Next-Generation PC Games for 2007

I know that the Wii is all the rage right now (rightly so, too!), but some of the more “traditional” games that are coming out next year still look nothing short of stunning.

Sample the HD trailers of:

  • Mass Effect (developed by BioWare). The immersion resulting from the new dialog system just looks incredible. Having just finished Neverwinter Nights 2, I reinstalled Neverwinter Nights 1 again to see how it stacks up. It is amazing just how much more immersion the full-screen style cutscenes provides vs the NWN1-style textbox-in-upper-left-corner. (The fullscreen cutscenes being the same deal as those in Knights of the Old Republic I and II). Mass Effect raises the bar again with its immersive dialog system: it looks like it’s going to absolutely blow everything out of the water when it comes to character interaction in games.

    The tactical squad-based combat looks pretty cool, too: it looks like BioWare are taking some of the tactical aspects of D&D-style combats over to an FPS game. (No, really, D&D does have some tactical combat. Putting Mages In the Back and Fighters At The Front takes lots of brains, I tell you.)

  • BioShock (developed by Irrational: the X06 and Developer Walkthrough HD trailers are both great, although be warned that both of them really are mature content). Man oh man, Irrational were spot-on when they claimed that BioShock will be the spiritual successor to System Shock 2. It’s clearly Shock 2-influenced to the nth degree: the splicers in BioShock highly resemble the deadly Cyborg Assassins in Shock 2, for example. However, BioShock looks even more disturbing than its predecessor, more moralistic, and scary as all hell. Having mere monkeys and protocol droids scaring the crap out of you in Shock 2 was bad enough, but with Big Daddies running around in BioShock, I wonder if I’ll actually be able to play this game at night at all. The water effects, 1950s influence and mature target audience make for an atmosphere that will leave even Shock 2 for dead.

With Jade Empire PC, Command & Conquer 3, and Unreal Tournament 2007 coming out next year, 2007 is looking like a pretty tasty gaming year indeed for those of us who are stubbornly staying off console games.

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