If we look back to 2011 we can truly say it was a remarkable year for games, with some seriously exciting titles landing on shelves only to be thrust off them and embraced by the gaming populous. Now well into 2012 the story is no different, showing the same standards of development and unbridled creativity from some of our favorite developers. As we steer closer to the festive season and the spoils it will bring, gamers around the world will have more titles to shake a virtual stick at.
Of course some of you might be aware of all the great titles coming our way throughout the rest of the year and some might not even a notion, but that’s ok, here at ZoKnowsGaming we got you covered! To make sure we all know what will be dropping in stores between now and Christmas, we will sift through 10 big games, the hard-hitting, profit-making giants that will soon call the confines of your console home!
It’s been a long time since we have had the chance to step back in to the shoes of the famous contract killer, but 2012 will be the year of Agent 47’s return. Not only will Hitman: Absolution be a new game, it will also be step up on the console front, giving developers IO Interactive the chance to get creative. And from what we’ve seen so far, we know the game’s graphics are set to stun and the gameplay ready to challenge.
Hitman: Absolution will roll out with a story driven single-player and multiplayer in the form of Contracts mode, which will allow wannabe hitmen to set-up their own contracts for the public to attempt. Throw all of the above with the impressive weaponry and Instinct mode (similar to Assassin’s Creed’s Eagle Eye) that is on offer and you have a title even Agent 47 can’t put down.
Developer – IO Interactive
Release Date – November 20, 2012
Many things have been shaken up within the Halo franchise as of late. One of the major factors has been the change in developer to 343 Industries after former developer Bungie decided to call it a day on the first-person shooter. The game will be the first release in the new trilogy and will see the triumphant return of the legendary Master Chief as the title’s main protagonist.
With the change in developer comes obvious changes in how the game will play and be presented, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we know change can sometimes do more harm than good. Halo 4’s main campaign mode can be played solo or in co-op mode if you get lonely, as you take the fight to a new enemy in the Prometheans. The game will also feature the Spartan Ops game mode, similar to the firefight mode seen in Halo 3.
After a recent leak of the game, some have already experienced the multiplayer lay out, which allows you to build your solider’s stats over War Games, Spartan Ops, Forge and Theater, turning him/her into the ultimate custom super-solider! Maybe Halo 4 is the game fans have waited for?
Developer – 343 Industries
Release Date – November 6, 2012
Assassin’s Creed III
Many are excited for a new chapter in the Assassin’s Creed series and with a new engine backing a brand new story and assassin, there is plenty of reason for the hype surrounding the title. The game will as always show Desmond’s story-arc, but will also follow the exploits of Connor, an assassin seeking revenge against the Templar for brutally ravaging his village. The timeline is set during the American Revolution and will feature all the battles from that era as well as historic figures, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
With a new engine to play with, Ubisoft has given gamers a sprawling landscape filled with breathtaking scenery, wildlife you can hunt and conditions for each season of the year, so expect sun, snow and rain while hiking the many trees and mountains in-game. You can also expect tougher AI this time around, but you will still be able to take down enemies fluently, with the many weapons at your disposal. Most noticeably the hidden blade and Tomahawk, which we have seen a lot of in trailers.
Ubisoft will be out to prove a point with Assassin’s Creed III and will set it as a marker for their next outing which will surely be next-gen. The way the AnvilNext engine makes the landscape shine in ACIII, it’s something I’m definitely looking forward too!
Developer – Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date – October 30, 2012
Need For Speed: Most Wanted
It wouldn’t be a good year of gaming without a bit of vroom vroom, am I right? Need for Speed: Most Wanted will hit stores this month and will pick up on the Most Wanted IP, instead of the Hot Pursuit IP Criterion Games developed last year. The game will take the similar traits we saw in the PlayStation 2 Need for Speed: Most Wanted, with law enforcement playing a big part in free-world driving and the races . The player will have to take on a blacklist of 10 racers, increasing in difficulty the more you defeat, picking up better cars as you advance.
