Right! Listen up you ‘orrible lot! Especially you, Jenkins. We may have just recuperated from one of the most punishing and brutally long campaigns we’ve ever attempted, and I know some of you lot are still dragging your heels about coming back from Cyrodiil just yet, but I’m afraid we have no choice. We’re approaching something of a scale I don’t think any of us have ever attempted before, and I highly doubt anyone, Jenkins especially, will make it through alive. Ladies, I’m talking about ‘Operation 2012′! Someone see to that fainting cadet, we have no time for these games!
Fortunately, we’ve been able to get our hands on some of the enemy’s short term plans, but beyond the first quarter we’re looking at a potentially apocalyptic situation, and I’m not just saying that because of the Mayans! Our enemy has managed to create weapons so powerful, so infinitely destructive that we may potentially lose our free time forever! Like many of you soldiers, I normally spend the first few months working through the backlog of red tape from the end of the year before, but I fear the enemy have gotten word of this, as the forces of evil have launched an assault unlike any they have before. I’ve received word that the first foe on our shores will be Final Fantasy XIII-2, and while some of us may have been turned off by the original, I know there are plenty of men in these ranks who’ll go nuts for the time travel storyline and the hours upon hours of gameplay. The sequels don’t stop either, with General Patton returning for The Darkness 2 – careful with this one men, it may look less intimidating than the original, but don’t dare underestimate it or we’ll be seeing quite a few of us lose heart come February. Literally.
It may feel like some of these titles are creeping up on you, or in the case of Resident Evil Revelations, shambling towards you to chew your skull, that’s natural. Just be sure that if any of the opposing forces happen to be from Ghost Recon: Future Soldier that you collect their technology so that we can reverse engineer it and use it against them. Teamwork will be crucial, as will the ability to turn invisible, but I better not catch any of you using it to sneak into the women’s quarters again or it’ll be a court martial. Besides, you might find it more useful to apply that technology to the world of corporate takeovers in Syndicate, though I’m afraid we won’t be able to supply you with your own Danny Dyer.
They’re all small fry compared to what comes after, and the launch of Mass Effect 3 is one I know we’re all excited about. We’ve been battling those Reapers for a good five years now, and I know we all can’t wait to see the back of them, but I can’t help feel that some of you are more interested in your private relationships than the fate of the galaxy. Rest assured, I better find you all on the battlefield rather than a bed come March, or the Reapers won’t be the only immediate threat to your danger.
After March is where our information gets a little… sketchier. While we have a decent idea of what fiendish tricks the industry has up its sleeves, we’re less sure of when exactly they’re planning to launch them. By then, the enemy will have unleashed their latest time-killing device, the Playstation Vita. While many of us have had our eyes on that beauty for what seems like a while, we may still have a chance against it, as sales languished horribly against our Japanese allies after the first week. I can’t promise that we’ll be totally safe, what with it coming with it’s own Uncharted title and boasting a library that’ll threaten us even on the go, but we can only hope. Where true danger may start to lie is with the Nintendo 3DS, which may finally start bringing out some bigger guns to lay siege to our forces on the move, with the deadly Kid Icarus, Snake Eater, Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Paper Mario 3DS ready to attack throughout the year. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a portable assault either, as there’s still the enigma of the Wii U to consider. Will it be a flash in the pan? Will it be the biggest revolution in gaming since motion controls and touch screens? How do you even play it anyway? I guess there’s no way to know until E3.
Now, you should all know how important E3 is for us; it’s our chief opportunity to find out what’s approaching throughout the second half of the year and the year beyond. With the Wii U approaching and rumours of a new Microsoft console, it may be easy to forgot there’s still a barrage of titles that will be gearing up for attack, which E3 will be all too eager to expose, as well as some extra wonders we hadn’t anticipated. Where else will we discover when Desmond’s next adventures in the Assassin’s Creed series will be, or when Gearbox will wow us all again with Borderlands 2 and Aliens: Colonial Marines… Gamescom? Well yes, there too.
So what else is there to prepare against that we know of? Well, Valve are planning on staging a coup against FPS players everywhere with Counterstrike: GO in the future, and are stretching their dominance out towards the RTS franchise with Dota 2′s release, to boot. Max Payne is going bald and badass on us in Rockstar’s third instalment of the franchise, whilst Square-Enix prepare to unleash Agent 47 in Hitman Absolution and send Lara Croft back to the beginning in Tomb Raider.
Ubisoft are planning to welcome us back to the jungle with Far Cry 3, Alien Noir will become a thing when Prey 2 arrives, and we move out of Rapture and into the skies with Bioshock Infinite. South Park is getting its own RPG, Halo is making a grand return later in the year, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is planning on taking the award of “Worst Name of the Year”, and Blizzard are releasing the triple threat of Diablo III, WoW’s Mists of Pandaria and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
*takes a deep breath*
And those are just a few of the titles that we know are coming this year. There have been plenty I haven’t even mentioned, tons yet to be revealed, and two new consoles being released. There’s simply too much! Soldiers, I gathered here not just to warn you about the impending threat, but to make you realise something that may chill you to the bone: we may not be able to play all the games this year.
There are just simply too many games coming out this year for us to take on by ourselves. Even if we ignore all the modern concessions we face, such as DLC designed to keep us playing the story after it’s finished, or map packs to coerce us into playing another round of multiplayer, and even those damn Horde modes, there’d still be far too much to play. Attempting to do so would be madness, and succeeding may well destroy us. Some of us may have to think carefully about what they want to play this year, and pick and choose as they see fit, and maybe make some sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean that some of us still can’t try. Just remember this: they may take all of our free time and money, but I’m (reasonably) sure they can never take our freedom! DISMISSED!
Last five articles by Edward
- Nosgoth – Interview with Design Director Bill Beacham
- Nosgoth - Preview
- So I Just Gave Up
- 1954: Alcatraz - Review
- Octodad: Dadliest Catch - Review