Did you enjoy all of 2011's brilliant games? You did? That's fantastic. Now forget about them all immediately, and start secreting from your hype glands in frothy anticipation for what's coming out in 2012. While there's bound to be some stuff announced later - like the next Call of Duty - here's our picks of upcoming 2012 games we already know about, part one:
BioShock is probably the most critically celebrated game of all time, and attempting to follow it was never going to be an easy task - but Irrational Games has been contractually obligated to try. All we really know right now is that it's set in 1912, you play as a chap called Booker DeWitt, and your mission is to rescue a woman named Elizabeth from air-city Columbia. Knowing Irrational Games, it'll probably have a twist where the whole thing is the drug-induced dream of a race of people made entirely out of cheddar. We can't wait!
The original Borderlands had something like seventy squillion possible guns to choose from, so its sequel will probably have 401 hojillion. We'd settle for 399. Set a few years after the end of the original game, the sequel will have new character classes to level up and plenty more loot to pillage. We're definitely looking forward to a return of Gearbox's manic co-op role-playing shooter - but let's have a better ending this time, okay?
The original Darksiders showed exactly what would happen if you squished together God of War and The Legend of Zelda, so it was no real surprise that it ended up being an entertaining romp of an adventure. The sequel promises to be double its size, and still revolves around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - now you're playing as Death in an attempt to vindicate his brother War, the protagonist of the original.
You can't launch a piece of Sony hardware without a Riiiiiiiidge Racer or a WipEout. Fact. And while the Vita is launching with a Ridge Racer and a WipEout game, it's the latter we're most excited by. All those whooshy graphics and fast corners will be a great showcase for the Vita's technical ability.
Uncharted Golden Abyss
Vita's big-budget launch title intends to cram the blockbuster spectacle of the Uncharted series into the teeny-weeny handheld device. How is this possible? Magic? Voodoo? Technical fortitude? We're not sure, but the game certainly looks the part. But is it possible for Studio Bend to create an adventure as clever as the ones delivered by the masters at Naughty Dog?
EA's money-gobbling kickabout simulator keeps going from strength to strength, and it's highly unlikely the studio will disappoint with 2012's installment. We're not sure what EA could possibly add, but we're already convinced the studio will do something to make FIFA 13 replace FIFA 12 as best football game on the market.
Max Payne 3
We're still not entirely sure why our beloved New York cop has decided to move to Brazil and model himself after Breaking Bad's Walter White, but developer Rockstar promises us we'll find out - and that the answer will involve shooting a lot of people in the face. But before Brazil comes New York, and there the classic-look Max Payne will shoot a lot of people in the face. Maybe after Max Payne 3 they'll produce Max Payne: Face Shooter.
GTA IV made critics weak at the knees - so how could we not be excited for GTA 5? Set in Los Santos - GTA's version of Los Angeles - we're expecting to see a story focused around the global recession and a GTA with a slightly older protagonist. We've seen a lot happen to the open-world genre since 2008, and it's going to be fascinating to see how Rockstar reacts. We're expecting magnificent things.
Former steward Bungie has moved to another galaxy, and newly formed 343 Industries is stepping up to shepherd Master Chief through his next epic trilogy. What are they planning, and is it possible for 343i to match the quality of the series' former masters? We're desperate to find out, and Microsoft should stage their grand reveal of Halo 4 within the next couple of months.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Has there been a film that has influenced the medium of video games more than James Cameron's Aliens? We don't think so. There have been plenty of attempts (some more successful than others) at turning the franchise into an AAA video game series, but Gearbox's upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines looks like it could quite easily be the strongest to date. Say your favourite Aliens quote... now!