2012 has actually been a quiet year for gaming; it seems that publishers around the world seemed to have held back all their block-buster titles to maximise their titles’ releases. With a blockbuster title releasing every month from now to December, the second half of 2012 is definitely going to be a busy one. So what games should you be excited about? Read on and find out.
5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 | August 18
Nintendo’s powerhouse franchise is back in an instalment already released in Japan. Available on 3DS and granting us more of the side-scrolling action that we all know and love, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is looking to return to its roots while bringing that extra kick of challenge.
With various new power-ups such as the Golden Suit and the ability to utilise Star Combos for more points, New Super Mario Bros 2, and its shiny fresh coat of paint that Nintendo always seem to be able to provide, is shaping up to be the best hand-held title of 2012 and one of the best games in general.
And, well, Princess Peach loves the bling. That’s why she leaves for Bowser. Maybe all these coins will make her stay.
4. Guild Wars 2 | August 28
We’ve talked about Guild Wars 2 here at MMGN before, but that doesn’t make us any less excited for the title. ArenaNet’s latest MMORPG blockbuster and sequel to the ever-popular Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 sounds, looks and feels like it will the killer MMORPG everyone is waiting for.
Releasing in just a few weeks, and bringing hundreds of hours of content to explore, enjoy, craft and destroy, the world of Guild Wars 2 will become home to what will probably be millions of gamers everywhere. What makes us so excited about it is what it does differently.
Gone are the days of clicking to attack a mob and then press nothing but the sporadic hotkey; ArenaNet decided that was no fun and made combat a fluid, fast and enjoyable experience that makes you rely on reaction times and field combos for victory. With many different modes to explore, appeasing to every sort of player, Guild Wars 2 is a new set of challenges and a much-needed breath of fresh-air in the MMORPG world.
Plus, dragons are pretty cool. Especially when there’s several dozen of you trying to take him down.
3. Assassin's Creed III | October 31
Immediately after the release of Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft decided to branch the Assassin’s Creed development team into two paths: the first path, and one most paid attention to, would continue the storyline of Ezio Auditore da Firenze through several more games (all of which have been released). The second team, and the one that most didn’t even know existed, were to immediately begin work on Assassin’s Creed III and bring about the “end” of the Desmond Miles storyline.
Assassin’s Creed III takes place in a setting different from the traditional Europa – taking place in Colonial America, you control a half-Native American man named Connor Kenway and play through his story and involvement in the American Civil War.
Touting a brand-new engine allowing you to climb more things (and fall ever-more spectacularly to your death) as well as a completely different setting with a cast of new and unique weapons and way to slaughter, assassinate and abuse hundreds of innocent people, Assassin’s Creed III will be one of the more-loved titles of 2012 and for good reason: it will be one of the better ones.
That’s assuming you like being an assassin. And of course you do, they’re ninjas with white hoods.
2. Borderlands 2 | September 21
Sequel to the 2009 smash hit Borderlands by Gearbox Software, Borderlands 2 is the ever-larger, ever-more-impressive sequel running hot from the success of its predecessor. Allowing you to pick one of four characters – a Gunzerker named Salvador, a Maya, who resembles a Siren but has a cool ability called Phazelock, a turret-using lad named Axton and an assassin named Zer0 who everyone will pick – the game will place you in an even-larger world so you can run around, shoot things and loot until your heart is wholly content.
Taking place on the planet Pandora, Borderlands 2 takes place 5 years after the first game, where someone has taken over the world. While not the most promising story-line, the continuation combined with the gameplay elements give it that little pizazz that all the fans know and love deeply in their hearts.
Borderlands 2 contains smarter, more numerous enemies, a more intelligent combat system (shooting someone in the leg will make them unable to walk), dynamic quests and a world much, much larger than the first, making for an exciting sandbox title that everyone at the MMGN office will fight over.
I really just want to play as Zer0 and pretend I’m 12 again.
1. Dishonored | October 11
One of the first brand-new pieces of intellectual pieces of property that anyone has paid attention to (that has made the light of day), Dishonored is a gritty, steampunk, stealth-based, first-person action game where you play the role of a legendary assassin named Corvo who did some bad things, got framed for even worse things, and is out for revenge.
The game is very open-ended and there is no set way to complete a mission. You can walk in and kill everyone, you can sneak past everyone… or you can possess a bunch of rats and scare everyone. The game looks as if it’s a dirty love-child of Skyrim and the Thief series of games, which is in no-way a bad thing at all for me.
The main “hook” of the game, however, is the world. At the end of every mission and stage, the world is modified depending on what or what you didn’t do. Kill a bunch of guards? Someone who didn’t approve of you doing that could rat you out. Need a distraction? Possess a small, plagued animal and run through the town square – that will do the trick.
While it’s coming out late this year, it definitely isn’t coming soon enough. When this hits the office, I’m going into hibernation for a month.
By Thomas Robinson