With both Skyrim and Halo Anniversary in my possession, the last games I was waiting for to release have been checked off. I’ve got a minor backlog (I haven’t finished Deus Ex HR) and of course there’s some games I want to buy still. But who here actually does have every game they wanted? If you exist, I envy you.


So what’s someone like me to do but look ahead into next year’s roster of high-profile games? I couldn’t help but compile a list of my 13 most anticipated games of next year. In order from least to greatest in terms of personal anticipation. And yes it's 13 because I didn't want to trim it to 10.


Also, I apologize for the WALL OF TEXT, but I tried posting this blog earlier with pagebreaks and it didn't like me.


-I am stealing Demon Ragnarok's formatting for this, he had a blog a while back about the games he was looking forward to-


13 - Mass Effect 3


Why I’m interested:

Mass Effect 2 has gone down as one of my favorite games of all time, with its compelling story, likable characters, and fun third person combat. Okay it was more of a middle-of-the-road third person shooter but it was pretty fun all the same. So obviously my expectations for Mass Effect 3 are similar with fingers crossed on it having a lengthy story with a satisfying conclusion.


Why I’m concerned: 

Two things, one being the recent trend Bioware has taken, the other being the multiplayer. 


Bioware has sought to strip down their games of elements they found to be clunky. While this may have been okay with Mass Effect because it’s a Sci-Fi shooter, they stripped it down too much. And the same applies to their other running series; Dragon Age. And the concerns about Multiplayer are pretty obvious. Despite Casey Hudson's assurance that it wouldn't take away from the single player.



12 - Hybrid


Why I’m interested:

If you’ve been following this game at all you understand that it’s a downloadable third-person-shooter where you partake in a persistent online war by choosing one of two factions. The other catch is that this game does not allow player to jump out and circle strafe on the map. You highlight cover you want to go to and your character will sprint to it. Giving the sense of a modern combat scenario where not being behind cover is a death wish.



Why I’m concerned:

XBLA has a list of multiplayer focused Shooters. But to this day only 1943 and maybe Monday Night Combat have survived the test of time. Section 8 Prejudice’s multiplayer is dead despite it's quality multiplayer experience, and few people honestly care to play games like Breach or Blacklight: Tango Down.


Also, this is 5th Cells first time making a shooter. But I’m hoping they can deliver in the end.



11 - Dust 514


Why I’m interested:

I love the idea that there will be the kind of cooperation among two distinct groups of people (besides the people who play both). And it might very well increase the sense of urgency knowing my reputation will drop if I allow my K/D to drop or fail to complete objectives. A reason I’m glad to own a PS3.



Why I’m concerned:

Like 5th Cell, this is CCP’s first time at making a shooter. And while I understand the EVE Online is a very competitive MMO in its own economy-based gameplay I wouldn’t be too surprised if all the best players were being bought out by leading trade groups – or whatever they’re called.



10 - Metro: Last Light


Why I’m Interested:

Metro 2033 was amazing in its ability to deliver a real sense of atmosphere and the firefights were intense.


I like everything that has been said so far about it, they’re tightening the control scheme for consoles (which could use plenty of work) and 4A games has been given complete freedom to express their vision of the apocalypse. It’s also neat how the writer of the novel Metro 2033 himself is writing the story for Last Light.


Also, the promise that stealth is actually a viable option this time around.


ALSO: You can check out a video I made for it here.



 Why I’m concerned:

Metro 2033 may have been a thrilling experience, but it lacked replay value. By the time I got to the end of the game I had bought everything I wanted despite being scrapped for bullets to buy things.


If they implement more segments of multi-path levels, more effecting decisions that would be worth a return, and the like I could see myself coming back to the Metro often.



9 - Ghost Recon: Future Soldier


Why I’m interested:

Admittedly I’ve never played Ghost Recon. I’ve watched my brother play it all the time but I never took up the opportunity myself.


But that doesn’t stop me from looking at GRFS and seeing an awesome game. The amount of futuristic weaponry like cloaking, shoulder-missiles, augmented reality heads up display make this game truly unique in the now-crowded shooter market. And the gunsmith customization couldn’t look cooler.



Why I’m concerned:

Honestly, nothing I’ve seen has me concerned.



8 - Borderlands 2


Why I’m interested:

All they had to do to convince me to buy Borderlands 2 was that they were going to add a more parts for assault rifles, SMGs, and Sniper rifles. But reading the GI reveal and watching leaked footage from PAX it’s obvious they’re doing so much more. Increased enemy variety, each corporation has actual distinction both visually and in terms of gunplay.



Why I’m concerned:

Modded weapons and accounts. Because of the duplication glitch modded weapons and equipment spread throughout online co-op games like wildfire causing massive amounts of lag and removing any challenge there was.


The Duplication glitch can be countered by having a profile auto save before they are kicked so the gun won’t be in their inventory and in the game they were just kicked from. Hopefully Gearbox is implementing something like this.



7 - Darksiders 2


Why I’m interested:

I’ll be blunt, after reading Gameinformer’s reveal on Darksiders 2. I felt this was the kind of direction The Legend of Zelda series should’ve been taking since Windwaker. DS2 will have a world MUCH larger than the previous game with many more dungeons to match. They’re implementing a much more depth-filled combat system with a multitude of weapons. RPG elements like a loot system and equipment to make Death unique to the player are all things that have me wondering why Zelda hasn’t done.



