SHARECOMMENTMORE

We've rambled plenty about fall in video games already in our preview. Now it's time to dig into the full lineup.

But before we look over the fall 2012 schedule, a couple of important notes:

-- This list will change throughout the season. We've still got a key piece of hardware without a defined release date and launch roster. Plus, there's the slight chance some of these titles move out of fall altogether. We'll update this link throughout fall, and update readers on any changes.

-- It seems unusual to have a fall games preview with no smartphone or tablet titles. Unlike the PC and console business, you don't see mobile developers hopping aboard the hype train, which means few release date announcements and insane pre-release marketing. If something major pops up that we can nail down, we'll include it.

Let's take a look at our autumn in video games.

AUGUST

Madden NFL 13
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
Release Date: Aug. 28
What to expect: Technically, it's still summer, but the annual arrival of the pro football simulation is our first sign that big video game releases are around the corner. Madden's track record has been solid the last two years, between technical enhancements on the field and last year's overhaul of Franchise mode, which lets players guide a team to Super Bowl glory. Madden NFL 13 shifts focus back to on-field physics with its Infinity Engine technology. Check out our review for more details.

Rock Band Blitz
Publisher: Harmonix Music Systems
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: August 28 (PS3), August 29 (Xbox)
What to expect: It was only two years ago we were gleefully jamming along to rock tracks using our fake guitars and drumsets. Although those instruments likely sit inside closets, the beat goes on for Harmonix's signature franchise. This time, players will use the standard PS3 or Xbox controller to navigate a series of audio tracks and play the appropriate notes. And for those players who still enjoy an instrument-friendly jam session, all Blitz songs are compatible with Rock Band 3.

Guild Wars 2
Publisher: NCsoft
Platform: PC
What to expect: Developers at NCsoft take an interesting approach to storytelling with its massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It starts with players creating a character, choosing one of five races and one of eight professions. From there, they create a biography that helps dictate how the story unfolds. Any decisions made after the creation process help alter how a players's adventure takes shape. Really cool concept if it works.

SEPTEMBER

Sims 3: Supernatural
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PC, Mac
Release Date: Sept. 4
What to expect: The seventh expansion of EA's popular simulation lets players create fantasy Sims such as werewolves, witches, vampires and fairies. But perhaps the best part is the ability to turn Sims into zombies and launch your own undead apocalypse. Glorious.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 11
What to expect: If you didn't get enough of Namco's brawlers when they were beating down Street Fighters, they return with their own title. Players get a whopping 50 characters to choose, engaging in traditional 2-on-2 tag battles, 1-on-1 fights and even 1-on-2 matches. Namco also pledges a more inviting landscape for new players. I can't imagine jumping into the fighting genre with no previous background, especially when encountering a game as diverse as Tekken. Learning one fighter's moves would take countless hours.

NHL 13
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 11
What to expect: Apparently, being one of the best sports video game franchises out there just isn't enough. Developers are overhauling the presentation, skating and player I.Q. for this season. Just don't get rid of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement.

Double Dragon: Neon
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 11 (Sept. 12 for Xbox)
What to expect: Considering nearly every arcade classic has been "reimagined" or "remastered" of late, it was a matter of time before video game players welcomed back Billy and Jimmy as they try to rescue Marian from the Skullmageddon. Equally interesting, Majesco describes Marian as the duo's "shared love interest." Umm, awkward!

Borderlands 2
Publisher: 2K
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 18
What to expect: No surprises that Call of Duty and Halo 4 will generate the most hype this year, but the first-person shooter worth watching as closely is Gearbox Software's role-playing epic. It's well deserved, following the delightful blend of exploring, shooting and loot gathering found in 2009's Borderlands. Prepare for more of the same, only with a fresh crew of mercenaries and a new villain: Handsome Jack of the Hyperion Corporation. Oh, and there's that shotgun that fires rocket rounds.

Street Fighter 25th Anniversary
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 18
What to expect: Seems like only yesterday I was skipping math class in high school to hundred-hand slap brawlers inside a local pool hall (sorry, Mom). Now, video game players are greeted with an anniversary edition featuring four titles: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, and Street Fighter X Tekken. However, you're gonna need a lot of quarters for this one, $150 worth to be exact.

Dead or Alive 5
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 25
What to expect: This fighting game takes inspiration from Rock, Paper, Scissors with its Triangle system (strikes beat throws, throws beat holds, holds beat strikes). Encounters also feature dynamic stages where structures are destroyed during fights and battles move between upper and lower levels. There are some familiar faces among the character roster, including Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden fame and Akira from the Virtua Fighter series.

