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Sequelitis: top franchise picks from the 2012 crush

Thursday, 19th July 2012 08:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A console generation is closing, making 2012 one of the most sequel-riddled years the industry has ever seen. We outline the most anticipated follow ups hitting throughout the silly season.

Darksiders 2

THQ

August 14 US, August EU

multiplatform

Vigil’s love letter to the Zelda formula was one of the first hits of 2010 and it feels like forever since we last trotted around Joe Madureira’s beautiful post-apocalyptic universe. THQ’s been very, very careful with Darksiders 2; despite its financial difficulties its thrown resources at what may prove its best bet for the rest of the year, delaying it without a backwards glance in order to ensure expectations are met. We’ve seen it in embryonic form a couple of times now, and come away impressed. Watch for this one during gamescom; it’ll be the last hit of the summer and the first of the release season.

Borderlands 2

2K

September 18 US, September 21 EU

multiplatform

We’ve already said all we need to on Borderlands 2. There’s simply no other game to match the 2009 shooter RPG’s blend of genres, co-op action, and appealing loot cycle. Gearbox has expanded its sci-fi horizons beyond the deserts of the first game but seems to have captured that magical frontier feel. We’re looking forward to this one going on the show circuit so we can get hands-on with it, and even more looking forward to it eating our lives for weeks on end.

FIFA 13

EA Sports

September 25 US, September 28 EU

multiplatform

There’s really not much you can say about why FIFA 13 is important. It’s going to sell like hotcakes, and for every moan about how little it adds to the annual formula there’ll be plenty more obsessive fans deconstructing all the ways in which it improves on, builds up and even demolishes what has come before. EA Sports has been doing this for a long time now and has never failed to produce a hit. If you want a bit of multiplayer footer this northern autumn there’s really no other choice.

Resident Evil 6

Capcom

October 2

PS3, X360

Recent comments from Capcom staff makes it clear the publisher is buttering its toast with Western Star. The shooter emphasis which began developing in Resident Evil 4 and grew into full-blown co-op action in Resident Evil 5 just isn’t going to please old-school fans, but the new fanbase lapped it up and will no doubt do so again. We’re going back to the generic urban US setting which proved successful in early entries, and taking some of the franchises best-loved characters with us, so even while you grumble about the lack of mind-bending haunted house puzzles, there should still be plenty for diehards to enjoy.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

EA

October 23 US, October 25 EU

multiplatform

This is the only entry on the list which is a bit of a coin flip. Medal of Honor is a series with roots, but in many gamers minds those roots stretch only as far as 2010′s reboot, which didn’t exactly light fires. Danger Close seems to have some clever tactics this time, such as the jingoistic multiplayer pitting various national special forces against each other, but it’s hard not to wonder if the bundled Battlefield 4 beta access won’t prove to be one of Warfighter’s key attractions. Let’s see how EA’s “off year” shooter fares.

Assassin’s Creed III

Ubisoft

October 30 US, October 31 EU

PS3, X360 (PC, Wii U undated)

After churning out an annual sequel since launch, you’d almost expect Assassin’s Creed to be ready to fall down in exhaustion. Nevertheless, everything we’ve seen of the long-anticipated conclusion to Desmond’s tale show a healthy property in the throes of much-needed evolution; we’re looking at a jump at least equal to that between the first two numbered games. The secret? Ubisoft’s been plugging away at this third one for ages, while Brotherhood and Revelations kept the dream alive. Should be worth the wait, especially if the last two didn’t push all your buttons.

Halo 4

Microsoft

November 6

X360

Halo popularised the Xbox and Halo 2 popularised online multiplayer. There are grown men and women who will burst blood vessels if you make the slightest suggestion that Master Chief is not a veritable god among game characters. 343 Industries has huge shoes to fill but it’s almost guaranteed that regardless of what it does, Halo 4 will dominate Xbox Live for months to come. Even Call of Duty may tumble before this one.

