Twenty Games For Twenty Twelve

Top 20 Games for 2012 Logo

It’s only mid-Feb and I’ve already been fortunate enough to play some of the coolest games of 2012: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Soul Calibur V, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Resident Evil: Revelations and The Darkness II (not to mention great downloadables like Kingdom Rush, Mutant Mudds, Sakura Samurai: The Art of the Sword and Where Is My Heart?) But here are the 20 games I am currently most excited about for this year! Look at this list! Ridiculous entertainment headed our way. We are spoiled, people!

1. Mass Effect 3

Developed By: Bioware
Published By: Electronic Arts
Who doesn’t want to see this epic trilogy concluded!? Bioware’s sci-fi action-RPG masterpiece has been an incredible experience thus far through all of its main story and DLC. I want to jump online and play some co-op but mostly I just want to see my Commander Shepherd rise up, kill some boss reapers and claim the title of the fiercest badass in the universe. 

2. Bioshock Infinite

Developed By: Irrational Games
Published By: 2K Games
Man, Irrational Games does not screw around, huh? Just when we think we have this Bioshock under-the-water-in-a-ruined-city thing all figured out, they go ahead an upend everything! With Bioshock Infinite we’re getting an entirely new and unique setting to explore, brand new complex characters to get to know and an eclectic literate amalgam of American Exceptionalism (to which I say, help me Wikipedia!) and a violent steam punk civil war all through the prism of colorful propaganda art. Smells like genius to me.

3. The Last Guardian

Developed By: Team Ico
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Scott and I have been back and forth about whether or not we’re going to see this game in 2012 or not. Or if it may even be a launch game for PS4! I think Sony would be crazy to let another year slip by without allowing us into the surreal universe of Fumito Ueda’s fertile imagination. I want to experience this game with my cat Clyde, damnit! 

Top Game Number 3: Last Guardian

4. SSX

Developed By: Electronic Arts Canada
Published By: Electronic Arts
We’ve all waited too long for EA to bring back one of the best original franchises of the last console generation. The first SSX was a revelation when it debuted on the PlayStation 2 in 2000. By the time SSX 3 came out, EA Big was at the top of its game. This new reboot looks like it will reinterpret all of the things we enjoyed about last gen’s games and introduce new tech, like the NASA geotagging data, and new gameplay enhancements, like the wingsuits, that will leave is breathless even as our minds are being blown.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

Developed By: Rockstar North
Published By: Rockstar Games
We’re going back to Cali! Flying jets and police choppers, hiking, crop dusting, selling real estate, checking out alternative energy, working out, bank robbing, driving super fast cars and bikes, interacting with all kinds of people on the streets…this game is going to keep us busy. This trailer’s short. Look at all the stuff it shows off!

6. Tomb Raider

Developed By: Crystal Dynamics
Published By: Square Enix
Lara Croft is a resilient, bonafide superstar that has been re-imagined countless times. What makes me so stoked for this new game then? Well, we’re going back to the beginning with the branding. It’s a reboot and something tells me this is going to be more Casino Royale than A Nightmare on Elm Street! Crystal Dynamics is an incredibly talented developer, so I’m expecting presentation fidelity looks as rich as, if not better than, Uncharted’s. The action in the trailer is gritty and realistic, taking a page from Christopher Nolan’s playbook. And it looks like we’re adventuring in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle. I am all kinds of hyped.

7. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Developed By: Platinum Games/Kojima Productions
Published By: Konami
I was a fan of Kojima’s last co-production with MercurySteam on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow but I’m WAY more excited to see what the spectacularly unique Platinum Games does with the MGS universe. Platinum killed it with Mad World, Bayonetta and Vanquish and Revengeance looks likes its going to be just as actiongasmic. I wasn’t a big fan of Raiden in MGS2 but I am psyched to see him rip apart the PMC saps that get in his way now! 

Top Game 7: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

8. Assassin’s Creed III

Developed By: Ubisoft Montreal
Published By: Ubisoft
We don’t really know anything yet. But the rumors suggest that the action in the game takes place during the American Revolution and we’re going to see and free run through some famous US landmarks. I’ve heard rumors that the game has been in development for a long, long time. Whatever it is, wherever it’s set, whomever we play as, I’m sure of one thing: It will be incredible.

Top Game 8: Assassins Creed III

9.  Diablo III

Developed By: Blizzard Entertainment
Published By: Activison/Blizzard
Every five minutes or so, a new Diablo clone pops up. They are not Diablo though. This is the Diablo we are looking for. The teaser trailer below is from 2008! 2008! We have waited long enough. This game is like the damned One Ring. I believe it will be worth the pain and suffering of the wait. And then the Diablo III clones will come.


10. Starhawk

Developed By: Lightbox Interactive/Santa Monica Studio
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Warhawk has held a place in my heart since the release of the still-very-playable, original game for the PSOne. I thought the online-only PS3 re-imagining was a blast but it was definitely missing a single player story-driven campaign. So I’m very excited to jump into the boots of Emmett Graves, run around building stuff on space stations and take to the air in a bunch of cool ships. This game’s got everything. Including space jetpacks.

