BWP's Top Five Most Anticipated Games of 2012!

2011 was an absolutely ridiculous year for gaming. While we tried to predict what were going to be the best games of the year, in the end, it was the games themselves that really defined 2011 in gaming. There was definitely some carryover when it was all said and done and we revealed our top ten games of 2011.

But 2011 is in the books. It’s 2012, and we have a whole other set of games to play and waste our money on. Once again, the list is way too long, so here at BWP, we’ve once again decided to present to you our top 20 most anticipated games of 2012.

Previous – Part 1:

20. Halo 4 (Microsoft Game Studios)
19. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD (Activision)
18. Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
17. The Last Guardian (Team Ico / Sony)
16. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami)

Previous – Part 2:

15. Wii U (Nintendo)
14. Starhawk (Sony)
13. SSX (EA Sports)
12. Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
11. Assassin’s Creed 3 (Ubisoft)

Previous – Part 3:

15. Playstation Vita (Sony)
14. Dust 514 (CCP Games)
13. Borderlands 2 (2K Games)
12. Hitman: Absolution (Square Enix)
11. Borderlands 2 (2K Games)

Part 4!

5. Max Payne 3

Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Why we're excited: We were originally weary of Rockstar trying to reboot the amazing Max Payne series. Then we realized it’s Rockstar.

By George Prax

When Max Payne 3 was first announced, and after the first few screenshots started to drop, people weren't exactly excited to see what the future would hold for the titular character. Old, bald, and in a less-than-bleak Brazilian setting; why would anyone want to play this, when Max Payne 1 and 2 were renowned for their very specific style of gameplay, storytelling and setting? This wasn't the Max Payne we all knew and love. But then the trailers started to arrive, as did the details for the plot and features on the gameplay. In a few short months, Max Payne 3 went from being the potential cyst for gamers in 2012, to becoming one of the top 5 most anticipated games of the year.

We can't get away from the fact that Rockstar is going to change things about the series, with the company pulling the old developer switcharoo on us and taking Remedy Entertainment out of the development process. Dan Houser, the writer of the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead series is also taking over, so you can pretty much already tell where that's going to go. But Rockstar knows where Max Payne's roots are. Bullet time is still there, the same run-and-gun gameplay system is still there, painkillers are back, as is the dark, graphic-novel like storytelling. In fact, Max Payne 3 seems like a very "Max Payne-like" experience, with just a bunch of additions (well, subtractions if you can't Max's hair). So, what's changed? The big one is obviously multiplayer, as Rockstar aims to give us a pretty ridiculous yet awesome-sounding story-driven multiplayer experience. Cover mechanics will also be implemented into the experience, and that's a welcome addition. One really cool addition is the "Last Man Standing" mechanic, which essentially brings Max back to life if he he has a painkiller on him, allowing him time to kill his enemies, which will give him an energy boost. The game will blend gameplay and animation in a lot of cases, giving players a near seamless experience.

As for the plot, Max finds himself in Sao Paulo after leaving New York and all his problems behind him. He has a cushy security job, but things quickly get worse for him as he is double-crossed. Max must seek the truth and find his way out, all while facing all the same old demons, with that pesky piano riff stuck in his head. Max Payne hits store shelves on May 15, 2012, and it's a definite day-one buy for many of us here at BWP.

Further Reading:

* Max Payne 3 Details Begin to Surface.
* Max Payne 3 Delayed to May 2012.
* Max Payne 3 Creating a Cutting-Edge Action Shooter.
* Rockstar Reveals Max Payne 3 Multiplayer Details.

4. The Last of Us

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS3 Exclusive
Genre: Survival-Horror, Action-Adventure
Release Date: Q4 2012
Why we're excited: Last year, Dead Island took the zombie genre and gave it some levity. In 2012, Naughty Dog will take the zombie genre and turn it into a cinematic experience.

Further Reading: 2011 VGAs: The Last of Us Trailer.

By Tylerr Rietze

Naughty Dog studios, the gift that keeps on giving. After three incredible games in the Uncharted series, the developer has definitely found their stride. Instead of phoning it in and making just another Uncharted game, they are taking a risk by introducing a new game by the name of ‘The Last of Us’. Straight from the game's creative director, Neil Druckmann and its game director, Bruce Straley: "The Last of Us is a genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements to tell a character driven tale about a modern plague decimating mankind… Nature encroaches upon civilization, forcing remaining survivors to kill for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a brave young teenage girl who is wise beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States."

