Video Gaming 2011: It's Spring Season


Written by Chris Price
17 Monday 17th January 2011

2011 sees the coming of age of the current crop of home consoles. Developers across the world are now into their second and third generations of coding, and experience has bred the ability to milk every last drop of power from resident CPUs. So this year boasts an onslaught of the current generation’s most visually enticing and sonically bombastic titles. Whether the quality of the gameplay will match up to the looks is another matter altogether.

Here’s a brief guide to Spring’s big hitters. It looks like interstellar war is very much in vogue.
DEAD SPACE 2 – PS3 (+ Move support) 360 (JANUARY)
Dead Space 2, the sequel to Visceral Games’ polished space survival horror, sees engineer Isaac Clarke awaking three years after the first game, in a psychiatric ward on densely populated metropolis The Sprawl. There, Isaac faces an army of mutated corpses as the Necromorph threat returns, with added political and religious seasoning.
It's a whole new chapter of third person crawling through ducts, floating in zero gravity and creeping through corridors, as Silent Hill meets Event Horizon returns – meaning more severing of limbs with the plasma cutter and line gun, more sci-fi horror shocks and the addition of a multiplayer mode pitting humans against aliens, in a battle for supremacy on a distant colony. Added Playstation Move support on the PS3 will allow for some hands-on dismemberment.


Cliff Belzinski, aka CliffyB – outspoken uber-nerd creator of the Gears of War franchise - returns to the fray with Bulletstorm, a new first person arena style shoot ‘em up. Developers Epic Games/People Can Fly aim to put a bit of panache back into death, utilising both an electric whip and weapon attacks - both with various strategic variants – and an inhospitable game environment that can be used in combination to maim, crush and amputate bits off your assailants. It’s a score attack tournament, it’s about being creative with your killing and it’s looking incredible. Madworld meets Unreal Tournament?
Sony’s PS3-exclusive war epic sees the rather fetching Helghast army on the warpath again. And this time, it’s all about scale. Huge battlefields, split-screen play, multiple manning of helicopters and tanks, all wrapped in some lovely 3D visuals ensures you’ll start to get some value from that posh TV you bought a year ago, you early adopter you. Even coming off the back of the critically acclaimed Killzone 2, SCEE have something to prove to the FPS community – but things are looking good.
PORTAL 2 - PS3, 360, PC (APRIL)

Anyone familiar with Halflife 2 and its meticulous real world physics and gravity gun will be familiar with the root of Portal. The tongue-in-cheek sci-fi puzzle game came bundled with ‘The Orange Box’ edition of Half Life 2 on the PS3 and 360. But the game has developed an almost religious devotion of its own, with many rallying around the demented HAL-esque taskmaster GlaDOS. Unlike its predecessor, Portal 2 will receive a physical release and once again will set about scrambling grey-matter with intense physics related conundrums. Cake, anyone?

RyĆ« ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono – ‘Like a Dragon 4’ returns, with it’s semi-incomprehensible Japanese ethics and culture. It's the game that lets you romance hostesses, play classic game parodies in amusement arcades and swing bicycles at bad guys like some crazy Trojan. The Dragon of the Dojima Kazuma is joined by a crooked cop, a homeless millionaire and a Yakuza problem-solver to go to war over Kamuro City. A huge Asian-tinted action RPG awaits with all the trimmings in what could possibly be the definitive part of the series. It's already awash in Japanese gaming awards.
L.A. NOIRE - PS3, 360, PC (SPRING 2011)
Rockstar’s annual event is already shaping up to be a corker. Taking it’s cues from the likes of LA Confidential and Road to Perdition, LA Noire is a 1950s Los Angeles gangster epic, featuring all the themes that made both Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 4 the defining jewels in Rockstars crown – betrayal, death, sex, murder and redemption. The subtleties of the film noir genre are also explored in the groundbreaking facial recognition technology.
BRINK - PS3, 360, PC (SPRING 2011)
Any self-respecting FPS wouldn’t be complete without a series of character specialisations and customisable loadouts for your character. And Brink seeks to the take the ‘no I in team route’. It's a fast-paced support, defence and cover shooter, incorporating some rich 2000AD-style aesthetics and a shot of parkour negotiation in a neon cityscape.
CRYSIS 2 - PS3, 360, PC (MARCH)
The original game gained notoriety for pushing PC hardware to the limit – and developers said that home consoles couldn’t support it. Bouncing back in 2011, Crysis 2 is your standard alien invasion fair. But with one of the most technically demanding games in the back catalogue of Crytek, it’ll be intriguing to see how this one develops.

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