Skip to main content

2012: The End of Days...and New Video Game IP Beginnings

It’s 2012, and if the Mayan calendar has its way, then we are all dust come Dec. 21. Grab your loved ones, hold them close, and make peace with your maker before that time. 2012 marks the beginning of the end of days (potentially) and you need to live like you’ve got nothing to lose. Don’t go steal a car or anything (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but it might be time to turn over a new leaf and live a different life to make up for that time in Cancun in ’03. Seems some video game developers are heeding this advice, reinventing storied franchises and IP’s to see if a new look might be just the ticket to salvation...of a franchise. Here is our list of the five games this year that aren’t putting on the Nikes and drinking the Kool-Aid with the end upon us.

Halo 4
“Holiday” 2012

Halo: Reach was great, but not the blockbuster end to anything if Microsoft’s investors had anything to say about it. It’s a bankable series. So, take the IP and hand it to 343i. Enter: Master Chief. What happened after Halo 3? Well, we are about to find out in the beginning of a brand new trilogy that is Halo 4. Picking up where 3 left off, you literally find yourself getting rocked out of hyper sleep and thrown in to a new adventure as the key-leading badass we’ve all kind of missed. Yes, Halo: Reach was pretty awesome, but Halo 4 puts us back in to the boots of our favorite soldier, and with a few little tweaks that we are excited (not Tebow excited, but excited) to see.

Spartan IV armor will have upgradeable features. Gone are the days of just the same old armor, or new un-lockable customization of armor pieces to show how obsessed with multiplayer you are, yet does nothing. As we’ve heard from developers, this armor might actually do something. Also, way behind the curve, but better late than never, is the arrival of customizable loadouts. Finally, after 900 Call of Duty games, Halo finally got the message.

Besides the single player campaign, which will be good to excellent if history serves as any kind of indicator, there’ll be the ever popular multiplayer which is said to finally have some significance. I hold out hope that gone are the days of just leveling up, killing and fighting for the fun of it. Gone are just round after round of matches for no reason other than to get out some pent up nerd rage. Hopefully, we will see some kind of reaction to multiplayer success in the single player campaign, or even something on a Halo Network setup similar to Call of Duty ELITE. It’s pure speculation, but some tangible reason for tolerating d-bags in multiplayer for hours might keep me from abandoning the mode completely after a month.

Max Payne 3
May 15, 2012

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Max, and apparently times have not been good to him. A series long since dead has been revitalized by the good folks at Rockstar Games, and with Rockstar at the helm, we think we can safely say this is going to be gritty. Classic Max.

Max is out of the NYPD, outside of New York, and finds himself in a world of shit, and I’m not just talking being six months late for his latest prostate check-up. If there was ever a game where you were going to get to play as a modern day Bruce Willis vis a vis Die Hard With a Vengeance, this is it. Take an old cop and throw him in to a situation with some serious baddies from a foreign country and you’ve got yourself one raucous game.

Some things I’m nervous about: Multiplayer. This is the feature that feels as tacked on as anything in games today. Often it stands as a chance to make a few extra bucks with DLC Map Packs post release, but is spot welded on for the opportunity. This might be one of those instances. Multiplayer aside, I am also just nervous on whether Max is going to break a hip tucking and rolling in bullet time. Centrum Silver, anyone?

Despite my apprehension, it is about time this game changing...well, game, made a comeback. With Rockstar Studios on the case, and their reputation on the line post-artsy LA Noire and pre-GTA 5, this one needs to go off without a hitch. Never mind, it’s Rockstar, they will be here after the apocalypse selling indie games to the roaches. This will be good.

Prey 2
December 31, 2012

If there is no end of days scenario, or as long as there is still electricity in Apocalyptia (the Fallout inspires city I envision in my mind), then this shall be your reward as one of the biggest 180’s of any game franchise. Remember Prey? Yeah, it’s hazy for me as well. It doesn’t matter, because the “sequel” is nothing like it.
Prey 2 places you as a bounty hunting Marshall in a sci-fi world populated by many alien species (still hazy on the details, but they’ll get fleshed out at E3, I’m sure). You hunt down criminals...simple enough, probably while you unravel an overarching storyline filled with potential deceit and betrayal. I don’t know, but the bounty hunting is cool.

