Big name games for 2012
What games you should be looking out for this year
Connor McCann
Class of 2012

The year 2011 was a fairly successful year quality-wise for video games, but 2012 should prove to be equally as impressive with the following few games representing a large portion of what people will be playing. Developers of these games include: BioWare, Rockstar, Blizzard Entertainment, Gearbox Software and Irrational Games. I apologize for most of these being shooters, but that just seems to be what people want. So when you’re done playing Skyrim, maybe give a few of these a shot? They’ll probably be in the bargain bin by then anyway.

 

GTA V

—Hopefully 2012—

GTA V has been announced. It will take place in Los Santos – from GTA San Andreas – and the area around it. It will probably be coming out in 2012. That’s all we know, and it seems like that’s all we will know for a little while. Sorry!

Borderlands 2

—June 30th, 2012 —

Possibly my most anticipated game of 2012, Borderlands 2 will pick up five years after the ending of the first Borderlands. It will stick close to the feel of the first Borderlands as a RPG/Shooter combo with tweaks here and there to make the overall experience more enjoyable. However, if you have friends and haven’t played the first Borderlands, fix that. Weapon generation, AI, menus and mission variation have all been directly affected by these tweaks, seemingly for the better. The original cast of Borderlands will be present, but not playable. Instead, four new characters will be introduced as player characters. So far, two have been identified: the “Gunzerker” and a siren named “Maya.” Not much is known about Maya, but Salvador, the Gunzerker, has the special ability to wield two weapons at once for a short period of time − similar to the Brick’s berserk rage from the first Borderlands. Two guns at once sounded a little silly to me at first, but seeing some gameplay videos have converted me to be a believer. Co-operative play, one of the first Borderlands’ best qualities, will obviously be kept and improved upon with drop-in/drop-out capability. If you never played the first Borderlands, now would be a good time to pick it up − plus the downloadable content (DLC) − for a nice, long, uninterrupted play through. If you’ve got some friends, you’ll all enjoy the lighthearted, hilarious story and probably be done with it by the time Borderlands 2 comes out. If it follows the first game, you can also expect awesome DLC that will be well worth the money.

Diablo 3

—Early 2012—

Diablo 3 is coming out. This means one of the following scenarios has happened: World of Warcraft’s subscriber base has dropped below the 10 million mark (that’s 10,000,000 people at $15 a month per person, so…you do the math), or Blizzard has decided to make tons of money again. Regardless of their reasons, Blizzard’s Diablo series is a little dusty with the last full installment coming out in 1998, followed by substantial DLC in 2001. Some of us might remember playing it behind our parents back at the mercy of our older siblings, other might have never heard of it. Diablo is known for its classic isometric hack and slash sort of gameplay with randomly generated maps and seemingly infinite types of weapons, armor and items. Even with a 14-year hiatus, Diablo 3 seems to be sticking rather close to the classic design of five classes, layout and design to that of Diablo 2, and online play (with player versus player combat) via Battle.net. One very interesting development is the “Auction House.” One part of the auction house deals with spending in-game gold to buy items from other players. The more intriguing part of the auction house involves players spending real-world money on items. As stupid as that sounds, it will probably be very active. Even if Diablo 3 doesn’t show that many huge changes, I still plan on playing it for old time’s sake (and the secret cow level).

Bioshock Infinite

—Q2 2012—

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Bioshock series. From the moment I heard of the first one, I was hooked − old guns, underwater cities, Bathyspheres? Count me in! Bioshock 1 and 2 both proved to be wonderful games with what I thought were incredible stories for an action/shooter kind of game. Not only that, they also have just the right amount of RPG elements to tailor your character to how you want to play.  What I really like about Bioshock Infinite is that Irrational Games realizes that they’ve kind of over-stayed their welcome at Rapture, and it was time to find a new venue. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rapture was a really neat and creepy place for Bioshock, but it was getting a touch old after two games. Irrational Games has done to Bioshock what I wish Ubisoft would do with Assassin’s Creed, but I won’t get into that. If you haven’t seen, Bioshock Infinite will be taking place in an “air-city” called Columbia. It’s equally as, forgive me, “steampunky” as Rapture, and should give the game a breath of fresh air as far as environment is concerned, showing no ties to the worlds of Bioshocks 1 and 2. To follow that change from the first two installments, the player will have a friend named Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite! A friend! In a survival horror game? What’s next? Community Service missions in Grand Theft Auto? Ken Levine, the head designer, wanted to specifically state that it will not be like a really long escort mission. This Elizabeth character will be able to hold her own and is actually the cause of the strife that is happening in Columbia. So Bioshock seems like it will keep its immensely entertaining gameplay, but will thankfully be introducing us to a completely new environment while keeping its retro-futuristic feel.

Resident Evil 6

—November 20th, 2012—

I’m going to go ahead and say the Resident Evil series is probably the most famous out of any of the games listed here, rivaled only by the Grand Theft Auto series. It’s got its own series of movies in addition to multitudes of games across many years. Resident Evil 6 was only just officially announced recently, but Capcom has already given us a synopsis of exactly what will be going on in the sixth installment of the series. It has been 10 years since Raccoon City bit the dust, and we will be seeing both Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield again. I’ve been playing the Resident Evil series since number three, and must admit that 4 and 5 were both really incredible. One could say these games define the “survival horror” series. Resident Evil 4 was the first to ditch the static camera views and really pushed the whole series to a new level with Leon Kennedy as the main character. Resident Evil 5 continued the series with another high quality game starring Chris Redfield, and introduced a fully co-operative story. Resident Evil 6 will hopefully be as good, and really it should be with a 600 person development team. Capcom is claiming that the sixth game will do wonders for the series. Does he mean it will be like the difference between the third and fourth games? Who knows. Right now, all we can be sure of is that it will probably be amazing and well worth the wait.

Mass Effect 3

—March 6th, 2012—

The third and final game of the Mass Effect trilogy will be in stores in less than a month. While not something I really got into, Mass Effect has garnered a huge following for its well-known, captivating story and exciting game play. Every Mass Effect game will definitely offer you plenty of hours of play time and an engaging, highly customizable story. 

I played the first Mass Effect and put a fair amount of hours into it, but it never really kept my interest enough to finish it. However, even though it may not be my cup of tea, I will not even begin to argue that they are not incredible, artfully crafted video games that deserve every bit of praise they get from fans. 

For Mass Effect 3, the combat system claims to have been re-worked to be more fluid and intuitive versus that of the earlier games. BioWare has really worked hard to make Mass Effect 3 continue the life of Commander Shepard from the previous games. If you have save files from the previous games, Mass Effect 3 will read these save files and edit the game to follow your decisions from the previous games.