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The coming year brings with it a bright future for PC games. As I’ve previewed some games that are planned to come out next year, I’ve come across several that have definitely piqued my interest and that I’m sure will be hits. First up is the tantalizing Dragon Age II, a game that sounds like its dealt the original’s problems and reformed the style of play to encompass a set of much deeper RPG mechanics. Also on my horizon is another Bioware title, Mass Effect III. After the seamless and beautifully cinematic Mass Effect II, an amazing improvement over the issues of the first game, Mass Effect III will doubtless be even more improved and balanced. The last game I’m interested in is Star Wars: The Old Republic, which also happens to be a Bioware game; it just goes to show the quality of the releases is consistent and well-developed across the board. SW: TOR follows a legacy built up in Bioware’s other TOR single-player games, allowing for expansive lore to draw from for material, as well as solid mechanics that they can rely on.
Dragon Age II quits from the established storyline of the Grey Warden of the first title to introduce a new character named Hawke, a customizable human that has achieved fame in the battle against the Blight afflicting the Ferelden. Over a period of ten years, Hawke becomes a major force determining the outcome of the Free Marches, a land north of Ferelden, with players interacting with and making decisions for Hawke; each choice alters the plot to accommodate. Since the game takes place over ten years, actions you make will be remembered and will have permanent and significant effects throughout the lands. Full voice acting for Hawke is a new feature, as the player in DA was a silent robot for the most part; hopefully it will make the game that much more enjoyable.
Reputed for a release in the last quarter of 2011, Mass Effect III continues the well-polished and exciting space epic as the godlike “Reapers” have begun their assault on Earth. Humanity and all life in the galaxy is on the line as you once again take control of Commander Shepard to lead a team of specialized and unique fighters from across space to meet the threat. The previous games’ choices (over 1000 variables) will be ported over and will have a strong effect on the disposition of the plot, which has a possibility of making major and permanent changes to the story as it is the last in the series. I can’t wait!
With Warhammer 40k: Dark Millennium still on the horizon of development, Star Wars: The Old Republic stands to be a possible World of Warcraft contender that is to be released in the next year. Bioware will take some of the gameplay mechanics from its single-player games like Mass Effect (dialogue system, speech) as well as content from the other games the developer has made in the Star Wars universe (Knights of the Old Republic) It also contains a variety of gameplay modes, from the more conventional on foot segments but also rail-shooter space battles in which cinematic action and excitement is emphasized. It still stands to see if Bioware can pull off a MMORPG where so many have failed, but with such quality games behind it, it becomes more than likely it can mount a challenge to WoW.
There are a lot of decent games coming out next year, but these are some of the highlights that I can see definitely making an impact. If you’re a fan of RPGs, try these out. I guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Read the next part of this series HERE.