A new year begins, and with it, a whole new crop of games to look forward to. Last year was one that was extremely crowded with titles to look forward to, and this year, it appears that again there is steady stream of great looking games to sink entirely too much time into. We ran down a lot of the games that we’re looking forward to in the New Year, so in the case that we missed on that you’re dead set on, let us know in the comments section below.
Grand Theft Auto V | Rockstar Games | TBA – Rockstar blew the lid off of the next Grand Theft Auto game earlier in 2011, giving gamers just a taste of things to come in the GTA universe. The game is to be set in fictional Los Santos in the state of San Andreas and its surrounding areas, based on modern-day Los Angeles and Southern California. A rendition of Los Santos was previously featured as one of three cities in 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, from the series’ third era. Release dates and further details about the game are forthcoming, expect more from the developer about GTA V in 2012.
Mass Effect 3 | Bioware | March – Not everyone will survive. An ancient alien race, known only as “Reapers,” has launched an all-out invasion leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the galaxy is on the verge of total annihilation, and you are the only one who can stop them. The price of failure is extinction. You are Commander Shepard, a character that you can forge in your own image. You determine how events will play out, which planets to explore, and whom to form alliances with as you rally a force to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all. How you wage this war is completely up to you: go into combat with guns blazing or use cover to plan a more tactical assault.
Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning | Big Huge Games | February – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning takes place in Amalur, an all-new game universe inhabited by various races of beings and filled with thousands of years of history. This deep fantasy based world is the brainchild of best-selling Fantasy and Science Fiction author R.A. Salvatore and the combined talents of Todd McFarlane, the creator of the Spawn series, Ken Rolston, the lead designer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and the team at Big Huge Games.Reckoning bears the hallmarks of each of these visionaries, melding an epic, master-crafted storyline, rich graphics and heart-stopping animations, and compelling open-world exploration.
Luigi’s Mansion | Nintendo | TBA – Luigi is back on a mission to remove a bunch of stubborn ghosts from some spooky mansions. Armed with his trusty Poltergust ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner, Mario’s brother takes center stage to capture these pesky phantoms.
The Darkness 2 | 2K Games | February – It’s been two years since Jackie Estacado used the Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend’s murder. He’s been unable to shake the memory of Jenny’s death since bottling up his supernatural power and now the Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war and opens the door for the Darkness to reemerge. The botched attempt sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of the Darkness itself.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City | Capcom | March – Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City delivers a true third person team based shooter experience set within the dark and sinister Resident Evil universe. Not only does this setting provide a rich backdrop to the action but it fosters a unique and thrilling triple-threat battle scenario for the game modes. Zombies and Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W’s) add to the mix as players compete against their team’s opposing squad but also tackle this third unpredictable element that could only exist in the twisted Resident Evil universe.
Ghost Recon: Future Solider | Ubisoft | March – In the escalating political climate of the near future—where strategies on the battlefield must be delicately balanced with maneuvers at the negotiating table—a new breed of soldier has arisen. Trained to be better than the best and outfitted with the most comprehensive array of high-tech gear ever assembled, the future soldier stands apart by his ability to remain undetected. He slips unseen behind enemy lines. He uses the perfect combination of diplomacy and force to achieve his objectives while remaining politically invisible.
Diablo III |Blizzard | Q1 – This world was saved twenty years prior by a handful of unnamed heroes in Diablo II. Warriors that survived the onslaught of the armies of the Burning Hells have gone mad from their ordeals and it is up to a new generation of heroes to face the forces of evil threatening the world of Sanctuary. Players will have the opportunity to explore familiar settings such as Tristram.
Lollipop Chainsaw | Warner Brothers | August – Lollipop Chainsaw is the ‘un-deadly’ story of sweet and killer zombie-hunter Juliet Starling and her quest to uncover the root of a colossal zombie outbreak. With her wickedly awesome chainsaw in hand, Juliet slices, dices and splits her way through hordes of the undead, but soon realizes the horde is only the opening act to a festival of zombie rock lords determined to kill the chainsaw-wielding cheerleader. Lollipop Chainsaw is being developed by Grasshoper Manufacture, led by celebrated game developer Goichi Suda (aka SUDA 51) and featuring the musical compositions of the renowned Akira Yamaoka.
