30 games to look forward to in 2012
2012 is here and after a head-spinning holiday release season in 2011 its hard to believe there could possibly be much left. I’m here to show you just what you can expect from 2012 and show you that yes, there are a ton of great games slated to come out this year. Hit the jump for the complete list!
Note: many of these sections are based on conjecture and also reflect my personal interest in the games to come, if you have more interest in one of these games or know about a game I missed, please leave a comment!
Mass effect 3
- What is it?: Threequel to Bioware’s popular sci-fi RPG. Also the conclusion to a trilogy with Commander Shepard.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, solid date, March 6th
- Interest Factor: Must-have, day 1 purchase.
Last of Us
- What is it?: New franchise from Uncharted creators – Naughty Dog. Looks a lot like I Am Legend with Ellen Page
- Will it release on time?: Unsure, literally no dates given, but looks like it will fill the gap between Uncharted 3 and Uncharted 4, so a high probability its releasing this year.
- Interest Factor: High, but want to see gameplay footage first
- What is it?: The first proper Halo game to not be made by Bungie’s hands, but instead by 343 Industries.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, Microsoft never misses their mark with this flagship title, expect sometime in September.
- Interest Factor: Medium, without Bungie at the helm I’ll be looking toward reviews first.
- What is it?: Not a proper sequel, but still a follow-up to 2007’s groundbreaking Bioshock. Ken Levine’s magic touch promises an insane ride through a detailed new world.
- Will it release on time?: Most likely, solid date of June 1st, but don’t be surprised by a several month-long delay if the developers want to perfect it.
- Interest Factor: Must-have
Gotham City Imposters
- What is it?: Monolith’s next game is a far-cry from their last few entries (F.E.A.R., Condemned), but this Team Fortress 2-inspired multiplayer game looks like a ton of fun.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, solid date, January 10th (next week!)
- Interest Factor: Medium, interested, but will wait on reviews, it could easily end of being a bomb.
- What is it?: This gravity-manipulation shooter title has been raising more than a few eye-brows at each game conference and looks like a surprisingly serious title.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, solid date, February 7th
- Interest Factor: Medium to low, neat idea, but it will likely end up flopping.
The Darkness II
- What is it?: Sequel to 2007’s comic book-inspired The Darkness, which enjoyed sort of a small following after its release. Personally I didn’t know about the game until long after its release.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, solid date, February 10th
- Interest Factor: Medium to low, this sequel does look fun and I personally enjoyed the last title, but something is nagging at me that this may fall very short.
- What is it?: “Remake” of the 1993 classic tactical game, this is actually a first-person shooter with various tweaks to the genre that look rather refreshing.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, release date of February 21st, but I haven’t heard a lot about it lately, so a delay wouldn’t be unexpected.
- Interest Factor: High, admittedly the trailer had me on the edge of my seat, fans of the original may be less impressed however.
- What is it?: A return to the classic over-the-top snowboard trick/race game. New locations and characters, as well as many returning ones. This is what many SSX fans have been waiting for.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, release date of February 28th, but I haven’t heard much of the game lately and it makes me nervous that a delay is incoming.
- Interest Factor: Must-have, after playing the game at PAX it feels true to the original and extremely fun. Developers assured me the music would also be great (a staple of the series).
- What is it?: Remake of the cult classic cars-with-guns games that helped put the PlayStation on the map.
- Will it release?: Probably, release date of February 14th, again little news surrounding it would make a delay to the summer not unexpected.
- Interest Factor: Low, never a huge fan of the original series (but it was fun) and David Jaffe hasn’t made a ton of games lately (his last major release was God of War I believe). Expectations are also rather low.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
- What is it?: The long-awaited follow-up to Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter games.
- Will it release on time?: Maybe, this game has been delayed a ton (originally slated for a 2009 release), I would not be surprised by another delay or even a cancellation altogether. The PC version has already been canceled. Projected release is Q1, but more than likely will be October.
