January 10, 2010

Most Anticipated Xbox 360 Games of 2010, Part I

All right, all right, all right!

There's no turning back now that we're over a week into this new year.  Is it just me, or does anyone else think something major is going to occur in 2010?  Not necessarily in the game industry, but just in life ... maybe it's just me, but I digress.

However, some big things are going to happen in the gaming industry.  Here are two of my Top 5 (in alphabetical order) Most Anticipated Xbox 360 Games of 2010, along with what excites me and strikes fear in my heart about each one.  Click below to see the first two.

Alan Wake
Release Date:  April 12th

Excited about ... the atmosphere that developer Remedy is crafting.  It looks crazy creepy.  I'm a fan of suspense, and Alan Wake looks to be seeping with it.  I'm not a huge fan of gore and horror stuff (although some of my favorite games are Gears of War, Silent Hill 1 and 2, and Dead Space), so the fact that this is billed as a "psychological thriller" is like a gorgeous songbird's tune to me.  Ever read Frank Peretti's The Oath?  If not, you should, because the atmosphere is very reminiscent.  The gameplay, environs and story look very well detailed, so I'm looking forward to this new IP.

Afraid of ... the dark! ... and the possibility of being underwhelmed.  If you didn't know, the first trailer appeared in May of 2005, and the complete package (that is, minus future DLC) will finally be released one month shy of five years.  That's a lot of time to make an experience, but my assumption is that Remedy hasn't slacked or settled for shoddy work.  I guess I just want this game to be so good so badly that I don't want to have too high expectations (that happened to me with Spiderman 2 the movie, and I sadly say I can't share what the rest of the world feels).  The story looks solid, the setting looks perfect, I just hope everything comes together in a finished product that I will want to keep in my library and never consider selling as long as I own my Xbox.

Aliens vs. Predator
Release Date:  February 16th

Excited about ... playing the most realistic version of one of my favorite movies of all time, and against one of the scariest things of all time, the Alien (or would that be H.R. Giger himself?  I don't recommend looking up his stuff, creepy and a tad disturbing.  I guess that's why his Alien creation is so dang nightmarish.).  What I said about gore and horror above still apply, but I love battling against the Aliens, even the Predators.  It's like battling demons or something.  Again, I love a good scare, and playing as a Marine will be just that: scary.  The game mode I'm giddily anticipating is the "Survivor Mode," this game's version of Gears' Horde and Call of Duty: World at War's Nazi Zombies.  You play a Marine (or more if you're co-opping, I'm assuming) and try to survive as long as you can from a never-ending Alien attack.  Reminds me of one of the most intense action moments of the movie Aliens when they sneak in through the ceiling.  However, with this title, there is something that I'm ...

afraid of ... the violence.  You can play as either a Marine, an Alien, or a Predator.  I saw a video of one of the Predator's moves called his "Trophy Kill" (this might apply to the Alien, I'm not sure).  If you know anything about Predator lore, the species is hunter-focused with each warrior collecting skulls of their prize kills.  Suffice to say, the "Trophy Kill" that I saw was probably the most violent thing I've ever seen in a game.  Also, from what I've heard the Alien can do as well, the gore factor has been shared evenly between the two alien species.  As further indication of it's heightened nature, Australia initially banned the game, allowing it only after Rebellion, the game's developer, appealed.  The following video I rate close to an M for a couple of chestburster moments.

As a Christian, in my marriage, in my work life, and in my daily living I try to follow Philippians 4:8.

     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is
     lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

It's so easy to focus on the negative thoughts that easily slip in.  But in the end, it's all about choice, what we choose to focus on.  With the Spirit's help, we can realize that we don't have to give energy to negativity and sin, but instead choose to seek God's will and live Jesus' examples.  I wonder about my choice to play this game.  I'm being completely honest, I know for a fact that I really just want to shoot some xenomorph tail.  Haha, that's the stereotype of video games, isn't it?  From Asteroids and Space Invaders to Halo, we're most often fighting against aliens.  And no game is wholly good, unless it's main purpose is to spread the Gospel.  What good can we think about in these video games we play?  Much.  For me, there's that sense of Good vs. Evil, being a hero for a cause.  I think we all have that desire to see good triumph and video games a lot of times provide that feeling, albeit not actually saving the real world.

I'm still looking forward to playing it, and I hope to post a review of Aliens vs. Predator because of these controversial elements so be on the look out for that next month.

There are three more titles I'm eagerly anticipating this year.  Stay tuned!

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