We hope you’ve gotten your fill of 2011 games because the games of 2012 are ready to take over starting this month. The major titles are surprisingly dark for the month of love, but we’re ok with that and have compiled a list of the titles we are looking forward to the most. Past the release list you’ll find a variety of opinions of the games we will be playing:
Week of Jan 30
- Double Fine Happy Action Theater – XBLA
- The Simpsons Arcade Game – XBLA, PSN (Feb 7)
- Pineapple Smash Crew – PC
Week of Feb 6
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – 360, PS3, PC
- The Darkness II – 360, PS3, PC
- Gotham City Impostors – PSN, XBLA
- Resident Evil: Revelations – 3DS
- Jak and Daxter Collection – PS3
- Jagged Alliance: Back in Action – PC
- Shank 2 – PSN, XBLA
Week of Feb 13
- Rhythm Heaven Fever – Wii
- Twisted Metal – PS3
- UFC Undisputed 3 – PS3, 360
- Dear Esther – PC
- PS Vita
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss – Vita
- Warp – XBLA
Week of Feb 20
Week of Feb 27
Here’s what has our attention this February
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Justin L – Maybe it is just me, but I like my RPG’s in third person. I’ve learned a lot from Skyrim, but I want an epic adventure that I can see my character kick ass, save the world, and wear some cool loot. I’ve been weary of Reckoning for a while as jumping into yet another fantasy world seems daunting, but there are some truly incredibly minds behind the Kingdoms of Amalur. After playing the demo, the game felt like the RPG I’ve been looking for the last few years. I don’t think it will be amazing for everyone, but my hopes couldn’t be higher.
Cole – I have been looking forward to this game since I first heard about it. Then I played the demo and fell in love. This game is right up my alley when it comes to RPG’s. Skyrim is too much for me and after begrudgingly admitting that, I need something to fill that void. February 7th has been a long time coming. Can’t wait. Hopefully Big Huge has fixed the bugs prevalent in the demo and deliver a polished RPG experience.
Aaron – This one is slightly out of the blue for me, but that’s the kind of influence a demo can have on a person. The combat felt extremely fluid and the ability to change the destiny (or class) of the character as the game progresses has the strong potential to keep things interesting. I can’t make any promises to myself about getting caught up in the lore, but I’m sure I’ll learn just enough about the world simply by stabbing everybody in the back.
James – Without a doubt, I’m going to have to play this one, but I’m not looking to pick it up immediately. After the initial info I got on it, I’ve been a little skeptical of its potential. For some reason, I downloaded the demo days ago, but still haven’t fired it up; maybe I’m worried my first impressions were correct and I don’t want to face it.
Brandon – This won’t be an immediate release kind of buy for me. I want to see how it does, what my friends think of it, and just take a break from investing in new games anyway. I’ve been watching it fairly closely after the release of the demo. I should note I haven’t played the demo. Then again, I’ve been very busy and now sick so who knows. I might have some time to free up.
Ethan – The demo left a bad taste in my mouth (mostly because it wouldn’t work) but I think that KoA has something that I want and that’s great combat in an open world RPG. The videos I have seen makes it seem that the game took a note from action games like God of War or Ninja Gaidenas fighting looks fluid and devastating, though the world does look a bit bland (have to make compromises somewhere). We’ll see how hyped the rest of the crew gets about this one.
Ethan – I enjoyed the driving sequences in Rage because honestly, they were a subtle reminder that Twisted Metal was coming to town. I played the hell out of Twisted Metal 2 (back when multiplayer was me and my brothers) and can’t quite fathom how awesome it’s going to be with tons of online opponents to cycle through. The best thing is that there have not been a whole lot of car combat games out recently, so unlike jumping online into an FPS, looks like most everyone is coming in on a level playing field.
Andrew – I can’t say that I’ve ever been super hooked on Twisted Metal. I’ve played a few of the old ones, but it was always solo and I eventually got bored. I’ve always felt like it was a game that needed a big crowd of people to play multiplayer, which I never had at the time. Due to a majority of the Horrible Night staff talking about picking it up, Twisted Metal is on my radar. If enough people play it, I might be convinced to give it another shot. I’m sure it’s going to look awesome compared to the last version I played on PS2, but I know how much we’ll actually play as a big group so I’m still feeling this one out.
James – I played a ton of Twisted Metal 1 through 3 on the first PlayStation, then the series completely dropped off my radar. I don’t have much in the way of PlayStation 3 multiplayer, so this might be a great way to get me into the true PSN experience, but only if I know enough people that pick it up, and probably after a price drop or two.
