2010 videogame previews part 7

by Wencke Schuncken

This is part 7 of the Gamer Girls Unite 2010 games wish list. We almost made it, just one more to go (part 8) so stay tuned. You probably have seen a lot of games already which you definitely want to experience by yourself. Now we’ll check out the Settlers 7, Splinter Cell Conviction, Starcraft 2, Star Trek Online and Star Wars the Old Republic.

The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom is an upcoming real time strategy and city-building game. The Settlers games are a well established brand in the history of videogames. Part 7 features gameplay similar to that of past 3D games of The Settlers series. The player begins with a simple village and expands it sector by sector to create a kingdom. During this process, the player must fine-tune their production chains and transport systems. There are three unique paths of development for victory: Military, Science and Trade. In the traditional Military development path, the player builds the kingdom's army in order to conquer and destroy enemies. In the Science development path, the player must focus on researching technological upgrades. Finally in the Trade development path, the player builds their economy and attempts to occupy the best trade routes on the map. In all development paths, the player wins by collecting Victory points throughout the course of the game. The game also includes a new online multiplayer mode which allows players to both compete and co-operate with one another. Release is scheduled for March on PC.

Splinter Cell: Conviction
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction is the fifth installment in the Splinter Cell video game series. Splinter Cell: Conviction takes place roughly two years after the events of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Sam Fisher has gone rogue from Third Echelon after discovering that the death of his daughter, Sarah, was no accident. However, Third Echelon, now overly-bureaucratic and bound in red tape, are in pursuit of Sam. Sam must use all the help he can get, including former Third Echelon colleague Anna Grimsdóttír, and Sam's best friend, Victor Coste, in order to discover the truth behind the death of his daughter. Sam begins with going after his daughter's killer, but he finds himself trying to stop a more serious threat upon Washington DC.
It introduces a number of new gameplay features such as the "Mark and Execute" feature, which allows the player to mark specific targets, such as enemies or objects, and shoot them when they burst through a door or window. The player can choose to prioritize these targets, so that, for example, they could distract one guard by shooting out a light in their vicinity and then take out another guard. Another new feature is the "Last Known Position", which occurs when the player breaks the line of sight of an alerted guard. This creates a visual silhouette of where the guard thinks Sam is, allowing the player to strategically flank their enemies. Main target subjects can utilize the player's abilities and use it against them. The player can be taken hostage by the subject. If this was to happen in co-op mode, then the hostage's partner can neutralize the subject by any means necessary, possibly even by lethal means. Other new features include the ability to interrogate characters in real-time, with the ability to use the surrounding environment as a weapon against them. A crowd mechanic has been introduced, allowing Sam to vanish within a crowd if under pursuit. The environment will also be used to project mission objectives and key plot points onto walls in order to keep the player immersed in the gameplay during the narrative. Conviction will also feature a new multiplayer mode entitled Deniable Ops. This mode will take place on the four multiplayer maps on the cooperative campaign, as well as two other maps exclusive to Deniable Ops. Lots of new things to experience in February on PC and Xbox360.

Starcraft II Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military science fiction real-time strategy game, a sequel to the award-winning 1998 video game StarCraft. Set in the 26th century in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy, the game is built around three species: the Terrans, human exiles from Earth; the Zerg, a race of insectoids; and the Protoss, a species with vast psionic power. Wings of Liberty specifically focuses on the Terrans. The game follows the exploits of Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion. However, unable to inflict major damage against the Dominion, Raynor's forces are relegated to the roles of mercenaries, recovering artifacts of an ancient species thought extinct, the Xel'Naga, for their enigmatic employers. The game reunites old characters from the original game, as well as introducing new characters and locations to the franchise. StarCraft II is designed to focus on the multiplayer aspect. It includes improvement in Battle.net, a new competitive "ladder" system for ranked games and new matchmaking mechanics—designed to "match-up" players of equal skill levels. Starcraft 2 doesn’t have an official release date, but is expected in 2010 on PC.

Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the popular Star Trek series. The game is set in the 25th century, 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Each player will be captain of his or her own ship, serving either the United Federation of Planets or the Klingon Empire. Also players will be able to beam down onto the surfaces of different planets "for face-to-face confrontations". Exploration of the inside of starships will, at launch be limited to the bridge and certain episodes (missions) however, it has been stated by the developers that they will introduce fully explorable starship interiors not too long after launch. There will be references to several famous storylines, ships, and characters from various Star Trek shows. Players will be able to explore uncharted star systems, and might find content which opens up new resources and technologies. Also they can find races with various special abilities who can be recruited to the players' crew. The game will feature two combat systems. Away-team missions will feature fast paced "run and gun" combat. Space combat will stress the long-term tactical aspect of combat between capital ships, in concert with the Star Trek storyline, and will entail positioning, shifting power from weapons to shields, and finding various weaknesses. There might be a Galactic Economy, which would be based on trade, and might fluctuate like a stock market. It will be possible for players to pool resources to form fleets or guilds. Fleets will be able to build space stations, mining platforms, satellites, shipyards, and more. Quests will be issued from Central Command, and players can join together on the ground. Gameplay will be fully co-operative, and dynamic events will be one part of the game. Explore the Galaxy after the game releases in quarter 1 of this year on PS3, Xbox360 and PC.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
And from Star Trek Online to Star Wars: The Old Republic! It is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe. The story takes place shortly after the establishment of peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games and more than 3,500 years before the events in the Star Wars films. The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith and choose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi order had been initially founded, to seek guidance from the Force. The Sith control Korriban, where they re-established a Sith Academy. The game begins as new conflicts arise. Members of the two main factions—the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire—will have different moralities; the project's key focus is to differentiate between the player's faction and morality. Each faction will contain different classes, each with a distinct backstory and a branching storyline affected by players' moral choices. Classes will also be exclusive to one faction or the other. All eight of the classes have been confirmed: the Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent, and Sith Inquisitor for the Sith Empire; and the Trooper, Smuggler, Jedi Knight, and Jedi Consular for the Galactic Republic. Although each class will have a distinct storyline, they will be integrated with the game's overall arc. Star Wars: The Old Republic is being released in 2010 on PC. May the force be with you!

If you wonder what the previous parts of our wish list include just click on these links:
2010 videogame previews part 1
2010 videogame previews part 2
2010 videogame previews part 3
2010 videogame previews part 4
2010 videogame previews part 5
2010 videogame previews part 6