The year of 2012 was a phenomenal year for movies, music and anime. Sadly I feel that when it comes to games, 2012 was a year of disappointment. While the year did have its share of great games, very few of them could actually be called spectacular or excellent, the year was a let down if compared to previous years. While the year 2012 may not have been the greatest, 2013 seems to be packed to the brim with incredibly well created games that might blow us all away. This year we seem to finally be putting the “shooter” genre behind us, with several promising shooters being released this year, it is still incredible to see that the gaming world is finally moving on to a different era. In 2013 we will see Lightning return, Batman go head-to-head with Superman and Lara Croft shooting a Deer with a bow and arrow. With dozens of interesting games being released this year, to create a Top 25 would have been easier than a Top 10. But here they are, the Top 10 most anticipated Games of 2013, according to The Hergula.
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us
Developer: NetherRealm Studios / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U / Genre: Fighting
Release Date: April 16, 2013 (USA) / April 19, 2013 (EU)
Comic book superheroes have never been as popular as they are now. With “The Dark Knight Rises” being released this past year and the upcoming Superman film titled “Man of Steel”, what better time to release a game where DC Comic superheroes fight each other. “Injustice: Gods Among Us” will play similarly to NetherRealm Studios´ “Mortal Kombat”, with a large cast of playable characters including the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, it will surely be a blast. “Injustice: Gods Among Us” seems to be similar to most fighting games, as it looks like it will focus heavily on the gameplay to make it as competitive and as balanced as possible. Different objects around the stages can be used as a weapon, there are stages inside of stages and special moves that will blow your mind. The game will have a story mode and online multiplayer, both of which should not come as a surprise. With so many iconic characters put into one game, it is bound to sell well and receive criticism from comic book fans around the world. “Injustice: Gods Among Us” has gameplay that looks very smooth and filled with moves that will have you learning for days on end, much like Mortal Kombat (2011).
9. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Developer: Square Enix 1st Production Department / Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: Q3, 2013
With the success of “Final Fantasy XIII” and XIII-2, it should not surprise anyone that another “Final Fantasy XIII” game is on its way. In “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” you will only have one playable character, Lightning, who will try to save the world from destruction. With only 13 days to live, Lightning is able to change the flow of time with her actions, which brings forth an interesting new gameplay mechanic that will surely increase the games re-play value. While Lightning will be the only playable character, several familiar faces will also return in the game. Hope Estheim will give guidance and advice to Lightning via cellphone throughout the game, Noel Kreiss is seen fighting Lightning one-on-one in the trailer and the always charismatic, epic and oh-so impressive Snow Villiers is also supposed to appear in the game. “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” looks very different from previous installments, in a good way though, change is needed to keep things fresh and it looks like the game will be incredibly fun. With the changes in the gameplay and several familiar faces returning, the game looks very promising, especially with character like Hope and Snow “Steelguard” Villiers returning.
8. Bioshock Infinite
Developer: Irrational Games / Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: March 16, 2013 (Worldwide)
Trailer/Gameplay: Here – Here
First-Person Shooters are rather mediocre these days with only a few games that stand out, “Bioshock Infinite” being one of them. “Bioshock Infinite” will be the third installment in the Bioshock series with a completely different twist, while still holding on to the creepiness we all love and appreciate wholeheartedly. Picture this; It is 1912, airborne city of Columbia and you, Booker DeWitt, have to find a girl named Elizabeth to clear yourself of old debts, Sounds good does´nt it? While the plot sounds excellent, the gameplay seems even better. “Bioshock Infinite” works like a First-Person Shooter but Booker DeWitt will also be able to gain powers and abilities along the way, similar to previous Bioschock games. You will be able to use something called The Skyline to travel throughout the beautiful, well created and visually breathtaking, city of Columbia. With that in mind, it is safe to say that “Bioshock Infinite” will be an incredibly well crafted game that will cater to both casual and hardcore gamers alike.
