Looking Forward: 15 Games to Look Out For in Q1 2013

We are closing in on the end of the 2012 year, which means we here at Gamersyndrome are busy working on our game of the year awards. Now is also a great time to take a few minutes and look ahead to what games await us after we get out of this short gaming drought. Due to all of the recent game delays over the last few months, the first quarter of 2013 is going to be packed with quality titles for gamers to dive into. Do you know what games are scheduled to release in the first three months of next year? Maybe you have been too busy playing 2012’s games to worry about that. In any case, here are 15 games that are releasing in Q1 2013 that show potential to be great. Assuming of course that the world doesn’t end in a couple weeks. The games are listed by release date.

1. DmC: Devil May Cry- January 15th

The Ninja Theory developed Devil May Cry reboot was first announced back at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, and immediately divided fans of the series because of Dante’s new look. However, despite how you may feel about the new Dante, it’s hard to deny that the game looks promising from a gameplay perspective. The fast paced hack and slash action is back, and the recently released demo has shown that the game controls admirably. Also, the fact that Vergil will be a relevant character in the game can only be considered a plus. The demo also showed that Dante’s classic one-liners are making a return. On the downside, there was a particular scene in the demo that used profanity seemingly just for the sake of using it, making the interaction between the two characters come across as unnecessarily juvenile. All things considered, DmC: Devil May Cry looks like a promising action title, and will hopefully please series veterans and newcomers alike when it releases on January 15th.

Anticipation rating: 7/10

2. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2- January 15th

Sniper: Ghost Warrior was an average game at best, despite having some cool features. Technical glitches marred the title and kept it from achieving the quality it otherwise could have reached. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will look to avoid that same fate when it releases next month. Developer City Interactive has stated that this sequel will be more polished than the original while keeping the aspects that were done well in the original. Will all aspects of the game come together in unison to make a great title? We will find out on January 15th.

Anticipation rating: 6/10

3. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch- January 22nd

Ni No Kuni was first announced back in 2008 in the Japanese publication Famitsu. Level-5 and renowned Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli announced that they would be working together to make the game, which immediately garnered the game some serious buzz. The game released in Japan last year and received a 36/40 from Famitsu, garnering high praise. A demo for the game was recently released on the Playstation Store, and it showed exactly why Ni No Kuni is a game to keep your eye on. The demo only contained two different parts, both consisting of  a boss fight, but the beautiful visuals and simplistic combat made for a great taste of what the full game will be like. There were a couple issues regarding some of the dialogue, but nothing that threatens to break  the game as a whole. If you are a fan of RPG’s and you don’t know about Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, you owe it to yourself to learn about it and see what it’s about.

Anticipation Rating: 8/10

4. Dead Space 3- February 5th

Dead Space 3 is one of the most highly anticipated titles of next year, and for good reason. The third installment in the sci-fi survival horror series will take place a couple of months after Isaac and Ellie escape from the Sprawl. After meeting up with a man named John Carver, the three make their way to a frozen planet called Tau Volantis, where Ellie is separated from Isaac and John. While the president of EA has assured people that Dead Space 3 will not be moving away from its horror roots, some fans are still concerned given the seemingly heavy emphasis that has been put on co-op. The game can of course still be played as a single player campaign, but a good majority of the marketing for the game has been focused on the inclusion of co-op. Whether playing through the game with a buddy will severely diminish the scare factor or not remains to be seen, but if that turns out to be the case then there is a simple solution- play it alone. Dead Space 3 will release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on February 5th in North America and February 8th in Europe.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

5. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time- February 5th

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the first new adventure for everyone’s favorite klepto Raccoon since Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves released in 2005. The franchise also has a new developer this time around, Sanzaru Games, the team behind the HD treatment of the first three Sly games. Thieves in Time will have several playable characters including Sly, Bentley, Murray, Carmelita Fox, and various ancestors of Sly’s. A demo of the game was made available to people who purchased the Ratchet and Clank Collection when it released earlier this year. Although the demo only contains one mission, it is enough to show that Sanzaru is taking this project seriously. The demo was a lot of fun, leading me to believe that the franchise is in good hands. Aspiring thieves and fans of platformers alike will be able to get their hands on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time when it releases for the PS3 and PS Vita on February 5th.

