We we’ve looked at The Sequels in our part 1 and part 2 articles, and we’ve looked at the older franchise coming this year; today in our third and final look at the games of 2011 we we look at the new franchises that are coming to current-gen consoles this year. These are titles that are fresh out of the gates or they are titles that are coming to consoles for the first time. So take a load off and let us take you though our list of newcomers that we are looking forward to playing in this new year of gaming.
Bulletstorm is a fresh new franchise coming this month from Epic Games. Taking place in a futuristic setting where a confederation is being protected by an elite band of mercenaries. Players take control of Grayson Hunt, an ex mercenary, now drunken space pirate. Reunited with his old comrades they get off the planet and take revenge on the man who exiled them there. Expect some over-the-top combat combo moves and incredibly crazy weapons. Players are rewarded via a Skillshot system, where rewards are earned for creating mayhem in the most imaginative ways possible. Points are earned using this system to upgrade their character, unlock new weapons and kill abilities. If you didn’t know already there is a demo out for Xbox 360 and PS3 if you wish to check this game out before its release very soon.
Expected release date : February 2011
You maybe thinking that this game should have been covered in our sequels article, and to be honest it should have been, but Crysis is a fresh new franchise to console gamers, and in 2011 we find its sequel landing in our disc drives for the first time. The year is 2023, New York City, some three years after the events of the first game on PC, where the Big Apple has been evacuated due to an alien infestation. Players will be slipping into the Nanosuit 2, a newly updated version of the suit used in the previous game. Two modes in the suit can be used together for a short period of time, which allows players to customise and upgrade to fit their own style of combat. By obtaining this suit you are under the heat of Crynet Systems, who wouldn’t mind that suit back, and as a result they order a manhunt for your capture. Expect jaw dropping visuals from Crytek’s new CryEngine 3 game engine in what appears to be an explosive power-suit-fest full of aliens, big guns, big jumps and a big grin on your face in the knowledge that you will not need to upgrade your own hardware to play this game on your console, unlike PC gamers. A multiplayer demo has been released should you wish to check this out in advance.
Expected release date : March 2011
Homefront is a new franchise for its publisher, THQ, in 2011. Set in America in the year 2027, a now-nuclear armed Korean Army invades the country. Co-written by John Milius, of Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn fame, the story unfolds the growth of the North Korean forces over the years as well as the economic downfall of the USA. Players are invited to join the American resistance, using guerrilla tactics, commandeering military vehicles and controlling advanced drone technology to thwart the impending attacks taking place around the country. Expect a cinematic, character driven focus in the game, with plenty of fighting amongst some of the most well known American landmarks. Mutliplayer is also promised with up to 32 player vehicle combat. So if you like what you hear, then there isn’t long left until you can sign up to the resistance and do your part.
Expected release date : March 2011
Brink is yet another upcoming first-person shooter coming to both consoles this year. Unlike other first-person shooters, Brink offers something a little different. The core of Brink is in its team-based multiplayer missions, with authored narratives, persistent player characters and an approachable gameplay. Two factions, the Resistance and the Security, are at war with each other on The Ark, a floating city surrounded by the waters of flooded Earth. Due to many refugees coming from other parts of the world The Ark is soon over populated resulting in a brink of civil war. Brink is built around a story mode that is played online with up to either 8 players co-op, againist AI bots, or in competitive team verses team multiplayer. Your character will be fully customisable, from the gear they wear to the guns they wield. Items can be bought with experience points earned by completing objectives in the game. A new angle in Brink is its SMART system. SMART (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) system allows players to navigate around the environment in a very parkour-like style, similar to such games like Assassin’s Creed and Mirror’s Edge. The SMART system works very well and will add a fresh new approach to a first-person shooter, hopefully one that will make Brink stand up against your typical online shooter on consoles.
Expected release date : Q2 2011
From the gods of first-person shooters, id Software, RAGE takes place on a post-apocalyptic wasteland created by an asteroid impact. Your world is a desolate landscape of ruin, a vista that will be all too familiar to Fallout and Borderlands players. Like the latter mentioned title, the game will also feature some driving and racing elements too. Players will be able to upgrade their buggies using money won in races that you take part in. RPG elements will also carry throughout the game, where by using an inventory system you will be able to upgrade weapons and choose from the many types of ammo for your arsenal. Human survivors litter the barren wastelands as does many bandits and mutants who didn’t survive the impact so well. Expect jaw dropping visuals from id’s Tech 5 engine, using unrepeatable ‘Mega Textures’ that will create a very rich, living and breathing world. We will no doubt be hearing more about RAGE at this year’s gaming expos prior to the game’s release later in the year.
