Adam Brown, Freelance Writer
With 2007 looking like one of the best years ever as far as great video games are concerned, it is hard to choose which one excites me the most. While there are at least ten titles that I am eager to get my hands on, Mass Effect is the one that I am looking forward to the most. First of all, the game looks gorgeous. The intricate details in the characters, vehicles, and worlds are amazing. This may actually be the best looking game yet on the Xbox 360. I also think that mixing a squad-based shooter with an RPG is an interesting proposition. This combination creates combat that looks as diverse as it is unique.
Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this game is in the different approach BioWare is taking with Mass Effect's dialogue. Players will no longer be limited to having to listen to characters ramble on about something they don't care about. If you get annoyed or bored, you can interrupt other characters and even threaten them. If you interrupt a character multiple times, they may become annoyed with you and refuse to speak. This is where you may want to threaten them to get the information you want. The way that you talk with others in the game will also affect your party. If a member of your party strongly disagrees with the way that you talked to a character, they may just decide to leave your party.
With all of the interesting ideas that are going into Mass Effect, I can't help but want to play it. It doesn't hurt that I am also a fan of BioWare's earlier works such as Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Knights of the Old Republic was actually the game that made me finally buy the original Xbox. It looks like they will get me again with Mass Effect. While the Xbox 360 already has a large library of great games, this is the one that has me happily reaching into my wallet for $400.
Matthew Walker, Freelance Writer
God of War II (PlayStation 2)
KRATOS! With just one word, you have me hooked. Kratos has become one of the baddest of the bad. The first God of War had a great mix of bloody carnage and deep storyline. Graphically speaking, the first was brilliant and, from the screenshots I have seen, the second will only surpass the beauty of the first. However, there is only one thing I am looking forward to more than the graphics and that is gameplay. While the combos of the first were great, in a bone crunching kinda way, the improvements of these stellar combos only heighten my anticipation for God of War 2.
Tomb Raider Anniversary: (PlayStation 2, PC)
I'm also looking forward to Tomb Raider: Anniversary, since it's a remake of a classic, with bonuses. Playing the original for the first time was great. Hearing that the same team behind Tomb Raider: Legend was remaking the first game was a nostalgic rush. With the additional exploration options incorporated into the game, lush improvement to the graphics, improved gameplay, and the addition of some of the aspects of Legend, this remake of a PlayStation classic makes me desire even more remakes.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PlayStation 3)
I'm also waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Quite possibly the final chapter of a legend, the inclusion of almost every character from the Solid Snake chapters, and the "Nowhere to Hide" tag-line - what is not to anticipate? The storylines of each Metal Gear have grown complex and memorable with each installment. MGS4 does not look to disappoint. The gameplay will obviously be different considering the "Nowhere to Hide" tag; using a chameleon sneak suit to survive just sounds and looks awesome. Whether this will be the last game for Solid Snake or not does not matter; being able to play with the coolest guy in games with a mullet one last time will be rewarding enough.
Lair (PlayStation 3)
Lair is another game I'm anticipating. This game looks amazing. Dragons that look convincingly real without the kiddy colors or the disappointing environment exploration. The flying dynamics will be great, as will the combat system for the dragon-rider. Incorporating the Sixaxis motion controller into the gameplay physics will only increase the already heightened experience.
Blue Dragon (Xbox 360)
Finally, Blue Dragon is the RPG that I'm waiting on. It's a story of a boy and his dragon. Automatically I'm drawn to the game, but with SquareEnix at the table, I'm hooked. Mention it is a dynamic RPG, and I can't wait to buy an Xbox 360. SquareEnix is known for not disappointing in the RPG genre and, so far, they have not let me down. The sleek character designs, complex story, and beautiful environments make me anxious to dive into several hours of gameplay.
Philip Hanan, Freelance Writer
Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
I believe every Xbox 360 gamer this year is looking forward to the same game: Halo 3. I believe it's because it provides all the essentials of a great movie. For example, the Halo series not only carries an epic sci-fi story, but always ends without finishing the story, so gamers have to play Halo 3 in order to finish the story and the fight. Also, this game is supposed to fix all the gameplay balance problems with both 1 and 2, which should attract the 12 fans that didn't buy Halo 1 or 2.
Vehicles can be taken out faster and weapons are now more balanced. Also, gamers can now live out their dreams of conquering space as Brutes which provides for better balanced gameplay than Halo 2. For example, I believe the Brute's hammer will finally put up a good match against the energy sword. Another great addition is the fact that gamers will finally earn something for playing multiplayer: Achievement Points.
The Halo series has made itself so popular with the first two titles that most fans have already purchased the game one year before launch. No other title I know of has ever been sold before preview copies are even available. Also, beta copies of a game are actually available for a console for probably the first time in history. The proof is in the pudding and Bungie has already proved they can cook up the best game series in history.
Matthew Au, Freelance Writer
Super Smash Brothers: Brawl (Wii)
I wish I could tell you all that my most anticipated game for 2007 is some underground phenomena that few people have heard about but will revolutionize the gaming industry. But alas, that would be a bold face lie to you and me, and rather, my most anticipated game for 2007 is no different than the other four million loyal Nintendo Wii owners. The truth is, I am faithfully and anxiously awaiting the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
Despite the likely decision that programmers will bypass the innovative Wii motion sensory capabilities, any fan of the Super Smash Brothers series (which I may not have to go out on a limb and say that this includes anyone who has owned a Nintendo 64 or GameCube) should be drooling over the thought of Brawl's 2007 release. The tantalizing thought of ripping open the packaging, loading up the game, and start pwning with such new characters as Wario, Pit, or Solid Snake on new battlegrounds and with new items should be a more than gratifying experience. Considering the fact that they don't change the game mechanics and physics that much, the only thing fans can expect is a fresh kick-start to a massively popular series that will surely prove to be as great as a game as its predecessors.
Charles Wolfe, Freelance Writer
Madden NFL 2008 (Multiplatform)
Wow, if 2008's slate of games is anything like 2007's, then picking a favorite or most anticipated game is going to be difficult. With the next generation of gaming consoles out now and an explosion of popularity in PC gaming over the past few years, games have been getting better and better and harder and harder to choose from. Picking out a most anticipated game of 2008 is like asking a man to choose the most beautiful woman out of a handful of supermodels- decisions, decisions. 2008 bears the promise of the next Grand Theft Auto, Madden, NCAA Football, Gran Turismo, and Metroid titles, all of them so full of potential and possibility, but only one may boast the crown of my most anticipated. Time's up- have to make a choice.
My most anticipated game of the year 2007 is the next step in the proliferation of my lifetime standby game: Madden NFL 2008. Each year, as the Madden-oliday approaches in that first week of August, oh, it's such a holly-jolly celebration of cheer and only somewhat creepy (as assured to me by my girlfriend) football obsession. Cleats hung above an open fire, the tree all decorated with 32 different bulbs, one for each NFL team, you see, and, when midnight comes that fateful morning, the coupe de grace, the reason for the season, Madden NFL in my PlayStation. Boom! It's music to my ears. Very little is known about Madden 2008 as of yet. EA Sports is breaking their usual pattern of building a fervor of early hype by quietly leaking possible improvements and new features of the game to their Madden-maddened fanbase. In all the research I tried to do to find out as much as possible about Madden '08, all I have found is that it will be brought to you a 1080i resolution, meaning that, finally, gamers will literally be able to see the sweat rolling off of the back of Warren Sapp's rear end. Beautiful.