Even we get tired of our own voices sometimes (admittedly not very often, as podcast survivors can attest). But while we like to think we can tell you a thing or two about gaming every now and then, you don't need us to explain what the biggest games of 2011 are going to be. Just glance at your pre-order list.
So for our 2011 preview series, we thought we would hand over the reins to you, dear readers, and see what kind of horse was left at the end. We asked you to name your most anticipated game of the year and, using highly advanced scientific techniques (To: Eurogamer Tech Team, Subject: Help!), we synthesised the following reverse-anticipatory list of your picks for the coming 12 months.
There may be a few surprises along the way, but early consensus around the office is that you're not as stupid as you are beautiful – and that we can get on board with most of your choices, including your number one. Read on to see what you voted for and to see what you had to say about your choices.
10. Gears of War 3
Microsoft, Epic Games / Xbox 360 / Autumn 2011
Last time it was a giant worm, so goodness knows where Epic's horse-necked space-marine factory will take us from here. We can hazard a guess though. In story terms, to begin with, there are plenty of plot strands dangling in the Seran wind left to tie up, not the least of which concerns Marcus' wayward father and the Locust queen (which is all a bit John Major/Edwina Currie for our liking).
Given Cliff Bleszinski's comments about how Gears 2 was perhaps too set-piece-driven, at the expense of the first game's lean approach to combat scenarios, we're hoping for a tight campaign that makes the most of its newfound four-player co-operative context. Plus of course, there's Beast mode, which looks set to do for Gears' ghoulish menagerie what Horde once did for the bit-parters of the COG.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Nintendo / Wii / 2011
Does there come a point where the relentless quality of gameplay within a framework can no longer make up for the sense of repetition? Providing the dungeon design in Zelda's Skyward Sword is as arresting as some of the recent handheld instalments, you'd imagine not. Nintendo will certainly be hoping its design team is still up to the task, given the game's role in hawking the 1:1 MotionPlus bolt-on.
But putting aside the enhanced precision and traditional excitements of the boomerang and the bow and arrow, we're hoping that Skyward Sword will be more of a reinvention than yet another reimagining. Much as we eagerly consume the sub-series that has now established itself on the DS, we wouldn't mind something closer to the daring of Majora's Mask for Link's first true Wii adventure.
Bethesda Softworks, Splash Damage / PC, PS3, Xbox 360 / Spring 2011
It's been in the public eye for so long now we've almost run out of things to say about it (although the interminably loquacious Paul Wedgwood, boss of developer Splash Damage, undoubtedly has not). However, that hasn't stopped you voting for this brave and interesting new take on the team-based first-person shooter.
Another recap? Why not. Having first customised your appearance and abilities in Brink's elegantly engineered character creator, you are sent to battle alongside either AI or human comrades. You're directed to support the team effort by an adaptive objective system that incentivises complementary gameplay approaches. You also get to dance and clamber your way through combat using the ingenious SMART button, which elevates you beyond the torpid button-machinations of the average FPS navigator by autopiloting you over complex geometry. It looks pretty amazing too. What's not to like?