Most Anticipated of 2012: Xav's Picks

There's a lot to be excited for in 2012, and the Shacknews staff each have five games on their radar. The editorial team at Shacknews outlines their most anticipated games of 2012 individually. Lastly, here's senior editor Xav de Matos and his list of 2012 titles.

Metro: Last Light

There's something about Metro 2033 that just spoke to me. It was dark and complex, it didn't pander to its audience, and it was equal parts incredible and insane--with variations of good and bad between both. Metro: Last Light looks to continue with these trends. Based on what I've seen, developer 4A Games looks to build upon the foundation of the first game to bring players an even more intense experience with Metro: Last Light.

If the story is as rich and dense as the original was, Metro: Last Light will deliver. A lot of what we've seen from the game has been copious amounts of running and shooting. That wasn't exactly my gameplay style in the slow and methodical original, but boy does it look gorgeous. It looks to be the game to showcase my powerhouse PC, and I can't wait.

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Halo 4

Liking Halo has somehow become frowned upon in some hardcore circles, but I don't care. I am a fan of the franchise. The lore is, for the most part, well told and extremely detailed. Bungie didn't just create a series, they constructed a universe. Halo 4 looks to expand that universe, finally putting players face-to-face with the ancient beings known as The Forerunners.

Sure, Bungie is off working on their new Activision-published franchise, but Microsoft has a good thing going with 343 Industries. Think of it like this: as fans of the franchise, you don't want some new team coming in and screwing it all up, right? 343 Industries is comprised of Halo fans, ex-Bungie folks, and people that seem genuinely interested in taking the series in a direction that makes sense. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if it means I get to start a new fight with John-117.

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Guild Wars 2

There's only been one MMO title that was able to capture my attention for long periods of time while simultaneously pressuring my friends into playing it with me: Guild Wars. For its follow-up, NCSoft looks to outshine their previous effort. It's gorgeous, massive, and takes cues from lessons learned around the industry.

Guild Wars 2 has been cooking for quite some time. I haven't had a chance to play it at any press events just yet, but I have seen it up close. Sometimes it looks so slick I wonder why the game isn't already out and sometimes the game's impressive atmosphere looks like a parlor trick. I don't know if it will have the same impact on my free time as the original, but Guild Wars 2 is a game I cannot wait to see arrive.

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No, I'm not talking about that new hotness from Bethesda! I'm talking about the next game from the indie dev Mojang Specifications. Little is known about Scrolls, but part of the reason the game is on my 2012 radar is because of my recent addiction to Minecraft.

Word around the campfire is that Scrolls is a role-playing title that combines elements from trading card and board games. The ideal to craft a new genre--one Mojang devs felt was missing from the industry--along with the simplistic creativity showcased in Minecraft means I'll need to pay attention as soon as the game becomes available. I may have been late to board the Minecraft train, but seeing how incredible that title it, I'm willing to start waiting at the station for Scrolls.

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Listen, I'm looking forward to Mass Effect 3, BioShock Infinite, Hitman Absolution, and more just as much as the next guy, but I had to throw in a wild card here.

The development of 2K's XCOM reboot has seen some trouble. When it was first announced versus the most recent footage? That's completely different. The game has been broken to pieces and rebuilt... but that last gameplay footage looked good. Sure, it's not the same old XCOM you remembered, but unlike the "straight-up shooter" rebirth of Syndicate, XCOM still has some strategic elements. Those features are what pique my interest. If you're on the fence, watch the presentation. Put aside what its should be and give it a chance for what it is. It looks rather interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing it all expand.

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