2012 has arrived, and usually a new year means list-o-mania on most websites. And this one is no exception. But rather than looking back on what was, I’m looking forward to what’s lined up for gamers over the coming 12 months. As well as some top quality titles, 2012 sees the release of two new consoles, Nintendo’s latest ornament, the Wii U, and Sony’s potential DS beater, the PSVita. While both should be something to look forward to, it’s the PS3 and 360 that’ll be delivering the goods this year.
There are many games on the horizon, including the interesting looking Silent Hill Downpour, the much delayed I Am Alive, and the Alan Wake American Nightmare which is coming to Xbox Live. Not only that, but the rumour mill has it that we will see a LEGO Lord of the Rings game soon enough (be it the end of this year, or the next), but the following 10 games are what we’re looking forward to in 2012.
10. LEGO Batman 2 (all formats)
The caped crusader returns to deal out some vigilante justice to some bad bricks. This time he’s joined by some of his superhero colleagues from the Justice League and elsewhere. So as well taking control of the LEGO Dark Knight, you’ll be able to save the day as Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern et al. As well as the good guys, there’ll be a host of super villains to wreak havoc with as well, and if the first game is anything to go by, there’ll be plenty of levels to see the bad guys side of the story. There’s no release date yet, but don’t be surprised if we see this tying in with another Bat-related event in the summer.
9. Silent Hill HD Collection (360/PS3)
Dare you return to Silent Hill? Personally that’s a pretty scary thought. These games are terrifying! And now they’ve had an upgrade, with not only a lovely coating of High Definition, but the sound has been re-recorded from the ground up as well some visual improvements, too. The collection contains Silent Hill 2 & 3, but not The Room, which is no big loss, as it was quite a poor title next to its predecessors. However, Silent Hill 2 & 3 are perfect examples of the survival horror genre done right. If you’ve not played these yet, now is your chance as Silent Hill HD Collection is released on 24th January.
8. Lollipop Chainsaw (360/PS3)
From the wonderful, crazy, genius that is Suda 51, comes this nuts zombie hack n slash. The story is your conventional tale of a cheerleader who comes from a family of zombie slayers, who is trying to save the school – San Romero High (see what they did there?) – from a band of rock n roll zombies. Alongside her disembodied head of a boyfriend. It really is too bizarre for words, but on the strength of the previews seen so far, it’s shaping up to be the cult classic of 2012. While there’s no release date set, it will be released sometime in the next 12 months.
7. The Darkness II (360/PS3)
Jackie Estacado is back in the sequel to cult hit, The Darkness. Jackie is now Don following on from the result of the first game, and after an attempt on his life, a gang war has broken out, which will lead Jackie to face an ancient order known as the Brotherhood, who want to harness the power of the Darkness for themselves. As well as the serpent assisted gangsters main story, The Darkness II has a co-op mode which sees players take control of other characters in a story that runs parallel to that of the main single player mode. Much like a lot of this years titkes, we won’t have to wait long to see it as it hits stores the end of February.
6. Resident Evil:OperationRaccoonCity(360/PS3)
Set in the time period of Resident Evil 2, ORC is a squad based shooter, where you take control of Umbrella’s mercenaries, as you try and clean up the mess in Raccoon. As well as the undead and the usual BOW’s you come to expect from the RE series, this time you’ll be facing the army as well. Not only that, you’ll meet several of the well known characters from the franchise, and get to decide their fate. While it’s not the scary, slow paced survival horror we’re used to from Capcom’s zombie games, it is a fantastically frantic paced shoot ‘em-up that we hope will give the Left 4 Dead games a run for their money. Resident Evil ORC is released towards the end of March.
5. Metro: Last Light (360/PS3/PC/WiiU)
Sequel to the bastard hard supernatural post-apocalyptic shooter, Last Light revisits the metro systems ofMoscow. Boasting more of the Fantastic visuals that graced cult hit Metro 2033, Last Light sees that the survivors are still stuck underground, with the separatist cults still in place, but this time there is talk of the nuclear winter beginning to thaw and the sun being visible. The air is still un-breathable, however, so the use of gas masks is still required. The game is looking as bleak as the original, and with any luck, it will be just as tense and scary. Other than the Demon’s/Dark Souls games, Metro 2033 is probably one of the most difficult games of this generation, so here’s hoping Last Light puts up quite a challenge, too.
4. Catherine (360/PS3)
Regular readers of HCF’s gaming section will know that we’re just a little bit excited about this one. Yes, the rest of the world have had this game for sometime now, but thanks to Deep Silver, it won’t be long before we can get our hands on Catherine. The puzzle/adventure/erotic thriller(?), is out in February, so there’s not long at all before we can follow Vincent on his mind-bending journey through the world of Catherine.
3. Resident Evil Revelations
Continuing on from the extremely lacklustre Resident Evil 5, Revelations sees Jill Valentine dispatched to an abandoned cruise liner and is met with some unusual resistance. Having had a hands on with this a few months ago myself, I can certainly say this is going to be a return to form. It may be a hand held title but it manages to keep the creepy atmosphere and scares that we used to see in the console versions. And with the introduction of the right analogue stick add-on which is bundled with game at now extra price, it should make for a better experience. This game hits shelves at the end of January so there really isn’t long to wait.
2. GTA V (360/PS3/PC)
Rockstar are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to releasing information on their forthcoming games, particularly so when it comes to a huge franchise like this one. All we know about it so far is that we’re going back to San Andreas. I for one can’t wait to cycle up a mountain just to jump off the top again. The all terrain experience is something that GTA IV sadly lacked, and while it’s no means a bad game, it would have certainly benefited from what we’re going to see in this next instalment. We’ll no doubt see this released at the tail end of 2012.
1. Aliens Colonial Marines (360/PS3/PC/WiiU)
Another 1st Quarter release, the much delayed Colonial Marines finally sees the light of day! Following on from the events of James Cameron’s Aliens, a team is sent to find out what went on. Obviously things don’t go well and the Xenomorph aren’t completely wiped out. What I’m looking forward to most is the online multiplayer co-op. Teaming up with some friends to become the ultimate badasses is a prospect that really whets the appetite. With Gearbox on development duties, here’s hoping its more Borderlands than Duke Nukem Forever.
As always, here at HCF we aim to bring you as much info as we can in the run up to release, so keep an eye out for these titles and more throughout 2012.