I haven't even paid Bojeeva his winnings from the 2011 competition, yet here we are doing it all over again: picking the ten games we're most excited about for the coming year and gambling on who's list will get the highest aggregated review scores (here's Bojeeva's list).
It's a risky list-there are a lot of sequels, and a lot of them are to games that weren't that great in the first place. Where 2011 was a bumper year for great games, 2012 isn't looking so rosy. For every Bioshock or Grand Theft Auto carrying on a tradition of brilliance, there's a Prototype or Transformers, games that have shown bags of potential but thus far fulfilled none of it. We're hoping that 2012 is the year that good ideas are matched with good execution.
(7) Half Life 2 Episode 3
Ok, all the early hints make this look like theisometric, upgrade-happy tactical adventure we remember has been chucked out ofthe window in favour of an FPS with a tech tree. So, that’s Deus Ex all overagain. But have a little faith, this is Peter Molyneux we’re talking about. Theman has one of the most consistent hit lists in gaming, and if he’s turning hishand to an FPS, then we’re sure it will be worth playing.
(5) Prototype 2
(3) Borderlands 2
The appeal of the original Borderlands as so simple and appealing that I'd be perfectly happy to just play it all over again with different missions but no real changes to the gameplay. Borderlands is all about loot. That addiction to crate-smashing and chest-searching that affect every RPG player are brought to the fore here-every time you think you should turn it off, you decide to just have another rummage in the next box, under the next rock, or in the next crate. Pretty much all you find is money or special guns, and pretty much all you'll spend the money on is more special guns. Get together with your mates, tool up with lightning shotguns and acid assault rifles, and go get yourself some money. It's a simple idea that bears plenty of repetition.
(2) Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
There's an alarming trend in this list-it's almost entirely composed of sequels, and many of them are sequels to games that needed some serious polishing. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is the perfect example. It's predecessor was a perfectly passable third person cover shooter, but it should have been so much more. It could have been reskinned to feature space marines, gangsters or just about any standard gaming protagonist-amongst those towering metal environments, with all those distinctive character designs, you never felt like you were actually controlling a giant steel robot. Tweak the animations and sound effects, add a dash of melee combat, and beef up the floaty handling and you'll have fixed the flaws that held back the original.
(1) Resident Evil 6
Floppy fringed emo-cop Leon and grunting man-tank Chris, together at last. Amazingly, that's not a gay porn synopsis but a selling point for Resident Evil 6. The question is, will they be two separate playable characters with discrete missions, or will we be subjected to another ill-advised co-op adventure? This could be the difference between the heights of RE2 and 4, or the depths of RE5.