Five games out this year that we're excited about
There's not much of the year left, but here are five new titles that we'll be seeing in 2012 — and still has us champing at the bit.
Master Chief is back in Halo 4.
(Credit: 343 Industries/Xbox)
The end of year rush is upon us, as games publishers and developers try to woo us — and our money. Here are five games we're looking forward to (even if it's only to see how they end up).
Usually, when the hype train rolls in, it's easy to get a little jaded — especially when you're watching the 17th broadly similar trailer. Dishonored bucked this trend, initially wowing us with a dirty, distressed Neo-Victorian style setting, slapping in a little magic and adding a great song about whale oil. Then it showed us a host of videos that made everyone's brain squeak slightly when they saw what seemed like someone had blended Thief, Deus Ex and Arcanum together. Hands on, the game didn't disappoint, but it's hard to make a call on a title from just one short level. At least we won't need to wait much longer — it's out on PC, Xbox and PlayStation 3 on 11 October. (All that said, we still wish we could spell it with an extra u.)
Twelve years after the first Hitman title landed on PC — and six years since the fourth game — Hitman: Absolution will turn the series into a pentalogy about everyone's favourite follicularly-challenged killer for hire. While we confess a love for stealth-games at the best of times, Hitman manages to keep surprising with not only its gameplay but its new Contracts mode. Contracts lets you create a hit, then challenge people online to complete it within your defined parameters (for example, only in disguise, must be killed with a hammer, etc). It's inventive, if brutal, and we're keen. We'll find out if Agent 47 is still fighting the fight or edging past his retirement age when it releases on PC, PS3 and Xbox on 20 November.
The Wii U is a tricky proposition for Nintendo, being a bit of a departure from traditional gaming hardware. The combination of the souped-up console and the touchscreen GamePad (which can also play games separate to the console, if required) is Nintendo's move into "asymmetrical gaming" — and it's a fascinating one. It also means that games that support truly rich second screen features can't just be ported across — they'll need to be designed with the Wii U and GamePad in mind. Enter ZombiU, which definitely sets the bar high, showing how the two devices work together to be immersive and exciting. The Wii U is out on 30 November, with ZombiU available as a launch title.
Not only is Halo 4 the first Halo title to not be made by Bungie, it's also intended to be the start of a new trilogy that is set in the Halo universe. That's a lot of pressure for poor old 343 Industries (the new dev team), which has some large boots to fill if it's going to recapture the spirit of Halo — a game franchise that, as of the start of this year, has earned a staggering US$2.8 billion. Halo 4 brings back Master Chief as the playable character, and with the original voice talent — take that Splinter Cell. It's a big call, but from what we've seen, the right pieces are on the table. And on 6 November, we get to see if they've been assembled in the right order or not.
Far Cry 3
We confess to being a bit lukewarm when details were first revealed about the latest Far Cry — drunken frat kids on an island paradise, manifesting unfeasible skills with weaponry. But as more and more has been revealed, we've found ourselves more and more intrigued — especially when we met Vaas, the wonderfully deranged mohawked antagonist. This looks like it might be an unsettling ride that — hopefully — offers more than just the usual sneak-shoot-run sequences. Besides, there are tigers and hang gliders. Who doesn't love tigers and hang gliders. Just not together; that would be weird. It's out on PC, Xbox and PS3 on 29 November.