South Park: Stick of Truth

Now that the Mayan Apocalypse was a bust and you're already looking ahead to the rest of your life (in particular, your video gaming life), we're here to guide you to some of the most anticipated Xbox Kinect-compatible titles of next year.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Although there are plenty of hilarious video game references in 'South Park,' so far there's been no great game based on the animated series. That could change with 'The Stick of Truth,' a role-playing game coming from the creative minds of series co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and Obsidian Entertainment.

Instead of playing directly as Kyle, Kenny and crew, you take on the role of the new kid at school on a quest to make friends that eventually becomes a battle of good versus evil. Though there are no Kinect motion controls, you can use the built-in microphone to taunt your enemies, and launch attacks with your voice. And finally, you can call Cartman a “fat ass” and he'll respond. Chances are, he won’t be excited about it.

Crimson Dragon

Originally expected to be released in 2012, we’re hoping that 'Crimson Dragon' takes flight sometime in 2013. Considered a spiritual successor to the 'Panzer Dragoon' series -- a cult favorite on old school Sega consoles -- it's a shooter where you play a dragon that roams the sky for dogfights (dragonfights, maybe?) against of series of enemies.

The game requires the Kinect to play because the dragon's projectile attacks are controlled with your left and right hands. If you can't wait for the Kinect version, there's also a small mobile version available for Windows Phone called 'Crimson Dragon: Side Story.'

Ryse

Another long-awaited Kinect game put on hold, 'Ryse' first grabbed our attention way back at E3 2011, when a trailer was shown during Microsoft's press conference. Set in ancient Rome, 'Ryse' appeared to be a brutal first-person combat simulator, with players strapped in the sandals of a gladiator and made to fend off the attacks of a combatant.

According to the teaser, you can use the Kinect's motion controls to thrust one arm up to use as a shield, and another as your sword hand. The sensor also recognizes a headbutt and a kick to knock your opponent off-balance. Developer Crytek and Microsoft have been mum lately about 'Ryse,' but we have hope that it hits in 2013.

Dead Space 3

In space, no one can hear you scream. That is, unless you have a Kinect. For the third game in the sci-fi/horror series 'Dead Space,' Visceral Games has added a few new features. The biggest addition is cooperative play -- as Isaac, the masked hero of the first two 'Dead Space' games, is now joined by Sergeant John Carver to fight the Necromorphs baddies.

You'll also be able to communicate with your partner if you're playing alone using Kinect. Instead of dealing with menus, you can just use Kinect voice commands and tell your teammate to “share ammo” or “give medkit” to receive a heal. If you get separated, you can even yell “help” to show your location on a minimap. Just don't yell loudly enough for your neighbors to start getting concerned.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Sam Fisher is a hard man to kill and he looks even more invincible in the upcoming 'Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist.' This time around, the virtual super-agent has been granted a new gameplay feature called "killing in motion," which allows you to highlight targets in slow motion and take them out in quick succession.

Unfortunately, you can't act this power out with Kinect, but the Xbox 360 peripheral will allow you to aid Fisher anyway. You can use your voice to distract nearby enemies and then attack them while they're trying to puzzle things out. It's always best to stay off Sam Fisher's blacklist.

Follow Ryan Smith on Twitter for more news and updates.

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