There have been years when the releases almost stagger the imagination with studios putting one "gotta have" title after another. There have been years when it was a decent year, but mostly rehashes or sequels. But the best may be yet to come. Let's run down some of the more anticipated games left to release in 2012:
Halo 4 – Set for a Nov. 6 release, this 360 first-person shooter takes place almost five years after the events of Halo 3. Master Chief is back and this has been touted as the beginning of a new sci-fi franchise. The developers have also added to the multiplayer element, introducing the Halo Infinity Multiplayer, named for the starship that acts as a hub for the multiplayer careers of created characters.
Assassin's Creed III – This multiplatform release is slated to hit retailers on Oct. 30. The timeline progression for the flashbacks to the master assassin character, and the conflict between the assassins and templars, hits the American Revolution and introduces an assassin of mixed heritage.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II –You have got to love November because that usually means a CoD release. Black Ops II, on the Wii U, 360, PC and PS3, will launch to store shelves on Nov. 13. The game's setting is 2025, and for multiplayer, that means newly imagined weapons for multiplayer action. And yes, there will be zombies in multiplayer, according to the latest press releases. The developer this time around is Treyarch.
Dishonored – For the PC, PS3 and 360, this is a new title from Arkane Studios with Bethesda set as the publisher. The setting is steampunk with arcane forces flittering about and is a first-person action game in which the central character, once a personal guard for the Empress, is framed for murder and becomes an infamous assassin. The release date is listed as Oct. 9.
New Super Mario Brothers – Nintendo has a new system, the Wii U, and what would a new system be without a Mario Brothers game to play on it. This is a side-scrolling adventure and this game allows your Mii character to step into the world and adventure alongside Mario and Luigi. Expect this title to launch around Nov. 18.
Medal of Honor Warfighter – There are a lot of MoH fans out there and they are all likely eager to get their mitts on Warfighter. The game follows Tier 1 Operators on missions inspired by real life in real-world settings. Beta testing for the 360 version begins in early October and the game is slated for release Oct. 23 and will be available on the 360, PC and PS3 platforms.
Far Cry 3 – The nice thing about Far Cry 3 is that it gives players a freedom to pick their battles, choose who to ally with and whom to fight, and decide how to fight those enemies. This is not a true sandbox, because there are objectives, but it is pretty close within the structure of the game. The game is from Ubisoft, has a release date of Dec. 4 and is slated for the 360, PC and PS3 platforms.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm – Currently in beta testing, this expansion has one of those "To Be Determined" release dates that drive fans buggy. According the Blizzard press release: "Each chapter of Starcraft II focuses on a specific faction of the Starcraft war. By splitting the game, players will access more story content, more characters, and more customization as they explore each side of the conflict." This game will release on the PC and Mac.