Our 17 most anticipated games at E3 2012

E3 is upon us once again. While the "Big Three" (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) prepare to blow our minds (or not) with whatever gaming news each has in store, we're going to jump the gun a little early with a list of our most-anticipated E3 games.

With hundreds of games and gaming-related gear ready to be shown off in the confines of an expansive convention center, we think these are these titles are the ones that'll shine through. These are our most anticipated titles. Don't see one of yours? Let us know what you're most excited about in the comments below.

We'll have more E3 news and coverage throughout the week, so stay tuned.




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1. Gears of War: Judgment

Platform(s): Xbox 360

People Can Fly (developers of Bulletstorm) are working on the next Gears and it should be as chainsawin' good as all the others. All we know right now is that Marcus Fenix takes a step back to let a young Damon Baird and Cole Train aka Augustus Cole star.




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2. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Platform(s): PS3

Sony's cloning Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. formula, but instead of cute, cuddly and colorful characters from the Nintendo-verse, it'll have Sony favorites such as Nathan Drake (Uncharted), Kratos (God of War), Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank and more. What could possibly go wrong?




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3. Dead Space 3

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3

Details are slim on what direction EA plans to take its third-person survival horror-shooter franchise, but we do know that the game will feature co-op multiplayer and will reportedly take place on an icy planet. So long as there are plasma cutters, we're game.




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4. Halo 4

Platform(s): Xbox 360

With developer Bungie out of the picture and 343 Industries in charge of bringing Master Chief back to the FPS genre, Halo 4 is set to make a ton of fanboys wet their underoos. Can Halo survive in an FPS world that's now dominated by Call of Duty? We'll see.




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5. God of War: Ascension

Platform(s): PS3

The fifth home-console game in the series (there were a few PSP spin-offs), Ascension is actually a prequel, if you take into account its story. It'll explore protagonist Kratos' past before he became the Ghost of Sparta and is the first game in the franchise to feature multiplayer. Multiplayer in a GoW game? It's okay. Series creator David Jaffe says it's looking good, even though he's not working on the game.




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6. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3

Activision's hit franchise is the undisputed king of FPS and Treyarch looks to repeat its success a second time by taking the battlefield to the year 2025. And of course, in the future, warfare isn't warfare without unmanned drones, jet fighters and killer robots. To keep Black Ops II fresh, Treyarch is developing the game with dynamic missions in place, meaning different choices will lead to different endings.




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7. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii / PC / OS X

Laugh all you want, but Warren Spector's Epic Mickey sequel deserves a spot on this list. If you've never played 2010's Epic Mickey, you don't know just how creative the game is. Rather than limit the magical paintbrush-able world to the Wii Remote, Power of Two brings the same gorgeous graphics (this game actually has colors other than brown!), but in HD, voice acting, co-op multiplayer (the original game didn't have any) and fixed camera issues that many found dizzying in the first game.




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8. Assassin's Creed III

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii U / PC / PS Vita

The title is a little misleading because AC III is actually the fifth game in the series (Brotherhood and Revelations came after AC II). Taking place during the American Revolution, AC III puts you in control of new hero Connor Kenway who takes up the fight when his hometown is attacked by colonists. Powered by a completely new game engine, Ubisoft is not pulling any punches with AC III. It's reported that Ubisoft has doubled its development team to ensure the game looks and plays like a next-gen game. Even more exciting is that a spin-off of the game will make its way to the PS Vita as Assassin's Creed III: Liberation and it'll reportedly star a female assassin named Aveline.




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9. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3

Revengeance is not your typical Metal Gear game. You don't control Snake and you don't sneak around with cardboard boxes over your head. Instead, you'll be playing as pretty-boy Raiden, wielding tons of different katanas and swords to slash the living sh*t out of almost everything — enemies, environments, vehicles — in a cyborg suit. As with many of slashing game types, things can go sideways if there's no depth or the A.I. isn't very smart. This being a Hideo Kojima-produced game, we've got high hopes for it.




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10. Resident Evil 6

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3

Forgetting for a moment Japan's crazy $1,300 "special edition" Resident Evil 6 pre-order, Capcom brings Leon S. Kennedy back (last seen in RE 4) with new partner Helena Harper to fend off yet another bioterrorist attack. Still cloaked under deep secrecy, RE 6 is said by Capcom to be its largest game production ever, with over 600 staff members working on it.




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11. Forza Horizon

Platform(s): Xbox 360

The Forza series has always been about rivaling Gran Turismo and being the most realistic racing simulator on consoles. Horizon takes the franchise onto a different road — an open world one that's rumored to be set in Colorado. While Horizon will still run on Forza 4's physics engine, it should be a little more arcade-like and less sim than previous titles. Do we smell a Need for Speed rival creeping up?




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12. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Platform(s): Wii U / Xbox 360 / PS3

We've yet to see any official game launch lists for the Wii U or even a solid list of what's in development for Nintendo's next console, but we're super excited for Sega and Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines. Why? Because the developers seem genuinely in-love with the Wii U GamePad, heaping tons of praise on the system's technical prowess (although, Gearbox can't divulge) and new game possibilities of the touchscreen controller. If Gearbox is so psyched about making an FPS on the Wii U, then we're pumped, too. We're just dying for new ways to play an old genre.




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13. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS

Historically speaking, the Castlevania games have always shined in their 2D forms, whereas its 3D games have all, well, stunk. Konami looks set to unveil a 3D combat-action adventure game based off the PS3 and Xbox 360's Lord of Shadow games. Castlevania games always tend to do very well on Nintendo handhelds. If Konami plays its cards right, we could be looking at the next hit 3DS game.




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14. Sleeping Dogs

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC

It's not easy to take a game that was in development for another publisher and then rebuild it into a brand new one, but Square Enix is doing just that with Sleeping Dogs. In a previous life, the game was called True Crime: Hong Kong, until Activision canned it last year, and SE scooped it up and fixed it into a presentable RPG/shooting/street racing open-world game. Sleeping Dogs puts you through the eyes of Chinese-American cop Wei Shen who's acting as an undercover Triad member. Think of it as a bloodier version of Rockstar's GTA: Chinatown Wars, made for consoles with gritty graphics, all in the beautiful city of Hong Kong. Yeah, we know, you're drooling!




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15. Tomb Raider

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC

Lara Croft's getting another reboot — one like she's never had before. Darker, grittier and with more realistic breast proportions, the new Tomb Raider will focus on building a believable Lara Croft. We're expecting the game to have similar inroads with Uncharted a game that took the action-adventure genre to a whole new level.




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16. Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time

Platform(s): PS3 / PS Vita

You won't believe your eyes aren't deceiving you when you gaze at Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time. It's like watching an HD animation or cartoon, only it's not one, it's a controllable video game. Thieves In Time rounds out our list of E3 games that excite because it's one of the only games of this generation (on PS3 and Xbox 360) that make gorgeous use of last-gen's cel-shading technique to breathe life into polygons. Not only is Thieves In Time one of the best showcases of what devs can still get out of the current hardware, but it's hilariously cheesy, but funny dialogue make it a must-buy when it comes out. Bonus: it'll be released on the PS Vita as well.




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17. Borderlands 2

Platform(s): Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC

Borderlands brought Diablo-style loot lust to the first-person shooter, and the sequel promises bigger, badder guns, a whole new cast of characters and all of the frenetic, explosive action that saw people drain hundreds of hours each into the first one. Borderlands 2 looks like it'll also keep the same unique art style and humor that made the first one such a hit.

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