2012 shoots for video game sequels

Roberto Campos

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Mass Effect 3

Bioware’s “Mass Effect 3” is definitely on the top of my list of games to look forward to in 2012. The ability to tell a vast, complex story while still being compelling and easy to understand is something Bioware has perfected over its years making Role Playing Games (RPG).

With the theme of the game being similar to “Gears of War 3’s” fight or die, I am hoping Bioware will be able to create a better story beginning to end compared to “Gears of War 3.”

What makes this series so different is that it has grown throughout the life of the Xbox 360. If you’ve never played either one of “Mass Effect’s” predecessors, the significance of the series may simply role off your shoulders.

But if you’re like me and have played since the beginning- or even just the second installment, it’s cool to know that “Mass Effect” allows you to play as your character from your previous games – allowing you to continue the story arch you created in 2007. “Mass Effect 2” felt more of like shooter as opposed an RPG, I hope the developers fix that for the third game.

I have no problem with the shooter aspect, but in the second game the RPG-like decisions seemed to be less important. I could literally Rambo my way through situations without using things like “push.”

With “Mass Effect 3″coming out in a couple months, I’ll be counting down the days to get my hands on it and choose whether I save the universe or not… I wonder if Bioware planned that story line to come out this year on purpose.

“Mass Effect 3” hits selves March 6 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

 

Halo 4

I honestly don’t know what to expect out of “Halo 4,” but there are two ways it can play out: either it plays like the rest of the series and is epic, or it’s so bad that Microsoft realizes they are beating a dead horse.

But when “Halo 4” comes out later this year, we all know we’re going to be at our local GameStop or Best Buy to get our hands on it so we can find out if 343 Industries has what it takes to extend this legendary series.

Every fiber in my being wants to see this game succeed, like many other gamers, “Halo” is the franchise that made me a hardcore gamer. But this game will not have the most quintessential element in it, original “Halo” developers Bungie.

I know 343 has helped with “DLC for Halo: Reach” and “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,”the thing is Bungie laid the ground work for those games, 343 was never required to make decisions on an entirely new game.

If 343 can pull this off, we will undoubtly see more Halos in the future, but just like Peyton Manning coming back, I’m not holding my breath. The trailer for “Halo 4” just doesn’t excite me, what makes me want to play this game?

Master Chief is back and he’s got to destroy some more rings, been there and done that. That story is just as “compelling” as Shia Labeuf’s three, and probably going to be four, coming of age films called Transformers.

Nonetheless, I hope I am proven wrong because I have so much history with the franchise. 343 just needs to come up with a good story that makes this installment relevant and not a game like “Call of Duty” that makes money off of hype.

“Halo 4” will be available for Xbox 360.

Borderlands

“Borderlands” was a game on its own level. It looked different, was fun to play with friends and to use millions of weapons that were randomly generated in the game.

“Borderlands” used humor and obscene amounts of violence to create an experience that was mindless but at the same time very smart because it didn’t try to be more than it was and take itself too seriously.

It takes a lot for me to want to play games with friends, I’d rather just beat the game and move on to the next one, but “Borderlands” becomes harder the more players you have. If your group is playing well enough on Pandora, assuming that’s the planet you’re on in the sequel, the game makes itself harder.

“Borderlands” always tailors itself to individual sessions so it makes each experience unique to its players. What I hope changes this time around is a better focus on narrative.

Not to contradict myself from earlier statements or say that the first game had a bad story, it’s just the ending was really weak and uneventful. The boss battle was simple to say the least and didn’t do the game justice.

The game as a whole was so great, and when I finished my first run through I thought to myself, “this is it?”

“Borderlands 2” just needs to make an ending that is worth the build up and all the hours put into the game and it will undoubtedly be fantastic. “Borderlands 2” will be available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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