On The 2012 Horizon
Christmas is less than a week away, people have stuck their gaming gifts under the tree, and we are still playing through the glut of games that came out during 2011. The only logical question to ask is “So, what are you going to play next?” The crazy amount of awesome games we all got to experience this year was pretty mind-blowing. There was so much to choose from and play that there are still things that I haven’t had the chance to tinker with, but we as gamers are always looking for the next best new thing. So I thought now is a great time to look at what the industry has in store for us for 2012 by giving you our “What, do you think money grows on trees? Ok here is my money most anticipated 2012 games list”.
First up is a game that intrigued lots of people back when it was announced in 2010 and really got a lot of buzz going after its trailer at the 2011 VGA’s. This game is Bioshock Infinite, set in the dystopian floating city of Columbia where raging factions are fighting for control. The protagonist Booker Dewitt and his newly found sidekick Elizabeth are stuck in the middle and need each other to survive. The game has a number of good things going for it, beautiful graphics, engaging fast-paced gameplay and lots of new interesting systems going on at the same time. The best thing it has is Ken Levine, he has been making thought provoking games since System Shock and with him again behind the helm of the Bioshock universe, it can mean nothing but good things for Infinite.
Next up is Ghost Recon:Future Soldier. Now I’m sure someone just looked at their screen and gave this article the side-eye. I can understand why, they had a pre-alpha showing and a Kinect demo that left a lot to be desired; BUT I can say with the latest couple of videos Ubisoft has shown they might have a really awesome tactical team-based, third-person shooter on their hands. The game seems to have all the cover-to-cover, flank your opponent gameplay plus all the tech you would want from a game based in the not-too-distant future. There was an awesome article on Popular Mechanics about some of the tech in the game. Check it out here.
A game that I think will be on people’s radars is pretty awesome because it’s both a re-imagining and a reboot of a popular decade long franchise. Tomb Raider with a totally new and updated lifelike graphic style, new gameplay elements like broken bones affecting movement and using scavenger survival tactics will hopefully take the game in a totally new direction. The one glaring issue for most after watching the trailer was all the QTE’s. Trust me, although I love Heavy Rain I hope this game is not super QTE heavy.
Grand Theft Auto V is hopefully coming out this year as well. Little is known about it besides the fact that you are goin’ back to Cali. It looks like they have made big strides using bits and pieces of the GTA IV and L.A. Noire engines. For open world gamers this might be all you need in 2012.
Last but not least is my most anticipated/wanted game. It’s something that for me and many others seemed to have come out of nowhere and has captured my imagination; this game is called Journey. From ThatGameCompany creators of Flow and Flower, this game is just honestly one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen. I usually don’t heap praise like that upon games unless it deserves it and this totally does. The amazing use of scale, desolateness, subtle nuanced music and minimalist gameplay elements combine to make what I hope is a huge success for those developers. I hope it’s a success because it would prove that games that don’t require you to be a guns-blazing meathead can prosper in today’s gaming market. The game drops you into a world with no direction but shows you a huge beacon in the far off distance. It uses human intuition as a gameplay mechanic to a certain extent–you see things and you go and explore them. By exploring you gain fabric to extend your scarf, the longer you’ve been playing, the longer your scarf will grow and obtaining fabric also lets you open up new areas to explore.
The scarf mechanic really becomes interesting in terms of how multiplayer works. The trick is that you can’t pick who you play with; you will always play with strangers and that is the best part. You will have to use “body language” and audible chirps to coordinate how to progress during the game. Also you can’t start a game with someone, there are no lobbies so if you come across another person you can decide to follow or go it alone. This provides the player the chance to have a totally different experience every time you play. After playing the beta earlier in the year and seeing the gorgeous vistas, this has to be at the top of my list for next year.
There are also some honorable mentions that I won’t go into detail about now but will later when more information is released. Some of them are The Last of Us, The PSVITA games Sound Scapes and The Escape Plan. These are just a taste of the games that will be or should be released this year and should provide massive amounts of gaming goodness for all of us. If there are any games that you think I might have missed or want us to cover for your list, please drop us a line or shout it out in the comments below.