Anticipation Rating: 8/10

6. Aliens: Colonial Marines- February  12th

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a FPS being developed by Gearbox Software. The events of the game take place after the events of the film Alien 3. You control Corporal Christopher Winter, a colonial marine who is leading a mission to find Ellen Ripley. The game will feature all of the famous Xenomorph types from the films, along with new types that Gearbox has created itself. There will be no HUD available, instead being replaced by a motion sensor that will alert you of any enemy movement. Several settings from the films will appear in the game, along with brand new settings. There will also be both competitive and co-operative multiplayer. The Co-op will support 2 players for local split-screen play, or up to 4 players online. The competitive multiplayer will have several different modes, many of which have yet to be announced. With tight FPS controls, an intriguing plot, and an obvious love for the source material, Aliens: Colonial Marines is shaping up to possibly be one of the sleeper hits of 2013.

Anticipation rating: 9/10

7.  Crysis 3- February 19th

After the mediocre reception of Crysis 2, developer Crytek wanted to make sure they pulled out all of the stops in order to make the third installment the best one yet. Crysis 3 has you in the role of Prophet as he returns to New York, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. Prophet is on a mission to take down the Cell Corporation, who has created nanodomes as part of some nefarious plot. Crytek has recently been quoted as saying that Crysis 3 stretches the graphical limitations of current-gen consoles as far as they can go. That alone warrants enough curiosity to try the game out when it releases. Combine that with solid gameplay, and Crytek’s goal of making this the best Crysis game yet starts to seem very attainable.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

8. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance- February 19th

Ahhh good ol’ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. MGS:R has gone through its fair share of development woes and changes, but now it seems that everything has been worked out and that the game will release in a few short months. Fans of the Metal Gear Solid series seemed at first to be very upset about Raiden assuming the lead role in another Metal Gear game, but the hate seems to have died down as more and more details and videos for the game have been released. MGS:R will take place four years after Guns of the Patriots, and it will follow Raiden as he performs jobs for a private military contractor. Platinum Games could have gone the pure action route and taken stealth completely out of Revengeance, but thankfully they realized that fans of the franchise would have been severely disappointed by that move. Instead, they decided to leave certain stealth elements in the game to help balance out the frenetic action that Platinum Games has all but mastered at this point. If all off the pieces can come together, Revengeance could end up being an outstanding game. It releases for PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 19th.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

9. Rayman Legends- February 26th

Rayman Legends is the sequel to the stellar 2011 platformer Rayman Origins. The Nintendo Wii U was able to score Rayman Legends as an exclusive, much to the dismay of PS3 and 360 owners. Legends is keeping the same art style and core gameplay as its predecessor, although new mechanics will be introduced using the Wii U gamepad. A new character, Barbara, will be playable along with Rayman, Globox, and other returning characters from Origins. A demo for the game was just released yesterday on the Wii U eShop, allowing players to try their hand at three different levels, each one with a different feel than the others. Given the outstanding quality of Rayman Origins, I don’t see Michel Ancel and the talented group at Ubisoft Montpellier taking a step backwards with Legends. However, some concern has been expressed regarding the touch controls on the gamepad. Namely, how long will they remain fun before they just become irksome? All will be answered when the game releases for the Wii U on February 26th.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

10. Tomb Raider- March 5th

Crystal Dynamics has been working on their Tomb Raider reboot since 2008, and now the finish line is in sight. Tomb Raider has been one of the most talked about games over the last few months, with conversations ranging from the grittier look of Lara to the controversial “rape” comment that was later reworded. One thing is for certain, we are going to see a darker and more mature Tomb Raider game than we have in the past. Despite some people comparing the look of the gameplay to the Uncharted series, Crystal Dynamics has assured people that Tomb Raider will have a feel that is all its own. Combat, which has been a consistently weak aspect of the franchise, is also getting overhauled. From what has been shown of the game so far, combat actually looks fun, which isn’t something that has been said about very many Tomb Raider games. I trust Crystal Dynamics to give us a great Tomb Raider game, and I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the final game. Tomb Raider will release for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on March 5th.

