There’s no one game in the near future that’s a dead cert for me to buy, but the three in the title are definitely interesting enough to consider.
Dishonored (sadly missing a U due to pesky colonial misspelling) is made by Bethesda, which is a good start, and is to be released at some point this year for the PS3, Xbox360 and PC. It’s being compared to BioShock and Deus Ex: Human Revolution and although I own neither of those titles I have heard good things about them.
The game takes place in Dunwall: a city which sounds like a mixture of Victorian-era London and steampunk. The playable character is named Corvo, and has a wide range of abilities (including some pretty cool-sounding magic moves) for killing people. Corvo was imprisoned (falsely) for killing the Empress, whom he was sworn to protect. Whilst in his cell a mysterious stranger gave him magical powers.
The game isn’t open world, but there is scope for exploring it during the assassination missions. Corvo’s a flexible, versatile fellow who can be all stealthy and subtle or just a hard as nails warrior.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but I’m liking the sound of the little touches that are being developed (things like sound travelling differently through doors that are locked and the ability to teleport over short distances).
Game of Thrones is a bestselling book, a bloody good TV series and will soon be a videogame too. It comes out on 1 June, also for the three main platforms, and has a lot to live up to. The story (which has been officially made part of the canon by George RR Martin) follows two chaps, Mors and Alester, each of whom takes the starring role in alternating chapters.
It’ll feature some of the vocal talents from the TV series, which should be good. The game’s reckoned to last 30 hours or more, and as characters gain new abilities the perks are counter-balanced by weaknesses. There’s to be plenty of combat but also quite a lot of social interaction. I’ll be paying attention to the first reviews of the game to see how well it’s received.
Last but hopefully not least, the rather more distant prospect of Dragon Age 3. Origins was very well-received, and I loved it, but DA2, whilst having some good aspects (notably the Qunari) did suffer from being blatantly rushed.
The game may well be set in Orlais, which is the approximately French counterpart of the more-or-less English country of Ferelden (where Origins occurred). The party members will have generally pre-determined appearances but a lot more scope for customised bits and pieces (so they’re instantly recognisable but aren’t lumbered with one or maybe two outfits, as happened in DA2).
The general direction of the story hasn’t been explicitly described but it’d likely follow on directly from the DA2 ending. Unfortunately the important question of whether or not we get a lady Qunari also hasn’t been addressed, nor has the matter of whether we’ll get a racial choice at creation. It’ll also be interesting to see whether they opt for the nice but unoriginal elven faces of Origins or the innovative and generally ugly faces of DA2.