Mass Effect 3 - Bioware, EA - It is the sequel to our 2010 Xbox 360 Game of the Year, Mass Effect 2. Of course we're excited about Mass Effect 3. The ME universe is definitely one of the most interesting sci-fi universes to come along in a long time and we can't wait to see where the story goes. Sure it is more of a dudebro shooter than a true RPG at this point, but we honestly don't mind. It looks and sounds great, tells an entertaining blockbuster-style story, and the shooting is fun. Mass Effect 3 is going to be awesome.
BioShock Infinite - Irrational Games, 2K - Not really a sequel to BioShock - it takes place in a different time period and totally new setting - but the gameplay and overall themes will be similar to what we saw in BioShock. BioShock has always been a thinking man's FPS (unlike COD or Battlefield which are, well, knuckle draggers in comparison) that, along with the great presentation and interesting themes, always really stand out above the FPS crowd.
Halo 4 - 343 Industries, Microsoft - (360 Exclusive) Halo 4 is probably the most important game in Xbox history. It is the first Halo shooter without Bungie at the helm. Not only that, but it is a new story starring Master Chief, with completely new settings from anything Halo has done before. We finally are going to really get some solid info on the Forerunners - the ancient alien race that is at the core of pretty much everything that has happened in the series so far. The game will still feel and play like Halo, but developer 343 Industries is making efforts to tweak and tune and make it play better than ever. We're expecting something pretty special here.
Street Fighter X Tekken - Capcom - Two great tastes that taste great together. Capcom has really gotten its fighting game act together this generation with Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, so we're expecting big things from Street Fighter X Tekken. These two franchises play pretty crazy differently from each other, but Capcom has done a good job of melding the styles and pacing of Street Fighter and Tekken into one cohesive game. It'll look and play mostly like Street Fighter, but the Tekken characters will have their combo strings mostly intact. It should be fun. Crossover dream games like this don't come along too often.
Resident Evil 6 - Capcom - Pairing fan favorites Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy in one game, with two settings (one in China and one in the U.S. in a Raccoon City-style town), with a better mix of action and survival horror than RE4 and RE5 provided. It sounds a bit too perfect. Somehow, though, we have faith that it'll all come together. As critical as people are of RE5, it was still a really solid, really fun co-op game (RE6 will surely have co-op as well, rumors even have it as much as 6-player co-op). Resident Evil 6 should be better.
Prey 2 - Human Head Studios, Bethesda - The original Prey was a lot of interesting concepts mashed together into a game that was less than the sum of its parts. Prey 2, on the other hand, is a more focused, more polished experience that had a solid direction from the start (and won't be in development hell for a million years like the original). It is a FPS, open world, bounty hunting game set on an alien planet. And that is awesome. It also looks very pretty, if early screenshots are anything to go by. We can't wait.
SSX - EA Canada, EA - Call us crazy, but we loved the last mainline SSX game, SSX On Tour. It has been several years since that title, though, so all we can say about the new SSX is that it is about darn time. SSX 2012 will feature fictional terrain set on real mountains (weird, we know) with a more open world feel. The developers are trying to have as few invisible walls and restrictions as possible, which is a good thing. SSX should be fast, high flying, and fun. Just like the old days.
Lollipop Chainsaw - Grasshopper Manufacture, Warner Bros. - A chainsaw wielding cheerleader fighting zombies in a game created by genius Suda 51's Grasshopper Manufacture. Let that sink in. If that doesn't excite you, you might actually be a zombie yourself and have no pulse. Sure, it all kind of seems like an anime fantasy come to life, but it sure looks fun. It'll have blood and guts and zombies and rock and roll and a sexy cheerleader. Sounds good to us.
Borderlands 2 - Gearbox, 2K - We have to admit, we're not huge fans of the first Borderlands for a number of reasons. But, we do expect Borderlands 2 to be a much better game than the original. The gameplay will be tighter, the level designs will be more interesting, the missions will be better instead of just being a string of glorified fetch quests. The great co-op gameplay, fantastic art style, sense of humor, and massive amounts of guns will be back. Add it all up, and Borderlands 2 should be awesome.
Transformers Fall of Cybertron - High Moon Studios, Activision - War for Cybertron was an awesome game, and Fall of Cybertron is shaping up to be even better. The story is a convoluted mess (how are there Dinobots on Cybertron if they were built by Ratchet on Earth in G1?) but treat it like an alternate universe instead of G1-connected canon and it all works out. The gameplay should be fantastic, the settings promise to be more varied than before, and you just can't beat giant robots beating the snot out of each other. Transformers fans, Fall of Cybertron is definitely worth keeping an eye out for in Fall 2012.
Kinect Star Wars - Terminal Reality, LucasArts, Microsoft - (360 Exclusive) The lone Kinect game on this list, Kinect Star Wars didn't exactly wow people when it was shown in 2011. Of course, that is why it was delayed to sometime in 2012. By the time it comes out, control issues will mostly be ironed out (though Kinect does have some inherent issues that won't really go away), the presentation will be polished up, and the game will be fun in the end. Come on, man, it is Star Wars! Controlling a pod racer or using the force with motion controls sounds like fun to us. And the 6+ month delay will definitely help clean it up from how awful some people claimed it was (though I doubt it was that bad, Kinect just brings out the cynicism in people) and should be decent. Of course, our excitement for the title could have more than a little to do with the awesome special edition Xbox 360 system coming alongside the game.
Tomb Raider - Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix - We're don't really think Tomb Raider needed a full-on reboot (the last two games - Legend and Underworld were both pretty good), but Crystal Dynamics and new franchise publisher Square Enix are rebooting it anyway. Admittedly, it seems like they made a good decision. This new title follows a 21 year old Lara Croft who is shipwrecked on an island and must acquire equipment and survival tools (food, water, etc.) as well as learn new skills to explore the island. Combat is promised to be better, platforming more natural, and puzzles more clever. Good times all around.