And next year there are plenty more games heading to the High Street. There's Bayonetta, Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2, Army of Two: The 40th Day and Halo: Reach to name but a few - and I'm certain that they're all going to fly off the shelves. But seeing as this is my blog, indulge me for a moment as I highlight five others that have really got me salivating!
- Top of my list has to be Crackdown 2, the sequel to my most played disk on the Xbox 360. It takes place a decade on from the original and the gangs are back, as are all manner of mutants. Harness your superpowers, leap buildings in a single bound and chuck cars about with aplomb - it's more of the same... but bigger and better. Sure, it takes place in the same city - which many, including myself, keep on whinging about - but what a city! A true sandbox title with plenty to do and many miles to explore, this will take some beating at next year's awards ceremonies. A glance at the trailers suggest that the multiplayer option will be beefed up somewhat too as it looks like you'll be joined by many more agents in your quest. The difficulty may be ramped up a little as well - but hopefully with some new weapons and vehicles on the cards, it shouldn't be too much of a problem!
- Next up is Fable III - and being a Molyneux fan, I really can't wait for the next visit to Albion. Mr M has had more hits than misses over the years - and although I really despised Black & White, the appeal of controlling a giant cow and crushing villagers to make my cow more evil was an inspired idea. And that's what he does! He comes up with ideas that make you want to try his games because they sound innovative and fun. I spent countless hours on Fable II and loved it from top to toe: the graphics were cute and colourful but managed to create a vibrant and believable world, and the characters were well thought out and earnt the players' fondness as the various quests progressed. Aside from the bigamy and orgy elements, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a title to be enjoyed by the younger gamer - but there's plenty of adult humour here! There are scant details about the next version right now, but there are suggestions that it may make use of the revolutionary(?) Natal motion control peripheral, which should also emerge next year.
- Driving games rarely get my motor running but I am really looking forward to Split/Second. Remember how fun racing games used to be? Few boasted realism and millions of cars a decade or so ago... instead, there were some that allowed you to drive around a track blowing stuff up or ramming rivals off the road. Carmageddon and Roadkill were inspired ideas! With Split/Second it looks as though this fun factor has again been cranked up a notch; you don't just race around a track - nah, you destroy the track as you go. Drive well, power up and you soon get the ability to trigger events that can take your opponents out of the race. Blow up a building, drop something on top of your rivals to crush them, or set off an explosion to open up a shortcut. This release could be a massive hit... or it could crash and burn!
- I've been going on about APB for ages, and for good reason. I loved some of the heist missions in GTA IV - running about the city with your fellow thieves while being chased by the boys in blue... it was absolutely fantastic. It transferred well to online play too - the cops and robbers mode was great fun and never got dull. For that reason, I'm expecting APB - or All Points Bulletin - to achieve great things. Create a character, pick a side and then join hundreds of players online to wreak havoc or clean the streets. Could this perhaps be the next decade's equivalent to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft?
- All of which brings me to Brink. A few months back Borderlands emerged to little fanfare but highlighted the fun that can be had with a shooter that allows other players to join you mid-game. Brink will offer much the same; you can be playing alone one minute, only to have your friends leap into your game the next... no slowdown or loading screens, just instant co-op action. Fantastic!
(Photo credit: ArtBrom)