bit-gamer.net

Most Wanted Games of 2007

8: Dragon Age

Who makes it: BioWare

When is it out: Late 2007 (maybe 2008)

Why is it good: Dragon Age is a bit of a surprise entrant into this pack; it arrives at the number 8 spot primarily on the back of how great BioWare's previous RPGs have been. Dragon Age, in concept, is a game that BioWare was born to make - and thus, because the developer's games have been pretty brilliant in the past, we're bloody excited about it!

So what's Dragon Age going to be about? Well, think of it as a 'spiritual successor' (there we go again) to the massive hit RPG of yesteryear, Baldur's Gate. This is medieval, fantasy RPG on an epic scale. Early descriptions and visuals point towards something of a cross between Never Winter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic. As such expect sprawling worlds filled with morally questionable areas in which you can define your character and lead he or she down a path to the light or to the dark.

One of the most interesting features of the game is the way that it will begin. Instead of having a generic start point for every character no matter what race or profession BioWare has gone for something different. Your character's start point will be determined by who you decide on as a character. If you start as a human then you'll begin in a human environment, a dwarf will start amongst the dwarfs and so on. These initial stages will have missions that will far more personal to your character than in other games of a similar style.

Most Wanted Games of 2007 Most Wanted: 8 & 7 Most Wanted Games of 2007 Most Wanted: 8 & 7
What could go wrong: A serious question hangs over whether the world needs another RPG game set in the medieval fantasy universe. After the success of Oblivion it really feels like every other game has you playing as an Elf, a Dwarf or an Orc. The question is, will this game raise the bar for the genre, or simply merge into obscurity as so many like it have done? It's probably too early to call at the moment.

7: Pirates of the Burning Sea

Who makes it: Flying Lab Software

When is it out: June

Why is it good: Considering the massive popularity of Johnny Depp's character: Jack Sparrow, and the Disney movie series: Pirates of the Caribbean, there is still a rather bemusing void in the world of Pirate video games. Pirates of the Burning Sea plans to change all that, which is why it makes it onto our top 10 list (the only MMO to make it on this list as well).

The great thing about this game isn't the graphics, it isn't the overly zealous wannabe ship Captain fanboys, it isn't even the fact that whilst playing it you can shout "Shiver me timbers!" and not feel stupid. No, the real stand out factor for Pirates of the Burning Sea is that it's trying to do something different in the MMO genre - a historically realistic world in which we can plunder and pillage on a massively multiplayer scale.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate either fantasy or science fiction MMOs. However, of late many MMOs have been too boring and unadventurous, filled with the tried and tested: set it in space, fill it with Elves and Dwarves, run off the back of a movie franchise... the list could go on. Lazy developers are churning out MMOs that seem to be just more of the same. Pirates of the Burning Sea looks to do something a bit different, thus making me anticipate it all the more.

Most Wanted Games of 2007 Most Wanted: 8 & 7 Most Wanted Games of 2007 Most Wanted: 8 & 7
What could go wrong: It is, of course, these differences which will either make or break the game. Pessimists would argue that there is a reason other developers have stuck to making MMOs the way they have been made. They'll question whether naval battles can actually be that interesting and whether the interest in pirates will actually last once Captain Sparrow has finished his trilogy of movies.

These concerns are all viable and yet I still feel this has the potential to be the surprise hit of 2007. For the MMO genre to progress it needs games like this, which will push the boundaries, sending gamers in new and exciting directions. Look out World of Warcraft, the pirates are coming (and not the type who use bit-torrent, I'm talking about cutlass wielding, parots on their shoulder bad boys).