Every year the holiday season is like a gamer’s personal heaven, or personal hell, depending on your financial situation. This is because the holiday season leads to a massive influx of new games hitting store shelves every week. This is great if you are made of money and you can afford to get all of them, but if you can’t, you need to figure out which games are the best for you and which games to skip.
What makes this year so great is that two out of the three on this list are games that you can easily spend hundreds of hours playing, and the other one is no short game either. This means that only these three games are going to be necessary to play because they will satisfy my gaming needs for the entire winter. All three of these games bring something a little different to the table, and they all look amazing.
BF3 is not only my most anticipated game of the 2011 holiday season, it just might be my most anticipated game of all time. I could not begin to imagine the amount of hours I spent playing Battlefield 2, and since then no other shooter has been nearly as satisfying.
The feature set in Battlefield 3 is awesome, and it looks like they are trying to capture the essence of what made the Battlefield games before the Bad Company series so great. It’s not that the Bad Company games were terrible, because they were perfectly competent shooters, they just didn’t capture the feel of a Battlefield game.
It seems like the people at Dice really remembered what made Battlefield 2 so great and they are trying to include that in 3. They even went as far as including some of my favorite maps from BF2 as a preorder bonus for BF3. Sharqi Peninsula and Strike at Karkand were the two maps I spent the most time in BF3.
I could easily write a whole article detailing the reasons I am excited for Battlefield 3, but I will just say, for me, October 25th cannot come soon enough.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
After a couple of weeks playing Battlefield 3 you might be ready for a little break from shooting people in the face, and if so, Skyrim is here for you. On November 11th 2011, Skyrim hits the market.
It’s been way too long since Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came out, and while Bethesda has put out Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, both of which play similarly to Elder Scrolls, it just isn’t the same.
Besides walking around a massive world and doing pretty much whatever your heart desires, which is standard for Bethesda RPGs, the feature that really got my attention are the free roaming dragons in Skyrim. Imagine walking around the game world and a giant dragon comes out of nowhere and decides he wants to make you his afternoon snack. What makes these dragons so amazing is that they are not running a predetermined path laid out by the developers. They are given some rules and limits to follow and then sent on their way.
Another feature of Skyrim that has been greatly improved from Oblivion is the third person camera. For anyone who spent time in the last installment of the Elder Scrolls series, you know what I mean. The third person camera looked like complete trash in the last Oblivion game, and thankfully, they are addressing that and making the game actually playable in the 3rd person. In Elder Scrolls IV, the third person view looked so disconnected from the world that it was essentially unplayable. Now, they are building the game with the third person in mind, so for those players who prefer their RPGs in the third person you will be good to go.
Assassins Creed: Revelations
Assassins Creed is, in my opinion, the most improved game franchise ever. I played through AC1 and thought it was a game with great potential that was incredibly poorly executed. Then, AC2 came out and fixed everything that was wrong with the first one. The changes from AC2 to Brotherhood were much smaller, but still brought the franchise to an even higher level.
They are promising some improvements to the multiplayer. They are bringing new modes and improved matchmaking. To me, the online play is an afterthought in Assassins Creed, because I come for the amazing open world and the well done (albeit somewhat confusing) story.
It looks like the core game play is going to stay much the same in Revelations so if you are familiar with Assassins Creed you know just what to expect. The controls will remain the same, and the main objective of the game is intact. That is just fine with me, because it didn’t need much work in the first place. Basically, I just want more Ezio running around the city stabbing people, and it looks like on November 15th, Ubisoft is happy to deliver.
Check out the trailer!
Here are a few games that didn’t make the top 3 list, but I am still looking forward to playing them this holiday season.
Modern Warfare 3 – More Call of Duty is never a bad thing.
Forza Motorsport 4 – Forza and Gran Turismo are back and forth for the number 1 and 2 racing games, and I can’t wait for the Forza to swing the pendulum back to Forza’s favor.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: A Star Wars MMO made by the RPG geniuses at BioWare? Sounds like a recipe for a winner! That is if it actually comes out this year; I’ll believe it when I see it.
Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception: Uncharted is known for a great story line, great game play and awesome visuals, and the third looks to be no exception.
Batman: Arkham City: If this is anywhere near as good as Arkham Asylum, we are in for a winner.
The holiday video game rush looks like it is going to be a good one this year, and I cannot wait. You really can’t go wrong with any of these games.
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What games are you looking forward to this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!