With 2011 right around the corner, the members of the news team decided to share their personal opinions about 2010 and look ahead toward the New Year.
As 2010 winds to a close and we prepare for 2011, the ZAM news team decided to take a look back at this year's highs and lows, as well as share what we're excited to see in 2011. Our team has changed a bit recently, so we wanted to take the time to properly introduce ourselves and talk about about our favorite topic: gaming.
Over the next few pages, you'll get to meet Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff (yours truly), Senior Staff Writer Chris "Pwyff" Tom, Reporter Kayla "Reiyami" Smith and Staff Writer Paul "LockeColeMA" Cleveland. Keep reading after the jump for my personal thoughts on 2010 and then flip through the pages to hear from the rest of the team.
We'd love to know what you thought about 2010. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find our individual contact information on the staff list page.
Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff
As ZAM's editor-in-chief, games are my life. I've been playing console games since I was a kid, but Final Fantasy XI was my gateway game into MMOs in 2004. I've since tried a little bit of everything in the MMO genre, which gets more difficult every year as game developers continue to target the online community. A seemingly unlimited number of studios attempt to churn out MMOs by the dozen, so it takes some digging to find games that are worth sticking with for the long haul. And dig I shall!
Favorite MMOs of 2010
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: Yeah, you don't have to do much digging to know that WoW is an MMO juggernaut, but Blizzard got it right with Cataclysm. I've been playing the game for five years, and this expansion completely reinvigorated me. Between the new zones and quests, flying in Azeroth, creating goblins and worgens... it's just plain fun. And it's a good reminder that MMOs give both developers and gamers the opportunity to enjoy an ever-evolving game.
Vindictus: It's a free-to-play hack-and-slash MMO that looks good. Honestly, what more could you ask for? Enjoy bashing heads for as long as you'd like, and take a break to play something else if you get burned out on the action. The game will be waiting for you the next time you want to toss around your enemies.
LEGO Universe: While the game has some flaws, as well as a monthly fee that may scare off some players, it sticks out in my mind for two reasons: it completely embraces its source material, and the ability to build LEGO creations on your personal properties is a game in and of itself. I'm also looking forward to the new content that's coming in 2011 with the launch of a new LEGO toy line. It may not be my favorite game, but I'm definitely impressed by what it does right.
Top News Stories of 2010
APB's demise and rebirth: When I heard that All Points Bulletin shut down a mere three months after its launch, my jaw hit the floor. How could a game like that die right out of the gate? Former Executive Producer Josh Howard said that factors from money to marketing led to APB's demise, and players chimed in with their own reasons. GamersFirst has since acquired the rights and will be relaunching APB: Reloaded as a free-to-play game in 2011, and I find myself reading CTO and COO Bjorn Book-Larsson's blog entries regularly to see how the team plans to bring the game back to life.
Another free-to-play push: Lord of the Rings Online and Pirates of the Burning Sea went free-to-play this year, and Champions Online will be following suit in 2011. Of course, this all comes on the heels of Turbine successfully pushing Dungeons & Dragons Online into the F2P market last year. These stories are important because they continue to beg the question: How will we be paying for our MMOs in the future?
Biggest Disappointment of 2010
Honestly, I'm going to have to say that I was most disappointed in 2010 as a whole. Aside from Cataclysm, no game had me counting down the days until launch. I was hoping Star Trek Online would lure me in, but I didn't stick with it. I was interested in the release of Final Fantasy XIV, but we all know how that turned out. 2011 may turn out to be a better year for FFXIV with the team's restructuring, and it definitely looks like a better year for MMOs in general.
Most Anticipated Games
DC Universe Online: I'm a huge comic book fan, so an MMO based on DC Comics is right up my alley. I appreciate the lengths Sony Online Entertainment has gone to make sure the game stays true to the comics. Writers like Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman are on board, as is artist Jim Lee. Also, SOE has a huge library of comics that are required reading for the team. I love the action-oriented gameplay (at least on a controller), the in-game world is immersive, the travel powers are great, and here's the best part: new content will be added monthly! I'll be in-game on Jan. 11, 2011.
Rift: This game has that classic fantasy MMO feel I've been craving for a while now. The dynamic content, soul system and lore really help this game stand out from the rest. Rift definitely looks like it could be one of the MMOs that you can stick with for the long haul.
Star Wars: The Old Republic: Since I'm a huge comic book fan, it probably goes without saying that I'm a huge Star Wars fan. The amount of detail BioWare has poured into this game is impressive. It's definitely on my must-have list of 2011.
The Secret World: I absolutely love the alternate reality games that Funcom has set up to keep players involved in its upcoming horror MMO. When the Kingsmouth residents appeared on my Twitter feed after a nine-month absence, I may have fist-pumped. I'm not going to lie. Of course, gameplay will be the deciding factor on whether The Secret World is fun, but until then I'll enjoy this air of mystery.
Continue to Page 2 for Pwyff's answers.