I do not buy a lot of games. The last game I purchased was Cataclysm, which doesn't really count because its purpose is to allow you to continue playing a game you already own. Prior to that was the Command & Conquer Saga, which includes all the C&C titles through Command & Conquer 3, and I'm just starting to get through Generals. Sure, I own lots of games, but they're old; in some cases really old. Further, I only own a PC and a Wii, the former of which covers my "hardcore" titles like FPS (first-person shooter) and RTS (real-time strategy) titles, and the latter of which I can play with my wife and possibly grab a platformer like Super Mario Galaxy.
Even still, I rarely purchase games - even awesome games - for a lot of reasons. Unquestionably the top is the excessive DRM (Digital Rights Management) that producers embed in most of the best titles available for PC, namely but not limited to Bioshock, Mass Effect (also why you'll notice Mass Effect 3 curiously absent), and Dead Space. As someone that prefers great original IPs (Intellectual Properties) over sequels, I've missed out on some top-notch titles.
That being said there are some awesome originals coming, some reboots, and one sequel in my top five this year, and for good reasons: You should keep an eye on them too.
Duke Nukem Forever
This game has been vaporware for over a decade, but the trailer looks to be chock full of all the goodies of the original: Guns, sex, violence, humor, and nudity. To be honest, all I'm hoping for is Serious Sam with virtual hotties. We can assume the trailer is showcasing the best aspects of the game, but the modified Unreal 2.5 Engine is showing signs of its age. Bah, who cares: It's got girls kissing! Tee hee!
On a side note, one of the more amusing aspects of Duke Nukem is that a mostly-finished trailer was shown back in the day (circa 2001) at the Electronics Entertainment Expo. It looks a lot like typical titles at the time; Goldeneye and Command & Conquer Renegade. One has to wonder what happened to this older iteration of the game.
I've been watching this since 2007 but, to be honest, I'm not really sure what Rage is about. I do know it's a FPS (first-person shooter) with some vehicle sequences in a Mad Max looking environment (when is the kid with the boomerang going to pop up?), but what I'm really going on is John Carmack and the idtech5 engine. The man has the Midas touch in gaming, and whatever is going on here has to be good at the least. The idtech5 engine also looks to be an impressive step forward graphically, allowing for some very, very impressive visuals, which is saying a lot considering how amazing are the latest Unreal engine and CryEngine 3 engine graphics.
I'm also secretly hoping that he'll get Rage over and done with and revive the Commander Keen series.
Alice: Madness Returns
I admit it: I am a sucker for surreal fantasy environments. Mirrormask, Pan's Labyrinth, Coraline, Stardust; it doesn't matter if it's good or bad, if it has a heavily atmospheric and potentially magical environment, I'm in. American McGee made Alice into a Goth's delight back in 2000. The game was decent, but the visuals and art direction were fantastic. The trailer and stills for the upcoming revival look to be every bit as wonderfully twisted as the original.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
It is with some trepidation that I await the latest adventure of Link. The last title left me with a bad taste in my mouth as puzzles often gave way to chores of "collect x of y objects" mini quests. Those sub-tasks might have been more forgivable if not for the awful motion-controls shoehorned into the Wii version.
Whining aside, I have high hopes for my favorite gaming franchise. The visuals of The Wind Waker were by far my personal favorite in the series. The return to some degree of cel shading, but applied to a more adult Link, is welcome. The extensive puzzles, great stories, and epic boss fights have me eagerly awaiting further details.
Dead Island is a complete wildcard for me, not being a huge zombie horror gamer simply because zombie horror has been done to death, re-risen, killed again, sown back up and risen- *cough*
Anyway, developer Techland only really has Call of Juarez as a release worth mention under its belt, and publisher Deep Silver has a very mixed lineup of titles that include the "Let's Play" series for Nintendo. So why do I care?
The trailer is, quite simply, amazing; it's that good. Maybe this was a completely freakish alignment of the stars in favor of Dead Island, but it was interesting enough to have me dedicating some time to monitoring Techland. Even if it is just a zombie game, if the storytelling is anywhere near as good as the trailer, we're going to have a gem in our hands by year-end.
But where the heck is...
Batman Arkham City - Its predecessor used SecuROM and Disk Check for DRM, so I expect the sequel to be the same.
Gears of War 3 - As a XBox 360 exclusive, it's not possible for me to play. I would probably really, really enjoy GoW; it's got everything I like in an FPS.
Mass Effect 3 - The prior versions used SecuROM for DRM, so I expect the sequel to be the same.
Mortal Kombat and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - To be honest, when it comes to fighters I'm just pooped out. I was playing the original Street Fighter 2 and its predecessors all the way through Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in the arcade back when playing in an arcade was relevant, and playing at home just isn't the same for me, even online. As much as I lust for the feelings I got playing the original Samurai Shodown and Mortal Kombat 2 in the arcade, they just lost that magic somewhere along the way. It's sad to admit because I still have most of the specials, supers, and finishing moves memorized - even the Babalities and Friendships - but it's true.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (MMORPG) - I am a huge Star Wars fan and World of Warcraft player - a pretty typical geek - so this deserves a little explanation. For one, I have been unable to find anything truly revolutionary in SW:TOR from a traditional MMORPG outside the lore. While it'd be great to hit the "one" button to melee with my light saber instead of my sword, or dogfight in Tie Fighters, I can already do those things in other titles that I currently own (Dark Forces II, Tie Fighter). Further, I am already heavily invested in World of Warcraft; if I want to go back to a Tank/Heal/DPS format with professions and all the other MMORPG stuff that Bioware will be reproducing, I would just go back to World of Warcraft. MMORPGs also require a lot of refinement on an ongoing basis: Blizzard continues to balance cIasses and adjust abilities - sometimes daily - almost eight years since its introduction. I expect SW:TOR to require a ton of balancing and patching after its initial release, and its heavy similarity to a game I already love and in which I am already vested has me shrugging at the newest video game in the Star Wars universe. I am happy to wait as long as it takes for Dark Forces III.
infamous 2 - As a PS3 exclusive, it's not possible for me to play; looks great, though.
The Last Guardian - As a PS3 exclusive, it's not possible for me to play. This is one I would probably really enjoy, though.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - As a PS3 exclusive, it's not possible for me to play. The trailer makes me want to dig up Tomb Raider, though.