I know you've been awaiting this post with bated breath, Mr Tingler, so here it is.
BRAX'S MOST WANTED GAMES OF 2009 (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):
Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Or CoR:AoDA if you want to attempt to shorten the title and confuse people. I must confess I didn't play the first game when it was first released on PC. Perhaps it didn't ping upon my games radar loudly enough, or perhaps the chemistry wasn't quite there yet for our relationship. However, having returned from my drunken debauchery in the US last summer, I set about buying and playing a few of the games I had missed out on. This included Psychonauts (yes I know, I'm a terrible human being), Star Wars: Republic Commando (whose intelligent team mates utterly crapped on the next game in this list), Mass Effect (which I rant about, but played twice back to back over one week), and of course Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
Dark Athena sounds like solid entertainment. I may already own the original, but quite frankly I am greatly looking forward to replaying it with the updates, and find myself wishing that such enhanced re-releases were more common. Being bald has never been so much fun...leaving aside Mr 47 of course (don't worry Mr Tobias Rieper, I love you more than Riddick really).
Aliens: Colonial Marines
To be honest, I'm not holding my breath over this one...I've had a gut feeling that it'll be delayed or some such for a while now, but I live in hope. Having played Left 4 Dead obsessively, the idea of four player coop in the Aliens universe makes me bounce around like pre-teen Spice Girls fan high on E numbers. Not literally of course. I have far too much decorum for that. Anyway, though details seem to be a little thin at the moment and I have yet to see the game up and running, I'm sold on the concept. Whether or not it has been tainted by its inevitable cross-platform release also remains to be seen.
I was never into Diablo that heavily. About the time that one of my mates was obsessing over the first game, I was busy with the Baldur's Gate franchise. However I could not deny, even back then, that Diablo was easy to play and easy to enjoy, and became an almost religious experience when played cooperatively over a home network.
Having recently been dragged back into my cooperative-based obsessions by Left 4 Dead, I find myself looking forward to Diablo III more than Starcraft II (the whole "three-releases" thing has annoyed me, to be honest). And given that I was never a hardcore fan of the series, I'm not too bothered by the art direction that has seen so many people frothing at the mouth.
A Mount and Blade expansion and/or sequel
Mount and Blade is evil. EVIL. Recently, I managed to drag myself away from the game only to discover that it was 4am. I haven't been so entranced by a game, nor suffered such lost time, since my old World of Warcraft days. There's always one more battle to fight, one more soldier to upgrade, one more combination of clever tactics and equipment to try. And the horses...the thundering of hooves as you lead a cavalry charge, the satisfying SWISHTHUNK as you swing an axe at somebody's head from horseback. And the cheering as the last enemy hits the ground with a pleasing thump, and the smugness that follows as you gallop past your victorious army, who would be chanting your name if the software allowed for it. I don't care what follows; whether it be a graphical update, a physics update, a new map, a new setting. I just want MORE. And I want the likes of Bethesda to realise the depth of their horse-related failure.
Oh, and if the horses in Mount and Blade could shit in front of villagers, that'd be good too. Or just fart really loudly, in that proud and noble way that only horses are capable of.
A New Hitman Game
Surely it's time, isn't it? Blood Money was fantastic, but there's a lot of room for improvement and evolution in the franchise. I'm normally against such franchising, given that it is nearly always the evil spawn of corporations, but I have a real weakspot for Mr Ben's psychopathic bald-headed twin. He's just so loveable. And quite frankly, it has been too long since his last outing, and I'm concerned that IO have got it into their heads that they should make something other than Hitman games. BAD IO INTERACTIVE.
- Nick Brakespear