Ten more months of 2012 to choose from. Twisted Metal would have definitely been on my list had I written this before its release, but I digress. It may not have as many triple AAA titles as 2011, but 2012 is looking like a year to celebrate, for gamers. With the ever popular and annual Spike Video Game Awards, much talk about the best game of 2012 is a little down the road. Enough fuss, let’s begin the list:
Although I started with Mass Effect 2, and will perhaps not get the full experience of the trilogy (as players import their save games throughout the series), Mass Effect 3 will undoubtedly be one of the best games of 2012. The sheer amount of lore and storytelling in the Mass Effect universe is unmatched. If the main quest isn’t enough, players can download the abundant and excellent DLC that Bioware have crafted. The choices you make as Commander Shepard are carried out in true trilogy style and are all yours to decide. So the only person you can blame for making mindless decisions in the first Mass Effect back in 2007 that now influence the outcome of Mass Effect 3, is yourself.
As I observed the E3 trailer, the one thing I kept thinking over and over was, “Uncharted, meet your maker.” Tomb Raider is kind of the game that started the whole adventurer thing. I wasn’t much of a fan of the older generation of Tomb Raider games, but the popularity of the Uncharted series certainly helps elevate my anticipation for Lara Croft’s emphatic return. Not much is known at all about the title, but if the gameplay seen is the trailer is accurate and consistent, and developer Crystal Dynamics implements a strong and emotional story, then Nathan Drake should definitely be worried.
3. The Last Guardian
However many times it is delayed and however many times important figures within The Last Guardian development team are fired, I will not give up my anticipation for the sequel to one of the best games of the last generation, Shadow of the Colossus. It actually makes my anticipation that much more intense. The Last Guardian will probably be the next game plagued by prolonged development as we all saw with Duke Nukem Forever, but the quality of its predecessor is what is keeping me interested in the series. Shadow of the Colossus is unlike any other game out there. Following the story of a man named Wander as he travels the forbidden land to do battle with 16 massively enormous bosses in order to save the life of a girl named Mono; this game was more than well received. Many have admitted their emotional response and connection to the story of Shadow of the Colossus, evoking emotions that most films and books cannot. It’s Metacritic score of 91% tells all. Hopefully The Last Guardian lives up to expectations.
2. The Last of Us
In my opinion, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is far and away the best game of 2011. Sorry, the word ‘game’ doesn’t really describe Uncharted 3. It’s more… the best single player experience on any console, delivering insane set pieces, amazing dialogue, and characterization to help you fall in love with the cast. What Naughty Dog has done is simple enough; perfect interactive story-telling and throw in the best graphics and tech the PS3 has ever seen. If Naughty Dog is able to replicate that with The Last of Us, well there’s no wonder I’m anticipating it. And you should be too.
1. Halo 4
Halo: Single-handedly launched the original Xbox, as well as multiplayer gaming with the release of Halo 2 on Xbox Live. It also refined FPS controls on console and introduced popular gaming mechanics such as regenerative health and a restriction on the amount of weapons a player could store. But all of that is second rate. Halo Combat Evolved featured a campaign that took you from running away from an unknown enemy on an frigate as a mindless Spartan to throwing you onto the front lines of battle and introducing you to Halo, a ring-shaped weapon developed by the ancient Forerunners. Halo 4 continues the story of Halo 3, as the Master Chief finds himself in a little bit of a fix. The story of the Halo series is deep, rich, and most importantly, a worthwhile time for the player. Each game leaves the fans with a sense of mystery and awe. If you really want the full experience, the novels explain much of the side plots initially introduced in the game. Do not cast off Halo as an online FPS clone. Instead, hit ‘Campaign’ and prepare to be wowed.
Well those are my picks, how about yours? What games are you drooling over in 2012? Drop a line below!