7. Tomb Raider
Developer: Crystal Dynamics / Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: Action-adventure
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Trailer/Gameplay: Here – Here
With so few female protagonists in games, it is great to see the legendary Lara Croft return in the upcoming “Tomb Raider” reboot. In this action-adventure, that looks more like a Survival Horror, we will see Lara Croft stranded on mysterious island off the shores of Japan, where she will have to survive deadly encounters and rely on her instincts to survive in the wilderness. “Tomb Raider” looks like a game that will have you holding your breath during some instances and have you frightened during others. With a seemingly great mix of action and adventure, you will have to craft weapons to fight, hunt for food and enter the underground tombs to unravel the dark past of the island. “Tomb Raider” will not make things easy for you as there is no lock-on, instead the game will feature free-aim. The game will also include puzzles and an open-world that will surely make many fans of the series incredibly happy. The game looks visually stunning as the island seems full of life and gives you a feeling that danger may be lurking right around the corner. With the gorgeous design of Lara Croft, the well thought out plot and the deep RPG style of gameplay, Tomb Raider will surely impress gamers and critics alike.
6. Beyond: Two Souls
Developer: Quantic Dream / Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3 / Genre: Interactive Movie
Release Date: 2013
Quantic Dream is known for creating quality over quantity as they have created phenomenal games such as “Fahrenheit”/”Indigo Prophecy” and the epic “Heavy Rain”. With that in mind, it is safe to say that Quantic Dream´s upcoming project, “Beyond: Two Souls”, will surely be a quality game. “Beyond: Two Souls” will follow the story of Jodie Holmes who is psychically tethered to a ghost-like entity by the name of Aiden. Jodie Holmes, with the help of Aiden, is able to psychically take control over people to help herself out of difficult situations. “Beyond: Two Souls” is also centered around the question; “What happens after death?”, which will surely make for an interesting game. Much like Quantic Dream´s previous project “Heavy Rain”, “Beyond: Two Souls” will have phenomenal graphics and music composed by the late Normand Corbeil. With the beautiful Ellen Page portraying Jodie Holmes via Motion Capture, Music composed by Normand Corbeil and a plot that will surely make for a good discussion topic, the game seems to have it all.
5. God of War: Ascension
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio / Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3 / Genre: Hack-n-Slash, Action-adventure
Release Date: March 12, 2013 (USA) / March 13, 2013 (EU)
The “God of War” game series is already as perfect as it´s going to get, so how does Santa Monica Studio intend to over-trump their own best hand? It is rather simple, they are not going to fix what is not broken. Honestly, the gameplay mechanic they use for the “God of War” franchise is great and after perfecting the system in “God of War III”, it would have been foolish to try to implement too many unnecessary gameplay changes. “God of War: Ascension” is still as action packed as ever before with an added online multiplayer mode and a plot that will make you want to buy the game. “God of War: Ascension” is set six months after Kratos killed his wife and daughter as the game takes place around ten years before the original “God of War”. After Ares tricked Kratos into killing his wife and child, Kratos sets out to take the lives of the Furies so he can break all of his ties to Ares without consequence. The game will yet again have top-notch graphics, smooth gameplay and tons of action. Kratos will of course still continue to spill the blood of the legendary beasts and known figures of Greek mythology. So get ready as yet another stellar “God of War” game is on its way so I suggest you sharpen your reflexes, get excited and get ready to spill litres upon litres of blood.
4. Watch Dogs
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal / Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: Action-adventure, Open world, Stealth
Release Date: 2013
This upcoming open-world action-adventure game titled “Watch Dogs” seems to bring us a concept we all can relate to as the game focuses on the world´s increasing use of technology. In “Watch Dogs” you are able to manipulate pretty much everything that can be controlled with a remote device, something that the main character, Aiden Pearce, has. The device is tied to the city´s central operating system, making it possible for Aiden Pearce to jam cellphones, change traffic lights to cause a crash and raise a bridge for a swift escape from the police, all of which can be seen in the gameplay demo. The game will take place in Chicago, Illinois, where you, the anti-hero, Aiden Pearce will have to use both your brains and brawn to succeed in your missions. With a game like “Watch Dogs”, the possibilities seem endless with gorgeous graphics and a gameplay mechanic that will surely make for a very unique gaming experience.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
Developer: Rockstar North / Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: Action-adventure, Open world
Release Date: 17 September, 2013 (Worldwide)
Rockstar´s “Grand Theft Auto” franchise needs no introduction as it is one of the most well-recognized game series to ever be created. After “Grand Theft Auto V” was announced; mayhem on the forums, rumours on every website and anticipation for more information was ridiculously high. While very little is still know about the plot, “Grand Theft Auto V” will bring us back to Los Santos, the city we were first introduced to in “GTA: San Andreas”. “Grand Theft Auto V” will have three playable characters; Michael, a former bank robber, Franklin who is a repo man that knows his way around vehicles and Trevor Phillips, the psychopath. With three protagonists, it seems like the game will focus heavily on the story between the three as well, which will surely make for a very exciting game. “Grand Theft Auto V” is still shrouded with mystery as a dog is seen in the trailer, a picture was released with a huge shark in it and the game might even include submarines. Not only that but “Grand Theft Auto V” will supposedly have the largest map in a GTA game to date and will possibly include weapon customization. With many questions still left unanswered, Some things need no answering; the game will have great graphics, a stunning soundtrack and most importantly, wicked awesome gameplay.
