Monday, January 30, 2012

The Most Anticipated Games of 2012.

Along with the typical year-end "Best Of" lists that pepper the internet, the new year brings about a sense of anticipation in all gamers as to what goodies are in store for the year ahead. At the risk of sounding cliched, I will say that 2012 is shaping up to be every bit the banner year that 2011 was, with a plethora of new games to complement some returning favorites. Note: As my focus these days is mainly on console games, this list does not cover any release for the Playstation Vita or the Nintendo 3DS. I don't currently own either system and I have no immediate plans to purchase them.

Without further ado, here is the list of the games I am most looking forward to in 2012. As time passes and other games get announced, this list could grow substantially.

Bioshock: Infinite

The original Bioshock is one of the benchmark games of this console generation and the 2010 sequel definitely did it justice, however it's time for a change and the newest installment in the Bioshock series takes us somewhere completely different - a city in the clouds. The core gameplay elements from the first two games are intact, however the new setting opens up a world of possibilities. 

Released: 2012 (Exact date TBD)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

Xenoblade Chronicles

Gamers in Europe and Japan received Xenoblade Chronicles in mid-2011 and North American RPG fans have been chomping at the bit for it ever since. Well, we are finally getting a release of what is considered to one of the best action RPGs to come about in the last few years, and certainly the best that the Wii has to offer. With the impending release of the Wii U, this may very well be the last game that Wii owners deem worthy of a purchase and I am stoked to finally have a chance to play it.

Released: April 2, 2012 (North America)
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii

Borderlands 2

Like many gamers, I have poured an obscene amount of hours in the the original Borderlands, and I personally consider it one of the best games of this console generation. The follow-up promises all-new characters, new abilities and new weapons, however the RPG elements, insane amount of guns to loot and strong emphasis on co-op will still be intact. Anyone who has played the first game will know why this is one of the absolute "must have" releases of 2012.
Released: September 1, 2012 (Tentative)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Mass Effect 3

With the sequel Mass Effect 2 pushing the series to the top tier of the RPG genre, expectations for Mass Effect 3 are suitably high. The next installment promises that your decisions and actions will have a greater impact on how the story plays out than they did in the previous games, thus making your decisions even harder. The core gameplay will also be more combat-intensive and further refinements have been made to the combat system. Overall, this is shaping up to be an intense and emotional ride and I am excited to see how it all plays out.

Released: March 6, 2012 (North America); March 9, 2012 (Europe)
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC.

Assassin's Creed III

Outside of the game being confirmed by Ubisoft, nothing is known about which direction the third "proper" sequel will take. The plot lines introduced in Assassin's Creed II and further explored in Brotherhood and Revelations had gamers enraptured, so the prospect of a new assassin, new setting and new time period has drawn a mixture of excitement and unease among fans. More will be known as we get further into the year, but it goes without saying that this will be one of the games I will be keeping a keen eye on.

Released: November 2012 (Speculated)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, PC (Speculated)

Tomb Raider

If you've ever played a video game in your life, the chances are good that a Tomb Raider game has crossed your path once or twice. Once the benchmark of platform action gaming, the series has stagnated in recent years and the 2012 reboot aims to bring Laura Croft back into the limelight. Presenting us with a more raw, more visceral Croft and a gorgeously developed world, Tomb Raider is sure to be one of the benchmark releases of 2012.

Released: Mid-2012
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Mac

Silent Hill: Downpour

Making it's return to the consoles, the Silent Hill series is reported to be the creepiest and most intense game in the series thus far. While the seven previous installments have progressively diluted the impact somewhat, it's hard to deny that Downpour looks like a fantastic game with plenty of tense and bone-chilling moments. WIll it live up to this hype? Time will tell, but in a year with another Resident Evil game also seeing the light of day, it's a good time to be a survival horror fan.

Released: March 13, 2012 (North America)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3

The Last Guardian

When it comes to testing the patience of their fans, Team Ico has it down to a science. With an
absurdly long development period, constant delays in the release date and information coming out at a trickel, fans of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have been itching to get their hands on this game for some time. The third-person action and puzzle solving makes the game stand out as a successor to Ico, so the fanfare is definitely understandable. Whether or not it delivers on what fans expect is another matter entirely. In the meantime, the recently-released Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection will have to tide us over.

