Preview Guide: Top Video Games to Look Forward to in 2013
March brings us a rather interesting selection of titles, and a lot of testosterone. Fans of Lara Croft might want to check out Tomb Raider, a reboot of the series which, although controversial, is still shaping up nicely. There'll also be a new Gears of War game for those of you interested in cover-based shooters; God of War: Ascension and Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel will also be making their debut.
All that aside, March could very well be considered The Month of The Prequel: we have no less than three major franchises receiving prequels here.
Oh, and there's also the next episode of Starcraft II. That one's kind of a big deal. What else is slated for a march or Q1 release? Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, Metro: Last Light, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wii Fit U, Company of Heroes 2, and more.
Tomb Raider (March 5, 2013)
Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider features a complete reconstruction of Lara Croft's character and origins. While it's likely that she still ends up being the same badass relic hunter many of us grew to love back in the 90s; the game starts out with her as a frightened young woman.
The core elements of Tomb Raider are probably still there, in some respect, though developer Crystal Dynamics has promised they'll be adding a number of elements that are "completely new" to the franchise. So far, the game looks fairly promising, even if it is a complete departure from the original Lara Croft.
Now, if only they could learn to stop shoving their feet in their mouths.
God of War: Ascension (March 13, 2013)
Given that Kratos didn't really leave much room for a God of War sequel (SPOILER: he killed everybody), the next entry in the franchise is, naturally, going to be a prequel. Yet another prequel, God of War: Ascension focuses on Kratos's journey from soldier to god. The story really doesn't matter all that much: you're Kratos, you're angry, and you're going to kill everything that made you angry. Got it? Good.
That isn't what's got people buzzing: it's the fact that Ascension is going to primarily focus on muliplayer, having each player swear allegiance to one of the gods (which god you swear on will determine certain traits and characteristics of your character). Then they'll have to kill one another to level up and gain access to better equipment, which can itself be levelled up.
It's an interesting choice, and it'll definitely be fascinating to see how it pans out.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (March 5, 2013)
Slated for release on the Nintendo 3DS some time this march, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is something of a return to the roots of the frachise.
The title will primarily be played in 2D and 2.5D, with the occasional foray into the third dimension. The return to the second dimension isn't the only way Mirror of Fate pays homage to old school Castlevania, either: the title will place an emphasis on non-linear exploration, and put players back into the shoes of Trevor Belmont.
Metro: Last Night (March 2013)
The original Metro 2033 was a pretty awesome (albeit inarguably grim) title. Over in Russia, a nuclear holocaust nearly wiped out mankind. What few survivors remained had taken shelter from the cold, radiation, and mutants on the surface by retreating into Moscow's old Metro lines.
Metro: Last Light picks up about a year after Metro 2034 left off. Not surprisingly, things haven't gotten much better: mankind seems determined to wipe itself out entirely; station-cities will (somewhat ironically) be locked in a power struggle for a doomsday device. The title will feature new weapons, improved stealth mechanics, and a much greater focus on the outdoors.
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (March 12, 2013)
The next "episode" of Starcraft II hits shelves on March 12. Heart of the Swarm will add a new, 20-mission campaign focused on the Zerg, a number of new units, and several changes and optimizations to multiplayer.
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, will take to the battlefield, and between missions, players will have the opportunity to mutate and upgrade their Zerg troops; unlocking enough mutations for a particular species will allow that species to evolve into a different "strain".
Gears of War: Judgment (March 19, 2013)
Again, the third game in the Gears trilogy didn't really leave a lot of room for a sequel: it makes sense, then, that the next game should take place right at the moment when everything went straight to hell. Gears of War: Judgment tells the tale of Emergence Day, back when the Locust horde was completely new, compeltely terrifying, and seemingly unstoppable.
Damon Baird and Augustus Cole will be the main characters, and the plot will center around their efforts to clear Kilo Squad of accusations of treason in the wake of the Locust War's beginning.
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A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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