It’s 2013! We’re excited! What are we excited about? Games! Which games? Keep reading and find out!
BioShock Infinite: The original BioShock is one of those games I could easily place in a list of my absolute favorites. With a new setting, some really intriguing gameplay mechanics and a protagonist that actually talks, BioShock Infinite is looking like it could surprise us the same way that original game way back in 2007. I just get the feeling that we’ll be talking about this game when it’s time for 2013’s Game of the Year awards.
Rayman Legends: Rayman Origins is the best platformer I’ve played since the 16-bit era. Yeah, I really loved it. It’s hard to say whether or not Legends will be as good as Origins, but it has a chance of being the best Wii U game released next year and probably a fantastic way to follow-up the surprise hit of 2011. And those musical levels look like the best things ever. I mean, come on, watch the Castle Rock video if you haven’t already.
The Last of Us: You probably know by now how much I love post-apocalyptic settings in games, especially if they are handled well and are used enhance the story (as well as the struggle). Naughty Dog is one of the best teams in the business when it comes to creating truly cinematic experiences, and The Last of Us seems like it could be its best game yet. The new trailer from the VGAs this past December was enough to demonstrate that this is one game worth paying attention to.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch: Level 5 joining forces with amazing animation team at Studio Ghibli to create a new RPG? Yeah, I’m pretty much sold right there. Not only does Ni no Kuni look incredible, but it also seems remarkably fun and charming, and it’s probably the closest we’ll come to actually playing a Studio Ghibli film. Simply put, there are no RPGs coming out this year I am more excited about than this.
Remember Me: 2013 seems to be a good year for new IPs, doesn’t it? This is a game that came out of nowhere and absolutely blew me away with its debut trailer. While I’m not expecting Remember Me to light the world on fire, its setting, combat system and overall tone make it a game that I can’t wait to finally get my hands on. It’s great to see Capcom supporting a new IP like this so late in the console generation, and I hope it becomes a huge hit for them.
Rayman Legends: This game is gorgeous, both in style and execution: it’s running at 1080p and 60 frames per second, and for once it makes me care about that. What’s more, the multiplayer aspects are handled very, very well, including and especially GamePad character Murfy. I played the demo with a full complement of friends, and when it was over we just wanted to play it again. The full game will likely be just as amazing.
Fire Emblem: Awakening: Thank you, Nintendo, for doing this one right. Awakening gets the tier-1 localization treatment from Treehouse (which, as much as I like 8-4, should help), and it at least seems to be set for a proper marketing push. I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be handled well, and supremely confident in the core gameplay based on my knowledge of the Japanese version.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf: Animal Crossing, I may still be mad at you for taking out the NES games, but look at that face: I can’t stay angry. New Leaf looks to improve on all of the core elements, unlike the seemingly-lackluster improvements in City Folk.
Beyond: Two Souls: Say what you will about Heavy Rain, but it tried a lot of new ideas, and if you put in the effort, it could be a thoroughly engrossing experience. I’m ready to see what Quantic Dream can do with another try, and Ellen Page will probably speak English better than the Heavy Rain cast. Probably.
BattleBlock Theater: Look, people: Castle Crashers was too good to ignore this one. It’s probably the year we get it unless something crazy happens, and I’m ready.
South Park: The Stick of Truth: Sure, licensed games generally suck. But Trey Parker and Matt Stone are fully involved in making this game. It looks exactly like a South Park episode (unlike previous awful SP games) and could be the sleeper hit of the year. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’m a huge fan of RPGs… this could be a good match. Let’s hope!
BioShock Infinite: There seems to be a lot of ridiculous extraneous stories about this game. The box art. The cosplay model. No multiplayer. I couldn’t care less. BioShock was brilliant, and I enjoyed 2 even more than that one. I’ll reserve judgment until I play it, but this is a day-one purchase for me.
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm: I absolutely loved SC2: Wings of Liberty. The campaign’s level design was creative and worth a second playthrough for me. As terrible as I am online, I enjoyed the matchmaking structure of the brilliant multiplayer. I cannot wait.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch: This generation has seen elements of RPGs creep into every genre. It’s too bad we haven’t seen a ton of high-quality RPGs for the consoles. I have high hopes for this one; it’s a JRPG with Studio Ghibli doing the visuals and Level-5 doing the rest. It looks absolutely stunning, I am praying that it is a JRPG worthy of Lost Odyssey and Xenoblade praise.
SimCity: I have been waiting for a sequel to SimCity 4 for about… well, since SimCity 4 launched about 10 years ago. No, Cities XL didn’t cut it for me. Besides the DRM and lack of terraforming, I am thrilled that there is a new SimCity coming out. The prospect of city building has never left my mind. The developers promise this is not a watered-down, casual experience. It’s for the hardcore. Me. You. Us. Yes. I hope I spend 2013 making city after city, listening to a beautiful soundtrack and wondering what power plant I should put on the new corner of my industrial park.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: The Sly Cooper games are my favorite series of games from the PS2. I loved them enough to buy the HD collection and complete each game again. The combination of platforming, stealth and humor hits all the right buttons for me, and I can’t wait to see what Sanzaru does with my favorite Sucker Punch franchise.
Tomb Raider: Another platformer, but this time with an action slant. As a fan of Crystal Dynamics prior work on Tomb Raider, along with games like Uncharted and Prince of Persia, this is a shoe-in for me. I’m also a fan of strong female game characters and bows and arrows. This is one reboot I want desperately to play.
BioShock Infinite: The aesthetic presented here is wonderful, the skyhook system looks like a blast to use and the powers and tonics are a great gameplay element. The change from undersea dystopia to floating-island dystopia looks interesting, too.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch: I’m a sucker for Studio Ghibli, I like RPGs and the battle system sounds great. Tactical turn-based battles are great fun, and Studio Ghibli visuals make everything better.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon: If I have the choice in a Nintendo game, Luigi is my go-to character. I am disappointed that I missed Luigi’s Manion on the GameCube and I don’t have a Wii U to play the minigame in Nintendo Land, but I’m going to have a ball sucking up ghosts for Professor E. Gadd. The 3DS has been good to me so far, and this seems like a great addition to my growing library.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: It took me over a year to finish Final Fantasy XIII, but all of two weeks to finish XIII-2. I’ve been waiting for Lightning Returns ever since, and based on the trailer that was leaked a few weeks ago, I have every expectation that it will be as great as I hoped. I do have to say though, that based on it and the last Versus XIII trailer three years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve morphed into the same game. If so, it would only make me even more excited.
SimCity: I’ve been waiting for a new SimCity game for a decade, and as much as they’ve tried, other companies just haven’t been able to replicate what made is so enjoyable. Yeah, the last time they tried a new SimCity game we got Societies, but based on the demos and trailers I’ve seen, I’m willing to believe this will be a great game.
Watch Dogs: Ubisoft stole the show at E3 with this game, and if it comes out in 2013, it will steal the year for me as well. There’s no guarantee it comes out this year, since there’s every possibility it is a next-gen title, but as long as there is a chance of release, it is going to be in any anticipation lists you ask me to make.
Tomb Raider: I had zero interest in Tomb Raider, aside from the movies, before this reboot, but just about everything I’ve read about it interests me. The only hesitation I had about it was a result of the horribly-handled sexual assault controversy, but with that scene given context and shown to press, my worries have disappeared.
Remember Me: This is the only new game announcement from after E3 that I really care about, and it looks to be an interesting and entertaining game, and similar enough to Watch Dogs to get me very interested. On top of that, the memory manipulation plot and dystopian police state that we see and hear about in the trailer appeal to my love of sci-fi.