The racing title has been likened to the Burnout series with its style of driving and car crashing dynamics, which could be a welcoming sight, as the previous Most Wanted lacked this. As for what cars will be featured, we can expect the same models we see every time a new Need For Speed game comes calling, the best of the best in the car industry. Need for Speed: Most Wanted will also feature the Autolog system we saw in Hot Pursuit, allowing friends to challenge each other and complete activities in-game to earn Speed Points which can boost players up on the Most Wanted list.
After the success of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, which reinvigorated interest back in the series again, it will be important for Most Wanted to have a good showing. If somehow it falters, then the franchise might once again drift off into obscurity.
Developer – Criterion Games
Release Date – October 30, 2012
The littleBigPlanet series has found itself a special place in the heart of many a PlayStation gamer, not because of the adorableness of the tiny Sackboy, but because of the community it has created. LittleBigPlanet Karting will look to keep that tradition going this November, giving us all the great features from previous installments but with a large emphasis on racing. That’s right peeps, you versus your friends in miniature go-karts across a variety of themed tracks, what more could you want.
These themed tracks will feature a selection of weapons you can pick up, such as heat seeking projectiles, EMPs and grenades, and then use these weapons to attack and slow down competitors. Features from previous titles will also play their part, which includes LittleBigPlanet’s grappling hook mechanic among other wacky objects . The game will feature plenty of game modes to get stuck into as well, with Battle Mode, Waypoint Races, Treasure Hunts and Score Attacks among the options.
We showed you some impressive LittleBigPlanet community stats not that long ago, really bringing to light the size of its dedicated community, something that will only grow when it hits shelves.
Developer – Media Molecule
Release Date – November 6, 2012
Far Cry 3
Continuing with the stellar list of games publisher Ubisoft is pushing out in 2012, Far Cry 3 will be the last of the bunch and a great way to send off the year. After basically showing everyone up at this year’s E3 event with a fantastic preview of the game, the open world first-person shooter started getting a lot of attention from the gaming public. The game was originally set for release on September 4, 2012 but was pushed back so developers could polish the game a bit more, which is bad obviously, but good to hear at the same time.
Far Cry 3 will take place somewhere around the Pacific-Indian Islands where protagonist Jason Brody must escape from the crazed inhabitants…. and I mean crazy! The game will feature a skill tree and crafting system, making for some creative concoctions and the ability to shoot enemies behind objects in crouch mode, making for some realistic fire-fights. The player can also perform takedowns on enemies, from either above the opponent or while in crouch mode, bringing a new level of stealth to the series.
Map Editor will also return, Ubisoft stating that it will be “Far Cry 2’s map editor, but a lot bigger and a lot better”. We can all agree it wont be just the map editor that will be bigger and better this December.
Developer – Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date – December 4, 2012
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Having a fighting game dedicated to the many great icons on the PlayStation platform is an idea you would be amazed hasn’t happened sooner, but alas the time has come and all these characters are ready to get together and have an all-out brawl. The game has been in development for the last 3 years and was meant to hit stores this month but got delayed before getting a solid release date for November. PlayStation All-Stars will take a page from the Super Smash Bros. series, just bar all the Nintendo characters of course.
So being a PlayStation Exclusive about PlayStation characters, who can we expect in the lineup? Mega hitters such as Kratos, Big Daddy, Dante, Jak and Daxter, Nathan Drake, Parappa, Sweet Tooth and many more. Not only will it be PlayStation characters, the levels on which they compete will be taken from the games that many of the characters feature. With fourteen stages confirmed, you could find yourself fighting on LittleBigPlanet(like seen above) or the underworld of Hades seen in God of War. The levels will also feature a range of items and weapons to help you on your endeavours.
We can expect plenty of downloadable content to come with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, so we have plenty to be excited about. Hopefully a lot of that downloadable content will be new characters, fingers crossed people!