2. The Last of Us
Developer: Naughty Dog / Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3 / Genre: Action Adventure, Survival Horror
Release Date: May 7, 2013 (Worldwide)
Trailer/Gameplay: Here – Here
A game that looks like it will send shivers down your spine, that will also make you scared beyond belief and a game where you will find yourself protecting the 14 Year-old Ellie more than yourself, the game I´m talking about is titled “The Last of Us”. In the post-apocalyptic United States, you control the character Joel, while your companion Ellie will be controlled by the A.I. Joel is an experienced survivor who knows how to deal with both the Infected and other survivors that may be hostile. After he rescues Ellie from a military quarantine zone to bring her to a group called “Firefly”, he keeps a promise to a dying friend to bring her there, so he makes it his duty to protect Ellie throughout their journey. With a game that promises to be realistic and cinematic, it is difficult not to have high expectations of a game that could literally re-invent the Survival Horror genre in gaming. With a solid plot, great graphics and intriguing gameplay, “The Last of Us” looks like a game without flaws. While very little is still known about the game, from the demo, it is safe to say that it will be an emotional rollercoaster as you try to survive the infected that may be lurking around corners and fight off other survivors who might attack you for food or weapons. “The Last of Us” is a game where I am sure that many will develop a deep bond to the main characters throughout the campaign and after watching the demo, it seems that while you won´t be able to control Ellie, she will still be helping you out tremendously. “The Last of Us” looks like an emotional survival horror where you might shed a tear, where you will have to fight for your life and protect a young-girl by the name of Ellie.
1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Developer: Platinum Games / Publisher: Konami
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 / Genre: Action, Hack-n-Slash
Release Date: February 19, 2013 (USA) / February 22, 2013 (EU)
With very few games still holding the Hack-n-Slash genre alive, it is very exciting to see that another powerhouse of a melee fighting game is soon going to be released, featuring Raiden as the dark hero/protagonist, in “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance”. The game includes a “free-slicing” mode called Blade Mode which allows you to literally slice enemies, robots and other objects freely along a geometrical plane. Meaning that if you ever wanted to slice an enemy from the shoulder to the hip or simply cut someones head off, it is possible for you to do so. “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” is literally defining the Hack-n-Slash genre with this creative and well thought out gameplay mechanic that will surely intrigue gamers around the world. The game will not focus on stealth like “Metal Gear Solid” games do, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” will be more action-oriented as it focuses heavily on going toe-to-toe with all of the enemies you face, the gameplay still looks very strategic though. With that in mind, the game will not only feature the High-Frequency Blade you will be using to do all the slicing, but it will also include grenades, rocket launchers and more. “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” is incredibly action packed with jaw-dropping boss fights that will surely be memorable and a gameplay mechanic, Blade Mode, that seems to work beautifully together with the high-speed action the game features.
“Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” takes place four years after the events of “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots”. Raiden is working for the Private Military and Security Company (PMC) to make money for his family. All goes wrong when Raiden is protecting a VIP, as when they are attacked Desperado Enterprises´ cyborg ninja Samuel Rodriguez, Raiden is defeated and left with a destroyed body. After Raiden is re-constructed with a more developed cyborg body, he heads out to find Samuel and the company to take revenge.
With a game that focuses on two themes; Revenge and Vengeance, you really can´t go wrong. The history, specifically Raiden´s childhood, makes for a compelling story that many will be drawn in to. With an intelligent and sophisticated gameplay system, “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” will surely make for a phenomenal Hack-n-Slash game that will see a sequel one day, one can hope.
(God of War Cover picture © Creative Uncut 2003-2013)