At the 2012 Electronic Electronic Expo (E3), a games industry-only event which wrapped in June of this year, Sony president Jack Tretton equated the tradeshow to the Super Bowl, and there’s no doubt that anyone who considers themselves a gamer is paying close attention to what companies announced at the confab. Its most important revelation: That there’s a continued and growing trend towards blockbuster games that are designed for the core gamer, and our list of the following 10 best new video games clearly reflects this – as well as a few choices that are also appropriate for all ages. Looking to get a head start on your holiday wish list? Here’s what gaming fans will want to keep top of mind going forward.
(in alphabetical order)
Assassin’s Creed III – Ubisoft – The popular series set in history travels to the time of the American Revolution, as a templar named Connor battles the British. In addition to familiar stealth/adventure gameplay, the game will also feature intense nautical battles on the high seas. October 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii-U and PC
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision – With a narrative that skips between two time-periods, Call of Duty: Black Ops II puts players in the position of having their actions in the past affect the future. Players can see firsthand the consequences of their actions as they battle terrorists in 2025 Los Angeles. November 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
God of War Ascension – SCEA – Kratos is back, and this time he has a new weapon to battle his mythological enemies with: the ability to reverse time. This sure-fire hit will feature large and impressive bosses, such as an elephant-headed monster or the dreaded kraken. Spring 2013 for PlayStation 3.
Halo 4 – Microsoft – Master Chief and Cortana are back, and they must once again battle the alien scourge. Featuring an immersive single-player game and an equally as impressive multiplayer-focus, Halo 4’s gorgeous graphics and perfectly-tuned shooter mechanics make this one of the top must-have titles of 2012 for any game system. November 2012 for Xbox 360.
Hawken – Adhesive – This larger-than-life free-to-play multiplayer game features impressively scaled mechs battling each other in a variety of modes, with strategy playing just an important part in victory as the size and scale of your weapons and movements. December 2012 for PC.
Injustice – Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment – This all-new fighting game franchise from the makers of Mortal Kombat features DC Comics Icons like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more. Each character has unique abilities and interact with the environment in their own special way. – 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360.
NintendoLand – Nintendo – Touted as the game that will give Wii-U gamers the same “a-ha” experience that Tennis did for the Wii, NintendoLand features a dozen different games based on familiar Nintendo characters and locations, while utilizing the Wii-U’s tablet-like GamePads to create new ways for gamers to interact with the action – separate from the TV. Holiday 2012 for Wii-U.
Skylanders Giants – Activision – 2011’s smash hit Skylanders is back in 2012 with Skylanders Giants, featuring 16 more collectible action figures and an all-new adventure. Skylanders Giants features even more of the great co-operative gameplay as the original, and again lets gamers take their Skylanders with them for play on any of their friend’s game systems. October 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and PC.
Sleeping Dogs – Square Enix – Set in the streets of Hong Kong, this open-world crime game is perfect for gamers who can’t wait for the next Grand Theft Auto game. Sleeping Dogs follows the story of an undercover cop dealing with the explosive and bloody consequences of his cover being blown. August 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Watch Dogs – Ubisoft – Goodbye Zombies, hello hackers. With impressive graphics and an intriguing story about the power of hackers to wreak havoc on the world, Watch Dogs promises to be an open-world blockbuster when it’s released next year. 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.