If you enjoyed playing Oblivion or have even heard of it, then you’d probably be extremely fricking excited for Bethesda’s massive sequal Skyrim! I won’t lie, I just spent the last three hours on YouTube looking up various Skyrim video’s music and gameplay aspects and it seriously looks like it’s going to be the game of the year. However more games lurk in the dark waiting to be released in November, so read on to find out the most anticipated games this quarter.
First up is obviously Skyrim! Three months ago I wouldn’t know what Skyrim even was possibly due to the fact that back then I hadn’t even played Oblivion or even Morrowind yet. Since playing Oblivion I have become addicted to the game, often playing it for days on end exploring the massive map, quests and dungeons thoroughly and searching for and hoarding my special glass armour. Since playing it Skyrim has jumped straight to the top of my most wanted game list, even above Fallout 4 and Modern Warfare 3, which some of you may criticize me on. But how can it not when the game and promotional content have been so brilliantly created to essentially absorb you into the realm of Cyrodil as one of their own. The graphics look freaking amazing and that’s on the Xbox, I wonder what it’ll look like on the Pc!
Comparing the above image to Oblivion i’d say it’s around 25 times the quality of it. The trees are brilliantly rendered with real-time effects such as snow, wind and rain applied to them realistically, the house roof’s look like actual straw and wooden planks. The animations look brilliantly done and extremely life-like, however I used the trailer and gameplay footage video’s to judge that. There have also been numerous improvements from the previous game which have been suggested by the gaming community and the game designers. An example being when talking to NPC’s the camera doesn’t zoom right up into their face which was always awkward during conversations, it now takes a much more delicate approach by letting the player look where they wish.
There has been a reduction in the levels in Skyrim, from 8 Attributes and 21 skills to 3 attributes and 18 skills. This should potentially create more diversity when creating your character and eliminate boring or pointless skills such as athletics and acrobatics, however I don’t know which skills are remaining so they both might stay in or both might go, only time will tell. Below is a picture of various looking zombies and skeletons which are just a few of the many, many, many new creatures that will be in Skyrim. The most anticipated is obviously the dragons and even they have multiple types such as frost, as seen in the 20 minute gameplay footage on YouTube. Duel wielding! It’s here! I don’t know about all of you but the first thing i’m going to try is duel wield two spells and create a massive spell with an increased effect to obliterate my enemies. Those designers should be given a pat on the back for the awesome content they’ve thought up for this game, i’m sure there’s plenty more surprises in-game though waiting for you to find them such as secret weapons, bases or even a whole village tucked away behind a mountain?
“I saw a mudcrab the other day” No really! It was at the beach and it killed three peo… alright I didn’t but good news, the NPC’s aren’t going to bore you anymore, well so Bethesda says. They’ve created multiple phrases and hired multiple voice actors for the citizens scattered around Skyrim, so you won’t be hearing the same sounding guard after crossing the entire map anymore. While on the subject of maps those new star-maps in the sky look epic, they expand as you gain levels in each attribute and let you you pick a perk to use. Another pat on the back for the designers for spawning this brilliant idea, you can now look to the skies for your guidance and visually see your character coming together. Well that’s all on Skyrim i’ve got for you next up is Modern Warfare 3 my second most anticipated game of this year.
Modern Warfare 3 has received a fair amount of criticism recently, mainly regarding the fact that people see it as a Modern Warfare 2.5 rather than a whole new game. I reject this notion and after watching many of the trailers, listening to the music and viewing images of in-game content I’ve come to the decision that there is actually a lot of new content added although it isn’t as transparent as it may seem at first. Below i’ll delve into the finer points of the new gameplay aspects and discuss what has remained the same that individuals see as identical.
