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Old 05-22-2007, 05:41 PM   #1
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2007 Second Half Preview - PC Stand Alone Titles

A few notes and caveats.

- This list covers officially announced games that are reasonably expected to see the light of day in the last half of 2007, so no Duke Nukem Forever, Killzone 2 or Mario Kart - Wii. I also only discuss games for the systems they have been officially announced for so Hellgate: London stays under the PC heading and MGS4 stays under PS3.

- Release dates used are for the U.S. releases of the game. Several of these titles may have already been released in other territories, or may not be released in others until a later date.

- I can only go on what information I have right now. Some games will slip to next year; others will be added to the schedule.

- For the sake of brevity any download-only titles (XBLA, PSN, VC, Steam, etc.) and games for last-gen systems (PS2, original Xbox, GBA) are excluded from the list.

- The Hidden Gem is a game in each category that doesn't have a lot of hype or buzz surrounding it but still looks, to me at least, like a winner

PC – Stand Alone Titles

Title – Age of Pirates: Captain Blood
Genre – Acrion Adventure
Developer – Akella
Publisher – Playlogic International
Based on a series of books that sound one step removed from a harlequin bodice ripper, Captain Blood puts you in the boots of a ‘noble’ pirate (however oxymoronic that may be). Actually it sounds more like an Indiana Jones/Alan Quartermain pulp adventure posing as a pirate novel. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the pirate genre is in its glory right now. The game itself looks pretty cool. Ship-to-ship combat and combo-based melee combat wrapped around mission based gameplay.

Title – Crysis
Genre – Sci-fi FPS
Developer – Crytek
Publisher – Electronic Arts
The game every graphics whore and overclocker has been salivating over for years. And for good reason, Crysis looks as good as any game ever released. The environments don’t just look great; they’re also tremendously interactive and destructible. The character animations are also as smooth and realistic as anything seen previously. The gameplay is also pretty varied, mostly due to the main character’s Nano Suit, which lets gamers customize their play experience. Your Nano Suit can make your character stronger, faster or stealthier and the main weapon can also be outfitted with sniper scopes, silencers and even grenade launchers.

Title – Empire Earth III
Genre – RTS
Developer – Mad Doc Software
Publisher – Vivendi Universal
The third iteration of the venerable strategy series, Empire Earth looks to continue to be a more combat-focused alternative to Age of Empires and Civilization. Play as one of three races (Western, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern) over five different historical eras.

Title – Enemy Territories: Quake Wars
Genre – FPS
Developer – Splash Damage
Publisher – Activision
Quake. Just saying the word will give some gamers the chills. Well then what happens when you combine the Quake universe with Battlefield-esque gameplay? I can only expect mass hysteria. Jump into vehicles and ferry teammates to the frontlines, strafe the battlefield in aircraft and generally engage in some great, over-the-top combat gameplay. Splash Damage promises that both sides, the Terrans and the Strogg, will play very differently and provide a lot of variety to the gameplay.

Title – Hellgate: London
Genre – Isometric RPG
Developer – Flagship Studios
Publisher – Electronic Arts
Touted as the spiritual successor to Diablo, Hellgate: London looks like it actually may be able to live up to the hype. Set sometime in the future in which the Earth is being invaded by the hordes of hell, you play as one of three RPG archetypes in an attempt to save humanity. The Templar and Cabalist classes play like traditional RPG characters, but the Hunter class will actually play like a FPS. The game will have an extensive single player mode, but like Diablo will be very popular as a multiplayer game. There will be an optional $10/month ‘Elite’ plan that will confer some added bonuses in multiplayer (more characters, more item storage, creation of guilds), although it remains to be seen how many gamers take advantage of this.

Title – Seven Kingdoms: Conquest
Genre – Real-Time Strategy
Developer – Enlight
Publisher – CDV
A strategy title that actually takes a rather novel approach to the genre. Starting in Ancient Egypt, Seven Kingdoms portrays the battle between humans and demons all the way up until a thousand years in the future. Ancient times, future times, and demons? If you fought the Wehrmacht it would encompass the setting of almost every strategy game ever.

Hidden Gem
Title – Shattered Suns
Genre – Real Time Strategy
Developer – Clear Crown Studios
Publisher – Clear Crown Studios
Have you noticed that there are a lot of strategy games in this preview? While many of them are, or will be, good, they tend be very similar. Shattered Suns looks to try and change some of the standards of RTS games with a few interesting modifications to the norm. Firstly, this futuristic game, centered around a rebel starship captain trying to spearhead a revolution, takes place in 3D – a departure from even the most advanced RTS’ 2D display. Second, the universe is dynamic – planets move in orbit, stars meander around the galaxtic core, and even galaxies move through their respective super clusters. This drift can dramatically change the game plays, and it one of the more interesting ideas to come to strategy in quite a while. All of this paired with customizable spacecraft and some sweet graphics, and you have a pretty intriguing product.

Title – The Precursors
Genre – Action RPG/Space Sim
Developer – Deep Shadows
Publisher – Play Ten Interactive
The Precursors is an odd bird. In some respects it’s a space sim – you have to gather and trade various resources while tooling around in your customizable space ship. In others it’s a story-driven RPG – you’re exploring the linked origins of different races on very different worlds while navigating the political currents at the same time. In others it’s a straight-up shooter. While many games that try to do too much end up doing nothing well, you can’t fault Deep Shadows for their ambitious approach.