- Interest Factor: High, I played it a bit at PAX and found it very fun, it retains the difficulty of previous entries and introduces a lot of new elements (invisibility anyone?). The prolonged delays worry me as feature creep does not a good game make.
- What is it?: Follow-up to Gearbox’s surprise 2009 hit. New classes, weapons, enemies, etc.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, release date is July 30th, but I don’t know much about Gearbox’s release history, would not be surprised by a push to the holiday season.
- Interest Factor: Must-have, day 1 purchase.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
- What is it?: First-person shooter based on the Alien universe, namely that one movie with Bill Paxton and the cargo loader.
- Will it release on time?: Unlikely, projected release of Spring 2012, something tells me a lot of focus is going into Borderlands 2, so this will likely get pushed to 2013.
- Interest Factor: Very high, I have been pinning for a proper Alien game for awhile and the last Aliens vs. Predator game was a major letdown. Gearbox has a spotty track record on their games though.
Far Cry 3
- What is it?: Return to the tropical island setting seen in Far Cry, but this looks like it has a lot more in common with Far Cry 2 in terms of gameplay and narrative.
- Will it release on time?: Unsure, no projected release time and I don’t see Ubisoft risking this if some other major game is going to be released.
- Interest Factor: Medium, I loved a lot of what Far Cry 2 was about, but its execution was awful. Way too much time spent traveling and accidentally running into enemies I didn’t care about. If Ubisoft can fix some of these problems I will probably be very interested.
Guild Wars 2
- What is it?: Follow-up to ArenaNet’s popular MMORPG.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, no date or timeframe specified, but this feels like the year ArenaNet finally decides its next game is ready for prime-time.
- Interest Factor: High, I was very entertained by the original Guild Wars and have been patiently awaiting the sequel’s arrival. Another year’s delay, however and my interest will probably start to wane.
- What is it?: Blizzard’s next major title and a follow-up to the insanely popular Diablo II. Don’t be surprised by some spill-over from WoW players itching for another Blizzard-made RPG.
- Will it release on time?: Maybe, its slated for Q1 2012, but I predict some time in June. The beta is alive and being played regularly, so that’s usually an indicator that they will be releasing soon.
- Interest Factor: Must-have
- What is it?: The next game from Jenova Chen and his team at Thatgamecompany, the creators of Flower. It looks like an artistic piece that will be heavy on thematic narrative.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, slated for Spring 2012.
- Interest Factor: Medium, Flower never caught much of my interest some time ago, but I’ll admit the visuals of this game are very striking.
- What is it?: Valve’s entry in the now well-established DotA/MOBA-style of game. So far it looks like Valve has invested heavily in its development and is setting its sights on industry leader Riot Games (purveyors of ultra-popular League of Legends).
- Will it release on time?: Maybe, this is Valve we’re talking about after all. No release window scheduled yet.
- Interest Factor: Very high, I am interested to see what Valve can do (especially with IceFrog aiding development) and am even more interested in what their pricing model will be, if it will be Free-to-play or if it will have a proper price tag.
Assassin’s Creed III
- What is it?: The next entry in the wildly-popular Assassin’s Creed series of historical fiction games.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, but there is no real release date yet. The series’ story is set to end in 2012, so it stands to reason that Ubisoft will time this for November with a reveal at E3.
- Interest Factor: High, I’m still a huge fan of the series, but after Patrice Désilets’ departure from the series as creative director I have less hope for the quality of it. Hopefully those now in charge can bring this game in for an epic conclusion to the story.
- What is it?: Follow-up to the not-so-well received 2006 game Prey. This time it takes place in an open-world environment and charges the player as a lone bounty-hunter on a huge alien world.
- Will it release on time?: Unsure, no release period set yet.
- Interest Factor: Very high, trailers and gameplay videos show a very high-concept game that could easily be a surprise hit. It also could be a major flop if the package as a whole isn’t good.
Max Payne 3
- What is it?: Long-awaited follow-up to Rockstar’s slow-motion-jumping, story-intensive shooter.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, slated for March, I’m banking on Rockstar’s near-solid ability to release internal games on schedule. The lack of a solid date, however, worries me.
