With 2003 behind us it's time to look ahead and see what games we will be playing next year. 2004 has the potential to be the biggest year ever for gamers with the next iterations of Half Life and Doom franchises around the corner and a bunch of other sequels that will prevent gamers from spending significant time outdoors. The following is a list of what our staffers are looking to get their hands on in the year to come. Charles Husemann - Editor in ChiefHalf-Life 2
Do I really need to explain this one? This is the PC equivalent of all three Lord of the Rings rolled into one game. There's probably still a big wet spot at the LA convention center from all of the gaming geek drool from last year's E3.Doom 3
I picked this one last year with the hope that I might see it on shelves this year but since the gang at id is still working on it I'm forced to pick it again this year. As more details have arisen the game seems to have gotten further and further away from the typical Doom/Quake style of play and I've gotten more curious to how well the game will be received. We know the graphics will set new standards but how will the new single player missions work out and how will gamers react to the slower paced death match. Battlefield Vietnam
Battlefield 1942 is one of my favorite games of all time and I'm curious as to how the new environment translates over into the game play. The early reports look strong (especially the ability to transport tanks across the map via helicopter) and I'm hoping I have another major time sink on my hands.Halo 2
With the same great game play, better graphics, and Xbox Live support? What else needs to be said?Painkiller
OK, so I'm all about the FPS games this year but Painkiller has a ton of potential. From what I've seen in the early betas, Painkiller has some amazing graphics, the Havok 2 physics engine (the same one used in Max Payne 2 and in Half Life 2), exceedingly cool bosses, and a breakneck pace that should push all of the right buttons for all of the twitch-monkeys out there. The game also features some potentially cool new multiplayer modes.
Cyril Lachel – Staff Writer Sony's PSP
I enjoy my GameBoy Advance and the games it allows me to play ... but I wouldn't mind having something a little better than a 16-bit system in my hands. The PSP promises to be the next generation portable the GameBoy Advance should have been, and if the price is right (and they have quality games), it should have no problem finding a home. It also has the potential to pull in people who would not generally buy portable game systems, since it will play movies, music, and a number of other interesting features. This may be the biggest system launch of the year, and I couldn't be more excited.The Big Sequels
Some critics don't like talking about sequels, but I can't wait for what promises to be a huge year for big sequels. Metal Gear Solid 3, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Resident Evil 4, and the next Grand Theft Auto (whatever it's called), I'm looking forward to all of them. Not only do these games need to live up to lofty expectations, but they need to bring us something new and different. It's yet to be seen if all of those games can achieve this goal, but I'm certainly looking forward to finding out. Dead or Alive Ultimate
I'll confess, the Dead or Alive series isn't my favorite franchise, but I'm dying for a new online fighting game, ANY online fighting game! Capcom started last year out strong by releasing Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO, but so far that has been their only Live-enabled fighting game, and there are none currently on the horizon. Perhaps it's the lack of competition, but Dead or Alive Ultimate (the game that used to be called Dead or Alive Online) is really starting to come together. It probably won't be the best fighting game of the year, but at least it will be online.That Big Surprise Nintendo Keeps Talking About
Lately I've been a little disappointed by Nintendo's performance, but I can't help but get excited at the prospects that they may reveal a new piece of hardware this year. They say they have something big to announce this year, something that is bigger than your average game announcement and smaller than a sequel to the GameCube. It could be something that plays games, or a new portable, or something you hook up to your system to help you play games. Whatever it is, it's damn mysterious and it's driving me up the wall. It may turn out to be nothing, but so far a lot of my excitement from 2004 comes from wanting to know what this announcement is.
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