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The next installment in the Metal Gear series will position Raiden as the main character, and the debut teaser/art renders depict him as the cyborg ninja he was in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. No plot or setting has been revealed, but developer Kojima has referred to the game as the "next generation MGS5" -- for whatever that's worth. Metal Gear Solid: Rising will mark the first MGS title to appear on the Xbox 360, and it will reportedly use a new game engine.
Napoleon: Total War puts players behind Napoleon's French Empire from the early Italian campaign to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond. There are several campaign segments, including Italy, Egypt and The Mastery of Europe, which is like the "Grand Campaign" of previous Total War games.
There is also word of playable opposing factions, like Britain, Russia and Austria. The multiplayer aspect will include things like Steam achievements, voice communication, a new uniform system with some 355 uniforms as well as an editor, and more.
Combining both first-person shooter and real-time strategy gameplay, Natural Selection 2 is set in a sci-fi universe a few years after the original title. Based on available information, there seems to be a strong emphasis on multiplayer -- just like the original. The game is being developed with a custom engine for computers running Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, as well as the Xbox 360.
The original Portal was met with such praise that it was arguably more popular than Half Life 2: Episode Two or Team Fortress 2 (other games bundled with The Orange Box). Valve's Kim Swift revealed plans for Portal 2 in February 2008 -- nearly two years ago. Despite that, the developer hasn't provided any details on the much-anticipated title.
A rumor broke in June 2008 when a Kotaku tipster said Valve was hiring an actor to voice Cave Johnson, an eccentric dead billionaire and the former Aperture Science CEO. It was suggested that Johnson would be the main antagonist of Portal 2, indicating that the title may be a prequel to the original Portal. No other information is available, and Valve hasn't publicly stated that Portal 2 will come in 2010, but here's to hoping.
Half-Life 2: Episode Three was also expected to launch at some point this year, but Valve recently said it wouldn't debut until 2011.
Rage is yet another game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, this time on a planet devastated by an asteroid collision (more specifically, the impact of 99942 Apophis). id Software is developing Rage with its new id Tech 5 engine, and the driving elements are inspired by racing titles like MotorStorm and Burnout, with talk of vehicle upgrades and race prize money.
In a move that seems to be increasingly popular, last year id announced that it wouldn't support dedicated servers for the PC version, and will instead adopt a matchmaking system. Nevertheless, where there is a will there is a way, and PC gamers usually find it quickly.
Set in 2010, the plot revolves around Nate Renko, an Air Force pilot sent to investigate a bizarre island called "Katorga-12" where Russians experimented with the mysterious "E99" (Element 99) during the Cold War. In 1950, a catastrophe known as the "Singularity" occurred on the island, constantly shifting it between the periods of 1950 and 2010.
With the help of a TMD (Time Manipulation Device), Renko intends to find his co-pilot, escape the island and prevent the Singularity from occurring -- if only it were that easy. Along the way, Renko encounters hostile Russian forces in both periods, as well as mutated flora, fauna, and former residents of the island -- some of which also have time manipulation powers.
Interestingly, the TMD seems to be the primary gameplay component, allowing you to move objects forward and backward in time, or even freeze them. For example, you can send a lock into the future causing it to rust in real time, or wind back the clock to "repair" broken bridges. This reportedly works on animate objects too, such as a tree or person, making it useful for both puzzle solving and combat.
Sam Fisher is back again in the fifth installment of the Splinter Cell franchise -- except with a new twist. Set roughly two years after Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Fisher has separated from the voice in his ear to track those responsible for the death of his daughter. During his search, Fisher finds himself trying to prevent a more serious threat to Washington DC, and all the while, Third Echelon is in pursuit of its rogue special ops agent.
Along with the game's refreshed approach, many new elements will be introduced, including "mark and execute" and "last known position", as well as the ability to the surrounding environment as a weapon against characters being interrogated and more. The coop and multiplayer portions will be equally overhauled, with new features and game modes.
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