February is a strange month for magazines. Most February issues are shipped in December and come out in January, which puts them smack on the border of two years. Naturally, that means it’s a time for PTOM to look back and ahead all at once—a dizzying proposition, to be sure.
But that doesn’t mean it ain’t an exciting time. 2010 was a phenomenal year for the PS3, something we celebrate in our Game of the Year feature. While our big winner might not surprise (hint: it’s an epic adventure of godly proportions), our other picks will surely delight. Each editor nominated his four favorite games, many of which will be great reminders of the stellar year that was. We also picked our top PSP and PSN game—and while our PSP nod makes perfect sense, our PSN choice (which also, ahem, makes perfect sense) is another big surprise.
Looking ahead, our cover story is a ten-page expose on what’s sure to be one of the biggest games of early 2011. We got to dig deeper than anyone else into L.A. Noire’s cinematic landscape, experiencing an exclusive case and chatting with the minds behind Rockstar’s ambitious game. The technology alone is impressive enough, using a proprietary scanning system to capture facial expressions the player is then supposed to “read” as part of the game. (It’s a detective story, so interrogation plays a key role.) That’s nifty enough, but it’s the ambition behind the storytelling and the world-building that really captured my attention. It’s an inelegant comparison, perhaps, but L.A. Noire is poised to be this year’s Heavy Rain in terms of its ambition and promise. I can’t wait to play it!
We also look ahead with a six-page exclusive on Shadows of the Damned, the quirky new horror title from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. And for those committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions, we’ve got a guide to the top exercise games. All that, plus our final verdicts on LittleBigPlanet 2, Mass Effect 2, and Dead Space 2. Enjoy!