Best MMO Games Of 2012: The Ones To Watch


Posted December 19, 2011 - By Leah Jackson

  • Videos
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  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

Best MMO Games Of 2012: The Ones To Watch

The year 2012 is fast approaching, and for most MMO fans out there, it's an incredibly welcome time. The MMORPG scene is going to change dramatically in 2012, and from what we've seen via trailers and demos, it's almost already safe to assume that a few MMOs coming out next year are already on schedule to lead the pack. Forget about mindless questing and needless instances, next year is all about the upgraded graphics, fast-paced action, and of course, lots and lots of storytelling.

Some of the MMOs coming out in 2012 won't even include MMO staples like leveling. Many are shying away from the subscription model, and most importantly for a lot of MMO fans out there, many of the new MMOs aren't fantasy based. Of course a few will be, but some that are coming out will be much more modern, or even futuristic, rather than the standard swords, magic, and shields.

So without further ado, let's take a look at some of the best looking MMORPGs coming out in 2012. Of course, as these massive games aren't out yet, this list is based purely on what we've played and seen so far, and as is usual with MMOs, anything is subject to change.

Guild Wars 2 Gamescom 2011 Trailer »

Guild Wars 2
Release date: TBA 2012

Guild Wars 2 is the follow-up to ArenaNet's popular 2005 fantasy action-MMO. However, Guild Wars 2 is taking absolutely everything to the next level, and it's hard to not be impressed by its potential. The game features character-driven stories which are built upon choices made during character creation, and those origin stories will impact the entire gameplay experience.

Not to mention there's an extremely versatile combat system which changes based on which weapons you have equipped, giving players the flexibility to switch on the fly from one type of gameplay to a completely different one.

GW2 also promises an innovative questing system, whereas instead of mindlessly doing tasks for NPCs, there will be a Dynamic Event system. Dynamic Events basically allow the choices players make to have both an immediate and long-lasting ramifications upon the world around them.

On top of all that, Guild Wars 2 features a stunning art style, beautiful music, and enough story and lore to get any MMO fan hyped for what it has to offer.

The Secret World Gamescom 2011 Cinematic Trailer »

The Secret World
Release Date: April 2012

The Secret World is not your traditional MMO. Its contemporary setting sets it apart from almost all of the other offerings on this list, and on top of that, it's one of the most story-driven MMOs we've ever seen, aside from Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In The Secret World, everything is true. All the myths, legends, lore, folktales that you've ever heard of are real, and it's a conspiracy theorists dream. There are secrets dormant in the pyramids, living cities hidden in the earth's core, and noxious zombies wandering the streets of New England. The game puts a heavy emphasis on the plot, and most in-game missions will be built around cut scenes and voice acting.

The game puts players in to secret socities and urges them to find out the meaning behind these paranormal happenings and work together to decipher the methods behind the madness.

On top of all this, The Secret World is taking an entirely new approach to MMO progression and doing away with pesky things like classes and levels. Instead, there will be around 500 skills for players to cherry pick and essentially build their own type of player as if it were a card deck.

Official Tera E3 Trailer »

Release date: Spring 2012

TERA is an upcoming Korean MMORPG from En Mass Entertainment. While questing, you'll also run in to huge dragons, armored beasts, and gross spiders with swords, shields, magic, and arrows. It's your classic fantasy MMO with an action-packed twist. TERA focuses on fast-paced, real-time action combat, where players must actively dodge in order to defend themselves. Plus, it features some extremely pretty graphics thanks to the Unreal Engine 3.

Another thing that sets TERA apart is its non-target battle system. Targeting is manual, meaning you can't just click or tab to an opponent, you must manually target them with a crosshair. This game mechanic is one that we haven't seen much of in MMOs, and it's one that we really liked.

TERA has already seen a South Korean release to positive reception, so it's likely that when the game is finally localized, it will join the ranks of some of the other best action MMORPGs like Dragon Nest and Vindictus.

