2011: Year Of The Broke Gamer

(Staff Photo: Richard Davis) 2011 is set to be an expensive year for video game enthusiasts.

By Mark Taliaferro

TFW Contributing Writer

This is going to be the year when video games win. You won’t have time to play them. You won’t be able to afford them. You’re going to be completely overwhelmed by the number of four-star titles coming out in 2011.
The last three years have been great. We had multiple amazing games each year, and each year we thought it couldn’t possibly get better the next year. And it didn’t. The flow of great games remained steady and never got out of hand. Until 2011. This is the year.

First Quarter

Sony PlayStation 3 owners get the first three big releases of the year. Little Big Planet 2 (Jan. 18) is one of the PS3’s better exclusive titles, but gamers who only own a PS3 should be most excited about finally getting their hands on Mass Effect 2 (Jan. 18), which was 2010’s best game (and was exclusive to the Xbox 360 until now).
DC Universe Online (Jan. 11) is attempting to make the massive multiplayer online genre click with console gamers, which is no easy feat, but the DC Comics license gives it a huge boost.
Dead Space 2 (Jan. 25) is the first big multiplatform release of the year. Dead Space was a spectacular game in 2008, but it was a bit overshadowed by all the other huge games released that year. I’m sure Electronic Arts is hoping the January release gives this game some more attention.
Sony continues its early onslaught with Killzone 3 on Feb. 22. The Killzone series is the PS3’s answer to Halo, and while it hasn’t reached Halo’s status as an all-time classic, it’s a really strong shooter series that is a must-purchase title for most PS3 owners.
Several games hit stores in March, but the one I consider a must-purchase title is Dragon Age 2 (March 8). Bioware has a long history of making amazing role-playing games, including the current Mass Effect series. Dragon Age was a great game that got overlooked in 2009 due to a fall release and several other amazing titles dropping at the same time. The sequel should be the cream of the crop this spring.

Second Quarter

The release schedule slows down    in April, but that doesn’t mean it dies. Portal 2 (April 20) is the sequel to a game that gained a huge fan base despite being a mini-game within a game (The Orange Box, which also included Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2).
There is also a chance of L.A. Noire being released during this quarter, though no release date has been announced. The game’s developer, Rockstar, released Grand Theft Auto IV in April and Red Dead Redemption in May, so this would make sense.
Not much is known about the game beyond its theme and what can be seen in a cinematic trailer released in late 2010, but Rockstar doesn’t make bad games.

Third Quarter

This is the calm before the storm. Resistance 3 is the most notable game, but it’s a PS3-exclusive series that has been good but not great.

Fourth Quarter

This is where it gets just plain nasty. Start saving your money.
Uncharted 3 (Nov. 1): Uncharted 2 was, without a doubt, the best game of 2009. It was like a playable Michael Bay movie (this is a very rare instance in which the words “Michael Bay” are intended as a compliment).
Despite the unbelievable number of amazing titles releasing in 2011, I fully expect Uncharted 3 to be both the most unique title of 2011 and the best overall game.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nov. 11): This is the long-awaited sequel to Oblivion, which was the Xbox 360’s first blockbuster title back in 2006. With all the years that have gone into this game, it should be a real contender for game of the year.
Mass Effect 3 (TBD): There isn’t much to say. Mass Effect was the best game of 2008. Mass Effect 2 was the best game of 2010. And this is the big finale of the trilogy. Expect fireworks.
Batman: Arkham City (TDB): Arkham Asylum wasn’t the best game of 2009, but it would have been if not for Uncharted 2. It was a surprise hit, and its success has made the sequel one of the most anticipated games of 2011.
And that doesn’t even account for Forza Motorsport 4, a new Call of Duty game, Gears of War 3, The Last Guardian or any of the sports games (Madden, NCAA Football, MLB The Show, etc.) you already buy every year.
Scared yet? You should be. Good luck buying and playing every must-have game this year. It’s just not going to be possible.

Categories: Features
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