Most Anticipated Games of Early 2012

By Jordan Douglas on October 29, 2011, 3:58PM EDT

The gaming industry in the midst of the frantic fall release season for triple A blockbusters, so naturally, there's not nearly enough to play right now. We decided to take a little time away from playing Batman, Battlefield, Skyrim, and Uncharted to look ahead to 2012, because there's no end in sight to the blockbuster bonanza. What follows is our most anticipated games of early 2012 (roughly the first quarter), listed in alphabetical order.

The Darkness II
"It's been nearly four years since the release of the first Darkness game and after receiving very positive reviews, it was only a matter of time until someone would attempt to create a sequel. Digital Extremes, known for the recent BioShock 2, decided be the studio to take a stab at the Darkness franchise with The Darkness II, though they weren't initially greeted with open arms... [Now that we've had a look at the gameplay for the Darkness sequel, it's clear the series is in good hands.]"

Diablo III
It's Diablo III... What more is there to say?

Final Fantasy XIII-2
"It's clear that Square Enix have also taken into consideration some of the more cutting complaints about Final Fantasy XIII. Linearity is being addressed with more open areas, branching paths and even optional objectives. Where FFXIII had mostly straight lines for maps, XIII-2 has bigger courtyards that branch out into various other areas for Serah and Noel to explore."

Mass Effect 3
"A delay into early 2012 has not diminished our anticipation for Mass Effect 3 one bit. Commander Shepard's trilogy is coming to a undoubtedly dramatic end. BioWare's flagship series this generation has made its name on the impact of player choice and the ability to carry those choices throughout the trilogy. Continuing to develop the universe and the members your team from Mass Effect 2 alone would be enough to make 3 a satisfying experience."

Max Payne 3
The first installment not made by Remedy Entertainment for written by the series' creator Sam Lake, Max Payne 3 is Rockstar's take on the classic, over-the-top hero with a heart of gold. It's been a while since our last encounter with Mr. Payne, so it remains to be seen how the series will be received by today's gaming audience. But if there's anyone capable of delivering on this one, it's Rockstar.

SoulCalibur V
"SoulCalibur V, which was recently announced in May at Namco Bandai's Level Up event in Dubai... is one to keep your eye on. Set 17 years after SoulCalibur IV, the game follows the tale of Patroklos, son of Sophitia Alexandra. According to director Daishi Odashima, the new setting allows the team to be more creative with introducing new characters and mixing them up with the old."

Street Fighter X Tekken
"Street Fighter x Tekken is looking good, to say the least. Fans of either franchise can definitely look forward to some of the most epic match-ups to ever grace the genre when it hits PS3 and Xbox 360. Producer Yoshinori Ono also formally announced the title for the PlayStation Vita at this year's E3 while a 3DS version is still up in the air."

Syndicate
"Unlike the original game, which released in 1993, this new version of Syndicate will be a first-person shooter... "Our goal with Syndicate is to provide a challenging action shooter for today's gamers as well as fans of the original. I'm sure they will enjoy and recognize the legacy that made it such a classic," EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon said... The game will feature four-player co-op and there will be some missions re-imagined from the first game."

Twisted Metal
"For those without any prior knowledge of the Twisted Metal series, its one of Sony's historical blockbuster series, featuring vehicular multiplayer combat, and a series that's been missing for some time now. Back on the E3 show floor in Sony's booth, Gaming Union got some short and sweet hands-on time with the game's demo, and we can report that its looking pretty damn good."

XCOM
"Another first person shooter with squad-based mechanics? Another alien invasion? Thankfully, the demo did well to convert any doubts into excited hope. As the boys at 2K Marin showcased bits and bobs of the game, it was clear that XCOM is going to be anything but just another shooter. Purists may argue the lack of the original's random encounters in an open world setting, but you'll be hard-pressed to say that XCOM doesn't at least incorporate many of its strategic elements. And incorporate it well, it does."

Honorable Mentions:

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Ninja Gaiden III
Prototype 2
SSX
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

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