Top 100 of 2012: 55-51 – Transformers, Ninja Gaiden and Soul Calibur

Today our five games features giant robots, ninjas, swordsmen and monster hunters. What more could you really ask for out of just five games? Just before we get to that though I’ll just remind you that you can see yesterday’s games over here, in case you were too busy partying your Saturday away.


55 Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Tranformers titles seem to be becoming a fairly regular part of the Activision release schedule now, presumably fuelled by the popularity of Michael Bay’s blockbuster version of the giant robots. As you might well expect Fall of Cybertron follows on from 2010’s War for Cybertron, which is a fairly solid base to build off as Transformers titles go. However, it’s good to see that developers High Moon are very keen to improve on the original, changing so much that they consider the new game to be a successor to War for Cybertron, rather than a simple sequel. In particular the game will feature updated character designs and a pretty significant overhaul of the game’s weaponry, as well as improvements to the all important transformation sequences.

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As the game’s title may suggest to you Fall of Cybertron will revolve around the climax of the civil war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, ultimately leading to the two sides leaving for the Milky Way. If the game does well it seem fairly safe to assume that we’ll see an Earth based title sometime in the future.


54 Ninja Gaiden 3

Before EGX this year I’d never really paid much attention to the Ninja Gaiden series, it just didn’t hold much appeal for me. However, after hearing some good things about the title I decided to give it a go; I don’t think I’ve ever been more happy to have given a title a chance to impress me. Whilst the game didn’t absolutely blow me away, it was just a lot of fun. Slashing through enemies to build up your special meter before unleashing a flurry of sword related death on any enemies in the area was incredibly satisfying, and generally everything about the game felt exceptionally tight and well realised.

Oddly, whilst the demo focussed on Ryu Hayabusa, the series’ main protagonist, responding to a terrorist threat in London, the full game will see him descending into a hellish realm. However, the game is also promising to explore Ryu as a character and after his right arm was cursed in Ninja Gaiden II it’s possible that this realm may just be some kind of metaphor. Of course, it may well just be an actual hell.

Graphically the game was looking reasonable at EGX, although beside some nice particle effects there was little that really stood out. Of course, the demo was the E3 build meaning it will have had almost another year’s worth of development time ploughed into it by the time it hits shelves in March.


53 Dishonored

I hadn’t heard of Dishonored before but after doing a quick bit of research about the title it’s certainly perked my interest. The game is a first-person stealth title, and it’s got a good pedigree behind it with Harvey Smith, of Deus Ex and Thief: Deadly Shadows fame, serving as one of the game’s two lead designers. The first element that really sells the game to me is the game’s setting; an open world that seems to draw from elements of steampunk. For example, whilst the world has a distinctly Victorian look to it, there are also mech-like robots that will be more than happy to assault you with a flame thrower.

The other interesting element is just how open the game is intended to be, with Arkane Studios referring to it as a “simulation” of a world. It seems to draw from the “living” cities of games such as Assassin’s Creed and expand on it even more, and also relies heavily on elements of player choice that help to keep the game feeling fresh.

Of particular note in this freedom is the game’s power system, which grants your character supernatural abilities. Not only are these interesting individually, they can also be combined to create fairly unique results that, apparently, even the development team are finding hard to predict. For example combining the teleport power with one that increases the height of your jumps can open up entirely new paths in the environment.

Finally, for those of you who feel let down by stealth in the aftermath of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it has been confirmed that everyone in the game can be dealt with in a non-lethal fashion, including the game’s bosses.


52 Soul Calibur V

Another game that I was lucky enough to get my hands on, this time at the GMAs (albeit very briefly). To me it felt like any other Soul Calibur game, which is a compliment even though it may not sound like it. I’ve always enjoyed the fighting system in the Soul Calibur series, the combos have always seemed far more accessible than they did in Street Fighter or Tekken and the whole thing flows nicely.

However, there have been some changes to the game’s fighting system in the latest entry in the series. The most prominent is the addition of a super meter that will be familiar to Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat fans. In typical fashion, as the meter fills you earn powered up moves, in this case Brave Edge and Critical Edge.

Keeping up the fine tradition of the Soul Calibur series the game will feature at least one guest character, in this case Ezio from Assassin’s Creed. Given that pretty much the whole of Ezio’s life has been detailed in the three games that he stars in it’s worth specifying that the version that will feature is the Ezio of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which is pretty much when he was in his prime.


51 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Xbox 360)

Whilst The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is already out on PC, it’ll be making its console debut on Xbox 360 sometime in the first quarter of 2012. That earns it a place on our list, in much the same way that Mass Effect 2 earned a slot last year for its PS3 release. Of course with the PC release already having hit there’s an awful lot that can say about The Witcher 2, in particular that it was very well received. It currently has a metascore of 88 over at Metacritic, and we can only hope that the 360 port of the game will retain that high quality.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Witcher series it follows Geralt of Rivia, one of the final Witchers. Witchers are, essentially, monster hunters who have been trained from a very young to go out and defend humans. However, it goes a little bit further than simple training, Witchers are genetically enhanced to have special powers that give them half a chance against the monsters they’re supposed to battle.

As for gameplay the game’s a third-person action RPG, focusing on sword play with a splash of magic thrown in for good measure.

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11 Comments

  1. Thought how good Dishonored has looked since the first shots and video. Not a lot of information out there but as a fan of new IP, there’s more than enough to sufficiently whet my appetite.

  2. pretty interested in ninja gaiden 3 and soul caliber 5=)
    interesting to see what characters that is going to be in soul caliber 5 =D
    excited about 2012 and fun to see the top 50 =D

  3. Very interested in Ninja Gaiden and Dishonored, never played a Ninja Gaiden game before but after i saw a gameplay demo of the third outing i was impressed.

    Dishonored looks amazing from the screenshots shown here on the site, love the whole victorian steam punk look they went with.

  4. Really like the look of Dishonored. I do love stealth based games and this looks right up my street. Really interested in Transformers, although not played any of the previous games.

  5. This is the first I’ve heared of Dishonored but I’m already interested.
    Having recently finished The Witcher 2 I can say that it is a great game although the ending felt slightly anticlimatic.

  6. never heard of Dishonoured before, but i think it’s something i might be following in the future.

    and obviously, a new Transformers game is cool, hopefully it’ll be good.
    hey, it could happen >_>

  7. The Witcher 2 is coming to 360 but not PS3? Bastards.

    Dishonoured has me interested, doubt it will beat Deus Ex though especially when it comes to the stealth.

    • CD Project is a small polish team that doesn’t have the resources to simultaniously develop a 360 and PS3 port of their PC game. I’d love to play it again on the PS3 but I’m just glad they are doing anything and I really hope they make some money while they are at it. They obviously are very talented and I hope to see more from them in the future.
      At the end of the day, the 360 is easier to develop for, especially if you are coming from the PC side of games.

      • I guess that’s alright then, I doubt I will play it unless it makes its way onto the PS3 at some point though. I could get it off Steam but I much prefer console gaming.

  8. Dishonored sounds great, can’t wait to get more details.

  9. Couple that im interested in there. Looks like my most anticipated games will be top 30’s.

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