Last January, we kicked off 2009 with a look at the games we were most eager to see in the upcoming year. Plenty of games lived up to our expectations, like Shaun's choice of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but there were others that left only tears and heartache, like Sophia's hopes to see Final Fantasy XIII released before year's end. But that was last year, and now we're looking forward to a whole new crop of games (FFXIII notwithstanding). With the GameSpot editors back in the office after a wonderfully relaxing holiday break, let's see what they have to say about the games they most want to get their hands on this year.
Giancarlo Varanini | Editor-at-Large
Taking a quick look at the list of games coming out this year makes me realize one thing: I’m looking forward to so many more games in 2010 than I was in 2009 that it's incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a single choice. Still, the very idea that the creative minds behind one of my favorite games of all time are working on The Last Guardian--a game scheduled for release in November--is too hard to ignore. Though we still don't know much about it, I find it impossible to refuse the pull of that bird-dog-dragon-cat's big, teary, puppy-dog eyeballs or to not think about the creature's seemingly inevitable fate. It'll be interesting to see how the interaction between the boy and the bird-dog-dragon-cat pans out over the course of the game and what sort of gameplay spawns from their relationship.
Also, as an immense Castlevania fanboy, I'm pretty excited about the arrival of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in 2010. Even though there have been multiple attempts, there still hasn't been a really great 3D Castlevania game, but Lords of Shadow looks like it's taken some cues from other, popular 3D action games in an effort to buck that trend. Plus, Captain Picard is doing voice-over work for the game--when has Captain Picard ever let you down?
Other stuff that excites me: Darksiders, BioShock 2, Dark Void, Mass Effect 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Final Fantasy XIII, Super Street Fighter IV, Super Mario Galaxy 2, StarCraft II, Epic Mickey, Metroid: Other M, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Monster Hunter Tri, Halo: Reach, Mega Man 10, and several other games that I'm probably forgetting.
Brian Ekberg | Senior Editor, Previews
Finally. Gran Turismo 5, a game that’s been almost 10 years in the making, is set for release in 2010. This is according to GT series honcho Kazunori Yamauchi, who says he began envisioning portions of GT5 back in 2001. We’re nearly ready to see what the folks at Polyphony Digital have in store for driving fans around the world. Of course, we’ve seen glimpses of what to expect with appetizers like Gran Turismo HD Concept, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, and the recently released GT5 Time Trial Challenge demo. And we know the impressive laundry list of features too: exterior and, in some cases, interior damage modeling; cars from real-world racing series like NASCAR, WRC, and IRL among the hundreds of available rides; night racing; weather effects; and 1080p visuals running at 60 frames per second. When you add online features that Sony is currently keeping mum on and...good lord, I think I have the vapors...summer can’t arrive quickly enough.
Honorable Mention: Last year in this space, I named DC Universe Online as my most anticipated game. While the game’s delay into 2010 didn’t surprise, it also hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for what I hope to be a great superhero game on the PlayStation 3 and PC.
Tom Mc Shea | Associate Editor, Reviews
Yoshi is the best darn fictional dinosaur to ever grace this modern world. Like chocolate or bacon, his presence makes everything better. So when I saw that he would be included in Super Mario Galaxy 2, well, I nearly whooped with joy. I didn't, though, because I'm a grown man, but my Yoshi-loving inner child certainly did. It may sound blasphemous to throw barbs at the original Mario Galaxy--one of the finest games I have ever played--but it did have one small problem that the mere presence of the reptilian-skinned sidekick could easily erase: power-ups. A bee suit? Boo Mario? Those aren't fun! Riding around on Yoshi's back across those crazy spherical worlds--now that's fun. The only thing that could make Galaxy 2 better is if Shy Guy or, hope against hope, Wart make a cameo. But that's just me being greedy.
Honorable Mention: I cannot imagine God of War III will be able to top the sublime God of War II--the finest 3D action game ever made--but if it can get even close to the excellent last adventure, I will be giddy. Of all the fictional things video games let you perform, deicide has to be near the very top of the list. And the best thing about killing all the gods is, when you finally die, there's no one left to judge you.
Shaun McInnis | Associate Editor, Previews
I guess I'm lucky this year. The game I'm most looking forward to in 2010 is one that will be in stores in about, oh, three weeks. No, I'm not talking about the DS release of Imagine: Party Planner or even the hotly anticipated Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2--though these were certainly close. Actually, my most eagerly awaited game this year is Mass Effect 2. I got to preview the game last month, and what I can tell you now is that the first 15 minutes of it will just about knock your socks off. Even if you don't wear socks, the opening of Mass Effect 2 is so awesome that it will go out of its way to furnish your feet with socks of the most luxurious Canadian wool...only to violently yank them off just as the title flashes across the screen. Also, I heard the inventory system has been fixed, so that's cool too.
