2013’s Games That Are Coming Out In 2013 (Eventually) (2013 Edition) For 2013

In Video Games on January 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

With the new year freshly under our feet, let’s take a look ahead at what’s going to be draining our wallets this time.

Whether the next generation’s pending announcement, rumored to be even before the GDC in March, will impact your anticipation or purchasing plans is, of course, a personal matter best left to vociferous ramblings in public forums.


Anarchy Reigns (1/8) is the finally released pseudo fighter-brawler by Platinum games. Finished and localized since last year, I’d been eagerly anticipating this title. While the general gameplay is fun and the stages and characters are imaginative, actual variety between characters is lacking. Visually, two sets of three characters look very similar (one set are all some kind of cop, the other are two clones and the original copy), and in gameplay there isn’t a ton of variety in combos or special moves, to the extent that once you’ve learned one character, you’ve learned them all

But what really holds this back is a lack of couch multiplayer. No split-screen really kills this game for me.

DMC: Devil May Cry (1/15) has just landed to fairly positive reviews that all commonly praise the gameplay and devolve into differences of opinion on the art direction, story, writing and characterization. For me, the scenery from images and videos looks stellar, with interesting, varied and well-animated backgrounds that offer a great contract to static backdrops in other games. In fact, one of the stated goals in development was to make the city into a sort of enemy in and of itself.

Spearheaded by Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades, opinions vary on whether the story and writing is juvenile, versus being a kind of stealth commentary (by weirdly playing everything straight), similar to the claims made about Far Cry 3Enslaved‘s Alex Garland serves as story supervisor (whatever that means), likely to reign in any obvious or glaring mistakes. I am reserving judgment on the story until I play it myself, since I really do not trust the gaming public with a subtle message (see also the fate of MGS2 and Kane and Lynch 2). 

February sees two horror games being released.

Dead Space 3 (2/5) has received a ton of scrutiny over stated goals of widening appeal and rabble rousing by EA, claiming the franchise needs to sell three million units or be shelved. In response to this, EA has doubled down, stating that this is a horror game first and no amount of demographic-widening action will change that.

Improvements from previous games include the addition of co-op with an interesting twist: it’s drop in / drop out, with the second player joining ranks as EarthGov Sergeant John Carver. Far from being saddled with an AI companion in the absence of a co-op buddy, Carver is only around for certain story bits, causing some to wonder if he’s real or what the nature of his story will be if you only experience it in its fullest if you play through the whole game with a partner. Adding additional co-op challenge to this is that one are that one or both characters may hallucinate separately from the other, which will just be loads of fun.

I don’t really question whether a co-op game can be scary, since I did in fact go through most scary games with a partner anyway. You need someone to shove the controller at when you get a fright, you know.

Other cool bits are improvements to the weapon upgrading / crafting system, which seems a bit more hands-on than than just allocating power nodes as in the previous two games.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (2/12) I’ve written about before, but hey, it’s release is practically on our doorstep now. Lots of shadows, marines only, incredible attention to detail, faithful to the film, co-op campaign, what more do you want? Gearbox is on a roll.

March is fucking busy.

The Tomb Raider (3/5) reboot hits first. Those that have played it describe it as a bit QTE heavy with less audacious platforming than previous titles, though most preview gameplay has been in early, clearly linear portions of the game.

A bit of a misstep for the franchise is the inclusion of adversarial multiplayer. Choosing between the bad guys on the island and the shipwrecked crewmembers, you duke it out in various locations on the island using a mishmash of “improvised” weapons and military hardware (as in singleplayer). It’s honestly as unimaginative as it can be, coming from a game that is probably going to be criticized for being derivative of games like Uncharted, which were initially summed up as something like Tomb Raider where you play as a guy.

