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 two:
Clickclickclick. Clickclickclickclickclick. Click. Clickclickclick. We love Diablo - it's the most moreish combination of clicking and questing we've ever seen, and it's been over a decade since we last saw the series in all its loot-gathering glory. Blizzard has a well-earned reputation for producing nothing but excellent games, and while we're a bit cautious over its new real-money auction house, we can't wait to lose six months of the year crafting the perfect character.
There's very little currently known about Dishonoured, which makes it all the more tantalising. Published by Bethesda, we know that Harvey Smith (Deus Ex) and Raf Colantonio (Dark Messiah of Might and Magic) are lead designers, and that the game will be an open-world adventure that includes elements of the past, the present and the future. Oh, and that the protagonist has supernatural powers. Sounds good to us.
EA has used geotagging - borrowed from NASA - to generate accurate data for over 25 real-life mountains, and then proceeded to use that as a base for its dozens of extreme snowboarding events. We haven't seen a proper SSX game since 2005, so this is a snowboarding sequel seven years in the making - and who doesn't have fond memories of SSX Tricky?
Phil Fish's absolutely captivating perspective-bending platformer has been in development for roughly 200 years, but even watching brief videos of it running is an absolute delight. There's gorgeous pixel art, beautiful vistas, and a guy who wears a fez. The game has been slated for an early 2012 release, so there's a good chance it will be the first digital must-have of the year.
Joe Danger: The Movie
When the first Joe Danger came out on PlayStation Network it was an under-appreciated gem of a game - an absolutely wonderful mix of colour, speed and skill. But British developer Hello Games has made a sequel that's more accessible and more creative, meaning Joe Danger: The Movie should be an utter delight when it arrives in 2012.
After making two games in the mould of the original series, developer Crystal Dynamics has finally been allowed to reboot the series and create its own Tomb Raider from scratch. It's a new origin story, with you playing as a 21-year-old Lara Croft and being stranded alone on an island after a nasty storm. Provided there's not a spooky smoke monster prowling around, then Crystal Dynamics should be onto a winner.
Hitman: Blood Money was stellar and has become a deserved cult classic, so it's only natural to be excited for Hitman: Absolution. We're a little bit upset that long-time Agent 47 voice actor David Bateson will not be reprising his role, but Swedish developer IO Interactive has promised an experience that is familiar and yet different to what we're used to.
Mass Effect 3
Is there a more anticipated game in Q1 2012? I don't think so. The promised conclusion to Commander Shepard's so-far magnificent trilogy, Mass Effect's third game may just be the series' pièce de résistance. Will Garrus survive? Will the Reapers be victorious? Won't somebody tell the Illusive Man that it's not cool to smoke indoors? We're a little concerned by the multiplayer mode, but we're prepared to give BioWare the benefit of the doubt.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 2 was bold and unique - a first-person sandbox game that wanted to evoke strong feelings of survival and isolation in a tropical setting, made slightly frustrating by repetitive missions and some wonky mechanics. Ubisoft is having another crack at this diamond in the rough, and we're hoping the developer can apply those final touches to create something truly special.
The Last Guardian
News of prominent staff members leaving Team ICO has left us a little concerned, but it hasn't dulled our anticipation for The Last Guardian. The only trailer shown so far has shown us a child and a monster, and seeing as this is from the same studio that bought us Shadow of the Colossus we can't wait see which one of them inevitably dies.