Man, what a year 2011 was. With instant classics such as Batman: Arkham CIty, Portal 2, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and, of course, Skyrim, some may even argue that 2011 was the best year in gaming ever.
With the new year upon us, 2012 has the burden of trying to live up to the greatness of 2011. How could it? Well, after the gamrFeed staff got together to vote for our most anticipated games of this year, things are looking hopeful. Read on to find out our Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2012. Some of the entries may surprise you.
10. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 may have competed for top shooter of 2011, but for many fans, neither can hold a candle to Counter-Strike. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first major update to the series since 2004's Counter-Strike: Source, and it's a substantial addition indeed. Featuring updated graphics, new weapons and maps, cross-platform play between PC and PS3, as well as all the old maps fans know and love, Global Offensive will force the rest of the shooter competition next year to step up their game.
2009's Flower provided a rare emotional experience that's hard to find in games today. Next year, developer Thatgamescompany hopes to follow up on that with next year's Journey, an innovative downloadable title for the PS3 that's set to change the way we think about online gaming. Set in a mysterious world covered entirely in desert (from what we've seen, anyway), Journey tasks players with finding their way to a mountain, and along the way may run into players on the same journey. The catch is that the game doesn't allow for text or voice chat, forcing players to communicate with and help eachother entirely non-verbally. This, combined with its minimalistic storytelling and breathtaking art-style makes this one of the most unique games of 2012.
8. Lollipop Chainsaw
Oh, Suda 51, where would gaming be without you? The auteur responsible for Killer 7, No More Heroes, and Shadows of the Damned, Suda 51's commitment to craziness appears to have no limits with next year's Lollipop Chainsaw. Players are put in the role of Juliet Starling, a high school cheerleader who fights zombies with (you guessed it) a giant chainsaw. The current zombie craze may be tiring some gamers out as of late, but not every zombie explodes in a flurry of rainbows when cut in half.
7. Paper Mario (3DS)
Those still on the fence about getting a 3DS continue to be tempted by Nintendo's first party line-up, and none are arguably as tempting as the upcoming Paper Mario. Featuring the same "paper characters meets 3D backgrounds" style of the last three Paper Mario games, the added depth of the hardware's third dimension helps make the argument for 3D gaming. Paper Mario 3DS will also feature the return of turn based battles, differing from the Super Paper Mario's more action-platformer oriented approach.
6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Who could have seen this coming? Many wrote off the rumors earlier this year that Platinum Games would be taking over development of Metal Gear Solid: Rising from Kojima Productions, but it turned out to be completely true. Not only that, but the game has received a HUGE overhaul. No longer the original game that was shown at E3 2010, the newly named Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance represents a drastic change from the historically stealth based series. Metal Gear fans may be tepid towards this balls-out action approach (as well as the focus on Raiden), but we couldn't be more excited.
5. Guild Wars 2
With the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and World of Warcraft still the reigning king of MMO's, why should you care about Guild Wars 2? Well, probably because it has the potential to blow both completely out of the water. This will be accomplished by featuring something very few MMO's have attempted: A dynamic world that changes depending on players' actions, and quests being generated based on previous successes and failures. Coupled with a gorgeous art-style, unique PVP gameplay, and lack of subscription fees, Guild Wars 2 could very well be the MMO of 2012.
4. Diablo III
Blizzard's long anticipated sequel to one of the best games of all time. What more can we say? Featuring the same dungeon crawling we've come to associate with the series, Diablo III features many new additions that increase the speed and flow of gameplay while keeping the original games' depth. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the game looks absolutely beautiful, either.
3. The Last Guardian
After a possible cancellation scare last week, we're happy to hear that The Last Guardian is stll on track for its 2012 release date, and thank goodness for that. Led by Fumito Udea and Team Ico, The Last Guardian is a unique game about a boy and his giant dog/bird/lizard thing. Like previous Team Ico titles, the game mechanics focus on the dynamic between these two characters as they try to escape from an unknown enemy. This game is becoming somewhat notorious for its delays (originally slated for a 2010 release). Here's hoping it finally makes it for 2012.
2. Mass Effect 3
Finishing off the epic that BioWare started in 2007, Mass Effect 3 will end the trilogy with a bang, finally pitting Commander Shepard and crew against the Reapers (the ominous threat of the last two games) in a full out war. With tighter gunplay, improved RPG elements, and brutal new melee moves, Mass Effect 3 has the potential to be BioWare's best yet.
1. BioShock Infinite
Many people liked BioShock 2, but without the input of original developer Irrational Games, some fans felt that it was lacking. Ironically, the upcoming BioShock Infinite's change in setting from the underwater dystopia of Rapture to the cloud city of Columbia seems more of a proper follow-up to the original BioShock than 2 ever was. Columbia looks to be one of the most artistically realized settings in the history of gaming, and BioShock's classic guns-meet-plasmids gameplay makes this our most anticipated game of 2012.
There you have it, the top 10 games that you should keep an eye on for 2012. What do you think? Any games that you felt should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!