The new year has begun and with it comes lots of hope for a great new year in video games. I expect 2013 to top last year with a combination of the great looking first half of the year in terms of known releases and a back half that should include the launch of the PS4 and next Xbox along with all kinds of games that those should bring along with them. Today I’m going to talk a little about my eight most anticipated games. Why eight? Well I made a list and felt like these eight were a bit further ahead of the rest of the pack. So here they are. Feel free to add these to your wishlist immediately.
Here we have a beautiful new 2.5D platformer/adventure game from Sony’s Japan Studio. I know. I am also surprised to see them making a full-fledged PS3 game… that is actually releasing as well. Its artstyle is inspired by Tim Burton and has a very unique look. You play as a boy turned into a puppet who has lost his head and both of these things play into the gameplay. Your environment is a theater, so instead of going through levels like a typical platformer your environments will sort of change around you. As for being headless, you’ll find various heads throughout your adventure that will give you various abilities as you try and get yours back. There is also a cool scissor mechanic that allows you to cut through various things as a weapon and propel yourself throughout the world. It’s a full-fledged retail title for the PS3 and looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully it will find a good-sized audience.
7. Watch Dogs
E3 2012 was a bit of a dud. During the otherwise dull event, Ubisoft managed to reveal a genuine surprise in Watch Dogs. It seems to be built around a cool mechanic where the main character could manipulate all sorts of electronic devices around him to accomplish his various goals. Throw in some stellar graphics and the tease of a seemingly interesting online component and they really had me entranced during the demo and scrambling for more info afterwards. It’s being developed by the talented Montreal studio and yet I worry a little since Ubisoft rarely nails their first entry in a big new series like this. I’m really excited to see more on Watch Dogs and hoping Ubi can knock it out of the park with this ambitious new game.
6. BattleBlock Theater
I love Castle Crashers so much. And because of that I was pretty much in for whatever The Behemoth made next. But BattleBlock Theater looks to bring the same multiplayer fun it did with Castle Crashers into more of a platformer style game… which you know… sounds awesome. That great Behemoth art is present. As is the humor (just watch this hilarious opening cinematic to the game). I don’t blame anyone for scoffing at the idea of this releasing soon given how long ago it was initially shown. But that was the case of a small developer showing a game off in a really early form for some feedback and all signs point to this one finally releasing this year. I guess what I’m saying is this isn’t The Last Guardian and I am excited to play BattleBlock Theater later this year.
5. Rayman Legends
I have never really been that into the Rayman games, but man did I love Rayman Origins. So obviously I find myself very excited for its sequel Legends. If the game can bring the same kind of fun challenging platforming as Origins then I know I will have a blast. I’m not sure about the Murphy levels (touchpad focused affairs), but they seemed alright. And the Rayman levels look to deliver. It’s got a tweaked artstyle that brings in some 3D models, but it still looks pretty spectacular. It might be a while before I get a Wii U, but once I do, this will definitely be one of the games I grab with it. If Ubi wants to throw me a PS3 version in the meantime though, I’d be totally okay with that.
Tearaway looks great for a number of reasons. First of course, is that it looks fun. A platform/adventure title for the Vita that has you manipulating the character’s world with the system’s various features. It’s got a really charming art direction where everything is made of papercraft. And it’s a new IP built for the Vita by one of Sony’s top (previously console-only) developers Media Molecule. A developer which I happen to really love which is an added bonus. And that is something that Sony needs to do more of. With so many of their studios expanding, I’d love to see more efforts like this on the Vita. That is a topic for another blog though. The Vita’s upcoming line-up looks a little sparse, but at least I have Tearaway to look forward for the time being.
3. Tomb Raider
It was just a couple months back that I mentioned how worried I was about this reboot. I feared that it was getting too far away from what makes the Tomb Raider series special to me. The developers finally delivered some footage to calm my fears in the form of the recent hub area demo. It shows lots of platforming and exploration along with more on the gear gating and a hint of one of the game’s smaller tombs. With this showing off more of that classic TR feel, I can get behind the new ideas like the setpieces more easily since they won’t be all the game is about. I am still a little curious about the balance between these various elements, but I have reboarded the hype train for this one. Hopefully it can deliver a great game and something Tomb Raider fans can get behind as well.
2. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Due to rumors and then the trailer in the HD collection, I had known for a while that a new Sly game was coming before it debuted at E3 a couple of years back. So I was excited. Really excited. It took the wind out of my sails a bit to find out that Sucker Punch wasn’t making it though. I mean Sanzaru did the HD Collection, but nothing original of note. So I was a bit skeptical at first, but I have now totally come around on this project. And it may sound crazy, but it looks to me that Sanzaru is crafting the best Sly game yet by combining the best bits from the whole series so far. The structure of 2 but with bigger more detailed hubs and more linear platforming sections like in the first game. The ancestors even bring in some of the variety that 3 was attempting, but without getting so far away from the feeling of playing with Sly that I love so much. It’s been over seven years since the last Slygame came out and I can’t wait to play this new one.
1. The Last of Us
Naughty Dog has made some of my favorite games of all-time and their next game, The Last of Us, looks like another winner. The story looks great focusing on the relationship between a hardened survivor and the teenage girl he is tasked to protect in a post apocalyptic world. The graphics are top notch and the world itself has a great look leaning more towards the overgrown post apocalyptic look of Enslaved than the more typical look common in these types of games. But what has really impressed me is how good the enemy encounters look to be. There seems to be a lot of freedom in how you approach enemies. You can sneak around or go right for them, but there is a risk reward benefit here as far what kind of supplies you will use or get by taking on enemies. Throw in the way they are handling health and the crafting system and they seem to really be going for a survival style of gameplay. I am curious what else they will do with the gameplay outside of the combat, but otherwise this game looks amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it this May.
That will do it for my most anticipated games. I may follow this up with a 2013 predictions blog. Are you looking forward to any of these games? What games top your most anticipated list for 2013? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!