Tuesday, May 31, 2011

If Cat playing video games can teach us anything…

Soup and Fork isn’t just a blog with long-winded rants about politics and current events…it’s about other stuff too!  Technology and games is also a big passion of mine.
Ever since I was a kid, beaming over my brand new Commodore 64 I’ve been hooked on the world of computers and gaming.  Yes, many mindless hours were spent with Mr. Do, Mr. Robot and a whole slew of other formally named video game characters.
And if Cat playing video games can teach us anything it’s that it never hurts to kick back, unwind a little and release some pent up stress.  Here are some upcoming games that I’m personally anticipating for 2011 and 2012.

EA’s highly anticipated Battlefield 3 has a brand new game engine and graphics so good you’ll propose marriage.  The gameplay looks to be solid, accompanied by an engaging story as well.  As a bonus, it’s not made by Activision.  (Yes, that’s a dig on you, Call of Duty players)
As a sidenote, Activision is apparently going to be releasing a subscription based service called “Call of Duty Elite” which will offer players stuff like, get this…stat-tracking.  Amazing, right?  Anyway, I’m not sure how great that will go over the CoD community.
There have been rumors of a BF3 release in mid-July but according to EA the game is slated for a Fall release and I suspect it will probably compete with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′s release date.  Pre-orders are available now.
Ghost Recon Online:
I know I was just gushing about BF3 but lemme tell you EA is firing duds in the free-to-play market.  Words fail to properly describe how bad Battlefield: Free2Play is.  Most free-to-play FPS games are full of fail and hackers but I’ve got a feeling Ubisoft is gonna do us right with GRO, a free-to-play persistent version of the most awesome Ghost Recon series.
Closed Beta this summer, you can sign up now.

Guild Wars 2:
Guild Wars is a B2P (buy-to-play) mmorpg without subscription fees.  NCPlay’s GW1 had what I thought was a pretty hollow PVE questline and focused mostly on competitive PVP.  I found it kinda disappointing to be honest but still it was pretty cool.  I’m hoping for much better things from GW2 and a lot of other gamers are anticipating this release as well.
Release date: Nov. 2011

Marvel Universe Online:
Marvel is planning on releasing a free-to-play MMORPG based on the Marvel IP, where you’ll play as actual Marvel Superheroes.  Development of the game was cancelled in 2008 but as of now it’s back on like Donkey Kong.
There’s no current projected release date but you can find out a little more about it here:

Halo is a personal favorite of mine.  I’ve been hooked on the saga of Masterchief since it’s release in November 2001.  343 Studios is working on a remake of Halo: Combat Evolved rolling out new HD graphics, cooperative online play and hopefully some kicking competitive multiplayer.
Of course, this is only for the Xbox 360 crowd.  Release is rumored to be December 2011.
Bungie has announced they aren’t going to be developing Halo anymore and 343 Studios is taking over the Halo franchise.  There’s also talk of 343 making a new Halo.  From what I’ve heard after Halo: (re-)CE they’ll be moving the Halo franchise forward, i.e. no prequels, side-stories and stuff so we can expect a sequel to Halo: Reach.  I’m hoping they do Halo right.  It couldn’t be worse than Halo 3: ODST, and Bungie made that garbage.
With a somewhat ambiguous ending to Halo 3, i.e. “Wake me when you need me…” a lot of gamers are hoping Masterchief will make a triumphant return and make everyone soil their pants.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Developer BioWare is building off their success on previous Star Wars titles and set to release a new MMORPG based on the Star Wars franchise.  EA and BioWare look to indeed be strong with the force with this upcoming release.  It’s currently slated for late 2011.  If it stays on schedule I suspect it will drop around November or December.
Word is that BioWare has put some serious time into voicing NPCs and characters for the game giving it an incredibly immersive feel.  Playing different classes or alignments is supposed to yield a vastly different game experience for both.
Normally, I’m a casual gamer and dislike paying subscription fees for games but it’s rumored that SW:TOR will have a cash/item shop.  This has caused many people to theorize that they may use a free-to-play subscription style or a combination of monthly subscription/F2P, similar to Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online.
Regardless of cost, expect to see players disgruntled with how bad Star Trek Online is jumping ship when this releases.

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