Dragon’s Dogma | Capcom | March – Dragon’s Dogma is an exciting new franchise which redefines the action genre from the team that produced some of Capcom’s greatest action games. Set in a huge open world, Dragon’s Dogma offers an exhilarating and fulfilling action combat game with the freedom to explore and interact in a rich, living and breathing world. Alongside your party of three, you set out to track down and destroy a mysterious dragon. Your teammates fight independently of you, demonstrating prowess and ability they have developed based on traits learned over time from you and your actions. Dragon’s Dogma offers a near endless opportunity to help develop partner characters to fight alongside you. With an epic story and incredible action, Dragon’s Dogma is set to be one of Capcom’s newest hit franchises.
Sorcery | Sony | Spring – Players take the role of a young sorcerer’s apprentice and must master the arcane arts in order to protect his homeland. The Nightmare Queen has broken the ancient pact with mankind and threatens to cover the land in eternal night, sending her foul minions across the land. Players must travel through the dark Faerie Kingdoms to save the land from the darkness that has enshrouded it. The world is based on Irish mythology and tradition.
Prey 2 | Bethesda | TBA – Prey 2, the sequel to the award-winning 2006 game, is an open world sci-fi shooter about a Marshall, Killian Samuels, who is abducted by a cruel race of aliens. Playing as Killian, you find yourself marooned on an alien planet called Exodus. While working as a bounty hunter, you uncover a plot that threatens your home world and it’s up to you to take action.
Halo 4 | 343 Industries | November – Halo 4 is the next blockbuster installment in the iconic franchise that’s shaped entertainment history and defined a decade of gaming. Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Halo 4 marks the start of a new trilogy that begins with its release in 2012.
Bioshock Infinite | Irrational Games | October – The third game in the popular Bioshock series, BioShock: Infinite breaks away from the underwater setting of the first two games to take players into a floating city held aloft by dirigibles. The game is set in 1912. You play as Booker DeWitt, a disgraced former private detective who’s picked up a new case. Your goal is to find Elizabeth, a young woman who’s gone missing and return her unharmed. The only problem is that she’s being kept on this flying city. Columbia was once a symbol of America’s success as a nation, floating around the world as a traveling World’s Fair, a marvel of human innovation. But strange things have happened since Columbia’s unveiling in 1900, and now the city has disappeared into the clouds.
Max Payne 3 | Rockstar Games | March – Max Payne 3 continues the tale of former New York City detective, Max Payne. Still haunted by the memories of his traumatic past, Max begins a new life working private security protecting a wealthy industrialist and his family in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When gangs target the family under his protection, Max is forced to fight to save his clients and clear his name, in a bid to, once and for all, rid himself of the demons that have tortured him for far too long. Picking up where the release of Max Payne 2 from series creator Remedy Entertainment left off, Max Payne 3 is a true cross-studio collaboration between Rockstar Games’ global development teams. The game utilizes cutting edge technology for a seamless, cinematic action experience, incorporating the latest advances in Natural Motion physics and a brand new iteration of Rockstar’s own Rockstar Advanced Game Engine.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 | Square Enix | January – Three years after Lightning and the others saved Cocoon, some survivors decided to start over by rebuilding on Gran Pulse. Lightning, however, is nowhere to be found and thought dead by many, but Serah believes otherwise. When her town is suddenly overrun by monsters, a mysterious man named Noel appears to save her. Together, the two set off on a journey that transcends time and space, hoping to find Lightning.
Star Wars Kinect | Microsoft | TBA – The playable character in Star Wars Kinect is a Jedi and one of several new characters who will be introduced by the game. Using the controller-free Kinect system, the player stands in front of the television and uses hands to lift and throw objects with the Force or wield a lightsaber, uses body movement to drive to control X-wing starfighters and podracers, or uses a voice component to make additional commands. It takes places during the prequel trilogy timeline of the Star Wars universe, beginning shortly after Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and concludes during the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The game also includes settings from the original trilogy, such as the planet Bespin featured in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss | Sony Bend | February – Uncover the dark secret behind the 400-year-old massacre of a Spanish expedition as Nathan Drake follows the murderous trail of an ancient and secret Spanish sect in Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Caught in the middle of a rivalry between Jason Dante – his old friend – and Marisa Chase – the granddaughter of an archaeologist who has mysteriously vanished without a trace – Nathan Drake races into the treacherous river basins, undiscovered temple ruins and karst caverns of Central America in search of a legendary lost city, only to find himself pushed to the edge of the Golden Abyss.