Why I’m concerned:

They may have a much larger world this time, but Darksiders had one of the blandest worlds around. Hopefully they can correct that mistake as well as differentiate the color palette from past grays and bluish-grays.



6 - FarCry 3


Why I’m interested:

A Sandbox shooter with RPG elements, a sandbox ten times bigger than its last game, and intriguing premise, that also includes a first-person cover and a new first-person blind fire mechanic.


Throw in some gorgeous graphics, cool knife kills, and the definition of insanity and you’ve got yourself one good looking shooter that should be one long and satisfying trek through the island jungle if done right.



Why I’m concerned:

I didn’t like FarCry 2, it was a beautiful game but the repetition and poor design choices like constantly respawning guard posts was ridiculous. Also the shooting wasn’t exactly fun because the guns all felt so stiff. Hopefully Ubisoft Montreal has learned from their mistakes, with the help of two other Ubi studios (Shanghai and Massive) it looks like Ubisoft is fully intending on doing this right.



5 - Tomb Raider


Why I’m interested:

This new take to Lara Croft is nothing but interesting. The E3 gameplay demo was really thrilling, and the sense of the struggle to survive (as Crystal Dynamics is calling it a Survival Adventure game) should be interesting.



Why I’m concerned:

The E3 demo made it look as good as it made it look bad, specifically because of one thing; quick time events were everywhere.



4 - Dragon’s Dogma


Why I’m interested:

Skyrim has gotten me in the mood (before I even played it) for open world RPGs. While Dragon’s Dogma is actually an action game with RPG elements. That doesn’t stop me from being excited about it. Heck I’m probably more excited this way because it will differentiate from games like Skyrim, Witcher II, and Reckoning in its own way.


It also is featuring a robust character creation system that extends to customizing your entire party.



Why I’m concerned:

It’s Capcom, so it’s either a hit or a miss. And I pray it’s the first.



3 - Halo 4


Why I’m interested:

I’ve been a fan of Halo since Combat Evolved on the PC. So it’s no big surprise Halo 4 has my attention. 343 Industries seems to have the right idea about what made Halo CE so great; the sense of exploration and being overwhelmed by an alien world. Consider 343i is also compiled of about 200 highly skilled developers congregated throughout the industry who all have a passion for Halo puts aside a lot of my worries about Bungie not being the ones behind it.



Why I’m concerned:

There is so much that is unclear about Halo 4. My biggest question is how the multiplayer and the single player will be tied if they will at all. Are we going to see more Spartans with the option to play as a Forerunner rather than an Elite? Is 343i abandoning the classic Halo arsenal for something new? So much is unclear at the time I’m understandably concerned about my favorite franchise.



2 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning


Why I’m interested:

Before E3 of this year, I was looking at the current options for my WRPG hunger that I haven’t played before like Divinity II: DKS, Two Worlds II, and Risen. And I noticed they all had a common problem, the combat system looked uninteresting if not sloppy altogether.


Now imagine my surprise when Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s game play trailer rolls at EA’s conference and it’s practically something I could’ve only imagined in a dream.


It’s got the depth of a true RPG with the “Destiny System” for players to carve out their own path. It’s got the combat system of an Action game. And a world that’s colorful and vibrant. And cartoony visuals that make it stand out amongst all the other WRPGs that aim to look realistic.


Also the game is big, like 120 hand-crafted dungeons throughout the world big. It works on a hub system similar to Fable though so it can’t exactly be compared in size with say Skyrim.


Also, since it's coming out February 7th, I won't have to wait for long.



Why I’m concerned:

Reckoning is obviously a new IP by a developer that’s never developed an RPG, so there’s no reassurance of a history to fall back on. The game may have talent like Ken Rolston and a story written by R.A. Salvatore, but good developers have made bad games in the past. You can’t honestly tell me that the 3 years Stuart Black had been at Codemasters for Bodycount that the end result wasn’t at all his fault just because he left a year before it was finished.



1 - Spec Ops: The Line


Why I’m interested: 

I’ve been keeping a close eye on this game since it’s reveal at the Spike VGA’s in 2009. The trailer drew me in with its interesting premise, its beautiful visuals and tight looking combat. The single player seems to be the emphasis of this game as the decisions you make don’t lead to GAME OVER but rather you live with them. So if you took the shot that caused the hostage to die. Your squad mates will respond accordingly and it will lead down a different story similar to a choose-you-adventure book without a YOU DIED along the way.


There was also a new trailer that just released that's awesome, and a whole bunch of new articles on it. So it looks like 2K is ready to finally lift the hood on this game and I will soak up every word like it's the gospel.


There’s a lot more to be said about my excitement of this game (A LOT MORE). But you can read up on that here.



Why I’m concerned:

Yager has only made one game in the past and that was a flight simulator in the last gen. The Multiplayer beta for Spec Ops: The Line apparently was of low quality. Having seem some footage of it myself I can vouch for that just by looking at someone else playing the game. But this was back in 2010. The game has been in development since 2007 and it might not even release until 2013 (they said the Fiscal year of 2013 which means the second half of 2012 and the first of 2013).


Regardless, there’s things about this game that make it my most anticipated game of 2012. If it lives up to my hopes, it could go down as my personal Game of the Year.