5 Awesome PC Games Still Coming Out in 2011
2011 may be more than half over, but the best is still yet to come for PC gamers. Though the mid-to-late aughts are largely thought of as a time of victory for console users, the pendulum has begun to swing back in the direction of PC’s, as the gulf in processing power becomes more and more pronounced. This year might just represent a watershed moment in the hardware cycle, sending Sony and Microsoft scuttling back to R&D licking their wounds.
To celebrate the position of honor that PC gaming will no doubt be enjoying this fall, we’ve compiled this list of enticing, exciting PC titles that are sure to be filling up hard drives for the rest of the year.
When It’s Awesome: 11/11/11
Why It’s Awesome: Though Skyrim will come out on consoles, a game of such gigantic scale has only one natural home: the personal computer. Many people poured more than 100 hours into Oblivion, the game’s predecessor, and early reports suggest that Bethesda’s Fall RPG smash will be similarly engrossing. Early reports have touted the classless leveling system, a vast array of dual-wielding possibilities, and, of course, dragons, but the improved PC visuals and extensive modding support Bethesda promises are extra reasons to get fired up. Our E3 preview also detailed intriguing, technologically bleeding-edge features that controlled NPC AI and quest structures. If you devote 100 hours to playing any RPG this fall, this is likely to be the one.
Awesome Fact: Early reports gloss over this, but apparently the game will feature giants herding mammoths (an example of the brand-new Radiant AI). If that’s not a reason to buy it, I dunno what is.
When It’s Awesome: 11/8/11, 10/25/11
Why It’s Awesome: Despite the fact that neither side is willing to fire the first salvo and commence open hostilities, this match-up between two FPS monoliths is billed as one of the biggest gaming showdowns in modern memory. Sure, Modern Warfare 3 will be getting released in various, hideous, non-PC incarnations. And Battlefield 3 will come out on consoles, though it will only run at 30 frames per second. For serious FPS fans, however, the real action will be where it always has been: on PC’s. With their gigantic budgets, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are slated to deliver some of the most spectacular visuals ever seen in a video game, and such artistry deserves to be seen in its full glory. Then there’s the not-insignificant matter of mouse-and-keyboard trumping controllers every day of the week. Whether you’re into these series for the competition or simply the blockbuster entertainment, you’ll get the best of both with a mouse in your hand.
Awesome Fact: You’ll be able to play as a sniper in Battlefield 3, but you’ll have to hold your virtual breath to take a hyper-accurate long-range shot. This makes people above the age of 14 very happy.
When It’s Awesome: 10/4/11
Why It’s Awesome: The PC pedigree of id Software is legendary, though it’s been a while since they’ve released a blockbuster game. Enter Rage, which looks to take a number of extant gaming tropes, recombine them, and then add a big dose of zaniness. The story may not be hugely compelling, but we like the other things we hear: mod tools and level editor included on release day and no crappy Wii port. Our hands-on E3 preview made much of the aggressive-but-pragmatic enemy AI, and the game’s extensive crafting system sounds like a blast to use. With no Fallout game on the horizon for some time, and Borderlands 2 still a ways off, Rage is well up to the task of providing your post-apocalyptic kicks.
Awesome Fact: Gadgets galore! So far, Rage has revealed melee-capable spider turrets, remote control demolitions cars, and deadly boomerangs, but this probably only the tip of the MacGyver iceberg.
When It’s Awesome: 10/18/11
Why It’s Awesome: Everything we heard about Batman: Arkham City at Comic-Con kept returning to the same ideas: bigger; better; faster; more. The game covers five times as much area as Batman: Arkham Asylum and is nearly four times as long. The rogue’s gallery of classic Caped Crusader adversaries keeps getting fuller, as Catwoman and Penguin have joined the Riddler, who returns from the first game.
Even more intriguing are the gameplay changes — things like the engine being able to handle 27 different thugs attacking Batman at once. I don’t know about you, but when I heard that, I a) did a little dance for joy and b) thought about what an advantage PC owners will have rendering that kind of action without a drop in framerate. Arkham City looks like it will be a killer game no matter what — but it will be especially deadly with more horsepower under your hood.
Awesome Fact: Rocksteady and Warner Brothers are promising forty hours of open-world gameplay. The bar for superhero games is about to be raised dauntingly high.
When It’s Awesome: ??????/??????
Why It’s Awesome:The release dates for these two mega-titles remain shrouded in mystery, but speculation about a Holiday 2011 release still abounds. There’s no doubt that it would result in a financial windfall for both publishers — as far as anticipated PC games go, these two are still near the top of the list.
Diablo 3 has dominated the news lately with their cash auction house and always-connected requirements, two revelations that have overshadowed the fact that the game is actually quite fun. The Old Republic, meanwhile, has alternated between grandiose pronouncements and seemingly inconsequential reveals. As the annual American orgy of seasonal commerce approaches, expect more specifics and more exciting updates about stuff that gets to the heart of the gameplay.
Awesome Rumor: Every player character in The Old Republic gets his or her personal starship to serve as a home base.