2012 holds the promise of some great sequels
The gaming industry is all set to infect everyone with a serious case of ‘sequelitis' this year. Major franchises make their mandatory yearly appearance, some return after a couple of years, while others, long-forgotten, attempt to make a dramatic return to the world of video games. Then there's Grand Theft Auto V. Enough said.
Serving its way to the top of this article is EA Canada's Grand Slam Tennis 2. Hoping to capitalise on everyone's Australian Open fever (or hangover, as the case may be), EA's first foray into the next-gen world of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (the previous version was a Wii-only title) promises licensed players in the form of current ATP regulars such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray as well as legends, including Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker. WTA players are included as well, so don't fret. The game's features include a career mode that spans ten years, fully licensed Grand Slams, classic matches and Playstation Move support on the PS3. You can enjoy all of this and more on February 10. Also out in February is the highly anticipated launch title for the Playstation Vita, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a game that is set before the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, where everyone's favourite protagonist Nathan Drake is looking for the truth behind the massacre of a Spanish expedition. Golden Abyss promises great locales, treasure and lots more of the same action that garnered the Uncharted series' critical acclaim and made it a hit with the gamers, while incorporating the PS Vita's dual touch controls, accelerometer, hopefully delivering an unparalleled hand-held adventure gaming experience.
In early March, the next chapter of Bioware's space opera will unfold through Mass Effect 3, a follow-up (which will offer closure, hopefully) to 2010's critically acclaimed Mass Effect 2. ME3 will be back, bigger than ever before, sporting overhauled combat mechanics, an improved cover system, co-operative multiplayer and for Xbox 360 players, Kinect support with voice recognition which allows for commanding your squad of virtual human and/or turian and other alien squad mates (Garrus, flank left!). If ordering your Xbox to do some killing on your behalf isn't enough for you, you can take matters into your own hands in three action sequels that are set to invade your living room: Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V, Max Payne 3 and Square Enix/IO Interactive's Hitman Absolution. The GTA series returns after a three year hiatus, taking us back to the state of San Andreas, last seen in the Grand Theft Auto game of the same name in 2004. The fifth episode will be set primarily in the city of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles and regions of Southern California), and is sure to feature some of the spectacular writing and open-world gameplay, the series is famous for. Penning both GTA V and Max Payne 3 for Rockstar Games is Mr. Vice President himself, Dan Houser, arguably one of the best writers in gaming. He showed us he could do gritty (Red Dead Redemption) just as well as the satire and humour that we see in GTA; something a character of incredible depth like Max Payne is sure to benefit from. On the opposite end of the spectrum, stone-cold killer Agent 47 will shoot bullet holes in television sets later this year, going toe to toe with brand new arch-nemesis Blake Dexter in a series of stealth/action missions sure to be set in all corners of the world.