While we are currently in the midst of the early year lull in big name games it’s worth taking looking ahead to see what plastic platters we’ll be spinning in our consoles later this year. This year looks to be another solid year for the industry as there are a lot of of big name games hitting shelves all during the calendar year.
To do this we queried the Gaming Nexus staff about what games they were looking forward to most this year. This list contains the games we know are coming out this year as well as a few games that we hope come out this year (seriously Valve, it’s time for another Half Life game dammit).
- Bioshock 1 and 2 were incredible games (although the final boss of the original was quite easy and not as satisfying as I would have hoped), I'm really curious as to what they plan to do with Bioshock Infinite. I will say with B2 however, my attempts at Multiplayer didn't go so well, but that may have just been me, so hopefully if Bioshock Infinite has MP (honestly can't recall), it's worthwhile to check out.
- Yeah, huge Diablo 2 fan here who's been waiting for D3 since before it was even announced. While the whole thing about not worrying about consuming a ton of potions will be a change, it's a nice change. I hated dying in battle because I ran out of potions, which typically consumed a decent chunk of my inventory. I can't wait until this comes out.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
- Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to fully get through a Kingdom Hearts game. A shame, I know. I have Chain of Memories on the GBA, and I do like the card battle system to an extent, but I'm greatly stuck at Hades. I was going to pick up either Re:coded or 358/2 Days, but have been holding out for Dream Drop Distance. Gotta do something to build my 3DS library. :D
Mass Effect 3
- Because I've been in love with BioWare for years and have been in double-love with the Mass Effect franchise since I first read about Mass Effect. BioWare + sci-fi = gaming heaven for me.
- Because I love first person shooters and desperately wish there were more single-player focused, story driven FPSs. In the absence of a new Half-Life game, another BioShock entry is as good as it gets.
Grand Theft Auto V
- I know it's a stretch putting it in the "out next year" category, but since we have no release window, I'm putting it in. GTA IV was a revelation for me. Before that I was never the biggest GTA fan. I know a lot of old fans hated the darker, more mature direction Rockstar went in, but I am not one of those people.
Max Payne 3
- Because I'm still in love with bullet time and don't care how it's been over-used and abused. Plus, Max Payne's bullet time has always been the king.
Bonus niche pick: Cyanide's Game of Thrones RPG
. I know licensed properties made by small, relatively obscure developers often don't turn out well, and Cyanide has already turned out one mediocre GoT adaptation, but just the idea that I'll get to explore Westeros in a visual medium that isn't tied to the TV series via the books leaves me a bit breathless. Also, maybe we fans will finally get a taste of Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister, and the most important place yet to be seen. (jeez, I'm gushing about GoT again....)
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
- I cannot wait to see what High Moon Studios does with the Transformers license now that they have a clean slate with no expectations on their shoulders. Tasking them with the movie tie-in of the Dark of the Moon stunted their creativity and love of the series, this year they are going to get a chance to shine like they did with War for Cybertron.
Street Fighter X Tekken
- I loves me some fighting games! Capcom appears to be preparing their most robust fighting package yet with the new game and the amount of variety being packed into the game with the roster and improved tag mechanics could make this the best fighter of the year. Plus, I am really anxious to see some of Capcom’s takes on the traditional Namco / Tekken characters.
- Build it, share it, and blow that stuff up! I wasn’t sure what to think about Starhawk when I first laid eyes on it but now that I have personally experienced it for myself, it has moved up to the top of my list for most anticipated games for 2012. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to say more than that... yet.
- If I could only have one game for 2012, SSX would be it. I have been waiting for a next-gen entry in the series since this generation started. While I was skeptical about the new direction the series was headed in, the gameplay footage and developer diaries that have been released have put my mind at ease and given me the assurance that at the core, this will be classic XXS through and through.
- Blizzard has a proven track record of producing some of the most polished and deep experiences in the gaming industry. After only spending a few minutes with the Diablo III beta, it is evident that hack and slash clickers will be instantly addicted to countless quests through dungeons searching for the best loot. There has not been any other game able to replicate the perfected formula of adventure and loot gathering that Diablo has offered players in the past. Once Diablo III hits shelves in 2012, all commitments and other games will instantly lose importance in favor of dungeons and loot.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Ever since playing its first iteration on the PS2, I've been completely hooked to each game in the series. Revisiting Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV was an unforgettable experience that offered amazing graphics with polished gameplay. Now, Grand Theft Auto V will allow players to revisit Los Santos and its surrounding cities with the polished graphics and updated gameplay of the new engine. Other open world games may try to replicate its gameplay, however, there is only one true Grand Theft Auto.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Each year is host to a plethora of role-playing games that differ greatly in terms of content and presentation quality. From the beginning, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has set itself apart by taking many design choices to produce a game that aims above else to be fun. Many role-playing games lose themselves in the development stage by adding too many features or creating a massive world without any depth. With each new development video exploring the gameplay concepts, Reckoning looks to become one of the best role-playing games released in 2012.
Guild Wars 2
- The first Guild Wars was revolutionary for offering a massively multiplayer online experience that didn't include a monthly fee. However, the amount of content and gameplay depth was lacking when compared with other massively multiplayer online games. Guild Wars 2 has greatly increased the amount of content along with a massive boost to the gameplay depth. Best of all, the game is still being promised to release without a monthly fee to players. With a massive following from the past game and promised features of the sequel, Guild Wars 2 is shaping up to be the best bet for players that need the next great massively multiplayer online experience.
