Whilst the StickTwiddlers team sat around bloated from Xmas turkey, donning Xmas hats at a jaunty angle and drinking mulled wine by the bucket load, the conversation turned from ‘who could fit the most Ferrero Rocher’s in their mouth’ to what titles we were looking forward to most in 2012.
Phil’s Choice: Aliens: Colonial Marines
SEGA have certainly had a great 2011 with a good amount of titles coming from the publisher from both their internal and external development studios. The ones that stood out the most for me have been Sonic Generations, Renegade Ops, Football Manager 2012 and the very bold Rise of Nightmares on Kinect. However they look to be taking it a step further in 2012 with my most anticipated title, Aliens: Colonial Marines, a true sequel to the films.
If you have been following our coverage then you will know just about everything there is to know about this title and why I highly anticipate its release.
Developed by Gearbox Software, it already has an AAA development team behind it, and has been in development for a long while now. The date has been put back a few times and rumours flew about that it was canned but after seeing gameplay footage, the game really is looking to be one of the best titles in the franchise, and it is based on the same intense action as the film, Aliens.
From what we’ve seen, the team seem to have got the atmosphere of the game spot on and the waves of aliens coming from everywhere is more than enough to make you shit your space pants. Not to mention the drop in/drop out 4 player squad action for even more fun.
Come 2012, I’ll be grabbing my pulse rifle and spraying green acid everywhere yet again.
Jamie’s Choice: Halo 4
In 2001, the world of first person shooters was forever changed by the arrival of Master Chief. In 2012, we will once more take control of the armoured legend that is John 117 and I simply cannot wait.
My fanboy status is not the only reason that Halo 4 is my pick for 2012, however as part of the reason I so eagerly await it’s release is fear.
Fear for what 343 Industries might do to my series. They’ve done sterling work on Anniversary, it’s true, as we saw earlier this year, but this is their first brand new Halo game and I am more than a little nervous.
Early reports say Halo 4 will focus on the Forerunners, an “ancient evil” and quite possibly a “rampant” Cortana, heavily affected by years of extended run time. Graphically, 343 are said to be opting for a more mature feel, but still heavily rooted in the traditional Halo style.
These whisperings, these snatches of information, are just enough to keep me salivating and wondering about the future of Halo. 2012 is most definitely going to be a good year for Spartan fans. We do know one thing for certain, Halo 4 will be released for the X360 and not held back for the next generation of consoles.
By the way, if you’re wondering how they can possibly make a Halo 4 because Chief died, get the hell away from me and complete Halo 3 on Legendary. (Yup, someone has actually asked me this)
Ben’s Choice: Mass Effect 3
I’m sure that my choice will come as no surprise to many of you. Mass Effect was one of the first titles I picked up for the X360 and I’ve been hooked on the series ever since.
Bioware consistently produce some incredible RPG titles such as Jade Empire and Neverwinter Nights/Baldurs Gate, and each of their titles have a great core storytelling component but are always willing to try something new with each new game.
Mass Effect 3 is going to be no exception with the inclusion of multiplayer, a controversial choice amongst the fans but one that certainly looks like it’s going to pay off. It’s also the first Mass Effect title to include a default female Shepard character as voted on by Mass Effect fans and Kinect voice control, allowing players to actually say the dialogue choices made available and much, much more interestingly, how it plays a part in combat.
Mass Effect 3 will bring the story to a close as the Reapers cause destruction across the galaxy as Shepard tries to save it, choosing which planets are saved, which are lost and who you make your alliances with.
I have no doubts that this will be one of the greatest ends to a gaming trilogy of all time.
Micster’s Choice: The Darkness 2
When I originally got my PS3, I already had in mind what I’d do which was download an amass of demos from every store so I could try everything. I remember making my US account for the Stranglehold demo and it was from that I tried the first Darkness.
The highly underrated comic book adaptation was dark, depressing, violent and amazing. The Darkness, for those who haven’t played it, revolves around a mobster named Jackie who dies but is bought back by The Darkness which manifests itself as liquorice twizzlers coming out of his shoulders. These twizzlers are two giant eels which can creep, crawl and bite the necks off of endless New Yorkers.
The game has a gloriously twisted end which was open for a sequel and now, five years on, the game is receiving said sequel.
With vastly improved graphics, the demonic head eating will look gorier than ever, but the game wont just be single player anymore and will feature co-op. Whilst the first game did have multiplayer, it was one of those games which had multiplayer for the sake of it and was never played by anyone.
Eating your way through the whole of Gothic New York will be even more fun with the two of you and I can’t wait for when The Darkness 2 lands next Feb.
Indra’s Choice: Tomb Raider
In 1996 a game came out that made a huge impact on the gaming world. That game was Tomb Raider.
Since then over 30 million Tomb Raider games have been sold worldwide featuring one of the most recognised video game characters ever created and in 2012, the series will see a new game added to its ranks.
The new game, simply titled ‘Tomb Raider’, “delivers an intense and gritty story into the origins of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor.”
Details are still quite few and far between at this point in time, but what I have seen so far has intrigued me. This Lara is a much more believable character, far more human and less indestructible.
The trailer has her shipwrecked after a storm, with only herself and what she can salvage from wreckage. Hurt, frightened and alone she must go on.
The screenshots and E3 demo footage that have been released show caves of skulls and primitive looking native type characters attacking Lara and a large suspended cage. I feel that the epic fights, nervous exploring and puzzle solving that we have seen in previous games will also be in this one.
I’m going to be keeping more than an eye on this game in 2012 as I’m expecting big things, but I think Square Enix can deliver it come Autumn.
So there’s our top 5 most anticipated titles of 2012! Let us know what your are in the comments below.