Most Wanted 2012

Following on from a fairly muted E3, that only held a few unknown announcements, I thought it’d be worth updated the games I’m keeping an eye on.

The list is pretty large so I’ll start with the ones I’m most excited for:

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1) WATCH DOGS – Release Date TBC

This one blew me away at E3 and was easily the most impressive thing I saw. Just watch the video and this one will explain for itself. Hopefully it’ll look that good and deliver that immersive an experience when the game arrives.

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2) BORDERLANDS 2 – September 2012

The first Borderlands was a great game, which delivered so much more than was expected of it. (Seriously it’s cheap now so check it out!) The sequel looks set to live up to and maybe even exceed what came before – guns galore and exquisite cell shaded graphics combine for a brilliant experience. And it’s 4 player co-op! πŸ™‚

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3) BEYOND – TBC

Heavy Rain was one of my favourite games this generation, so anything new from developer Quantic Dream is always welcome. After showing us a tech demo called ‘Kara‘ earlier this year, Quantic blew the lid off Beyond at E3 – revealing the casting of Ellen Page and showing off the above trailer. Definitely one to watch.

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4) GRAND THEFT AUTO V – TBC

It’s a new Grand Theft Auto – what more do I need to say? πŸ˜† Looks amazing and you can always count on Rockstar to deliver something special. Expect the hype train to begin very shortly.

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5) BIOSHOCK INFINITE – February 2013

This made the last list I did and has now, unfortunately, been pushed back to 2013 so here it is again. The prequel to the original Bioshock title sees you out of the water and up in the sky – check out the footage above to refresh your memory.

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6) THE LAST OF US – 2013

The Last Of Us is the next game from developer Naughty Dog, whose Uncharted franchise has gone from strength to strength. Telling the story of Joel and Ellie, two survivors of global pandemic that have teamed up, this looks like it could be something totally different. A game with a change of pace is always nice and this one looks gritty to boot.

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7) RETRO CITY RAMPAGE (VITA) – Imminent!

Oh yes! πŸ™‚ Can you feel the force of a new title based around all your old favourite 8 Bit titles? There are even nods to newer games thrown in. This looks so good and a perfect fit to the Vita’s pick up and play type gaming. Believe it or not this is the work of ONE MAN! Brian Provinciano take a bow… and then get straight back to work on finishing the game πŸ˜†

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8) HITMAN ABSOLUTION – November 2012

I still can’t believe we haven’t had any sort of Hitman title on the PS3 so far! This looks like it could be fantastic. IO have been shaky in the last few years with the Kane and Lynch franchise but hopefully this will be a return to form.

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9) KILLZONE (VITA) – TBC

I love the Killzone universe and having seen the initial potential of a FPS on the Vita with Resistance Burning Skies, I’m hopeful we’ll get a great handheld version of the franchise. We’ve barely seen anything (see above) but I still can’t wait for this. And this time we play as the Helghast… right Studio Cambridge? RIGHT? πŸ˜‰

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10) ASSASSIN’S CREED III – October 2012

Ezio Auditore has finally taken a bow and Assassin’s Creed heads to a new time period in the third fully fledged game in the series. This time you’re slap bang in the middle of the War of Independence between the US and England. This looks absolutely stunning and the change in main character/setting adds to the excitement.

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11) DISHONORED – October 2012

Steampunk is on the agenda for Dishonored – set in an alternative universe in which steam powered machinery is the norm, the game sees you fighting to clear your name by taking on (and killing) various powerful political figures. It’s all in the first person and the time manipulation mechanic (among others) looks really interesting.

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12) DEAD SPACE 3 – February 2013

I’m still a touch concerned that co-op play may ruin the atmosphere that the Dead Space series has crafted but I’m willing to give it a chance based on how good the last two games were. This time Isaac is tackling theΒ frozen planet Tau Volantis, I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do with some more open environments.

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13) SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST – 2013

The last few Splinter Cell games have skipped the PS3 so it’s nice to see Sam Fisher returning to our screens. 3rd Echelon have been disbanded by order of the President. Never fear though, Sam’s set up 4th Echelon in secret πŸ˜† so the adventures can continue. Looks really cool and will be interested to see more on this one.

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14) RESIDENT EVIL 6 – OCTOBER 2012

A lot of people didn’t but I actually enjoyed Resident Evil 5. Sure it wasn’t the best game in the series but it was still decent enough to play through and I liked the different setting. 6 goes back to Resi’s roots a bit and features several stories that cross over. This could be a dark horse for Game Of The Year if they get it right.

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15) ASSASSIN’S CREED: LIBERATION (VITA) – October 2012

Yes it’s *another* Assassin’s Creed game but but there are some differences here – firstly a female lead character (and a realistic, non sexualised one at that 😯 ), secondly a new time period to mess around in and finally the game looks like it’s taking full advantage of the Vita’s power to provide an open world experience on the go. Great stuff.

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So those are my ‘most’ Most Wanted πŸ™‚ But there are still a whole host of other games on the horizon that are worth checking out – here are some more that it’s worth looking out for this year and next:

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16) METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGANCE – 2013

Dropping the ‘Solid’ from it’s title and shifting developers to Platinum Games (who made the totally insane and great Bayonetta) might be the smartest move this title made. Raiden is the star here as you control a CYBORG NINJA with a SAMURAI SWORD. That is all.

