With the smell of turkey and ham dinners wafting to our nostrils, the holidays are already upon us. And with the holiday season comes all the general feelings of warmth, mirth, and agonizingly desperate grabs to get the latest and greatest gifts. 2012 is definitely the year of big releases; the coming of the next-generation of gaming is now upon us and every store is going to be packed to the brim with everything you can possibly imagine.
It is understandably going to be a huge and confusing task to slog through the madness of this holiday season, but fear not! This buying guide will take gently by the hand and lead you to the promised land of a perfect gift giving session.
For the gamer with an itchy trigger finger:
Killzone Shadow Fall
The flagship shooter for PlayStation has returned on the PlayStation 4 as well. Taking place 30 years after the events of Killzone 3, Shadow Fall brings the action from the tundra and jungles to huge glittering cities and landscapes. In addition to a solid single-player campaign, the real meat and potatoes comes in the multiplayer with its class systems, several hundred challenges, and more weapons and tech bonus than you can shake a Helghast trooper at.
For the gamer that“s young or just young at heart:
Premiered as one of the first of the many unique IPs at Sony“s Playstation 4 conference, Knack has all the makings of another Jak and Daxter classic for the next gen. The heart-warming story and characters also provides a deep combat and platforming system showcasing swapping and morphing the main player into small quick travelers or hulking titan duking it out to save the day.
For the gamer who plays for indie cred:
(Note: Transistor is planned for release in 2014)
From the creator of highly acclaimed Bastion, Transistor follows in the same steps with a sweeping story, stylish visuals and innovative gameplay, and an incredible soundtrack to bob your head to throughout.
For the gamer with a hero complex:
Infamous: Second Son
(Note: Infamous: Second Son is releasing in March 2014)
Following the engrossing story left in Infamous 2, the world is now fully aware of super-powered beings known as â€œconduitsâ€ and have begun a severe crackdown on regulating the â€œthreatâ€ via an oppressive police state. The new protagonist boasts new smoke and brimstone based powers and later obtains several others throughout the game to tackle this new sprawling world. Following the same vein of the Infamous series, you can play the hero or a thug – it“s all up to you.
For the gamer looking to rekindle age-old bloodlust:
For those who do not recall, Killer Instinct hailed from the era of crazy 90s fighters along the time of Mortal Kombat, Primal Rage, and other in your face bloodfests. What set it apart from the other fighters of the time was its focus on bone-breakingly long combos that could go into the triple digits with the right timing and practice. And the announcer“s increasingly manic outbursts of â€œULTRA COMBOOOOO!!!â€ still echo in my brain. With their triumphant return, the same fast paced combat from yester-decade is back in full force with old and new characters entering the fray.
For the gamer likes giant robots as much as they like shooting at them:
(Note: Titanfall is releasing on March 11, 2014)
When this title was unveiled at E3, any doubts of Xbox One being a true gaming system were quickly crushed under steel mechanized foot. The massive gameplay maps, quick footed combat as well interesting strategy dynamic between fighting on foot or in mecha all will provide a powerful experience for any shooter fan.
For the gamer who is too fast and/or furious:
(Note: The Crew is coming in 2014 now)
The only thing better than being able to drive fully customizable cars in a nearly limitless world that runs on a day and night cycle and lets you drive anywhere at any time is being able to do all that as part of a team of other players online and going fender to fender against other teams. From basic street races to off-road derbies in the dead of night, there is always something to do in this grand automobile playground.
For the gamer who believes Rome was built in a day:
Ryse: Son of Rome
What makes Ryse so impressive is the scope of the battles showcased. Being able to see a city ravaged by an ongoing war in the distance and hopping onto the shore, slashing and bashing your way through the enemy horde was fluid, beautiful, and brutal. In short, this is something that deserves attention.
For the gamer who wants to kill zombiesâ€¦with Style:
Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising has grown from its humble beginnings in a mall, to a Las Vegas-esque stadium, to an entire city to explore and fight though. With the latest hero being a mechanic, he is able to build weapons on the fly which gives a new level of skills and ingenuity in the war against the undead. If anyone still has doubts, I give you three words: Rocket. Powered. Steamroller.
For the gamer who sympathizes with Oates and Garfunkel:
New Super Luigi U
Mario always gets the limelight on the main consoles ever since Nintendo“s conception – now it“s the lean and green machine“s time to shine. Super Luigi U plays close to the winning old meets new strategy of before but with some noted additions and remixes of stages and setups. Also, Luigi“s signature higher jump and air time skill comes back with full force. Maybe now Luigi can finally get some recognition (probably not).
For the gamer who wants some Pikmin in their Viewtiful Joe:
The Wonderful 101
Following the tradition of Platinum Games“ penchant for the unique and offbeat, The Wonderful 101 places you in the collective boots of an armada of Kamen-Rider-esque heroes who form giant constructs by corralling hundreds of people into shapes of swords, fists, whips, and even cannons to fight dastardly villains. Still with me? Perfect! With countless upgrades and skills to master, in addition to the funny and well written script, the game is a fun romp to tackle.
For the gamer who wants words to come to life:
Scribblenauts is one of those gems of a game that couldn“t have happened without the touch features of the DS, and when the Wii U came out, it was a natural transition. Being able to conjure anything and anyone you can imagine into this whimsical world only becomes better when you can do so alongside the Justice League.
For the gamer always in search high-sea adventure:
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Harkening back to the Gamecube era, Wind Waker was one of the premier titles and was as loved as it was hated by the fans. But now, it has returned in glorious 3D and it has never looked better.