Devil May Cry | Ninja Theory | October – DmC Devil May Cry is an upcoming action game developed by Ninja Theory and published by Capcom for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It will be the first title in the series not to be developed internally at Capcom. Instead, development will be handled by the English studio Ninja Theory, while the Japanese and American branches of Capcom will supervise the production creatively and logistically. The game is set in a parallel universe in the Devil May Cry series. The story tells of a younger Dante and his journey through the fictitious Limbo City. A city that appears calm at first, but transforms into a twisted parody of itself with demons who frequently attempt to kill Dante. Dante will also be fighting against the ever-changing environment of the city as well.
Asura’s Wrath – Capcom – February – With unprecedented levels of dynamism, drama and interaction, Asura’s Wrath will deliver a fresh take on the action gaming genre. Once a revered deity, Asura was betrayed by his fellow gods and stripped of all his powers. Consumed by anger at the injustice he has suffered and swearing vengeance, Asura discovers he can use this fury to his advantage and turn it against his enemies. Cue relentless action as Asura finds himself facing off against numerous unique enemies, including planetary sized bosses, unleashing devastating and visceral attacks. Asura’s Wrath loses the traditional distinction between gameplay and cutscenes through seamless player controlled narrative.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive | Valve | TBA – Like previous games in the series, Global Offensive is an objective based multiplayer first person shooter. Each player joins either the Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist team and attempts to complete objectives or eliminate the enemy team. For example, in demolition maps, often abbreviated “de”, the terrorist team is given an explosive to plant at a designated location. The Counter-Terrorists must defend the location until time runs out and if the bomb is planted defuse it. Global Offensive is planned to launch with demolition, hostage rescue, and a new game mode called arsenal. Arsenal is based on a popular mod for both Counter Strike and Counter Strike: Source called gun game, and made in collaboration with the creators of the mod.
Dishonored | Bethesda | May – The player controls Corvo, once a legendary guard for the Empress, who seeks vengeance against the Lord Regent who framed him for the assassination of the Empress. Corvo is not only a fine swordsman, master-at-arms, and cunning infiltrator, but also possesses great supernatural powers. The game is presented in open world format as the player can roam The Isles as well as the distant Pandyssian Continent, though the primary setting for the game is the steampunk-esque city of Dunwall. The game is played in first-person, with an emphasis placed on stealth action and the utilization of gadgets as well as the environment to eliminate opposing forces.
Street Fighter X Tekken | Capcom | March – The long awaited dream match-up between the two leaders in the fighting genre becomes a reality. Street Fighter X Tekken, delivers the ultimate tag team match up featuring iconic characters from each franchise, and one of the most robust character line ups in fighting game history. With the addition of new gameplay mechanics, the acclaimed fighting engine from Street Fighter IV been refined to suit the needs of both Street Fighter and Tekken players alike.
Prototype 2 | Activision | April – Prototype 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of Radical Entertainment’s original best-selling open-world game of 2009 – Prototype and delivers the most over-the-top action game of 2012. Create a path through the viral wastelands of NYZ and build up a vast genetic arsenal as you hunt, kill and consume your way towards your ultimate goal, destroying Alex Mercer!
Borderlands 2 | Gearbox | July – Borderlands 2 furthers the distinct blending of First Person Shooter and Role Playing genres to create the true evolution of the Role Playing Shooter. Team up with up to three other players for four-player online goodness or go old-school with two-player split-screen couch sharing mayhem as you spend hours leveling up your character and equipping them with one of the millions of badass weapons. Borderlands 2 features a new visually stunning array of procedurally generated guns, shields, grenades, artifacts, enemies and more. Choose one of the four new character classes to be taken through a carefully crafted and connected story to all new and surprising environments across the living planet of Pandora.
Soul Calibur V | Namco | January – SOULCALIBUR V is the latest entry in the premier weapons-based head-to-head fighting series. The game takes place 17 years after the events of the last game, and continues the epic story of warriors in search of the legendary Soul Swords in 17th century Europe. The heroic battles transpire in a beautiful and fluid world with eye-popping graphics and visual appeal. A completely new tune to the battle, movement, and visual systems so players can pull off cool dynamic attacks with ease and battle with complete freedom.
Syndicate | Starbreeze | February – In the not too distant future, the world is divided into regions controlled by mega-corporations known as Syndicates. In this future, business is war, and you are the weapon: the latest prototype agent for Eurocorp, one of the most ruthless Syndicates in a world dominated by greed. In single-player, embark on a unique sci-fi shooter adventure of corruption and revenge, as you utilize DART 6 chip-enhanced technology to breech, manipulate and control the wired world. Or form your own Syndicate in four-player co-op and dominate nine action-packed missions inspired by the original Syndicate game.
