Games to look out for: Q1 2012

It’s 2012 already, the holiday season has passed and now it’s time to look forward to a fantastic new year of gaming. If all goes to plan we should be seeing the release of at least two new consoles this year: the Western launch of the PlayStation Vita is right around the corner on February 22 and the Wii U is scheduled for some time in the second half of the year.

While we should be seeing these consoles come to the market with a slew of new games, there are still a huge amount of games coming out for the current generation of consoles. Below you can check out some of our highly anticipated games for the first quarter of 2012.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 | January 31 | PS3, X360

For those of you who love the Final Fantasy series you’re probably waiting for the next console iteration. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a direct sequel to 2009’s Final Fantasy XIII and continues the story 3 years after the events of the previous game and features a similar but supposedly improved combat system.

After the Japanese release late last month it has already scored good reviews from Japanese critics, so for Final Fantasy fans you should watch out for when it drops on January 31 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Soulcalibur V | January 31 | PS3, X360

I’m personally not much of a fan of the fighting genre, but I’ve heard that the Soul series is one of the better ones. Anyway, Soucalibur V is the next installment in the series and takes place 17 years after the events of Soulcalibur IV. It features a bunch of returning and new characters, including a guest appearance of Ezio Auditore from the Assassin’s Creed series.

If you like fighting games then Soulcalibur V will be out on January 31 in North America and February 3 in Europe; it will be available for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning | February 7 | PS3, Win, X360

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an original IP from 38 Studios and Big Huge Games which features Ken Rolston on the development team, best known for his work on The Elder Scrolls series. As you might have guessed Kingdoms of Amalur will be a single-player role-playing game. Apparently there will be four playable characters, three ability trees and five distinct regions in the game, along with a combat system that requires both the timing of buttons and strategy. The style is said to be similar to both God of War and Oblivion.

From what is known about the game it sounds like a pretty average RPG, but with a solid development team and intriguing promotion (how will it be like GoW and Oblivion?) it could be a game to look out for after the reviews come in. It comes out for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PCs on February 7 (NA) / February 10 (EU).

Resident Evil: Revelations | February 7 | 3DS

Despite most of the Nintendo 3DS’ game line-up catering for the younger audiences, Capcom is pushing ahead with a mature Resident Evil game for the handheld console. Resident Evil: Revelations is set between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 and follows the story of BSAA co-founders Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield shortly after the BSAA was founded. The game will be the usual survival-horror style, with an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving; you will also have the option to switch between first-person and third-person viewpoints while aiming a weapon.

Resident Evil: Revelations was first revealed at E3 2010 and since then it looked like it was going to be one of the better titles for Nintendo’s new portable console. If you are a more mature gamer (it’s rated M by the ESRB) who bought a 3DS, this looks like a good buy when it drops on February 7 in North America; if you’re in Europe you can pick it up earlier on January 27.

Syndicate | February 21 | PS3, Win, X360

Syndicate is a reboot of the Syndicate tactical shooter series that fizzled away in the late 90s, however this time it’s back as a first-person shooter. It’s set in a futuristic world where the world is divided into regions by “syndicate” mega-corporations, with each syndicate battling for market dominance. You are EuroCorp’s prototype agent embedded with a DART 6 bio-chip who must go on a bio-engineered and brutal adventure. Using said chip you can do a variety of cool things such as slowing down time and hacking into your foes.

The game’s description reminds me of Deus Ex: Human Revolution which I recently completed, but unfortunately for me I won’t be able to play it as it was refused classification (and effectively banned) here in Australia. If you live elsewhere Syndicate looks like an interesting game to try out in when it drops on February 21 (NA) / 24 (EU) for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PCs.

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