This game is probably the greatest departure from its predecessor than any others on this list, and probably for the best. Imagine playing Bladerunner: The Game. This is the overall setting, and from preview videos we’ve seen, kind of the tone, too. We’ve also heard a bit about your ability to choose how to play. You can be stealthier and more law-abiding, or you can go all out guns blazing, but you’re probably going to get a prickly reaction from your surroundings. It will all end in the same story, they have that nailed to the ground, but you can change the resistance of your path getting there.

The good news, and what keeps me excited for this release, besides pretending I’m Harrison Ford while I play it, are the names attached and the tech involved. We’ve got Bethesda publishing, which brings some financial cannons to bear and a fairly blemish free resume. It’s Human Head developing, which are the same people that brought you the first Prey, so look out for some Easter eggs hidden around the game. Finally, and most to my excitement, is the Id Tech software they are using. If you liked the look and feel of a game like Rage, then this should be pretty damned stellar, pushing the consoles and PCs to their limits for gameplay, but probably adding a disc or two for the XBOX360 (sad XBOX360 owner face). Extra far, no multiplayer tack welded on.

Assassin’s Creed 3
October 30, 2012

I know, Assassin’s Creed games have been coming out like hot cakes...if hot cakes were pretty cool games, but haven’t you always wished you could jump and scale a building not located in Europe? Well, how about kicking ass and shivving redcoats during the freaking revolutionary war!? Yeah, I’m kinda hard, too.
Assassin’s Creed 3 takes us to the eighteenth century and the shores of America with a new character (half Native American, half English). We’ve all seen the cover art and are crazed at the idea of going toe to toe with George Washington, maybe.

I am sure we will have our blades, our sword, but the sight of a tomahawk and the potential for firing muskets along with a bow and arrow is just too good to pass up.

Imagine running across the rooftops of Philadelphia searching for Templar founding fathers and historical figures. There has got to be nothing more patriotic than securing the history of this country one redcoat at a time. Ubisoft Montreal is at the helm, and considering some of their past work on the series, I think it is in good hands.

I am nervous about two things, though. Will they insist on multiplayer, and what kind of take on American history is a Canadian developer owned by a French publishing house going to have? This might be a poetic take on history, but I’m just stoked on that tomahawk!

Bioshock Infinite
October 16, 2012

Sooooo...THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING! Wooh, I’ve collected myself. Forget everything you know about the Ayn Rand inspired Rapture. Forget the neon lights, the neo-noire feel of the joint and the disfigured look of the fifties New Year’s celebration gone completely awry. You’re not in Rapture anymore.

Talk about a reinvention of a quickly emerging franchise. It is now 1912 and steam punk rules the day. You’re not under the sea, nor are you on land. You find yourself in the floating city of Columbia. Rocketed in to the sky, you are surrounded by cleverly complicated yet simple steam machines, and a sky filled with rails and turn of the century architecture. As we’ve seen so far, the enemies are something out of a twisted dream, and there is an acceptable level of cartoonish and exaggerated feel to everything, and everyone.

The look of this game is like nothing else on the slate this year. There is so much good news on this game I hardly have enough time to list it all here. First off, we have Irrational Games at the developing helm. This means, for those of you that don’t know, Ken Levine (angels trumpeting) is the motor that makes this street racer roll. Levine is basically the personification of a seal of approval. He even stepped in to legitimize motion controlling, saying that he was excited for the technology...good enough for Levine, then, it’s good enough for me.

What we’ve gotten to see in heavy hitter videos has shown us the immaculately imagined enemies. We’ve seen the use of rails as a mode of travel between areas of the level, and the premise of the sky city and the patriotic propaganda will makes for a world worth exploring and saving. We can rest easy in the combat and weapon design with Irrational not missing a single detail. This is by far the most anticipated game of the year for myself, followed very closely by number two on this list.

So, there you have it, our top five anticipated games of the year that are jumping outside the box they built for themselves. Four of them release before the reckoning on the 21st, one after. Keep in mind, if you’re worried about the cost of buying all of these games, currency will have no value in the wastelands after Xenu and the ghost of Mister Rogers usher in the apocalypse on the back of Falcore the luck dragon. What? That’s the square we got in the office apocalypse pool.

About the Author

Wesley Bauman is an editor/photojournalist in Ventura, CA. With a background in journalism, Wesley has expanded his scope of work and created Project: Poppycock, a digital experiment in collaborative writing and open dialogue. He is the author of two books, Doggy Paddling in the Deep End andWhat!? I Said, "With All Due Respect!" Both books are available through his blog, (click on "The Bookstore"). All profits from the sales benefit charities Follow Wesley on Twitter @myownfalseidol

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."


COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery


Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…