Josh – “Car combat is back!” That’s what I hope to be saying after this game launches. As long as the split-screen is good, we’ll my playing this a lot at the Lee household.
Cole – Whoever said that February is a slow month for games is an idiot. The fact that the Twisted Metal reboot is being released on Valentine’s Day should be reason enough to shut that guy up. I’ve been looking forward to this game since it’s reveal at E3 almost two years ago. Not to mention the returning cast of characters that I love, I can’t wait to get into some multiplayer battles in the unique game modes the car combat standout is bringing to the table. David Jaffe is the man and I hope all the good things he’s been saying about this game are true. Get this game so we can get our car combat on.
Justin L – Twisted Metal Blackmade me a Sony fan back on the PS2. It’s been forever since I played some car combat and for that reason it’s time to go back. I don’t know how long it will stick, but I plan on playing the hell out of this one if the HN crew can come through for some PS3 multiplayer. The game looks great and I can’t wait to tear it apart to find the nuances and polish that I’m sure David Jaffe has been obsessing about. One thing is for sure, there’s nothing like it in my game library now and I have a soft spot for Sweet Tooth.
Justin L – While I may be getting my hopes up for other titles this month, I have a feeling I know just what to expect from SSX at the end of the month. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this be my stand out game when all is said and done. I’ll be campaigning hard to build up my friends list on Ridernet with phrases like “Burnout Paradise on snowboards.” I can’t wait to get back on the slopes and the fact that SSX is pulling inspiration mainly from my favorite game in the series (SSX 3) makes this my most anticipated game so far this year.
JP – I really enjoyed the SSX series back on the previous console generation, and I am glad to see the series find its way back to the mainstream. Hopefully that this new entry will stick to its roots and not try to scale back the insanity like they did with Skate. I am sure this game will be extremely fun like the past games. No matter what, we all have online leaderboards to look forward to.
Aaron – I might not know how to snowboard for real, but I am great at manipulating a controller and yelling about it being tricky! I’m insanely amped about this new entry in the SSX series and its unique additions of a survival mode and racing an avalanche down the mountainside. I’m pretty sure video games exist just to be able to do this awesome stuff without having to deal with insurance.
Justin G – I can’t guarantee I’m going to pick this up at release-time, but it’s been a while since I bought a sports game (Fight Night: Champion) and I need something to take the taste of it out of my mouth. I played the crap out of SSX: Trickyin college with some roommates; we rarely played against each other, just went for score attacks. There’s nothing that ruins your day quite the same as realizing your roommate has just set the high score by doubling yours. Reminiscence aside, the videos I’ve seen of the gameplay have been just this side of breathtaking…and watching people break their falls by carefully using their face as an ice-ax puts me in a zen-like state of relaxation.
The Darkness II
Aaron – Give in to the darkness… I know I want to. I did it before and did a lot of bad, violent things to people. There’s something about growing demon arms that just makes my life awesome and everyone else’s so bloody and squishy. I now also realize I should put a limit on how much darkness I expose myself to.
Andrew – Without a doubt, The Darkness II is the game I’m looking forward to the most in February. The first one I almost completely blew over, and absolutely loved it when I finally gave it a try. I have to say I was a little disappointed when I first heard about the creative decision to go with a cell shaded art style, but after seeing it in person it’s no longer an issue. It didn’t feel too weird, and I even stopped noticing it after a while. I also love the idea of quad wielding that they’ve incorporated. Being able to dual wield two weapons as well as control your demon arms at the same time lends itself to having some pretty non-stop ridiculous action.
Rob – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… if I’m not totally into a game than I just won’t finish it. I finished the first Darkness game, as it was awesome. I have pretty high expectations going into The Darkness II and definitely plan to play it. I just don’t know when that will be. It’s not calling to me as a release priced purchase, just because I’m still slammed from 2011.
Justin L – Don’t get me wrong, warts and all, I love The Darkness. It was one of the most memorable games of the generation so far for me. The PAX demo for The Darkness II was fantastic and removed any doubts I had about the sequel. I love commanding demons to murder my enemies, what can I say. However, It may be a couple of months before I get to sink some time into this one as their are some big games in my queue and The Darkness IIwill be my escape in-between a few of those games down the road instead of immediately.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
Josh – I enjoyed Alan Wake despite its many issues. One of the main ones being the tedious and unchanging combat. While this spin-off aims to double down on those action parts, at least Remedy is trying to spice it up with more weapons and enemies. No matter, as the Night Springs setting was enough to get me to check it out.
