There’s little doubt that 2011 was one of the best gaming years on record, with blockbuster hits arriving month after month and no genre left untouched. It’s hard to imagine that there are more excellent titles on the way, but it’s true! 2012 looks to have a more evenly spaced schedule than last year, which is great news for gamers who had trouble keeping up with the holiday bombardment of November. At Vivid Gamer, we’ve got our eyes squarely set on key upcoming titles, and as you’ll see below, there’s a lot of promising stuff on the way. Be sure to let us know your most anticipated games of the year in the comments, and enjoy our personal lists below.
MLB 12 The Show
March 6, 2012
I’m always excited for the next iteration of one of the best sports franchises in gaming history, but this year there are a few things that I’m incredibly excited for. The added PS Move integration has me really excited, though I’m not so sure how accurate it will be. Franchise mode is getting some improvements and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be new in Road to the Show, but I’m more excited for the PlayStation Vita connection. Being able to play your franchise and Road to the Show mode on your PS3 and PSV; now that is something I’ve wanted from sports games for awhile now. MLB The Show has always been a strong franchise that constantly innovates and I’m excited to see what this year’s title will bring.
2. Diablo 3
3. Mass Effect 3
4. Ghost Recon Future Soldier
5. The Last of Us
The original Bioshock was creepy, atmospheric, and gave me an experience that other titles have yet to recreate since then. While its sequel improved on nearly every aspect, Bioshock Infinite looks to be an entirely new take on the series shifting from an underwater prison to a skyward metropolis and what I’ve seen so far has looked brilliant. I’m certain that Ken Levine and company will continue to wow me in what looks to be one of the best FPS games in years.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
3. UFC Undisputed 3
4. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
5. Rhythm Heaven Fever
I loved Borderlands. The 2009 title made shooting fun for me while also giving me characters and stories that I got attached to. I have really high hopes and expectations for this sequel and I know that I won’t be let down.
2. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
3. Devil Survivor 2
4. Final Fantasy XIII-2
5. South Park: The Game
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Even though it’s possible we won’t see the PS3 iteration of Ni no Kuni arrive in the West before 2012 comes to a close, I’m hopefully we’ll see it this year. I’m still personally bummed that the DS version (complete with giant spell book) was never localized (and that my Japanese isn’t good enough to import a copy). I love Studio Ghibli, and I’ve been following this (and the DS title) since they were first announced in Japan. The PS3 version is beautiful, and would be a perfect late-generation experience.
2. Luigi’s Mansion 2
3. Xenoblade Chronicles
4. Bioshock Infinite
5. Tales of the Abyss
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike is one of the only shooters I am eagerly awaiting in 2012. Had it released last year, it would have been the only shooter I would have cared about. Forget about Resistance and forget about Gears of War 3. Even Battlefield 3 would have found its place on my list behind Counter-Strike. Counter-Strike: Source was my game for about two years straight and it only ended due to a busted video card and no money to replace it. CS:GO will be on my PC the day it releases and I believe the PC community will show up to support Valve and make Global Offensive great. Add in to the mix the ability for cross-platform play on PC and PS3 and Global Offensive will be as delicious as my first taste of Counter-Strike: Source was in 2004.
2. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
3. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
4. Grand Theft Auto V
5. The Last of Us
Guild Wars 2
I stuck with World of Warcraft for as long as I could, and had one hell of a time doing it. However, the subscription model is antiquated, and I’m ready for an MMO experience that will scratch my role-playing itch in a totally unique way. Enter Guild Wars 2. A dynamic combat system based heavily on positioning and the strategic combination of skills (think arrows that deal fire damage when they pass through an ally’s flame wall) should introduce a revolution in MMO combat, while unpredictable world events will break up the tried-and-true questing formula. Combine that with a rich and gorgeous fantasy aesthetic, and you’ve got yourself a winner for MMO veterans and RPG fans alike. Oh, did I mention that there’s no subscription fee? That’s right. Just like its predecessor, you pay once for Guild Wars 2 and enjoy a lifetime of epic adventuring. I’m ready to lose hours to this game.
2. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
3. The Last of Us
4. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
5. Final Fantasy X HD
Just like Liz I’m really excited for Borderlands 2. The original made me want to keep playing with all that DLC. Hopefully we’ll see more more guns in the sequel!
2. Mass Effect 3
3. Bioshock Infinite
4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
5. Tomb Raider
Also… Halo 4
I was a huge fan of the first game for the mere reason that it was not just a game. Instead of being interested in game mechanics, I was roped in by both the story’s ethical dilemmas and the late 1950′s dystopian atmosphere that surrounded the city of Rapture. With Ken Levine back at the helm for Bioshock: Infinite, I hope to see a deep, engaging story weaved into a rich, immersive world, similar to what they did with the original. And if all else fails, shooting bees at a giant mechanical chicken is always a plus.
2. The Last of Us
3. Grand Theft Auto V
4. Tomb Raider
5. Mass Effect 3
What’s your most anticipated game of 2012? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for more on all of these great-looking titles as the year continues.