11. Darksiders 2

Developed By: Vigil Games
Published By: THQ
It’s not easy to crib from both Zelda and God of War and make it out alive. The original Darksiders did just that and walked away virtually unscathed but also appreciated enough to warrant a sequel. I was a fan. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what Vigil is doing this time out, with a new character, Death, and his new weapon, the scythe. BTW still loving Joe Madureira’s comicbooky creative direction. Can’t wait!

12. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Developed By: Ubisoft Paris
Published By: Ubisoft
It’s not about the story. It’s not about the Michael Bay moments. It’s not even really about the fun of taking out the enemies with the cool weaponry and tech at your disposal. The reason why I always love playing Ghost Recon games, is because I dig the teamwork with my AI or human-controlled squad and the sense of accomplishment you feel after surviving the campaign together. Don’t know if I’ll Kinect my way through this but I think I’m going to love it!

13. The Last of Us

Developed By: Naughty Dog
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
No one is better at integrating cinematic storytelling and gameplay than Naughty Dog. No one. They cut their teeth on the Jak & Daxter games, they elevated the artform with Uncharted and now they look set to make survival horror distinctly anti-cheese and frankly, emotional, with this absolutely stunning looking game…

14. Max Payne 3

Developed By: Rockstar Vancouver
Published By: Rockstar
Crime drama is Rockstar’s forte. Gritty and realistic, this new spin with a revered noir game character looks like it’ll feel like playing through a Michael Mann movie. Sounds like heaven to me. I’m also extremely excited to see what the Bully team has been working on and to find out how well they’ll have carried the Payne baton since acquiring it from Remedy.

15. Overstrike

Developed By: Insomniac Games
Published By: Electronic Arts
Insomniac has delivered world class interactive entertainment every year for more than a decade. They’ve managed to rock the world with three hugely successful and distinct franchises: Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank and Resistance. It’s a big deal that they’ve got something new up their sleeve. I want.

16. Street Fighter X Tekken

Developed By: Capcom/Namco Bandai
Published By: Capcom
I don’t know how well this is going to work because the fighting styles are so incredibly different but let’s face it, we’ve been wanting this match up since the very beginning! What I’m most excited about is to see the artistic intersection of this complete collaboration when Tekken X Street Fighter gets made and to see each roster of characters interpreted by each studio. Mostly I’m just psyched to see my Ryu waste all of the competition. In the follow up, it’ll be Eddie Gordo.

17. Twisted Metal

Developed By: Eat Sleep Play
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
I have to be honest. I had fun with the first games and thought Twisted Metal Black for PS2 was a near masterpiece but I wasn’t feverishly excited about the new Twisted Metal until I started seeing more and more stories on the game in EP. You can jump into a chopper! Sweet Tooth’s truck turns into a flying mech! I know the multiplayer gameplay and balancing is going to be second to none. SIGN ME UP!

18. Sleeping Dogs

Developed By: United Front Games
Published By: Square Enix
I was crushed when I heard that Activision had parted ways with UFG on their True Crime game last year. This studio is really showing their range making a gritty open world crime game at the same time as customizable kart racing titles (first ModNation Racers and now this year’s LittleBig Planet Karting!), so I was delighted to hear that Square Enix saw the potential in the game and helped get it made. Lot of AAA pedigree behind this, with devs from games like Bully, The Hulk Ultimate Destruction and Need For Speed joining forces to build a fast & fluid Hong Kong adventure. So pumped! Let’s hope the gameplay lives up to this kinetic live action trailer!

19. Resident Evil 6

Developed By: Capcom
Published By: Capcom
Now I can’t see anything but a giraffe having a great day in the logo but the action that we’ve been teased with in the reveal trailer looks phenomenal! Looks like we have some globe trotting good times ahead of us and some ridiculously high production value scares. More 4 than 5 please, Capcom!

20. Halo 4

Developed By: 343 Industries
Published By: Microsoft
I know, I know…I’ve predicted that I’ll have my heart broken by Halo 4 but I’m a massive fan of this franchise and have enjoyed myself in every Halo game since the beginning. Why shouldn’t I expect the same in the fourth? I hope I’m dead wrong with my predictions and this becomes my favorite Halo in the series and one of my favorite games of 2012! Come on 343, you can do it!

So these were kind of in order but there’s so much great stuff to look forward to (and a lot we don’t know about yet) that the order really isn’t that significant. I also tried to hit games that I’m pretty sure will be out in 2012. But of course, dates slide. And importantly: I didn’t hit any of the cool downloadable stuff that’s headed our way like Journey or any of the hot handheld or mobile stuff I’m looking forward to but that leaves things open for further discussion, now doesn’t it?

What do you think? What did I miss?

-Victor Lucas