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17) SLEEPING DOGS – August 2012

Rescued from the dumpster of Activision, Sleeping Dogs is in fact True Crime Hong Kong – except with a new title and more development time. Influenced by Hong Kong cinema, this looks like a lot of fun.

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18) RAINBOW SIX: PATRIOTS – 2013

For goodness sake Ubisoft give me my Rainbow Six! It’s been 4 years! The two Vegas games were great and I expect this to be just as good – don’t let me down!

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19) TOMB RAIDER – 2013

Finally XBox 360 owners will get to play Uncharted… Oh sorry I meant, look it’s a new Tomb Raider game! πŸ˜‰ Eidos are giving Lara Croft a reboot ‘Dark Knight’ style and this looks like it could be really good. And it’s some climbing, treasure based action to tide us over until Uncharted 4.

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20) NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED (VITA) – November 2012

The Vita really needs a top draw driving game in my opinion. As it appears there are no plans for a Gran Turismo on the handheld the mantle falls to Criterion (of Burnout fame) who will be bringing Need For Speed to Vita alongside it’s PS3 brother. Should be great.

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21) FAR CRY 3 – September 2012

Unfortunately Far Cry 2 was one of those games that I started but ended up getting lost in a deluge of other great titles. The third instalment certainly looks great, hopefully the gameplay will be smooth as well.

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22) ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES – 2013

Another game that’s been pushed back to next year is Gearbox’s love letter to the film ‘Aliens’. This one could go either way I feel, I’m hoping it veers towards the action based set pieces of the film and does the universe justice.

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23) DUST 514 – TBC

Dust 514 is a free to play FPS that will hit the PSN later this year. It ties in with a PC title called Eve Online – some missions in Dust will be given by people playing the PC game. Interesting idea, will be keeping an eye on how this one does.

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24) CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS: DECLASSIFIED (VITA) – November 2012

Rumour has it this will be the missions that were made for Black Ops but that didn’t make it into the final game. Sounds cool to me – I enjoyed Black Ops but please Treyach, no poorly implemented exploding barrel sequences this time ok?

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25) PREY 2 – 2013

I don’t know much about the first Prey as I never played it but the trailer for the second game (which you can see here) looks pretty sweet. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this one in the upcoming months.

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So there you go – 25 games to keep on your radar. Anything I’ve missed? What games are you guys most excited about?

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Resistance: Burning Skies – Review (Vita)

As a fan of all of the PS3 games in the Resistance series I was looking forward to Burning Skies hitting the Vita. With it also being the platforms first dedicated FPS, excitement (as well as the pressure to deliver) was high.

Burning Skies tells the story of firefighter Tom Riley and is set between the events of Resistance 1 and 2. The Chimera invasion hits and Tom gets separated from his family. He has to find them and along the way gets tangled up in taking on the alien invading force.

Development here has been handled by Nihilistic as opposed to Insomniac, who handled the PS3 versions. They do a good job for the most part.

Graphically the game isn’t massively impressive. In general, and certainly in battle, Burning Skies looks fine. However you’ll notice a fair few jagged edges and lots of pixels during quiet moments which is a little disappointing but doesn’t distract during play.

The controls feel good – I tweaked down the sensitivity (as I always have the movement speed pretty slow) and I had no problems at all with aiming or shooting. The cover system was largely redundant in my opinion as I found myself crouching behind cover manually and just popping out when needed.

In true Resistance fashion this isn’t a game about accuracy – headshots don’t kill the Chimera with one shot, you’ll need to empty half a clip into enemies to take them down. I don’t have a problem with that (the Uncharted games are the same for the most part) but people looking for a Battlefield/Call Of Duty type experience will be disappointed.

It’s a fairly substantial game, I didn’t time it specifically but I would say the campaign was around 6/7 hours including retries. I died quite a lot but the checkpoint system was pretty well paced, although there were a few moments where the game sent you back an extra room or whatever and led to a long replay.

I certainly felt like I got my money’s worth from the campaign of Burning Skies but for me the most fun has come online.

This game caters for up to 8 players and has three game modes: Deathmatch (all v all), Team Deathmatch and Survival. Survival was most interesting to me – one or two of the players start as Chimera and the remaining players have to survive 5 minutes. If a Chimera kills a human then that human also becomes Chimera, until there are no humans left (or the 5 minutes is up).

I have had a few issues in terms of getting connected – but it’s just been a case of trying to connect until you do. Once I’ve been in a game I have never been dropped out or lost connection, which I think is really impressive.

I experienced no lag whatsoever, the online runs as smooth as the offline. The maps are well designed and the weapons are really well balanced. I have been having a blast with this online and it’s really shown me how great an FPS could be on the Vita.

Unfortunately that is the biggest compliment I can give Burning Skies, it truly shows the potential for FPS games on the Vita but doesn’t quite fulfil it. This would’ve got a 6 if it was just offline but the online did genuinely impress me, both in terms of stability and balance so I feel it’s well above average.

It’s certainly worth playing through, especially from the perspective of what other FPS’s could build on from this, but if you’re not a fan of Resistance and it’s brand of non-realistic shooting you may struggle to enjoy it. It’s the solid and enjoyable online that sees Burning Skies rise above average.

Rating: 8/10

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