CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II
Developer: Treyarch (Call of Duty: Black Ops)
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, WiiU, PlayStation Vita
Why We Want It NOW! Because, like its predecessors, this is easily one of the year’s best straight shooters. Set in 2025, but with flashbacks set in the 1970s and ‘80s, the single-player setting has you shooting up places like Central America, Angola and, oddly, downtown Los Angeles. But you’ll also use the futuristic weaponry and gadgets when you play friends in the online modes, as well as when you try to survive a zombie invasion.
Developer: 343 Industries (Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary)
Systems: Xbox 360
Why We Want It NOW! Because after a four year nap, Master Chief is back and ready to party. Granted, his idea of partying is to shoot up a bunch of aliens on a distant planet, but they did bring some cool new weapons for him to play with. You can even use those alien guns on your friends in the game’s numerous multiplayer modes, or with complete strangers in a co-op mode that will add new (and free) story-driven missions every week.
ASSASSIN’S CREED III: LIBERATIONS
Developer: Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed II)
Systems: (AC III) Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, WiiU; (Liberation) PlayStation Vita
Why We Want It NOW! Because for the first time, both games bring this sneaky series out of the Old World and into the new. Well, relatively speaking, since they’re set around the American Revolution. Still, while you’ll once again have to use stealth and distraction to take out specific targets, this time you’ll also get to use big ships on the high seas.
Bonus: Playing on the Side
The next generation of gaming starts now with Nintendo’s new console.
While we like our Wii, we’ve never liked its lack of high-def graphics. But that’s not a concern with Nintendo’s new WiiU, which rivals the PS3 and 360 in power and HD visuals. It also has a controller that melds a gamepad and an iPad, so you can play games like ZombiU and New Super Mario Bros. U uses real buttons, thumbsticks and a touch pad (though you’ll still use your Wiimote for motion games like Epic Mickey 2). Besides coming in white with an 8-GB hard drive ($299.99) there’s also a 32-GB black version that comes with the game Nintendo Land ($349.99).
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Thursday, 07 March 2013