maanantai 29. lokakuuta 2012

2013: No Rest for the Wicked

2013 is shaping up to be a great year in the video game scene. Tens of interesting titles have emerged throughout the year, and I find it hard not to go over some of the most interesting ones; games that I will most definitely buy, as well as intriguing stuff that is bound to get my attention, but not necessarily worth my hard-earned money. There are also sequels I have no great expectations towards. There are all three kinds of games on this list; what this list lacks, however, is the bulk of titles that are currently in the state of speculation. Although I could carry on and on about Batman 3 (I bet you a fifty they're gonna call it Arkham Origins or something just as common) or Fallout 4, not to mention the new, mysterious BioWare installment set in the Mass Effect universe, it'll save a lot of space and time to just talk about titles that have been formally introduced to us on some level bigger than terms of considered plot outlines.

Developer(s): MercurySteam
Release date: TBA

Not much is known of Lords of Shadow 2. Actually, MercurySteam has spilled more details on the upcoming Nintendo 3DS counterpart Mirror of Fate than "the big one". Not much, though. We've only seen one trailer thus far, but MercurySteam has promised to deliver the game by the end of 2013. I'm eagerly waiting for more information, as I have grown to like the previous game a lot more than I originally did, and judging by the introduction of Alucard into the rebooted Castlevania universe, this game might turn out to please old school fans of the franchise a bit more than its predecessor. Here's to hoping they'll include symphonic scores based on old school Castlevania music, and change the name of the game. "Lords of Shadow 2" simply doesn't ring very nicely.

Developer(s): Visceral Games
Release date: February 5, 2013

Isaac Clarke is back, yay... with a co-op partner?! Oh, God damn. I have a pretty good guess of what this means: the last two Resident Evil games revisited in a setting ripped straight off Lost Planet, and considering how Dead Space 2 turned out in my books, I don't think this game's gonna rock my world a whole lot. Anyway, considering how good the first game was and still is - even with its notable flaws - there's always hope for at least a decent action game. Not a survival horror game, though - I sincerely do not believe in the spook value of this game, and in a game like Dead Space's case, that's one lethal shame.

Developer(s): Ninja Theory
Release date: January 15, 2013

From the makers of Heavenly Sword comes a whole new first chapter in the story of Devil May Cry. In this game, Adam Lamb... sorry, Dante, is a whole different Dante than the overtly suave and sleek, demonic private detective from the original series. Although it shares some common plot elements like a twisted twin brother and the head demon Mundus, the game is part of a completely different story arc that may or may not be expanded upon. The first trailers pissed off a lot of folks into the original quadrilogy; I, on the other hand, have never been a huge fan of Devil May Cry, even if the first game initially struck me as one of the best games ever made before disappointing me severely. I lost all of my taste for the franchise with Devil May Cry 2, and I found Devil May Cry 4 embarrassing, so to me, a reboot was very much in order, and I dug the trailer. This is one game I have to read about a hundred positive reviews of before sinking my money in it, and I doubt there'll be a lot since the original series has a lot of fans among the most respectable critics, but I'm interested to see it and try it out for size nonetheless.

Developer(s): BioWare
Release date: Q4 2013

Lost all your faith in BioWare? Well, that's nice to hear, but I haven't - not even while half of the original crew that brought us instant classics like the first game in this series and Mass Effect have since ventured elsewhere. OK, so Dragon Age II was a disappointment, Mass Effect 3 was a disappointment to some and Star Wars: The Old Republic was a downright commercial flop, but BioWare established such a solid base for themselves with their first games, that I for one am giving them one more chance. Little is known of the third Dragon Age game besides its name, but I reckon we'll be hearing more of this epic game with an equally epic title sooner than anyone would expect, maybe even before the end of the year. Can't wait.

