Sixteen to eleven
16. Frontlines: Fuel of War: (Kaos Studios-THQ: Summer 2007)
The Battlefield series of games has been highly successful and now the new THQ development team of Kaos Studios is answering the call with their answer to EA’s best selling multiplayer franchise. Taking place in the near future, Frontlines: Fuel of War will feature battles that move on fronts rather than all over the map along with destructible environments and the power of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3. It also helps that many of the members of Kaos Studios developed the Battlefield 1942 mod Desert Combat that was bought by Battlefield’s developers Digital Illusions and later served as the basis for Battlefield 2. With such a background this game could give EA a run for its money next year.
15. Shadowrun (FASA Studios-Microsoft: Sometime in 2007)
Based on the long running cyberpunk themed role playing game, Shadowrun is aiming to turn the multiplayer shooter genre on its ear with a mix of magic and sci-fi along with different classes, a pinch of RPG aspects and level design that uses multiple stories instead of the typical flat levels in many games. The biggest difference is that both the PC version and the planned Xbox 360 version of Shadowrun will be able to have players combat each other regardless of the platform. We should finally settle the whole “console vs PC” gameplay debate with this game.
14. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (Sigil Games: First Quarter of 2007)
When you have some of the members of the original Everquest team on your side making a new MMO game you have to sit up and take notice. Vanguard may have been in development for a long time but the end result could bring in a lot of Everquest members into this game. With a whopping 19 different races to choose from, an emphasis on group based gameplay and a massive world to explore, Sigil Games’ debut title will certainly be one to watch for among the crowd of MMO titles.
13. Command and Conquer 3 (Electronic Arts: March 2007)
After a detour into the near future with Command and Conquer: Generals, EA’s Los Angeles division heads back to basics with Command and Conquer 3, bringing back the battles between the GDI and Nod armies along with an all new alien race as well. Improved graphics, new pro gamer features for tournaments and a return to the game’s live action cut scenes are the stand outs here. Will EALA bring back the magic that the original Westwood title had for C&C 3. We should know more in March.
12. Lord of the Rings Online (Turbine-Midway: First Half Of 2007)
Turbine has a lot of experience in the MMO genre but no game they have developed has been as highly anticipated as this title which brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy and universe to the MMO realm. That alone sets it apart from the flood of similar titles coming in 2007 and you can bet there will be people who have never played an MMO title who will try out this game. Will Turbine take advantage of this built in audience and deliver a game worthy of all Middle Earth fans? We should see very soon.
11. Hellgate London (Flagship Studios-Namco: Late 2007)
When most of the major team members from Blizzard North left the Diablo developer to head out on their own, most people expected them to create a great original game. Later in 2007 we should find out if that is indeed the case with Hellgate London. This game, which mixes sci-fi with fantasy in a near future setting, has been in development for quite a while but its mix of first person action with deep gameplay and the promise of a solid multiplayer experience already has its fans salivating. We hope the final product lives up to the promise.