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Level Up! 2012 Preview!

A Look at the most anticipated games of 2012

By Tim Janson     January 11, 2012


Last week I looked at the best games of 2011. This week we look ahead to the top games of 2012 as I’ll be picking the 15 most anticipated games for 2012.  One thing about this list is that most of the games are either sequels or re-boots of popular franchises.  Makes sense since those games have a built in core audience but it’s also great when a new game makes a big splash.
Playstation Vita will feature Netflix
Netflix support is coming to the PlayStation Vita. The announcement was made during Sony's Consumer Electronics Show press conference.  Details on Netflix were scant, not that there is a great deal to know. And it’s expected that Netflix is working to have an app ready for the Vita's launch on February 22.   Netflix joins the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and Foursquare as online-centric third-party apps available on the device.
Diablo III coming February III?
A display in a Rochester , MN Best Buy Store has touted that Diablo III will be released on February 1.  BestBuy.com confirms the date although Blizzard has yet to confirm the official date.  The store has since taken down the display but that may be because the geniuses who made the display spelled February as “Feburary”. 
Plans for next Playstation 4 and XBox Successor to be revealed at E3
It’s important to note for you PS3 and 360 owners that these are just PLANS not announce dates.  It’s unlikely will see either system until 2013 at the soonest and possibly even 2014 for the Playstation 4.  However the ball is rolling on both next-gen systems.  The odds of a 2012 launch for the next Xbox's don’t seem likely especially given that during Black Friday week, the system enjoyed its biggest sales week ever with almost a million units sold in the U.S. alone.  This year's E3 is set to take place June 5-7 in Los Angeles .
Ubisoft Announces release date for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier will launch in North America on May 22, 2012 and in Europe on May 24, 2012.  The game will be available for the Xbox 360, the  PlayStation 3 and Windows PC at a later date. A multiplayer beta will be available in April for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
“Ubisoft prides itself on creating some of the most compelling and innovative experiences in digital entertainment,” said Adrian Lacey, IP development director at Ubisoft Studios France. “Today we are feature complete in our multi-player, single-player and four-player co-op campaign modes. We have made the decision to move the date in order to ensure that all these ingredients are pushed to the highest level and provide a truly unique shooter experience. The Ghost Recon franchise is known for setting the standard of high definition gaming and we believe the extra couple of months will allow us to reach that goal. We would like to thank all Ghost Recon fans for their patience and look forward to unveiling some exciting new elements in the coming weeks.”
New Content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare® 3 blazes into 2012 with the debut of all-new multiplayer maps Liberation and Piazza, the front line of the Modern Warfare 3 Content Season for Call of Duty Elite, nine consecutive months of epic downloadable content that commences January 24th for Xbox Live users followed by additional platforms at a later time. From January through September, Call of Duty Elite premium members on Xbox LIVE will receive regular updates of all new content totaling at least 20 content drops.
All content drops for Call of Duty Elite premium members will occur once a month, starting in January for Xbox Live users and will continue through the year, ending in September. During the first three months of 2012, Activision will release five different content drops on three occasions in January, February and March, first on Xbox Live, followed by additional platforms at a later time.
The first two Content Drops will be multiplayer maps--also playable in Modern Warfare 3 Survival Mode-that throw combatants into a war-torn Central Park and an Italian seaside village. Liberation is a vast, militarized landscape, ripe for long-range sniper and LMG fire, with mounted turrets on either end that lend power to anyone brave enough to expose themselves in exchange for deadly firepower. Piazza is the idyllic Italian getaway that is anything but, where tight corners and branching pathways pose great risk at every turn. Close-range combat dominates in Piazza, where attacks from behind, above and below are an ever-constant threat.
The third Content Drop will be available for download in mid-February and two additional Content Drops will go live in March, as premium Call of Duty Elite members will receive new content once a month through September. Also in March, the first Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection will be available for purchase by the entire Call of Duty: MW3 player community on Xbox Live.
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater Coming to the 3DS in February
Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. today announced Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3Dwill be released on February 21, 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is a reworked update of the original best-selling PlayStation 2 title, bringing the immersive jungle setting to life using the Nintendo 3DS glasses-free 3D imaging system. KONAMI has also confirmed that the new game will also make use of the new Circle Pad Pro accessory, and has revealed the packshot for the first time.
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is set during the Cold War of the 60s, and sees series hero Snake infiltrating the Soviet jungle to bring back a scientist being held against his will. Starting on the outskirts of a military base, the player must use Snake's stealth skills along with the foliage and shade that the jungle offers as cover to infiltrate unseen. As the game progresses, old faces make unwelcome appearances and a series of terrifying boss characters must be defeated before leading up to a dramatic twist that brings Snake face to face with a key figure from his past.
An exclusive to Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is an all-new camouflage photography system. Within the game, Snake can alter his ensemble to match and blend in with his immediate environment and the possibilities can range from brick-colored fatigues within buildings, to the classic camouflage khakis of the jungle. Users can now take a picture of real-life items and create a camo suit based on them – although the extent of its effectiveness will vary depending on how well your pictures blend with Snake's environment! 
The game also takes full advantage of the split-screen format, enabling easier access to Snake's inventory, which is now located below the main action and also supports gyro synchronization for special actions like balancing on narrow ledges that will draw players further into the world of MGS. Similarly, targeting enemies is now made simpler with the addition of Circle Pad Pro-compatibility, with the second Circle Pad allowing users to target distant foes with ease.
Two things here…these are not in any particular order and for the sake of space I’m only looking at console-based games, not games for the PC.
Twisted Metal (Sony) – One of the great franchises from the early days of the Playstation finally comes to HD as Twisted Metal is bring its chaotic vehicle combat to the PS3 in February complete with 16 player online play!