Developer(s): SCE Santa Monica Studio
Release date: March 12, 2013

What else can they possibly do? What elements from the Greek mythology have they left unused? How far can they go with prequels? God of War: Ascension is a prequel to the whole God of War series, which kind of waters the game's credibility down beforehand, since Kratos has pulled so many epic stunts later in the franchise's timeline, which are hard to outdo. However, I went into Ghost of Sparta with similar thoughts, and I enjoyed the game - thoroughly. My prediction is that God of War: Ascension isn't out to outdo anything, it's just there to offer God of War fans yet another treat in the very same vein as the previous games, and in this franchise, that's been quite enough thus far. I believe in this game, I truly do, and I believe that the most sociopathic bastard ever to wear the mark of the main protagonist will kick some serious ass when he returns to our screens in March. Going to pre-order the collector's edition of this one as soon as I receive confirmation of having the proper funds when the time is ripe.

Developer(s): Rockstar North
Release date: Q2 2013

Daddy's back AGAIN, you bitches, and there ain't no way you're going to escape the hype once it truly hits. The franchise that revolutionized R-rated presentation and open-world gameplay is back, bigger and more beautiful than ever, and set in my personal favourite out of all the cities created by Rockstar: Los Santos, SA. I'll place the pre-order for the game as soon as details spill on a collector's edition. Oh, haven't you heard? It's coming in SPRING! SPRING, BITCHES!

Developer(s): Naughty Dog
Release date: TBA

A post-apocalyptic survival game from the very same people that conjured up the almost inexplicable magic of Uncharted? Count me in, and do it twice while you're at it. Since the game is the first in a possible series of games, and a release date hasn't been carved in stone yet, I'm not too apeshit about The Last of Us just yet, but I believe I'll enter the crazy hype zone at some point.

Developer(s): Square Enix
Release date: TBA

This is an epitome of my blind love for Final Fantasy; I hated the first XIII game, I haven't even touched the second one even though I bought it a long time ago (I refuse to play it before completing the first one... which is one tedious project), and still I'm hyped about the third one just because it bears the name Final Fantasy. There's always a chance the game turns out awesome after a disappointing stepping stone or two. A very slight one, but it's still a chance.

Developer(s): Platinum Games
Release date: February 19, 2013

I had to include this one just to express my disbelief and near disgust towards it. OK, Raiden redeemed himself in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, but I still consider that game the final one in the Metal Gear chronology, and I always will. Even though Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance might turn out a decent ninja slasher, it's never going to change how I view things, and I will never consider it a part of the Metal Gear franchise. Unlike the other one.

Developer(s): Kojima Productions
Release date: TBA

Hideo Kojima returns to the helm in an open-world Metal Gear Solid game running on a whole new engine codenamed FOX. Fans of the franchise know I don't necessarily have to say anything else, and I won't. This game will probably take a few years to take form, but I think we'll be getting a lot of info spills throughout the year, and no matter how long it takes, I'm pre-ordering it the first opportunity I get. This game is going to fuckin' rule.

Developer(s): Maxis
Release date: March 5, 2013

My favourite simulation game of all time returns as a fancy-looking reboot that runs on a new engine, but is promised to pay tons of respect to the very original article. So far, the game has been marked as a PC and Macintosh exclusive, but I think it won't remain that for long, and even if it does, I have no qualms about playing SimCity on my laptop. As long as I get to play it.

Developer(s): Obsidian Entertainment
Release date: March 5, 2013

The long-anticipated South Park RPG by Obsidian Entertainment is finally about to see daylight, and it's gained an official title, which is South Park: The Stick of Truth. I'm really excited about this game due to Obsidian's close collaboration with Trey Parker and Matt Stone of how the game should be directed, and just for the fact that they're Obsidian.

Developer(s): Crystal Dynamics
Release date: March 5, 2013

Finally, we have the long-anticipated and EXTREMELY awesome-looking reboot of perhaps the most overrated action franchise of all time (or perhaps one rated for the wrong reasons). I'm considering of playing through the whole series before this game comes out, but that's a big fuckin' "if", right there - if this game turns out half as good, not to mention as mature as it looks, I think it'll wipe the old ones right off the map.

So, there we have it. No rest for the wicked, huh? From the looks of things, March is gonna be an especially tough month to handle, as a total of FOUR of these games are up for release then. God of War: Ascension and SimCity are the only ones I'll get for absolutely certain, though, the others'll take a lot of research and personal consideration. Here's to hoping I'll get the chance to review at least some of these games when the time comes for each. Thank you and good night!

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