- Interest Factor: Medium, its been a long time since I’ve played with Max and I just don’t know if the interest for another episode of his depressing life is there. Would not be surprised if this turns out to be the must-play game of the year, however.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
- What is it?: Follow-up to Nintendo’s well-recieved GameCube title, to be released for the 3DS exclusively.
- Will it release on time?: Unsure, no release period set yet.
- Interest Factor: Low, but the 3DS just has struggled to get my attention since it was purchased, I don’t think this will be much different.
- What is it?: Minecraft-creator and indie darling Mojang’s next major title. Not much is known about it, but with many looking to see what Notch can do next, the hype is definitely there.
- Will it release on time?: Unlikely, even with a 2012 release window, we will likely only see a beta version this year.
- Interest Factor: Medium, I have some mild interest in what Mojang can do that’s not Minecraft, but I don’t have high hopes, especially if their legal battles persist.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
- What is it?: Sequel to the popular 1999 fighting game, can be viewed more as the next iteration in the Tekken series.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely, release window of Holidays 2012, this game has already been released in Japan as an arcade cabinet.
- Interest Factor: High, I normally wouldn’t like a fighting game, but TTT back in the PS2 days was a game I spent a lot of time playing with my brother. A return to the tag-style gameplay and hopefully most of the old characters has me very excited.
- What is it?: Follow-up to the Diablo-style RPG hack-and-slash game from 2009. Will add co-op multiplayer and new classes and looks to bring a much more epic setting and storyline.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, but the release window is now an open “2012” and not any specific quarter or month. I suspect the game is near-complete, but requires extensive testing with the amount of procedurally-generated content.
- Interest Factor: Must-have, especially if Diablo III is delayed.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
- What is it?: Sequel to the (surprisingly fun) Transformers: War for Cybertron.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, release window of Fall 2012. The publisher, Activision, is known for pushing holiday releases without much room for delay.
- Interest Factor: Medium, I was definitely impressed by War for Cybertron, but it came during a time when I didn’t have much else to play. A release during the holiday season means I will likely pass on it for awhile.
Metro: Last Light
- What is it?: Sequel to the sleeper-hit that was Metro 2033, a survival-horror shooter (with emphasis on the survival bit) that was heavy on atmosphere and story, but somewhat mediocre on gameplay.
- Will it release on time?: Maybe, I have only seen a bit of this game in previews and I believe it has a chance of making it into that nice end-of-summer window, but would not be surprised by a push to 2013.
- Interest Factor: Very high, Metro 2033 practically blind-sided me back in 2010 and one of my few complaints was its brevity. Highly interested in returning to this atmospheric world.
Grand Theft Auto V
- What is it?: The next entry in the practically larger-than-life GTA series. To be set in the city of Los Santos, as featured in 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Will it release on time?: Definitely. Rockstar doesn’t mess around with its GTA release windows and when they announce their games they are usually near the finish-line. No release window announced yet, but expect a mid-summer release.
- Interest Factor: Must-have, I’m a sucker for Rockstar’s open world playground games, even if I usually don’t finish them.
DmC: Devil May Cry
- What is it?: A reboot of sorts to the Devil May Cry series, now helmed by Ninja Theory (creators of Heavenly Sword).
- Will it release on time?: Maybe, with a new developer, Capcom may delay this title for quality-control. Slated for a wide “2012” release window.
- Interest Factor: Medium to high. Typically I don’t care for the Devil May Cry formula of over-the-top hack-and-slash gameplay, but recent trailers caught my eye.
- What is it?: Sequel to 2010’s sleeper-hit Darksiders. This time it stars Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- Will it release on time?: Probably, slated for June 2012, my only concern is the recent lack of footage, but I imagine that will all change when E3 rolls around.
- Interest Factor: Must-have, huge fan for Zelda-style gameplay.
Have another game you’re excited about for 2012? Leave a comment and tell us about it!