The 30 most-anticipated games of 2012 (screenshots)
Alan Wake's American Nightmare (XBLA)
This download-only follow-up to Alan Wake focuses more on the action, where the original concentrated more on story. In American Nightmare, Wake is up against his evil twin, Mr. Scratch, in this pulp-inspired spin-off.
Developer: Remedy Expected release date: Q1 2012
Photo by: Remedy
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3)
Say it with me, "Final Fantasy Thirteen-Two." This highly anticipated title is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, preserving that game's storyline and most of the same characters.
Developer: Square Enix Expected release date: January 31
Photo by: Square Enix
Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)
Resident Evil Revelations looks like it'll be the closest thing we'll ever get to another true Resident Evil 4 sequel. Best of all, it'll be available in the portable variety.
Developer: Capcom Expected release date: February 7
Photo by: Capcom
Inversion (360, PS3)
Inversion makes our list because the game makes use of some interesting gravity effects. From what we've played so far, the mind-altering gameplay will provide some truly unique scenarios that go well beyond the average third-person shooter.
Developer: Saber Interactive Expected release date: February 7
Photo by: Saber Interactive
The Darkness II (360, PS3, PC)
We've gotten to see a lot of The Darkness II these past few months and it's shaping up to be a compelling sequel. Back with a new art style, The Darkness II also boasts quad-wielding, which lets the player use four appendages for maximum carnage.
Developer: Digital Extremes Expected release date: February 7
Photo by: Digital Extremes
SSX (360, PS3)
The SSX franchise won over action sports gamers during its run on the last generation of consoles, and now EA Canada is bringing the game back to its roots.
Developer: EA Canada Expected release date: February 14
Photo by: EA Canada
Twisted Metal (PS3)
Sweet Tooth and company make their triumphant return to the combat derby universe with new cars, new levels, tons of destructibility, and insane online multiplayer modes.
Developer: Eat Sleep Play Expected release date: February 14
Photo by: Eat Sleep Play
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)
A portable version of Uncharted? Sign us up. Golden Abyss looks to lead the PlayStation Vita's launch lineup when it's released alongside the portable this February. Will Golden Abyss be the Vita's killer app?
Developer: Bend Studio Expected release date: February 22
Photo by: Bend Studio
Escape Plan (Vita)
Escape Plan has flown mostly under the radar, but after a recent hands-on, we're really starting to get excited about this Vita launch title. In the game, players must navigate characters Laarg and Lil through various booby traps to progress.
Developer: Fun Bits Expected release date: February 22
Photo by: Fun Bits
Syndicate (360, PS3, PC)
We're already impressed with what we've seen from Syndicate, the first-person relaunching of the franchise of the same name. A handful of futuristic weapons are at your disposal, in addition to neurological powers that allow mind-hacking.
Developer: Starbreeze Expected release date: February 22
Photo by: Starbreeze
Max Payne 3 (360, PS3, PC)
Max Payne 3 is looking like the true sequel loyal fans have been clamoring for. While some initial screenshots had us thinking otherwise, the third Payne game will feature everyone's favorite disgruntled cop in various new environments as well as some familiar ones.
Developer: Rockstar Games Expected release date: March 6
Photo by: Rockstar Games
Mass Effect 3 (360, PS3, PC)
The Mass Effect trilogy ends here. For the last time players will suit up as Commander Shepard and take on the Reaper invasion.
Developer: Bioware Expected release date: March 6
Photo by: Bioware
XCOM (360, PS3, PC)
The franchise reboot XCOM impressed us at E3 2011 with its unique alternate-history alien invasion storyline and intense gameplay. Shooters are nothing new, but XCOM has enough originality to keep us anxiously waiting.
Developer: 2K Marin Expected release date: March 6
Photo by: 2K Marin
Ghost Recon Future Soldier (360, PS3, PC)
The highly anticipated follow up to Ubisoft's fantastic tactical shooter is upon us. Future Soldier will give players a host of new technologically advanced weapons and gadgets to use on enemy forces.
Developer: Ubisoft Expected release date: March 2012
Photo by: Ubisoft
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD (XBLA, PSN)
Enough with the plastic skateboard accessories. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD brings the franchise back to its roots with a focus on chain-linking tricks and grinds for maximum points.
No shock here. Activision will publish a new Call of Duty game in 2012, and if the pattern of the last five years continues, it will see Treyarch coming in as the developer. Write down a bunch of military conflicts from the world's past, shuffle them up in a hat, pick one, and you've got the next Call of Duty game.
Developer: Most likely Treyarch Expected release date: November 2012
Halo 4 (360)
Halo developer Bungie has passed the reins over to 343 Industries for the next Halo game. Little is known about the next iteration of the now-legendary first-person shooter, but a late 2012 release is looking like a real possibility.
It's tough to downplay the insane amount of hype that BioShock Infinite has around it, but it's one of the only game franchises that really deserves it. Because the original had such an engaging storyline, brilliant art direction, and fantastic gameplay, we can only assume BioShock Infinite will deliver in all these areas and more.
Developer: Irrational Games Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Irrational Games
Lollipop Chainsaw (360, PS3)
From the developer that brought us No More Heroes and this year's sleeper hit Shadows of the Damned comes what is sure to be another trip never before experienced in a video game. Lollipop stars a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader who must take on a swarm of teenage zombies.
The third iteration of the immensely popular role-playing game is scheduled to hit in 2012 now that the beta has been pushed out.
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Blizzard Entertainment
Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
Far Cry 3 really surprised us at E3 2011 with a great gameplay demo that teased the game's tropical locale. The yet-to-be-named habitat in which it takes place has a terrible secret that's making its citizens go crazy.
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Ubisoft Montreal
Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)
The gaming world stood still as the Grand Theft Auto V trailer debuted a few weeks ago, shedding light on where the next game would take place. Now that the dust has settled, we're expecting to see GTA V next holiday season.
Developer: Rockstar North Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Rockstar North
The Last Guardian (PS3)
It seems like we've been waiting for The Last Guardian forever, but all signs are pointing to 2012 as the year we finally get to play Fumito Ueda's latest epic. If Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are any indication of what to expect from The Last Guardian, PlayStation 3 owners are in for an amazing experience.
Developer: Team Ico Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Team Ico
Darksiders II (360, PS3, PC)
The follow-up to 2010's surprise hit, Darksiders II will take place after the original and will give players the chance to control another member of the Four Horsemen.
Developer: Vigil Games Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Vigil Games
Metro: Last Light (360, PS3, PC)
While Metro 2033 took a while to get going, the hype train is in full effect for Last Light, which continues the story of an underground civilization in post-apocalyptic Russia.
Developer: 4A Games Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: 4A Games
Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance (360, PS3)
Just another title making its second appearance on a "most anticipated" list--all we know now about Metal Gear Solid Rising is that it's added "Revengeance" to its title. Chances we'll finally see it this year? Better than last year's.
Developer: Platinum Games Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Platinum Games
Paper Mario (3DS)
We've loved every Paper Mario game before, and the 3DS seems like the absolute perfect platform for a sequel. Look for this 2D/3D mashup to hit 3DS portables in 2012.
Developer: Nintendo Expected release date: TBA 2012
Photo by: Nintendo
Prey 2 (360, PS3, PC)
Prey 2 won't be the gravity-shifting first-person sequel we thought it might be. Instead, Prey 2 has a completely new direction as players will take on the role of a galactic bounty hunter.
Developer: Human Head Studios Expected release date: TBA 2012