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It's been radio silence from Treyarch on the next instalment of 'the other' Call of Duty - the one still trading off the events of WWII. Two things it has going for it: First, Zombie mode. The team knows it's on to a winner with this so expect bigger things. Second, every single rumour out there points to the new World at War being set in Vietnam. Outside of the woeful Shellshock II, we haven't had much chance to get our hands dirty in the barbarous jungle warfare of Vietnam - add in a bit of the hallucinogenic trippiness of Apocalypse Now and it could be just as worth the wait as MW2.
Yeah, we all known Sam has had a mega facelift and is turning back the clocks to 2002 to go all Jack Bauer (people still care about 24, right?) by ramping the action level for Conviction to 11. What you might not know is just how promising the game’s co-op is shaping up to be. With levels specifically built for tight team play, coupled with some badass Jason Bourne style tag-team takedowns, sneaking about with another stealthy mate could yet be Conviction’s biggest selling point.
Don’t go ignoring this as just another Disney license. This is a Disney license headed by Warren Spector, the man responsible for Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock. He’s also a man with an incredibly nerdy fandom of animation, so Epic Mickey is officially serious business. How serious? Try a darker-than-usual story that blends real-world and cartoon history to create a plot involving some of the most obscure characters in Disney’s history. Try a cartoon game world you can erase and repaint as you see fit. And the usual Warren Spector tropes of free-form gameplay and player-driven narrative development are here by the boatload.
It's a real shock to see a second core Mario game on the same console (it hasn't happened since Mario 3 on the NES). But don't think the developers are resting on their laurels just because it's a sequel to the best game on Wii - based on what we saw at E3 ’09 (there has been zero shown of it since) it looks to be filled with wildly original ideas that will only enrich the awesome concept of jumping around small planetoids. And after the lackluster New Super Mario Bros Wii, the console and its players needs a real Mario classic now more than ever.
Finally, a reliably legitimate way to obtain the Gold / Silver starters in Generation IV – that alone cements HeartGold and SoulSilver’s place on this list. Add a super cool Tamagotchi-esque PokeWalker pedometer accessory (you can transfer your Pokemon into it and they gain EXP as you walk – and it does other stuff too) and HeartGold / SoulSilver gives us PokeFever all over again for the umpteenth time. Now all we need is a worldwide Celebi distribution – make it happen, Nintendo!
E3 2009 was an amazing show for Nintendo. In the span of one hour the company announced Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros, Golden Sun DS and, most shocking of all, a Team Ninja-developed Metroid game that looks like it’s going to kick our whiny fanboy teeth in. The real question is: what the hell is it? Every screen shows a different type of gameplay (FPS, side scroller, third-person etc), the cutscenes look super-serious and Samus appears to actually have voiced lines. If this is as crushingly badass as it appears, Other M could easily wind up as Nintendo’s big push for Fall 2010.
How do you make World of Warcraft better? You destroy it. The return of Deathwing, a mighty dragon from Warcraft II, will trigger a cataclysm that will reshape Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms of Azeroth forever. We’re used to MMO expansions offering increased level caps, new races, and new endgame content (which Cataclysm will also deliver). But this is the first time we’ve seen an MMO expansion used to reinvent lower-level areas, giving veterans a compelling reason to roll a new character from scratch.
Although we still haven’t really seen anything of it apart from what’s in the now-widely available demo, the (allegedly) final adventure of bald, Greek, homicidal madman Kratos is just over the horizon, and it’s already more gruesome than just about anything else on the market. But God of War III promises more than just spilled entrails, realistically tearing flesh and balls-to-the-wall brawling – if its developers are to be believed, it’ll also introduce entire levels set on the bodies of the gigantic Titans, who will move dynamically through a massive, open environment. We can’t wait to see more.
That’s right – Halo doesn’t crack our top ten. Not yet, anyway. After the overwhelming hype and then uninspiring sameness of ODST, we’d prefer to keep our expectations at a reasonable level this time. Doing so is pretty damn difficult, though, when Bungie releases a piece of concept art that features multiple Spartan characters, a screenshot that reveals much more realistic graphics and a trailer that surprises with an actually kinda scary Covenant at the end. By the time the multiplayer beta hits this spring, we’ll no doubt be right back in the feverishly anticipating frenzy once more.
By now you should know the crazy irony that new Medal of Honor (no subtitle yet) is riffing off Modern Warfare and ditching WWII for present day Afghanistan, the current battleground a la mode. And while in recent interviews the dev team has had the audacity to act like Infinity Ward's game never happened, this decision will undoubtedly haunt them from now until its release in late 2010. Much of the anticipation factor here is based around whether the rejuvenated EA LA team can pull off a coup d'etat and best IW at its own game. Or should that be, 'with their own game’?
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