2012: Top 5 Releases

So here is part two of the countdown (I’ll try keep it to 5 this time) So lets jump straight into it, in reverse order.

5. I Am Alive
PlayStation Network/Xbox Live
Quarter 1 2012
I Am Alive seems like a game I’ve been waiting forever to turn up, and for no apparent reason. The 1st trailer I saw didn’t make me want to play it but its still stuck in my head. With survival at its heart and exploration in its veins it has something quite refreshing about it. Plot so far: Earthquake strikes, you survive, keep on surviving. It has been totally re-developed since it was first announced which explains the reason its release got pushed back numerous times but I think this time it may be the one.
I Am Alive is set for release in the first quarter of 2012.

4. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Playstation3/Xbox 360/Nintendo DS
March 6 2012
The next installment after Advanced Warfighter 2 in the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series Future Soldier is set to bring a fresh style to a battlefield that is becoming the norm in video games. It will offer things based on current research by the military, like ‘optic camouflage’ which will allow you to disappear wherever you are. Other features are things like a weapon customizer which will feature an ‘’unprecedented level of customization’’ with things down to the gas management parts of every gun. The game will also work with Kinect making it possible to customize your weapon using both your voice and hands.  Initially there was to be a PC port but as of December 2011 this has been canceled. But don’t worry PC gamers, I have you covered, just keep reading.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier is set for release on March 6th for Playstation3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS.

3. Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Windows/Mac OSx/PlayStation Network/Xbox Live
Early 2012

This is the moment I’ve waited years for, a new Counter Strike. With new weapons, like Molotov cocktails (which I’m sure will come in useful for a quick escape since passing through a wall of fire would result in heavy damage) Also new characters, maps and game modes. One of which is Arsenal, based off the CS mod ‘Gun Game’ and made in collaboration with the creators of the mod. The game will also classic content so here’s hoping for an updated de_dust which is where I and I’m sure many other gamers spent most of their time. Valve are planning to launch Global Offensive with 3 game modes, the new Arsenal mode and the classic hostage rescue and demolition. From the information released so far the PlayStation version looks like it will be the better console version because as with Portal 2 it features cross platform play with Windows and Mac users which will mean a lot more games to join for a longer period of time thanks to the fact it started as a PC game and I’m sure many gamers will keep it that way. Also in addition to the cross platform play the PlayStation version will feature 3 different ways to control the action. Apart from the standard Dualshock3 controller, PlayStation Move support will be included, as well as USB keyboard/mouse support for those who want to be old school with their PS3, like I’m sure I’ll end up doing.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is set to be released in early 2012.

2. Half Life 2: Episode 3/Half Life 3
Platforms TBA

Half Life 2: Ep3 is suffering from ‘Valve Time’ in a huge way, to get games with shorter play times but released quicker was the intention behind the episodic content but so far it hasn’t happened. Episode 2 was released way back in 2007, in 2012 it will have been 5 years, Half Life and Half Life 2 were released only 6 years apart and we are dangerously close to that and with all the HL3 logos being thrown around on shirts and websites I added the HL3 to the title. If its taking this long it has to be something really special. But with it taking this long to be released I’m expecting in the solid gold ‘apology edition’ case there will be a key to Black Mesa and a full size working HEV suit just for making us wait this long. Alternatively they could end up with another Episode 2 on their hands, a game that whilst brilliant and amazing, was far too short. On the upside though it only took a year between Ep.1 and Ep.2 so short was fine, we just wanted Ep.3 before now so we could have Gordon return to Black Mesa in Half Life 3 (At least that’s what I’m hoping since I’m also still waiting on ‘Black Mesa’ to be released)  Either way I know that I am going to fall in love with the next Half Life game and no matter how long it takes them to release it, its always going to have that shiny awesome image in my head that can never be dulled.
Half Life 2: Episode 3 And/Or Half Life 3 will be released at some point and will most probably be available on PC and then ported to PS3 and Xbox 360 after that.

1. Grand Theft Auto V
Platforms TBA
TBA (Suspected in Quarter 2 2012)
Grand Theft Auto, 3 words that when said in that order automatically spring images of people flying into the air, cars blowing up and doing barrel rolls and cop chases and shootouts spring to mind. Grand Theft Auto has been with us since 1997 when a Scottish man decided to create a top down game based on crime and its been 10 years since we made the leap into 3D and 124.1 million GTA sales across the series has made it a corner stone of the gaming World. Many argue that the peak was San Andreas, 3 states each as big as 1 city from the previous games meant ultimate freedom along with new levels of customization. With GTA:V were back to San Andreas state only were limited to just 1 of its cities, Los Santos. This sounds bad till you take into account all the countryside that was around too, and it can’t be too small as the trailer shows multiple aircraft of varying size and also a huge variety of scenery, from farms to wind turbines, oil fields and of course Los Santos itself. Graphics, sound and… just everything seems to have gone up about 10 notches since Grand Theft Auto IV which was a revolution itself. I genuinely cannot wait for this. It looks like the GTA game I’ve been waiting for. The trailer makes it look like the Rockstar are still pursuing that ‘serious’ angle but it looks like there is a lot more that we can all go wild with like crop dusters choking workers in the trailer, doing that in downtown, and also in the trailer many trucks are shown towing trailers so we can finally test out this new GTA feel with Semis. So long as Lazlow is still a part of the media writing team and has an entire station again then it will be the best GTA to date.
Grand Theft Auto V has no official release date or platform yet but my guess would be: ‘Quarter 2 2012 on PS3/Xbox 360’  But your guess is as good as mine.

So there we have it, the top 5 games of 2012 let’s just hope it stands up to the hype because on top of these there are a few big name releases like talk of a Postal3 console port and the next Call Of Duty could possibly be released in 2012 too. So goodbye 2011, it’s been eventful to say the least. So until next year keep on gaming and catch you on the flip side.

Paul M
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