There’s an odd set of circumstances happening over the next few months. Not one, not two, but TEN game series are seeing the 3rd iteration of their franchises released in the coming months. But why is this such an interesting discovery? Well because unlike many sequels, every single one of these games is getting gamers a bit hot under the collar. Many games release sequels to a sceptical audience, and quite often by the 3rd time round people have seen and done everything they want to and meet the news with half-arsed grunts. Yet this time round none of them seem to be receiving a negative pre-release reaction, and as we find out below, it could well be that the next 12 months show that 3 is indeed the magic number.
So in order of current release date, here’s a break down of what the number 3 has in store for us. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s an impressive lineup.
DiRT 3 (PS3/360) – May 2011
Codemasters have done a fantastic job with DiRT3, and by taking on board suggestions and criticisms from the previous version they have come up with something really quite remarkable. Anyone after a top quality rallying game will love it, and anyone who enjoys white-knuckle, fast and dangerous racing will be in just the right place. We’ll have our review up later this week, but trust me when I say it’s one of the best racing games available.
Dungeon Siege 3 (PS3/360) – June 2011
You can’t beat a good RPG. Obsidian have expressed their desire to ensure this features a strong single player campaign, but many people are looking forward to a drop-in co-op mode to allow friends to play through the campaign together. There will be other, non-3 RPGs out this year to compete with Dungeon Siege, but which one will come out on top remains to be seen. Even so, fans of the series are gently wetting themselves at the prospect of DS3.
FEAR 3 (PS3/360) – June 2011
Fancy a scary game? Trying to take the horror crown away from Dead Space, FEAR 3 is looking to scare the pants off anyone who sits in front of it. Adding co-op play (which seems to be becoming the fashion) and an improved cover system, it’s clear that Day 1 are pulling out all the stop. It takes something a little special to go beyond the desensitised gamers that grace modern consoles, so it’s exciting to see just how they make FEAR 3 scarier than anything we’ve seen before.
Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution (PS3/360) – August 2011
Several years ago now I sat at my PC and enjoyed every last minute of Deus Ex. It was nothing like anything I’d played before, and even though the concept itself is aging a bit now Deus Ex 3 has been looking remarkable ever since the first trailer and screens were released. Following the same idea of body augmentations, super abilities will allow gamers to take their own route though the game depending on whether they want subtlety or a lot of noise. Over 10 years since I started to love Deus Ex, I’m still excited about playing this.
Gears of War 3 (360) – September 2011
With the 360’s exclusive release calendar looking a little under-nourished, it’s good to see a new Gears of War title on the horizon. 4-player co-op, mech suits and some new multiplayer modes should keep fans of the series happy. Beta testing of Gears 3 has brought about some positive responses from those who played it, and by the time the game is released in September 360 owners should have something pretty tasty to shout about.
Resistance 3 (PS3) – September 2011
As good as it was, Resistance 2 got a very mixed reception from fans of the series. The series has been with the PS3 since day 1 and is now looking to show off the console as much as possible with some stunning visuals. Information has been a little thin on the ground, but the trailers released show that Insomniac aren’t messing around here. If it’s a FPS battle you want, then alongside MW3 and Battlefield 3, Resistance 3 will be a very strong contender.
Battlefield 3 (PS3/360) – Autumn 2011
EA managed something brilliant with Bad Company 2, with an engaging campaign and multiplayer which demanded teamwork and skill to get the upper hand. And yet Battlefield 3 is turning everything up to 11. Trailers are looking incredible, that much is undeniable, and it’s entirely possible that this year’s FPS of choice will move away from Modern Warfare and land kicking and screaming into a four man squad on Battlefield 3. If early indications turn out to be accurate, this will be something special.
Uncharted 3 (PS3) – November 2011
Naughty Dog have shown twice before that they know how to make the most of the Playstation 3’s hardware. Drake’s Fortune was an early example of just what could be done with a strong story and some programmers who know what they’re doing, and Uncharted 2 took things forward beyond all expectations. Imagine, then, just how excited PS3 owners are at the prospect of Uncharted 3 being substantially better again. It doesn’t bare thinking about…
Modern Warfare 3 (PS3/360) – November 2011
The Call of Duty series is a bizarre one. Every time a new COD game is released, people moan about how it’s nothing new, how it’s just the same game with new clothes on… and yet they still sell crazy amounts. On top of that, recent excitement about the MW3 trailers and leaks shows just how much people are looking forward to this one, although only time will tell if Battlefield 3 will take the FPS audience away from COD.
Mass Effect 3 (PS3/360) – Early 2012
The first Mass Effect game to be released simultaneously on both consoles, ME3 looks to build even further on what was, to most people, one of the finest gaming experiences ever created. Mass Effect 2 is the only game to have received a perfect score from us so far, and if the next version improves in any way, it’s going to be something we can barely even imagine. Let’s be honest, it could be more of the same and we’d be happy.
So which of these 3s are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!