Anticipation rating: 9/10

11. God of War: Ascension- March 12th

God of War: Ascension is looking to bring a first to the series, multiplayer. The multiplayer in Ascension will support eight players that will be made up of two four-person teams. A lot of people have questioned how well a multiplayer component is going to work in a God of War game, but from what I have seen so far it looks promising. On the single player side, the story in Ascension will take place about 10 years before the events of the original God of War. You control Kratos as he looks to break free from his bonds to Ares, following the god’s terrible betrayal. Sony Santa Monica is completely revamping the combat system in order to make it more fluid. Also, it has been said that the single player campaign will probably be a little shorter than that of previous main entries in the series, which is somewhat concerning given that the campaigns in the series have never been very long to begin with. Either way, the prospect of an enthralling multiplayer experience in a God of War title makes Ascension a game to watch. God of War: Ascension will release for the PS3 on March 12th.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

12. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm- February 12th

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty released in the summer of 2010 to high critical praise and commercial sales. Fans of the original Starcraft had to wait 12 years for this sequel, but thankfully they wont have to wait nearly as long for the next installment of that sequel. Whereas Wings of Liberty’s campaign focused on the Terrans, the campaign for Heart of the Swarm will focus on the Zerg, with you controlling Sarah Kerrigan. Heart of the Swarm is said to include some RPG elements, such as leveling Sarah up as you complete missions. Aside from the single player, the multiplayer will feature a handful of new units while changing the abilities of certain others. The campaign is expected to have about 20 new missions and will take place a couple of years after the events in Wings of Liberty. Will the Zerg’s campaign match the brilliance of the Terran’s? Only time will tell, and that time is coming soon. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will release for PC on February 12th.

Anticipation rating: 7/10

13. Gears of War: Judgement- March 19th

Gears of War: Judgement is a prequel to the original Gears series, and will focus on Damon Baird and Augustus Cole as the protagonists. With just over three months until the release of Judgement, the amount of information given on the title has actually been surprisingly low. Beyond the general plot outline and a few multiplayer details, we really don’t know a whole lot about the next installment in the Gears series. However, it is being developed by Epic games and People Can Fly, so its quality isn’t really in question. The real question is if it will live up to the high bar that was set by the original trilogy. It isn’t enough to just make a good Gears game at this point, it needs to be great. I don’t know if it will be or not, but I plan on finding out come March 19th when it releases for the Xbox 360.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

14. Bioshock Infinite- March 26th

Bioshock Infinite is easily my most anticipated game for the first quarter of 2013. Every screenshot and gameplay video released for it just makes it look better and better. Bioshock Infinite leaves the underwater city of Rapture behind in favor of Columbia, a city built in the sky. After working on the original Bioshock, Ken Levine and the team at Irrational Games decided to pass on developing the sequel, which many people feel is the reason that it didn’t live up to the quality of the original. However, Levine and company are back for Bioshock Infinite, and it is shaping up to look like the best entry in the series yet. Along with amazing graphics, Infinite is also a thinking man’s game. A myriad of different political and social issues contribute to the underlying theme of the game. There are also quite a few crazy looking characters that deserve your attention, including Songbird and the Boys of Silence. The amount of reasons that Bioshock Infinite should be on everyone’s radar are too plentiful to list here, but suffice to say it is likely to appear on many “Game of the Year” lists at the end of next year.

Anticipation rating: 10/10

15. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel- March 26th

Are you ready for another game where two people seemingly take down an entire country’s worth of bad guys by themselves? Yes, you can argue that the premise is ridiculous, but if that stopped us from playing games then we wouldn’t play very many games in all honesty. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel is the newest entry in the Army of Two series, and it is introducing some pretty big changes. For one, you no longer control series staples Salem and Rios, instead you will be put in the shoes of two operatives simply codenamed Alpha and Bravo. Visceral Games has stated that they want to move away from the overwhelming “bro-mance” feel of the previous entries. Visceral is also looking to make a game with a darker and more mature subject matter, which is why they are putting players in Mexico and tasking them with taking down a Mexican drug cartel. There are a lot of horrible things going on over in Mexico with the drug cartel’s, so hopefully Visceral respects that and shows the subject matter the maturity it deserves. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel will release for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 26th.

Anticipation rating: 7/10

2013 should be a fantastic year for gaming, and the first three months look like they could set the tone for the entire year. What games on this list have you excited? Which ones are you looking forward to that I didn’t mention? Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come talk to us on our forums.




Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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