2012’s Most Anticipated Games
So here we are in a new year, and what a year it looks to be for gaming. As it stands, we are not in for such a holiday cluster that we had last year. This should bode well for our wallets as well as our social lives. So as we look upon a new set of games for the year I present you with my most anticipated titles. These are the games I have been waiting for since first glimpse, ones Im sure will top GOTY lists at the end of 2012.
I hope you enjoy my personal list of most anticipated games. The other top 10’s coming from PSTB’s writers will be posted in the coming days.
10. Ninja Gaiden 3 (Team Ninja) Mar. 20, 2012
I am a masochist, i will not deny this fact, I am aware of my masochism simply because of my time spent with Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden series. With the departure of Tomonobu Itigaki I am a little weary of where the series might end up. yes the series might be getting a bit stale but to us masochists who love the challenge, theres not much change needed. I could care less about what story is told, as long as the remains of Team Ninja can create combat situations as fun and challenging as past titles, I will be beyond pleased. With games like Bayonetta raising the bar for actions games, I hope Ninja Gaiden can still bring enough craziness to the table.
9. SSX (EA Canada) Feb. 14, 2012
I’ll admit that when I first saw footage of previously crowned SSX: Deadly Descents, I was beyond disappointed in its offering. The tone was changed, it was drab, there were no vibrant colors, no Run DMC, everything I loved about SSX was dead. In the coming months we would see a change however. The serious tone was dropped, vibrancy was added, and the return of Run DMC’s “Tricky” made its way back into the game. SSX has always been known for its insane jumps and even crazier tricks. With this iteration the jumps look to be even larger and the plethora of tricks more varied. With this new found invigoration I cannot wait to play SSX when its released this year.
8. Max Payne 3 (Rockstar Vacnouver) Mar. 2012
The original two Max Payne games remain some of my favorite experiences in recent memory, the pseudo noire feel of its story, the comic book style of its cutscenes, the gritty environments, it was a complete package of atmospheric perfection. The development of Max Payne 3 has been in and out of the media for about 3 or 4 years. It was rumored to be happening but no one outside of Rockstar was actually sure. When we finally got a look at the game I was a little taken back by its tropical setting and Max’s bald ass head. My concerns have been weathered as more of the game has been revealed and I can say I have complete faith in Rockstar’s abilities.
7. Hitman Absolution (IO Interactive) TBD 2012
As broken and quirky as the Hitman series has proven to be, I still remain glued to anything coming from Edios. Ever since the absolutely fantastic Blood Money I have been clamoring for a new entry in the series. With Absolution it seems as though Eidos is stepping in a newer, more streamlined version of Hitman. There is not much of a HUD, set pieces are more prevalent and overall presentation seems more sleek. But a move towards the more modern style ala Uncharted or Dead Space 2 isnt a bad move. Im sure we will be getting a deep and multi layered experience with Absolution. Eidos knows what Hitman fans want, varied, open ended levels and maximum player choice. If such aspects are delivered upon with a new presentation then Hitman Absolution will prove to be on of 2012’s best.
6. Assassins Creed 3 (EA Montreal) TBD 2012
Im not exactly sure just how Ubisoft does it every year, they create iteration after iteration of quality Assassins Creed games. Im sure it helps to have about 5 other Ubi offshoots involved but the core of Assassins Creed, the writing, the story, the characters, the setting, comes straight from Montreal. With the ending of Revelations setting us up for the inevitable Desmond focused story, myself along with the millions of other AC fans have waited since AC 1 to experience the modern day version. Its still not completely confirmed we will only be controlling Desmond but the prospect is enticing. The team at Ubisoft Montreal doesnt really know how to make an unpolished or lackluster game and im sure AC3 being a properly numbered game puts its priority for success even higher. I will say one thing though, this should be the definitive end of the AC series, after 5 games I think we are due for some resolution.
5. Mass Effect 3 (Bioware) March 6th, 2012
Delays in our industry are usually met with cries of problems in development or just poor experiences in general. Just think of the 10 year cycle it took to craft the now steaming pile that is Duke Nukem Forever. Long delays or delays of any kind usually spell some type of warning sign within development. But sometimes there are delays which bode well for games, that show promise and elude only to more refinement and polish. As with Gears 3, Mass Effect 3 was delayed into this year after being slated to release in the crowded holiday of 2011. With all the promise we have seen from ME3’s demos and trailers, I can only hope those months were put to good use. We all await to see just how the decisions we’ve made will culminate in this final chapter.
4. Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software) Jul. 30, 2012
Millions of guns, millions upon millions upon millions, this was the draw of the original Borderlands, proclaimed by Game Director Randy Pitchford. The reason we all bought into what Gearbox was selling just to see if Pitchford’s claims held true. Myself, along with the millions who purchased Borderlands were pleasantly surprised at how fun it ended up being and how much of a time sink it became. Yes, it was ripe with jank, but it was the kind of jank you could love and not fault the game for. I have very fond memories of its odd humor and characters and cannot wait to see what Gearbox has come up with; So if dual wielding midget bezerker’s are our litmus test, I have faith Randy and the guys will not disappoint.
3. Halo 4 (343 Studios) TBD 2012
As a self proclaimed “Halo Fanboy” I will be the first to admit just how damn excited I was when that trailer for Halo 4 debuted at E3 last year. With the way Halo 3 ended I knew there would be a new sequel at some point but I did not expect it until atlas the next generation. The guys at 343 studios seem to have the franchise in good hands, especially after the stellar HD remake of Halo: CE. It will be interesting to see where Halo 4 takes us as it was announced as the beginning of a new trilogy. This caused most to question whether or not we will see Halo 5 on the next Xbox, whatever it may be. Either way I am extremely excited to see where this story bring the Chief and how a Halo game will work sans Covenant. My only real hope is that we see some drastic changes to basic Halo gameplay and inner workings, the last thing I want is Halo 3.5.
2. Bioshock Infinite (Irrational Games) TBD 2012
As with Skyrim last year, its evident just how stellar Bioshock Infinite will be, I have already mentioned in passing how its 2012’s Game of the Year. This faith comes from the work and scope creator Ken Levine works with. I chose this image specifically devoid of gameplay just to display the scope of Levine and Co’s ambition. From the short demo we saw its already evident how fleshed out Elizabeth and Booker are. And goddamnit, Booker Dewitt might just be the best character name Ive heard in years. Just as with Bioshock we are in for a world more fully realized than most AAA games combined. Columbia and its inhabitants look to be filled with backstory beyond our comprehension and Based on what we saw from the original Bioshock, I can only imagine what Levine and the guys at Irrational have in store for us this year.
1. Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North) TBD 2012
It seems the consensus with some is that the tonal shift from GTA: San Andreas to GTA: IV was far too drastic. The change from the craziness of SA to the more serious IV irked some of the gaming public, myself not included. GTA V is my most anticipated game because of the pedigree the name Rockstar North holds. The journey back to San Andreas (Vinewood and its surroundings in particular) is a welcome addition to the franchise. As Rockstar did with IV, revisiting a location and re imagining it can prove to hold amazing results. I was very surprised just how much footage we actually saw in GTA V’s first trailer. The graphics in particular were stunning and the revitalization of Vinewood looks to be even better than Liberty City’s re imagining.
Rockstar creates worlds, ones that feel lived in and like Bethesda, their worlds become a charcter of their own. There is nobody better in the open world genre than the guys at Rockstar and GTA V looks to be their best work yet. Lets just hope lessons learned from Red Dead and IV will be applied to whats going to be a serious GOTY contender in 2012.