By Ravenhoe 18 Comments
Original Blog Post here: http://thegamedandy.blogspot.com/
Now that all the best of 2011 and worst of 2011-lists are behind us, the game enthusiasts of today can relish in hundreds of list proclaiming what will be the best and most anticipated and greatest and funniest and most amazing and first and foremost the best-selling game of 2012. Unfortunately, almost all of these lists include not only the same games over and over (Bioshock Infinite ? O RLY ? Never heard of that one), but games that have been hyped for months already. So my question to you dear editors, why the feck are you getting paid for telling us something we already know for the tenth time !? So, as usual, the Dandy has to step in and here is my list of anticipated (PC) games that some of you might not have heard of. Will they be good games ? I don't know, will I keep an eye out for them ? You can bet your sweet little bums I will !
The Second GuestJanuary 2012,
Twice Effect (published by Headup Games), Classic P&C Adventure
As a fan of both traditional adventure games and all things gloomy, this has been on my radar for quite some time. It seems to be a bit hard to track down outside of Germany for some strange reason but it sure looks interesting. It kind of reminds me of Maniac Mansion and A Vampyre Story. I like the hand-drawn visuals and the theme. Let's hope it lives up to what it makes out to be.
R.A.W. Realms of Ancient War
January 2012, Wizardbox, Focus Home Interactive, Hack & Slay
It is one of the toughest fates to be had for a game designer really, creating a classic Hack & Slay game with Diablo III looming somewhere over the horizon, ready to take over the game world sooner rather than later and first and foremost, smash all competing action-RPG's out of the ballpark (Grim Dawn, Path of Exile, RAW, Torchlight II etc.). Yet, as a keen supported of the little men sticking it to the big men, I will keep an eye on this one and hope that it might bring something to the table that makes it worth picking up despite the fierce competition. While it does not sound very innovative indeed, it sure sounds polished and that is something that you cannot say of all the games coming out in this day and age.
February 2012, Depth Team, Competitive FPS / Stealth
This game has two things that interest me going on. I am not the biggest fan of competitive FPS gaming (I think TF2 is as dull as a loaf of bread on a Tuesday afternoon) but this tickled my fancy. First, there is the theme. Like every sane man, I am profoundly terrified of sharks, which are pretty much nothing but swimming killing machines, a bit like Hulk Hogan in swimwear and the prospect of playing sharks and also trying to keep them from killing me sounds like a terrifying and thrilling experience. The underwater setting could make for great visuals and atmosphere. Second, the game shapes up to be more about stealth than 'shooting' and that is something I have been looking for in multiplayer FPS games in quite a while. Many single-player FPS are about (at least in parts) stealth (Thief, AC etc.) and it is about time someone makes a stealth multiplayer game. The game might have some launch issues related to support and bugs but I am still keen to give it a chance.
February 2012, The ChineseRoom, Experimental FPS adventure
Like a true Englishman, I am very much delighted by ghost stories in general and I immensely enjoyed similar games (The Lost Crown for example!). Dear Esther sounds like a wonderfully haunting but also quite playable experience. Played in a first person perspectives, the player roams around the gorgeous island and uncovers random titbits of information about what is happening (or has happened before). The game is more about exploration and experiencing the world and story than min-maxing or winning but that is exactly what I am looking forward to, let alone the incredible soundtrack.
March 2012, Telltale Games, Episodic Adventure
I will be forever grateful for Telltale games, both for helping in reviving the adventure game genre but also taking some of the most beloved adventure game legacies under their wing, such as the Monkey Island series and Sam & Max. However, their latest effort - Jurassic Park - was a massive turkey and I wonder whether it was just a fluke or a wrong step into a new direction, trying to streamline, nerf and dumb down their design approach. Their next offering is certainly a very interesting one with lots of potential. The Fables series will be based on the DC comics of the same name and tell the story of fairy tale characters (the usual suspects) who are exiled from the magical homeland and are now stuck in New York City.
Shiver Games, Lace Mamba Global, Adventure/Puzzle
Lucius sounds exactly like the kind of deranged gaming experience I like. You play Lucius, the son of the devil and need to make sure the mansion is made rid of its residents by causing 'accidents' and all the while making sure that no one suspects you by disguising them as common household catastrophes. Somehow, the premise reminds me of a game called Ghost Master (if you have not played it, give it a whirl, it is funny). While this is an adventure game instead of strategy/casual, it has the same theme.
March 2012, Akena, 1C, Action Adventure
It seems there might be a slight resurgence of the pirate adventure happening (god knows so many have tried an failed for the most part) and apart from Risen 2, Captain Blood looks quite promising. Yet again, the Cursed Crusade looked promising and was one of the worst games ever released on any system. The question is more or less if this will be released in a playable state and whether the game testing and polish will be up to good standards. I am not worried about the story / theme as much than controls & GUI. Still, Captian Blood looks like a promising swashbuckling adventure for sure.
March 2012, Crave Entertainment, Hack & Slay
Another Diablo III opponent. This one is interesting (apart from the bad ass name) because it is being developed by whatever remained and reformed after the collapse of Iron Lore (who made Titan Quest, one of the best D-Clones out there). However, it has been in development for quiet some time already and I hope that it will ever see the light of day and if it does, whether the engine / gameplay won't be terribly outdated and irrelevant. The rest of the story will be familiar to you if you know your way about Hack and Slay games, looting, button bashing, lots of skills etc.