Hitman: Absolution

Square Enix

November 20

multiplatform

Hitman never really qualified for major franchise status, largely thanks to its unforgiving approach to failure – not everyone can handle the trial and error you need to complete missions. IO Interactive has gone back to the drawing board and built a kind of escape-hatch into Absolution, allowing those who hate loading screens to shoot their way out of messes should they so wish. That’s much more likely to bring in the big money, but the pure at heart can replay for stealth-fueled high scores to show off to their friends. That sure sounds like a winner to me.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Activision

November 13

multiplatform

Obviously no end-of-year sequel list is complete without the latest Call of Duty, the modern touchstone for annualised franchises. It’s interesting just how attractive this year’s offering looks, though; Treyarch is sticking to the Black Ops title but plunging into near-future tech and accompanying narrative and gameplay consequences. That’s not the only innovation – it’s setting up synergy between multiplayer and single-player and even a little light story branching. The Call of Duty fanbase is too numerous and diverse to fairly call it conservative but it’s still a bold decision to mess with what has worked so well so far.

Far Cry 3

Ubisoft

November 29 EU, December 4 US

multiplatform

This one’s high up on the VG247 priority list because of the special place Far Cry 2 holds in our hearts. Previews out of E3 suggest far Cry 3 is going to provide the same sort of mad sandbox approach to encounters, but without all that tiresome malaria and checkpoint business. The controversial content is far more likely to generate sales than diminish them, which will hopefully make it easy to find partners for the new co-op mode.

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15 Comments

  1. Edo

    What is interesting is that there is only 1 exclusive(Xbox 360)among those 10 games,and btw I don’t know if FIFA belongs on that list cause by those standards all the other sports games franchises(PES,NBA 2K,Madden,NHL…)should be there too.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. aseddon130

    Fifa belongs because it has a lot to live up for considering 12 was a big leap in quality from 11.

    Why isn’t Need For Speed Most Wanted on this list? i’d take that over all of these (well maybe not Hitman and AC3)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    Far Cry III, Darksiders II and Borderlands 2 are all on my wish-list for this year. ^-^

    By the way, you’ve a few typos there Brenna:
    …on the show circuit so we *c*an get hands-on with…
    …really not much you can *s*ay about why FIFA 13…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    Assassins Creed and Halo should probably just give up on numbers. Resident Evil too for that matter.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Colin Gallacher

    I imagine I’ll probably pick up most of those titles. Couldn’t really get into Darksiders when I gave it a good shot on the PS3. As long as the sequels are of a high standard and enjoyable I don’t really mind….there is a limit, obviously.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    No Transformers Fall of Cybertron makes me sad :(

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Takeshi

    @5: Me too, even though I got it for free due to PS+. Then again, can’t really seem to get going on other console games either…

    I’ll probably check out most of these though definitely not Fifa or Halo 4. Mostly looking forward to AC III which is funny because I’ve never cared about an AC game.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. More Console

    Nice article Brenna. Alas, I am one of those grown men who burst blood vessels if anyone sullies the name of the Chief. It’s a sickness, something that will be put into remission come November 6.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. ManuOtaku

    I think i will be getting all of them day one, with the exception of FIFA, Call Of duty, for those i will wait for a price cut

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Clupula

    Only two I will be getting are Borderlands 2 and Resident Evil 6.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    I am only interested in Darksiders 2, I will grab that for WiiU. Not interested at all in the rest of them.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. M. K.

    `Hitman never really qualified for major franchise status`

    No not really. Maybe it’s too hard for some wii playing, balance board using, nunchuck waggling newbs, but Hitman is an awesome game and there’s nothing to argue about :)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Deacon

    I probably will not buy any of these. Not this year at least.

    Currently enjoying the hell out of FFXIII-2 :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Edo

    @13 Cheese lover?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    This list only succeeds in reminding me of one thing.

    I am so fucking tired of sequels.

    #15 2 years ago

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