Summer has long been established as the domain of the blockbuster action movie. Similarly, the weeks leading up to the holiday season see a deluge of blockbuster video game releases. But as this holiday-fueled flow of games has become an avalanche, many developers and publishers have opted to push their releases back until after New Years Day. This delay gives developers more time to polish their creations and prevent titles from being lost in the onslaught of pre-holiday releases. Here’s a look at the most promising titles coming out over the next couple of months.
PS3 — February 22
The latest entry in the popular “Killzone” shooter series from Guerrilla Interactive and Sony Computer Entertainment is a direct sequel to 2009’s “Killzone 2.” As the series protagonist, Special Forces operative Sev, players must defend the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance from the forces of the Helghast Empire.
Among the changes from the previous game is the addition of a jetpack to players’ long list of gadgets. “Killzone 3” will also be the first game in the series to support 3-D play for those lucky enough to have a 3-D capable TV. In addition, “Killzone 3” can utilize PlayStation Move, Sony’s motion control system for the PS3.
PS3 — January 18
The follow-up to 2008’s puzzle platformer “LittleBigPlanet” from developers Media Molecule, LBP2 features many of the same quirky cuteness and zany puzzles previously seen in LBP. Players are Sackboy, a character who draws his name from his remarkable resemblance to a hacky sack, as they wander through a puzzle-filled world constructed from everyday objects.
With the second iteration of the series Media Molecule puts a much greater emphasis on user-created content. The original game allowed users to create their own levels to share with friends, and this mechanic has been greatly expanded with LBP2. While the first game was marketed as a platform game, LBP2 is being shipped as “a platform for games.”
Dead Space 2
Xbox 360, PS3 — January 25
The sequel to one of the most shocking survival horror titles of 2008, “Dead Space 2,” from Visceral Games (formerly EA Redwood Shores), is a direct sequel to the original. The story follows series protagonist Isaac Clarke as he battles the undead necromorphs that have begun to infect the space station known as “The Sprawl.”
Many of the mechanics that made “Dead Space” such an original experience return in “Dead Space 2”, including the much-loved zero-gravity areas. In addition, “Dead Space 2” sports a brand new multiplayer system that will allow players to participate in 4-on-4 matches of Humans versus Necromorphs.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Xbox 360, PS3, PC — Spring
Eight years after the release of “Deus Ex: Invisible War,” “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” is a prequel to the original game. Warren Spector, the creative mind behind the first two games has not been associated with the new project, which has caused some concern among fans of the series.
While the original games featured the nanotechnological augmentations to give the player super-human powers, “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” takes place before the invention of these devices. Instead, players use biomechanical augmentations. Players choose between combat, stealth, technology and social upgrades to customize their character as they see fit. The release was recently pushed back from its February release date, and while an exact date is unknown, it’s likely to be spring of 2011.