Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ramblings: The RPG Year 2011

I'm following most RPGs with great interest, and with the addition of E3 over with and GamesCom coming, the year is shaping up great. Sadly, there wasn't much in the way of RPGs from E3 though, but the usual standard fare on-rails shooter for the ADD crowd. Except one huge announcement; The Witcher 2 for the Box. Happy Happy Joy Joy as Ren would have put it.

That's three absolutely must-have RPGs this year - the kind I'll happily sacrifice vacations days for, for that 'odd' vacation to strange lands none but addicts understands. They are:

Risen 2: Dark Waters
Say what you will, but this is my perfect recipe for the most filling RPGs. Large, open world, challenging, all about exploration, excellent level and skill mechanics for a lot of possibilities and unknown "tricks", 'European old-school' and last but not least, a type of composition that doesn't make hundreds of hours spent feel like a grind. Arrr Matey! Bring on the pirates, Pirahna Bytes.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Polish CD projekt turned the horrible generic Neverwinter Nights engine around and infused it with soul, story and charm for a fantastic RPG that felt fresh and innovative. They did it again with the Witcher 2 to tremendous review scores. Finally that piece of excellence is making its way to the Box. Candidate for all-time best RPG on the Box in the making?

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Morrowind is one of my favorite western RPGs. Oblivion I felt did most things wrong, and even though I spent probably 300-400 hours on both the PC and Box version over several years, it still left a sour taste. Luckily it seems Bethesda IS listening and from the videos and Q&A it appears they have addressed many of the issues. My gripe is still the gruesome level & skill system, and sadly that seems ever present in the new Skyrim. To think they are so close to "perfection", one can only dream. Thankfully, this is not enough to ruin a huge experience and I will pay it the required hours no doubt.

Not a must, but pre-ordered and awaiting:

Dungeon Siege III
Nostalgia alert. This should have been on the absolutely must-have list, but DS is sadly not longer developed by Chris Taylor or Gas Powered Games. Obsidian have the reins this time around and as sad as it is, they really lost all respect I had with Fallout New Vegas. Picking it up in a couple of days anyway and will let you know what I think.

Final Fantasy XIII-2
Nothing to say here really - I will grind it out no matter how much I miss the FF of old.

Kingdoms of Amalur
I do like R.A. Salvatore, and that is really what this game has going for it. From what I have seen it does look very simple and action-like though. Judgement reserved until it shows up.

Know of anything else showing up on the Xbox360 I should keep an eye on? Do comment.



Jay Cheeto said...

I must agree with you on The Witcher 2 and Final Fantasy XIII-2, they both look simply amazing and will be first day buys for me. I want to be excited for Skyrim, but with the Witcher 2 coming out, I can wait on playing it

Ellusion said...

I'm afraid FF13-2 will follow too closely to the original, with a strict story and then an added open grind portion. Didn't like that at all =/

Hoping Witcher2 and Skyrim don't release too closely together as I simply won't have time =)