Hey there ladies & gents. It’s already almost 3 months deep into 2013 and with each new year come a barrage of new games. Some good, some not so good, but that’s all relative. I’ve made a Top 5 of the games I feel deserve my money that I’d like to get and perhaps you will agree 100%, 50%, or 0%. Keep in mind that the clips below contain spoilery gameplay elements so if you haven’t seen them and choose not to, consider yourself warned! With that said lets begin.
Tomb Raider (reboot). A game developed by Square Enix, this reboot has our well known heroine Lara Croft before she set out on her past exploits. All of her dual gunslinging, tightrope traversing, puzzle solving have been nixed in favor of a more gritty, emotionally charged gaming experience. Her will shall be tested and her skills honed and sharpened.
Visually the third person game will take on a darker tone than TR games of years past. Being a prequel Lara will look younger and fresh faced, pretty much sticking out like a site thumb. It will take on a more Uncharted feel, crossing chasms and caverns, getting bumps, bruises and scrapes among the way. None of those glamorous, daisy dukes much of us are used to. Sigh. Tomb Raider comes out this March.
The Last Of Us. Naughty Dog is prepping to give their fans this upcoming survival horror action adventure game. Set in a post apocalyptic world, Joel (who you control) and Ellie (who assists), the game’s two protagonists fall prey to the unknown. Much like any post apocalypse the plot has our characters navigating around dangers such as pitfalls, other human survivors with a do or die mindset, and perhaps other strange unforeseen creatures.
As with Naughty Dog’s Uncharted, it’s an exploratory measure we take though not for treasure, but for survival’s sake. Procuring items is a must as you’re barely with anything other than you’re own two fists. Empty handguns, bullets for the items therein, Molotov cocktails, pipes, rocks and the like are littered yet scarce across the landscape. You not only have to survive but make sure your partner stays alive. But Ellie’s no slouch. She helps you combat potential baddies along the way. Anyway you slice it this game aims to please. Release date apparently changed from May to June. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a 2013 window haha!
Beyond: Two Souls. Quantic Dreams looks to change the gaming scene once again with their intriguing new entry. Their last outing, Heavy Rain, was a game full of eye candy and mystery thrills and sci fi chills. The story centers around a man who, without spoiling things, goes thru a struggle that tears said family apart. The race is then on to try and rationalize the events that happen thereafter and deal with the consequences that our quasi-protagonist experiences.
Beyond seems to follow HR’s same tune, being a psychological/spiritual thriller. The game deals with questions about life, death, and the main character trying to reconcile a possible possession by an unknown entity. More details are forthcoming as time rolls on. Research suggests the release date will be Q2 as of now. Looking forward to this.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Ubisoft’s new installment seems to be looking sharp and polished. Actually it’s a little too polished, which isn’t a bad thing. The only reason I bring this up is because Sam Fisher looks and sounds younger. His last outing was Conviction which had Sam on a vengeance run to get his daughter back from the clutches of The Third Echelon. He didn’t have his trademark sneaking attire but instead wore dark pants and long sleeve dark shirt. Also he just physically looked like a seasoned veteran with his scruffy face, which contradicts Sam’s current state. He embodied such tough guys as Charles Bronson and even Chuck Norris of 80’s fame but with a more stealthy appeal.
In Blacklist Sam looks considerably clean shaven and dawning a slick sneaking getup while sporting his signature 3-lens NVGs. Some complaints have been made about this as well as the voice acting. You see, Michael Ironside, the original voice actor for Sam is no longer reprising this role. There’s been a bit of backlash due to this occurrence and while I’ve never really invested any time playing any SC game other than Conviction, I can’t help but feel a little let down myself. Ironside does still have a role in the game’s production, which is creative consultant. He’s basically telling the new voice actor how to walk and talk in Sam’s shoes thru the eyes of Michael. Still, it’s not the same. That’s like having Solid/Naked Snake being voiced by someone other than David Hayter. That definitely wouldn’t fly with me, but I digress. Hell, he even looks like Snake.
Visuals and gameplay, though do look pretty damn good. Those are already enough to have me include this game on this list at all. Released date is apparently this August.
Watchdogs. I saved the best for last on my list. Over the summer Ubisoft released a 9 minute gameplay trailer for a game that not only peaked my interest visually, but showed elements of stealth and sci fi hackery and open world goodness that looked like GTA on crack, literally. Not much info has been shared about this game other than that breathtaking trailer. Texturally speaking it seems to harken back to, again, Heavy Rain. Rich colors and the lush environment composition seem to assault my optical senses in the most awesome way. Q4 seems to be the ETA on this so looks like we won’t be touching it till the holidays, if that. Side note – the first time I got wind of this game it was apparently supposedly running on current gen hardware but since the PS4‘s announcement things might switch up so just keep an eye out for this nugget.
And there you have it, my top 5 games to look out for this year. As I said earlier, you guys will either agree 100%, 50%, or 0%. If you guys and gals have your own top 5 list don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section. Geronimo!