Our countdown of next year's most anticipated games continues! So far you've seen the Xbox 360 list, the PlayStation 3 list, and the Wii list -- today you'll get to see what Anthony and I are most looking forward to for the PC.
Almost every year in recent memory has been a year where people have declared that PC gaming is dead, and every year it continues to do just fine. With some major PC-exclusive releases coming up and Steam's continued success, it seems like 2010 is going to be another solid year for PC gamers.
Hit the jump to see what games have us excited for the new year.
I expect this is going to be on almost everyone's list, and for a good reason. I played the original StarCraft constantly through middle and high school, and having gotten my hands on with the sequel a couple times, I already know I'm going to be playing this one a ton too. Blizzard consistently makes incredible games, and StarCraft II isn't going to be any different.
Guild Wars II:
It's a bit strange -- I got the first Guild Wars the day it came out, but it didn't really do much for me. Part of the problem, I think, was that I didn't know anyone else who had the game. When Guild Wars II comes out next year, I know I'll have a ton of people to play with this time. Seeing the trailers and reading some of the developer interviews for the game have moved it from my "Maybe I'll Give It A Shot" category into the "Must Have" one.
Natural Selection 2:
What started out as a Half-Life mod is getting a full blown stand-alone sequel. A game that's been relatively under the radar for a lot of people, Natural Selection 2 appears to be an amalgamation of a few different genres with its own unique twist. It's got team based shooting, two leaders who play the game as an RTS, terrain transformation, and a whole bunch of unique classes that differ depending on whether you're playing as the Marines or the Aliens. This might be the shooter that replaces Team Fortress 2 as my staple game.
This is a game that was brought to my attention very recently, but I'm really glad I've heard about it. My token indie selection, Cyclopean is a turn-based RPG that draws from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Based on what's been released so far, it appears to be shaping up to be a game with some seriously kick-ass writing and an abandonment of tired RPG cliches. Like I said, it's an indie game, so you're not gonna be straining your SLIed 280s, but it won't really going to matter what the game looks like if the writing samples are reflective of the final game.
Final Fantasy XIV:
What can I say? Despite being disappointed by most Final Fantasy games since IX, I keep coming back for more. I know it's irrational, but I can't help myself. On the positive side, it sounds like Square is making some serious effort in fixing pretty much everything I didn't like about Final Fantasy XI, so I'm still holding out hope. Will I be surprised if I don't like it? Not particularly. Will I be buying it the day it comes out? Absolutely.
Max Payne 3:
Yes, Max Payne 3 won't be a PC exclusive, but I will be god damned if I play the third part of Max Payne's gruff-talking, bullet-dodging, poor-exposition-delivering trilogy with anything other than a mouse and keyboard. As someone who is frightened of change in all its forms I harbor a healthy dose of fear regarding Max's new look and locale, but I simply enjoyed the first two games far too much not to find my fanboy senses going into overload for a chance to hang out with everyone's favorite sort-of-noir-but-not-really detective.
Mount and Blade: Warband:
The original Mount and Blade is still one of the deepest and most impressive indie games available today. That the Warband expansion looks to throw multiplayer into an already-satisfying experience is enough to get me excited. The strategic, realtime, large-scale battles of the first game seemed perfectly suited to multiplayer gameplay. Just imagine 64 players simultaneously hacking the shit out of one another with realistic damage and weapon physics, and you'll get the idea.
Aliens vs. Predator:
Again, not a PC exclusive, but the first two AvP games had a great community on the PC, and I expect the franchise reboot will be no different (not to mention, it'll have dedicated servers). AvP2 arguably suffered from species imbalances -- the Xenomorphs were undoubtedly the weakest of the three factions -- but in a world of constant patches and updates delivered automatically to your computer, the hopeful (read: stupid) part of my brain wants to believe that the new AvP's multiplayer will be an even more polished, balanced affair. The campaign stuff was pretty good fun in the previous games, but AvP games tend to really take off in multiplayer.
Star Wars: The Old Republic:
Everything I have heard about TOR seems to imply that it's an MMO for people who do not, traditionally, enjoy MMOs. An actual storyline? Permanent choices? Combat that doesn't involve killing rats for eight hours? If the game is what BioWare promises it to be, it may well be the first MMO I ever pay a monthly fee for.