Photo: Watch Dogs
We look at the top games coming out this year, from classic gaming franchises to new titles like Watch Dogs and The Last of Us.
Bonkers and brilliant beat 'em up from Platinum Games, the developer behind Bayonetta, Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising.
Lauded critically on its release in Japan and the US last year, Anarchy Reigns features Platinum's melee expertise and a fascinating multiplayer suite.
British developer Ninja Theory may have come in for some stick for its 'emo' reworking of DmC hero Dante, but their track record with story-based action-adventures are exemplary.
Early previews suggest this reboot is shaping up to be something special, with terrific combat and a bewitching aesthetic.
Professor Layton and Dragon Quest developer Level-5 team up with legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli for this beautiful JRPG.
Codemaster's fantastic racing sim in which you race for and manage a touring car team gets a sequel.
A boisterous and deep racing sim worth a look for any petrolhead.
The third entry in the most successful new survival-horror series in over a decade, Dead Space 3 will feature co-op and seems to be following a more action-orientated route.
Will the sci-fi scares be diluted?
Set after the events of Alien 3 but returning to the USS Sulaco of James Cameron's Aliens, Gearbox seem to have nailed the Aliens atmosphere.
Will the gunplay match up? We're particularly looking forward to the motion scanner in the Wii U version. Blip... blip... blip.
How do you marry the jungle warfare of Crysis with the urban setting of Crysis 2?
Easy: encase New York in a nanodome which turns the city into a lush, verdant forest.
Taking the best bits from two of the most emergent shooters ever made sounds good to us.
A departure from Metal Gear's usual sneaking and shooting, Rising casts you as ninja-cyborg Raiden as he hacks and slashes through a nanobot enhanced army.
Platinum Games have taken on development duties, meaning the melee combat is peerless. 'Revengeance' is still the dumbest portmanteau in the history of the world, mind.
Also keep an eye on Hideo Kojima's playfulness in 2013 as more details for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and possibly Metal Gear Solid 5 are revealed. Our money's on them being one and the same.
A building sim of extraordinary depth and technical prowess, SimCity looks to reassert itself as the original and best by using Maxis' new GlassBox engine. Also, curved roads!
Rebooting the legendary Lara Croft is no easy task, and a worrisome focus on bombastic action and controversy over the games themes hasn't made it any simpler.
However, Crystal Dynamics have a fantastic record with video games most recognisable heroine, so her origin story on a mysterious jungle island should be nothing if not fascinating.
Rhianna Pratchett on writing duties also intrigues.
Ascension has been most notable for the introduction of online multiplayer. Multiplayer! In God of War!
Has the world gone mad? We shall see, but Sony Santa Monica has a 100% hit rate with the series, so we expect familiar excellence.
The single-player campaign serves as a prequel to the entire franchise as Kratos kickstarts his celestial feud with Ares.
Casting Baird and Cole Train in the starring roles, Judgment serves as a prequel to the phenomenally successful Gears series.
We largely expect more of the same sturm und drang, but a co-development credit for People Can Fly, the studio behind the brilliant Bulletstorm, gives us hope for a refreshing twist on the Gears formula.
Could be Microsoft's swansong for the Xbox 360.
Multiple delays have only stoked the anticipation for BioShock Infinite, the intriguing third entry to one of video games more cerebral series.
Set in a city above the clouds, Infinite follows the tale of grizzled gunman Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth, a young woman with magical powers.
The pair's relationship is the focus as they try to escape a civil war. Looks to be something truly special, both mechanically and thematically.
Grand Theft Auto is rarely short on ambition, but the first game in the series for five years is aiming higher than ever.
The biggest open-world game in Rockstar's history, a full eco-system, improved driving, better combat and multi-layered missions as the three protagonists team up on heists are the marquee technical goals.
As ever, though, it will be the setting -- this time Los Santos -- and the characters that are most likely to thrill.
Naughty Dog take a break from the matinee bombast of Nathan Drake and Uncharted to deliver a bleak post-apocalyptic tale.
Burly survivor Joel and young girl Ellie are an unlikely duo trekking across America, evading the Infected and the remnants of humanity.
Expect Naughty Dog's usual skill with characters, setting and cinematic action.
Heavy Rain creators Quantic Dream's next project casts Hollywood starlet Ellen Page in the leading role.
A psychological and supernatural thriller, Beyond follows the life of Jodie Holmes, a young woman seemingly accompanied by a wandering spirit called Iden.
Technically spectacular and thematically fascinating, you're not likely to play another game quite like it.
The return of Nintendo's adorable plant-creatures has been long overdue, but the Wii U is a perfect fit for Pikmin's wonderful form of strategy gaming.
E3 2012's surprise package is due for release this year, a technological open-world thriller following hacker Aiden Pierce in a Chicago run by an artificial intelligence.
The demo at E3 suggested a video game that outstrips the technological limits of the current crop of home consoles.
Could well be a launch title for new hardware. Either way, Watch Dogs is one to keep an eye on.
The latest challenger to World of Warcraft's MMO crown arrives this year.
Only this time with the pedigree of Oblivion and Skyrim to back it up.
Translating the sprawling world of Tamriel to an online space is no easy task, so it will be fascinating to see if Bethesda succeed where others could not.
Ukrainian developer 4A games adaptation of Russian author Dmitry Glukohvsky's novel Metro 2033 was a notable cult hit in 2010.
An FPS set in the Metro tunnels of a post-apocalyptic Moscow, Last Light is looking to build on the success of the original's suffocating atmosphere and chilling adversaries.
The first Lords of Shadow was a flawed but very welcome return for Castlevania.
A sequel that squares away the rough edges and focusses on the fantastic combat and exploration of Gabriel's last adventure is an exciting prospect indeed.
Total War: Rome is widely regarded as one of the finest strategy games of recent times, this sequel looks to build on that success, offering more cunning AI, more factions and makes player choice an integral part of its campaign.
One of Nintendo's finest coups for the hardcore video game player was securing the sequel to Bayonetta, one of the very best hack and slash games of recent times.
The cat-suit clad anti-heroine Bayonetta may not seem the most obvious choice for Nintendo's newest console, but it will be exciting to see what the always brilliant Platinum Games make of the Wii U gamepad.
Sam Fisher returns, seemingly younger and certainly more violent.
Blacklist follows the newly formed Fourth Echelon as they track down terrorists threatening US cities.
A bombastic E3 2012 showing featuring torture and hyper-violence does leave concern that Splinter Cell has left its incision stealth behind, but this is a great series always worth keeping on your radar.
No Michael Ironside lending his voice to Sam is a crushing disappointment though.
A gritty spin on the Star Wars universe that cast you as a bounty hunter exploring the depths of Coruscant, 1313 is most notable for its extraordinary visual prowess and animation.
It caused quite the stir at E3 2012, and the fact that no formats have yet been confirmed suggests it's destined for next-generation consoles.
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