Writer's note: Before you read, keep in mind this is all opinion based and is by no means an official list!
With 2013 now upon us, now’s the time to start thinking about what games we should be looking to invest our money in. This year boasts arguably one of the most anticipated gaming lineups ever; where we’ll witness a plethora of new IPs, sequels and prequels hit the market. As always, some games stand head and shoulders over others, so what are 2013’s top five games to look out for?
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
The Splinter Cell franchise is perhaps one of the most underrated in the industry, past releases have always seemed to fall under the radar and miss out on deserved appreciation. Other than Hitman, Splinter Cell has always seemed like a lone wolf in the true stealth genre; where it’s overshadowed by games that only employ stealth for minimalistic sequences.
This year we jump back on board with gaming’s answer to Jack Bauer: Sam Fisher. After the devastating revelations in the last game, the president has shut down Third Echelon and formed The Fourth Echelon; a group of elite operatives who’re tasked with shutting down their predecessors operations, under Sam’s watchful eye, as commander. In response, a group of terrorists initiate ‘Blacklist’ – a fatal countdown that will lead to numerous attacks on America! With impending doom in mind, Sam must dust off his trusty goggles and go bad-guy hunting!
With Blacklist being one of the standout titles at E3, it’s expected to deliver on all fronts after the disappointment of Conviction, and if the early indications are anything to go by, it may steal a few awards by the time the year is out!
When the Crysis 3 trailer debuted last year, many skeptics claimed that there was no way that a game with such emphatic beauty could be produced on current gen consoles, and that it was for the next gen. Thankfully, Crytek won’t make us wait that long. This February we’ll be able to dive back into the nano-suit and hunt down the Ceph once and for all!
We take the helm as Prophet, who’s returned to Liberty City 24 years after Crysis 2 to discover the corrupt global-power, C.E.L.L, have quarantined the city in a NanoDome – which is a front for their quest of world domination! Since Crysis 2, the city has become consumed by vegetative growth, turning it into a metropolis/rainforest hybrid that the Ceph have thrived in.
If there’s one thing we can expect from this game, it’s breathtaking visuals. Crysis has become renowned for pushing the boundaries when it comes to graphics, which has been perfectly illustrated by the meme “But can it run Crysis?” Furthermore, with the franchise already being established as one of the all-time greats when it comes to first person shooters, you can only expect a fantastic game!
This is undeniable 2013’s most anticipated game and for most people, it will be number one on their to-buy list. GTA V IS 2013. Pre-order records, midnight release lines as far as the eye can see, empty shelves; GTA V will grab gamers by the throat and scream in their face: “Buy me!”.
GTA V evolves the franchise into a three-way story; where players will control three protagonists: Michael, Trevor and Franklin. Players will have to switch between each character throughout the story in order to achieve their objective. With that said, early indications point towards all three characters being a-part of the same criminal group, but for now we’re in the dark while Rockstar stay cryptic, as always.
Boasting the biggest map in GTA to date, this game will for sure provide us all with ample amount of fun for hours on end. A slight concern for some on-lookers is that GTA V looks to continue on with its predecessors more serious tone; which was scrutinized by many back in 2008. Despite that, GTA V will be 2013’s biggest game, that’s for sure!
While E3 2012 was pretty low key, the one thing that got everyone excited was Ubsioft’s press conference; where they stole the show with their brilliant IP, Watch Dogs. The applause for Watch Dogs was like no other, and the one thing that was on everyone’s lips after the event was: “ I want that game”.
Watch Dogs’ plot revolves around humanities increasing dependence on technology, which has inevitably leaded to information warfare. Set in Chicago, players will take the helm as Aiden Pearce, an anti-hero who uses his hacking skills to carryout various tasks for an unknown entity.
At this moment in time, everything concerning the game is smoke and mirrors as Ubisoft seem to be keeping this one close to them - which is a smart move to preserve the surprise and stir up further anticipation. New information will probably be withheld until this years E3 event, so be on the lookout for it!
The Last of Us
I debated long and hard between Watch Dogs and The Last of Us being number one, but this game edges ahead for a few reasons. First up: Wow, Wow, Wow. After seeing the trailer for this game, I almost instantly invested in a PS3 so I could be ready to play it. Unfortunately this is a PS3 exclusive, and for that reason, it’ll fall under the radar once GoTY time rolls around.
The Last of Us takes us on a heartwarming journey with Joel and Ellie; a man and a girl who escape from a US quarantined zone to move on to greener pastures in hope to escape the cordyceps (fungus-like) disease that has ravaged the planet. As they move through the USA, they come toe-to-toe with those mutated by the disease, bandits and the military; who're hunting down Ellie with zeal for unknown reasons.
With Naughty Dog behind this game, it's already a winner. What’s interesting about it is that it looks to truly redefine the survival horror genre. In numerous demo’s, we’ve witnessed Joel and Ellie go to extreme measures to survive, and whilst doing so, you can almost feel their fear. The most prominent game-changer for me is the remorse the characters feel in the game when they kill someone. In one scene, we witness Joel brutally murder a bandit and after doing so, you can see the horror in his face at what he’s done. This is a commodity in gaming today, shooters like Call of Duty lead gamers to think mindlessly kill opponents is ok, where-as the Last of Us outlines it not as killing, but as murder; giving it more weight. In short, the Last of Us looks to be a real emotional journey, and it’s one I can’t wait to experience.
So what are your top 5 for 2013?