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Six solid games doomed to die in 2010

Every October, the nightmare comes to life in exactly the same way: Half the great games of the year come out during the three month holiday season, when we gamers have the least amount of disposable income. As a result, worthwhile games get overlooked. And with pumpkin-carving season upon us, we felt it was time to reveal our 2010 list of truly cool games that are nonetheless going to sell miserably unless we spread the word and do something about it.

Let us repeat: We’re NOT saying the games are bad; on the contrary, these new IPs, reboots and sequels show a fair deal of promise. What we are saying is that these games are destined to drown in the ocean of hype given off by much larger, better-recognized IPs and a release calendar crowded with more starry-eyed hopefuls than the front row of a Justin Bieber concert.


Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Release Date: October 5, 2010

Platforms: 360, PS3

Same Day As: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Why it should succeed: Ninja Theory is a developer that has been defining itself by pushing the boundaries of storytelling in video games. Enslaved approaches narrative with an intelligent subtlety that takes advantage of everything an interactive medium has to offer. To put that in English, the guys at Ninja Theory don’t throw a bunch of 45-minute cutscenes into your face (*cough* Metal Gear Solid 4 *cough*) but they still manage to give us a great story. Plus, they had Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) write the thing and Andy Serkis (Gollum) direct it. Oh, and the gameplay isn’t half bad either.


Above: A supporting character that you actually won’t want to smother with a pillow in the dead of night. 

Why it will be ignored: Enslaved suffers from a very serious case of couldnotbereleasedataworsepossibletime-itis. The game is a brand new intellectual property that almost nobody has heard of before and it just hit retailers at the very start of the holiday season. Specifically, it just released on the exact same goddamn day as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – a 3D Castlevania game that doesn’t suck, something gamers have been waiting for since approximately 1995. Enslaved also has the problem of offering a leaner 8-10 hours of gameplay whereas Castlevania sports a hefty 15-20 hours.

If publisher Namco could have found a quieter time to release the game – say, anywhere in the eight-month period from January to August 2011 – it may have seen some good figures. As it stands now, Enslaved is probably destined to follow the path of Beyond Good & Evil. And hey, we're not happy about it either. Please: Prove us wrong.


Vanquish

Release Date: October 19, 2010

Platforms: 360, PS3

Same Time As: Fallout: New Vegas

Why it should succeed: It’s like a Gears of War speed run in an Iron Man suit, for crying out loud! Gunfire, cover, massive enemies blowing up said cover, you blowing up said massive enemies all at a pace that would make Usain Bolt beg for a water break… Plus, everything about the game seems like it was ripped straight out of a Japanese manga in a good way. If Halo’s Master Chief and the Guyver were to get together for a steamy night of soft sci-fi love, Vanquish’s main man Sam Gideon would most likely be the result. Give yourself a cookie if you knew what the Guyver was before clicking the link.

The overall plot is about as memorable as a Snicker’s bar, but that’s all forgiven when you find out that Gideon has effing jet turbines installed in his calves and back. If the demo proved anything to us, it’s that pulling off headshots while flying around at mach 5 is awesome.


Above: Bio-Booster Armor Guyver!! 

Why it will be ignored: While Vanquish definitely has some very cool ideas and implements them fairly well, many gamers are going to judge the game at face value. At first glance, it looks just like any other over-the-shoulder third-person Gears of War clone (You listening, Quantum Theory? This game’s blood is on your hands). To top it all off, it’s being released next to the eagerly awaited Fallout: New Vegas. Do the math.


Medal of Honor

Release Date: October 12, 2010

Platforms: 360, PS3, PC

Same Time As: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Why it should succeed: The Medal of Honor series has been in dire need of a kick in the ass and this reboot is looking to oblige. Publisher Electronic Arts has pulled out all the stops by hiring several military consultants to aid the development team in creating the most realistic scenarios yet seen, depicting Tier One military operations. This one has got it all: spec-ops, terrorist raids, hostage rescue and epic beards. It’s grittier than Call of Duty and just as intense.


Above: If beard porn is your thing, this image is NSFW.

Why it will be ignored: While a truly thick beard is impressive, massively negative press is not. Every country involved with the war in the Middle East has delivered an outcry of protest against the design decision to include Taliban as a playable team in the multiplayer portion of the game. This has also given anti-videogame activists all kinds of ammunition and resulted in the game being banned from several military bases.

But more importantly (sales-wise, at least), MoH is facing off against rival juggernaut Call of Duty: Black Ops. Before you even get started, yes, goddammit, we know that the games do not come out at the exact same time and are separated by a month. And we know that Call of Duty essentially bit Medal of Honor: Allied Assault’s style back in the day (makes sense. It was many of the same people). Doesn’t matter.

The fact is, Call of Duty has a titanic following even if Bobby Kotick is trying his damndest to ruin that (God bless him) and anyone who’s only going to buy one or the other is going to pick CoD (see Guitar Hero vs Rock Band for the template). Medal of Honor could be a massive hit, and we truly hope it is, but all signs point to it being steamrolled by the massive CoD machine.

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90 comments

  • mikeleponto - November 26, 2010 1:58 p.m.

    i cant believe they think metal of honor is going to die this year
  • gilgamesh310 - October 16, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    I doubt Vanquish will die off. I certainly won't hesitate to buy it. It's from the man who made Resi 4 for crying out loud. It's easy to see medal of honor not doing well though. I won't be getting that.
  • irvgotti1968 - October 16, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    Take xbox's "d" out of your mouth!!! Most of the games are for all systems and I have the three major ones and there are pros and cons in all. Get your head right and stop saying Xbox is the best when that's all you could afford or you got it for xmas!!!
  • MaximusDarr - October 16, 2010 8:44 a.m.

