Top 100 of 2012: 75-71 – XCOM, Spec Ops and Ridge Racer

Hello there lovely people, hope you’re enjoying the top 100 so far! Just in case you’re slipping behind you can see yesterday’s titles at this handy link. Now, let’s get cracking on with numbers 75 to 71:


75 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2

Peter mentioned in the launch post for this year’s Top 100 that, inevitably, we might miss some games announced late in the year, after we compiled the list – what we weren’t expecting is for a game to be cancelled and the company behind it to completely close down in the time between us writing the list and posting it.

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Unfortunately, that’s just the case with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, whose developer GSC Game World shut up shop last Friday. It’s no doubt a disappointment to fans of the FPS-RPG hybrid series (all three titles so far have a Metacritic average of between 75-80), and doubly so for those who tend not to game on PC and were looking forward to the franchise’s console debut.

Whilst GSC hasn’t yet detailed why the game was cancelled (and company closed), the marketing director of 1C Multimedia – the series publisher in some regions – detailed a number of development issues in a blog post. Apparently, work on the PS3 and 360 versions wasn’t going well, and projections for another PC-only release did not support the prolonged development schedule the current state of the game required. Sad times for all.


74 Ridge Racer (Vita)

Has there ever been a hardware launch without a Ridge Racer title? Yes? Oh, okay. Well Vita won’t be one of those left out in the cold, as the creatively-titled ‘Ridge Racer’ will be out in time for the handheld’s launch in February.

Shiny graphics and funky tunes are to be expected, but Ridge Racer Vita really brings the franchise into the modern era – by barely including any content on the original disk, and then charging for it all as premium DLC post-launch. That’s right, the game will only ship with three tracks and five cars, at – until we hear different from Namco – the same price point as a full game.

With no details yet on the western version of the game, we have only the Japanese edition to go on – eight cars (at ¥250 each) and six courses (¥400 each) arriving between February and May. Given the game’s ¥4000 starting point, that’s a little pricey.

Here’s hoping there’s some more positive news ahead of Ridge Racer’s release in the UK alongside the Vita itself on February 22nd.


73 Overstrike

Insomniac made headlines this summer when they announced a deal with EA Partners for the first multiplatform game in the developer’s sixteen-year history. The result of that deal is Overstrike – a near-future four-player co-op shooter.

“Overstrike follows a team of four elite agents obliterating enemy strongholds using fringe-tech gadgets and lethal teamwork,” says Insomniac. When an evil organisation threatens the very existence of man, an ex-mercenary, a thief, a scientist, and a detective – collectively, the titular and dysfunctional Overstrike 9 – are the only hope.

Aside from a reveal trailer and a brief plot overview, not much has been revealed about Overstrike since the game’s E3 announcement, but expect more details very soon now Insomniac has got PS3 exclusives Resistance 3 and Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One out the door.

Overstrike is due out some time in 2012 on PS3 and 360.


72 XCOM

Announced in April last year, XCOM didn’t even place in last year’s most anticipated games – a list which included two movie tie-ins. Maybe one of the reasons it was missing was 2K’s reaction as to why the reboot of the strategy series was an FPS. No, there’s no well-reasoned logic or “desire to take the series in a new direction”, just “strategy games don’t sell”. Charming.

However, after almost a year in hiding, XCOM resurfaced at E3 2011 with a new, more tactical style. You can now control your three-man squad using a Mass Effect-inspired squad wheel, and “time points” are spent on various commands. However, previews coming out of the show noted that you could still largely play through without even touching those controls, and instead just running and gunning.

Whilst the twisted Fifties setting is pretty cool, it sounds like XCOM still has a long way to come if it wants to be more than another me-too shooter. It’s due out on PC, Ps3 and 360 on March 9th.


71 Spec Ops: The Line

Wow, what a drop. The Line, the reboot of the previously-budget Spec Ops franchise, was announced back at the 2009 VGAs, and managed a pretty decent #36 in last year’s list.

Clearly, the staff here at TSA are not patient people and, after a fresh batch of delays, the game ends up this year at #71. A 360-exclusive limited beta was released in summer 2010, with not-too-positive impressions (“generic sandy SOCOM-lite” is a good summary). By now, the game’s sandy setting isn’t even that unique – Uncharted 3 has been announced and released, and the ever-elusive Journey isn’t even that far off.

The most recent media we’ve seen was the ‘giant battered TV screens’ trailer from a few weeks back; hopefully we’ll see something both more substantial and more promising very soon, otherwise it looks like it’ll be a speedy return to the bargain bin for the series.

Spec Ops : The Line is due out in Spring 2012 for PS3, 360 and PC.

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16 Comments

  1. Stalker 2 hasn’t been cancelled yet and GSC hasn’t closed either. Bit premature, no? They said they’re going to try and stay open, but their store is closing. Whether they do or not remains to be seen, but for all we know Stalker 2 could come out.

    • Lots of uncertainty here.

      I suppose it could technically still come out after asset stripping and/or some sort of rescue but as of now, GSC is no longer making any games. GSC has been seized by the Ukranian government though… and the last definitive announcement was that it was closed and they didn’t know what would happen with their property (now the Ukranian govt. property…).

      Since then, all we’ve seen is a tweet from an insider saying that they don’t know what’s happening and they’ll try to carry on but as of last week, it isn’t in business anymore so that seems more like hope than anything else.

    • HA! Next you’ll be saying that some company would take on 3D Realms’ aborted Duke Nukem Forever and release it.

  2. Overstrike sounds alright but I doubt it would appeal to me if it was being handled by a dev other than Insomniac.

  3. I thought XCOM was a 360 exclusive? If its coming to PS3, you might have just made my day.

  4. Of the games here Overstrike is probably the one I look forward to the most, the trailer reminded of Team Fortress a bit, and we know Insomniac are very capable devs with heaps of PS3 experience behing them. It looks much less dreary than Resistance, and Ratchet needs a rest.

  5. Potentially good quality games here. Look forward to seeing more of Overstrike, and Soec Ops.

  6. Finally some games I want. Overstrike and Spec Ops: The Line for me. Maybe XCOM for the nostalgia but, from the looks of it, probably not.

    • It was dreadful from what I played of it at Eurogamer (XCOM I mean)

      • …XCOM wasn’t at Eurogamer?

      • The XCom nostalgia is the only thing drawing me to it, pity they’ve ripped up the turn based strategy forumla, it felt quite unique back in its day and now I can see it just ending up as generic as the Syndicate game we’re expecting next year.

  7. Not sure about overstrike. Insomniacs games have been less and less interesting to me recently. spec ops might have been good, but meh? i’ll have to wait till further down the list it seems…

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