Last year was a fantastic year for gaming, with advances in graphics and gameplay taking the industry to new heights (and lows). With even more awesome advances in the pipeline for 2012, this year is slated to be quite the year for game releases.
So which releases in particular are worth looking forward to? Here are our top favorites.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a game that reminds us a lot of the movie and book, I Am Legend. In the movie and book, a disease slowly eradicates the human race… by turning them into man-eating zombies. It sounds stupid and unbelievable, but the movie actually does a pretty decent job of suspending that disbelief. This game seems to take a similar approach.
With fantastic graphics and gameplay, The Last Of Us is set in a similar post-apocalyptic setting (sound familiar?) in which the population has been decimated by a modern plague, and those that remain are locked in a fight for survival, scavenging for whatever food, shelter, and weapons they can find.
The game’s lead characters, Joel and Elle, are trying to make the arduous journey across the United States in the middle of this massive global plague.
The Last of Us is available only on PS3 at time of release.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
After Blizzard’s highly controversial decision to split the Starcraft story into three releases, fans were skeptical if they could pull it off while still retaining the level of excellence the first installment became known for.
The Starcraft universe is home to three races, and Blizzard has decided to give each race its own full-length game, in order to best tell their story.
It seems to have worked.
In Heart of The Swarm, The Queen of Blades herself (Sarah Kerrigan) is the lead character, guiding you through the epic tale of her race.
Multiplayer gamers will be glad to know that there are three new Protoss units, three new Terran units, and two new Zerg units, along with some other fantastic changes that should shake things up!
Guild Wars 2
With World of Warcraft aging rapidly and bleeding subscribers at an alarming rate, fans of the MMORPG genre have been clamoring for a worthy replacement. Many have tried to dethrone WoW as the leading MMORPG, but none have been good enough to actually dethrone the popular game until now.
Enter Guild Wars 2.
Guild Wars 2 is said to be the ultimate in online RPG gaming for fans of true fantasy games, set to deliver the most revolutionary gaming experience since the original World of Warcraft.
Guild Wars 2 is unique in that it questions and re-thinks many of the accepted traditions of online RPGs, choosing instead to do things its own way, which should make for an interesting learning curve and a different gaming experience than fans of WoW are used to.
You might be noticing a trend here – most of the games coming out this year are sequels to existing games, much like most of the movies are sequels to existing movies. Producers consider sequels to be a safer bet than new ideas, and tend to prefer funding and producing them due to the lower levels of risk involved. If the game or movie flops, they lose time and money. Sequels are historically less likely to flop.
All that aside, Borderlands 2 is no ordinary sequel. In fact, with this installment in the Borderlands series, Gearbox has transitioned the game from being an action RPG into an FPS. That’s right, they completely changed the interaction model of the game from third person to first person, and made it into a first-person shooter.
The game is said to offer a ton of great new gameplay for fans of the current Borderlands game, with a larger and more varied armory, new characters and skill trees, and new land to explore.
Another huge plus is the fact that Gearbox says they’ve eliminated all those loading screens from the game entirely!
Mass Effect 3
With one of the most lovable lead characters in the history of gaming , Mass Effect has won the loyalty of gamers the world over.
Until now, each installment in the Mass Effect series has ended in a cliffhanger. No more. Mass Effect 3 promises to be one non-stop epic conclusion to the saga that introduced us to male Shepard, FemShep, and the rest of the world of Mass Effect.
Once you finish playing the game on single player and defeating the Reaper invasion, you’ll be sure to enjoy the new horde-style co-op multiplayer mode that they’ve baked into this new and final installment of Mass Effect.
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