Hitman: Absolution | IO | October – Not much is known about the upcoming Hitman Absolution title. We do know that the game will be running on IO Interactive’s new Glacier 2 Game Engine, and will be featuring classic Hitman game mechanics, while adding in a host of new features for a new generation. The fifth entry in the Hitman franchise has been rumored for some time, and 2012 will see the return of Agent 47.
Fortnite | Epic Games | TBA – Epic games has taken a huge departure from what fans were expecting when revealing Fortnite at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. What fans saw was a Minecraft-esque free-form fort building game where you must protect yourself with the help of friends, by building and defending a fortress from enemies that attack at night. Definitely something different from the small glimpse we got at the VGA’s, but an interesting concept that could draw fans of Minecraft into the mix.
Guild Wars 2 | Arena Net | March – Guild Wars 2 is a beautiful new Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game (mmorpg), following the legacy left behind by the original Guild Wars saga. Developed by Arena Net, Guild Wars 2 will be a free to play (f2p) game with a massive, beautiful world. Built with ground breaking graphics, Guild Wars 2 was built to be able to be played on both high and low end gaming systems alike.
The Last of Us | Naughty Dog | TBA – The Last of Us is a genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements to tell a character driven tale about a modern plague decimating mankind. Nature encroaches upon civilization, forcing remaining survivors to kill for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a brave young teenage girl who is wise beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States
WoW: Mists of Pandaria | Blizzard | TBA – Mists of Pandaria will raise the level cap from level 85 to 90. It will introduce a new class, Monk, along with the new playable race, Pandaren. The vanity pet system will be overhauled and will include a pet battle system. New PVE scenarios will be introduced, and Challenge Modes will be added for dungeons. The existing 31-point talent trees will be replaced by a new system of tiered talents that are awarded every 15 levels. Blizzard has stated that there are plans for nine new dungeons, three new raids, and four new battlegrounds.
Paper Mario | Nintendo | November – Gameplay in Paper Mario 3DS is similar to that of the original Paper Mario and its first sequel, where combat consists of turn-based battles, though its papercraft visual style has been updated to take advantage of the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS in order to create a sense of depth.
South Park: The Game | Obsidian | May – “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, THQ, Viacom Media Networks and Obsidian Entertainment, Inc. are developing the next chapter in South Park entertainment: “South Park: The Game.” “South Park: The Game” is an epic role-playing adventure that will allow the user to befriend Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny and explore the quiet little mountain town like never before. South Park: The Game is an epic role playing adventure that will allow th euser to befriend Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny and explore the quiet little mountain town like never before.
Tomb Raider | Eidos | September – After a brutal storm destroys the boat she was travelling on, a frightened young woman is left washed ashore on an unknown beach. On her own but not alone she has only one goal, to survive. Here begins the first adventure for a young and inexperienced Lara Croft in a story which charts the journey of an ordinary woman who finds out just how far she must go in order to stay alive.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm | Blizzard | TBA – The plot of Heart of the Swarm begins where Wings of Liberty left off. It will focus on the Zerg race and feature Sarah Kerrigan as the protagonist, and anti-hero. The campaign begins with Kerrigan’s quest to assume leadership of the swarm in her regained human form, and exact her revenge on Arcturus Mengsk, Emperor of the Terran Dominion. The Zerg have split into several factions without her leadership, and she must take control of the various rival broods, headed by powerful queens, while General Warfield of the Dominion is attempting to eradicate the Zerg on Char.
The Last Guardian | Team Ico | TBA – The Last Guardian is the third game by the acclaimed development staff behind ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. In the game, a young boy and a bizarre, gigantic creature form a heartfelt bond as they attempt to maneuver their way through an unfriendly world.
Metal Gear Rising | Platinum Games | TBA – Players assume control of Raiden, protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and supporting character in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. A key gameplay feature for the game is titled zan-datsu, which involves “cutting” through enemies and “taking” parts from the bodies of dismembered cyborgs and robots. Rising’s stealth elements will emphasize Raiden’s considerable speed and agility through what Matsuyama describes as “hunting stealth.” Unlike the “waiting stealth” of previous titles, in which players remained hidden and avoided combat, players in Rising will instead quickly stalk their enemies and use acrobatic maneuvers to stay out of sight while closing in.