Here are our picks for the 40 most anticipated games in the year 2011.
Lost in Shadow (Wii)
Lost in Shadow is a unique platform game where players control a shadow that is cast along various surfaces throughout the game while swarms of puzzles and enemies await at every turn. Exclusive to the Wii, Lost in Shadow starts the year off right for Nintendo's console.
Developer: Hudson Software Release date: January 4
A recent delay puts LittleBigPlanet 2 into our 2011 list. While the original focused on level design, LittleBigPlanet 2 will give players the opportunity to design their own games within the already highly customizable world inhabited by Sackboy and an infinite number of possible creations.
Developer: Media Molecule Release date: January 18
The original Dead Space not only terrified audiences, but also made great use of zero-gravity during gameplay. Dead Space 2 promises more of the same nail-biting intensity, keeping the survival-horror component fully in tact. Expect much more mind-blowing cinematics, new weapons, and better upgrades.
Developer: Visceral Games Release date: January 25
The follow up to one of PlayStation 3's most thrilling and best-looking games takes players to a frozen arctic world to continue the fight against Helghan forces. Killzone 3 will also be one of the first games for the PS3 built from the ground up in 3D.
The original de Blob impressed us with its addictive gameplay and clever platforming design, tasking players with bringing color to a black-and-white world. de Blob 2 will feature more of what gamers fell in love with the first time around, but now Xbox 360, PS3, and DS owners can join in the fun, too.
We can't wait to jump back into the paranormal world of F.E.A.R., a franchise that's been chilling us for half a decade. In the third iteration, look for the addition of a co-op mode, an expansion of the story, and a handful of reasons to play with the lights on.
Crysis 2 will take place after an alien invasion in New York City--the remnants of which you must trudge through. It's been years since the original Crysis game that took place in lush tropical jungles, but we happily welcome the new setting.
L.A. Noire is a detective thriller set in the 1940s that promises some of the best facial expression animations ever seen in a game to date. A game that's been shrouded in secrecy for years looks to make a spring 2011 debut.
Developer: Team Bondi, Rockstar Games Release date: April 5
Brink feels like what Mirror's Edge would have been were it also a traditional shooter. Combining acrobatic elements of parkour with a first-person shooter, Brink sounds unique enough to stand out when it's released this coming April.
What started innocently enough as an add-on to The Orange Box has becoming a gaming phenomenon, as well as earning the right for a proper full-length sequel in the process. Expect more mind-bending puzzles, dark humor, and a new co-op mode.
The Martian revolution game continues its tale in Armageddon, after winning over gamers and critics alike with Red Faction: Guerilla. While it takes place two generations after the events in Guerilla, Armageddon sees colonists heading beneath the Martian surface.
Child of Eden intrigued us at E3 2010 with its mysterious plot and art style. Players will need to rid Eden of a virus that is infecting it, and the game's ending will also be directly influenced by a user-submitted initiative called the Journey Project.
Game director Suda 51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes) teams up with some of the best action-horror designers to bring us Shadows of the Damned, a psychological thriller that reminds us of a campy Halloween movie.
We're not entirely sure where Max Payne 3 is in its development because believe it or not, we had it included in last year's list, too. What is known is Max Payne 3 severely alters what the first two games looked like in terms of aesthetic and takes the series to a tropical region.
Team Drake and company continue the treasure-huntin' good times in an Arabian desert setting, searching for a lost city. We're expecting only the best once again from Naughty Dog this time around, considering Uncharted 2 is still one of the most fun action-adventure games we've played in years.
The Elder Scrolls saga continues, with Skyrim taking place after the events of Oblivion. Skyrim will take advantage of an all-new game engine, an even more advanced system than the one used in the latest Fallout games.
Developer: Bethesda Studios Release date: November 11
It's no secret, Gears of War is one the best-selling franchises for the Xbox 360, and the highly anticipated third installment will bring with it four-player co-op, new weapons, and more terrifying enemies. Though Gears 3 was supposed to hit 2011 in April, the game has slid to a much more ambiguous Q4 release window.
The end of the Mass Effect trilogy will take place on Earth of all places, a setting the series has yet to tackle. Commander Shepard will once again lead the human race in a fight against those alien races who wish to destroy it.
We'd be shocked if Activision didn't have another Call of Duty game ready for sale by the 2011 holiday season. Coming off the record-shattering success of Modern Warfare 2 and now this year's Black Ops, they'd be crazy not to. Where and when the next Call of Duty game takes place is anyone's guess.
Developer: Probably Treyarch Release date: Most likely holiday 2011
We were just as surprised as anyone when news broke that Duke Nukem Forever would actually see the light of day. Now having played the upcoming shooter, we're even more anxious for some more trash-talking, alien-busting madness in 2011.
The highly anticipated spiritual successor to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus should finally see the light of day in 2011, where players will take on the role of a boy who must work with his gigantic animal friend to solve puzzles and explore new lands.
Of all the 3DS screenshots and videos we've seen, Capcom's Resident Evil 3D looks the most impressive. We can't wait to get our hands on the game, but we're not sure if it will launch along with the actual 3DS system itself.
The SSX franchise might not be the most realistic snowboarding game to ever hit the market, but it's definitely the most fun. We're really hoping to see the next SSX game out in 2011, especially after new SSX domain URLs were registered in November.
The eighth installment of the venerable survival-horror franchise looks to creep into home consoles in 2011. We haven't seen a Silent Hill game that really hooked us since "The Room," so there is a lot riding on the next iteration.