Then came a stumbling block in the form of the third title in the series, Call of Juarez: The Cartel. The alarm bells had started ringing when it was announced that the setting had been changed to the modern day, with it seemingly wanting to hold onto Call of Duty's coattails rather than continue the personality of the original titles. When I got my hands on the game, my suspicions were confirmed - it was NOTHING like the previous two. To really appreciate the extent of how terrible the game is, feel free to read my review.
However, all is not lost for Techland. Due for release in September, Dead Island looks to be shaping up to be a real treat. Joe Barron has all the words necessary to whet your appetites in his preview. Safe to say, Techland have a chance to redeem themselves and prove that they deserve their status as one of the biggest game developers in Poland.
So, there you have it. The cream of the crop. The Knights charging Poland headfirst into the technological age. But alas, let us not forget the knights in training. The ones who are almost there. The ones who will soon don the armour and ride alongside their strong companions. There are three strong contenders for this. City Interactive have spent their time developing budget titles, and their last foray into the mainstream, Sniper: Ghost Warrior was fun but inherently flawed, with poor AI and the non-Sniper missions letting it down. The PC version was fun but, as our good friend Chris Priestman found out, the console version was terribly average, as seen in his review. However, with the sequel just around the corner, and the PS3 version being much improved, hopes are high that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be more than just adequate, and City Interactive will join the big boys.
Another notable mention goes out to Reality Pump, the developers of the Two Worlds series. The ambition was there, but the first Two Worlds suffered from being compared unfavourably to the Bethesda behemoth that was Oblivion. The bugs didn't help either. However, it somehow sold enough to warrant a sequel, the confusingly named Two Worlds II, which is seen as a much better and more enjoyable game and consequently selling quite well all over Europe. If Reality Pump continue this trend of improving and improving, then they too will soon get their shield and suit of armour.
And finally, the new boy has arrived. The son of CD Projekt and People Can Fly, as well as a genetic link to City Interactive, Flying Wild Hog Studios have both the name and the genes for successful games, with only the slight risk of average gameplay creeping in from their distant relatives. Developed in secret, the title Hard Reset arrives imminently, after only being announced barely a couple of months before its release. A dystopian FPS-RPG, does it have what it takes to make Flying Wild Hog greater than the sum of their parts? Unlikely. But there's still the chance they will be a damn good knight!