion. And immersion is what the first game was all about. Getting absorbed in the world was easy, feeling as though you were your character or at least sympathizing with his situation (though “pity” seems a better word). If this new game can bring that feel back, it will be one worth spending money on at launch. The most substantial footage we’ve seen is a 12 minute playthrough and it looks like it delivers on all the fronts the original did, even correcting the somewhat flawed stealth
A free-to-play multiplayer-only title from indie developer Adhesive Games, Hawken is set to offer a wonderful experience of first-person mech fighting action. With aspects of tower defense in at least one game type, a variety of weapons, smooth looking movement, and slick graphics, this game has gone to the top of my list of multiplayer shooters to try out. Those looking to scratch that mech itch on the PC that many on consoles have recently been able to with games like the latest Armored Core; this is a game to check. It’s faster paced than old-school mech games, but not nearly as fast as a game like Armored Core, which has seen an increase in its own speed of play across the years. The most appealing aspects of the game are its great looks, substantial HUD, and slick-looking combat. The controls look as though they will feel tight and heavy, as controlling a mech should, so don’t let that it looks fast-paced fool you into thinking your giant robot will feel insubstantial. The combat looks intense, with classic mech cockpit shaking, lights, screens, and alarms and weapons that look like they’ll feel weighty. It’s not a complete replacement for Mechwarrior, which is getting a free-to-play reboot that we as yet know little about, but it will do. It will do.
And here are my own recommendations, which may or may not sound like pretentious bullcrap to you.
A Machine for Pigs
Let me just play out this video of these ridiculous girls playing Amnesia for you:
You think they’re messing around? You think they aren’t actually terrified out of their freaking minds? You’re WRONG.
Amnesia is the most terrifying game I have ever played: scarier than any Resident Evil, and scarier than any Silent Hill game. Oh, you think you’re more of a hipster than me? Alright, it’s scarier than Hellnight for the PlayStation. It’s that good.
A Machine for Pigs is the spiritual sequel to Amnesia, and if Frictional Games’ track record is to be believed (the Penumbra games that came before Amnesia are also mighty fine), then it’s going to be even better. Plus, it’s being developed with the help of Thechineseroom, who are known for the critically acclaimed Dear Esther, so I’d say the chances of “A Machine for Pigs” being less than stellar are extremely low.
I better come clean right now: I knew nothing of Space Sims before being introduced to the first X game, and that was only about a year ago. The first 5 hours of the game were very painful to me, as I must have spent about 95% of that time cruising slowly to and from an Oil Refinery station, trying to make a few bucks with which to buy equipment, equipment which I had no clue how useful it was. I had the option to do trade with other areas of the galaxy, but getting there would literally take hours, so I stayed in the vicinity of the starting area. I was ready to quit when I stumbled upon the SETA drive, which allowed me to cruise throughout the galaxy at a 10X accelerated time factor. That’s when the game really started, and I was able to taste the incredible freedom of this Space Sim game, which really just consisted of killing space pirates or enemy ships for bounty, buying/selling goods for profit, starting factories, creating monopolies in certain markets, and fitting my ship with so many insane upgrades as to make me a sort of ultimate space badass (that could still die just by getting space-rammed by a lowly enemy grunt ship). I must have spent about 60 hours just messing around before deciding to go and complete the game’s actual main storyline.
I later played X2 and X3 (trying out the expansions, too), and well, they surprisingly took every single element of the first game and made it so many times better. The level of freedom was vastly increased, as now one could go buy multiple ships, fit some specifically for trading, others for fighting, and so on; one could hire merchants to take factory goods and sell them at a high price in another region of the galaxy; fighter ships could be fitted with Turrets, and these turrets programmed to behave a certain way when encountering different threats; I’m just going to stop right now.
Look, X: Rebirth is set to expand the franchise’s staple elements even further, while also redefining and streamlining many of its more obscure elements. It’s going to be a pretty damn huge deal, and you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be there on day one.
Dark Souls PC
I can’t tell you how much I want this game. I already have the 360 version of the game, and I still anticipate it so wearily.
There have been a few statements said here and there that indicate this won’t be such a great port (particularly, one about the game having a locked resolution and framerate), but you know what? I don’t care. The new content is more than enough promise for me to get this game all over again, and probably put at least another 100 hours into it.
There are many things I can say to make you believe this game is really worth all the praise it gets, but I guess the easiest way to go about it is by saying this: “Dark Souls is the best 3D Castlevania game there has ever been”. Konami, you need to try harder.
Half Life 3
How could I go about making a list of anticipated PC games and just forget about Half-Life 3? That would be ridiculous!
Valve totally can, though. Long ago, I was expecting to see pictures of Half Life 3 at any moment. Later, I would have settled for a simple game reveal at E3 that confirmed the game was indeed coming out. At this point, I’ll take any indication of Valve remembering what Half Life even is as a positive sign, and I almost expect Gabe Newell to answer a stock Half Life 3 question with, “What is that, Half Life? We made that? Well, that’s weird.”
Hell, just give me a picture of what the new crowbar is supposed to look like, for the sake of all that is Holy.
That is all, ye enthusiastic folks. Do you have any heavily anticipated PC games? Make sure to share in the comments.