The Most Anticipated Games of 2012

You may have thought that 2012 might take it easy following 2011's massive release list. You may have thought your wallet would catch a break this year after the exhaustion it suffered at the hands of retail employees last year. You may have— LISTEN UP! YOU THOUGHT WRONG! Here are 2012's Most Anticipated Games. That is, if the world doesn't end before we get to play them.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us was one of the most exciting titles to be announced at this past Spike TV Video Game awards. And in a time where new IPs are few and far between, it’s a breath of fresh air… or maybe not. The game focuses on a fungus with lethal, mind-controlling spores that has brought humanity as we know it to an end. Naughty Dog is at the helm, so expect a story-driven, cinematic take on a post-apocalyptic world with a heavy focus on character development and the emotional reaction to being faced with seemingly insurmountable adversity. [Release Date: Q4 2012/Q1 2013]

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is the most recognizable female in video games, but for all of the wrong reasons. This new Tomb Raider drops the large-breasted sex symbol image in favor of a weak, desperate, broken Lara. Throughout the tale, you’ll watch as she goes from helpless to hero, becoming the icon she deserves to be. [Release Date: Q3 2012]

The Last Guardian

It’s a tough call adding The Last Guardian to this list. It was actually on last year’s list but, obviously, never made it to release. It didn’t even show up at any of the year’s industry events. That’s never a good sign. And after hearing about many of the key members of the Team ICO studio parting ways with the project, things look grim. Keeping The Last Guardian on our most anticipated list keeps faith alive, but for how long? [Release Date: Hope?]

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the leader of the pack of PlayStation Vita launch titles due next month. Believe it or not, this dog has more tricks than its PS3 counterpart. It looks the part, too. After playing through the full game, I can say with confidence: Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the first proof that console-quality titles are possible on handheld systems. [Release Date: February 22, 2012]

Street Fighter X Tekken

Either of these two venerable fighting franchises alone demand anticipation. Putting them together is a testosterone-filled overload of kicks, punches, and special moves. Each series plays and feels so different from one another, it’s going to be interesting to see how any sort of balance is struck, without becoming too unfamiliar for fans of either side. [Release Date: March 6, 2012]

Halo 4

Many of the titles on this list speak for themselves, but none more than Halo 4. Aside from the simple fact that this IS Halo, knowing that Bungie is out and 343 Industries is in have expectations running high, but nervously so. They’ve got some big shoes to fill, and we can’t wait to see how they fill them. [Release Date: Holiday 2012]

DmC: Devil May Cry

Reboots seem to be a dime a dozen now, but none have evoked the same amount of emotion from fans as DmC. Although the reaction hasn’t been quite so pleasant for Ninja Theory’s reimagining of emo Dante, they deserve a chance to shine. So cut the shit with the death threatsanything’s got to be better than Devil May Cry 4, right? [Release Date: TBA 2012]

Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Final Fantasy Versus XIII has a seat right next to The Last Guardian as a game we almost feel like we’ll never see. It’s just been too little for too long to have much faith in this game ever seeing the light of day. But then, like a debrillator shock to a cold, flat-lined heart, Yoshinori Kitase brings it up on his own and mentioned that “people will be excited” and gets our blood pumping again. Square Enix is but a former shell of the company it used to be, but anyone who truly considered themselves a Final Fantasy fan at any given time will smile at even the slightest glimmer of hope. Now it’s up to Squeenix Square Enix to deliver on that promise of excitement. That, or hurry up and move on and let the game—and our anticipationdie. [Release Date: TBA 2010]

Bioshock Infinite

With Irrational Games, you know there’s something special being created right before your eyes. Bioshock Infinite’s showing at E3 2011 was particularly chock full of buzzworthy moments where your partner Elizabeth opens up inter-dimensional holes to other worlds and combines her powers with yours to set up electrifying gameplay moments. But the most compelling element of Bioshock Infinite will surely be the story. Let's just hope it makes the date in 2012. [Release Date: TBA 2012]

 

 

GTA V

It’s Grand Theft Auto V, a return to Los Santos and the surrounding region, and another story from Rockstar Games. When it’s all said and done, we’ll all be playing the game and exploring the vast, detailed, living world from Rockstar North. There’s no arguing that. What makes it one of the most aniticipated games of 2012? There’s so much we don’t know! [Release Date: TBA 2012]

Sound Shapes

No other game has captured as much attention from the GameRevolution staff on the upcoming PlayStation Vita. Whether we’re creating compelling platforming levels or a couple of awesome tunes, Sound Shapes looks to be the only game you need to take with you on the go. With a portable platform, a piece of software that makes you want to haul the extra hardware around with is a must-have. Let’s just hope Sound Shapes lands sooner rather than later. [Release Date: TBA 2012]

Mass Effect 3

The culmination of two games, two great conflicts in Bioware’s future-space opera, will come to an end in the trilogy’s finale, Mass Effect 3. Whether you’ve been living the life as Shepard since the first Mass Effect or you picked up the saga with Mass Effect 2 on PS3, the choices you’ve made will all be coming to a head in March. Did you save the Rachni queen? Is Wrex still alive? Who did you romance in the previous Mass Effects? Did you actually die in Mass Effect 2? It’s time to think back because the future will be exploiting all of those experiences to bring the war to the Reapers home. [Release Date: March 6, 2012]

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

The revelation that the Hideo Kojima would have canceled the title altogether had us worried, but knowing that Platinum Games is at the wheel gives hope to anyone who’s wanted to slice and dice enemies to meaty little chucks. Yes, Raiden is now playing the lead and he’s not exactly the heavily favored Metal Gear Solid character, but the ninja-robot aesthetic plays right into Platinum Games’ strengths. [Release Date: TBA 2012]

South Park: The Game

It’s been a while since we turned yellow snow against our fellow man in South Park’s 64-era outing. A few minigame collections and downloadable titles later, the world finds itself ready for another full-fledged romp with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman. Easily the most exciting part of the game’s announcement is that Matt and Trey are working closely with developers Obsidian, and it certainly shows in the game’s art style. [Release Date: Q3/Q4 2012]

Max Payne 3

The original Max Payne titles were some of the most cinematic games of their time. With everything Rockstar Games has learned from their Grand Theft Auto titles, Red Dead Redemption, and L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3’s campaign will surely be one of the most exciting and involving this year. If you’re wondering what 2012’s summer release schedule is like, don’t worry about it. You’ll probably still be playing Max Payne 3’s multiplayer. [Release Date: March 6, 2012]

Hitman: Absolution

If Hitman: Absolution’s E3 demo is anything to go by, you’ll want to pay attention to the advances IO Interactive have made in their long-running series of assassination contracts. In the released gameplay we’ve seen, Agent 47 dispatched police men with environmental hazards, statues, guns, and even a bong. He’s hidden in plain sight thanks to a dead cop’s body and he’s disappeared into a crowded train platform. When Hitman’s next outing is released, we’ll have plenty to absolve by the end. [Release Date: Q3/Q4 2012]

Borderlands 2

More guns? More co-op? More claptrap? More– you get the idea. Borderlands 2 is just around the corner and it’s bringing with it… more! The best part? Actual variation from environment to environment. In a demo at PAX Prime last year, convention-goers got to see three different environments, two new characters, a ton of new guns, and even an old friend. Gearbox knows what the fans want and Borderlands 2 will surely please anyone who got lost on Pandora the first time around. [Release Date: September 1, 2012 (Tentative)]