FIFA 13
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 25
What to expect: EA Sports' other huge football franchise returns with several key changes, including First Touch Control to help out defenders, improved intelligence for computer-controlled players on the attack, and enhanced dribbling mechanics.

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 25
What to expect: Based on the episode "Road to the Multiverse," the third-person shooter based on the animated TV series stars Brian and Stewie hopping between alternate dimensions to save Quahog from Bertram. Players can flip between the two characters whenever they choose, or join a friend for cooperative action.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, Mac
Release Date: Sept. 25
What to expect: During the last three months, the massively multiplayer online game has shed 1 million subscribers. Is this next expansion the boost WoW needs? To get a sense of the excitement level, I turned to our resident WoW expert, Robert Ahrens: "Every player looks forward to the raising of the level cap and new content to explore. However, get the players talking about the panda-like, new-playable race Pandarans, the Pokemon inspired mini-pet battles and the Farmville style quest area and you get your division."

OCTOBER

Resident Evil 6
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): Oct. 2
Release Date: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
What to expect: Capcom's approach with their action horror title is certainly interesting: a campaign with three different characters and their unique gameplay styles. Parts of the game feature heavier action, while other sections appear like the traditional experience. Plus, there are new, faster zombies. I get this weird feeling that developers are trying to please every player by throwing all these scenarios into the mix. Curious if it pays off.

NBA 2K13
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 2
What to expect: NBA 2K has always been a fascinating franchise. The fundamentals are very strong. The game has been so good, in fact, that they helped knock out their chief competitor. Now, if they can just continue to polish the visuals. As for what's new: Jay-Z will add his touch to the presentation, while the inclusion of the 1992 Dream Team will allow players to enjoy matchups against this year's Olympic squad.

Dishonored
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 9
What to expect: Say hello to one of the potential surprise hits of 2012. First off, it's one of the few titles out this holiday that isn't a sequel. Second, you get to kill enemies with rats. In this first-person adventure, players work as an assassin and former bodyguard falsely accused of killing the Empress. Players can choose several paths to killing foes, from stealth strikes to more direct combat. Or you can just bend time, possess an opponent, and kill him with his own bullet.

Fable: The Journey
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 9
What to expect: Set in Albion 50 years after the events of Fable III, The Journey is a Kinect-controlled role-playing game where players fight alongside the blind prophet Theresa against an evil threatening the land. What's interesting is that unlike most Kinect titles that require players to stand (not to mention flail to get the motion sensor's attention), this game is tailored toward the sitting player. They command a horse-drawn carriage and use their hands to cast spells at enemies.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Publisher: 2K
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 9
What to expect: Played the turn-based strategy game earlier this year at E3, and it's rather impressive. Controls are easy to pick up, and the combination of squad members and abilities makes for really fun missions. Also, players upgrade technology and facilities as a member of the XCOM task force to gain an edge over waves of invading aliens.

Just Dance 4
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Wii U
Release Date: Oct. 9
What to expect: Along with Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft's motion-controlled dance series continues chugging along. The publisher has sold more than 30 million copies of the game to date, and the next installment adds more songs, more dance moves and a two-player Battle Mode.

Doom 3 BFG Edition
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 16
What to expect: It's cool enough to get a remastered copy of the classic first-person shooter, which is looking mighty sharp, but players also get the first two Doom titles, the expansion Resurrection of Evil and seven levels that are part of a "Lost Mission." Plus, the whole package is $40 ($30 if you're on PC). Not bad.

007 Legends
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 16
What to expect: In honor of James Bond's 50th anniversary, players will follow a tale connecting six of 007's classic films, including the upcoming Skyfall. Players will also get online multiplayer and separate Mi6 Ops missions.

Dance Central 3
Publisher: Harmonix Game Systems
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 16
What to expect: Players get new songs and moves, but the most interesting addition is a Story Mode. Players work with Dance Central Intelligence to travel in time and learn dance moves from the '70s through today in order to save Dance Central. Basically, you're saving the world by performing the Hustle and Electric Slide.

Skylanders Giants
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Release Date: Oct. 21
What to expect: Guess what console and handheld title raked in the most cash the first six months of this year in North America and Europe? Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, Activision revealed earlier this month. Makes sense considering the added figurines players must purchase, which hit 30 million as of last May. The follow-up introduces Giant creatures to the action, as players place them on a special portal so they can stomp away in the video game realm. And don't worry, all current Skylander characters will work in the sequel, too.

