2010 was a rebound year for the gaming industry and gamers alike. The country's economic woes and belt tightening across the board had a lot of folks concerned for the future, but the dire situation finally turned around enough for the gaming world to breathe a momentary sigh of relief. With a fresh start and a new slate of hot games coming down the pike, 2011 is already shaping up to be a great year for gamers. Here's a rundown of some of the hottest and most-anticipated games of 2011.
The DS still has some steam left in it, and Okamiden is one of the reasons to remain enthusiastic about the platform this year. Starring the little cel-shaded wolfy offspring of the protagonist in the original Okami, this sequel blends action-adventure with a doodle-heavy brush stroke mechanic that's well suited for the DS. From tackling puzzles to battling foes, pulling down the action to the lower screen lets you freeze time and wield your celestial brush in unique ways. Keep an eye out for this sharp-looking follow-up.
9. Might & Magic Heroes VI
It's been an eager five-year wait for the next core entry in the storied Heroes of Might & Magic series, but PC gamers have a lot to look forward to in the sixth installment of this fantasy turn-based strategy franchise. Even with a new studio at the helm, Heroes VI looks like it will stay true to the series roots while adding some fresh polish and a mix of new surprises for players to enjoy.
Pokéaddicts have an all new game in their favorite franchise to look forward to this year. Pokémon Black and White kick off the fifth generation of the series with over 150 new Pokémon to collect and all heavy visual improvements to both the game world an the Pokébattles themselves. While the formula is still pretty much the same, it's hard to resist the urge…"gotta catch 'em all!"
The first Zelda game actually designed from the ground up for the Wii, Skyward Sword blends the cartoonish vibe of Windwaker with the more serious, adult look of Twilight Princess in an all new adventure. What's really exciting about Link's upcoming journey on the Wii is the addition of 1:1 controls via the Wii MotionPlus. Moving Link's sword around and swiping at enemies in different directions is an integral part of the gameplay, and the tighter controls are something fans have been eager to see for a long time.
6. Dead Space 2
Visceral Games' second epic round of gut-spilling, limb-dismembering, sci-fi horror action is set to drop in only a matter of weeks, and the next chapter in Isaac Clarke's grim and gory journey through the depths of galactic hell promises to deliver the chills. It's almost Necromorph stomping season again, which means you might want to break out the nightlights.