Most Anticipated of 2012: Ozzie's Picks
by Shack Staff, shacknews.com, Dec 26, 2011 12:00PM PST
There's a lot to be excited for in 2012, and the Shacknews staff each have five games on their radar. The editorial team at Shacknews outlines their most anticipated games of 2012 individually. Next up we've got staff writer Ozzie Mejia's list of 2012 titles.
Out of all the games I saw at E3 2011, I never expected that Prey 2 would be the game that grabbed my attention the most. Fast-forward to 2012 and I'm still just as excited about Prey 2 now as I was when I first saw it back in June.
Forget everything you know about the first Prey. This is a whole new adventure, with players taking the role of badass human bounty hunter Killian Samuels. I love the idea of taking the role of a bounty hunter to track down rogue aliens by various means. Human Head Studios' skillful use of character AI will go a long way towards helping this game stand out from other FPS titles. How will you bring in your bounty? Will you ask nicely? Will you take your gun out of its holster and threaten anyone in the vicinity? Will you take a hostage? Or will you simply go in and shoot everything in sight? Prey 2 offers many different ways to bring in bounties, dead or alive, and I'll be looking to explore them all when this game arrives.
South Park: The Game
I've been burned by some subpar South Park games in the past. This doesn't look like it'll be one of them. For one thing, this game is being helmed by Obsidian Entertainment, who last graced us with Fallout: New Vegas. On top of that, this will be the first South Park game with direct input from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, both of whom are familiar with what makes a good RPG.
South Park: The Game already looks like it carries the flavor of the TV show. This is the first South Park game to use the show's trademark construction paper art style. The premise that has players selecting five classes that include fighter, mage, thief, cleric, or Jew is a nice nod to the episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers." The tone of the game feels like an homage to classic episodes "Make Love, Not Warcraft" and "Good Times with Weapons." Players can attack with kicks in the nuts and other Cartman-style juvenile attacks. So much about this game feels like the TV show and I look forward to seeing what other homages I can find.
One other thing I think about when it comes to this game is that South Park wouldn't be the first animated franchise to be plagued by years of terrible games before finally releasing a fun, faithful, self-titled console game. You might say…Simpsons did it.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
I was pleasantly surprised to see this trailer pop up during the VGA's. I remain blown away by the sheer quality of 2010's Transformers: War for Cybertron, especially given my love-hate (mostly hate) past with the Transformers video game franchise.
Inspired more by Gears of War than the Michael Bay films, High Moon Studios has reinvigorated Transformers as a viable gaming franchise. War for Cybertron filled in a fascinating untold chapter in Transformers lore and Fall of Cybertron looks to close that chapter with an all-out apocalyptic robot war. The potential addition of Dinobots is going to be sweet icing on this delicious mechanical cake. I lost many hours of my day on War for Cybertron's rich single-player story and surprisingly-deep multiplayer modes. I expect more of the same in Fall of Cybertron.
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
Ok! Guilty pleasure time! I admit that I love the Kingdom Hearts series. No matter how convoluted and ridiculous the story became after Kingdom Hearts II, I remain an unabashed fan. The part of the game where Sora teams up with individual Final Fantasy characters to fight off hundreds upon hundreds of Heartless ranks as one of the coolest moments of the PS2 era. Then something funny happened and Square Enix released several unnecessary sequels with minimal exposition and repetitive gameplay.
I grant that Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance could be another one of those sequels, but all signs point to this being a continuation of the main Kingdom Hearts story. Better yet, it stands to reason that this could lead into Kingdom Hearts III. The plot sees Sora and Riku both undergoing training to become official Keyblade Masters, as they await the inevitable return of series antagonist, Xehanort. Think of this game as Sora and Riku training to be Jedi, except instead of running across a swamp with Mickey on their backs, they'll be slaying Heartless across several worlds.
Throw in the usual sprinkling of Disney worlds, including the surprising addition of the dark (dark for Disney, anyway) Hunchback of Notre Dame, and this should be a joy for any Kingdom Hearts fan — myself included.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
I admit a little skepticism on this one, dating back to Garnett's hands-on preview nearly a year ago. Hope springs eternal, though. I was a big fan of Kid Icarus back when it first came out on the NES eons ago and I remain confident that this game can create new life for the long-neglected franchise.
It already looks like Kid Icarus: Uprising will update many of the classic Kid Icarus enemies for a new generation. Twinbellows, the Cerberus-like hellhound, will tower over Pit. The three-headed Hydra, Hewdraw, will bring some newly-added personality, with the three heads often at odds with one another. One thing that will probably remain the same? The Eggplant Wizard will retake his rightful title as the single most aggravating bad guy in all of video games. I look forward to the desire to throw my controller against the TV after he turns me into an eggplant for the hundredth time, just like when I was a kid.
What I really look forward to seeing is how many other elements of the classic games will return? Will the level-up system come back? What about the monster rooms and black market shops? Will the labyrinths be as confounding as they were in the past? There are so many questions I have and I can't wait to have them answered in 2012.