Developer – SuperBot Entertainment
Release Date – November 20, 2012
Call Of Duty: Black Ops II
Probably the most anticipated title coming this year, Call of Duty: Black Ops II will set the first-person shooter genre ablaze this November with its take on futuristic warfare, a direct sequel to 2010’s Black Ops. The game will feature a host of futuristic weapons in the single-player option as well as the multiplayer portion of the game, which include walking tanks, quadcopters packed with machine guns among others. A brand new take on the popular Zombies mode will also be included, which has the majority of fans waiting to pick up the game foaming at the mouth.
The campaign will play out in two eras, following Alex Mason in the Cold war setting and his son David Mason in the 2025 setting and with antagonist Raul Menendez, a Nicaraguan narco-terrorist and the leader of “Cordis Die” taking America’s weapons and turning them against their owners. The single-player will also feature Strike Force missions in which the player’s choice affects both the current mission and in turn, the overall course of the story, giving the title plenty of replay value.
The multiplayer portion of Call of Duty: Black Ops II is set to blow the masses away as usual, with developer Treyarch overhauling a lot of features that were beginning to become stale within the community. The way we receive killstreaks, rewards and perks have changed, but if you want the full low down then this post is for you. The Zombies mode for Black Ops II will be for many the main selling point after Treyarch turned the basic 4-player survival mode into a story driven campaign in an open-world called Tranzit, but we could go on for hours, so check out this post for all the details on the undead.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II will for the first time include eSports, taking competitive gaming in Call of Duty to a new level. They also announced what they termed “CODcasting”, a form of live streaming that allows users to stream their games directly onto YouTube from their gaming consoles. All sounding quite nifty Treyarch!
Developer – Treyarch
Release Date – November 13, 2012
Forza will return with another open-world racing installment, but this time considered more of a spin-off instead of the next true member of the main Forza series. This hasn’t taken anything away from the title however, it still does its job well and considering the review scores the game has been picking up, I’m sure everyone will feel the same way come post-launch after already indulging in the demo released in early October.
Forza Horizon will be based around a fictitious festival called the Horizon Festival, set in Colorado, USA, incorporating many different aspects of previous Forza Motorsport titles, including vehicles, realistic physics and high-definition visuals. Players progress through the game by collecting “Wristbands” by driving EXTREMELY fast and winning races. Race modes include drifting, rallying and point-to-point races, with the added difficulty of everyday traffic to contend with.
The game will also feature a day/night cycle, showing off the visually stunning nightlife as well as the glimmer of the daytime sun. Forza Horizon will certainly be a game I would pick up if I owned an Xbox 360, which I don’t …. Lucky Buggers!
Developer – Playground Games
Release Date – October 23, 2012
New Super Mario Bros. U
November 18 is going to be a landmark day for the guys at Nintendo, with it comes launch day of the highly anticipated Wii U console. Many top games will be launching aside the console, with the likes of Assassins Creed III, Nintendo Land, Just Dance 4 and many others all ready and primed to go. One game that may be on the top of the list of many a gamer will be New Super Mario Bros. U, the fourth game in the New Super Mario Bros. series that promises to entertain fans.
New Super Mario Bros. U will take a different approach to previous titles, with the usual kidnap-rescue scenario changing to Mario, Luigi and the toads being flung across Mario land with a mechanical arm and their journey to get back to the castle and save Princess Peach. As always, your journey will be one of treachery and despair, with every level throwing ghastly enemies, dangerous traps and unknown surprises coming your way.
To make your life a little bit easier there will be some nice power-ups to collect, with the basic Ice Flowers and Yoshis again included, there is also a new power-up in Flying Squirrel suit that allows players to glide across long distances or slowly descend down vertical paths and cling to the side of the walls. Two new game modes in Challenge Mode will add a level of difficulty to single player levels and Boost Mode, which speeds the level up with the more coins you collect, will keep you occupied after completing the game.
Miiverse will also be available for gamers, a place where they can share their thoughts with others on the many levels available in New Super Mario Bros. U. This will surely be one of the gems of the Wii U console, I’m calling it! Just wait and see!
Developer – Nintendo
Release Date – November 18, 2012
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