2012 is going to have to pull out all the stops to top some of the great releases from 2011. We had some amazing titles hit our consoles such as the visually stunning Resistance 3 and the strangely addictive Little Big Planet 2, that's without mentioning ground-breaking titles such as L.A Noire and the multi-award winning Elder Scrolls: V Skyrim.
What games are on your to-buy list for 2012? Don't see them below? Tell us why you're game should be featured and what sets it apart from the rest.
Below we take a look at some of the top playstation games coming to our PS3's in the next few months.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - 31st January
Lightning returns in the second ever Final Fantasy sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2. Final Fantasy XIII failed to please many fans as it seemed to go against everything Square Enix stood for. The game was linear, offered little to no side-quests until the end of the game and had next to nothing going for it with the exception of some great graphics and dialogue. Square Enix have had it rough since the merge and are not famous for delivering great sequels. Final Fantasy X is one of the top 3 in the series according to most FF fans but it's sequel is hardly mentioned, a group of girls running around chasing a dream and dressing up in fancy costumes is not what fans hoped for, and to top it off, they even managed to ruin Blitzball. However, not all hope is lost as Square Enix paid full attention to the complaints of fans and have promised to deliver a truly epic Final Fantasy title.
The game takes place 3 years after the events in the original, Lightning has disappeared into an unknown world leaving the familiar Serah Farron and new guy, Noel Kreiss, the task of finding her. The story will follow the typical FF archetype, the player recruits a group of unlikely heroes in the hopes of rescuing a fan favorite, only this time Lightning is actually real and not just someones imagination.
Square Enix has confirmed a number of new features have been introduced to make the game feel more diverse. One of the more exciting new features is the introduction of the Live Trigger system, a dialogue system that offers players many choices, allowing them to shape the outcome of each conversation, however, SE have confirmed that these choices have no actual effect outside of the conversation themselves which makes it feel like a poorly made Bioware title. Other features include Time Travel and a new Mog Clock, that rewards or punishes players based on how long it takes for them to enter battles with enemies. On the plus side, random encounters are now back, removing the easily avoidable pathing mobs from FFXIII.
Square Enix can definitely talk the talk but as we've seen in the past, and more recently with the failed MMO, their not impervious to releasing bad titles. Final Fantasy fans everywhere are hoping for a return to the true FF games. There's a demo available on PSN so give it a go.
Mass Effect 3 - 6th March
Following on from the original Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, ME3 will conclude one of the most epic RPG trilogies ever released. PS3 fans will remember the disappointment of having to wait a year after its initial release on the Xbox360 before we got our hands on it, possibly the best news about Mass Effect 3 is the confirmed release date of March 6th across all platforms, including the PS3. So now we can avoid our slightly deluded Xbox fan-boy friends from ruining the story for an entire year, what can we expect in the latest Bioware RPG?
Shepard makes a return, obviously, and with his faithful companions in toe. It has been confirmed that players have far more influence over Shephards emotional growth during the game, with developers saying he was "too cold" in previous games and they hope to make role-playing a human character more exciting with more emotional decisions and interaction. To aid with the immersion Bioware have introduced voice activated commands, allowing players to respond to conversations using their Playstation 3 microphones/headsets and even issuing commands in combat such as telling allies to take cover or use an ability. Although this may make you feel slightly stupid when you have family over, for those reclusive s that cancel everything on their social schedule to play such an epic title, it's good news.
In regards to the story, plenty of information has been released but to limit spoilers, it's pretty much ME2 just epically over sized. The enemies will be enormous, decisions could have catastrophic consequences and there's been no promises of a happy ending. Earth has illuded us for the most part, with the exception of the trip to the moon in ME1, but the introductory trailer shows Earth being destroyed by giant robots and alien creatures and if that's just the beginning, the end could be truly epic.
One of the more shocking aspects to Mass Effect 3 is the introduction of multiplayer. Players will be able to join groups of up to 4 members, creating separate characters to those played in the main game. The multiplayer aspect involves taking over enemy strongholds and defeating swarms of aliens, both of which can aid players towards achieving the "perfect" ending in the game. As well as the multiplayer feature, decisions made in both ME and ME2 will greatly influence a players journey through Mass Effect 3.
