So 2012 is starting up and we already have a pretty awesome list of announced games and hardware, the funny thing is, half of the games set to release this year probably aren’t even announced yet and 2012 already looks like the most exciting year for gaming this generation, just with the games announced!
The reason for it is simple actually, unlike the last several years, developers aren’t just shoving out sequel, sequel, sequel and doing nothing to really change the experience in that series much, what developers seem to be finally doing now is either make a sequel, or reboot a franchise, but drastically change how it’s played, or they’re making new IP’s, what’s exciting about this year is that developers are finally delving into unfamiliar waters more than ever, which is one huge factor among many others that is making this year so exciting. Here are some examples -
Bioshock Infinite – A game I’m really excited for, is Bioshock Infinite. You would probably expect the developer of this game to make yet another adventure under the sea, altering a few aspects of the game and ship it out with the title “Bioshock 3: Poseidon’s Revenge” – that’s not what happened though, where is Bioshock heading? The sky, with a completely different story, feel, environment, and characters, this game is completely unique – far different from the undersea adventures of the last couple games – I have never played the last two Bioshock games, but there’s something amazing about this game, something so different and new, that makes me seriously want to play it.
Grand Theft Auto V – We haven’t seen a Grand Theft Auto game in a while, and it’s back to Los Santos! From the trailer, we saw a lot of places to explore (the mountain range is back!), along with the return of planes and jets to fly (jets in online multiplayer anyone?). If anything, Rockstar learned several things from the problems with Grand Theft Auto IV, and we saw the attempted repair work with the Ballad of Gay Tony DLC for GTA IV, hopefully Rockstar will work hard to put in a not-so-serious, but fun story this time and work to make some seriously awesome and original multiplayer modes this time around (This is GTA, I was so disappointed with the standard multiplayer modes that were in GTA IV). Either way, what we’ve already seen for GTA V looks very promising. This game is rumored to either be released around April or October of this year.
Tomb Raider – When I saw the unveil at E3 last year for Tomb Raider my jaw dropped. I remember playing the crap out of the early Tomb Raider games when I was younger, as with many other gamers, I presume. Over the past few years though, the series hasn’t really attracted me though, seeming to lose its touch with just not right gameplay mechanics and it didn’t seem to really offer much new and exciting aspects, failing to evolve and grow with today’s games. That is, until this game was shown with the E3 gameplay – Eidos took this game series, and with serious risks, changed it dramatically. They took aspects from several other successful modern games and made one of their own. Watching that few minutes of gameplay several times over only gets me to want to keep playing, and I feel I already am connected with the character, almost like how I connected with Nathan Drake as a character very quickly too. Eidos made a very risky reboot, but it’s a very good one at that, I absolutely cannot wait to play this game.
The Last of Us – Just what we need, a new IP. So many developers are just making sequels without really altering much, Uncharted 3 was one of those games if you think about it. I do have to give a big kudos to Naughty Dog for making a new IP though, this game is a breath of fresh air, something nobody is used to with unfamiliar characters, but who look like they lead very interesting lives – another game where I almost felt connected to the characters just through the trailer. I’d much rather play in this unfamiliar environment and play a fresh new story than play an Uncharted 4 if you ask me. This game is an extrememly good example of what is making 2012 such an exciting year, and hopefully many developers will follow suit. The Resistance series by Insomniac and the Assassin’s Creed series by Ubisoft need to come to and end soon if they haven’t already and need to go in the path Naughty Dog is taking, although those are good game series, there’s starting to be way too many of them and I always find a new IP so much more exciting than a sequel, no matter how good the sequel may look. Hopefully there are many more new IP’s to be announced this year that we haven’t heard of yet.
Everything Else – There are the interesting games, some we didn’t talk about above, but there is also everything else this year. Don’t forget about the PlayStation Vita! It’s a whole new generation of portable console with quite an amazing list of specs and features, and lets not forget its games. It launches with 25 awesome-looking launch games (Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Modnation Racers: Pocket Edition to name a few) and will be getting a Resistance, Killzone, and a Call of Duty game down the line. This thing also seems to have a nice list of New IP’s also.
I also can’t wait to hear upcoming announcements about games that are set to release Fall and Winter of this year, I can only wonder if developers can keep up the momentum of new experiences already set into place to release this year, or will they keep cranking out sequels, we will have to see! Don’t even get me started about what’s already planned for 2013 too, Rainbow 6: Patriots is also a game this is seriously changing its formula from its past games in the series and is something I also cannot wait to play. E3 will probably bring several exciting announcements for the year also, what would make this year even more exciting is the announcement of the PS4 and Xbox 720, it probably wont happen, but an interesting thought at least!
So what do you guys think about the year? Do you think it’s possibly the most exciting year this generation, or am I over-reacting a little? Drop a comment below.