Today we move effortlessly into the final quarter of our Top 100 list. Strange, feels like just yesterday that I said we were in the last third, how time flies. Oh, I see, it was yesterday. Moving on, today we’ve got Vita versions of the best platformers, a game that’s still a prototype and something that seems like it will cause you ultimate hurt. And Call of Duty, of course.
25 Prototype 2
Prototype always seemed like a gorier, angrier, even more shocking version of inFamous. Besides the obvious connections – a large, open world, superpowers and the ability to climb up buildings – it’s a different kind of game. Shapeshifting is the main power in Prototype; the main character can shift into NPC’s bodies or mutate himself for further powers.
Taking place 14 months after the original game, with the Blacklight virus growing over New York City, Prototype 2 builds on all of the powers that were present in the first game but switches to a new protagonist, James Heller. Perhaps most notable of the new powers are the tendrils that Heller will be able to extrude from his arms to string up enemies or grab things in the environment, making for something similar to Spiderman (although much gorier).
The game is set to release on PS3, PC and Xbox 360 on April 27th in the EU, so you’ll have to wait until then before ripping apart enemies with Heller’s new powers.
24 Call of Duty 9
Only with a series like Call of Duty can a game reach the top quarter in a list of 100 anticipated games with literally no information about the game whatsoever. Well, whatever, we know there’s – unsurprisingly – going to be another Call of Duty game next year and we’re excited for it, despite the lack of information.
We can assume it’ll be another offering from Treyarch and won’t have anything to do with Modern Warfare. It’s hard to be sure if Activision are ready for Future Warfare yet, but that’s definitely not out of the question. Who knows, though? Perhaps Black Ops will spin off into a new sub-series, like Modern Warfare. We’ll find out sometime soon, but until then it’s pure speculation on our behalf.
Here’s a prediction that can’t be too far off the mark, though: it will have guns, feature some kind of war, with soldiers of different nationalities acting as the main characters throughout the campaign. There will also be a robust online mode, which improves on Modern Warfare 3’s offering but doesn’t go out of its way to be entirely different. Oh, and if it’s developed by Treyarch we’ll no doubt see their staple Zombie mode somewhere. And it’ll be out near the end of the year – perhaps November. You can quote me on that.
23 LittleBigPlanet (Vita)
The fourth main instalment in the LittleBigPlanet series releases next year, and it’s on Sony’s newest handheld. Originally penned by Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet is an absolutely brilliant game which took platforming to the next level and revolutionised user generated content; players were able to make full levels that rivalled those used in the game’s story. You all know that though, since we’ve already had two iterations on the PS3 and a PSP version. The question is what does the Vita version do differently?
Well, firstly, it’s not developed by Media Molecule. Instead, the relatively new studio Double Eleven will work with Tarsier Studios (developers of Rag Doll Kung Fu and LBP downloadable content) and Sony XDev. It will of course utilise Vita’s features such as the touch screen, allowing two players at once via multi-touch and the touch panel on the back. What’s the back panel going to be used for? Well rather intuitively you’ll be able to push an object towards the player, a nice touch I’m sure you’ll agree.
Touch screen controls could revolutionise LittleBigPlanet as we know it. With the editor, people will be able to draw objects, making it easier to create levels that will rival mobile touch screen games. We all really look forward to seeing what people do with this added functionality in LittleBigPlanet and what marvellous levels – or games – are created. Playing levels on the go should be an absolute blast, and although no release date has been announced we can expect to play this at some point in 2012.
22 Rayman Origins (Vita/3DS)
Whilst Rayman Origins should be appearing on various Game of the Year lists right now, it’s one of those lucky games with the opportunity to appear on our list of anticipated games for next year. You see, the handheld versions of this delightful game didn’t release alongside the home console versions and shall instead appear at some point in 2012 – hopefully sooner rather than later, though nothing is set in stone just yet.
Let’s hope that nothing’s scaled back on the pocket-size versions – Rayman Origins without the crisp, vibrant graphics would be a crime worthy of death. There’s little doubt that the Vita version will hold back on the graphics front and whilst there’s some reservations about the ability of the 3DS to provide truly clean, sharp visuals, the 3D effect will no doubt do wonders for the game’s style and leave us like children discovering a pop-up version of their favourite book for the first time.
Whether these games will be packed with new content or just carbon copies is still to be revealed. It’s all very vague right now and all we know that they’re coming to the consoles; anything else is simply speculation – let’s just hope they still make it, shall we?
If it’s done right the 3DS could have the best version of Rayman yet, and Sony’s handheld certainly doesn’t look to disappoint on the Rayman front either – expect touch screen controls amongst a slew of other features.
21 Max Payne 3
There’s always at least one game in each of these articles that I know little of. I’ve never played a Max Payne game you see, so I wasn’t really sure what set it apart from other third person shooters on the market.
Originally set to release in 2009, the game has gone through a series of delays. Being developed by Rockstar, the game sees the titular character return in a much rougher state. It looks to be a very gritty and mature game, with a very story-driven cinematic view throughout.
The gunplay looks simply amazing with very precise shooting mechanics coupled with realistic animations to make for one of the best third person shooters to play. Slow motion bullet time also plays a big part, allowing you to shoot enemies precisely and bringing across the changed perceptions of time that an adrenaline kick can give you.
Animation takes the lead in Max Payne 3 – if it isn’t the stunning character movement animations, that react realistically to the world, then it’s the fact that every single bullet is animated individually to give a very visceral connection to kills. Another big feature for Max Payne 3 is how the AI responds to weapons; different weapon hits make for various animations and enemies will react to being hit rather than just being killed.
After researching Max Payne 3, I can now say that I’m excited and I can see why it nearly made its way into our top 20 games of 2012. We’ll find out just how good it is when it releases in March across PS3, PC and Xbox 360.