Perhaps it seems a bit silly to be complaining about how a game will soon devour everyone’s free time, especially in this age where games are mostly getting shorter and we’re always crying about how we’re not getting our $60 worth, but dammit, we’re still terrified of certain impending releases because we’re gamers, and by god if we had the willpower to stop ourselves from playing games we wouldn’t be in this whole mess in the first place, would we? We swear we actually get heart palpitations and break out in a clammy sweat when we think about this handful of upcoming games, because any one of these could mean that we’ll miss out on every other good game for a while as we pound away at our obsession. These games aren’t necessarily long in the traditional sense, like old-fashioned RPGs that took a minimum of fifty hours, but rather these titles will likely have endless sidequests and general dicking-around options that we’ll choose to take a hundred hours before we begrudgingly schlep into the final quest.
Friggen’ Dark Souls is going to be so bad for us because not only will it eat a good sixty hours of our time, but half that time will be spent dying and cursing. We’re going to be miserable for a good portion of those hours, and we’re going to love every minute of that misery. If that doesn’t make sense, then you need to play Demon’s Souls. Now. Preview
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls games are always enormous timesinks (as anyone who’s played Oblivion or Morrowind can attest), filled with epic quests and optional tasks that can easily suck up hundreds of hours, and Skyrim promises to be the biggest one yet. Not only is it more ambitious than Oblivion, with sharper visuals, around 120 distinct dungeons and Bioshock 2-inspired, two-fisted weapon/spell-wielding, but its Radiant Story system will mix up pre-written quests with semi-randomized ones. Preview
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
We had no idea how huge this game would be until we learned some recent details, although do we really need to know more than that it has 120 unique dungeons (how did that end up as the same number as Skyrim)? Fine: there are hundreds of items which can be crafted into hundreds of other items, and the combat is more like God of War than Elder Scrolls, which means the combat alone will likely make us want to play this forever. Preview
Saints Row: The Third
We loved the shit out of Grand Theft Auto IV, but as a “sandbox game,” Saints Row: The Third makes it look as if Rockstar’s lost its way. Where are the needlessly violent Rampage missions, the skydiving gun fights, the civilian loss, and, for the love of god, the dildo-based weapons?! Well, thankfully, they’ve all taken up residence in Steelport, and this time around Volition Inc. decided a total lack of restraint is how to best present a wonderfully gratuitous open-world with an infinite amount of options for you and a co-op buddy. Care to fire a missile into a group of nuns from a supersonic jet you’re piloting in the nude? Saints Row: The Third has a place for you… Preview
And the winner is…
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
As promising as the other nominees look, we’re calling this one for Skyrim. Part of it is down to the game’s pedigree – like we said above, the previous Elder Scrolls games were legendary timesinks that ate up more weekends than we can count and took months to finish, and Fallout 3 – created by the same development team – was no less involving. However, Skyrim brings a host of additions that have us extremely intrigued, not the least of which are its dragons, which are huge, appear randomly and can grant you new powers once you’ve brought them crashing down to earth. There are smaller improvements as well, including villages with their own dynamic economies, a more customizable leveling system, an elaborate crafting system and a greater focus on story when exploring dungeons. It all adds up to a game that promises to dominate our lives this November, and we can’t wait to let it.
Above: Plus, furries
Jun 23, 2011