Thrilling year ahead for gamers

Now we’re all comfortable dancing around in front of our televisions, aiming punches at on-screen bad guys and kicks at imaginary footballs, 2011 promises to be another exciting year in gaming.

The motion sensor technology that proved such a hit when the Wii was released has been pushed that bit further by PlayStation Move and Kinect. So if you have a tingling feeling in your thumbs, it must be the excitement of what live-action gaming delights await us all in 2011.

First-person shooters are likely to dominate the top of the gaming charts this year, with many titles making full use of motion sensor controls.

Killzone 3 will be the first of the series to be compatible with PS Move. Fresh from defeating Radec at the end of Killzone 2, Sev is now battling for his own survival alongside Rico. The graphics look awesome and although it isn’t as dark as previous releases in the series, it’ll surely sit on top of the PS3 chart when it’s released late in February.

What could make first-person shooters more immersive than motion sensor gaming? Yep, those lucky few with 3D televisions will be able to dive right into the heart of the action in Killzone 3, Crysis 2 and a host of other titles.

Expect the latest in the Call of Duty series to arrive towards the back end of the year (and who would bet against another Christmas number one?), but gamers can make do with downloadable updates for Black Ops to tide them over until then.

Call of Duty could dominate the gaming charts again

Rockstar Games is known for pushing the boundaries, bringing us the joys of carjacking and a host of other misdemeanours in Grand Theft Auto, so expect something special from L. A. Noire.

If you like HBO series Mad Men or hit movie L. A. Confidential, then you’re going to love this new title. Taking on the role of a 1940s police officer, the player will work through unsolved murder files and interrogate suspects. But watch carefully when you’re giving suspects the third degree – the emotional tells on their faces are just as important to solving the crime as their words. L. A. Noire is pencilled in to arrive on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in April. Get your trilby out of the wardrobe…

The Nintendo 3DS is just one very good reason why 2011 will be massive for handheld gaming. Set to hit the shops in March, the console’s magical tech means no glasses are needed to get the full 3D experience. Launch titles in Japan include Resident Evil Revelations, Pilot Wings and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.

Nintendo knows it faces a stiff battle in the handheld market, with rumours of a PS Phone intensifying. I look forward to the day I’m playing Metal Gear Solid on a train, only to be interrupted by my aunt Eleanor at the crucial moment… No auntie, now is not a good time, see ya!

Of course, handheld devices cannot be discussed these days without mentioning Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iWorld Domination. ‘App-y gamers will be particularly pleased to see updates of Angry Birds, with new levels and more downloadable content. Maybe 2011 will be the year the Big ‘A’ decides to take on the console big boys head on…

2011 could have it all. There’s going to be new technology, fresh titles, old favourites and a heap of surprises and disappointments.

Time to push the button marked ‘Start’ for another 12 months of hardcore gaming. Bring it on….

What games are you most looking forward to in 2011? Will you buy a Nintendo 3DS when it comes out? Comment below…