While we cannot say for sure if the game is a third-person shooter, or brawler, due to the teasing nature of the trailer, we are quite certain it will be a gritty adventure in a world on the brink of death. After several teasers from Naughty Dog that were less than descriptive, we found that a parasitic fungus known as Cordyceps may be involved in the Earth’s destruction. The fungus is known to infect ants and assume control of the ant’s body and mind, and forces it to climb to a higher location, then sprouts from the ant to infect more ants. Based on the look of the enemies in the game, no one here would be surprised if something similar to this has happened to the human race. Naughty Dog has pointed out that the game has been in development for two years now. While no release date has been announced, we can only hope that this means that The Last of Us will be released later this year.

3. Diablo III

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: PC, Mac, Rumored Xbox 360 and PS3
Genre: Dungeon Crawler, Action-RPG
Release Date: Q1 2012
Why we're excited: It’s been 12 long years since we were able to get our hands on the last Diablo game. Is that not reason enough?

Further Reading:

* Blizzcon 2011: Opening Panel Bombshells.
* Blizzard Promises Six Proven Properties Over Next Three Years.
* 2011 VGAs: Diablo III Trailer.

By Tylerr Rietze

The ‘kings’ of the RPGs are once again keeping us in suspense. Starcraft 1 and 2, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, all brilliant, well-made games, were released two to three years after they were announced, and it seems Diablo 3 will not be any different. Diablo 3 was announced in June 2008, and after three and a half years, this game will most likely be nothing, if not epic.
The game takes place 20 years after Diablo 2, which had us save the world by killing Diablo and his brothers, Mephisto and Baal, collectively known as the Prime Evils. The adventure had us fighting in wars against evil, explore sewers and deserts, and had us go to Hell itself to end the evil. A mere 20 years, and the fact that the adventure occurred away from the eyes of the general public has forced our heroics to become legend or myth, and has brought feelings of safety. With the destruction of the Worldstone, a stone that protects the earth from angels and demons, those who do know about the events from 20 years before, such as series regular Deckard Cain, sit in constant fear of the remaining two Lords of Hell to arise.
That is where Blizzard has left us. The trailers and teasers have shown us this much, as well as showing us an eventual war between angels, demons and humans, making it more than impossible for fans of the genre to not salivate at this concept. The game will go back to the roots of its predecessors, featuring more of a point-and-click approach to combat, randomly generated maps to explore, hundreds of thousands of different types of loot to collect, and a skill tree that only Skyrim could shadow. Testing continues on this epic, as Blizzard has mentioned in passing that every week, they spend all seven days testing the same location, such as a dungeon in Act III. This is undoubtedly due to the flack that Skyrim has received due to bugs and glitches. ‘Early’ 2012 is here, and where is our game? We can only wait at the moment, as Blizzard loves to postpone announcements for game releases as long as they possibly can.

2. Mass Effect 3

Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Action-RPG
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Why we're excited: The conclusion for Bioware’s epic space opera is pretty much guaranteed to be many players’ game of the year.

Further Reading:

* Mass Effect 3 Delayed into 2012M.
* First Mass Effect 3 Details Revealed.

