There once was a time when videogames were released so sporadically that it was legitimately possible to keep track of all the good games coming out the upcoming season. Now, however, it is rather difficult to keep track of virtually everything worth playing that comes out in the span of several weeks, let alone months. Plus, with Wii U headed our way, this is a particularly busy holiday season. Still, the one rule that stays the same for all of us is that we wait of the holidays because nothing is sweeter than a Santa with videogames. Therefore, for your viewing pleasure, PolicyMic has compiled for you a series of the top 5 videogames that you will get to see before the end of the year so that you can have time to anticipate them, save up for them, hound your loves ones for them and finally enjoy them:
1. Pokemon Black/White Version 2:
Set two years after the events of the original Black and White, the sequels take place in the Unova region. Of note is the fact that players will now be able to visit new areas and conduct some new actions, including creating their own movie of the Pokemon. The game also features some recurring characters and the story will acknowledge how their role has changed in the last two years. As always, Black 2 and White 2 are essentially the same game, with the only difference being some minor plot elements and, more importantly, which Pokemon each version allows the player to catch.
Publisher: Nintendo; Developer: Gamefreak; Genre: Role-playing; Release Date: October 7, 2012; Console: DS.
2. Resident Evil 6:
A quicker take on the classic survival-horror series, Resident Evil 6 stars series veterans Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy and Jake Muller (son of the now deceased villain Albert Wesker). The story originally showcases Kennedy facing a zombie outbreak in the United States, Jake situated in a fictional European town and the two meet up with Redfield in China, the main location of the game. All three protagonists will have their own campaigns and each campaign will allow for cooperative play, starring separate playable characters. Also announced is a seventh playable character in the form of Ada Wong, who will instead use a crossbow and grapple gun as an alternative to the series tradition of bullets. Early previews of the game show a university that has been overtaken and the atmosphere of the game is suitably dark. In terms of gameplay, the controls are perfectly new and functional but, in breaking with the series’ trend, they actually allow one to shoot and move at the same time. Therefore, aside from the atmosphere, the game seems to be focusing more towards an action feel, further intensified by the fact that zombies now carry weapons. The graphics are also classic Resident Evil but the fact that the gameplay has essentially shifted styles means that this may not be a traditional survival horror experience, a fear further intensified by executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi referring to the game as “horror entertainment.” So, it looks like the goal is to be entertained, not survive; that was not Resident Evil’s traditional policy in the slightest sense.
Publisher: Capcom; Developer: Capcom; Genre: Action; Release Date: October 2, 2012; Console: X360, PS3, PC.
3. NBA 2K12:
The latest in a long line of NBA games, 2K12 has already been reviewed by several gaming outlets and is being praised for the additions and updates, although it maintains the same formula that has made it a classic within basketball fans. The latest version also seems to acknowledge the age of its fan base, highlighted by the fact that the game offers the ability to play with vintage teams that many younger fans of the sports would know nothing about. There has also been a greater focus on the animations, making the experience more life-like. Of course, the one flaw that has been cited has been the lack of fair artificial intelligence, with the computer opposition being rather “cheap.” Of course, since most players prefer to play against human opponents in this sort of game, that should not be too big a problem.
Publisher: 2K Sports; Developer: Visual Concepts; Genre: Sports; Release Date: October 4, 2012; Console: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, PSP.
4. Fable The Journey:
A spinoff game of the franchise not headed by the legend Peter Molyneux (no worries, he promises things he can never keep anyway) this is one of those games that tries to utilize Microsoft’s motion peripheral, Kinect. The first thing that confirms that this isn’t a Molyneux game is the presence of tutorials. The game first really kicks off when you take control of your horse, something that seems to work well with the motion controls. Luckily, the game is designed so you can play while seated, meaning that you won’t have to move too much in order to conduct spells. However, as a medium that is supposed to be the antithesis to physical activity, the little movement there is may be a bad sign anyway. In order to launch a spell, one has to move their arms completely. A lightning spell requires that you raise your hand to your shoulder and hurl it forward while the left hand controls a pushing motion. Of course, the coolest aspect, the one that really makes you feel like Harry Potter, is being able to move your hand after the launch to control where your spell goes. The game does get a bit difficult to control, as is the problem with most Kinect games, but recalibrating the sensors seems to solve to issue. Hopefully, this is one game where we can all live out our fantasies to be fantastic spell casters.
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios; Developer: Lionhead Studios; Genre: Role-Playing; Release Date: October 9, 2012; Console: X360.
5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
A Sci-fi strategy game, XCOM places players in the role of soldiers trying to combat an alien invasion, set to the backdrop of traditional political rivalries within the world. The game hearkens back to the days when strategy often placed a greater role in shooters than actual quickness of reflexes, although any fan of real-time turn-based combat will tell you that the need to micromanage so quickly is in itself a stress on the mind and thumbs that normal shooters can’t keep up with. After deciding where to place one’s soldiers, how to approach an area, choosing the order with which the attack will happen, the game switches to combat mode. There, the objective seems simply to shoot but approaching it in that matter will cause a lot of failures. Instead, one must constantly manage how to keep their comrades alive by deciding how they will proceed, what equipment they will use and when they will fall back. As a final indication of how this will not be a traditional shooter, the death in this game is permanent, meaning you cannot just go to fallen allies and revive them, which is the traditional fashion in modern tactical shooters.
Publisher: 2K Games; Developer: Firaxis Games; Genre: Strategy; Release Date: October 9, 2012; Console: X360, PS3, PC.