*The Witcher 2 would have made the list, but since it is basically on our doorsteps I did not include it.*
Diablo III Blizzard Entertainment
Release: Hopefully this year!Possibly next year.
Sequel to the MEGA popular Diablo II, Diablo III will be looking to up the ante. Being an Action-RPG of the hack-n-slash variety, expect a LOT of killing and just enough loot to keep you dungeon trawling.
The introduction of Artisans (Blacksmith, Mystic and Jeweler) is something I’m looking forward to. Their task is to create and manipulate items for the player from materials gained from scrapping items found whilst exploring.
Diablo III will feature class-specific quests to add some variety, as well as new armour slots: leggings, arm-guards and shoulder plates, for more variety. Skill Runes are also something to look forward to. Attaching Runes to skills will alter them, often opening up new strategies and play-styles.
PvP is also making a showing in the form of arenas. There will be ranked PvP with achievements and titles, amongst a few other variants.
Witchdoctor, Demon Hunter, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Bethesda Game Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox, PS3
Release: 11.11.11 (November 11th)
Skyrim is set two hundred years after the events in Oblivion. Players will play as the last of an ancient race called the Dovahkiin. It will be your task to defend the lands from dragons as the lands of Skyrim descend into chaos due to the assassination of the king.
Like all previous Elder Scroll titles, you will have huge tracts of land to explore freely. The class system from Oblivion has been changed drastically. 280 perks are unlocked as you progress, derived from skill trees as you level.
Players can now dual-wield any hand-held items. From weapons and shields to any arrangement of spells. This will open up new play-styles to suit the player’s preference. To match this system, new finisher moves have been included, adding some spice to your kills as you explore the lands of Skyrim.
A.I. has also been drastically improved. This time around both enemy and NPCs will make better and more believable choices in the world. Expect the denizens of the world to go about their business in a life-like manner, never before seen in any Elder Scrolls game.
Dark Souls From Software
Platform: PS3, Xbox
Release: October 2011
Demons Souls quickly became a cult classic hit due to its dark, brooding, hardcore attitude. It is with that in mind that From Software is aiming to make Dark Souls an even more challenging and dark experience.
Set as the spiritual successor to Demons Souls, Dark Souls will take place in a new world, but it will still share numerous similar themes.
Gameplay is tasked as being even more challenging than Demons Souls. It will require the player to pay better attention to the environments as well as the enemies to survive. The world itself is also seeing a change in that it is to be a more open experience with far less loading screens.
Players will once again have full control of how they want their character to progress. So, picking a class at the beginning does not lock the player into a specific play-style. You develop your character as you see fit.
A new feature to be introduced with Dark Souls is that players will be able to upgrade their weapons AND armour, unlike Demons Souls which only allowed for weapon customization.
Online features will be similar to that of Demons Souls, including co-operative play as well as the ability to invade others games.
Torchlight 2 Runic Games
Release: July 2011
The first Torchlight was a great success considering its small indie nature. Runic Games is looking to deepen the Torchlight experience with an extended and more robust singleplayer portion, as well as finally adding multiplayer to the experience.
In Torchlight 2, players will roam from town to town instead of the focused dungeon crawl of the first game. Players will spend much time outdoors exploring the continent of Vilderan, so a weather system as well as a day / night cycle have been introduced.
It will now be possible to customize your character’s appearance, from your face to your hair. And this time there will be four classes. Right now only two have been announced. They are:
Railmain – A melee fighter who uses heavy hitting engineering weapons.
Outlander – A ranged hybrid fighter who uses rifles and glaives, and a little magic.
Pets and fishing will also be making a return.
TERA Bluehole Studio
TERA is a high-fantasy action heavy MMORPG which has already been released in Korea. TERA features some interesting features making it feel more like an action game than your average MMORPG.
Firstly, all characters are given a crosshair in the center of their screen akin to a First-Person-Shooter. This means, you will have to manually target your enemies as you play, instead of the usual lock-on system seen in most MMORPGs. Secondly, attacks need to make actual physical contact to score a hit. If your blade swipes at empty space, expect no damage to be dealt and the same goes for the enemies attacking you.
This style of combat will make for a frantic gameplay seldom seen in the genre. Dodging and timing attacks are the name of the game.
No factions exist in TERA, but PvP is still to be found for those inclined in the form of Battlegrounds and PvP servers. TERA is still to be primarily a Player vs. Environment focused game.
There are six races to play and eight classes to pick from: Archer, Berserker, Lancer, Mystic, Priest, Slayer, Sorcerer, Warrior.
Guild Wars 2 ArenaNet
Release: Hold thumbs for this year
The original Guild Wars was a highly successful game due to its tight gameplay, virtually no level grind, and the fact that it is free-to-play. Guild Wars 2 is going to keep the most important elements of what made the original so popular (including being free-to-play), whilst adding new features to expand the gameplay.
Set 250 years after the Eye of the North expansion, much has changed. The humans once dominant in Tyria have dwindled and dwarves are all but extinct. To make matters worse, five elder dragons have risen from their slumber and are set to wreak havoc upon Tyria.
Many new features are making their way into Guild Wars 2. First, gone is the heavily instanced world in favour of an open world to explore. Next, the level cap has been raised from 20, in the original, to 80. A sidekick system has also been implemented allowing high level players to “share” their power with lower level players whilst grouping.
Guild War 2
Quests are becoming more dynamic with events that will change in scope depending on players within a region. PvP is also seeing some changes in the form of World vs. World PvP, but many of the PvP staples will return.
Underwater exploration is also being introduced to add “depth” to world exploration. Expect a more in-depth crafting system to be implemented to give players more to do.
There are five races and eight classes to choose from.
Elementalist, Warrior, Ranger, Necromancer, Guardian, Thief
Star Wars: The Old Republic BioWare
Release: Second half of 2011
A new Star Wars MMO is finally on its way from RPG veterans BioWare.
In SWTOR players will either play as a hero of the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. Set to feature immersive storytelling unseen in the genre to date, it takes place roughly three hundred years after the events seen in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
SWTOR is to feature a class system that allows for a great deal of versatility. Players are not forced into the usual archetypes seen in the genre (tank, healer, dps), but rather all classes will have support skills to fill any role within a party, while still having a general focus.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Fully voiced dialogue will add depth to the world and your decisions. Each faction is to have their own unique class, story, morality and quests associated with them.
To be included are companions to bring along with you as you explore the Star Wars universe. Each companion has their own story and spending more time with them will open up new content.
Players will also gain access to their own ship and crew in the game’s unique space combat section.
Eight classes have been confirmed:Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent, Sith Inquisitor, Trooper, Smuggler, Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular.
Are you an RPG buff? Did we miss any awesome upcoming RPGs? Let is know in the forums