Released: 2012 (TBD)
Platform(s): Playstation 3

Darksiders II

Little is known about the sequel to 2010's Darksiders, a game that I still maintain is highly underrated and criminally overlooked. Combining the hack-n-slash combat elements of games like God of War and Devil May Cry with the dungeon exploration of the Zelda games, the original game gave us the best of both genres without seeming like a tired retread. Hopefully the sequel embodies these same qualities and kicks it up a notch.

Released: June 2012 (projected)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, PC

Max Payne 3

The original two Max Payne games are still among my favorite games from the Playstation 2 era and the sequel on a current generation console is long overdue. With the weight that Rockstar Games carries, it's assured that the production value will be high and everything will be cranked up to 11. A game long in gestation tends to breed unrealistic expectations, but I feel safe in assuming that I'll enjoy this game immensely.

Released: May 15, 2012 (North America); May 18 (Everywhere Else)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U

Twisted Metal

I have never been a die-hard fan of vehicular combat games, but I have very fond memories playing the Twisted Metal games on the Playstation and Playstation 2 back in the day. The 2012 release, simple titled Twisted Metal, boasts gorgeous graphics, an impressive roster of vehicles and a strong multiplayer focus, this is going to be one of the games that will give Playstation 3 owners bragging rights. Like Tomb Raider, it's good to see an old classic come back with a new coat of paint.

Released: February 14, 2012 (North America), February 17, 2012 (Europe)
Platform(s): Playstation 3

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time

The Sly Cooper series was left dormant after it's heyday on the Playstation 2, but the 2010 release of The Sly Collection, a compilation of all three games in the series, reignited interest and reminded gamers of how good this series was. Included in the collection was a teaser for Sly 4 and we will finally see it released in 2012. As the title suggests, the element of time travel will be included and the old favorites from the original series will return as well. For fans such as myself, this is going to be a must-buy, and it's going to be another quality exclusive in the Playstation 3's cannon.

Released: 2012 (TBD)
Platform(s): Playstation 3

Resident Evil 6

The release of the trailer for Resident Evil 6 was big news, even for those who, like myself, have lost interest in the series and moved on. My chief complaint was the combat controls, however it has come to light that Capcom has listened to fans and revamped the controls to minimize frustrations. This includes actually being able to move and shoot at the same time. The game carries on the tradition of creepiness that fans have come to love, and with the controls being less of a headache, I am definitely willing to give the series another chance.

Released: November 20, 2012
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings

Up until this point, the excellent story-driven action game The Witcher (and the sequel respectively) was only playable by those with a PC powerful enough to handle it, but now the sequel is seeing a console release. Fans of the PC game will likely scoff at this and list the ways that the port is inferior to the PC version, and they'll probably be right, but I don't really care. I've wanted to play this game since it was released in May 2011 and I'm glad to finally have a chance to do so.

Released: April 17, 2012 (Xbox 360 version - PC version already out)
Platform(s): Xbox 360

Prototype 2

The original Prototype was hardly a favorite game of mine, but I certainly enjoyed it despite it's shortcomings. The ability to free-roam New York City and cause damage was fun for a while, but the story is what ultimately held my interest. The sequel looks to address many of the design quirks that people disliked in the first game and, from what I have seen, this game looks downright epic. Three years is a good amount of time to hone and refine a sequel, so hopefully part 2 lives up to these expectations.

Released: April 24, 2012 (North America), April 27, 2012 (Europe)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

                                The Darkness II

The original "Darkness" is a brilliantly intense, story-driven shooter that has some of the most unique elements and plot twists ever seen in the genre. After nearly five years, we finally get a sequel which, if the gameplay videos are anything to go by, will bring the series in line with the best of it's class. This is an early 2012 release that is not to be missed by any shooter fan.

Released: February 7, 2012 (North America); February 10, 2012 (Europe)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

The Last Of Us

I fell in love with this game from the moment I read about it. Naughty Dog has made a big name for itself in recent years with the Uncharted series, and they are giving us a unique take on survival horror. The game seems as enigmatic as the plot and I can't wait to see what this game delivers. I haven't heard many people talking about this game, but I am anticipating that it will be one of the sleeper hits of the year.

Released: Late 2012
Platform(s): Playstation 3


  1. I am pretty ramped up for Borderlands 2, The Last Guardian, and most of all The Last of Us!! It's going to be another good year for gaming. I am hoping new IP like The Last of Us can do well and force developers to quit beating the sequel horses to death.

    1. The Last of Us is definitely one of the most intriguing games on this list. It sounds incredible and I can't wait to see how it turns out.