Dust 514 Debut Trailer »

Dust 514
Release Date: Spring 2012

Dust 514 is a Playstation 3 and PlayStation vita exclusive MMOFPS set in the Eve Online universe. Details are still somewhat sparse on this unique title, but basically the story will revolve around the ground battles that take place on planets in the Eve Online universe. Dust won't have classes. Instead, players will have a specialization based on choices that they've made. There will also be customizable vehicles, and player housing will exists. What's neat about Dust 514 is that the things that happen in it will have an effect on players in Eve, and eventually the two communities will supposedly meld in to one.

Firefall Cinematic Trailer »

Release Date: TBA December 2011

Firefall is a futuristic MMOFPS that takes place on Earth and incorporates both third and first person shooting in a huge open world. Think of a game that mixes Gears of War with Team Fortress 2 complete with a nice Borderlands cherry on top, and you've essentially got Firefall. The MMO features single-player and squad-based co-op missions, but rather than simply running around questing, you're going to playing objective based maps that will test your skills.

Firefall features classes, or Battleframes, that are each integral parts of a group, or great on their own. You've got the big-gunning Assault, the stealthy Recon, the supportive Engineer, and the curative Medic. Each class gets their own customizable armor, that can be changed before battles to give them a leg up over their opponents. Firefall also has loot, bosses, jetpacks, aliens, and top of everything else, it's free-to-play.

This is one of the few MMOs that is really stepping outside of the box next year, and with the eSports multiplayer components combined with the single player free-to-play offering, this is the type of game that will definitely catch a lot of people's eyes when it hits in 2012.

PlanetSide 2 Announcement Trailer »

Planetside 2
Release date: TBA

Sony Online Entertainment is bringing back the grandfather of MMOFPS with Planetside 2. Rather than offering a brand new world, this MMO features the same staples that Planetside fans have come to love. The open-world battles are back, and this time can feature up to 2000 simultaneous players duking it out in large-scale PVP maps. The concept of territory control laying a part across the entire open world of the game is back, and one of the main concepts behind the game is how controlling different territories affects the resources factions and squads accumulate. You'll try to advance in your faction by doing mission objectives for squads and players.

The game will also feature certain pay-to-play aspects and will include a cash shop to sell things for customization. If you love sci-fi weaponry and massive PVP combat, then this could be your home run of next year.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Preview Trailer »

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Release Date: TBA

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the fourth World of Warcraft expansion pack. It was announced at BlizzCon 2011 and introduces the famous Pandaren race to Azeroth. That's right, WoW is getting Pandas.This expansion is taking a step back from the formula of the other expansions, and instead of adding one huge new bad guy for everyone to kill, Blizzard is instead adding a new race and a new class, the Monk, to the game.

The serene, Asian-inspired Pandaria will also be explorable in the expansion, which is a place that many WoW fans have been hoping to travel to for some time now. There will also plans to include nine new dungeons, three new raids, and four new battlegrounds to the already existing massive MMORPG. On top of that, Mists will raise the level cap from 85 to 90, and will also include a Pokemon-esque pet battle system that has collectors pretty excited.

WildStar Cinematic Announcement Trailer »

Release Date: TBA

At Gamescom this year, NCSoft revealed that Carbine Studios had quietly been working on this MMO for the last few years. It's a lush, beautiful MMO that takes what works from other MMOs and runs with them. Not much has been revealed about the game, but it will include some innovative elements like leveling through exploration, and dynamic events.

The actions players take, whether they be killing certain types of enemies, or talking to one NPC ove Another, will have ramifications in Wildstar's world, which is something that could be a new trend in the MMOs of the future.

Release date: TBA

Titan is the codename for Blizzard Entertainment's new MMO that has been in the works since 2007. Now that it's the end of 2011, we still don't really know very much about it. We don't know the setting, the story, or anything about it other than that's it's supposed to be a "casual" MMO. But coming from the people who made the most addictive MMO of all time in World of Warcraft, I have a hard time believing that Titan is going to be casual. Hopefully by the time I have to write this article next year, we'll have a lot more details about this highly anticipated project.

And there you have it. What are some MMOs that you're excited to play in 2012?

Best MMO Games Of 2012: The Ones To Watch


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