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20 brave new gaming worlds

Amazing new games, and the worlds you'll explore...

New York? The Middle East? Big floating ring in space? Been there. The end of the generation isn't about the same old places; it's about worlds you've never seen before.

Over the next 12 months of gaming you'll head into the northern wilderness of Tamriel in Skyrim, explore Gotham in Arkham City, and build brave new worlds of your own in Minecraft.

As this list proves, there's never been a better time to be a pioneer in Videogameland.

THE 'LEGENDARY' PLANET

Game Halo 4
Dev 343 Industries
Pub Microsoft
Released Late 2012
The Legendary Planet is scored with continent-sized Forerunner symbols and hollow at its core. Halo lore suggests a Shield World - a planet-sized Dyson Sphere protecting the planet inside from the first firing of the Halo array 100,000 years ago. The Haloes were fired prematurely and no Forerunner made it to the Shield Worlds. Or so we thought.

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THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE

Game Star Trek
Dev Digital Extremes
Pub Paramount
Released Late 2012
It's Ears of War as JJ Abrams' Kirk and Spock take on an all-new enemy, fight side-by-side inside and outside the Enterprise, blast their way across strange new worlds, fire phasers at new life and new civilisations, and boldly shoot aliens where no man has shot before.

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SPOOKY ISLAND OFF JAPAN

Game Tomb Raider
Dev Crystal Dynamics
Pub Square Enix
Released 2012
A young Lara finds herself shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Japan and discovers a ship graveyard stretching as far as the eye can see in her first truly current generation adventure. It's a more cinematic, more realistic world for Lara.

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1950'S AMERICA

Game XCOM
Dev 2K Marin
Pub 2K
Released March 2012
Yeah, boo, back to America, but this is a 1950s America in the midst of a secret alien invasion by globular body-snatchers who replace humans and inspire fear in a nation already papping itself over the Red Menace. There's nothing for it but to capture the aliens and turn their despicable technology against them.

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SAN ROMERO HIGH

Game Lollipop Chainsaw
Dev Grasshopper Manufacture
Pub Warner Bros
Released 2012
There's nothing clever or classy about a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader hacking her way through a zombie-infested high school, but, then, there was nothing classy about the ten thousand knob gags in Suda 51's Shadows of the Damned, either. When San Romero High suffers an undead outbreak, Juliet Starling goes on a schlock rampage with a chainsaw, her boyfriend's severed head, and not nearly enough clothes.

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MOSCOW METRO

Game Metro: Last Light
Dev 4A Games
Pub THQ
Released 2012
Metro 2033 fans will have been here before, but the sequel fixes all the original game's mis-steps and introduces a revolutionary feature to Metro's miserable underground nightmare - hope.

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EXODUS

Game Prey 2
Dev Human Head
Pub Bethesda
Released 2012
After getting snatched by aliens in Prey, Killian Samuels now hunts aliens in the floating space-city of Exodus. On one side, it's Blade Runner's neon-lit perpetual night; on the other, permanent day, locked in shadow by towering structures.

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DUNWALL

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