11 sci-fi-flavored videogames we're looking forward to in 2011

Contributed by
Jul 4, 2015

Our final 2011 preview—following movies, TV and books—casts a net around the entertainment that lets you take the story in your OWN hands, bending Jedi Knights, Dark Knights and alien fighters to your will.

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE

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Release date: January 11

Platforms:PC, PS3

Ever fancied making up your own superhero and sticking them in the same world that plays home to Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Joker, Bizarro and Lex Luthor? Well, now's your chance, as that's exactly what this superhero massively multiplayer online game promises.


DEAD SPACE 2

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Release date: January 25

Platforms:XBox 360, PS3, PC

Honestly, the first Dead Space was too damned scary for me, and I never finished it. So I'm not sure I'll play this one ... because I'm a wuss. If you, however, are not a wuss, this is the sci-fi horror game for you.


CRYSIS 2

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Release date: March 22

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

The aliens are coming, the aliens are coming! And, naturally, they come to New York City, because that's where you go if you're visiting Earth for the first time. So it's up to you, player, to use your fancy nanosuit to repel the extraterrestrial hordes.


PORTAL 2

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Release date: April 21

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

The mind-bending puzzle game—which puts any number of physical and dimensional barriers between the player and his or her destination—gets a sequel. And the time will just slip away ...


BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY

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Release date: September 30

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

Classically, licensed games suck. Too little time is spent in creating something unique, and so they usually end up being a poor copy of an already existing game with a popular character rammed in there. Batman: Arkham Asylum was a surprising anomaly in that it manifestly didn't suck. In fact, it was one of the best games of 2009. The sequel widens its gaze and recruits a new villain: the madly scientific Hugo Strange.


UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION

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Release date: November 1

Platforms:PS3

I say we boycott the Uncharted games until they cast Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake in the movie adaptation, no matter how good an action-adventure series it may be.


ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

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Release date: November 11

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

Anyone who played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will tell you that A) watching the changing of the seasons is overrated when you could be slaying fell beasts and collecting gold in a wonderfully expansive RPG and B) they can't wait to strap back in and do it again.


MASS EFFECT 3

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Release date: TBD

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

Commander Shepherd is back to save the Earth from a third alien threat. Yes, that sounds like the plot to every other sci-fi action game, but Mass Effect blends epic storytelling, character evolution and, yes, boatloads of sci-fi action.


STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC

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Release date: TBD

Platforms: PC

There was a time when there as a fragile peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, which was protected by the Jedi. That time was 3,000 years before the events in the Star Wars films, and that's the setting for this MMO that'll put you right in the middle of the end of that peace.


GEARS OF WAR 3

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Release date: TBD

Platforms: XBox 360

Marcus Fenix is bringing some new grunts into his war against the Earth-shattering Locust—and those soldiers have more than just giant guns. They've got bad attitudes, too. (Where did you think I was going with that?)


LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR IN THE NORTH

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Release date: TBD

Platforms: XBox 360, PS3, PC

I get unreasonably excited at the prospect of new Lord of the Rings games. Some are good, some aren't, but they all allow me to tromp around Middle-earth, smiting orcs and goblins. Kind of a win-win.


Honorable Mention

L.A. NOIRE

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Release date: 6/30

Platforms:XBox 360, PS3

No, there's no sci-fi or fantasy element to this game, as far as we know. It's a hard-boiled detective thriller. But it's from Rockstar—the people who made Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and Bully—and they're the closest thing videogaming has to a Pixar: a much bloodier, thoroughly adult excellence factory.