This is the start of an ongoing feature listing the top 100 games, due for release in 2012 (as best as we can tell) which are hotly anticipated by the TSA staff. To read the introduction to this series, click here.
100 Torchlight II
The first Torchlight came as a little bit of a surprise to most. Before it launched back in October 2009, the dungeon crawler had gone out of fashion. But Torchlight was really good and it soon gathered itself an army of cheerleaders urging their friends to buy it from Steam. It subsequently went to retail shelves and then made an appearance on XBLA where it found a whole new army of fans. Now the sequel is well into development for PC and has some interesting features.
There are randomly generated dungeons, like the first, meaning that the game is different for everyone. This time, though, there are also going to be overland areas and multiple towns to visit in a lengthier campaign.
There are four new character classes, replacing the Destroyer, Vanquisher and Alchemist from the first with the Engineer, Outlander, Berserker and Embermage. The classes offer a range of abilities from melée specialists to powerful mage warriors. There will also be an online and LAN co-op mode featuring up to four players.
99 Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (remastered)
Already out in Japan, the remastered PS3 version of this PSP game has some interesting features. It has obviously been spruced up with HD graphics and had Sony’s current favourite feature – 3D – implemented. You can also share saves with the PSP version.
Monster Hunter is massively popular but this one changes up the formula a little bit. You can now take two companions out with you and you can customise their appearance and equipment.
No date has been confirmed for a Western release but it has been reported that Capcom is pushing hard for it to happen.
98 LEGO City Stories
Very little is known about this one. It’s a sandbox style game set in a city made of lego and it’s coming out on 3DS and WiiU in 2012. What we have seen of the game makes it look like a kind of brick-built Grand Theft Auto clone.
Rather than associate with another property (like the Lego Harry Potter, etc. games) this is set in LEGO City and will presumably feature all sorts of traditional and more modern LEGO.
It’s being made by Telltale Game’s Fusion studio, based in Wilmslow.
97 FIFA Street
Another FIFA game. Just what the world needs, right? Well, curtail that cynicism for a moment, this isn’t just another on-pitch release. FIFA Street is a return to a kind of sub-franchise that died out on the dissolution of EA BIG label.
This reboot will utilise the FIFA 12 engine and many of the core FIFA 12 team are helping to make it. It has been said that this will be a much more realistic representation of street football, which I can only assume involves someone shouting “CAR!” every two minutes and a lot of skinned knees.
As with earlier games in this series, tricks play an important part. It has been said that FIFA Street will contain twice as many trick moves as FIFA 12 and real world players from over 120 different clubs to perform all those step-overs.
Lionel Messi is the new face of FIFA so expect to see him juggling balls in front of some gritty urban backdrops as the game nears completion prior to its March release.
This is a sci-fi third person shooter for the XBLA. So far, so generic and uninteresting, right? Well, what if I told you that this was being made by a studio called 5th Cell? Some of you are probably still scratching your heads and trying to find a reason to be excited aren’t you? 5th Cell are the studio that make Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life for the Nintendo DS; Hybrid will be their first 360 game. Weird, isn’t it?
Speculation is running wild about what this innovative studio will do with a genre that many believe is getting rather stale. Early video seems to show some kind of new take on cover systems and possibly parkour abilities (as well as being able to defy gravity as will) in there somewhere but, ultimately, we just don’t know. Still, it says something about the curiosity of this project being made by that studio which obviously piqued the interest of the TSA writing team.