But before I write about the upcoming adventures in the further reaches of space. Superheroes from DC are trying to save our world by giving everyone super powers.
PS3, PC - 20th of Jan 2011
This isn't the first time gamers get to play super heroes and super villains online. Champions Online (2009) and City of Heroes/Villains (2004) were already out satisfyingly the fan base. But recognition as one of the most prolific Superhero brands in the world is what DC Universe Online (DUO) brings to the table. Think DUO as FIFA and City of Heroes/Villains as Pro Evolution Soccer. The latter title can let you create Superman, but he can never legally be called Superman or have his logo slapped to his chest. DUO has Superman and you get to fight with him. But does big names like Batman and Wonder Woman equate to an instant hit?
I've heard rather mixed responses about the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) on several podcasts like Giant Bomb and the Geekbox.The short time it takes to beat the main quest and how similar top-end players skill sets will be despite their unique powers. But like most MMORPGs, these gripes can be fixed by persistent updates to the game in the upcoming years. Just look at World of WarCraft (WoW): it looks and plays differently to when it was first released. If Blizzard can lear and mould WoW to the game it is today, so can Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). So there is hope this can still be the superhero MMO every comic book and gaming fan wants it to be.
DCU isn't the first MMORPG SOE developed. They also built highly acclaimed EverQuest in 1999 and EverQuest 2 in 2004, with both still going strong. And at one time the games were referred to as "NeverRest" and "EverCrack". SOE also lovingly taken care of MMORPG's untill they went off-line. Like Matrix Online's "Wake Up" message before all servers where turned off.
Mass Effect 2
PS3 - 20th of Jan 2011
This title has several PS3 and 360 comparison videos up and a demo available on PSN. Yet none would really matter because the 360 and PC versions of the game is out for nearly a year. I'm afraid the fate of this version of a AAA title may be similar to the PS3 BioShock port: released at a time most gamers had enough time to play a different version, thus barely making a ripple on anyone's radar and quickly dumped into the bargain bin.
Its saving grace is the plethora of bonus content: Project Overlord, Kasumi: Stolen Memory and the acclaimed Lair of the Shadow Broker quests are included. On top of that is access code to the Cerberus Network with even more DLC content, like extra character Zaeed. Then there is the interactive comic where decisions can be made. I'll bet what type of Shepard you want to be: Renegade or Paragon, who you want to survive at Virmire and if the Council survives.
The amount of bonus content is impressive, but an interactive comic would never replace the journey I had when playing through the first game and carrying over the save. Yet it would be ideal for new players who do not want to sink in 30 hours into the last game and just go straight to the sequel. Or if you don't have a PC rig and a 360, this version will satisfy any space cravings you have...
Unless if your looking forward to Dead Space 2.
Dead Space 2
PS3, 360 and PC
27th of Jan 2011
Ah Dead Space 2. The sequel to one of the best Resident Evil 4 clones in the gaming spectrum. There isn't a game out there that makes mutilating enemies so fun. With a rich back-story covered in animated movies and comic books. Dead Space 2 is one of the most anticipated sequels this year. The only thing I'm worried about is if it falls into BioShock 2 syndrome: where not enough innovation and variety deems the title as a uninspired cash-in. But if it lives up to the first game, it will definitely be a contender for 2011's Game Of The Year.
To recap we have two games set in space and one set in the superhero universe. DC Universe Online is a great set up to what will be another year of super heroes beating super villains on the cinema screen, notably the Green Lantern, the Green Hornet, Thor and Captain America. Two space games with a large fan base, one a Game of the Year edition port and the other a anticipated sequel. This month is a great way to kick 2011 off!
To infinity and Game On!