Preview Guide: Top Video Games to Look Forward to in 2013
Star Trek: The Video Game (April 23, 2013)
Most of you probably know a bit about the whole "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" debate. It's been raging for decades.
Star Wars has, as a whole, been winning where game design is concerned. While there have certainly been a few flops here and there; as a whole, the franchise has provided a brilliant source of inspiration and material for game developers the world over. Star Trek, on the other hand...not so much. A few titles have managed to shine through, but the franchise has largely been ignored.
J.J. Abrams and Sony are looking to change that with Star Trek: The Video Game. STTVG will put players in the shoes of either Spock or Kirk in a co-op shooter. Each character has a slightly different focus - Kirk is all about tackling things head-on, while Spock prefers strategy and stealth. Their weapons, too, vary somewhat, and each character's arsenal and capabilities can be ugpraded as one progresses through the game. Sounds fairly promising, I suppose: here's hoping this is the title which puts Star Trek on the game development map.
Dead Island: Riptide (April 23, 2013)
There's no question that the initial launch of Dead Island was a rather terrible affair: it's something developer Techland readily admits. It appears, however, that they're looking to correct their old mistakes with Dead Island: Riptide, which is billed as a straight continuation of the first game. It's not meaty enough to be a sequel, notes Eurogamer, but neither is it short enough to be considered an add-on.
Just like Dead Island at launch, no one's really sure what it is. Techland has readily admitted that it will, ultimately, be more of the same: the characters will find themselves on a new island, with another, more physical combat-oriented character joining their ranks. Aside from this, what we've seen thus far is a series of Left 4 Dead-esque sequences where the player must defend themselves against a massive horde of zombies with barricades, turrets, and other weaponry.
Injustice: Gods Among Us (April 2013)
"My superhero could totally beat up your superhero!"
That argument right there is a timeless one in the comic book world; a conflict which has plagued geek-kind for years upon years. Come April, it looks like people will be able to finally answer that question: fans of the Superman vs. Batman debate can finally put their money where their mouth is.
Of course, superhero-themed fighting games are hardly anything new: so why does everybody seem to be so excited about Injustice: Gods Among Us?
For one, it places a huge focus on realistic graphics: everything looks real, and as a result, it feels more real. For another, the title features a modified Mortal Kombat engine, fully interactive and destructible stages and a completely unique and definitive skill-set for each and every hero and villain. Not only that, it's completely over the top, and the developers actually plan to provide an in-world explanation of why, for example; Superman doesn't just automatically win against anyone not sporting kryptonite knuckles.
So...yeah. It's actually got quite a bit for people to be excited about.
DARK (April 26, 2013)
There are a lot of folks excited about Kalypso's upcoming stealth game, DARK. They have good reason to be: you play as new vampire Eric Bane, who's got a whole host of mystical powers at his disposal, which allow him to keep to the shadows. There are no guns, and it's actually possible to play through the game without having to kill a single mook. In fact, the game actually rewards you for doing so.
That aside, DARK seems to be a grim, fairly linear vampire stealth / mystery title... which is actually pretty awesome.
Only a couple of big games on the plate for May thus far: Naughty Dog's The Last of Us and Remember Me, from Capcom.
The Last of Us (May 7, 2013)
The Last of Us takes place twenty years after the end of the world. The United States Military rules what's left of humanity in the States with an iron fist, cordoning everybody off within tightly surveilled quarantine zones. The main character, Joel, is a black-market merchant who promises a friend of his that he'll get a young girl, Ellie, somewhere safe, which basically amounts to somewhere away from the military.
The fact that the apocalypse-decimated outside world is considered safer than the quarantine zones kind of drives home the fact that the people from the military aren't exactly the types you'd want to invite to dinner. It won't be easy.
Along the way, Joel will have to contend with vicious scavengers, infected carriers of the fungal parasite that wiped out mankind, and the military itself, which is determined to bring the young girl back regardless of the cost.
The title's reportedly going to explore the more human side of the apocalypse, with a number of real, impactful moral choices.
Remember Me (May 2013)
Essentially, Remember Me is what you'd get if you took Total Recall and smashed it together with Uncharted and Mirror's Edge, then added a dash of Thief for good measure. Basically, it's a stealth platformer in which you can alter the memories of anyone you please. See, there's this new social network which records and stores memories (seems like a great idea, right?), and since it's inception its founder has grown to be one of the biggest organizations in the world.
You play as an amnesiac memory hunter who opposes that organization. It'll be a welcome change from many of the rather violent titles due in 2013, and could end up being one of the best games of the year if developer Dontnod plays its cards right.
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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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