2011 was one of the best years when it comes to game releases but that does not mean 2012 does not hold anything in store for us gamers. Here is a list of games we are looking forward to play.
Grand Theft Auto 5
If there’s one complaint I hear overwhelmingly of Grand Theft Auto 4 it’s that the city is just too boring, too bland, too much grimy metropolis and not enough anything else. Grand Theft Auto 5, on the other hand, looks to be a combination of the fun themes and style of Vice City with the fun environments of San Andreas.
If you compare the bright landscapes of this trailer to the very bleak and dusty look of Grand Theft Auto 4’s first trailer, you see the change in style between the two games. In the Grand Theft Auto 4 trailer, Neko Bellic is escaping a horrible past and hoping he finds something better in America. Of course, this being Grand Theft Auto, we know that won’t be the case. In the trailer for Grand Theft Auto 5 we have a father who’s successful because of his past dealings with crime, but now he’s looking to escape for the sake of family and relaxation. It has the air of being something fun and criminal, yet optimistic.
Rockstar, the game creator, did the right thing by focusing on the fun exaggerations instead of grimy authenticity for Grand Theft Auto 5. Grand Theft Auto 4 showed us, for better or worse, what it can do with this new technology. The new game gives Rockstar a chance to relax and have some fun.
There’s no reason for vehicular combat games to have fallen to the wayside because they offer the perfect trifecta of elements in a fighting game – FPS, fighting, and shooting from cars/tanks.
Twisted Metal, originally from the 1990’s, overcame a lot of the failings of contemporary games with its return. The first thing that sticks out about this game is its four-player split screen combat, something missing in most modern titles. There are also battles in big cities and towns, which ironically is what most open world city games devolve into. It’s nice to see a game fully embrace the gamer’s craving for high-speed destruction. Along with the realistic locations, there are also stylized arena-type stages. It’s not trying to prove that it can create the most realistic and detailed looking locations. This is a game, much in the spirit of the 1990’s, which just wants to offer a mix of fun stages for the sole purpose of delivering the most enjoyment.
Twisted Metal Black, our last big console venture, caught itself in an awkward transitional phase between the stylized and crisp look of Twisted Metal 2 and the more realistic approach that followed. It was unfortunate that the limited graphics of the PS2 weren’t quite up to the task, and so the game never lived up to its own expectations. 2012 Twisted Metal, with the better capabilities of current generation consoles, and a pragmatic ‘90s design approach, seems to have everything it needs to be a great game.
The Last Guardian
The gaming company, Team Ico, has shown incredible craftsmanship and insight into design of both their games. This separates Team Ico. from the conventions of the industry, a visionthat completely understands the specific needs of their creation. Shadow of the Colossus seems so pure and untainted by the expectations of the industry that it makes me wonder if the developers were sent out to an island to do their work in isolation.
The Last Guardian, set to release this year, shows every indication of continuing Team Ico’s trend of creating humbling games. This is a game which shows to me, more than anything else, a reconciliation of spectacle with gameplay. If Shadow of the Colossus did one thing, it allowed us to connect with boss fights in a way usually reserved for cutscenes. Normally, in a boss fight, we have an intro scene showing how powerful this new enemy is, then when the combat starts we revert back to the very mundane gameplay that’s carried us throughout the game thus far. It’s a very large discrepancy between what the cutscene shows and promises us, and what happens.
Based off the trailers for The Last Guardian, the monster, Trico, appears wrapped up in gameplay. He appears for more than cutscenes and is a living part of the world you play in. It’s a very honest way to make a game and it speaks to the discreet talent of Team Ico.
Tim is an avid gamer and is stoked for the release of these games. While working for cabledeal.org he typically spends most of the day researching the newest games coming out and adding them to his wish list. If you would like to see more articles Tim writes follow him on Twitter: @TimlCooley