Forza Horizon
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 23
What to expect: It's still the Forza most racing fans know and love, complete with gorgeous cars, realistic driving and an incredible editor for paint jobs. However, developers at Turn 10 focus more on the culture behind racing, as players battle to boost their popularity. Winning is key, but doing so with style is much more important.

Medal of Honor Warfighter
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 23
What to expect: The campaign aims to deliver a more personal tale of Tier One operators fighting terrorism in all corners of the globe, the multiplayer adds an intriguing international flavor. Elite forces from several countries are featured, including the U.S., Sweden, Germany and Russia. Each outfit boasts specific abilities and a unique gameplay style. Between this and the use of technology behind Battlefield 3, this might be the opportunity for Medal of Honor to stand out in a very crowded genre.

Street Fighter x Tekken
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Oct. 23
What to expect: Brawlers from the Street Fighter and Tekken universes, 55 total, team up in a series of tag battles leveraging Vita features such as the touchscreen, rear touch panel and cross-platform play with the PS3. Players can also fight online via Wi-Fi or 3G.

Assassin's Creed III
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
Release Date: Oct. 30
What to expect: Just when it seemed those repeated trips to the Renaissance era were starting to wear on players, Ubisoft gives its signature action franchise a huge jolt with a move to the American Revolution. The game follows killer Connor as he aids George Washington and a young America against the British during the Revolutionary War. The change in location introduces some cool new weapons, such as tomahawks and bayonets. And let's not forget the incredible action by sea.

Assassin's Creed Liberation
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Oct. 30
Details: Vita gets a taste of revolutionary warfare, following assassin Aveline as she battles Spanish forces in Louisiana in 1765. Developers at Ubisoft plan to use the Vita's complete arsenal, including the dual touchpads, motion sensors and even the handheld's camera.

WWE 13
Publisher: THQ
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 30
What to expect: Several components such as the controls, animations and WWE Universe mode have been tweaked for this year's release. New to the series is WWE Live, which places a greater emphasis on the atmosphere of live wrestling events. Also, remember the good old days when WWE was battling WCW for wrestling supremacy? The game recaptures some of that with a campaign focused on the Attitude Era, starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock, among others.

Need for Speed Most Wanted
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 30
What to expect: Make that eight Need For Speed titles available to video game players between 2009 and this fall. The only thing keeping me from wanting a long-term break is the developer: Criterion Games. They designed Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and the wonderful open-world racer Burnout: Paradise. Most Wanted is open as well, allowing players to tackle single-player and multiplayer races any time they choose.

NOVEMBER

Halo 4
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: Nov. 6
What to expect: Studio 343 Industries awakens Master Chief from his temporary sleep to kick off a brand new trilogy. Along with new enemies to battle such as Prometheans, players will dive into Spartan Ops, a series of cooperative downloads that will launch each week following release. Of course, the game will continue to host one of the best multiplayer environments available.

LittleBigPlanet Karting
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PS3
Release Date: Nov. 6
What to expect: Sackboy straps on a helmet and jumps behind the wheel in this racing spinoff of Sony's popular platformer. Not only can players create their own tracks with a detailed level editor, but they can create fresh challenges. Remember all the genre types that spawned from the 7 million levels created in LittleBigPlanet? Prepare for a taste of that here.

NASCAR The Game: Inside Line
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Nov. 6
What to expect: Year two under the Activision brings a Career Mode, where players fight for a Sprint Cup title as a rookie, enhanced multiplayer and special Challenge events. Good luck trying to get out of Halo's shadow.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Nov. 13
What to expect: Treyarch returns to the helm of Call of Duty with the franchise in an interesting spot. Sales of Modern Warfare 3 have been down compared to the first Black Ops. Is it a MW3 problem or a sign of shooter fatigue? The promises of an entirely different multiplayer experience could not come at a better time. Treyarch's arrival also means the return of Zombies mode.

The Hip-Hop Dance Experience
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Nov. 13
What to expect: Ubisoft puts its dancing shoes back on in November, this time making hip hop the star. The game will include 40 tracks and routines created by choreographers Dave Scott of So You Think You Can Dance and Laurieann Gibson, who has worked with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. There are also cooperative and competitive modes such as Dance Battle and Dance Party.

