multiplayer games 2012Who says gaming can’t be a social hobby? People who need to get with the times, that’s who! Far from the tired clichés of darkened basements and solitary geeks, modern gaming is, through and through, an activity to be undertaken with friends.

There are a lot of games out there on the market now, vying for the social gamer’s precious cash, and with today’s software prices being what they are, you definitely want to make the right choice. That’s where we come in! Here we’ve assembled a list of eight sure-fire hits, both current and upcoming, that’ll be guaranteed to provide you with a killer multiplayer fix this year.

Twisted Metal – 14th February

You know what you’re getting with Twisted Metal. Though the game includes single-player campaign modes, there’s no doubt at all that you’ll be spending most of your time in the multiplayer suite. Intense vehicular combat between you and your friends has always been what Twisted Metal was all about! Take the fight online with up to fifteen other players and battle for supremacy with the usual assortment of insane and devastating weapons, characters and vehicles.

Mass Effect 3 – 6th March

Quite the opposite of Twisted Metal, the Mass Effect games are traditionally solitary affairs, deep and involving, sucking you into the world of Commander Shepard and his/her on-going struggle to relieve the world of imminent threats from the dark reaches of interstellar space. A first for the series, Mass Effect 3 contains a multiplayer component that sees you and up to three friends battling it out against increasingly tough waves of enemies.

What’s most interesting is that these online bouts will have an impact on the outcome of your single player campaign, which helps to ground the multiplayer aspect in the mythos and atmosphere of the game. Grab your pulse rifle and get to the fight!

Street Fighter X Tekken – 6th March

Another one intended purely for the competitive fighters amongst you, Street Fighter X Tekken is the definitive beat ‘em up this year. Combining an impressive roster of characters from both the Street Fighter and Tekken franchises, Street Fighter X Tekken is the arena to settle all those old grudges.

Diablo III – 15th May

Having tantalised gamers since it began development in 2001, this year’s follow up to 2000’s mighty, seminal Diablo 2 finally landed on PCs around the world. Continuing with the tried-and-tested formula of dungeon looting and hack-and-slash action, Diablo 3 has been a success with critics and gamers alike.

That said, the game’s release has been troubled by issues with Blizzard’s restrictive DRM that requires an internet connection even to play the game in single-player, offline mode. These problems aside, the game is an engaging and engrossing way to make whole months of your life simply disappear!

Borderlands 2 – 18th September

Borderlands was a riot, especially if you could gather together three like-minded friends to play it with you. Even in two player co-op, the game’s a blast. This year’s sequel promises to build on the formula of looting, shooting, scooting and levelling up with beefed-up enemy AI, more sophisticated damage models, diversified weapon customisation and a reworked quest system.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – August 21st

It’s been nearly eight years since Counter Strike: Source, the follow-up to the great granddaddy of online tactical shooters first turned up on the PC. This instalment promises more of the classic CS action PC gamers have come to know and love as a staple of the genre. There’ll be a new online player ranking system, new weapons, new maps and new game modes. With a huge fan-base already, CS:GO will be the place to be if you’re hungry for FPS action.

Halo 4 – 6th November

Achieving a great balance between story-driven single player campaigns and all-out online warfare, Halo 4 promises to crash onto the scene with a truly formidable multiplayer experience. Expect to see all of your favourite game modes returning, no doubt with some new gems thrown in for good measure. Expect classic Halo gameplay with a shiny, next-gen sheen.

Dust 514 – TBA

From CCP games, developers of titanic PC MMORPG Eve Online, Dust 514 is set to allow PS3 owners to delve into the same star-faring universe, this time as a lowly soldier on the ground rather than the captain of your own starship. Best of all, the game will employ a ‘free to play’ model in which players have the option of buying additional in-game items and bonuses with real-life cash. Details so far are a little sparse, but the game is currently in closed beta, so work is progressing nicely.

It’s already been a killer year for multiplayer gamers, and it doesn’t look like the trend is about to change. Keep an eye out for these titles and have your friends close by and ready for battle!

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image creadit: CC via Flickr

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Who says gaming can’t be a social hobby? People who need to get with the times, that’s who! Far from the tired clichés of darkened basements and solitary geeks, modern gaming is, through and through, an activity to be undertaken with friends. There are a lot of games out there...