Top 100 of 2012 Recap: 75-71 – S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Overstrike and Spec Ops

We’re a quarter of the way through our recap of the games we were most looking forward to this year. There’s a few games that appear to have went missing in action and a couple of titles that have already released, including the first Vita game in our countdown.

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

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There’s nothing stating officially whether S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is in development or not. We do know it’s not in the hands of the original developer, GSC Game World, after they closed down and stopped production of the title back in April. Unofficially, though, the game is reported to be in development elsewhere – just where exactly is not known – and Bethesda are attached to the project in some way.

There’s been no news since July, however, so we’ll just have to wait and see if anything comes out of this.

Meanwhile, GSC game world employees have created a new studio – Vostok Games – and are creating a free-to-play MMO named Survarium, which borrows some ideas from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2’s development. Set in a world after a massive ecological disaster, the game is stated to be a spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., so we’ve got that at least!

74 Ridge Racer (Vita)

Ridge Racer wasn’t one of the stronger launch titles for the Vita, after all, it went up against the mighty WipEout 2048. If WipEout was a beautiful, futuristic racing vehicle, fully furnished with everything you could ever want from a racer, Ridge Racer was a state-of-the-art model, only with the wheels and windows missing.

You see, buying Ridge Racer – for a sub-£20 entry fee – didn’t entitle you to all of the content, only providing three tracks and five cars, with further DLC packs filled with content releasing afterwards. Car skins (oddly totalling more than the cost of the game itself), new tracks, songs and cars were all available separately.

It’s certainly an interesting business model, yes, but ultimately left the game feeling a little bare bones – “Ridge Racer never really feels like it’s going to deliver a complete package.”, as described in our review, where we scored the game 5/10.

The game had solid enough mechanics, though, with great handling and a few good ideas in there, but the DLC driven idea ultimately never worked out as Namco had hoped.

73 Overstrike

We’re not entirely sure exactly what’s going on with Overstrike right now. Insomniac didn’t show it off at E3 or Gamescom this year and now they’ve gone and announced a new multiplatform IP, Fuse.

Or have they? There are reports that Fuse could actually just be a reworking of Overstrike – the one image we’ve seen certainly looks similar in style.

We won’t know anything more until just over a week from now, when the countdown on the Fuse website reaches zero, but it’s very likely that this ‘new IP’ is just a reworked version of an already announced game. Who knows, though, maybe we’ll see Fuse and Overstrike on our Top 100 of 2013 list.

72 XCOM

Fans of the original X-COM games weren’t very happy when they found out that the re-imagining of the series would be a first person shooter. Still, they continued on with development, with the game pinned to release in March of this year.

That didn’t happen, though, and the XCOM FPS has been delayed until the fiscal year ending March 31st 2014 – it could be quite a while before we see more of this shooter in action, then.

In a nice twist, however, Firaxis are developing a strategy XCOM game, dubbed Enemy Unknown, to be released on October 9th of this year. So, we won’t be seeing an XCOM FPS – the very one that landed the 72nd spot in our Top 100 of 2012 list – any time soon, but we will be seeing a new XCOM strategy game very soon. And that should make fans very happy.

71 Spec Ops: The Line

Finally, we’ve got a continuation of a series that actually made it out this year! Releasing back in June, Spec Ops: The Line was met with acclaim – we probably should have voted it higher than 71 on our list, though back then we thought it would just be a generic SOCOM-esque shooter. Oh, how we were wrong.

In fact, we scored it 9/10 in our review, praising the compelling story, stunning environments, great gameplay mechanics and plethora of other strong features. We even took an in-depth look at the multiplayer, and whilst we found it a very solid game mode, we didn’t think it could stand up with the best online shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.

Looks can be deceiving, then, and we shouldn’t have judged Spec Ops as just another shooter, when it turned out to be much more than that.

Join us tomorrow where the ratio of released to unreleased games will hopefully be a bit better.

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7 Comments

  1. The Ridge Racer malarkey should just never be repeated, its simply a bad idea and completely priced wrong. I doubt they’ll make new dlc for it because its a decent game just ruined by a silly model.

    • Unless they release a substantial piece of DLC I can’t see myself going back to it now – it needs an overarching career mode, and frankly given that you can play the arguably superior PSP entry in the series on your Vita it’s simpler (and cheaper) to do that.

  2. The Burnout ‘half a game’ nonsense put me off. And the “interactive demo” just added insult to injury.
    I’m looking forward to the XCOM games though, haven’t played one of those since on the Amiga!

    • Yeah, I might have a look at the RTS. Firaxis are great developers.

      • Xcom will be turn based though won’t it?
        at least when you’re commanding your troops.
        there might be a real time element when you’re sending fighters to shoot down UFOs, base building and while troops are on route.

        anyway, i’m definitely interested in the strategy game, the FPS never felt like it was part of the same series..

      • I’m not sure haven’t read much of it in a while. Seems to be turn-based for ground combat and real-time for resources and stuff.

  3. Really looking forward to how Survarium turns out, also curious for more info on fuse/overstrike.

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