By Tylerr Rietze
Okay, so let’s get this straight. It’s an RPG, where you have your character become stronger by killing enemies and completing tasks, a game where you can change the outcome of the story due to the decisions you make, AND you can use stealth, special powers, and shoot from behind cover all in the same game? 10 years ago, this would have been pretty crazy, but in 2012, we’re already at the third installment of the incredibly deep series known as Mass Effect.
BioWare has brought us the future, literally, as the game is set in 2183, following Commander Shepard and his journey through space as he tries to save the galaxy from extinction. We have seen Earth fall to the Reapers. Humans are forced to unite with allies from around the galaxy to take it back, and end the threat. The trilogy features many moral choices that determine things like abilities, alliances, and plot, and while the first two games weren’t TOO affected by these decisions, the third game’s plot and the fate of many of its civilizations are affected by them, and could create a number of different endings and outcomes.
Once again, they will focus on a deep,but non-linear story with rich customization of armor, skills, and appearance, but will not force the game to be like other RPGs, where the sheer amount of hours spent on customization out-weigh the actual gameplay experience. Enemy AI has been improved, as well as the overall difficulty of the game, citing that the Normal difficulty will be “the new Veteran (difficulty setting).” Making the action more intense, we have a more agile Commander Shepard that can roll, leap over gaps, the ability to fire from cover, and removes the fatigue system while running, allowing Shepard to run for longer distances without having to stop. Also, the very over-looked feature of melee combat has been improved, with each class having their own super-strong melee attack. Thankfully, with this kind of depth, the wait of March 6 isn’t too far away, but will still be one to count down until. Check back in March for our review of Mass Effect, that is, if we can stop playing it long enough to talk about it!

1. Grand Theft Auto V

Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Open World
Release Date: TBA
Why we're excited: What did you expect?

By George Prax

There was really no way that BWP was going to do a most anticipated games list without putting an announced Grand Theft Auto game at the very top. In case you didn't notice, we kind of eat up everything that Rockstar Games puts out. As a matter of fact, the company finds themselves occupying two spots in the top five, something that would be otherwise unheard of (although 2K got lucky with two games in part 3). Simply put, Rockstar has a proven track record of absolutely amazing games over the year, and 2012 seems to be no exception with both Max Payne 3 and the forthcoming Grand Theft Auto V, whenever that ends up coming out.

We really know little to nothing about Grand Theft Auto V. We know it'll be set in Los Santos / San Andreas, A.K.A. the Rockstar equivalent to Southern California. We know that at least one of the main playable characters will be an older, white gentleman, and that he'll be a man coming from a life of crime and looking to settle down in Los Santos. We know that Rockstar is adding animals and potentially children to the game, and that the graphics are at an all-time high of ridiculous. The map will be much larger than Liberty City in GTA IV, but how much larger and what will be included can only be speculated upon at this point.

The same can be said about any other details about the game. What kind of gameplay improvements will Rockstar give us with GTA V? What will the story hold for us? How many (if any) characters will return from previous installments? These questions will certainly be answered in a comprehensive marketing strategy employed by Rockstar, as is always the case. But that just means that the level of anticipation will continue to grow with every video, every screenshot, every announcement, every passing day. And the damn thing is already number one on the list, so go figure.

This will only be more speculation, but we expect Grand Theft Auto V to be released late in 2012. At least, we hope so, because along with Diablo 3 and The Last of Us, that's three games in the top five that don't even have release dates. But really, who could argue with GTA V topping such a list? And doing so with only one announcement and one trailer? Unprecedented!

Further Reading:

* Grand Theft Auto V Trailer Impressions.
* Rockstar Week: Grand Theft Auto IV Review.
* Rumor: GTA V Development “Well Underway”.
* From GTA to LA Noire: The Rockstar Legacy.
* GTA V vs. San Andreas Trailer Comparison.
* Will GTA V be released in May?

With that, our most anticipated games of 2012 list is finally complete! What did we miss, and what would make your list? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments 3
Jason Pietroniro's picture

Easily the most anticipated game of the year GTA 5. While GTA 4 was somewhat of a disappointment when it first came out, the add ons ( Ballad of Gay Tony especially) were freakin awesome. I just hope there is planes in this one. Heli's are awesome, but the jet from San Andreas is where it's at. Would also love at least a 1 minute free fall from the helicopter/planes. Like they did in Just Cause. that was amazing for jump lovers.

George Prax's picture

Just Cause was amazing. If it had the GTA production values it would be the perfect game. Screw Saints Row. I love how we don't know anything, really, about GTA and it's still a logical number one lol. Can't wait to see where they take it.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Just Cause was a ton of fun, mind you I never did 1 mission. All I did was steal aircrafts and go as high as I could, and jump out lol. I could do that for hours.
Please GTA! Please focus a bit on skydiving. it's freakin awesome..

I'd also love a replay feature. it's something the game is lacking. the slow-mo death is not enough, i want to be able to rewind.. or do like they did in Skate. start a recording and u got 2 mins to finish it.