Expected release date : September 2011
Alice is more of a return than a new franchise really, but we’ll slip this into our newbies line-up of release this year as it will be the first outing for this 2000 sequel on today’s consoles. American McGee returns to design this sequel after his studio, Spicy Horse, partners with EA. Taking place eleven years after the events that took place in the previous game, Alice has been released from the Rutledge Asylum and put into the care of a London psychiatrist. Still troubled with traumatic memories of the death of her parents, Alice’s hallucinations increase in severity, which results in her returning to Wonderland. Expect a dark storyline and a blade-wielding Alice, as she battles through her insanity to save its residents and herself from the evil that is taking over Wonderland.
Expected release date : Q4 2011
There are very little motion games to pluck from in 2011, though Child of Eden is one title that is on our radar in 2011 for sure. Child of Eden is a rhythm action game by the masterful Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who is well known for bringing us Rez. Players use motion via the Kinect peripheral (or standard joypad controls) to shoot at various targets, which when hit produce a sound. The aim of the game is to save Project Lumi, whilst currently undercontruction, from a virus attack. With Project Lumi completed a human personality in Eden will be produced, which is the artificial intelligence inside which Rez took place in. Still with me? Good. Expect an eye retina melting neon visual effects fest, teamed with a dynamically driven soundtrack that will both bring, hopefully, an experience that will become yet another Mizuguchi classic of Rez-like proportions.
Expected release date : 2011
Hunted: The Deamon’s Forge is a third-person action game set in a dark fantasy world. Two soldiers fight together in their search for a long lost artifact. Players have the ability to play cooperatively with each another, one playing as E’lara, who uses a long-range bow and arrow and some small weapons, whilst the other plays as Caddoc, who wields much larger melee weapons. Both players can switch characters as well as use magic spells to aid their progression throughout their quest. Expect some gripping co-op gameplay, lined with plenty of sword and shield wielding skeletons as well as many other beasties, set pieces, puzzles and plenty of dungeon crawling carnage.
Expected release date : May 2011
If history has taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate the talents of Rockstar. Red Dead Redemption proved itself to be far more than “GTA with horses”, and L.A. Noire, the company’s hugely ambitious detective sim’, looks to be just as enthralling. Set in 1947, during the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood golden age, L.A. Noire charts the rise of Cole Phelps, a former soldier and newly-badged cop working for the LAPD. Developed by Team Bondi under the ever-watchful eye of Brendan McNamara (The Getaway), L.A. Noire is all about solving crimes, as opposed to committing them. Rockstar promises 20 cases to solve in total, each lasting between 45 minutes and one hour to solve. However, it’s the game’s stunning use of MotionScan technology – which perfectly captures the actors’ facial performances – that impresses here, allowing for some truly authentic interrogations. All we need now is a suitably beige fedora…
Expected release date : Q2 2011
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is another game in THQ’s stellar line-up of 2011. This third-person action RPG is rumoured to appear on our consoles this coming Summer. Players take control of Captain Titus, a Space Marine and humanity’s last hope for survival from a dark future of constant war. By using your squad of four Space Marines your goal is to stop the Warboss from stealing and salvaging a Warlord-class-walking Battle Titan tank. Expect some ork-slashing fisticuffs, plenty of blood, big ork jaw teeth, bolt riffles, plasma hammers and enormous Space Marine suits.
Expected release date : Q3 2011
So that wraps up our look at just a few of the new upcoming games that are making their way to our consoles in 2011. We hope you have enjoyed our selection of titles, however there will be plenty more new franchises launching on consoles this year that we didn’t cover, with many more to be announced at this year’s gaming expos. Be sure to let us know your views on the games we’ve mentioned above and any other new franchises that will be coming to our consoles this year that may have slipped under our radar and that you are looking forward to playing yourself.