Gears of War: Judgment (3/19) is a prequel developed by People Can Fly, who also made Bulletstorm and Painkiller. The game will be afforded some unique opportunities in its prequel setting, taking place before most of Sera was burned by orbital weaponry, thirteen years prior to even the original Gears of War. In fact, taking place only thirty days into the start of the locust war (E-Day) gives an opportunity to explore the tragic vistas with more of a pre-apocalyptic feel, as well as offering weaponry from the Pendulum Wars in the game’s backstory.

Or at least, it’s a nice excuse to have new weapons in a game that’s set before the rest of them.

Bioshock: Infinite (3/19) needs no introduction, though news to me is its intent on being somewhat of an open world game. Also recent news is a slight controversy regarding the box art, which looks generic in the way most shooter box art does, and which relegates Elizabeth, a companion that we’re told will revolutionize how we view such characters, to the back of the box.

Army of TWO: Devil’s Cartel (3/26) I know very little about. This franchise always had the strongest co-op gameplay of all the “bro shooters” (think GearsKane and Lynch, etc.), in my opinion.

FUSE (March) was previously known as Overstrike, a humorous co-op shooter with unique characters. More recent trailers seem to be glossing over these ideas in favor of a more anesthetized shooter look, so this one really needs another solid preview session to confirm it one way or the other.

Lost Planet 3 (March) returns the series to its narrative roots while continuing Capcom’s current trend of outsourcing its projects to western developers. Given the current low capability of developers that aren’t Platinum Games in Japan, this is probably a smart move. The gameplay and story trailer looks very solid, offering a more hands-on approach to QTEs and character design (and voice acting) that is nuanced in its approach.

April is zombie month. Kinda. Not really.

Dead Island: Riptide (4/23) continues this franchise’s proud tradition of offering well-done emotionally manipulative trailers in place of good gameplay and story.

Injustice: Gods Among Us (April) is Netherrealm’s next fighting game after the really, really solid Mortal Kombat reboot, which places a cast of DC characters in a “what if everyone went apocalyptic” light. With this you see some revisions to character design — everyone looks more than a little ready for combat — but the game looks like it plays like a higher stakes Mortal Kombat. That said, it’s like Netherrealm decided that, after proving it could make a good MK game after MK vs DC Universe, that it needs to prove it can make a good DC fighting game too. It’ll probably be pretty cool.

Kickstarted Planetary Annihilation will allegedly see release in April as well. While as optimistic about the project, even only as much information as they gave in the Kickstarter, I am annoyed that the game’s webpage is offering purchase packages that offer beta access at twenty bucks a pop. Since when do we charge for betas?

New on this list is State of Decay (April), a third-person zombie survival pseudo sandbox maybe online maybe MMO thing. It’s an XBLA title though, but I’m hoping for something casual in the co-op multiplayer department, something I can survive with my friends.

May offers Capcom’s new IP Remember Me, which uses a cyberpunk setting to explore memetics, memory, self and personality in an age where all of these can be stored on a harddrive. Last of Us should be an automatic buy for anyone with a PS3 at this point, while Splinter Cell: Blacklist should be approached with caution due to a strange adherence to Sam after Ironside jumped ship.

And that’s it for the first half of the year! There’s a ton more stuff post-May or TBA 2013 that I will get to next time.

  1. A list of things to respond to! In general it occurs to me that I’m really behind on videogames, in that I was unaware of most of these games, or at elast assumed they were already out, or wold be out in some vague hazy future time.
    My thoughts on your thoughts.

    Anarchy rains: I’d never even heard of this until yesterday. I was idly browsing a friends game list on Xbox and saw what appeared to be the image of a Fallout super-mutant next to “Anarchy Reigns” and since my fallout sense had not tingled I wrote it off to coincidence, played a lot of minecraft, talked to you, and then read about it here. Eh, brawler.

    Ford DMC: I’ve never been a fan of this series. I played the first game and enjoyed it enough, in that I rented it, beat it, and had fun for those two days and have never felt the need to play it again. I then passed by all the following games only to constantly see this remake popping up everywhere. It still doesn’t interest me, i’ve heard good things but I assume it’s similar to it’s predecessors and probably not my cup of tea.

