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March 7, 2011 | by  | in Arts Games |
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Games – Anomalous Materials: The Year Ahead

Greetings, gamers. Here marks the advent of Anomalous Materials, the dedicated games column here at Salient.

This year, we will be bringing you a weekly fix of game reviews, commentary and straight up ranting as we share with you the passion that infested itself firmly in our childhoods and has grown alongside us for the better part of two decades. We hope you enjoy reading this schlock as much as we’re going to enjoy writing it.

To kick things off, we’re going to look at the coming year and some of my personal picks from the upcoming titles. For the gaming industry, it’s going to be a big year. For me, it’s going to be a busy March. For those of you familiar with the eye-humping science-fiction ride that was Crytek’s Crysis, it’s likely you’ve been following the hype anticipating Crysis 2. The first game spawned an extensive range of “gimmicky” shooters, in which the FPS formula had tacked upon it a gameplay aspect that said game was defined by. In Crysis, this was the nanosuit, and the series has kept in step by sticking you in the skin-tight supersuit once again, transplanting you from a remote Korean island to the centre of a ruined, alien-invaded New York. Crysis 2 is also likely to match its predecessor’s benchmark of what is capable in video game graphics. Watch out for this one.

This year will also be incredibly important for the evolution of a breed of game that saw its refinement in Bioware’s immense Mass Effect series. Later in 2011, the series that has been justifiably called “this generation’s Star Wars” is coming to a close in what I’m convinced will be my favourite game of this year, Mass Effect 3. Clint Mansell will also be scoring the game’s soundtrack. Yes, the man responsible for the glistening sounds of Darren Aronofsky’s films. Rad.

This month we also have another of Bioware’s franchises continuing the developer’s fantasy origins with Dragon Age 2, another step in the evolution of the quickly stagnating “fantasy RPG” genre. An equally important contribution to the field of non-linear narrative in games is the continuation (or reboot, as some would argue) of the glorious Deus Ex series with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos Montreal, taking over from Ion Storm, could make or break the franchise of the beloved 2000 classic which was a huge step in storytelling and immersion in games. Choice, transhumanism, political intrigue and gorgeous art direction will make this game a must-play even if you’re not familiar with the original.

Another title that is pushing the envelope of gaming in the coming months is Valve’s shining example of puzzle games, Portal 2. The first installation made us really look again at what could be done within the realm of the first-person perspective, and the second promises even more with cooperative gameplay and lashings of Valve’s ceaseless charm.

Oh, also: SKYRIM. FUCKING ELDER SCROLLS V. More on this later.
Well, that’s us for this week. Until next time, team; stay frosty.

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  1. Ben Thorpe says:

    All right, Gordon. your suit should keep you comfortable
    through all this. The specimen will be delivered to you in a few
    moments. If you would be so good as to climb up and start the rotors,
    we can bring the anti-mass spectrometer to 80 percent and hold it there
    until the carrier arrives

  2. Nick says:

    ^ seriously

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Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov