Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thirteen Games To Get In 2013

(Assuming they don't get delayed)

The following list is games that I feel everyone should look out for in the coming year. While there will be a few noticeable titles missing (such as The Last Guardian or Project Destiny), it will mostly be due to the fact that they will likely be either delayed to 2014 or instead released on a next-gen system (say, the next Xbox or PlayStation). I hope that these games see the light of day in 2013 and if they do you should consider getting a bit hyped for them!

13. Bioshock Infinite

While this is almost positively without a doubt coming out in 2013 (despite YET ANOTHER delay...) it is best not to tempt fate. Bioshock Infinite is a game I've been looking forward to for the past two years and it has everything but gone golden by now. I've been a fan of Irrational Games since back with the release of System Shock 2, and since then have always expected a level of polish and potency in their story nearly unmatched in today's top-tier game developers. I really need this game, and I will hopefully have it when it launches worldwide on March 26th, 2013 for PC, PS3 and 360.

12. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Being in development technically since 2001, this game has been a long time coming. Taking place between Aliens and Alien 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines looks like a mix of run-and-gun shooter infected with 'Left 4 Dead's point-to-point structure. With no 'on screen' HUD to tell you how much life you have, bullets you are carrying, or even where your teammates are it's promising to be a tense game with even more scattered and frantic online play. The current release date is set for February 12th, 2013 for PC, PS3, 360 and WiiU.

11. The Cave

Let's delve into the indie game territory for a quick spell to discuss The Cave. Ever since working for LucasArts in the early 90's, Ron Gilbert had a vision in his head for a character based Metroidvania type game set in a labyrinth-like cave. Since that time he drew concept art, wrote back-stories for characters, and even programmed puzzles for the game in his spare time in-between other projects. After leaving LucasArts, forming his own studio then eventually teaming up with former co-developer Tim Schafer at Double Fine, he finally had the resources and ability to make his game come into reality. You play as three out of seven different characters, divided by time and space, to come together and solve the different puzzles in the cave and learn about their futures. Not only that, but they must face some dark decisions they have made in their past and eventually overcome them. The Cave releases sometime early 2013 for the PC, PS3, 360 and WiiU.

10. Tomb Raider

It's been five years since the last game in the series and there has been a hell of a lot of games in said series, but now Crystal Dynamics is ready to reboot it one more time. Tomb Raider looks amazing. It's an open-world, survival, RPG, action-adventure game with plenty of climbing, killing, hunting, running and PAIN to go around. Set as a sort of prequel to Lara Croft's full and varied history of killing men, tigers, dinosaurs and ancient evils, this game takes a more practical approach as to the events that lead to her to being the bad ass ass-kicker that she eventually evolves into. Running on an upgraded and beautiful version of the Crystal Engine (Crystal Dynamic's in-house engine that they've basically built all of their games on), Tomb Raider is going to be on hell of an experience when it comes out. Set for March 5th, 2013 on PC, PS3 and 360.

9. Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light... Ever since the release of 2033, people have wanted a follow-up. They've wanted more. More tension. More scares. More terrible accents. More amazing gameplay and atmospheric level designs. 4A Games, the company behind the Metro games, was founded by former members of GSC Game World, the team responsible for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. It's no coincident that the games feel nearly related, almost as if separated at birth, growing up and going in different directions in terms of pacing. The Metro series is more linear, but gives the player a very precise and well paced amount of story, horror and peace at any given time. With Last Light, 4A is looking to take their experience even further and deliver another dose of amazing right into our eye sockets. Look for it sometime in March, 2013 on the PC, PS3 and 360 (and maybe WiiU).

8. South Park: The Stick of Truth

With South Park: The Stick of Truth, Obsidian Entertainment is looking to do something I think all licensed game developers have hoped to do in the past but have failed at: making a game that could pass as the original. Well, they are getting quite close, if not hitting the nail right on the head. The animations and design of the game look nearly identical as the show, and Obsidian has been getting directly involved with the shows creators to try and match it as close as they can. What comes from that collaboration is a game that not only looks like it captures the style of the show, but also the humor and tongue-in-cheek writing of the series as well. Also, it's an RPG and I love Obsidian's RPG's, so how can it go wrong? Currently set for March 5th, 2013 on the PC, PS3 and 360.

