2006 is nearly upon us and some excellent new games are forecast for next year. Developers are reaching the stage where they can start to play with the graphics technology of 2004 and 2005, including the likes of Pixel Shader 4.0 and improved Bump Mapping.
Because of this, games are about to look a whole lot better.
I've written a few words on the following games which are expected next year:
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (RPG) This is the sequal to Morrowind, which gave players over six-hundred hours of gameplay to completely finish it, and a further thirty times that for the other character races and classes. Morrowind has its flaws, but overall was thought to be a spectacular game and a first-in-its-class for its determination to create an entire world to play in. Oblivion promises more. This time, we are getting full voice coverage: everything any NPC says will be spoken, not written. The engine has also been built completely from scratch, and it looks gorgeous. There are videos out there to watch, and I highly recommend them - forests are dynamically generated, areas are different each time and enemies vary in experience and gain experience the more times they fight. Definately one to look out for.
Half-Life 2: Aftermath (FPS) Aftermath is, as the name suggests, set after the events of Half-Life 2. After the distruction of the Citadel, Combine forces remain, and need to be terminated. Expect lots of rubble. I doubt Valve will make any major improvements to the engine, because they spent the best part of five years tweaking it to perfection and regularly update it via Steam anyway.
SiN Episodes (FPS) Harnessing the Source engine (Half-Life 2), this is a futuristic shooter which is to lead on from the old SiN games. The game is most likely to be an online game, as the developers Ritual have been boasting about their 'tracking' system which allows users to view intricate stats after each 'episode' such as how many bullets were fired, how many hit their target and the effectiveness of their movements. Expect aliens.
Spore (Strategy/Management) This is a new one. You begin by controlling some bacteria, and you start on a planet. You then evolve and so forth, and during this process you can choose what sort of creature they become: do you give them legs, arms or big brains? By the time they are strong enough to hunt food, you're already planning their cities and fighting wars. The man behind this is Will Wright - the mastermind behind the Sims series. Developed by Maxis - the strategy/management experts.
Unreal Tournament 2007 (FPS) I presume the '2007' bit will mean this has a late release in 2006 to avoid looking older than it is. Since the original Unreal Tournament, developers Epic have been refining their shooter with snippets such as vehicles, gametypes and most prominently, graphics. If the screenshots we're seeing now aren't renders, then players are in for an aesthetic treat. I think Epic will focus mostly on the online side, as that genre is really booming now. One thing that I would like to see would be huge army vs army games over gigantic battlefields, Planetside-like. Another awesome thing would be dogfights, but we'll have to wait and see.
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (Soldier Sim) Tom Clancy's massively successful series of soldier games will gain a new member next year. Advanced Warfighter is taking the best bits of Splinter Cell, Brothers in Arms, Half-Life 2 and other hits of yonderyear to combine into one game. You play a special-forces operative as part of a team some time in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Urban warfare, Central America and heart monitors promised. Expect a hi-tech HUD and some pretty amazing gameplay.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (FPS) Delayed beyond belief, but we all know what that did to Half-Life 2 and IS doing to Operation Flashpoint: Next. Devs GSC aren't taking any crap from their publishers (THQ), and stubbornly continue to improve the gameplay and stamp the bugs. I reckon this will be Ravenholm for an entire game. Dark, screaming and fun as fuck.
Star Wars: Empire At War (RTS) Behemoth space battles, X-Wings and set just before the movies. We are yet to see a decent, modern Space Simulation game from the Star Wars office, and this could well be it. Fight a battle in space with your X-Wing and Star Destroyers, then land on a planet and fight on the ground and fight an RTS-style battle: two completely different fields of combat, and two completely different engines in one game. It's like Rome: Total War, but in a galaxy far, far away.
Armed Assault (Soldier Sim) This is what I am looking forward to. The simulation giants made up of ex-Czeck Special Forces, Bohemia Interactive Studios, are offering a completely non-linear combat game. Based heavily on the gameplay of Operation Flashpoint but majorly different in other aspects, this game offers everything any military-enthusiast could want: land, air and sea combat, including tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, submarines, aircraft carriers and Black Ops. The game is also going to include the original Operation Flashpoint campaigns updated for the new engine and the new features, along with some new missions too. The fans are calling this Operation Flashpoint 1.5, as Bohemia are also working on OFP's sequal (however it will not be called Operation Flashpoint as they have split with publishers Codemasters). A major aspect of the game is the dynamic mission generator. The story follows a UN peacekeeper in the south of a recently-conflict-torn country, who is forced into battle after the rebel Northerners attack. Missions aren't set, but rather generated: the engine will take into account the environment, the troop stengths and the positions of the troops, and create enemy attacks and friendly missions. Yes, the computer will simulate its own military commanders who look for weak points within your own walls, before exploiting it. Operation Flashpoint's AI was revolutionary, and this promises to be too.
Splinter Cell 4 (Third Person Action) Chaos Theory basically perfected the art of a stealth game, so Ubisoft needed something completely different in a sequal. This time, Sam is in prison for armed robbery and murder and his daughter has been killed. He has nothing to lose. He joins a group of criminals, and it is unclear whether or not he is undercover or genuinely against the law - probably something to be revealed at the end in a fatal plot-twist. Exciting.
Other games: Tabula Rasa World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Alan Wake Hellgate London Prey Supreme Commander Company of Heroes Rise and Fall: Civilizations At War Rise of Legends Warhammer: Mark of Chaos The Godfather Bioshock Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Tomb Raider Legend Pirates of the Burning Sea Diablo 3 Total War: Next Command & Conquer 3 Medal of honor: Next Wolfenstein: Next Far Cry 2 Operation Flashpoint 2 Indiana Jones 2 Duke Nukem Forever (Lol, like hell that will be released next year)
So which one are you most looking forward to? I am definately all-for Armed Assault. Hope you've enjoyed my little previews.
I nice year for gaming,lots of (hopefully) good titles
i cant wait to play oblivion and S.T.A.L.K.E.R on my new rig :)
does anyone know the official release date for oblivion yet?
Some time in April, I believe. No exact date, I don't think.
I'm most looking forward to Gear of War, it'll be the only thing that will make buying a 360 worth it. Other than that, Splinter Cell 4 could be interesting, if mass effect gets in before the end of the year that will be good too
Sounds like the best is yet to come. Can't wait to try some of those on the 360.
I take what n0e says way too seriously
25th August 2003
what about halo 3 thats coming next year right?
Yes, Halo 3 comes next year too. I am waiting for: Saint's Row S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Half-Life 2: Aftermath Elder Scrolls IV Halo 3 Scarface: The World Is Yours Far Cry 2 Alan Wake Rainbow Six: Lockdown for PC
As of right now, halo 3 can come in a few months, or it can wait untill late 2007. Rumors are saying bungie is about %40 done with their current "secret" project. Bill gates said they want halo 3 for the PS3's relese which should be fall of 2006 in the US.
The games I am looking forward to: Halo3(if it comes out this year) Stalker Spore Splinter cell 4 Star wars: empire at war armed assult Halo 2 PC(if ever)
Nice thanks for the list. Didn't know much about 2006 games. UT2007 and ST: EaW look cool.
Reven World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
:thumbsup: All I'm really looking forward to :D
Nice posts though Reven. Good too see a few more sequels a few other games next year that sounds alright. Might even have to install something else other than WoW on my Harddrive.