Top 100 of 2012 Recap: 10-6 – Borderlands, Bioshock and Journey

We’re drawing to a close with this series recapping our Top 100 Most Anticipated games of 2012. That means we’re getting down to the really meaty part of the list though. These games are the ones everyone should have heard about, and many of you must have been most excited about too.

You can catch previous entries in this recap series through this link, in case you missed any.


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10: Mass Effect 3

Well, this entry in our recap of our top 100 most anticipated games of 2012 is sure to end well. If it doesn’t we’ll write a new entry in a week or so that explains more explicitly what we thought you’d all infer.

Those of you not finely attuned to my incisive wit might not have noticed the allusions in that opening paragraph to the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle that hung around this game’s post-release life like a troublesome miasma. Basically, the game came out and was excellent (Blair awarded it 9/10 in our review) but the ending was a bit of a concern for a large number of vociferous fans. So BioWare released DLC that changed it a bit.

That was all post-release internet drama though. For the most part, Mass Effect 3 was very well received. Perhaps not as respected as the previous entry in the series, even though it ironed out a few kinks, it was eminently worthy of our anticipation back in November 2011.

Just in time for us to add it to the voting list for this year’s Top 100 Most Anticipated, BioWare (without its founding doctors) has just confirmed a new Mass Effect game.


9: Borderlands 2

Borderlands was a maniacal take on the Space Western themes which are somewhat under-utilised by video games. Its sequel ratchets that madness up to unprecedented levels. While the game is only released this week, it’s been getting rave reviews from many – including me.

So, early signs suggest that we were right to be so excited for our return to Pandora. Of course, Borderlands is the kind of game that will only really show its brilliance with a full squad of friends so this launch week is the true test of how well it will be received.

However, having spent many hours already running around Pandora with its new cast of adventurers, I can confidently say that I’m looking forward to TSA Meets springing up and everyone else getting as excited as I am for the game.

The four slightly adapted classes, skill trees and almost limitless gun combinations make for a game with so much replay value and novelty that I’m almost a little sad that it was only number 9 on our list.


8: BioShock Vita

The promise of a Vita version of BioShock was enough to get Ken Levine out on stage during Sony’s E3 press conference in 2011. E3 2012 saw no official mention of it. Irrational has said that they’re focussing on BioShock Infinite, the next big instalment in the series, so that leaves the Vita title on a low heat for the time being.

The most concerning thing is that people seem to have generally stopped talking about it. It’s difficult to maintain the levels of anticipation which saw the game as our eighth most anticipated back at the end of 2011 when there’s very little being said about it. It still seems to be very much in the plans of Irrational, who have said as much in between emphasising a focus on Infinite, but there’s no timeframe and no solid commitment to it from anyone.

Levine has gone on record as saying that he thinks games are talked about too early (which begs the question of why this was announced before development had started…) and he’s said that he’d rather wait and show us the game than try to explain what it is. So there’s hope in there, just not any time soon.

No doubt, we’ll include this in voting for next year’s list too…


7: Dead Space 3

Isaac Clarke’s terrifying adventures through necromorph-infested space got a little bit less scary with the first sequel. That was released early last year and has recently been included at no extra cost as part of the PlayStation Plus package on PlayStation 3.

But the third instalment in EA’s sci-fi horror series has had something of a bumpy year. There were comments about including dodge moves and an organic cover system, which led conservative fans to worry that the survival horror roots were being further scaled back for this third game. During EA’s E3 conference, the footage shown to announce drop-in/-out cooperative plan was very action-oriented.

So although we do now know that the game has been pushed back for a February 2013 release, we might not be so excited about as we were at the end of last year. EA’s Frank Gibeau has said that the game will remain true to its horror roots, even though they are trying to open it up and make it more accessible to a wider audience.

I’m not sure if that sounds good or not.


6: Journey

I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets by saying that Journey is likely to feature quite strongly in any Game of the Year debates we have at TSA this year. We were excited about its release before it came out and after it was released, we totally loved it.

The wordless communication between strangers in the peculiar multiplayer system, the energetic rush of movement as the game switches between puzzle and action sequences. The startling colour palette and landscapes. Journey turned out to be one of the most arresting games I’d ever played – made all the more special by Austin Wintory’s exceptional, beautiful soundtrack.

It wasn’t for everyone, but for those that clicked with it, Journey was to become a very meaningful landmark on the maps of our gaming lives.

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4 Comments

  1. Did not realise that Ken Levine mentioned a Bioshock game for the vita.

  2. Only played ME3 and it didn’t really live up to expectations. Nothing whatsoever to do with the ending.

  3. Borderlands 2 was sent out yesterday. I hope I get it on Saturday! One of my most anticipated games of the year.
    Journey definitely is a contender for GOTY 2012. I played through that game around 5 times and I just thought about playing it again the other day. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a game of that length.

  4. Been playing Borderlands 2 on PC. It is a massive improvement over the first one, which itself is one of my favourite games.

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