7. SimCity

The first I ever played was SimCity 3000. I was in love. Building a town, city, country and designing it however I wanted it. Tinkering with transport, taxes, energy and the demands of the Sims who lived there. Building a thriving economy, all the while getting ready to send meteors down just to see what happened... Fantastic. If you even had the chance to play a previous game in the series for an extended period of time, then you already know the appeal of SimCity. The fifth game in the series, it adds new levels of detail on could have only dreamed of back in the old days of discussing issues with your town consultants. Want to build a city dedicated to specific forms of economy like the arts? Gambling? Technology? Production? Want to go with nuclear energy? That's fine, but be prepared to deal with ground pollution that can serious damage land property and cause you citizens to get sick. Wanna go green instead? That's fine, as long as you are ready to deal with the increased price of upkeep, transportation of energy and taxes that could occur. SimCity is looking to be the ultimate play box of city builders and comes out March 5th on PC.

6. The Last of Us

Fresh off the release of the (for now) final game in the Uncharted Trilogy, Naughty Dog is back with a whole new game to make even the most hardcore 360 fan's eyebrows raise. The Last of Us is a post apocalyptic survival shooter that takes place after an event that causes humans to be infected by a fungus. This fungus basically turns them into zombies. So its a big zombie shooting survival game set in a big city with plenty of climbing, killing, and melee take downs as you fight the infected and even other survivors looking to kill you for your supplies or weapon. The game looks beautiful, and has some of the best visuals I've seen in a game to date. Naughty Dog's in-house engine has always looked amazing in the Uncharted series, and the beauty of it continues to amaze with this title. Also, the creative designer behind Enslaved: Odyssey to the West worked very closely on this game, giving me much hope for it's success. Expect it May 7th, 2013 for the PS3.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

What can I say? I love the Grand Theft Auto series and with the upcoming release of GTA V I honestly can not wait to return of San Andreas. Los Santos is looking beautiful and open, with a vibrant community of people just waiting to dive out of the way as I nearly crash my jet into the ground. Rockstar is promising that the in-game map will be bigger than GTA: SA, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption combined. Not only that, but there will be an ocean floor to explore, wild animals on the outskirts of town, and dogs in town. If ever a game needed to be in my hands at this very moment, I'd say Grand Theft Auto V is one of them. Rockstar says it's coming out Spring 2013 and will be available for the PS3 and 360.

4. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Oh yes... Oh hell yes... Ever since the sequel for Amnesia: The Dark Descent was announced I've been on the edge of my seat wanting more. So far we know that Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs will be set in the same universe as the first game but will feature a new time period and new characters, as well as new horrors. This game will introduce not only the series staple of claustrophobic indoor horror, but also introduces terrifying open outdoor areas to keep you constantly paranoid that something may be watching. It is watching, by the way. It is always watching. Frictional Games are now well known for making not only scary games, but also ones that have complex and challenging puzzles. I can;t wait to wrap my head around this Machine sometime early 2013 for the PC.

3. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

What happens when the anime masterpiece makers over at Studio Ghibli team up with one of the best Japanese development teams out there? You get Level-5's Ni No Kuni, a Japanese role-playing gamers wet dream. Released in the East on the DS and PS3 back in 2010 and 2011, we finally get our hands on this title next year. The story follows a boy named Oliver. When his mother dies while saving his own life, Oliver travels into a parallel world full of monsters and mystery to find her. With the help of his doll come to life and a magical book full of spells, he journeys into the world with little more than hope and the help of the people he meets along the way. Ni No Kuni is dripping with beauty and has animations by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) which stand out as some of the best on any JRPG out there. Look for it to hit on January 22, 2013 for the PS3.

2. Star Wars 1313

Not much is known about Star Wars 1313, other than it looks incredible. First shown off at E3 2012, the game plays much like Uncharted, with cover-based shooting and climbing. It takes place on the planet Coruscant in the subterranean underworld of it. You play as a bounty hunter taking on a large criminal conspiracy surrounding the underworld, and as such you use plenty of different gadgets and weapons as you go. Here's a look at the game from E3 2012.

Star Wars 1313 is set to come out sometime in 2013. What system's it's going to be on is unknown right now, but the game was demo'd on the PC running Direct3D 11.

1. Watch Dogs

Ubisoft had on hell of a show at E3 2012. They showed off Assassin's Creed III, Rayman Legends, ZombiU, and many other superb titles, but saved one announcement for last. Watch Dogs is a genre-mixer that throws together open-world sandbox design with assassination style gameplay, layered over hacking elements in the city of Chicago. It also looks almost too good to be true if they didn't demo it live on stage. In a time where technology is consuming our lives more and more, you play a hacker designed to manipulate that impulse for his own benefit and for the benefit of others. If you haven't seen the gameplay video, or just want to see it again, then here it is in all it's glory.

Watch Dogs is set to come out sometime in 2013, and was announced for the PC, PS3 and 360.