Sure, 2012 is nearly two-thirds of the way over, but that doesn’t mean game releases are. We’re nearing the busiest time of the year in terms of new titles coming out. Fall/Holiday 2012 will see a slew of awesome new games being released, and there are a few in particular that are on my radar — an should be on yours too. So without further ado, here are the 5 games I’m stoked to play later this year.
5. Mechwarrior Online
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve have been enamored with the idea of mechs and giant robots. Being a life-long gamer, I’ve always wanted a really good mech combat game. MechWarrior was that series for me. I have fond memories of Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 3: Mercenaries, but it’s been years since we’ve had a new game in the series. But all that’s about to change; MechWarrior Online, a brand new, free 2 play installment of the mech combat sim, will soon be here. And I am super stoked. MechWarrior represents the slower, more methodical and strategic side of my love of giant robots, and the interesting squad dynamics Piranha Games have in store for the different mech types have me on pins and needles imagining the type of gameplay experiences they will bring.
4. Ultima Forever
Earlier this year, my old-school RPG love was rekindled by Legend of Grimrock, but I’ve been craving a new classic roleplaying experience to absorb all my time. Well, as it turns out, the much-beloved Ultima Forever is getting a brand new, free-to-play version (noticing a pattern), complete with new graphics and features, including the ability to play on you PC, and move over to your iPad seamlessly for adventuring on the go. Ultima is a series I have little history with, yet immense respect for. This new version, which is being developed by Bioware, looks pretty neat. The game features micro-transactions for access to vanity items like skins and armor, as well as unlocking some abilities earlier, but otherwise the entire adventure is open to you, and gameplay is unrestricted. With an art style that seems reminiscent of Bastion, and the gameplay being equated to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, not to mention the fact it’s free Ultima Forever sounds like a pretty good deal.
3. Darksiders 2
Okay, technically not a Fall or Holiday release, but it’s close. Darksiders 2 is just around the corner, and I could not be more excited. I am a huge fan of the first game in the series, and the fact that this second installment is adding Diablo-style loot to its unabashed Zelda ripoff gameplay (that’s a compliment) sounds awesome. Darksiders established the series as a fun, mature, and highly stylized action/adventure series, and I really hope Darksiders 2 not only continues that, but also does well enough that we see further games in the series.
2. Halo 4
I’ve only recently become a fan of this well-known scifi FPS series, but like they say, converts are the most zealous. My time with Halo in the past month (as you might already know) has been an absolute joy. I have yet to play through Halo: Reach or experience much of the mulitplayer (two things I will be correcting in the near-future) but Halo 4 is going to be special in that it will be the first Halo title I play on launch day, and get to experience from the beginning with the rest of the Halo fanbase. Even if most of them are racists 13 year-olds. I also have immense faith in 343 Industries, and feel that while Bungie’s run with Halo is the classic story, that this new trilogy will (hopefully) take the series to new territory, and new heights.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Hawken is the one game I look forward to playing most this year; it’s also the furthest away in terms of release date. It may seem redundant to have two free-to-play mech combat games bookending this list, but that just goes to show how much of a giant robot nut I can be. Adhesive Game’s Hawken is both my most anticipated mech game of 2012, AND my most anticipated game of the year, period. The fast-paced nature of Hawken’s combat looks as if it perfectly captures the intensity and power of huge walking tanks doing battle, yet still features the speed and finesse of arena shooters like Unreal Tournament and Quake, not to mention it’s absolutely gorgeous. A game that includes the mech customization and management of something like Mechwarrior, as well as the high speed adrenaline rush of Unreal Tournament is, in many ways, the game I’ve always wanted. Plus, it’s free to play, will be featured on the OUYA, and will even feature comics, and internet video series, and a feature length film. But while all that sounds cool, it’s Hawken the GAME I’m most excited for.
And those are the 5 games I’m most excited to play this Fall/Holiday season. Quite a few free-to-play titles, huh? There are certainly a few more titles on my radar (Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition), not to mention the OUYA console. And beyond 2012, there’s already a small handful of games garning some hype here in the Power Cords camp. But what about you guys? What games are you most looking forward to playing in the latter part of 2012? Before the world ends, of course.