FIRST PERSON SHOOTER
'Halo 4' and 'Black Ops II' Among Highly Anticipated Holiday Game Releases
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
The holidays aren't complete without video games.
This time of year is always important in the gaming world, as publishers release some of their most anticipated titles while consumers are in full shopping mode. Got a gamer on your list? We've got some ideas for them.
If you're just shopping for yourself, keep this list handy, as many recent games will be discounted on Black Friday. Good luck on your hunt!
"Assassin's Creed 3" (360, PS3, PC, WiiU; rated Mature) — The latest installment of the stealthy "Assassin's Creed" franchise takes you back to the American Revolution, where you'll prowl the wilderness and roam the streets of an early Boston and New York. "ACIII" introduces thrilling naval combat to the series and includes a variety of multiplayer offerings to complement the game's lengthy story mode.
"Dishonored" (360, PS3, PC; rated Mature) — This first-person action game casts you as a supernatural assassin in an imaginative, steampunk setting. Spacious levels and a broad selection of abilities give you the freedom to take out targets however you want.
"Guild Wars 2" (PC; rated Teen) — An online role-playing game set in a vast and stunning fantasy world. "Guild Wars 2" is great for solo adventures or playing with (or against) others, and most importantly, there's no monthly subscription charge to pay.
"Hitman: Absolution" (360, PS3, PC; rated Mature) — The infamous Agent 47 returns. "Absolution" lets you stalk your prey and use disguises and sharp instincts to pull off the perfect hit. A new Contracts mode gives you freedom to set up your own hits in the game's expansive levels.
"XCOM: Enemy Unknown" (360, PS3, PC; rated Mature) — A clever and accessible strategy game that puts you in charge of an international military force fighting an alien invasion. "XCOM" rewards tactical thinking and provides plenty of tense encounters with strange and fearsome beings.
"Borderlands 2" (360, PS3, PC; rated Mature) — Perfect for those who love to shoot and loot. "Borderlands 2" delivers more freewheeling action as you roam the alien planet of Pandora, taking on hordes of enemies and collecting piles of exotic, randomized weapons and gear. Supports co-op play for up to four people.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops II" (360, PS3, WiiU, PC; rated Mature) — The "Call of Duty" series is the reigning champ of the multiplayer shooter scene, and "Black Ops II" continues that tradition. This is the obvious choice if you want explosive online battles with a ton of unlockable weapons and upgrades to earn.
In addition, "Black Ops II" offers an action-packed campaign and a host of zombie-themed modes to play by yourself, or with others.
"Halo 4" (360; rated Mature) — The long-running sci-fi series returns, along with its famous cyborg hero, Master Chief. Players encounter a new enemy on the world of Requiem in "Halo 4's" main story, and can fight through a heaping helping of bite-sized missions in the new Spartan Ops mode. A large assortment of multiplayer content keeps "Halo" fans blasting away online.
SPORTS AND SUCH
"FIFA 13" (360, PS3, WiiU; rated Everyone) — Anyone who appreciates soccer will find a lot to enjoy in this detailed simulation of the game. "FIFA 13" features improvements to artificial intelligence, movement controls and player physics. As usual, it's also packed with hundreds of authentic soccer teams and thousands of real players.
"Forza Horizon" (360; rated Teen) — Racing fans and auto enthusiasts should check this one out, as it takes gorgeous, authentic cars and sets them loose on the open roads of Colorado. Creative challenges and lots of collectibles will keep you busy. Online modes support up to eight players per session.
"NBA 2K13" (360, PS3, WiiU; rated Everyone) — The only choice available for professional basketball fans, "NBA 2K13" upholds the tradition as one of the highest-reviewed sports simulations on the market. Put yourself in the shoes of both current and classic players, or launch your own b-ball career in the My Player mode.
"Need for Speed: Most Wanted" (360, PS3, PC; rated Everyone) — Adrenaline-filled racing and the freedom to zip around an open world. Outrun the cops, unlock new cars and engage in a host of multiplayer competitions.
"WWE 13" (360, PS3; rated Teen) — Flashy pro wrestling action with realistic, WWE-style presentation. The career-style Universe mode has been overhauled and the roster of WWE wrestlers is deeper than ever.
Don't forget about Nintendo's new Wii U console, which just arrived in stores earlier this month.
The defining feature of the Wii U is its GamePad controller, which has a large touch screen that adds an extra layer of interaction to games. The Wii U also marks Nintendo's first step into the high definition era of gaming.
The new console retails for in a basic package for $300, or a deluxe $350 version that includes extra memory and the "Nintendo Land" game. Keep in mind that Wii U supplies are limited.
If you do get your hands on a Wii U, consider checking out exclusive titles like "New Super Mario Bros. U" or the creepy "ZombiU." The Wii U also features a number of popular, multi-platform holiday releases, such as "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" and "Assassin's Creed 3." Other games worth considering include "Scribblenauts Unlimited" and "Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition."
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