The next Rock Band
- Harmonix took a break from the Rock Band series in 2011, releasing only DLC during the year and Mad Catz RB3 instruments near the holidays. In 2012, I am looking forward to what the plans are for the franchise. I think additional instruments have been tapped out, but there is a plethora of bands and artists that were exclusive to the other guys (Van Halen) or haven’t even been remotely tapped. The big three are U2, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in my mind, so any get with these guys would be fantastic. As for improving the gameplay, I believe the game mechanics are fine, but a creative overhaul to the storyline may be just what the doctor ordered.
- So this isn’t really a “game”, but I believe that any DLC for one of the best games I have ever played will only further enhance its status as GOTY. Although Oblivion was panned a bit for the horse armor, the Orrey was a nice add on, and the Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine were excellent, but brief quests and areas. I think Bethesda learned from this and put forth an effort with Fallout DLC that should be the base line for what we can expect for Skyrim DLC.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Although I never actually finished GTA IV, I am a huge sandbox gamer and the innovations from that game that carried into Read Dead Redemption as well as L.A. Noire have me salivating for more GTA. I expect more groundbreaking gameplay, as well as one of the best looking games graphically that we have seen on a console.
Other games I am looking forward to include Guild Wars 2
and Diablo III
assuming I have a PC worthy of running them.
- Hands down my most anticipated game of the year. After SSX 3 I thought EA could do no wrong and then they dropped stuff like On Tour and Blur on SSX fans. But with previews and trailers abound showing off some really slick gameplay, I'm back on believing that the SSX reboot (anyone else getting tired of this trend in gaming yet?) is going to be a massive success. If that's not the case, I just might have to give up on playing video games.
Grand Knights History
- I've been paying attention to this game ever since it was but a twinkle in George Kamitani's eye. A new game from Vanillaware always gets me excited, and this game is no exception. A traditional JRPG on my PSP might seem like a waste of time, but with multiplayer (bwah?!), and that oh so gorgeous Vanillaware art that I love, I expect this game to just take up permanent residence in my PSP.
- Even with the recent hullabaloo about Alex Ahad's art style for the game, and the fighting game community's desire to white knight the hell out of this game for being 'sexist' (yet managing to completely look away when Dead or Alive enters the picture). I still look forward to Skullgirls on the principle of it being a solid fighting game. The bits I have played over the year have had me more and more excited to pick up a game that hopes to also teach me how to be a better player (because honestly, I suck at cross-ups and I don't even know why).
- Another Vanillaware title? Yep. This brawler looks to be the main reason why I pick up a Vita when it comes out. And even though this spot could just as easily be filled with something like Final Fantasy XIII-2, I'd like to think that Vanillaware is working just a little bit harder on delivering a game that will demand my attention for weeks on end.
Diablo III -
I just can't seem to get enough of this style of game, and Blizzard's track record with the Diablo series (for me, at least) is perfect. Once this hits, I don't envision my computer playing much else for a few months.
- It's been too long since I had my snowboarding fix, and SSX is shaping up to be everything I'm hoping for.
Mass Effect 3 -
I'm almost frothing at the mouth for the final chapter in this series. Did I make the "right" choices in the previous titles? I almost can't wait to find out...
- Why on earth would anyone think North American players wouldn't want a crack at a title like this? I relish the thought of dusting off the WiiMote for this local release.
Mass Effect 3
- I'm John Yan and Mass Effect 3 is one of my most anticipated games of 2012 on the Citadel. From what I saw at E3, the combat has just been tuned to a point where it looks fluid and very fun to participate in. Shepard's story is coming to a conclusion and it looks to be one fun ride to the end. BioWare's done a great job at planning out the trilogy so I'm really looking forward to see how the story finishes up.
- Stay a while and listen as the long awaited sequel to one of the best games ever produced finally arrives. The demo was a ton of fun and there''s some great updates to the classic gameplay that is popular to this day. I'm chomping at the bit to play with a few friends. Diablo 1 and 2 stole a ton of my time and I'm sure the third game will as well with its addictive gameplay and fun story.
- Ken Levine skipped the second game but he's back in a big way with Infinite. I was in awe watching the play through at E3. The action is fast paced and jumping from rail to rail looks really cool. The reality warping holds a lot of potential and the world seems really, really interesting. It's not Rapture, but Columbia has the potential to be just as engrossing.
Since I’m the one putting this article together I’m going to cheat a bit with my picks. (EIC privilege). Instead of piling on the platitudes for the previously mentioned games (because I want Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 like everyone else), I’m going to add a few other games that should be on your radar.
- When people talk about the delays in Diablo III, I always route them to Torchlight. Great game, lots of fund, random dungeons, great art style, runs on any computer...seriously the game is the Nutella of the game industry. The folks at Runic also showed how that kind of game could work on the console as well. I’m excited about Torchlight II because it’s more Torchlight and now I can play with my friends. I loved what I saw at E3 and I think people are going to be surprised at how good the game is once they get a chance to play it.
End of Nations
- RTS + MMO = Awesome. I’m not sure why people aren’t talking about End of Nations more but the game plays like a massive version of World of Conflict. With persistent tech trees and a persistent world this game has the chance to surprise a lot of people.
The Last of Us
- I have great faith in the story telling of the folks at Naughty Dog and I’m hoping the deliver a new take on the zombie/disease outbreak game with something fresh and new. The first trailer showed some serious potential and I’m hoping they can deliver something that good. This game might not make it out this year .
- Giant Robots with big guns shooting it out online. ‘Nuff Said. OK, well here’s a little bit more. Read the online journals, read the developer diaries and tell me you can’t feel the passion of the developers behind this game. I’m hoping that passion creates another great Mechwarrior Franchise as we can always use more giant fighting robots in our lives.
Are there any games we missed? If so let us know in the comments.