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Destructoid's most wanted PlayStation 3 games of 2012

4:00 PM on 01.10.2012 // Kyle MacGregor

The past year has been an interesting one for Sony. The PlayStation 3 finally began to hit its stride, a new portable finally emerged, and an "unauthorized intrusion" resulted in a month-long network outage. That major pothole aside, there have been much brighter moments and many great games since then.

But that's enough reflection for now. It's time to focus on what the future has in store. All week long, the Destructoid Staff will be sharing our picks for some of the most wanted titles of the next year. Yesterday, you saw Hamza's and Conrad's choices for the Xbox 360. Today, Samit Sarkar and I are here to share our most anticipated PlayStation 3 titles of 2012.

 The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian (PlayStation 3) 
Developer: Team Ico
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: 2012

It wouldn't be a "most anticipated PS3" list without The Last Guardian, right? This game's numerous and lengthy delays -- I've put it on this list for three straight years, now -- haven't reduced my anticipation for it at all. What does have me somewhat worried is the departure from Sony of the project's visionary director, Team Ico's Fumito Ueda; at least he'll finish the game, and at this point, we're still assuming that that'll happen this year.

Ueda's previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, stand as singular experiences that Sony made even better with high-definition remasters last year. Check them out, and you'll understand why fans are still waiting with bated breath to see the tale of this boy and his avian-feline friend play out.


Journey (PlayStation Network) 
Developer: thatgamecompany
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment 
Release: Spring 2012

Jenova Chen, Kellee Santiago, and their studio thatgamecompany made a name for themselves with their 2009 PSN title, Flower. It was a fundamentally simple game that nonetheless elicited passionate emotional responses from players, and few (if any) other titles since have matched it in those respects.

Journey is the studio's next game. A robed figure traverses a desolate desert and the extant markers of an ancient civilization that lie within: such is the basic premise. I played a segment of that journey in last year's beta; while the arid world evoked a sense of isolation, my interactions with the stone remnants of the land's previous inhabitants brought out a connection with the past that mitigated my loneliness. That's something thatgamecompany and few other developers can do.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us (PlayStation 3) 
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment 
Release: 2012

Thanks to its critically acclaimed Uncharted games, Naughty Dog has earned a reputation for crafting exciting thrill-ride action titles with a story and characters worth caring about. Considering that pedigree, anticipation for the studio's next project would have been high regardless of the subject matter.

The Last of Us centers on a man and a teenage girl trying to survive in a world that has been overrun by zombie-like creatures. The word "zombie" might cause some people to dismiss the game out of hand, but remember that very little about Uncharted could be called "original"; instead, Naughty Dog has proven itself adept at taking familiar genre trappings (in Uncharted's case, Indiana Jones-esque pulp action) and tweaking them in service of the story the studio wants to tell. Early word is that the team seeks to explore survival elements and that old serious-story standby, the human condition, in a tale that may evoke comics like The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man. My body is ready.

Honorable mentions: Twisted Metal, Papo & Yo, MLB 12 The Show, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD



I Am Alive (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade) 
Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release: Q1 2012

After almost four years of near-silence regarding their forthcoming post-apocalyptic survival title, Ubisoft finally looks like they're ready to release I Am Alive. The game follows a man on a journey to return to his hometown and find his family. Unfortunately for him, he must traverse an urban wasteland, brave the elements, and come toe-to-toe with other survivors who will do anything to stay alive.

Finger on the trigger of a pistol, one bullet left in the chamber, a frightened stranger approaches. What do you do? There's nothing more dangerous than an animal backed into a corner, nothing scarier than the dark recesses of the human mind. I'm ever so eager to find myself in these types of situations and make meaningful decisions. I just really, really hope that Ubisoft can capitalize on this title's conceptual potential. 

SSX (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) 
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Release: February 28, 2012

Back during E3 last year, I recall strolling into a dimly lit room for a viewing of EA's forthcoming SSX title. I entered as a casual fan of the series, mildly enthused for another extreme snowboard romp, but left among the converted. Just imagine opening up Google Earth, simply zooming in on any given mountain range and dropping in on a slope for an exhilarating run to the bottom. The team at EA Canada has borrowed intricate satellite data from NASA to virtually recreate entire mountain ranges and let players drop in on some of the most iconic peaks on the planet.

Outside of the traditional races and score attack modes, SSX features "boss battles" where players travel to some of the most dangerous peaks on the planet and brave the elements that make them so deadly. During the demonstration, the developers showed off a stage featuring a dynamic avalanche where the speed and direction at which the player hits the angle of repose triggers a unique deluge that the player must outrun to stay alive. Even now months later I'm enthralled by the possibilities of what else EA Canada has in store. February 28 cannot come soon enough. 

Far Cry 3 (PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360) 
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release: 2012

I could probably talk about Far Cry 2 all day. Despite all its failures and unrealized ambitions, its design supported player agency and offered nonlinear gameplay in ways that few games even dare to try, much less realize with a modicum of success. Allowing the player to approach a situation from any standpoint with any strategy and essentially design their own experience in such a vivid and immersive game world made Far Cry 2 an exciting step forward for the medium. 

Far Cry 3 returns the series to the tropical setting of an island chain in the South Pacific. The story follows Jason Brody, a tourist who has been caught up in a violent civil conflict and must employ his survivalist resourcefulness to escape with his life. Should Ubisoft capitalize on the strengths of the existing formula and do away with the frustrations, Far Cry 3 could not only be be an incredibly captivating title, but one that continues to pioneer where its predecessor left off.

Honorable mentions: Metro Last Light, Zone of the Enders HD Collection

Additional Staff Picks for PlayStation 3: 

Chad Concelmo: Final Fantasy XIII-2Journey, The Last of Us
Sean Daisy: Inversion, JourneyThe Last Guardian
Andrew Kauz: BioShock InfiniteKingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Tales of Graces f
Jonathan Holmes: The Last Guardian, Lollipop Chainsaw, Persona 4: Ultimate Mayonaka Arena
Tara Long: Journey, The Last of Us
Allistair Pinsof: Dust 514, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Jonathan Ross: The Last Guardian
Maurice Tan: JourneyThe Last of Us
Max Scoville: Journey, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Josh Tolentino: Dust 514Journey, The Last of Us 

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