Xbox previews biggest year for blockbuster games

5 Jun 2012

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Still from Call of Duty: Black Ops II gameplay demonstration

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Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox games portfolio, revealed at an E3 media briefing, promises something for every variety of gamer.

Whether you’re an adventurous hero, racing fiend or dance superstar, the latest range of games coming to the Xbox 360 has something for you. Unveiled ahead of E3, which kicked off today, the collection of blockbusters, long-awaited sequels and brand new titles are sure to have gamers excited for the latter half of 2012.

“(The year) 2012 is a landmark year for Xbox,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice-president of Microsoft Studios. “This year, we’re delivering an incredible line-up of games with many of the most-anticipated exclusives – such as Halo 4, Forza Horizon and Fable: The Journey – and brand new franchises, such as Wreckateer and Lococycle.”

Saving you the experience of of having to watch Usher perform at the media briefing, we’ve provided a round-up of the games set for release over the coming months below, so let’s just cut straight to the chase, shall we?

Happy Wars

This multi-player action game pits different comic-style characters against each other in over-the-top combat arenas, from fantasy battlefields to the ocean floor. Players can join forces to attack castles and defeat their enemies.

Expected release date: 2012

Happy Wars Banner

Wreckateer

This brand new title from Iron Galaxy and Microsoft Studios uses Kinect to let players travel the land, destroying goblin-infested castles with magical projectiles. Users must aim and fire each shot and then control it in mid-air, motion-activating special powers and guiding them toward their target. With an arsenal of weaponry, players will find there are infinite ways to wreak havoc with destruction.

US release date: Summer 2012

Wreckateer

Madden NFL 2013

Demonstrated with the help of pro-football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, the American football video game from EA Sports gives users the power of voice using Kinect. An all-new format from start to finish, this reinvention of the popular title claims to bring the most innovative, connected and authentic experience thus far.

Expected release date: August 2012

Madden NFL

Dance Central 3

The best-selling dance game for Kinect returns with current dance hits as well as floor-fillers from the Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and Noughties. With a new multiplayer party mode, up to eight players can learn classic dances like the hustle and the electric boogie, getting their groove on to a variety of songs from Daft Punk to Gloria Gaynor.

US release date: Autumn 2012

Dance Central 3

FIFA 2013

Another sports game to utilise Kinect voice control, FIFA 2013 aims to create a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, delivering freedom and creativity in attack. This latest iteration claims to be packing five game-changing innovations that will revolutionise artificial intelligence, dribbling, ball control and physical play.

Expected release date: Autumn 2012

FIFA 2013

Mark of the Ninja

This side-scrolling stealth action game from Klei Entertainment combines fluid 2D animation with intense stealth gameplay. Players can observe their enemies from afar, manipulate them with tools and execute a plan with precision – but they must also remember they are as fragile as they are powerful.

Expected release date: Autumn 2012

Mark of the Ninja

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Written and voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Stick of Truth puts players alongside Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman in a hysterical adventure to save their beloved Colorado town. Enemies along the way will include crab people, underpants gnomes, hippies and other forces of evil, all of which can be defeated with the aid of Kinect voice recognition. Microsoft also revealed that additional content for The Stick of Truth will be available first on the Xbox 360.

Expected release date: Autumn 2012

South Park

Resident Evil 6

The latest instalment in the zombie-infested series from Capcom comes with three distinct yet entwined storylines, each with its own pair of protagonists for either single or co-operative play, offline and online. All six characters will face new horrors as they fight to survive the global C-virus outbreak in this video-game blend of action and horror that will feature additional content available first on Xbox 360.

US release date: 2 October 2012

Resident Evil 6

Fable: The Journey

Set 50 years after the events of Fable III, Fable: The Journey offers a new level to the storyline, bringing fans deeper into the picturesque world of Albion. Built from the ground up for Kinect, this latest instalment in the epic Fable tale lets players wield magic as a deadly weapon, defend themselves in combat and solve puzzles on their journey.

EMEA release date: 12 October 2012

 

Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon takes the authenticity and realism of Forza Motorsport, combines it with a festival atmosphere and takes racing to the open road for high-intensity action set against an expansive landscape. Gamers can look forward to mastering daring driving manoeuvres while listening to a rousing soundtrack.

US release date: 23 October 2012

Forza

Halo 4

The much-anticipated return of Master Chief marks the beginning of a new saga in the blockbuster Halo franchise. Halo Infinity Multiplayer, which embeds the multiplayer experience in the Halo universe, brings with it the all-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. Playable in single-player or co-operatively with up to four players, Spartan Ops is an immersive, episodic adventure that will extend the Halo 4 experience. This groundbreaking multiplayer action will see its worldwide premiere at E3 2012.

US release date: 6 November 2012

Halo 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Activision’s first live gameplay demonstration of Call of Duty: Black Ops II at the Microsoft media briefing wowed the audience, so let’s just let the incredible 11-minute video speak for itself.

 

Release date: 13 November 2012

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

The latest in the Tom Clancy series from Ubisoft will feature Kinect voice-recognition functionality to aid players in stopping the Blacklist, a deadly countdown of escalating terrorist attacks on US interests. As lethal agent Sam Fisher, leader of the newly formed 4th Echelon unit, players must hunt down terrorists using limitless force.

Expected release date: 2013

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Gears of War: Judgment

Though Gears of War: Judgment sees its world premiere at E3, gamers will have to wait until early 2013 for the release. A precursor to the original trilogy, the new instalment brings gamers back to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day, a defining event in the Gears of War universe.

The upcoming releases will introduce a variety of new multiplayer experiences, including OverRun, a thrilling new class-based competitive mode that will pit Locust and COG soldiers in a head-to-head battle.

Expected release date: Early 2013

Gears of War: Judgment

Ascend: New Gods

This brand new title from Signal Studios (creators of Toy Soldiers) and Microsoft Studios, is an action role-playing game that brings gamers into a world where caos, a gigantic breed of mighty warriors, have been created to serve the will of the gods. Ascend: New Gods offers connectivity across mobile and console Xbox Live platforms, letting players wage war against one another even when they’re on the go.

Expected release date: TBA

Ascend: New Gods

Avatar Motocross Madness

This classic motocross racing game lets players fly over huge jumps and perform insane tricks, all the while competing with friends on the Bike Club async social network. Three vast environments have been created for freestyle riding where players can collect special items and discover hidden secrets.

Expected release date: TBA

Avatar Motocross Madness

Joe Danger: The Movie

This game takes players to the set of the greatest blockbuster ever made, where they can create their own action film scene by scene, performing every stunt. Dozens of stunt vehicles spanning every action genre are available, and gamers will either thrill the audience or crack them up with a botched attempt.

Expected release date: TBA

Joe Danger: The Movie

Lococycle

I.R.I.S. can speak more than 50 languages, is proficient in more than 40 forms of unarmed combat, and is equally deadly with blades, handguns and the latest in nuclear technology. You will encounter this heroine, two-time valedictorian of the illustrious Big Arms Academy’s School of Assassination, in Lococyle, an upcoming title from Twisted Pixel Games.

Expected release date: TBA

 

Matter

Another brand new title, Matter brings the unique vision of Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski exclusively to Xbox 360 and Kinect with a hero’s journey across a mysterious world.

Expected release date: TBA

 

Tomb Raider

This intense and gritty origin story for Lara Croft from Square Enix will also come with extra content for Xbox 360 gamers first.

Tomb Raider

Expected release date: TBA

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com