I have been away for a wee while down in the London trying to get some work experience and generally not doing any work at all. I returned a few weeks ago, but have been busy wasting time so haven’t gotten round to posting here. It seems the quality of posting dropped dramatically in my abscence so I am here to restore some order. I thought that I would start by going on a bit of a spiel about all the games coming out before the end of the year and tell you why they look promising. I have an awesome plan for another post, but I need to pace myself. So, get ready for a (not so) quick rundown of (in my opinion) the games to look out for this year.

Medieval II: Total War – Kingdoms

While technically out already, it deserves a quick mention simply because of the sheer size of this expansion pack. With 4 extra campaign, it almost doubles the amount of time you can spend with this game. They are the Brittania, Teutonic, Crusades and Americas campaigns, each one focuses on a different aspect of the game and is very enjoyable. My personal favourite is the Brittania simply because it lets you relive the original Medieval Total War game in awesome detail! (With the Norwegians being scum, the Irish backstabbing, the Welsh scared and the English worryingly loyal…) If you own the original game, you need this and if you dont; it is a great reason to get it!

Medal of Honor: Airborne

Again, this is technically out but I don’t care – it looks intriguing. I have played the demo a few times and must say I do enjoy the idea of picking where you go first. Ths original Medal of Honor games defined linear WWII shooters, and breaks that down a bit. It isn’t as revolutuionary as it may seem, there is a limited radius within which you can drop, and the chockpoints mean it turns almost into a linear shooter in parts, but it is a nice idea and works well for the msot part. The things which will annoy people are the still arcadey style run and gun which is possible – although on hard, believe me you get cut down very easily if you stray out of cover. Also, the enemies will keep spawning in an area until you move forward, which is great for getting experience in a gun up (which gets you unlocks) but you can also take quite a beating if you time your advance wrong. All in all it looks good, but will have to wait for the full thing to see just how good.

World In Conflict

For this game I was involved in the closed Beta back in June (I think I can say that) – but was away for the open Beta and recently got the official demo – I have to say I did enjoy it – yes it is a strategy game (which I am less than great at in general) but the only strategy revolves around organising troops. None of this bulding bases stuff. The other fun thing about it is that the entire world is destructible, which makes for some pretty barren levels if the fights drag on. It also looks very pretty – which while isn’t everything, it certainly helps in todays gaming world. One for the strategy nuts, and maybe for use shooter people to give a shot.

Enemy Territories: Quake Wars

Often compared to the Battlefield games, this faster paced game is going to have a bit of a love hate thing – you either love it or hate it. I have played Battlefield and also the Wolfenstien game this is based off, and can say I enjoyed the both, but it is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. The demo is released tomorrow and am going to refrain from further comment until later in the week, when I have played it a bit to see what I think.

Half-Life 2: Orange Box

Probably too much to write about this, so will do another post later, but it essentially is a trio of awesomeness. Portal is a very initive game that looks to introduce a while new aspect to games. Team Fortress 2 is going to be a very fun and fast paced shooter and will probably last a long time. Half Life 2 Episode 2 is, of course, the middle part to the great trilogy of episodes. I know this is going to be a great set of games, and with the release date only in October the 10th, I can’t wait.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Anyone who has played the first Call of Duty game should agree it is one of the very best WWII shooters ever, and the second wasn’t too bad either. But now the people behind the first are going in a completely new direction, and taking the war to the present day. There are going to be huge battles with a lot of players, both enemies and friends, with lots of different weapons, settings and maybe even vehicles. And then there will be multiplayer, and becasue this is a Call of Duty game, it will be good. The story may not be top notch, but it serves the purpose, and hopefully this game will live up to its early counterparts.

Assassin’s Creed

An interesting premise for a game, it looks like a strange mix of Thief and Splinter Cell. Your job is to assassinate people – as the name suggests, but not in the present day, but back in the past (actual time frame escapes me for the moment). It looks interesting as it looks very open-ended, there are a lot of diferent ways to carry out your mission, plus every building is meant to be climbable and the acrobatics you can perform look very cool. Speaking of cool, you can swordfight multiple people at once, plus there seems to be a very dynamic world going on around you, so you need to be careful not just what guards see, but also what Joe Public sees. Looks to be a fun stealth game, if the acrobatics and combat works well!

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Another expansion pack (and not the last), and again for a strategy game. Again this is a strategy game less about base building (although you must do that to a small degree) and more about manouvering troops. And again it is a fully destructible environment, great looking game – which just adds to the immense atmosphere. This expansion adds two extra armies – The British 2nd Army and the Panzer Elite. They are two very different armies (British good defence, Panzer has a lot of power) and the single player will include a campaign for both of them (which will outlast the original games campaign). Along with this they are including a host of bug fixes and improvements (like path finding improvements and introduing weather effects) as well as new unannounced multiplayer modes. Because of the huge amount of content, this is in fact a standalone expansion pack, meaning you won’t need the original to play it…but why would you not want to play the original!

Crysis

If you have been following the blog, you will know I have a bit of an obsession with this game. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just looks cool – the jungle setting will make way for some very interesting firefights and hopefully the AI will be up to it. Also the suit is an extremely inovative way of mixing up the gameplay and really letting you play it anyway you want! Also, of course, it is going to look immense. With all this in mind, I am getting quite excited that the release date is nearing (November 16th I believe) and hope it lives up at least a wee bit to my expectations.

Unreal Tournament III

This series of games has always been known for its fast paced, no holes barred gory frantic action, and by the looks of things this newcomer looks to continue this. It hopes to expand on the singleplayer aspect, which has always been quite weak, as well as providing the excellent multiplayer we have come to expect. The fact that this is one of the few multiplayer games I can gurantee to be good makes worth looking forward too.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance

For those who have played the original, this expansion (yes, another) adds a new faction to the game, the Seraphim. If you remember these were the dudes the Aeon spun off of and it seems they are back – and pissed off. Not only will this add a whole new faction and campaign, it will also add more multiplayer maps and also units for the three original factions. With this being a stand-alone expansion, it will be interesting to see who can play with who online, depending who has what content. I for one will have both, and this will be a good excuse for everyone to have a blast at the original!

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate

This is the last expansion, I promise. This time, you don’t play the same eprson you have done before, although it seems you have the same powers with time. You play someone different and experience the F.E.A.R. story from a different angle. There isn’t a while lot to say about this – the things that is exciting is that it will add more F.E.A.R. goodness! Also, as a note, this is not, as was Extraction Point, being developed by the same people who did the original. That was Monolith. This is Vivendi. Vivendi have the name F.E.A.R. while Monolith have the story and characters (I think that is how it is at the moment anyway). Vivendi are making F.E.A.R. 2, with an as yet unannounced storyline, and Monolith are making a spiritual “F.E.A.R. 2) called Project Origin, which will continue the original storyline (probably ignoring the events from Extraction Point). It is all awfully boring legal stuff but the upshot of which is we will get two F.E.A.R. games pretty soon, instead of just one!

There are a few more games: another WWII shooter sequel (but still looks promising) Brother in Arms: Hells Highway; a shooter where the Nazis won WWII, Turning Point: Fall of liberty; and a console strategy game Tom Clancys Endwar. The reason you aren’t getting more details is because I am bored, and also these are the games furtherest in the future and so the ones I am looking forward too the least.

I am done now, this has been a very long post, and the blog I thing has a whole new feature while I have been typing! I have a few more topics I will cover in the next few weeks – Bioshock, Enemy Territories: Quake Wars Demo and more on the Half Life 2: Orange Box, but for now I am out!