The lights are on
A Game of Thrones (early 2012)
Developer Cyanide’s first take on the Game of Thrones franchise – a real-time strategy game titled Game of Thrones: Genesis – was less than impressive. That said, it’s hard to keep my ears from perking at the prospect of exploring a virtual version of the massive land of Westeros. I’ve read hundreds of pages set in this world in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books; I can only hope that the game is a fitting representation.
Grand Knights History (Winter 2012)
It feels like Vanillaware is spoiling us by providing two colorful releases next year, but this is one embarrassment of riches that I’m willing to accept. Where Dragon’s Crown is a bit more action, Grand Knights History appears to have more traditional RPG combat and questing. It also looks gorgeous as well, although it will only be available on Sony’s last-gen handheld hardware, the PSP, instead of the new Vita hotness.
Guild Wars 2 (2012)
Every time I’ve seen Guild Wars 2 in action, I’ve come away more impressed. From the fast-paced combat to the genuinely interesting story, ArenaNet busts down MMO conventions to great effect. And there’s not even a subscription fee to worry about! We still don’t know when Guild Wars 2 will be released, but this is the MMO to beat next year.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (February 7)
With an incredible fantasy pedigree behind it, including Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston, comic artist Todd McFarlane, and writer R.A. Salvatore, Kingdoms of Amalur is a new I.P. worth paying attention to. By blending the open-world questing of Elder Scrolls with the fast-paced combat of God of War, Reckoning is shaping up to be a truly special hybrid.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (2012)
Since Square Enix is seemingly never going to satisfy the legion of fans begging for a proper, console Kingdom Hearts 3, KH lovers will have to settle for yet another handheld spin-off of the series. This first 3DS entry will feature gameplay similar to the PSP Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as well as a number of completely new Disney-based worlds to explore.