2012 video game releases have big time potential

Nathan Mendelowitz

The year 2011 was known in the gaming world as the year of the sequels. All the big games that came out were sequels of established franchises like “Gears of War,” “Call of Duty” and “Batman.”

In 2012, on the other hand, is looking like a year mixed with some big name sequels arriving and games that have the potential to become new franchises.

Starting with the sequels – “Mass Effect 3,” which releases March 6, looks to be the most anticipated of them all. IGN.com has already said this could be the game of the year.

It definitely has the potential to be if it delivers. The first two games in the series have been great, and developer BioWare has promised an even better experience. This game also marks the end in the series as it will be the final battle to save the universe.

The game also offers new abilities and classes to play, with upgrades to existing classes. A more in-depth story and open-world ability also should extend gameplay – giving players more control over how the story unfolds.

Another anticipated sequel is “BioShock Infinite.” Though not a story sequel to the other BioShock games, it still follows the formula, gameplay-wise.

“BioShock Infinite” feels more like an upgrade because it is following a completely new story and environment. Instead of a setting in an underwater city, it takes place in a floating city called Columbia in 1912.

Irrational Games, the developer of “BioShock Infinite,” has said to expect new abilities, weapons and gameplay mechanics. It looks promising and the trailers and demos have not disappointed.

 

BioShock Infinite Trailer

A new entry this year, that looks to be the best fighting game ever, is “Street Fighter X Tekken,” which is being developed by Capcom. It’s a crossover game pitting for the first time ever, “Street Fighter” and “Tekken” characters.

It has the gameplay of “Street Fighter” with super combos and flashy special moves. This is a fresh take on the fighting genre and the trailers and demos have been fun to watch and play. I’ve always wanted to give a “shoryuken” to “Tekken” combatant Heihachi.

“Tekken X Street Fighter” will be released in 2013, which is going to follow “Tekken” gameplay mechanics.

Street Fighter X Tekken Trailer

“Asura’s Wrath” is another new entry this year and it has begun to emerge as “a dark horse,” said Daemon Hatfield on IGN.com.

Not much is known about the game except it follows the titular character Asura as he is on a rampage of revenge against the gods who did him wrong. It’s similar to “God of War” with less gore and more pizzazz.

The gameplay and levels have an anime-style with destruction and tons of action. The few screens of the game look amazing and hopefully it doesn’t fall short.

Some honorable mentions are “Resident Evil 6” and a new “Tomb Raider,” that will be coming out in late 2012.

Not much has been revealed about “Resident Evil 6,” except that players will control Leon Kennedy again and possibly Chris Redfield. The story however, has a darker tone with bioterrorist attacks on both America and Hong Kong, creating worldwide panic.

It looks intriguing and hopefully Capcom goes back to what made the franchise great with survival horror game play. That feeling of never being safe and never having enough ammo is what made the game amazing to play.

“Tomb Raider” is also intriguing as it has nothing to do with any of the other games. Developer Crystal Dynamics is going for a reboot to the franchise and starting with a young and innocent Lara Croft.

This game has great potential and could breathe new life into action-adventure games. Lara Croft is almost a forgotten character at this point and to have her start new is the right thing to do.

All in all, 2012 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for games. With sequels getting upgrades and new games on the table, it should be one hell of a ride.

Nathan Mendelowitz can be reached at opinion@statehornet.com