On first impression looking at the screenshots from trailers and COD XP the game “appears” to be essentially the same as Modern Warfare 2. Aren’t all first person shooters look-alikes though? Battlefield 3 has a slight visual style change to Modern Warfare but the maps, characters, vehicles and guns are essentially the same overall. The story is important in any game and considering the previous game’s storyline was strange and often bewildering I sincerely hope that Mw3’s story has been well thought out and implemented to have a shot at being the game of the year. Shoot and get shot at was basically Mw2’s story along with a slight twist thrown in which didn’t make full sense. Skyrim has a myriad of quests and activities available in-game from collecting the dragon shouts to working in a log-factory, Mw3 is going to need a hell of a lot of depth to compete with this apparent masterpiece.
Now comparing to Skyrim the graphics look fairly similar, although a tip goes to Skyrim for the real-time, realistically rendered environment and terrain, there have been more pictures of Skyrim than Mw3 however which could tip the scales. There are actually some re-used models in Mw3 such as the white truck seen in one of the Mw2 multiplayer levels, which I forget it’s name off the top of my head. This has probably been done to conserve money and could be a contributing factor to the games having a similar or same feeling to them. The multiplayer is the aspect that many gamers are really interested in though containing multiple new game styles, killstreaks, perks, guns and more. These features are what I believe makes the gameplay different and what defines a “sequel” and not a “map pack”. First off there’s a whole new continuing story-line in Mw3 that leaves straight off from Mw2’s ending. I do believe the storyline in Mw2 could have been a little more interesting and thought provoking rather than being told what to do and how to do it. Skyrim has the advantage of having an open world where the player may choose what they wish to do at any particular time, this lets the player skip less interesting or tasks they wish to leave for later. Mw3 most likely has a linear storyline which restricts the player to what they can accomplish alone, although there are many games where a linear storyline has lead to a successful game due to the story being very well thought out, an example of a game is BioShock.
Now i’m getting slightly off topic so i’ll get straight back to it. The fact that many people are anticipated to buy this game is that:
1. The COD franchise is massive and people buy the game for the sake of having it.
2. Infinity Ward is fixing the problems that arose in Mw2 and creating a new style of play that is fair and equal to players across the world, as well as proving an immersive and challenging story.
I’ll be looking at buying the game for option 2, the prequel was good but could have been improved a lot before it’s release, much like Oblivion with Skyrim. Oblivion overall was brilliant but if they spent just a little longer working on the bugs and graphics it could have been better. Now it’s time to look at Battlefield 3 and it’s contributes to the gaming industry.
Battlefield 3 is also set to be released around the same month on the 25 October 2011. It’s another of the most anticipated games this quarter and judging by those pictures below it looks truly epic. Fault-Line looks to be an interesting concept in the game and the trailer looked fantastic with the falling buildings with bits falling off and hitting people. The singleplayer story-line is said to be amazing but we’ll have to wait and see to confirm that although it will have to be extremely amazing to be able to compete with Skyrim.
I’m a bit of a COD fan but comparing the Modern Warfare images to these, Battlefield definitely has the advantage. With beautiful scene rendering in the plane picture below and extremely realistic models, textures and lighting I might actually have to buy all three of these games this year. However one factor putting me off from buying Battlefield is the fact you need to install “Origin” a third party program very similar to Steam which can actually use any details of you it finds and send it back to EA. Now I believe this is just plain wrong, no-one should have to install another program just to play a game, this feature is going to drop Battlefields sales on Pc and even possibly it’s place as game of the year.
The vehicles in Battlefield are the key mechanic that separates Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. Looking at the above picture there’s no shortage of detail even in areas where the players on the ground wouldn’t be able to access, with planes, tanks and more there’s no shortage of vehicles in this game and the air to air combat is said to be revolutionized from 2142. Now I’ve only played Battlefield 1942 so I can’t really comment on how the games’s actually played although the mechanics are very different from Mw3, your more part of a team in Battlefield and you work together to defeat your opponent via any means possible.
That’s all folks! Overall I believe Skyrim has a massive lead ahead of Mw3 and Bf3 in the competition for game of the year, but that’s what you expect coming from Bethesda and the quality of their games. There are also the games that have already come out this year such as Portal 2 which have a chance of taking the title and i’ll be reviewing them sometime in the next few months. Thanks for reading this massive blog though (probably my longest one so far) and if you have any comments please leave them below.