The Best Upcoming Video Games
I realized last night that I’m not as much of a video gamer as I thought because I haven’t had many systems of my own. However, I’ve always played video games as they have been around as long as I have. A friend has always had a system so that I’ve played just about everything worth playing, but I can’t lay claim to being a super duper expert or anything. The next few months might change that though, as there are a number of games that look fantastic and worth adding to my list of games.
I admit that when I was looking for new games, I passed over this one a couple times before finally clicking on it. The History Channel and video games are not exactly synonymous. For goodness sakes, this is also the channel that currently shows “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy,” “Pawn Stars” and “Swamp People.” So, actual history doesn’t seem to be at the top of their list for programming, why should it be there for a video game? Well, I’m not sure it is, but the idea of a game that tries to encapsulate the Hundred Years’ War and let you play general to forces of medieval warriors and knights should help to give a sense of history as well as a chance to practice your own war strategies. I’ll at least rent the game on March 15th just to see if it is worth playing again and again to see different ways for conquering the Plantagenets. However, given past reviews of History Channel games (here, here and here) I’ll assume I’ll return it after a few days.
I am a fan of watching golf. I used to be a bigger fan of watching, but that was before I could actually pick up my clubs 365 days a year and hit the links instead of being cooped up inside. No matter what my fan level, I will always drop everything and catch The Masters every year. Just like there is one horse race (The Kentucky Derby) one football game (The Super Bowl) and one auto race (The Daytona 500) for even the most casual sports fan, The Masters is that event for golf. The course is the star of the show as the players come and go, excel and ebb and eventually retire, but the course remains constant. Now, for the first time you can play the most famous exclusive course in the world. You can sweat through Amen Corner. You can go for it in two on 15. You can see if you can avoid the water on 16 unlike Greg Norman in 1996. On March 29th, for the first time since Sega PGA Tour Golf, I think I will be buying a golf game in the form of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters.
I can’t help it. I see the word “Templar” and just like the words “Illuminati,” “Masons” or “Rosicrucians” and my mind starts to think of conspiracy theories and the secret societies behind them. Viewing the trailer (after 30 seconds devoted to the production companies) leads me to believe that my imagination will be better than anything here and that the ties to reality are tenuous at best (considering that there is a fight with a 12-foot ogre), but there is still a bit of curiosity for me. Maybe this game will give me a bit more information on this secret society. Maybe there will be a little something to help me research a little further on their secret missions. Maybe I can find the Holy Grail. On April 26th, I’ll find out.
Just a little over a year ago, I was working as an extra for a commercial, sitting under a tent during a break and reading “Wired.” I read an amazing article on the saga of “Duke Nukem Forever” – “Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem.” (Seriously, if you click on one link all day, click on this one. It’s a fantastic read.) I remembered playing Duke Nukem a long time ago and after the article, figured I never would again. Then last September, Gearbox Software bought the intellectual property of Duke Nukem and is putting the game out on May 3rd. I’m not sure if it will be great or a train wreck, but I know that playing the game will be the only way to find out if those past 14 years were worth it or not.
I admit that the reason behind this entire essay was this game – L.A. Noire. (Here are links to a shorter trailer and a longer trailer for the game. If you click on just a second and third link all day, make sure these are the ones.) This game is from Rockstar Games, the same people that made Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption (two of my favorite games that I own.) It looks to combine a few of the things that I love in games: detail, a great storyline and action. I mean, just looking through the trailer, I already see Clifton’s Cafeteria amid other landmarks of the downtown area. (The Times building is also prominently seen in the trailer. Here it is in the foreground of a picture from 1951 and then 2009 just to show you how much has changed in downtown Los Angeles.) Because of their other games, I know this will be fun to play. But, because of my interests, on May 17 I know it will just be fun to walk the streets of Los Angeles and explore my city at night as though it is 1947 after exploring it all day in 2011.
Let me know if there are any games I missed. I’m always open to try new ones. Heck, maybe I’ll eventually become a super duper video game expert.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."