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In the past month I've been blown away by two incredible titles (They may or may not be on this list). After having my emotions tugged, by both of these games I began thinking about what else this year has in store. I mean It's March. There's got to be some more stunners out there, whether they're stunning us for the better, or for the worse. Here are the games that I see leaving a mark on our memories long after 2012 is over...assuming we aren't all consumed in eternal hell fire on December 21. Happy thoughts! :D
I was nowhere near ready for this game when I sat down and downloaded it a few days back. I had heard good things and read Matt Millers review and I was pumped for it. But even all the good reviews and raving fans failed to prepare me for this game. After initially wrapping me up in the incredible soundtrack and eye melting graphics, Journey evolved into something far more beautiful than what the aesthetics originally presented. A cryptic story unfolded before me, without words, but with a haunting grace found most commonly in a picture frame. I finally was stunned into complete silence by the time the sun had set, and by the time I finished my Journey I was ready to start it again. And I have...4 times.
4. Xenoblade Chronicles
I haven't played it yet but the reviews are in. A lot of the reviewers are saying that it's the return of the classic JRPG but more. After reading said reviews and watching several youtube videos, it's safe to say that it's pushed the Wii to it's limit while managing to deliver a memorable story with a sweet combat system. This game could very well set the standard for future JRPG's and hopefully revitalize the genre as a whole. If things do start looking better on that front, then Xenoblade Chronicles will be forever remembered as the game that saved a dying genre. Only time will tell.
3. Mass Effect 3
Everyone and their mother saw this one coming. Whether you credit it to the controversies surrounding the title or to the actual perfection of this game as a whole, it has raised the bar for storytelling in a video game, and left it's definitive mark on 2012. From the outstanding and well paced story, to the return of the all around loved characters (excluding Kaiden and Jacob) to the finely tuned shooter mechanics, Mass Effect 3 has set a precedent for video games, that most studios are going to have to sweat themselves to match.
2. Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite is one of the the most mysterious titles on the horizon. While we know what the story elements consist of, we have no idea if and how they will tie into the original game. I've been following the game closely having watched every video that's been posted and have been devouring every bit of information. While we are sure to enter an incredible gaming universe that we've come to expect - thanks to the original Bioshock and the ridiculously moody trailers that have been released - one thing makes this title stand out above the others: Ken Levine is back and has creative reign over this sure to be masterpiece.
1. Halo 4
If Bioshock Infinite is ONE of the most mysterious games of the year, then Halo 4 has to be THE most mysterious game of the year. The Chief is back and we're going to get to truly meet him, as Halo 4 is going to delve into his story and who he is as a man. We're also going to see Cortana make the inevitable journey into rampancy, and how John 117 deals with this heart wrenching problem. A new trilogy is on the way, and whether Halo 4 marks the beginning of a grand new story or it hopelessly disappoints, everyone will remember 2012 as the year that the Master Chief returned.
*A Final Note* There are so many other games coming out this year - including titles that haven't even been announced yet - that may or may not leave their own stamp on 2012 and it is not in anyway an insult to those titles. These are just my predictions on the heavy hitters this year. Here's to another year of empty wallets!