Spike TV’s Video Game Awards are over, and luckily I had the good sense to turn it off before it fried my critical veto power for terrible entertainment. Yes I’m a bitter man, and for more on that, see my gut reaction update to our original coverage on the awards show.
More importantly, boys and girls, we now have a baker’s dozen of delicious game trailers. Below is each and every one of them, along with analysis and banter from yours truly. And they’re in alphabetical order, too!
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
Remedy Entertainment’s “psychological action thriller” may have been released over a year and a half ago, but its first DLC since 2010 is coming to us early next year. The man’s American Nightmare is not a full-fledged sequel (though such a game is in fact underway), but an independent foray into Wakian fiction.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Beenox is bringing you yet another Spider-Man game, after their previous web-slinging adventures of mixed but mostly positive reception: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. The first trailer doesn’t reveal much. Oscorp’s robots, originally deployed to “mitigate biological attacks” (coming from whom?), are biting the fleshy, human hand that feeds them.
I’m personally rather tired of fighting giant arachnid robots (despite my positive preview of Binary Domain). I have been since jumping on that scarab in Halo 2.
But to dwell on the positive, The Amazing Spider-Man boasts free-roaming around the Big Apple, as well as continuous evolution of the superhero’s combat abilities. It is set for a Summer 2012 release – alongside the identically-named film – and features a script written by the Battlestar Galactica scribe: Kevin Fahey.
Hopefully Beenox’s robots will make for an inspiring challenge, alongside some club-wielding, underbite street goons.
When given the chance to vote for next year’s most-anticipated game, I just couldn’t do it. Anything BioShock-related has me licking my chops, but 2012 will know other giants.
Anyway, straight from Irrational Games comes a minute plus of pure gameplay footage, all over a peaceful tune that sometimes proves dissonant when set alongside violent visual material – a device we’ve seen before in the BioShock universe.
Some of these images of revolution we’ve seen before; others are new. Particularly interesting is the “task clock” at 0:17, a peek into the big government and orderly society once provided by Comstock and the Founders. I can’t wait to witness its fracturing when the game hits sometime in 2012.
Command & Conquer: Generals 2
Speculation over BioWare’s next project was put to an end with the announcement of Command & Conquer: Generals 2, the next game in the renown RTS series (of which the first Generals game, in 2003, was the best-selling). The Generals sub-series presents a modern and sober fiction compared to its cousins, brought to life this time around by the kick-ass Frostbite 2 engine.
A few years after the events of the first game, Command & Conquer: Generals 2 presents the dare-we-dream scenario of world peace, as world leaders meet at a summit to sign a treaty of global reach. Alas, a terrorist attack at the summit results in the death of all of them, leaving the fate of the world in the hands of the military-minded. Three factions – the European Union, the Global Liberation Army, and a yet-to-be-revealed third – are thus pitted against one another.
BioWare Victory, third steward of the C&C franchise, is bringing this PC exclusive to your door in 2013.
Classic banter of epic proportions from Blizzard. No gameplay this time around – we’ve seen plenty of that already – but nightmarish concept art in motion followed by a cinematic likely to replace “farmer” with “hermetic scholar” in the farmer’s daughter trope. Sweetheart, your uncle may be gone, but at least you have me, right? Oh never mind, the inaugural crest of a demonic tide is upon us.
Epic certainly seems to be turning a page with this teaser trailer. Cartoonish humans scavenging by day to construct a (rather shoddy) stronghold against the ghoulish forces of night. The camera-curious one who ends up with a bullet in the head – do the humans call him “thief” at 0:28? – surfaces through a pool of darkness. In combination with their nocturnal attack, the game’s title, and the dread incurred by a failed generator, it seems safe to assume that these buggers cannot dwell in light. No release date yet for Fortnite, but a midnight release of some sort sure would be appropriate.
Our first game into Hitman: Absolution presents a scene at two different times and in one same place. Agent 47 was too late in a perhaps personal rather than professional quest to save the mysterious Victoria. Who is she, and how does her murder tie in to the storyline?
What we do know is that Absolution features a new cast of voice actors and the proprietary Glacier 2 engine, though Agent 47’s classic arsenal of chicken wire and twin Silverballer pistols is back.
The Last of Us
Nothing dots the horizon more emphatically than an exclusive. Naughty Dog, one of Sony’s 15 fully-owned studios (and the one behind the iconic Uncharted series), is bringing us a world of similarly humanized adversity. A teaser trailer earlier in December seemed to depict the swift descent of civilization, and what we were shown at the VGAs takes us straight into that post-apocalypse, an urban center overtaken by vegetation.
The two enemies our protagonists encounter seem to be of a different stripe; the first more human than feral, and the second – victims of a deadly fungus – decidedly less so. Notable are the narrator’s last few words regarding the relatively peaceful days of old: “Must have been nice.” Ellie has known nothing but a scavenger’s life, and Joel can only reminisce on a functioning society that slipped away only some decades ago.
Further details of Ellie and Joel’s plight cannot come fast enough for Uncharted and PlayStation fans everywhere.
Mass Effect 3
Another giant arachnid robot to yawn at. Don’t get me wrong, BioWare’s feet are gods in my eyes, and I’m chomping at the bit for the day I can resume my role as savior of organic life. But we’ve already seen huge amounts of more exciting footage from BioWare (including one video released after the VGAs). Neither LL Cool J’s empty hyping nor a giant centipede makes this trailer anything new.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengance
I’m just going to break this trailer down into “cool” and “drool” (a drool of boredom, not awe).
The introductory footage and dialogue on how cheap and accessible cyborg technology has become. “What enterprising soldier of fortune could resist?” indeed. Seriously bad ass.
Dicing your opponents into cubes of fondue-friendly dimensions before they’ve had the luxury of hitting the ground – that must have been gameplay.
Depending on when Rising hits, Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden 3 has some serious competition.
If you guessed that I’d put “giant robot” in this category, you know me too well. Giant robot. Drool.
Cheesy guitar riffs that just… don’t… stop.
A protagonist I would feel slimy playing as. Could I have a lower jaw? Or maybe relish the death of my enemies a little less? No?
Rainbow 6: Patriots
The True Patriots’ targeting of both the privileged and the innocent picks up steam in another terrifyingly creative act of terror imagined and cinematized by Ubisoft Montreal. For more on their next tactical shooter, be sure to check out our preview and Freeze Frame episode on the game.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD
Over the years, the Tony Hawk series slowly declined in its critical reception (wanna see a cool graph?), giving up market share to the vastly more realistic Skate experience. But here they are showing off an HD remake of levels from the first two games via a brand new engine. Smart move, I say. If they’re going to occupy the outlandishly airborne side of the skate game spectrum, they should own it.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD will be made available on the PSN and XBLA sometimes in 2012.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Wait! Wait! I’m not going to bash this trailer for its giant robots. The Transformers universe is nothing but giant robots, and as such it wouldn’t be fair to throw it in the trash with total disregard. Plus, Autobots and Decepticons live independently of the human hand, which is what I usually see as lame about them – they just don’t make for a realistic or pragmatic military development.
Anyway, fans of the comics, cartoons, movies, or lunchboxes will recognize this scene as the final stand for the Autobot homeworld, Cybertron. Even the uncool kids who don’t own the lunchbox will know how things pan out provided they read the title.
High Moon Studios will be giving us a chance to pay our dues to the lost cause in fall 2012.
2011 was an outstanding years for video games. Does the above give you hope that 2012 can repeat the feat?