Of Orcs and Men
At first glance, this looks like a solid, albeit kind of generic fantasy/RPG/adventure game (can it be better than Skyrim ? Hardly!) but then when you notice that you will be actually be playing an orc instead of slaughtering them, more over even be joined by a goblin sidekick, my geeky heart rejoices. Finally an interesting and different take on the white knight in shining armour killing hordes of greenskins. I am not sure how the gameplay involving the duo will play out although early information suggests that the orc will be in charge of the more direct approaches to problem solution while the goblin focusses on stealth / cunning instead.
Spring 2012, Size Five Games, Phyics/Platformer
The Swindle has been on my radar for quite some time. I do like the premise of a steampunk cybercrime caper-platformer and the statement that this game might be a mixture of Deus Ex and Sonic the Hedgehog sounds so freaking insane that I just have to play it, if it comes out that is. The visuals (judging from the few screenshots floating around on the net) also look good and like so many indie games of our day and age, the devs show a great knack for an interesting and gorgeous art style that relies on the beauty of 2D, yes sir ! Keep an eye out for this one.
Legend of Grimrock
May 2012, Almost Human, Classic RPG (and I mean, really fecking classic)
I have to admit that I don't know a lot of details about this game other than it will try to resurrect and pay homage to a long lost genre of RPG gaming, the FPS-party based dungeon crawler. Remember Dungeon Master, Anvil of Dawn or the Eye of the Beholder ? No ? Well, this might be your wake up call. Featuring the same old school graphics in principle, the game still looks gorgeous due to high-res graphics and the vintage art style. I hope the game will have a good story to support the classic gameplay
FeistMay 2012, Feist Team, Platformer / Indie
Feist definitely stands in the fine tradition of many recent indie platformer games, Limbo being the first one that comes to mine, with shadowy black figures roaming around in front, illuminated by bright backgrounds. I dig this dark and playful art style so I look forward to Feist quite a lot. The game seems less deep and disturbing than Limbo (or Knytt Stories) as far as the premise and/or the story is concerned but the mixture of cuteness and despair is a unique one indeed.
Legends of Daemonica: Farepoynts Purgatory
May 2012, RA Images, Cinemax, Adventure
A game with a rather Bunuel-like premise. A bunch of strangers arrive on a mysterious island and you being one of them, have to make find their off this place. The game promises interesting puzzles and a non-linear storyline that plays out first and foremost within the context of the player character's relationship with the other inhabitants of the island. The game allegedly comes with a truly non-linear storyline, giving your actions are more profound meaning that one might expect in most adventure games. I also like the setting, the 14th century. While the game is certainly haunting, I does not look like it is much of a high fantasy game at all.
May 2012, Double Fine Productions, THQ
Another adventure game with an interesting premise indeed, set in 1930s Russia. However, the game will be very puzzle-based and in true spirit of the Lost Vikings / Trine, you can jump into other Russian stacking dolls (which constitute the citizenry of the world) and use their special abilities in order to solve the puzzles you might encounter. This gameplay mechanic, coupled with the unique art style and interest storyline can make this a sure fire winner.
In Pid, the players take control of a force-field-wielding robot making his way to lovely designed levels and facing all sorts of puzzles and obstacles in his way. It is claimed that all situations (or most) can be solved in many alternative ways, so on top of trying to warm up your brain yolk in order to solve the puzzles, you can also indulge in quite a bit of trial and error, let alone exploring. The game also features a 2-player coop mode, so you and a friend can play through the game together ! Awesome ! PS. Did I mention that fabulous looking graphics ?
June 2012,Octane, Top-ware, Action-Adventure
I have to admit and some of you might have noticed, I am a bit of sucker for pirate-themed games and Raven's Cry looks like a solid and quite dark take on the genre. Set in a very dark vision of the Caribbean , mixing real world references with fictional characters and lore. The combat is a mixture of hack & slay with many tactical elements, probably in choosing the skill sets and skill timings.This looks incredible and I hope it lives up to the hype.
It looks like the Zombie craze might actually be dying down, instead, we have vampires ! Yay ! Well, whatever people are jizzing off about, Dead State looks like a great game. I am a big fan of squad based tactical games (XCOM, Shadow Watch, Jagged Alliance) and am looking forward to this one. The story, non-linear gameplay and first and foremost, the world-is-going-to-hell setting really spin my tune. I hope the characters are interesting and the game involves some degree and morality based decision making, it would not be a true zombie game otherwise.
2012, Reality Twist, adventure
A game that interests me based on the setting alone. Feels like a Dickens based in post-war Germany. The players take control of a youth involved in the world of youth gangs after the Armistice and fall of Germany. The story promises to be of high emotional impact and the game will feature challenging puzzles to go with it.
That should be enough material for you to drool over or ignore for now. Yes, I know there are gazillions of games missing from the list and yes, I know about Mass Effect 3, Star Trek, Guild Wars 2, Insert random game name here, I know about all upcoming releases but chose to include only the games I thought might need a bit more exposure than others. Happy Gaming !