Brandon – I will be purchasing this one. Probably on release day. I liked the original. I worry that I will be disappointed though as this game seems to be going away from the dark, scary environment of the original game in favor of action. We will have to see.
JP – Brandon and I talked about this game potentially losing its core horror and suspense element with this new title. I hope that our fears will be banished in the light. A lot of the first Alan Wake was great. The episodic format and the Twilight Zone segments were the best parts of Wake. No matter what happens I will pick this title up. Alan Wake was a very underrated game, and I hope this new entry will help grow Wake’s over all appeal.
James – After all the excitement I put toward Alan Wake, I’d feel a fool not to invest further into the series. I’ll be looking to get this just as soon as I restart (again) and fully complete the 2010 game.
Aaron – Sure… I think about Alan Wake on a skateboard every time I see the title (thanks, Tony Hawk), but I know better than that. The first Alan Wakewas an interesting survival thriller that I enjoyed and I’m not opposed to more of it. Having to first use light as a weapon before delivering the final blow to all the violent crazies might sound like a nightmare, but it played more like a dream.
Best of the Rest
Double Fine Happy Action Theater – Josh: I’m really, really looking forward to getting drunk and “playing” this one time for 30 minutes.
Syndicate – Justin G: I don’t know whether it’s because of the favorable press it’s been getting or the fact that, as far as I’m concerned, there are no sacred cows, but I’m kind of excited for Syndicate. Clearly, I’m a fan of stylized, futuristic games with as much as I loved Deus Ex: Human Revolution and, as a result, Syndicate seems right up my alley. After our morality-system related Reply to All, I think it’ll be pretty refreshing to get into a game where one of your powers involves taking over someone else’s mind and forcing them to shoot themselves; despite the superficial resemblance to DX:HR, Syndicate looks more shooter-ish, which is fine with me – I’m going to need something a little less cerebral before I get into Mass Effect 3 and disappear for a month.
Resident Evil: Revelations – Cole: This won’t be a day once purchase but I might ask for it for my birthday in March. Now that the 3DS has demos, I played this one a few times and really enjoy what Capcom pulled off on the handheld platform. The single stick control scheme doesn’t work that well so I would need the additional thumb stick to really enjoy this game. I hate to have to buy a peripheral to enjoy a game to its fullest but I don’t want to be frustrated by the controls in a survival horror game. Although, that would be a nice call back to the original PlayStation games.
Asura’s Wrath – James: A good friend of mine told me I absolutely had to try the demo for this game, so I downloaded it, I played it, I loved it. It’s very strange, very anime, and the over-the-top fighting sequences make even the most intense Dragon Ball scenes seem as brutal as a casual game of POGs. This is the type of game that has the potential to be a huge hit to me, gamers like me, and, well, pretty much nobody else.
Gotham City Impostors – Justin L: Another game I’m rooting for after completely dismissing. Listen, I don’t like to see fake Batmens or fake Jokerses, but I’ve warmed up to the art style of this team multiplayer game. It’s also showed back up on my radar as the downloadable price seems right, but I’m gonna need a team before I go anywhere with these lunatics.
PS Vita – Rob: I really want to check one of these out. This seems like the PSP that should have been. Granted the graphics are obviously a lot nicer that the PSP would have been at the time it came out. Aside from the bubble menu it looks really awesome. I’m just not sure how into spending $50 on a handheld game I would get into. I’m anxious to see what kind of PS3 functionality this bad boy will have. There is a lot of cool stuff that could be done between the two.
Dear Esther – Josh: I don’t even know what this is. Is it a game? Whatever, it looks gorgeous and only costs ten bucks. I’ll give it a go.
Aaron – Shank 2: There’s just something fun about saying Shank and now there’s going to be another one. I got the first in an indie bundle and have yet to actually play it, but I played the demo long ago and could see the potential in a new kind of stabby, shooty beat-em-up. I might not get to it right away, but the affordable price point probably means I won’t have to wait long to keep on shankin’.
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action – Ethan: I’ve never really played the Jagged Alliance series, but I’ve really wanted to get into a turn based strategy game and with Xenonauts and the Fireaxis X-Com floating around somewhere, I may need a quick fix. Even though shooting monsters and aliens is more appealing to me than shooting enemy soldiers, JA’s tactical options (like the “plan and go” system) and RPG elements are enough to distract me from the lack of fantasy creatures.
What will you be playing this February?
Giant Bomb (images)