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And The Rest: 2012's Killer Line-Up, Part Two

Yesterday we checked out the massive first quarter calendar, but while publishers and retailers are yet to lock down the rest of the year, it's already looking stellar.

Let's start with the easy stuff. We're expecting Xenoblade Chronicles to arrive on US Wiis in the first week of April, while the Devil May Cry HD Collection, which boasts the first three games, is due both sides of the Atlantic on April 3, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. At the end of the month, expect open-world sequel Prototype 2 to go multiplatform on April 24, along with Risen 2: Dark Waters, which hits Europe a little later on April 27. Lollipop Chainsaw, Grasshopper's latest, could arrive March but has been pegged for April. Armored Core 5 drops right on the monthly divide on HD consoles.

Also in April, though rather more tentatively, is Vita remake BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, and Illfonic's remake of shooter Nexuiz, for PSN and XBLA. MMORPG The Secret World, which should be moving on a beta shortly, was aiming for an April release last time we had an update, too.

Now things start to get really messy; there's an enormous pile of games all scheduled for northern spring, a period publishers seem to feel sprawls across the first quarter and well past the end of the second, contrary to what your calendar and weather bureau may believe.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is probably the most heavy-eight of these, but Cyanide's multiplatform Game of Thrones role-playing game has been tipped for spring, along with thatgamecompany's Journey.

The XBLA version of strategy game Anomaly: Warzone Earth is also expected, and Gust's latest PS3 exclusive RPG Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland may appear, as may dark indie platform puzzle hybrid Closure, destined for PSN release.

The free-to-play Microsoft Flight should hit PC, and the last we heard of Portal designer Kim Swift's multiplatform latest, Quantum Conundrum, we expected it before the end of April at latest. 3DS puzzler Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure was down for a first quarter release, but seems to have slipped - probably into "spring".

PS Move showcase Sorcery is a spring favourite, and a sequel to Toki Tori is due sometime around April. Wii JRPG Pandora's Tower is rumoured for European release some time in the second quarter, and while we're with RPGs, how about the multiplatform Of Orcs and Men, which cast players on the other side of the cultural divide, or 3DS exclusive Heroes of Ruin. For something completely different, Spec Ops: The Line might come out, instead of being delayed. Again.

There are a couple of Vita "launch window" titles we can expect not too far out of the first quarter, like Silent Hill: Book of Memories, FIFA, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Virtua Tennis 4 and Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz.

Moving on to an equally tenuous "summer", we have a few vague dates. Racing spinoff DiRT Showdown is due in May on major platforms, while Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is down for the first half of 2012 - before the end of June, then.

Darksiders II is tipped for June, and we'll probably see Amazing Spider-Man around the time the film releases in July. Lego Batman 2: DC Heroes has been confirmed for nearly every possible platform during summer, and CCP is aiming to launch their EVE Online tie-in, the PS3-exclusive shooter DUST 514, in the hotter months, along with ArmA 3. Digital Extremes' Star Trek game, based on the new timeline of the 2009 film, is another summer expectation, along with Metro: Last Light, and a new version of Sega's flagship brawler, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, will hit Vita and HD consoles. There should be an F1 game for Vita, too, and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron looks likely to arrive on HD consoles at the tail end of summer, as should Insomniac's first multiplatform release, Overstrike.

Some time at the end of summer and into the start of northern autumn (fall, if you prefer), we'll see the usual round of sports games out of the US: From EA Sports, we'll see a new Madden, NCAA, NHL and likely NBA game, while 2K will give its own basketball sim. In September, we'll get a new PES and FIFA going head to head.

2K's just put X-COM: Enemy Unknown down for the third quarter, and South Park: The Game is also due. Later in the season, November is likely to bring a few big sequels - a new Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed III, and speculatively, a new Medal of Honor game or major Battlefield expansion. Don't be amazed if Halo 4 arrives in the shooter cluster, too.

And then there's the "some time in 2012" pile, which is simply enormous. Arkane's Dishonored hasn't gone into marketing mode yet, and nor has Prey 2, but both Bethesda titles are expected this year. RPG The Dark Eye: Demonicon should finally surface, as should Cryptic's Neverwinter. BioShock: Infinite is definitely happening, and Borderlands 2 looks quite certain. Carmageddon: Reincarnation is a strong ticket, Mechwarrior: Online should be getting close to done, and if Dragon Quest X doesn't deliver, we may as well give up on it.

On the PC side, Guild Wars 2 should turn up early-ish in the year, with any luck, and Diablo III seems primed to turn up early in the year, but DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may end up in Valve time. Blizzard should cough up Mists of Pandaria before the year is too old, though StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is a less certain bet. No date on Monster Hunter 3G, which will surely bring a small but important western 3DS sales boost, along with Luigi's Mansion 2.

Speaking of hardware, we should see some Kinect titles - Star Wars Kinect, long-awaited and much derided; Lionhead's Fable: The Journey (which is not on rails), and Crytek's mysterious Ryse. While the game is already in beta, Sony is yet to date PS3 exclusive Starhawk, and we don't have a solid window for The Last Guardian or The Last of Us either. We're hoping to see Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Ni No Kuni, too.

Back in multi-platform land, Square Enix hasn't dated Tomb Raider or Hitman: Absolution, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is also dateless. Grand Theft Auto V could happen, and nobody's sure about Epic's new effort, Fortnite. Hotly-contested reboot DmC is still in vague territory, as is Far Cry 3, and Dead or Alive 5 may surface for both consoles.

On the indie scene, we're hoping for Torchlight II and less certainly, Hawken. Scrolls will probably turn up, and Super Monday Night Combat's on the way. Since we're talking about multiplayer games, Tribes: Ascend may come out of beta, Planetside 2 should drop, Crytek's free-to-play Warface is expected, and we might even get the Fallout MMO. Maybe. Probably not. The Zone of the Enders HD Collection has to turn up some time, plus cross your fingers for Disney Epic Mickey 2.

That's just the games; for everything else - and there's plenty - check back next week.

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