SSX: Deadly Descents
SSX: Deadly Descents was the reveal a lot of fanboys were waiting for. Though the SSX franchise doesn’t have as large of a following of some of the higher profile titles, SSX is still a huge fan favorite and should do very well whenever it is released. This goes without mentioning that its only competition is Tony Hawk Shred and chances are, outselling Shred will probably be as simple as announcing a firm release date for the title. Currently, it’s sitting as a Fall 2011 release.
During the Spike TV Video Game Awards, SSX was first revealed to the crowd and viewers watching around the world through a teaser trailer that featured a gritty look much like the Call of Duty franchise. In fact, a lot of people have already adopted the name SSX: Black Ops when discussing the game. This should be considered an issue with the development team and it should be something taken into consideration upon release. Obviously you need to release SSX during months in which snowboarding is something people want to do. So, it has to release between October-January.
Now, with Call of Duty likely releasing in early November as always, EA is going to want to avoid October and November as month’s for release consideration. You don’t want gamers getting confused between the grittiness of Call of Duty and your title and there are gamers out there who will get confused — it’s inevitable. Therefore, it only makes sense to push SSX to January along with Mass Effect 3 and take your chances at the post-Christmas rush. It also gives you the chance to show a bit of the game off at CES 2012 prior to release if you so choose, further building anticipation.
The Last Guardian
Think about when this game was teased online through cryptic screenshots and other forms of media and then think of how long ago they revealed the title as a formal announcement. Feels like a long time from that point to now, doesn’t it? Since then, how much more do we really know about the game other than the fact that it’s coming in 2011? We don’t know the main character’s name yet, we know nothing new and it seems very quiet on the Team Ico front entirely.
Furthermore, The Last Guardian is undoubtedly going to be a niche title and is being developed by a studio that is going to be held to a ridiculously high standard due to its first two releases in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. That means, The Last Guardian is going to have to be perfect, right? There can’t be any game breaking issues, major screen tearing or anything of that variety upon release or it will taint the light gamers have painted Team Ico with for years. It’s almost as though the developers are stuck between a rock and a hard place in trying to figure out what information to release and when to release the game.
Currently, the release date sites at Q4 2011, but I think anyone truly awaiting this title is going to have to wait until Q1 2012. Given the rate at which information is pouring out about this title, it’s hard to imagine that it is right around the corner. Believe it or not, but Q4 2011 sounds a long ways away, but those days are going to fly by quickly and we’ll be there before you know it — unfortunately, I don’t think Last Guardian will be with us when we get there.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I took a lot of flack for speculating that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be a complete disappointment come release and was a disappointment coming out of the VGA 2010 showing on Spike TV. A lot of people want to speculate that since Elder Scrolls V will utilize a new engine, it must mean that Bethesda will launch it without any hiccups or issues unlike its previous utilized engine, Gamebryo. After all, Bethesda did such a great job tweaking that engine around to avoid game breaking glitches and issues, right?
Well, if we’re going with that theory, I’ll come along and agree that if Bethesda plans on releasing a title worthy of a day one purchase without all of the hassle (unlike its last 3 published titles), then they’re going to need to take their time with the game and develop it properly and thoroughly to avoid any issues. Considering the teaser trailer shown off gave away nothing in terms of visual design, I’d have to say that Bethesda wasn’t ready to truly show the game off just yet. Sure, they have a reveal coming up exclusively in a magazine, but they should have at least provided something other than a narrative while watching a dragon come to life.
For this reasoning, I believe Elder Scrolls V will go from a Holiday 2011 release to a February/March release in 2012 in order to work out all of the kinks and bugs. However, if the game isn’t delayed and they do plan on releasing on 11-11-11 as announced, the game better release with no need for post-release patches to fix game breaking problems. Minor tweaks here or there are acceptable, but anything overhauled to prevent saves from disappearing or creating unlimited cash or freeze sections are going to be put on blast for sure.