    Dead Space 3×2: I had little idea that this was coming, except that I recall you mentioning a while back it would have co-op. I liked the first Dead Space, less because it was scary (for it was not) and more because it felt like an action-based ResEvil game with better controls. Also, everything looked worn and used and lived in and you were this blue collar bloke. Good times. Never played the second one, the screen shots and concept art appeared to abandon the earlier atheistic and also i’m poor.
    I may eventually play this one but I imagine it will be very far down the line.

    Aliens: Space Marines!: So i’ve seen mentions of this but have remained oddly uninterested. Seems weird since the movie is a deep favorite of mine and I could listen to a pulse rifle fire for hours. I had no idea you were interested in it either. Sounds promising, if I get a chance to play a demo I’ll give it a run through and tell you my fanboy thoughts.

    Tomb Raider on an island: I’m really excited for this, I love the new design work and the seeming focus on making Lara a rough character who has to survive by grit and pain. If it plays like uncharted i’ll still be happy, though I also see the humor there. That said I’ve been waiting for something to come along to have the balls to depict a capable female protagonist as getting the shit kicked out of her and she actually has to survive by putting up and shutting up, none of this ‘sarcastic smirk’ bull shit.
    You wanna hang with Dr. Jones and John McClain then you need to get a little dirty.

    Gears of War, the early days: Gears is fun, and I like it. I imagine they will do nothing of the sort but it would be kinda neat if this was a different type of gears game. Anyways, I look forward to trying it out.

    Bioshock, up high: I totally thought this had come out already. I mostly heard about the box controversy when it was announced that an amateur cosplayer was picked to be the official model, so still good work by the team. Despite never having played the other games, this one has me kind of excited. It sits no where on my priority list but i’d love to play it one day.

    Army of TWO, satan’s clubhouse: I missed your late entry into this franchise and thus never noticed how into it you were. I loved the first game a lot but still haven’t finished the second. One day me and Jon gotta do that. And then i’ll make him buy this one too.

    Fuse, cause it’s gonna explode!: Never heard of this, but if it’s selling point is that it’s a co-op game with unique characters and humor I say “So the basics, eh?”
    Also a game that tries to sell me by saying it’s ‘funny’ always irks me. I’m funny, you’re funny, good writers are funny; funny video games are rarely funny without first selling me on solid game mechanics.

    Lost Planet 3: Don’t even care enough to give it a funny name.

    Dead Island, water based subtitle: Missed out on the first one, I suppose now it will drop drastically in price so maybe i’ll give it a go.

    Injustice, completely missing what people like about heroes: I hate this game, hate, HATE. Stupid 1on1 combat bullshit with a ‘dark’ plotline to justify it. Sure people like to debate if Flash could take Superman, but most of us realize it wouldn’t be in a fist fight. With this game I can finally have that Harley Quinn vs Superman fight i’ve always wanted, especially when he uppercuts her into space and then slams her back down and she totally survives because shes human.
    I rate it stupid.

    More like Municipality of Decay, right?: Never heard of this, but i’m right there with you. Zombie survival with friends? hell yeah, as long as it’s not L4D style.

    Remember Me eddie?: I actually watched a trailer on this the other day. I was left feeling like i’d watched a trailer for a Final Fantasy game. It looked pretty bad, with poorly done over-dramatic dialogue, and just general bull that I couldn’t get excited about. I won’t say it will be a bad game, but color me disinterested.

    Last of us, last to know: I own a PS3, and I vaguely recall you mentioning this. Why is this a must buy for me?

  2. Dead Space was also never quite scary for me, but it set the right mood and knew how to handle tension. I considered it to be a better Aliens game than most Aliens games for this reason.

    On that note, I also have that kind of attitude about Aliens since, as much as they try to gussy it up, it will just be a solid shooter that reminds me alot of Doom 3. Which isn’t a bad thing.