Players can also expect a more refined cover system and greatly improved A.I for companions. I don't think I'm alone in thinking they could pretty much release a ME2 clone with a new story and players would be happy. Bioware have yet to disappoint with the ME series and I can't see them starting now. It may be a bit early to say but I would peg Mass Effect 3 as one of the largest contenders for game of the year 2012.
The Darkness 2 - 7th February
It's taken them over 5 years but Digital Extremes are finally about ready to publish the sequel to one of the best selling games of 2007, The Darkness. The Darkness 2 follows the story of the protagonist from the original title, Jackie Estacado. A nobody that gained the ability to wield The Darkness, but rather than using his abilities to save the world, as it typical in the story-telling genre, he used his abilities to gain Don status in one of the biggest crime families on the planet, the Franchetti. Jackie finds himself losing control of the Darkness and a force known only as The Brotherhood is trying to take the power for themselves. There have been a number of story related demos released to critics and so far, there's been nothing but praise.
The Darkness 2 promises to deliver the same story driven FPS experience from the first title, with most of the improvements aimed a providing a more action-packed, streamlined combat system.
Players will now be able to use a new ability, quad wielding, this new ability removes the restrictions from the previous game and will allow Jackie to harness the Darkness abilities whilst using regular firearms. As well as quad wielding, players can also use Jackies demonic arms to perform various finishing moves. Jackie will be able to use his darkling to urinate acid all over his enemies, tear them in half or literally make them explode on the spot. Dark Essence is another addition to the combat. As players kill more enemies, collect hearts, or urinate on bad guys, they gain more Dark Essence, they can then spend this essence on new abilities in a skill tree system. Abilities vary greatly from being able to create a Darkness Vacuum that sucks in and consumes everything it touches, to seeing enemies through walls.
The story in the first title was great, the combat was fine but became repetitive. From the information so far, it appears Digital Extremes have kept the great story telling from the original and created a whole new feel to the combat, this is shaping up to be one of the must-have titles for 2012.
Warning: Video contains foul language. 18+
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - 20th March
The most iconic video-game zombie franchise makes a return in the form of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Based during the same time period as Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, the game takes place in Racoon City after Umbrella released the deadly t-virus on the general population. Players will get to play as 1 of 4 playable characters from the Umbrella Security Service (USS), all with their own abilities and progression paths. It has also been confirmed that several dialogue and action choices throughout the game can have a drastic effect on the story, such as killing Leon Kennedy, which I'm not sure I can bring myself to do.
Anyone that has followed the development of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will be most excited about the multiplayer features, not just a 2-man co-op story this time, a full on 4 player co-op through the main campaign or fully supported multiplayer online. From the information released so far, the online function seems to be a mix of Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty. Players can choose to pledge allegiance to either the USS or the US Special Operations task force, each with their own weapons and appearance. As well as fighting zombies and the other teams, BOW's (bio-organic weapons) are also introduced, which so far include Hunters, Lickers and Tyrants, it has also been confirmed that the BOW's are controllable in certain circumstances.
Zombies, guns, and story have what made Resident Evil such a massivley successful franchise and introducing a proper multiplayer aspect adds yet another devastating weapon to the games arsenal, although critics are saying the game feels totally different to the rest of the franchise, if one thing is for sure, this will not be the first time Capcom has proven critics wrong.
Borderlands 2 - Q3/Q4 2012
The RPG/Shooter hybrid returns to deliver a cartoon-esque, cel-shaded style multiplayer experience that is set to build on everything that made the original so fresh. Players can expect much of the same but no sequel would be complete without a new arsenal of features.
Borderlands 2 will include a newly designed dynamic quest system that will allow the outcomes of basic quests to have a large influence on the game world and story development. As an example, a quest to save an ally from a group of trigger-happy Psychos can go two ways depending on your ability to save them quick enough, take too long and your friend dies, save them in time and you gain access to a new store that can eventually suit you up with some of the most devastating guns available. Gearbox have also said that the A.I system has had a complete overhaul allowing your enemies to traverse difficult terrain to get better ambush points, work together and perform flanking maneuvers, or even cover one another while an injured enemy heals.
The story was never the biggest selling point of Borderlands, being able to ride around with friends blowing stuff up, numbers flying all over your screen, then buying a bigger gun and doing it all again, that's what really sold copies. And all of that is back in Borderlands 2 but with more enemies, more quests, more vehicles and a bigger game world.
Article by - Blaine Smith