BEST OVER-THE-TOP SLASHY-SLASHY:
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Award Probability: 92%
other studio can say “screw it, let’s just make this huge and ridiculous” with
quite as much flair and panache as Platinum Games, and the work they’ve done so
far on Revengeance looks badass with a capital “SSSSSSSSSSSSSS.” Slicing right
the hell through robots and mercenaries as former Metal Gear hate figure Raiden
is an appealing proposition no matter who’s in charge, but when Platinum throws
superfast action, giant sword-fighting mecha and absurd physics into the
equation, we know we’re in for a treat.
Above: How could we ever not want to play this?
good at Platinum is at just going for broke and making things as outrageous as
possible, there’s one other studio that consistently competes with them for sheer, balls-out crazy: Grasshopper Manufacture. Now Grasshopper’s
making a game about a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader who dismembers rainbow-spurting
zombies with the help of a cheerful severed head. Draw your own conclusions.
BEST NEW CONSOLE WE’LL LINE UP AT 5 A.M. TO BUY AND THEN FORGET WE OWN A YEAR LATER:
Award Probability: 58%
Wii U is probably going to be a great system, and we’ll probably all rush out
to grab one at launch. So will millions of other people, which could lead to
the return of console shortages, opportunistic eBay speculators, anxious web
searches for console shipments and resigned lineups outside stores in the cold,
early morning hours. That’s if the Wii U repeats the success of its
predecessor, the regular old Wii.
it repeats that success, though, who’s to say it won’t repeat its failures?
With no announced launch lineup and rival systems rumored to start appearing
this year or next, it’s possible the Wii U will repeat Nintendo’s sad console
patterns of the past 15 years: sporadic first-party game releases, lackluster
third-party game support, a cool gimmick that wears out its welcome quickly and
a condemnation to gather dust until the next Zelda or Mario appears.
or the Wii U will permanently silence our whiny cynicism by being so amazing
that it completely overshadows any competing console launches and marches
on a road of its enemies’ bones, finally restoring Nintendo’s dominance among
mainstream and hardcore gamers alike. Hey, we’re not psychic; it could happen.
And even if it doesn’t, it’ll be cool while it lasts.
Runner-up: PS Vita
the Wii U, the Vita is an impressive piece of hardware – and like the Wii U, it
carries some troublesome baggage from the previous generation. To be fair, most
of the PSP’s problems stemmed from its somewhat clunky design and its reliance
on slow-loading UMDs, issues that the Vita handily fixes. Price and memory-card
costs seem to be the biggest irritations now, so there’s a good chance this
could actually surge past the 3DS and its steadily growing library to become
the more attractive long-term proposition. Or not, in which case it can keep
our PSPs company on cold winter nights.
GROSSEST GAME WITH BLOOD AND STUFF:
Resident Evil 6
Guesstimated Award Probability: 87%
its trailer debuted a couple weeks ago, we’ve been pretty amped for Resident
Evil 6, and with no Dead Spaces or Mortal Kombats (PSV version excepted) on the
near horizon, we created this award specifically
to shoehorn it into this list somewhere. So, uh… yeah. Resident Evil 6.
It’s in this list now.
Above: It is in this list so hard, man
In all seriousness, splitting a game like this
into three different play styles – one for each of its three main characters –
is a damned intriguing proposition, and we’re awfully excited at the idea of a Resident
Evil actually being scary again. And
gross, with lots of blood. And… and guts.
And gross bloody mutants with guts just hanging out everywhere. Yes.
Runner-up: The Darkness II
don’t have to guess at this one – we already know that The Darkness II is a
gruesome, gruesome game. After Jackie Estacado reunites with the dark power
known as The Darkness, he gains the ability to messily dismember and mutilate
enemies with gory close-up executions, devour their hearts and throw the
resultant body parts at other enemies. Throw in long-distance bisections via
thrown car door, and we’re in for one hell of a gorefest when this hits on
BEST GAME WE (PROBABLY) WON’T PLAY THIS YEAR:
Grand Theft Auto V
Award Probability: 86%
want it. You want it. I sure as hell want it, and if it actually comes out this
year, I’ll be very surprised if Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t end up being at
least a serious Game of the Year contender for us and every other outlet. The
thing is, it probably won’t happen
this year, and if it does, we’ll be very surprised. Past precedent is against
it; Rockstar isn’t a studio that releases big games very often. It’s
extremely rare for it to publish more than one in a year, and this year, that big release appears to be Max Payne
It’s conceivable that the company could
quietly be prepping GTA V for the holidays even as you read this, but a spring
2013 release – when GTA V could dominate everyone’s attention instead of rub
elbows with the usual holiday crowd – seems a lot more likely at this point.
really, really hope we’re wrong about this one. Really, we do. But after the
departure of Fumito Ueda from Sony, The Last Guardian may have transitioned
from a project that’s generously been given as much time as it needs, to a
project stuck in development hell. True, Ueda’s still under contract to finish
the game, but our innate cynicism tells us that, as badly as we want to see
this released, we won’t see it for a while yet.
PREEMPTIVE 2012 GAME OF THE YEAR:
Award Probability: 53%
first Bioshock was nothing short of amazing. The second, while somewhat less
amazing, was no less memorable. And with the original developers returning to
give us a time-bending, rail-riding, giant-fighting adventure in a 1900s-era
city/war platform floating in the clouds, we already know that – short of any
major screw-ups – this is going to be jaw-dropping.
What little we’ve seen so far already has us super-excited for this one, and since
nothing cooler has been revealed to us yet, we’re going out on a limb and calling
2012 for Elizabeth, Booker and Columbia.
star-hopping exploits of Shepard and crew have only gotten better with each
successive game, and as the blowout finale to the trilogy, expectations are
high that Mass Effect 3 will make 1 and 2 look like utter garbage (or at least
provide a satisfyingly enormous conclusion). If past examples are anything to
go by – and they usually are – we expect this to start by eating up most of our
time in March, keep us hooked over the following months with generous DLC drops,
and then spark a heated debate in December about whether it should be our Game
of the Year. Tempers will flare, feelings will be hurt and fans won’t care
either way, because they’ll be too busy playing.
V comes out this year. Or The Last Guardian. Or it somehow turns out terrible. Who
can say for sure? At least our predictions have always been pretty close in the past.