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Halo, Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed III Up Next

Late 2012 releases round out a year's worth of gaming gold

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So far 2012 has had some pretty impressive video game releases. We have great sequels and new franchises. Among the games topping the sales lists have been Diablo III, Mass Effect 3, UFC Undisputed 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Street Fighter X Tekken and SSX.

There's definitely a little something for every taste, from the fighter fanatic to the sports fan and role-playing fantasy enthusiasts. And don't forget Borderlands 2, which has been flying off the shelves, and Guild Wars 2, which brings back the lands of Tyria but with new races and updated graphics.

All in all, it's been a pretty solid year, but the best video game releases may be yet to come. Let's run down some of the more anticipated games left to release in 2012.

Halo 4: Set for a Tuesday, Nov. 6, release, this 360-degree first-person shooter game takes place almost five years after the events of Halo 3. Master Chief is back, and this has been touted as the beginning of a new sci-fi franchise. The developers have also added to the multiplayer element, introducing the Halo Infinity Multiplayer, named for the starship that acts as a hub for the multiplayer careers of created characters.

Assassin's Creed III: This multiplatform release is slated to hit retailers Tuesday, Oct. 30. The timeline progression for the flashbacks to the master assassin character, and the conflict between the assassins and templars, hits the American Revolution and introduces an assassin of mixed heritage.

Resident Evil 6: Coming very soon to a 360, PC or PS3 near you, this Oct. 2 release visits Raccoon City 10 years after the last release. The president of the United States is hit with a bioterrorist attack and transformed into ... well, if you know the series, you get an inkling of what is to follow. For the first time in the series, Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield come face-to-face to confront the terror in what is certain to be yet another survival horror classic.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II: You gotta love November because that usually means a CoD release. Black Ops II, on the Wii U, 360, PC and PS3, will hit store shelves Tuesday, Nov. 13. The game's setting is 2025, and for multiplayers, that means newly imagined weapons for multiplayer action. And yes, there will be zombies in multiplayer, according to the latest press releases. The developer this time is Treyarch.

Dishonored: For the PC, PS3 and 360, this is a new title from Arkane Studios with Bethesda set as the publisher. The setting is steampunk with arcane forces flittering about and is a first-person action game in which the central character, once a personal guard for the empress, is framed for murder and becomes an infamous assassin. The release date is Tuesday, Oct. 9.

New Super Mario Brothers: Nintendo has a new system, the Wii U, and what would a new system be without a Mario Brothers game to play on it? This is a side-scrolling adventure and this game allows your Mii character to step into the world and adventure alongside Mario and Luigi. Expect this title to launch around mid-November.

Medal of Honor Warfighter: There are a lot of MOH fans out there, and they are all likely eager to get their mitts on Warfighter. The game follows Tier 1 Operators on missions inspired by real life in real-world settings. Beta testing for the 360 version begins in early October and the game is slated for release Tuesday, Oct. 23, and will be available on the 360, PC and PS3 platforms.

Far Cry 3: The nice thing about Far Cry 3 is that it gives players the freedom to pick their battles, choose their allies and decide whom to fight and how to fight those enemies. This is not a true sandbox, because there are objectives, but it is pretty close within the structure of the game. The game is from Ubisoft, has a release date of Tuesday, Dec. 4, and is slated for the 360, PC and PS3 platforms.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm: Currently in beta testing, this expansion has one of those "to be determined" release dates that drives fans buggy. According to the Blizzard press release: "Each chapter of Starcraft II focuses on a specific faction of the Starcraft war. By splitting the game, players will access more story content, more characters, and more customization as they explore each side of the conflict." This game will release on PC and Mac.

There are also a wide variety of add-ons and games for every platform and taste, from titles geared for the young to the young at heart. WWE has a release coming out and Pro Evolution Soccer is already in release. That said, though, the end of 2012 has some tasty video game treats that should sit well with gamers transitioning from the warmer days of fall to the chilling, "let's-just-stay-indoors" weather of winter.

Keep an eye out for FireFall, from Red 5. The story has been penned by sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card and the dev team includes four World of Warcraft guys. The game is an online title, inviting players to team up and protect the remnants of Earth against an enemy called The Melding.

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