Well, we're getting ever closer to Christmas, and ever closer to the end of 2012 in our look back on the year. Today we're bringing you right up-to-date with the big events of the past couple of months – which, to be honest, should really still be fresh in your mind…
Final Fantasy XIV: End of an Era
We've reached a pretty exciting time for Final Fantasy XIV. It's been pretty well documented that the game wasn't good enough at launch, but rather than let it stand, we took the decision to rebuild it into something that the fans deserved.
This November was a step on that path, with the servers for the old version closing down – preparation for the new version, A Realm Reborn, is well underway for next year's launch. But we couldn't let the servers close without something to mark the occasion…
The stunning CGI End of an Era trailer was created to celebrate the milestone. I think you'll agree, it's just plain awesome. Check it out again below.
Well, this one's definitely still fresh in the mind, and alongside Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Sleeping Dogs represents one of the biggest moments for Square Enix in Europe this year – the long-awaited return of Agent 47 in Hitman: Absolution.
The story, in a nutshell, is that the tables have turned on our bald assassin. Instead of working with the Agency, he's instead being hunted. To find out why, you'll have to play the game…
According to IGN in its 9 out of 10 review, it's "a true pleasure to play a game that lets you tackle it from multiple angles. After several years of increasingly totalitarian games where you’re very much following a pre-determined path, it’s nice to have a game that doesn’t just encourage improvisation; it requires it. More please."
Well, heeding that call for more, as well as the campaign mode, the team at IO Interactive also introduced a new Contracts mode, which allows you to set up a hit from within the game, then save it and challenge your friends to beat your score.
It's been a hugely successful addition to the series, with almost half a million Contracts now available for people to play online. Have you got what it takes to beat the best? No more room for excuses, because now you can actually find out.
CoreOnline – now featuring Agent 47 and Lara Croft!
This entry in our Best of 2012 list is actually something that's developed throughout the year, although the latest announcement came just last week.
We first launched CoreOnline late in 2011 as a way to offer console-quality games within the browser environment – and also to give gamers a different option for paying for games too.
Earlier this year we updated the payment mechanism to enable players to pay nothing to play, but instead watch ads, and back then the game you could play was IO's cult hit Mini Ninjas.
Later on we announced the addition of Hitman: Blood Money, and most recently we supplemented the action further with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
Next year we'll continue to add new titles to the constantly-evolving platform, so if the thought of playing console games in your browser for free – supported by ads – then you should definitely keep checking back. Hm'kay?