This is the fifth edition of our Top 100 Recap, and to celebrate all things five, we’re going to take a look back at five more games from our Top 100 list. As Kris would say, yesterday was recap number thor and this recap contains Thor. So let’s get on with it…
The Lord of the Rings is a stellar franchise; one with a lot of potential to spawn great games. War in the North, then, is an action RPG set in the North of Middle Earth whilst the main storyline of the novels and movies continues elsewhere.
Set to release in just under a month – August 24th to be precise – a few trailers have surfaced, focusing on the three main characters: a bloodthirsty dwarf, a noble human ranger and a magical elven fighter. The game is very much focused on co-op, with both splitscreen and online play. Fear not, if that’s not your thing then you can play on your own, but the other party members will stay with you as AI bots.
With a main quest length of over 10 hours, other sidequests and focus on replaying the game multiple times, it seems there’s a good amount of replay value. The story is brand new, and some of the locations are too, so it should more than just a movie game hopefully. It’s also the first LoTR game to be rated Mature, which means the combat will be a lot more true to the franchise.
Lastly, the aforementioned co-op? It’s there to add a feeling of fellowship to the game, naturally.
79 – Torchlight II
Another action RPG in the list and another game to be expected within a month. Well, actually, originally expected at the start of Summer in either May or June, it appeared to have been held back… until July. That’s less than likely, considering there are only two days of July left. You can expect Torchlight II some time later this year, hopefully.
A sequel to Torchlight, which was generally well received, although it never made an appearance on Sony’s console, releasing on PC back in 2009 whilst appearing on XBLA earlier this year. Dan actually reviewed the XBLA version and whilst an excellent game, he cited lack of co-op as a downfall: “A game like this is begging to be played with friends, tackling enemies and bosses together and combining skills would have made for an epic experience.”, in his own words. Well, thankfully, Runic Games seemed to have listened and Torchlight II will contain co-op, in some form.
That’s not the only upgrade; a redesigned user interface (another one of Dan’s cons – they must be fans), day and night cycles, weather effects and the ability to customise your character’s face and hair style. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Torchlight II looks set to be a vast improvement over the original game, whenever it does release.
78 – Hitman 5
Ah, Hitman. After many, many rumours and wishing for some solid info, we got a teaser trailer… which didn’t show much. Well, it did confirm guns, silencers, gloves, suits and ties in the game – if you’re stretching for info. Now titled Hitman: Absolution, the fifth instalment in the series is set to be released next year on PC, PS3 and 360, as with some other games in our list.
Other information has trickled through, and we now know a lot more about the game than we did when the Top 100 was formed by Lee – we’ve even seen some gameplay. Stealth will, of course, play a big role in the game, with it being possible to get through without killing anyone but your target. The only question is: how will it fare against the modern trend of run and gun shooters? It should be a good break, at least.
Personally, I’ve never managed to get into Hitman; although I do enjoy Metal Gear and Splinter Cell. Absolution looks great, though, from the (still little) amount we’ve seen. With an Instinct mode moving the series into modern times, a la Batman’s Detective Mode and Sam Fisher’s own Mark and Execute, it looks like it could be a hit; although some fans are torn, due to the decision to remove the full satellite map.
77 – Thor
Incidentally, number thor in this article, and the first game that has actually been released – and, due to that, the first game we’ve reviewed -is Thor. Released back in May, the movie tie-in was quickly forgotten for everyone bar Kris; he’s still haunted by the sheer amount of bugs, manifesting as real insects in his nightmares.
Scoring less than his own name, the God of Thunder’s game “doesn’t even live up to the expectations of a movie tie-in”. Now that’s bad. Kris nailed the exact reason it was 77 in our list, though: we hoped that it would be good; it certainly looked decent before release and even better way back last year – you really can’t tell with some games.
It wasn’t all bad news. With solid voice work and decent visual styles in realms that “come dangerously close to making you feel excited about this game”, there was a glimmer of hope, soon smashed by the frustration; there’s no better way to put it than it “makes you want to throw your controller through the screen”. There’s not really much more to say about Thor: God of Thunder. Let’s try and forget about it and go beyond that into…
76 – Beyond Good & Evil 2
Let’s face it, we knew that a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil was very unlikely to appear in 2011. Why was it on the list, then? Wishful thinking, of course… and your yearly reminder that it exists.
We did in fact get some Beyond Good & Evil action this year, in the form of an HD remake… which we all loved – Dan scoring it a great 8/10 in his review, pointing out the bad camera and map system, things which could really be improved with a sequel. We can’t forget the wonderful story and fresh mix of genres, though; something which a sequel could tarnish. Nonetheless, we want it… HD remakes just aren’t enough, are they?
Ubisoft may well have been testing the waters for a sequel with the HD-ifying of BG&E. Although, there’s now even less hope for it any time soon (but definite confirmation that it will come) since Ubisoft stated “We are targeting the next generation of consoles.” That’s right, not next-gen consoles, the next generation… the ones that don’t even exist yet, as far as we know. That’s the successor to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. That’s definitely not 2011.
Beyond Good & Evil Forever? Hopefully not, we all know what happened with that (and we’ll get to it in the coming weeks as we continue our countdown).