    Overstrike / FUSE is made by Insomniac games, makers of Ratchet and Clank (among other titles). I found the trailer to strike the right tone, even if it wasn’t funny outright. I would link that, but I do fear the game has significantly changed in focus since then, so I won’t.

    Oh hell, why not. Old Trailer vs New Trailer

    Lost Planet is the lost franchise for the Xbox. The original was a launch title that impressed on a number of fronts. Years later, the sequel landed and removed the good stuff while leaving all the bad stuff as is. I have a soft spot for it. Despite its shortcomings, I do enjoy Lost Planet 2 for being a bit more open-ended and co-op friendly.

    Injustice: if I may be so bold,it may be overstating things to say it misses what everyone likes about heroes. People enjoy superhero fights, and the production values for this one will make it worth looking at, at least.

    But no superhero game is going to do what we’ve often discussed, and offer a “realistic” mode where Harley gets murdered by Supes passing the sound barrier with his hand wrapped around her neck. Despite that, I usually have fun with these games anyway.

    Last of Us is made by Uncharted’s Naughty Dog and is set in an apocalyptic future where a massive infestation of the cordyceps fungi (the zombie mushroom) decimates humanity as the infected (of course) turn on the rest of humanity. You play as Joel and lead a young woman, Ellie, through the devastated cities that nature has begun to reclaim.

    The major selling point of the game is that, through its heavily scripted sequences (some may call it “dynamic”), animations, voice acting and AI, the game makes it seem like you can push and it gives.

    An example of this is if you’re spotted by bad guys, they may rush you until they see you have a gun, then one of them shouts “he’s got a gun!” and their behavior changes accordingly. They will also do things like notice when you’re out of ammo or beg for their lives when you have the upper hand. Ellie dynamically comes into play, offering commentary, advice, distractions or timely interventions (such that she’s capable of doing as a young teenage girl).

    It looks very, very good.

  3. Kudos on the Dead Space/Aliens comparison. That actually makes me want to go and play it right now. Also, did you see that having a Mass Effect 3 save will unlock N7 armor on Dead Space 3? No word yet on how color choice effects the DS’s ending though.

    I looked at those trailers. The original actually piqued my interest, though I have qualms about the art direction for the main character. The second trailer killed what interest I had and showed me the main character could look worse.
    That said, both trailers might not be too dissimilar, it feels like being sold on an awesome trailer and cinematics that are not supported via in-game engine.

    I still can’t get behind Injustice. Even hand waving the imbalance between characters (which irks me but is not my primary problem with the game) it’s still about the tone. It’s not even presented as a light, fun, throw down between oddly chosen entities (best example here, Marvel vs. Capcom) but instead it’s billed as everyone in the DC universe joining the dark side and having a big ass smack down. It runs counter to the characters and counter to what many of them are meant to stand for. And that’s where the imbalance really strikes me wrong, if you are going to make a plot for this, and run a story line where Flash tuns evil, why is he not snapping necks and rupturing organs?
    It’s darkness for darkness sake, and it makes no sense. I can take one, with difficulty, but not both.

    That said, it gives me an idea for a game that plays off the old “Batman has a plan for everyone” plot. I’d like to see and Arkham City style game (City over Asylum due to scale) where the League has been taken over by some dark force (Starro or an eclipse crystal form the cartoon) and Baman realizes that it’s time for his omega scenario…and doesn’t friggin’ do it. He’s Batman, at his core he doesn’t want anyone to die. So instead you set out to take down the JL with every increasing levels of gadgets while trying to find a way to revert them.
    And at the end, when you have all the gadgets, it’s mano-a-supermano time.
    Probably actually as a play for time…because Bats would lose.
    Sorry, rambling.

    Also I now recall “Last of Us”, mostly because of the mushroom thing, and I think you compared it to “The Road.” I’m on board.

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