Street Fighter X Tekken (Capcom) – Two of the most popular fighting game franchises come together in this brawl fest as 30 of the top fighters from Street Fighter and Tekken faceoff against each other. Ryu Vs. Kazuya; Chun-Li Vs. Nina; Dhalism Vs. Yoshimitsu…all the dream matchups are there! Due out in March!

Silent Hill Downpour (Konami) – The 8the installment in the survival horror franchise and the first for the PS3 and Xbox 360 since 2008’s Silent Hill Homecoming. Downpour will be released in the first quarter of 2012.

XCom (2K Games) – The alien invasion franchise has been around for nearly 20 years and it finally gets a much-needed HD reboot in March courtesy of 2K Games. A favorite of mine from years gone by! 

Tomb Raider (Square Enix) – Tomb Raider was one of the reasons I bought my original Playstation. After a bit of a hibernation, a younger, hotter Lara Croft returns in the 3rd quarter of 2012 for more adventures in treasure hunting. 

BioShock Infinite (2K Games) – It was the hit trailer of E3 2011. This time instead of playing underwater you’ll find yourself playing through an incredible city in the air in a steam punk inspired setting.

Halo 4 (Microsoft) – So what game might actually be able to go toe-to-toe with the Call of Duty series for sales supremacy? Well of course its Halo and the 8th installment featuring the return of the Master Chief promises to make it a happy holiday season for gamers when it comes out later this year. 

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games) – This will be the first new title sandbox action crime series since 2008 and the first trailer was just released in November!

The Last of us (Sony) – One of the few games on the list that is not a sequel or a reboot. The trailer for the survival horror game wowed gamers when it was released recently. Hopefully it will live up to the already growing hype. Due out late 2012.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Electronic Arts) – There’s a lot banking on this upcoming RPG. Can it take a bit out of Skyrim’s RPG share? The game’s Executive Designer is Ken Rolston who was the Lead Designer on Elder Scrolls III and IV. Due in February.

Ninja Gaiden III (Tecmo Koei) – While it might be called Ninja Gaiden III it’s actually something like the 11th or 12th game in the franchise depending on whether you count the various collections. It’s the first game for the next gen systems since 2008 and is due in March.

Max Payne 3 (Rockstar Games) – Wow…has it really been 9 years since the last Max Payne game? Well the game has been pushed back for 3 years and hopefully that’s a good thing and Rockstar has this one all set to be a smash hit. The shooting, bullet-time action returns in March!

Borderlands 2 (2K Games) – The sequel to the 2009 smash is coming in September with more guns, more environments, more characters…more of everything that you loved with the first game. We can’t wait! 

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Ubisoft) – The Ghost Recon franchise finally makes its return this May and takes the action into the near-future with the most advanced tech and weapons the series has seen yet. From optical camouflage that render soldiers invisible to the most advanced team tactics and fully customizable weapons. 

Mass Effect 3 (Electronic Arts) – The epic Sci-Fi trilogy concludes this year when Mass Effect 3 comes out in March. Commander Shepard leads the final battle against the alien Reapers in what promises to be a game of the year candidate. 



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Dazzler 1/12/2012 4:52:53 AM

Finally!  I have been waiting for Twisted Metal since I bought the system thinking it was compatable with ps2 games for playing it on ps3.  And I can play the last version I never got also!  I hope it sells well for more versions.  Took long enough...I wonder why?  

jedibanner 1/12/2012 6:15:56 AM

Meh...gald it will be a slow year for me because the only one that seems like a ''Must have'' is the new Tomb Raider.

Anything else is not something I played or enjoyed (other the twisted metal so maybe once it's cheaper I'll look for it) but, glad I will be able to enjoy my games from last year (heck, i'm still in Skyrim and well over 30 hours of play and still nowhere near the end of the story).


Bryzarro 1/12/2012 7:16:50 AM

 Where's the Mass Effect 3 trailer?

This is going to be another great year for gaming.  

Hobbs 1/12/2012 7:31:40 AM

Well it looks like XCOM totally missed the point again. What made the first one so successful was not that it was about aliens as much as it was about game play. It was one the best strategy games I've ever played and with the exception of the 2nd one each sequal has failed to grasp that reality.  Now they are making it a 3rd person shooter...really?  They'll never get it and it will be the reason why it keeps failing.

acidsquall73 1/12/2012 10:51:30 AM

Jedi, I'm over 200 hours and still nowhere near the end ;-)

jedibanner 1/12/2012 12:41:48 PM

oh boy acid....here I though I was maybe halfway through...

raa2001 1/12/2012 7:35:32 PM

 I'm waiting on Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

stonedtodeath 1/13/2012 7:18:06 AM

I'm a big fan of X-Com as well and I liked the turn based/real-time strategy gameplay and still look for good strategy games such as X-Com, the last strategy game I played was on the original X-Box called Gladius.  You ran your own gladitorial school and could buy fighters as well as gain some through your journey.  It was a good turn based strategy game with some RPG facets.  I guess nobody likes this type of game anymore, but if done well it could be entertaining.  Oh well I can still play X-Com apocalypse on my PC, maybe Terror from the Deep.



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