Title – The Witcher
Genre – RPG
Developer – CD Projekt
Publisher – Atari
Based on a series of popular novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher puts you in the shoes of a medieval monster hunter. The game is supposed to have a very deep, and occasionally complex, character system.

Title – Timeshift
Genre – FPS
Developer – Saber Interactive
Publisher – Vivendi Universal
Taking the time-bending gameplay of Prince of Persia to the shooter realm, Timeshift looks like it may actually bring something new to the FPS party. While the game has been kicking around for a while (no, its not cancelled) it still looks really good and fluid. While I’m not sure how well the time powers will work, anything that evolves the FPS is a welcome advance.

Title – Universe at War: Earth Assault
Genre – RTS
Developer – Petroglyph
Publisher – Sega
Set against the backdrop of invading aliens who want to strip-mine the earth, the key word for this game is ‘customization’. The producers promise that units, structures, and even hero units will be extremely malleable, providing different players different experiences. In addition, you play on a persistent world (a la X-Com), one in which you may have to manage several fronts simultaneously while dealing with the devastation you’re previously wreaked on the environs.

Title – World in Conflict
Genre – Real Time Strategy
Developer – Massive Entertainment
Publisher – Sierra
Set in an alternate 1989 in which the Soviet Union, instead of collapsing, launches a last-ditch attack on NATO forces, while simultaneously attacking the West Coast of the US. (if that sounds a lot like Red Dawn, it’s not a coincidence) You play as the US, NATO or the Soviet Union but the gameplay itself is a departure from normal RTS games. Resource management is completely absent from the game; instead you’re given a set number of credits that can be used to buy new units; when those units are destroyed, the credits expended on them slowly return to the player’s pool. Players also choose from four different roles (infantry, armor, air and support), which allow them to buy things like artillery strikes and bombing runs. Also interesting is the camera system, which is controlled by the WASD buttons, and allows for a tremendous feeling of freedom while in game.

Coming Thursday: Multiplatform Titles– Part 1

Xbox 360 - First Party
Xbox 360 - Third Party
Playstation 3 - First Party
Playstation 3 - Third Party
Wii - First Party
Wii - Third Party
PC - Massively Multiplayer
PC - Expansion Packs
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Yeah finally some rep for TEEEEEEEEEEH WITCHER, i know the title sounds ridiculous but i honestly think it will be an awesome title. IM looking forward to that and DNF as usual
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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The Witcher will kick all kinds of ass.

And Timeshift and Quake Wars were multiplatform titles the last time I checked.
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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If Hellgate makes it out this year, I will be utterly shocked.

Originally Posted by dorkandproudofit View Post
This needs to be sigged IMMEDIATELY.
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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Lots of great looking games for a "dying" platform.
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nfwolfpryde
Lots of great looking games for a "dying" platform.
This is for PC, not PS3. What are you talking about?
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:01 PM   #7
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As always, the good Dr makes me aware of games that dropped off my radar.

I wish The Witcher books were available in English.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Here's to hoping that Hellgate hits sometime this year. I could really use a game to ruin my life with right about now.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:26 PM   #9
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im glad i just upgraded my graphics card. most of these games look really awesome.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:27 PM   #10
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Universe at war will own.
Gamer Tag: Adam Blue | PSN ID: Bluegamer | XFire/Steam ID: adamblue
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:57 PM   #11
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I thought Timeshift was multiplatform?
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:59 PM   #12
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Great list, I would just like to add a few more:

King’s Bounty: The Legend (gamespot screens etc…)
Hard to be God (synopsis)
Vampyre Story (official site)
Savage II: Tortured Soul (1up)
Limbo (official site)
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KingGorilla
If Hellgate makes it out this year, I will be utterly shocked.
Why? Flagship maintained its "when its done" status for a long time, before recently switching to a "summer 07" date.

Engine and netcode (Mythos tests, etc.) seem all done. Item and class descriptions have been available for a long time.

Do you have any specific reasons for thinking that they prematurely switched away from the "when its done" deadline?
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:01 PM   #14
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Glad to see that the most powerful platform available to developers is experiencing so much innovation this year.

How about changing the name of this thread to "PC Standing in the Shadows of Their Forebears Titles"?

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Old 05-22-2007, 09:04 PM   #15
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Shouldn't that be:

"Well then what happens when you combine the Quake universe with Wolfenstein Enemy Territory-esque gameplay?"
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:35 PM   #16
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Hellgate: London is the game that really intrigues me here. I want to see what Bill and the team at Flagship can do since leaving Blizzard, my all time favorite developer. Crysis looks amazing and although I don't think my computer will be able to handle it, I can't wait to see it anyway.

While a lot of the games on this list look interesting, I don't think they'll leave much of an impact when all is said and done. But who am I to know.
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:02 AM   #17
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Every Next-gen console birth....which is old-gen it the PC world apparently spells doom for good old PC gaming.

When will people ever learn. By the way I like your articles.
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:08 AM   #18
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Come on new PC!

Lots of strategy games this year.
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The last time someone went around being tolerant of everyone around him, we nailed him to a fucking cross for being a preachy asshole.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:26 AM   #19
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Lots of good titles, but my god, the RTS...so much RTS
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:27 AM   #20
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I think you should mention the elite plan also confers you getting the BEST items. Which is utter bullshit. >_<
what, are you cereal?!
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