SLIDESHOW

Games Forecast: 10 Awesome Titles Coming Soon

Some of the video game industry's heavyweights will be coming out to play in the second half of 2012. Let's take a look.

Games We're Looking Forward To

When it comes to games, if the first half of the year is for holiday leftovers and cool indie titles, the second half is for top-shelf blockbusters. This is when the big guns--the likes of Halo, Mario, and Call of Duty--come out to play.

Here are 10 games we're looking forward to playing in the second half of 2012.

Halo 4

Platform: Xbox 360

Release date: November 6, 2012

Halo 4 is actually not the fourth game in the franchise, but it is the first game since 2007's Halo 3 to feature Master Chief as the protagonist. It's also the first Halo game by Microsoft's 343 Industries (original Halo developer Bungie has moved on to a yet-to-be-announced project with publisher Activision). Not much is known about Halo 4, but the single-player game will reportedly focus more on exploration than on straight-up action.

Dust 514

Platform: PlayStation 3

Release date: Q2 2012

Dust 514 is more than just the generic free-to-play shooter that it looks like on the surface. It's connected to the universe of Eve Online, a huge and long-running space-strategy MMO, so the battles that players fight on the ground can create ripple effects in a grand, ongoing intergalactic war. This scenario sounds far more interesting than the heartless level-up grinds of so many other shooters.

0x10c

Platform: PC

Release date: TBA

0x10c, the next big project from the makers of Minecraft, will put players in charge of a spaceship with a fully functioning 16-bit computer. Players will be able to modify their DCPU-16 in any way they like--they can even insert their own code--while roaming the galaxy for loot, space battles, and planets to explore. Though the game likely won't be finished by the end of this year, it will follow the same development path as Minecraft, with alpha releases that provide an early taste of the finished product.

Borderlands 2

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Release date: September 18, 2012 (U.S.), September 21, 2012 (worldwide)

The original Borderlands was an intoxicating brew of first-person shooting and Diablo-style looting, but its unpolished narrative and brain-dead AI made it less than perfect. Borderlands 2 aims to refine the game's popular formula, all but ensuring a huge hit.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Release date: October 9, 2012 (U.S.), October 12, 2012 (Europe)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a reboot of the classic sci-fi strategy game from 1996, with modern sensibilities--such as over-the-shoulder camera angles and cover spots to hide behind--that lend a shooter vibe to the turn-by-turn action. Enemy Unknown won't be the first attempt at streamlining strategy gaming for the console-owning masses, but it looks promising.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Release date: Summer 2012

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is little more than a fresh coat of paint on a classic multiplayer shooter; for veteran PC gamers who drained hours into the original game, however, this remake could be just the excuse they need to dive back in. Like its predecessor, Global Offensive allows no respawns and no regenerating health, so careful strategy and teamwork are just as important as fast reflexes.

Assassins Creed 3

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC

Release date: October 30, 2012 (U.S.), October 31, 2012 (worldwide)

After two years and three games focused on Italian assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Assassin's Creed turns to a new time period--the American Revolution--and a new protagonist named Connor Kenway. Half-British and half-Mohawk, Connor will have to stealthily slay his way through colonists and redcoats alike. Although the prospect of dodging rifle fire seems daunting, we're glad for the change of pace.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Release date: November 13, 2012

For a series known for its sameness, the next Call of Duty game is taking some big risks. In the single-player campaign, players' decisions and actions may change the outcome of the story, and an additional mode of play called Strike Force will add an element of strategy, requiring players to pick their battles and their allies. Of course, many players will ignore these changes altogether and head straight to the multiplayer, which should be as twitchy as ever. Some things never change.

Infinity Blade Dungeons

Platform: iOS

Release date: TBA

Epic hasn't said much about its next big mobile game--but judging from the trailer, it seems to be an isometric RPG like Diablo, set before the events of the original Infinity Blade. The game's apocalyptic fantasy universe is intriguing enough to make Dungeons an exciting premise, so let's hope that the hacking-and-slashing is up to snuff.

Super Mario Bros. for Wii U

Platform: Wii U

Release date: TBA

Although Nintendo hasn't yet announced any launch games for the Wii U, the company has already confirmed that it's working on a new Super Mario Bros. game for the upcoming console, which is expected to launch later this year. We'll hear more details at the E3 trade show next week, but the game is based on the 2D platforming demo that Nintendo presented at last year's show. That's enough to pique our interest.