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High V: Take-Two's reveals to mark FY2012 over slate

Take-Two has a solid line-up planned for the next 12 months, but that inevitable GTA V E3 reveal will define both the publisher's year and the LA show itself.

The name Take-Two isn't as familiar to gamers as it should be, being the parent company of three major publishing brands: Rockstar Games, 2K Games, and 2K Sports, not to mention the more casual-oriented 2K Play.

Take-Two had a massive FY2011, with Red Dead Redemption and NBA 2K11 each racking up serious sales. It has a couple of huge franchises dropping in the next 12 months, and in the year after that, we strongly suspect, it has nuclear weaponry. Don't look away from E3 2011.

The line-up

2K Play kicks of Take-Two's financial year with the latest entry in its successful Carnival Games series - Monkey See, Monkey Do. The Kinect title is due in April.

Mid-May sees one of the most anticipated titles of the year for major consoles - L.A. Noire. The open world adventure detective sim thing from Sydney's Team Bondi has benefited from excellent marketing for its unfamiliar blend of genres. It doesn't hurt that a specially-developed animation technique has made it look so good it's been included in a film festival.

From the modernity of mini games and motion capture we move on to the resurrection of a dinosaur - but an awesome one. In June, Duke Nukem Forever finally releases for 360, PS3 and PC. The legend of its decade-plus development is so well-known and celebrated that even were it rubbish, the game would sell a megaton, sexism accusations are not.

New LA Noire trailer from yesterday.

After that two-punch combo, Take Two takes five, until The Darkness II drops some time in autumn. The original was underrated, and although the franchise has skipped into a new, untried developer's hands, the multi-console sequel is being developed with the kind of loving care of true aficionados. One to watch for for Jackie fans.

In August, Spec Ops: The Line appears for major platforms. The ninth entry in the series intends to gain back ground lost in the early 2000s, when gradually degrading quality drove the franchise into a nearly decade-long hiatus. Take-Two has kept this one locked away for polishing, so expect a fanfare when it returns.

On the sports side of things, autumn will almost certainly see new iterations, with NHL 2K12 and NBA 2K12 before the end of October. Sneaking in right at the end of the year, we can expect MLB 2K12.

Rockstar is near certain to lift the lid on the next Grand Theft Auto at E3.

Although no hard date has been set, Take Two is aiming to get the XCOM reboot out the door in this financial year, which means before March. We may see it rounding off the summer set, if it's done in time, but it's more likely to turn up in the glaringly empty holiday season or bumped into Q1 calendar 2012.

An explosive E3

That holiday quarter's suspiciously empty, isn't it? It's not a huge call to say the company must have an unannounced release on the books. Looking at the usual turnover of major properties, and listening to the wind, it's not hard to guess what it might be: Borderlands 2.

Sure, Gearbox has been busy propping the Duke back on his feet, but the new IP was such a runaway hit that if there's not a second team hard at work on the sequel then 2K's management have lost their senses. Expect the announcement at E3.

If so, this year's show will be a blockbuster: Rockstar is near certain to lift the lid on the next Grand Theft Auto, rumoured to be set in Los Angeles, for release in 2012.

Max Payne 3 is another tightly-locked down title ready to explode, and the slow tease of info and screen this last week suggest the media blitz is about to wind up. Maybe we'll get a second big surprise in our non-denominational holiday stockings?

Duke Nukem Forever. This game is coming out.

BioShock Infinite will also make showings everywhere it can in preparation for a 2012 release, but don't expect this to ramp heavily until next year.

If Rockstar decides to really come out swinging, we may even hear something about the long-quiet Midnight Club series, or the totally-fallen-off-the-radar Agent. Rumour suggests Agent will be shown at E3, but, as far as we're aware, this really is still a way out. Don't count your chickens.

Take-Two's FY2012 stable is nothing to be sneezed out, but what will really make the next 12 months stand out for fans is reveals for future releases.

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