It seems that with every year of this generation the games have only got better and better. Last year we had the pleasure of playing such gems as Portal 2, Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3. This year has been just as brilliant if not more so with Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2 and some excellent indies like Journey and Bastion. Can 2013 live up to the last 2 incredible years? We definitely think there are some massive hits approaching:
Ryan Spurgeon | Luigi’s Mansion 2
Two console generations have passed since we have seen Mario’s little green brother headline a Nintendo game but things will soon be changing as Luigi jumps ship and arrives on your 3DS in Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon. This time there will be multiple Mansions to go through and his main goal will be to suck up as many ghosts as he can. As he captures more ghosts, he will find more keys to delve deeper into each mansion. Nintendo’s version of Ghost Busters if you will.
It will be fun to play with, the often forgotten Nintendo character, Toad this time around. He will be used to help navigate some of the game’s puzzles. Speaking of puzzles, this game will be much more puzzle oriented than the first game. A little Zelda mixed with your Luigi Madness!
Look for this game to release on the Nintendo 3DS early 2013!
Andre Pestana | The Last of Us
The mere fact that Naughty Dog is developing it is a very promising sign for TLOU: They have become masters at producing cinematic action adventures; The ‘Uncharted’ series is hardly paralleled graphically; Their in-house engine has been through over 6 years of evolution and refinement. That’s a strong foundation to build on.
Thematically Naughty Dog are going in a direction I absolutely adore. A post-apocalyptic world in which interesting, brilliantly voiced characters, horrific enemies (both human and non-human), raw and agonizing violence, I am Legend-style art and a minimalist yet powerful original score blend together to create a rich atmosphere previously only experienced in the greatest of post-apocalyptic films or novels.
Regarding gameplay, TLOU is likely to be ND’s deepest game yet. Uncharted may have suffered from an “on-rails” sort of feeling at times, but TLOU is apparently a lot less linear, and the AI is definitely greatly improved. As seen in the multiple gameplay videos, the AI genuinely reacts to your decisions. Enemies, as you do, use improvised weapons, flank you, and react realistically to what weapon you possess. Your companion, Ellie, is logical and helpful and she also uses improvised weapons and acts as a distraction to enemies. Combat, whether that is with melee weapons, firearms, or your bare hands, looks unprecedentedly brutal and intense. Choice plays a more significant role in TLOU than in previous ND outings, whole segments can be played through in vastly different ways, whether that be through an all-out gunfight or brawl with bandits and infected, or stealthily slipping by. RPG elements have also been confirmed to be included, though details on what exactly they’ll consist of are scarce.
On the surface TLOU may strike you as yet another addition to the exhausted zombie genre, but it seems the more we learn about the game the more distinguishing, not to mention exciting, it becomes. Could this be Naughty Dog’s magnum opus?
Sam Mansell | Beyond: Two Souls
For me it will have to be Beyond: Two Souls for one reason, Quantic Dream is developing it. I love cinematic games and good stories and you are guaranteed both with Quantic Dream and David Cage behind the wheel. Quantic Dream makes games out of passion and it shows with their previous games like Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain. They push boundaries and create genres because they play by their own rules and create games to their ideals.
Watching the BTS trailer you can see that Quantic Dream will not change their ways which is awesome. The graphics look out of this world with character facial detail easily on par with L.A. Noire and graphical detail that makes Heavy Rain look dated. The story about a mysterious girl and her paranormal friends is very intriguing. Why are they after her? Who is Ivan? How is a young girl so dangerous? I can’t wait to get my hands on this game to find the answers and let myself be swept away by the guaranteed twisted plot. Did I mention it looks amazing?
Milo Fisher | Ni no Kuni
The big game for me next year is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. The game is a JRPG from the developers Level 5 who are known for the Dark Cloud series and Dragon Quest VII, and if Ni no Kuni is even half as good as those games, it will be fantastic. The game even looks like an interactive anime thanks to the art direction from Studio Ghibli and the music is composed by Joe Hisaishi, the man behind the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack to the movie Princess Mononoke. This game is going to be fantastic.
Mark Gregory | Aliens Colonial Marines
For as long as I can remember I have been an Aliens fan and for as long as I can remember the Aliens games have sucked mostly but I have that feeling in my belly that that might be about change in February 2013 when Sega release Aliens Colonial Marines developed by Gearbox software. Two things about this excite me Aliens and Gearbox. I am a big Borderlands fan and to see such a forward thinking studio take the reigns of the biggest sci-fi franchise outside of Star Wars excites me.
From what I have seen so far of the game Gearbox have done an outstanding job of capturing the tone and feel of LV-426 not to mention the sound design from the bellowing tone of a pulse rifle to the screech of hurt or dying Xeno. The story itself has me excited as it’s going to be part of the official film canon for the franchise and for that to be in video game format is a massive step in the right direction for the industry but more about the story. You play as a platoon of Marines sent in to find out what happened during the events of Aliens (film 2). Remember when Hicks told them in the control room you’d have to wait seventeen days for a rescue? Well guess what…… You’re the rescue.
For these reasons and so many more Aliens Colonial Marines is my most anticipated game for 2013.
Notable games that didn’t make the list: GTAV, Bioshock: Infinite, Watch_Dogs, Gears of War: Judgement, Dead Space 3, God of War: Ascension + about a million more titles. Holy balls next year is gonna be awesome.