Top 5 Unannounced 2012 Hits
You can get a pretty good idea what’s just over the horizon if you keep your ears close enough to the ground. Watch as we do just that…
You can’t keep anything secret these days. The internet has made sure that even the faintest of whispers can lead to mass speculation and even the merest of rumours can spread faster than wildfire. In today’s gaming world, announcements are foreshadowed by months of industry chatter and as such, you can get a pretty good idea what’s just over the horizon if you keep your ears close enough to the ground. It might not all be right, some of this will just be wishful thinking, but most of this could be hitting a 360 near you very soon.
5) Half-Life 3
Half-Life 3 has been in development so long that the appearance of a website teasing something called ‘Black Aperture’ was enough to send the internet into a frenzy. In true Valve fashion the teasing single page offered nothing more than a logo and the mere promise of more information to come.
The name ‘Black Aperture’ hints at the proper joining of the facilities seen in Half-Life (Black Mesa) and Portal (Aperture Science) respectively, something that’s only been hinted at before. What’s most important about all of this, though, is the simple fact that Valve has begun talking.
Half-Life 2 became notorious for its continuously delayed development, helping enormously to make it one of the most hyped games of its time. Today’s gamers are a little savvier and, though excitement has certainly peaked, it will only begin to truly grow when Valve starts opening the floodgates.
And unfortunately, that depends on when its latest game is getting a release. The further into 2012 we get, too, the less likely whatever it is Valve has planned will see a release in the same year, but we live in hope.
Percentage chance: 47%
4) Tiger (working title)
Bungie’s next game promises to reach players in a way Halo barely touched on. Though Halo’s success could never be described as anything other than stellar, Bungie’s elusive new game promises to be a industry-shaker very much in the same way as it’s breakout hit for Xbox.
Though you could derive any number of meanings from the studios various hints and cryptic nods, there is very little concrete information around, but that hasn’t stopped us speculating wildly on the smallest of clues.
Bungie has hinted that ‘Tiger’, like almost every single one of its other games, will offer players the chance of exploring the stars, but whether this means we’ll be donning super-soldier armour isn’t yet clear. Bungie’s history with Halo’s innovative Forge mode and multiplayer indicates that the studio could be setting its sights on the lofty ambitions of creating an experience that requires a heavy emphasis on social networking and player co-operation.
A game that utilises the MMO genre’s most inclusive traits could hint at the direction Bungie is headed, or it could just be a game where a guy wearing armour shoots purple aliens that go ‘weraagghhh’.
Percentage chance: 26%
3) Kinect 2
Kinect has hit a number of issues since its launch in 2010, from technical limitations, creative confusions and a plain old lack of general support from the industry.
It’s easy to understand why many have been reluctant to involve Kinect in anything more than sports/dance/kids games since its release; it’s really rather difficult to include Kinect in traditional gameplay without crippling the player’s input in the process.
All of this could change with the increased accuracy of the rumoured Kinect 2, though. There’s been plenty of internet speculation talking up the possibilities of a successor to the Xbox 360 from Microsoft (and realistically, Kinect 2 could be a part of this), but for Microsoft’s motion control revolution to truly take hold, it seems the improvements a second iteration would bring are entirely needed.
The ability to lip-read and totally map body movements accurately, without delay, have been touted by some on the internet. It would certainly make a considerable difference, but until developers can wrap their heads around Kinect-only genres and ways of implementing the device unobtrusively into mainstream games, Microsoft’s motion controller will continue convince the hardcore.
Percentage chance: 51%
2) Assassin’s Creed 2012
Ubisoft’s adopted yearly release model for the Assassin’s Creed series has begun to creek under the weight of its over encumbered narrative. Where Brotherhood adapted and evolved the formula sufficiently, adding its own unique spin on to Ezio’s world, Revelations took the tiniest of steps forward making many wonder why exactly they needed another huge sprawling Assassin’s Creed adventure.
Perhaps yearly releases should be left to the sports franchises after all? This minor misstep is unlikely to put Ubisoft off, though, Assassin’s Creed, despite Revelations, is still one of the 360’s most bankable series and a new game for 2012 appears like a strong possibility.
Whether it’s a sequel along the same lines as the previous outings is open to debate, but a job listings on Ubisoft Quebec’s website could shed some light. According to its website, the studio is looking for an “experienced level designers to help create and populate the world for a triple-A MMO project.”
Hints at Cloud gaming also throw up the intriguing possibility that Assassin’s Creed is about to evolve into something far more ambitious than what we’ve seen before, or it could just be a job post for one of Ubi’s other major titles.
Percentage chance: 58%
1) Call Of Duty 2012
It’s Treyarch’s turn. What is it going to do, then? Black Ops 2? World At War 2? A whole new timeframe and spin-off? Well, the smart money’s on the studio returning to Black Ops and fleshing out a different war, taking advantage of its ‘deniable ops’ set-up that pretty much gives it carte blanch to do whatever it wants.
If Ubisoft is struggling to keep a new Assassin’s Creed interesting every year, the same is certainly not true of COD.
This is obviously thanks to its fantastic multiplayer and, with Elite now in place to offer a hub for the DLC and incremental changes, a new COD will more than likely remain largely unchanged in basic form to what we’ve had before.
Not that it’s too much of an issue, clearly the world agrees that the COD formula is working just fine, but just how many samey iterations does the series have left under its belt before it begins to feel stale?
Percentage chance: 85%