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10 games we (probably) won’t see until 2013

Far Cry 3

First announced: November 2009

Since then, we’ve seen: A gameplay demo at E3 last year, a few screens, a couple interviews and not a whole lot else.

Why we won’t see it: You mean aside from the fact that we’ve barely heard a peep about it since it debuted at E3? Well, Far Cry 3 looks poised to combine a huge, freely explorable world with open-ended combat and stunning visuals, and that’s something that’ll take a lot of time to get right – especially if Ubisoft wants to avoid a backlash similar to the one that erupted from Far Cry 2’s bugs and weird AI behavior, which it almost certainly does. If we learned anything from last year’s release of Dead Island and Skyrim, it’s that rushing ambitious open worlds out the door leads to problematic games and disgruntled players. True, Ubisoft’s no stranger to springing big, open-world adventures on us with just six months’ notice (coughAssassin’sCreedcough), but the scope of the project and the fact that Ubi hasn’t been hyping it lately lead us to think we won’t see it anytime soon.

Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): Ubisoft Montreal is a pretty sizable developer, and given that three other Ubisoft studios are now splitting the work for Far Cry 3 (a tactic that’s made Assassin’s Creed a yearly franchise), the game may actually stand a better chance of seeing the light of day this year than the other games on this list. If that happens, we expect to see it launch late this year – probably on the same day as Assassin’s Creed III and at least one other high-profile release, knowing Ubisoft.

South Park: The Game

First announced: December 2011

Since then, we’ve seen: A big reveal in Game Informer and a small handful of screens.

Why we won’t see it: One word: Obsidian. Five more words: Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Although the South Park creators are no stranger to turning big projects around in a hurry (usually taking just one week to make a TV episode from start to finish), their commitments to the show and other projects could hinder their ability to write, voice and otherwise work on the game. Then there’s Obsidian, a developer that – for all its likability and storytelling talent – has become notorious for running into repeated delays and then releasing broken, unfinished products anyway. Combine its track record with Parker and Stone’s insane schedule, and suddenly the planned release for the latter half of 2012 seems wildly overambitious, no matter how uncomplicated the visuals might look.

Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): If South Park: The Game can somehow weather the potential hellstorm that pairing two incredibly busy creators with Obsidian implies, then we could see it as early as this summer – although if it manages to hit that window without being seriously buggy and/or flawed, we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The Last of Us

First announced: December 2011

Since then, we’ve seen: A few screenshots, a teaser video and a gritty announcement trailer.

Why we won’t see it: The Last of Us hasn’t officially been confirmed for 2012, although there’s some speculation that it might be a winter-holiday release. And while we can’t see Sony releasing a game from star studio Naughty Dog at any other time of the year, we don’t think it’ll happen during this holiday. For one thing, as impressive as the trailer is, it’s not gameplay – and while Uncharted 3’s first teaser trailer (which also debuted at the VGAs less than a year before that game’s release) didn’t even show any characters, there was still a two-year gap between it and Uncharted 2. The idea that Naughty Dog would let loose a new IP a year after Uncharted 3’s release seems more than a little crazy, and given that fan expectations for it are going to be sky-high after Uncharted’s successes, our money’s on the developer giving Last of Us more time to ripen.

Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): Naughty Dog may have been working on The Last of Us at the same time as Uncharted 3, something that – given the ambitious scope of both games – seems like it would stretch the company’s resources pretty thin. (Then again, that might help explain why Uncharted 3 wasn’t as resounding a success with critics as Uncharted 2.) In that case, we’d expect to see the first gameplay demo in the next couple months, followed by a November or even October release. It’d be a pretty impressive feat, but it could happen.

Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney

First announced: October 2010

Since then, we’ve seen: A few screenshots and a couple of trailers, the most recent of which featured gameplay.

 

Why we won’t see it: Capcom and Level-5’s 3DS crossover project – which brings Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright together in a medieval alternate reality – doesn’t even have a firm release date in Japan, for starters. And while that might seem like a trivial point to bring up in an age when the lead time between Japanese and western release dates has frequently been shaved down to a few months, it hasn’t been the case with the Layton games. At all. With the exception of the first game (Professor Layton and the Curious Village, which arrived stateside a year after its Japanese counterpart), each “new” installment of the Professor Layton series is already about two years old in Japan by the time it hits the US. And while Capcom’s Ace Attorney games have markedly better lead times (around a year on average), the amount of nuanced dialogue that’ll have to be translated into English when the two series are combined will probably be staggering.

Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): As of right now, it’s not even clear which company – Capcom, Nintendo or Level-5 – would even publish PLvAA in the US. However, that also means the three could potentially come together and throw a big wad of cash behind the localization if they think it’s going to be successful, which might shorten the wait for its US/UK release significantly. Even in that case, though, we’d be surprised if it arrived on our shores before the holiday season at the earliest.

51 comments

  • birdman1041 - January 17, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    Thank the lord Bioshock Infinite isn't on this list. It's really the only game I care about in 2012.
  • A9entOfChaos - January 17, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    the only two games i care for are Prey 2 and GTA V. Hopefully you're wrong Gamesradar (the only time i wish such a thing) As always love the articles and keep up the great work!
  • Kinnolo - January 16, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    I had hopes for the South Park game, then I caught wind that Obsidian was in charge, so I immediately lost all hope for it. They ruined KOTOR2 and Alpha Protocol, so I can't in good judgment have high hopes for it.
  • Yeager1122 - January 16, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    Hope borderlands 2 comes out on time and the last of us looks awsome had not seen it before now i really hope that doesnt get delayed.
  • Darkhawk - January 16, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Last Guardian makes me so sad. I remember back when it was announced, it became the main reason for my wanting a PS3. I finally bit, and now I have to wait another year or more? :(
  • mothbanquet - January 16, 2012 7:15 a.m.

    New BIA??!! How did I not know of this before?!
  • komadose - January 15, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    i just want FFVXIII...
  • minimaxi - January 15, 2012 4:14 a.m.

    speaking about anarchy reigns, it just feels like... there's ZERO hype right now. candidate for critical darling/commercial flop? or maybe worse; okay but very niche.
  • jmcgrotty - January 15, 2012 3:19 a.m.

    At first I was going to say that you missed the most obvious ones, which is "Any game for a Nintendo system," but then I realized that these were games that might be seen in 2013. And no Nintendo games will be seen by anyone in 2012 unless you're the guy who stocks (and ultimately unstocks) the shelves at Gamespot.
  • Y2Ken - January 15, 2012 1:28 a.m.

    I'm suspicious of GTAV too, Rockstar loves putting out their big games around the spring time, but if that were the case for this year I'd have expected to at least have seen another trailer by now, if not something more substantial. Please let it not be true for Borderlands 2 though. I'm currently working my way through the PC version of the first game - once that's done I will have burnt out every version of it that they've put out. And I'll probably go back to playing either 360 (more active friends playing Borderlands) or PS3 (have a friend who wants to buy it).
  • HeavyTank - January 15, 2012 12:57 a.m.

    I'm pretty amazed at how nobody noticed how the Last of Us trailer was so..well, good. It's certainly better than the GTAV trailer, in my opinion. From the moment I watched "I am Legend" I knew that, sooner or later, they were going to make a game about one or two people trying to survive in a city where no other human beings could be found. If they manage to pull this off right (and, keeping in mind that ND are the creators of the Uncharted series, there's a pretty high chance that they will) I'm going to be very happy.
  • NanoElite666 - January 14, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    As much as I love Borderlands and can't wait for the second one, I think I'd be fine waiting a little longer for it. Gives me more time to build a spiffy gaming rig to play it all spiffy-like.
  • Barnsley Pal - January 14, 2012 5:13 p.m.

    Borderlands 2 is the only one I would miss. It's in my top 3 most anticipated games for 2012 (along with Mass Effect 3 and BioShock Infinite).
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - January 14, 2012 3 p.m.

    So many games already set to come out, I wouldn't mind seeing Prey 2 get pushed back. If it had to come out, I almost wish it would come out in the Summer since it would be unlikely to go up against any other big games.
  • talleyXIV - January 14, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    Oh Borderlands 2, how I already love you. I bet it makes it in by Winter this year. I'd imagine September or October would be a good release time.
  • TheSharklionBeast - January 14, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    SC2: heart of the swarm better come out this year otherwise I will rip my face off
  • MadMan - January 14, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    GTA V and Borderlands 2, GAWWWWWW WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT!!!
  • Bitchslapthehomeless - January 14, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    I want The Last Guardian out so bad... :( But, don't you think Sony is going to have a tough time marketing both The Last Guardian and The Last of Us without your average consumer being confused?
  • Spybreak8 - January 14, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    Good read, thanks Mikel.

Showing 1-20 of 51 comments

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