10 PC Games to Watch in 2012

Our guide to 10 PC titles you’ll want to keep an eye out for this year.

Mike Whiteby Mike White


2011 was a hell of a year for gamers on all platforms. PC gamers witnessed a resurgence of MMORPGs. Free to Play games defied everyone’s assumptions, while two huge subscription based games redefined the successful launch. 2012 will be no different. AAA titles, indie games and everything in between are on deck. Here’s a list of my 10 most anticipated releases this year.

Diablo 3

Release Date: Q1 2012


A measly 12 years ago, Diablo 2 was unleashed upon PC gamers. The developers continued to release patches and updates to the game up until last October and fans continue to poor countless hours into the dark dungeon crawler. Blizzard, in true fashion, are taking their time to produce a third installment of the Diablo series. Nostalgia be damned, I want to play this game because I know it will be good despite my love for the previous games. Additions to the series include an interactive environment, new classes and separate real money and in-game currency auction houses.

DotA 2

Release Date: TBA 2012


The original Defense of the Ancients started as a humble map mod for the Warcraft 3 map editor. Created and maintained by fans for years and years, a major game developer has finally stepped up to make a full version of the game. Valve will attempt to make their mark on the genre which started with the original DotA and spawned obscenely successful games like League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth.


Release Date: May 1st, 2012


Of all the big MMORPGs to come out over the past 3 or 4 years, innovations have come in small quality of life changes. TERA has done away with conventional targeting systems for combat in favor of what they call “true action combat.” Players aim their abilities with crosshairs and must avoid taking damage from opponents through positioning and timing. There is a fine line between a hack and slash game which quickly grows old and combat with subtlety and finesse that’s also engaging.


Release Date: TBA 2012


What do you get when you combine previous designers from World of Warcraft and Tribes? Beautiful art direction, smooth combat, jet packs, an expansive and open game world and competitive PvP are all on the table. Oh, and it’s completely free. I had a ball at PAX East last March trying out support healing. I can’t wait for the beta to end.

Guild Wars 2

Release Date: TBA


ArenaNet has grown to be one of my favorite PC developers. I absolutely love their all out assault on MMORPG conventions. I could talk for days about the aspects of story and combat which have me anxiously anticipating Guild Wars 2’s release. I believe in ArenaNet’s passion for making games and I believe GW2 will be one of the best games of 2012.

The Secret World

Release Date: April 2012


Imagine an MMO set in a contemporary world where legendary secret societies and conspiracy theories are real and coming out into the open. Now imagine three factions and no classes or character levels. Eerie, right? Leave it to Funcom, creators of Anarchy Online and Age of Conan, to mix unconventional progression with urban legend. You have my attention.

South Park: The Game

Release Date: Second half of 2012


This is absolutely a guilty pleasure. I love South Park and almost anything made by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Their late 90s first-person shooter wasn’t all that great, but Stone and Parker admit they were just trying to sell out and make a buck. This time around, the creators are completely hands on and serious about making a genuine South Park RPG experience that’s actually funny.

Torchlight 2

Release Date: TBA 2012


This is one of those games originally set to launch in 2011, but continues to be pushed back onto the 2012 list. I can’t say I blame the developers. I don’t mind them taking the time to get this right. The first Torchlight was praised as a simplified, yet wildly entertaining dungeon crawler with one set back: it had no multiplayer. Torchlight 2 aims for perfection by keeping the elements we all loved, but with the addition of online co-op. Players can look forward to a new cast of characters to chose from, with the old three appearing as NPCs throughout the game.

Tribes: Ascend

Release Date: Q1 2012


With the success of free to play games comes the opportunity to revamp old games that just need a loyal fan base, graphical makeover and a smooth engine. Well, hello there Tribes. Meet the Unreal Engine 3 and Hi-Rez Studios. Welcome back. The new Tribes: Ascend features a host of loadouts, multiple game types and customizable armor to choose from. Put your ski jacket and Rocketeer helmet on, because this is going to be a wild ride.

WoW: Mists of Pandaria

Release Date: TBA


After dominating sales and subscription numbers for years, Blizzard continues to take chances with their most popular game. Mists of Pandaria will be the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft and brings with it a new race, new zones, a new class and a host of new features and gameplay elements. Though the expansion raises controversy from fans for the choice in introducing Pandarens as the new playable race, Mists looks to be the most ambitious addition to the aging giant.

Honorable mentions: Abobo’s Big Adventure (currently live on Newgrounds), Wakfu, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Planetside 2 and StarCraft 2: The Heart of the Swarm.