There are also a few more games on my radar heading into 2010. Heavy Rain looks like a thoroughly unique experience (I know Lark is excited about the prospect of making a sandwich via QuickTime Events) while Red Dead Redemption and Mafia II seem to be vying for the prize of most promising sandbox action game of the year. Then, there's The Last Guardian, which could be amazing or slightly underwhelming depending on whether it feels more like Shadow of the Colossus (which I adored) or Ico (which I wasn't a huge fan of). Rounding out my list are Final Fantasy XIII, Bad Company 2, Gran Turismo 5, and StarCraft II.
Kevin VanOrd | Associate Editor, Reviews
In most stealth games, you must hide in the shadows, emerging only when it's entirely safe to do so. If what I've seen of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction is any indication, the darkness is no longer a safe haven used to veil your weakness in direct action. In Conviction, you use the shadows to hunt--not to hide. This is an important distinction, and it's one that separates this upcoming installment from Splinter Cells of yore. I'm a fan of the series, and I was skeptical when I discovered that Ubisoft was taking a more action-oriented approach. But the more I see of Conviction, the more my brain tingles: This is a reimagining I can get behind. The sneaking, the fisticuffs, the gunplay, mark-and-execute kills--every feature seems excellent and seems to offer the kind of freedom I enjoy where I feel rewarded and excited regardless of which method I use to enact revenge. Yet, it's the storytelling that intrigues me most. The oft-misused term "cinematic" is too often used to praise a compelling tale, as if games need to take lessons from film in order to tell a great story. Conviction's narrative is the kind that only a game could weave, and that's what makes it look so captivating.
Runner-Ups: Heavy Rain and Split/Second. You might be able to guess that I'm in favor of games that push the limits of narrative and emotion. Heavy Rain looks like a dark, suspenseful experience that I hope will use its gameplay to elicit emotion and sensation. I think a great game can be more than just fun--it can reach directly into your heart, mind and soul. Games often elicit joy and excitement, but I believe Heavy Rain has the potential to explore the entire human spectrum of thought and feeling. Of course, just plain fun is great too, which is why I have a soft spot for arcade racer Split/Second: Looks like that game's open world blows up real good. Appreciation of raw destruction is one of those human thoughts and feelings, right?
Justin Calvert | Section Editor, Reviews
There are a lot of games that I'm excited for heading into 2010, but oddly, those that I'm most looking forward to the most are also the ones that I know the least about. I'm sure we have plenty of previews and trailers for them up on the site, but I really don't feel the need to know as much as possible about these games (or any games, for that matter) before playing them for myself.
If I have to choose just one, right now, I think I have to go with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. I got back into WoW just last week, and although I was a little surprised to learn that even my level 80 epic gear had been more or less rendered obsolete in my several-months absence, it hasn't taken me long to replace it, and I'm pretty impressed with some of the changes that have been made. My pre-Cataclysm plan is to make sure that, by the time that expansion hits, I have at least two or three decently geared characters to explore (and almost certainly review) it with. When I heard that Cataclysm is going to completely change the existing world of Azeroth, I was reluctant to embrace it, but the more I think about it, the more excited I get that this expansion should breathe new life into zones that I'm either tired of because I've played through them several times already or that I've done my best to avoid because I never liked them.
Other games I'm looking forward to include, but definitely aren't limited to, the following: Red Dead Redemption, Dead Rising 2, and UFC Undisputed 2010.
Ricardo Torres | Editor-in-Chief
2010 is a weird year to choose just one game to look forward to. There’s been so much spillover into the first half of the year that I’m overloading on choices. So here’s a quick and dirty list of stuff I want to play this year.
Super Street Fighter IV: Yeah, I know, this is probably the first in 75 editions of Street Fighter IV. But what do you want? I love fighters and the billion different versions of Street Fighter that have come out over the years (which are sadly all cataloged in several boxes).
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Here’s hoping, right? Someone’s got to get 3D Castlevania down sometime. Maybe this is it! And hey, Alucard!
Halo Reach: Another chance to run around and blow things up in the Halo universe is worth craving.
3D Dot Game Heroes: This is a totally goofy game that pretty much had me the first time I saw it. Seems like simple fun packed with personality. I’m anxious to see how it’s localized in hi-res blocky form.
As for stuff that’s closer to shipping: BioShock 2, Lost Planet 2, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom...basically a bunch of stuff. 2010 seems like it’s going to be a really good year for games. There’s a grip of cool stuff kicking off the year, and I expect there’s going to be a good amount of stuff announced at E3 set to ship later this year, so, yeah...must...find...time...to...play.