Hitman: Absolution
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Nov. 20
What to expect: The adventure of Agent 47 is among several high-profile games launching after both Halo and Call of Duty. Curious to see whether any can pry players away. This action game is a bit more open in terms of its combat styles. Players can choose to wreak havoc in a crowd, or quietly operate and take out foes like a silent assassin. Agent 47 now uses Instinct, which lets players spot the paths of guards and other key figures during missions.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Nov. 18
What to expect: The action adventure starring Disney icon Mickey Mouse returns to the Wii, and makes its debut on HD consoles. The game features Mickey and Oswald as they try to save the Wasteland. Like the Wii, PS3 will feature motion control support thanks to PlayStation Move.

Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
Publisher: Sega
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Nov. 20
What to expect: Think of this as the Sega equivalent of Mario Kart, as players hop into race cars as favorite characters such as Sonic, Knuckles and Dr. Egg Man. Also appearing in the game: NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who will race a special stock car during an event that same month.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PS3, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Nov. 20
What to expect: Is it me, or does it seem like a quiet year for first-party PS3 titles this holiday? The headliner is arguably this brawler featuring countless recognizable characters from PlayStation history, including Kratos (God of War), Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal), Nathan Drake (Uncharted) and PaRappa (PaRappa the Rapper). Fights feature four characters duking it out in frenetic free-for-alls. As an added bonus, buying a PS3 copy of the game nets consumers the Vita version for free.

DECEMBER

Far Cry 3
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Dec. 4
What to expect: The demo was certainly memorable: nudity, killing tigers, experiencing insane drug trips. This is but a taste of what awaits players on a mysterious island dominated by pirates. Played this briefly at E3, and it's definitely crazy. Weapon handling feels realistic, as assault rifles kick back violently as you unleash round after round on enemies. The game also features class-based multiplayer.

Hawken
Publisher: Adhesive Games
Platform(s): PC
Release Date: Dec. 12
What to expect: Remember when everyone was talking about the death of PC gaming? Hilarious. The latest evidence of its strong health is this upcoming multiplayer mech combat title. It includes four different match types and visuals that seem to match any AAA title. Did I mention it will be free to play?

WILD CARDS

These are the titles (or in one case, platform) that are slated to launch this year, but haven't pegged a final release date. We'll update this post once those details have been confirmed.

Nintendo Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: Revisit this post in a couple weeks, because Nintendo appears close to revealing the launch date, games roster and -- most important -- the price of its next console. Several of the titles mentioned above will likely feature a version for Wii U, along with first-party titles such as NintendoLand and New Super Mario Bros. Along with finally adding high-definition visuals, the console will feature a tablet-like controller with a touchscreen. This console represents a big shift for Nintendo. Wii sales have topped 95 million worldwide since launch, thanks to a huge push toward the casual player. Now, Nintendo targets the "core" player. Will it work?

Okami HD
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PS3
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: One of the best adventure titles for the Nintendo Wii makes its debut on the PlayStation, complete with a high-definition makeover. The game follows Amaterasu, a sun god taking the form of a wolf, as he regains the powers of the Celestial Brush. Like the Wii version, players can use a PlayStation move motion controller to perform a variety of brushstrokes to fight enemies and solve puzzles.

NBA Live 13
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: Outside of a leaked video of gameplay footage featuring the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, we've heard little about EA's return to pro hoops. In fact, the publisher had to confirm the series is still on track for launch after not appearing on a game release schedule. Based on a very early version of the game shown at E3, it looks promising. But the series will have a tough mountain to climb to catch NBA 2K.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PlayStation Vita
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: So, let's get this straight: we're expecting an experience designed for home console to reinvigorate the sales slump of a handheld? We'll find out when Call of Duty lands on the PlayStation handheld, bringing 4-on-4 multiplayer via Wi-Fi with it.

Angry Birds Trilogy
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: The hit mobile game makes a high-definition transformation, combining the original Angry Birds with expansions Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio. It supports Kinect and PlayStation Move for the Xbox and PS3 respectively, as well as 3-D on the 3DS. But will consumers be willing to pay $30-$40 when they can get all three titles in HD on an iPad for $6?

Lego The Lord of the Rings
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Vita
Release Date: Fall 2012
What to expect: TT Games brings its blockbusting expertise to J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece, recreating Frodo's journey to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. Revisiting the storylines from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo rolls with eight companions, solving puzzles and defeating orcs, to complete his quest.

By Brett Molina

SHARECOMMENTMORE