    The Arcania demo may be one of the most boring I have ever played. It's a damn shame about Vanquish and Enslaved. The demos for those got me pumped for games I may not have paid attention to otherwise.
  • blam57 - October 15, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    call of duty is the same as 2k, SAME SHIT EVERY TIME
  • Strangleme - October 15, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    It really sucks!! Vanquish looks so goddamn amazing, yet evereyone is going to let it die!!!! WHY?!?!?!
  • Tochy - October 15, 2010 6:56 p.m.

    xboxwarriorx is back?
  • d0x - October 15, 2010 5:25 p.m.

    Although I havent yet due to a horrible cause of broke, I plan on buying Vanquish, and Enslaved. I almost bought Enslaved the other day but went with Castlevania instead. It will probably be post Christmas but I will own these two games and I will tell everyone I know to buy them as well.
  • KidKatana - October 15, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    You forgot Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom! But don't worry, everyone else probably will too.
  • ZakanSparta - October 15, 2010 6:38 a.m.

    OF the 6 games I'm somewhat interested in only 3, and by "interested" I mean - will try at friends' or in other, unmentionable methods. Rest is just not my cup of tea, I guess. MoH looks to be ok, but unless FPS got story, crafted as well as Co4/6, or some new, original gameplay (Mirrors Edge 2 NOW!!!!), I wont waste my money on it. Vanquish is interesting, but only to see if my predictions will come true. I do not own a console (although lately thinking of geting Wii more and more), yet its interesting to analyse thing here and there. Imho it will be solid, mediocre at heart TPS, with naive attempt at leting gamer feel speed, while there isn't any in reality. Interesting try, but doomed from the start, even without AAA title coming next to it. Being super fast and super skilled could realy be achieved by atualy BEING super fast and skilled. If you have easy way to do it (bullet time, dumbed monsters, or any other schtick that is used now), you will never get the same feeling of accomplishing hard task, which is eseential to feeling of being bad@ss. Sure, games shouldn't be work, I agree. But if the main bet of Vanquish is speed and skill --- they can give the player only fake illusion of it. Another game that makes me want to see mixed japanese/western studio. With japan developers' hard work, attention to details and deep feel of artistism, and westerns feeling of game mechanics and creative ideas thats more than strange quirk - realy great games can be created. I guess enough people will enjoy the game, solid amount will flame about it, but its the same market part that buys every Sims addition, pays real money for WoW mounts, Oblivion horse armor and new Guitar Hero songs -- the Bobby Kotick's clients. Games that targeted on those players hardly interest me. Finaly Gothic 4 --- I'm simply not that hyped about Fable. Moulineux' loud mouthing isn't helping either. And as 20 years PC gamer I'm not scared of bugs, if the core game itself interests me. Yes, even game-ruining bugs (Daggerfall anyone?). Gothic seems to be more mature, serious RPG, while Fable feels like more of a sandbox, with added results to your actions. For his entire carier, Moulineux created "god-sims", genre I couldn't care less about, and I think I see many of the same stuff popping here and there in Fable. For me, RPG should be serious enough for me to believe in and care about characters I play and interact with. Tongue-in-cheeck approach, while surely great by its own, is negatively effects that immersion in RPGs for me.
  • mattdark - October 15, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    Well, 2 of those will survive in my household at least. I decided to wait on castlevania until I could get a proper hands on experience (That the demo just didnt give enough of) but had already ordered enslaved after its demo at least gave me a pretty full idea of what to expect, and well its one choice Im proud of. Arcania will do pretty well too. My brother is the 360 owner, but I told him not to pick up fable 3 (so I can get it for his for christmas) so he decided to order arcania instead. Said he had enjoyed the demo.
  • Not Snake - October 15, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    This article makes me sad. I want Enslaved and Medal of Honor to do well. I'll look into Lufia, and I may even give Vanquish another shot. I'll admit Power Gig is not something I care about and I am getting Fable 3. Still...I'd prefer that these things do well. I'd give these a shot if I have the funds.
  • RichieT1000 - October 15, 2010 2:59 a.m.

    Bought Enslaved and loving it. Will definitely pick up Vanquish too when it's released. Sadly, I do agree that these titles will be largely overlooked.
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - October 15, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    People with anger-managment issues beware! Xbox Rulz has risen from the grave as XboxWarriorX!!!! and to think its been almost a year since his last sighting.
  • NinjaJamez - October 14, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Im definetely getting vanquish, the demo blew my mind
  • BurntToShreds - October 14, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    Definitely getting Enslaved and Vanquish. I'll need something to play in between my fits of boredom with halo Reach
  • Zeb364 - October 14, 2010 10:24 p.m.

    I have to say, I play real guitar and I tried both Rock Band 3 and Power Gig's guitars and personally I think Power Gig kind of sucks. I mean Rock Band 3's pro mode is hardly equivalent to actual guitar (as an actual guitarist it's actually kind of insulting, but that's a whole different story). Basically, my point is that Power Gig deserves to be overlooked, especially since Rock Band 3 introduced it's Pro Mode thus overshadowing Power Gig's one noteable feature.
  • FantasticMrStarFox - October 14, 2010 9:43 p.m.

    I really hope Power Gig does well bc I'm sick of Koticvision flooding the market with music games.
  • QWERTYCommander - October 14, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    I'm getting Vanquish.
  • ChuckB - October 14, 2010 9:16 p.m.

    I'll get to Enslaved and Vanquish eventually. Will rent MOH to see it if it has any quality to consider future purchase.

Showing 1-20 of 90 comments

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