Q1/11: Dungeon Siege III - Two Worlds II
Dungeon Siege 3 is said to "seamlessly blend intuitive action gameplay and a robust RPG system in an immersive world." As the story goes, the delicate balance of power between the Kingdom of Ehb's powerful factions has fallen apart. You’re one of the few remaining members of the disgraced protectors of the land, the 10th Legion, and it is up to you to rebuild the once great Legion and stop Ehb from falling into darkness. Along the way you'll recruit companions and make decisions that shape alliances and affect the ultimate outcome of the story.
Dungeon Siege III is a fantasy role-playing game where players choose a character class and ability set to level up through hack'n'slash'n'spellcast gameplay. It’s the first in the series to be published by Square Enix after it acquired the complete ownership of the Dungeon Siege franchise and will reportedly feature a new and more interactive multiplayer campaign which includes drop-in, drop-out cooperative play.
Guild Wars 2 is a fantasy MMORPG currently in development by ArenaNet, as a sequel to their episodic Guild Wars game series that garnered a respectable fanbase of 6 million. Work on Guild Wars 2 began in 2007 when it was announced alongside the last expansion for the original game. Due to the complexity of continuing development on top of the original game, ArenaNet appealed to the series fans that a development reboot was needed, so they started with a clean slate and took them two full years until they were ready to show gameplay openly. The new game takes place in the Guild Wars fantasy world of Tyria, 250 years after the players defeat the Great Destroyer in the Eye of the North expansion.
Guild Wars 2 uses a new game engine developed in-house that features real-time 3D environments, enhanced graphics and animations, and the use of the Havok physics system. Guild Wars 2 will allow a player to create a character from five races and eight professions. Despite an increased character level of 80, ArenaNet has placed mechanics to avoid forcing players into grinding. A sidekicking system will allow high-level characters to transfer powers to lower-level characters, or lower their level comparable to their sidekick as to enjoy lower-level content and enter PvP competitions where character skills are balanced.
Homefront is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by Kaos Studios and published by THQ. The story is set in the year 2027 after a decade-long energy crisis and that led the economy to the ground. Reduced to a mere shadow of the super power it once was, the U.S. became the target of a now-nuclear armed North Korean takeover. American malls, suburbs and city streets are now battlegrounds as the civilian resistance fights for freedom.
The game immerses players in an interactive and cinematic FPS experience where they will assume an infantry role or take command of a wide variety of aerial and ground vehicles. In addition to the single-player experience, Homefront will deliver a robust multiplayer mode that introduces in-game currency to allow players to purchase weapons, gear and vehicles. The PC version of the game will reportedly feature exclusive content and dedicated servers.
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is the upcoming WWII themed sequel to Ostfront 41-45, developed and published by Tripwire Interactive. The game will focus on the Battle of Stalingrad and the surrounding operations from July 1942 to February 1943. Players will be able to experience one of the most brutal battles in all of human history from the Axis side in a German single player campaign, as well as gritty, vicious combat in multi-player and co-op modes.
Powered by Unreal Engine 3, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad will contain many new features including a new first person cover system combined with blind firing, first person collision detection, true to life weaponry, as well as an entire new system of statistics tracking and enabling player development.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 aims to redefine its genre by adding the persistency, progression and customization of the latest multiplayer games to the auto racing experience. The game is set in the Mediterranean island of Ibiza and Oahu, Hawaii (the setting of the first game), with over 2,000 miles of roadway and back roads full of new challenges and races. The game blends single player and multiplayer experiences, creating a dynamic world of evolving competition.
There will be a storyline for players to follow and in order to progress throughout the game they will have to earn experience points to level up through the 60 levels. These points are earned by racing, completing challenges, making friends in the game, joining clubs, discovering all roads, buying new cars and houses and so on. The game is designed to bring massive-multiplayer online sensibility to traditional digital driving, with features such as co-op or a new out of car mode where you can walk around shared spaces and interact with other players.
The next installment in the popular Sims franchise takes the series back in time and puts a twist on the classic gameplay. The Sims Medieval offers players a chance to build up a medieval kingdom and populate it with characters like Kings, Queens, Knights, Blacksmiths, Bards, and Wizards. Each of these classes will have different storylines and users have to make sure they carry out their daily responsibilities.
In a departure from previous titles, it seems like this version of The Sims will be extremely story-driven, as users will have to choose an ultimate goal for their kingdom and then fulfill quests that contribute to that goal. EA claims it's not just a different time period and new content, but rather a brand new game within the series with an all-new feature set.
Two Worlds II: The Temptation is a role-playing game developed by Reality Pump and published by TopWare Interactive as a sequel to the original. Taking place shortly after the events portrayed in Two Worlds, The Temptation takes place in Eastern Antaloor, in the regions surrounding Oswaroh and the Drak’ar Desert. It features more intricate missions, improved voice-overs and animations, and a new game engine that delivers improved visuals.
The combat system has also been revamped, with an active blocking system, a completely new means of transport, a much-enhanced reaction system and other tweaks. Along with the many improvements made to Two Worlds II, Reality Pump has put a great amount of effort toward crafting interesting multiplayer modes with a co-op quest line, a 'village' mode, as well as various deathmatches and duel modes on offer. Although it’s just being released in the U.S. this month, Two Worlds II has been available in Europe since December and is getting much better reviews than its predecessor.