The Preemptive 2012 Game Awards

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Guesstimated Award Probability: 92%

No 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?

Runner-up: Lollipop Chainsaw

As 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.


Guesstimated Award Probability: 58%

The 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.

If 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.

That, 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

Like 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.

Resident Evil 6

Guesstimated Award Probability: 87%

After 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

We 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 Tuesday.

Grand Theft Auto V

Guesstimated Award Probability: 86%

We 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 3.

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.

Runner-up: The Last Guardian

We 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: Bioshock Infinite*

Guesstimated Award Probability: 53%

The 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.

Runner-up: Mass Effect 3

The 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.

*Unless GTA 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.


  • TheGuy0526 - February 8, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    I'm curious to see how Prey 2 holds up. I like the looks of it, but we'll see how much attention it gets with Mass Effect 3 on the way.
  • charlie_ruskiy - February 7, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    Am I the only who thinks Metal Gear Rising may very well repeat the successor of its predecessor and become GotY? At least thats what I hope will happen. :]
  • RyoonZ - February 6, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Where's FF XIII-2? Most hated game in 2012 even people haven't played it and judge it in my country at least.
  • Darkhawk - February 6, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    :( I bought my PS3 for Last Guardian. If I don't get a proper hit soon, I'll have to cave and just buy the SotC HD upgrade to fill the void.
  • farsided - February 4, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    Thanks for the complete absence of Guild Wars 2 from the list /s. What's the matter? Didn't get into the press beta or something?
  • Lando81 - February 5, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    lol. You see that guys? Guild Wars 2 fanboys DO exist!
  • GR HollanderCooper - February 6, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    It was in the top 20 of our most anticipated games, but I guess we hate it?
  • farsided - February 6, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    Seeing as it was voted second only to Diablo 3 in GT's most anticipated game of the year, and has been voted as the most anticipated MMO of the year on a slew of sites, yes, I am surprised that once again, it received no attention from GR. Your coverage for the past year has been absurdly sparse, despite the massive number of innovations they've been introducing, and I'm frankly disappointed. You may not hate it, but you have ignored it heavily. My question still stands: did you not get into the press beta- which would result in an even further lack of coverage when they lift the NDA come the 20th? @Lando go back to your shitty wow clone. Maybe you'll eventually recognize that dropping a couple hundred mil for pointless voiceovers isn't a real progression of the genre, but until then, shut the fuck up when grown folks is talking.
  • TheGuy0526 - February 8, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    With a big MMO like The Old Republic just recently released, i'm not surprised its not on the list. I know i'm not all that excited about GW2. Resident Evil 6 and Mass Effect 3 on the other hand..
  • ObliqueZombie - February 8, 2012 5:44 p.m.

    Dude, you need to chill the fuck out. I realize you've probably been playing WoW since "Vanilla ages," but that doesn't give you a right to ignorantly--and wrongly--call a game a "WoW clone," a game which is probably SWTOR, and a game Lando never mentioned. So there goes a pretentious assumption. And I'm not saying Guild Wars is shallow, but, it's shallow. It's free, yeah, but that doesn't hold up to limited content and a level-20 cap. However, while I, and GamesRadar, have seen how different and how spectacular Guild Wars 2 is probably going to be, you can't just be an asshole and shove your opinions as facts down people's throat. And if you PLAYED SWTOR, which I'm sure you haven't (Beta doesn't count as playing), you'd realize that we're not such a shallow crowd. We care about the story and character progressions and writing and voice acting. We also realize how stable, if slightly un-innovative, the gameplay may be, but dammit, it works, and the it's all about WHAT is happened, rather than HOW it is happening. I'll shoot lighting out of my finger tips and scream at my enemies with pure Force energy before I become an elf and shoot arrows again.
  • MrBlister23 - February 4, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    Why is the Illuminati sign doing on the trophies and next to the title? Some suspicious mojo is going on around here...
  • k1DBLITZ - February 5, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    That is precisely what I was thinking. Also, the other day the advertisement for Dirt Showdown had an inverted pentagram on it.
  • LiaraLoveSlave - February 4, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    "hour-devourers" I like what you did there. Entertaining as always, Mikel.
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 4, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    So many great games this year, it's 2011 all over again! I'll probably sink alot of time into Borderlands 2, and I really don't know much about it, but Prey 2 looks so cool! (cool,cool,cool) I wish somehow Twisted Metal could've been squeezed into an entry. (most murderous clown...?)
  • amaro57 - February 4, 2012 5:56 p.m.

    We need Asura's Wrath as a contender for over-the-top action. :3
  • Yeager1122 - February 4, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    I never played any of the other Devil May Cry's before but the new one looks awsome who cares what the character looks like its the gameplay that matters.
  • FauxFurry - February 4, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Kingdoms of Amalur doesn't get a preemptive nod for Deadliest Time Murderer? I guess that's one thing that it speculatively won't do better or as well as Skyrim.
  • Gibsonsg527 - February 4, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    Im almost certain that GTA V will come out this year.
  • winner2 - February 4, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    Agreed with the GOTY guess, infinite looks bat-shit crazy awesome
  • Spybreak8 - February 4, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    Best new IP: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Best Game for the Money: Guild Wars 2

Showing 1-20 of 65 comments

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