The gaming year kicks off in style
December rounded off the year in explosive fashion with the release of the much-awaited Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam, an add-on pack for one of the best multiplayer shooters today. A flurry of downloadable content also made their way to the homes of gamers everywhere, including DLC packs for Fallout: New Vegas, Costume Quest and Dead Rising 2, with publishers taking full advantage of the holiday rush. This also meant console bundles, great deals on games (most notably for PC gamers via Steam) and loads of new content to experience at ridiculously low prices. Come January, there will be fewer deals, but the month sure looks the perfect start for a great gaming year ahead in 2011.
There's a lot of ‘classic' Wii shovelware lined up for release next month as well as a fair number of casual, indie, arcade and portable games, but January is clearly the month of the big guns. On January 11, the much awaiting MMORPG, DC Universe Online will invade the PCs and PS3s of gamers across the globe. Developed by Sony Online Entertainment, DCU aims to be more interactive than traditional MMOs while retaining key elements such as levelling up, raids scripts, items, progressing storyline and victory conditions. Co-operative play is the main focus, but the game also has situations where players can fight each other in PvP combat. DCU doesn't let you play as key DC characters such as Superman or Batman, but players can choose one of them as their ‘mentor'. A variety of side quests and random events are promised, but main game progression is based on completing missions given by the mentor characters. Sony Online has a good track record when it comes to MMOs and games such as Everquest and Everquest 2 on their résumé — it's going to be interesting to see what they do with the DC franchise.
For PS3 owners, January is a great month. First, once-X360 and PC exclusive, Mass Effect 2 makes its way to Sony's console and according to publishers EA, sports enhanced visuals and packs in all downloadable content into the disc. Also coming exclusively on the PS3 next month is the sequel to Media Molecule's runaway 2009 hit, LittleBigPlanet, appropriately titled LittleBigPlanet 2 (those cheeky Guildfordians). The first game had a ludicrous amount of user-generated content — some 3 million levels! LBP2 promises more user-generated awesomeness, with Sony marketing it as a ‘platform for games' rather than a ‘platforming game'. Mass Effect publishers Electronic Arts have another big title coming in January — Dead Space 2. Developed by the twisted minds behind the first Dead Space and Dante's Inferno, Visceral Games wants to scare the living hell out of you once again, and who can blame them? Dead Space was a critically acclaimed title that made its way into other mediums such as comics and animated film.