Big-name titles arriving early this year

jheeter@macon.comJanuary 21, 2011 

Game companies aren’t waiting long into 2011 before releasing some of the biggest titles of the year.

Sony released its sequel “LittleBigPlanet 2” this past Tuesday, and Electronic Arts will release “Dead Space 2” next Tuesday.

These two highly anticipated games kick off the start of a busy first quarter of the year for gaming.

“Dead Space 2” is the follow up to one of the surprise hits of 2008. The protagonist Isaac Clarke is back in isolated space with a ton of aliens and monsters to eliminate. The game is one of the most gory around -- evidenced by the game’s website, yourmomhatesthis.com -- and is definitely not for children.

The sequel doesn’t have the fortunate Halloween friendly release date the original had, but the game will provide plenty of scares for anyone seeking a horror game.

The next wave of games hits in late February with the release of a pair of shooters.

“Killzone 3” follows “LittleBigPlanet 2” as a big-name exclusive for the PlayStation 3. The game can be played in 3D on capable televisions and will have features compatible with the PlayStation Move. As with the two previous iterations, you will be involved in the war between humans and the alien Helghast.

The other big February shooter is “Bulletstorm,” developed from the company behind the “Gears of War” series. From what I’ve seen, “Bulletstorm” looks like a less-serious shooter than “Gears of War.” The guns appear exaggerated from real weapons, and creativity in fighting off bad guys is rewarded.

“Crysis 2” highlights the March releases.

“Crysis” received strong reviews back in 2007 as a computer release. The sequel to the futuristic first-person shooter is the first in the series available on consoles.

THQ has “Homefront” due out on March 8.

“Homefront” was written by John Milius, who wrote the film “Red Dawn.”

Milius has replaced the invading Soviets with North Koreans, and the gamer will control the American resistance to the invaders.

March also has the release of a trio of sports games.

The first big sports release of the year is Sony’s “MLB 11: The Show” on March 8. The PlayStation 3 exclusive promises compatibility with the PlayStation Move.

Activision’s foray into sports gaming culminates in the release “NASCAR The Game: 2011” on March 29. This is the first NASCAR game since EA didn’t renew its exclusive license a few years ago. The game hasn’t received a ton of buzz, and it debuts after the NASCAR season begins.

“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12” also comes out March 29, and it’s selling point is the inclusion of the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club as a playable tournament.

Golf fans have pined for the inclusion of Augusta National in a game for years.

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