Posted on Monday, December 31 @ 08:50:00 Eastern by Nicholas Tan
Our Best of 2012 Awards have finished, and we're already excited for 2013. Yes, this jaded critic is actually excited about something (har har). Not only is the Game Revolution staff ready for the announcement for the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles, but the first three months of 2013 are stacked with new intellectual properties and more than one stunning reboot. Still, let's not talk about The Last Guardian or Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It hurts.
All of the staff members were democratically asked to give their Top 10 most anticipated games for 2013 (which we've graciously supplied on the last page), and the following 12 games featured here received three or more votes. Interestingly, Gears of War: Judgment was almost left out, but along with Devin, both Keri and Kuulei (yep, the two girls) came to save the day for the title. Nearly another dozen received 2 votes each and over 40 games were nominated, which shows just how jam-packed 2013 is shaping up to be.
So anyone who says that 2013 will be terrible are just being impatient. You know who you are... *squints eyes*
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Some "Top" lists like to take the slow-burn approach, reveal the most anticipated game at the end of the article to lure readers to the last page for extra hits. Screw that. BioShock Infinite deserves better, and we all know it. I mean that literally. Every Game Revolution staff member who was polled has BioShock Infinite on their list, the only one to do so. That Ken Levine says it will have an amazing ending and won't have multiplayer only makes us want it more.
Any game critic worth their talk has played the first BioShock and remembers - would you kindly - why it was so pivotal. Where Bioshock 2 is based off the original title, BioShock Infinite introduces us to Columbia, a fantastical city suspended by blimps and balloons. If Rapture is severely underwater, Columbia is severely over-water, symbolizing such lofty ideals as American exceptionalism, imperialism, colonialism, isolationism, jingoism, and any other -isms generally known to be full of hot air. A civil war has broken out in this dystopian island in the sky between the Founders and the Vox Populi (how can GR not admire this?), and it's your job as dishonored, bellicose agent Booker DeWitt to rescue a woman with magical gifts named Elizabeth who has been imprisoned in Columbia.
Of course, this is one case of damsel in distress that's far more complicated than it looks, and its development has seemingly irked everyone, from fans disappointed with the seemingly generic box art and white supremacists upset over the game's message, to Ken Levine revealing a poll for reversible box art in response to the fans and critics upset that the fans are upset that the art is upsetting. Stay classy, everyone. The only complaint I think is justified is about the game's delay from October 2012 to February 2013 and then to March 2013. But the best things in life are worth waiting for. I won't sit in the corner and pout, I swear...
Beyond: Two Souls
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Quantic Dream
Release Date: 2013
If Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy say anything about David Cage, it's that he can't get enough of modern thrillers, realistic facial modeling, and brain-melting story branching. And if the trailer for the studio's new project Beyond: Two Souls says anything, he also can't get enough close-up shots of Ellen Page. We can't either.
You would think law enforcement would know better than to think that assault rifles will accomplish anything against a teenage girl who has a ghost for a friend. Haven't they seen any movie before? At any rate, their ineptitude means that protagonist Jodie Holmes will likely survive most threats unscathed, in a script that's reportedly about 2000 pages long and spans her life from a girl of eight to a young adult of twenty-three. That the game will deal with the afterlife is an understatement.
Beyond: Two Souls will also use PlayStation Move technology, which would be a bummer if it weren't for Quantic Dream's prior success with Heavy Rain's Move integration. The last time I used the Move was for Datura, which means I can now associate the Move with a particular type of video game: crazy s***.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Though it may not seem that long, the last main entry in the SimCity series, SimCity 4, came out nearly a decade ago. Since then, we've set the thought of a possible reboot aside, on the edge of impossibiity, until it was revealed earlier in 2012 at a seemingly unimportant EA conference at GDC. The crowd was floored.
With more development time under its belt, Maxis soon showed their progress at E3, where I had a chance to view the game's new GlassBox simulation engine and a beta multiplayer session where three players were challenged to create an international airport. With only one person working alone, it would be nigh-impossible to accumulate all the materials, population, and Simoleans required, but it's no sweat for three players working side by side.
Along with online interaction not seen since SimCity 2000 Network Edition and amazingly upgraded graphics, SimCity will feature finite resources and curved roads. It will also support mods after launch, though fans have voiced concerns at the game's purported requirement for a constant online connection to Electronic Arts. We'll have to see whether this will ultimately help or hurt the game when it releases in March.
Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: January 2013
Japan always gets nice things first. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (or Ni No Kuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joō) was released back in November 2011 in Japan, and we've been twiddling our thumbs for Level-5 to localize the full game for the rest of the world.
Any Studio Ghibhli fan will want to place a copy of Ni No Kuni next to the likes of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. If you have no idea what that last sentence meant, then please replace it with "You'll want it because it looks pretty. And shame on you for not knowing what Studio Ghibli is." The gorgeous hand-drawn animations alone are worth the purchase price. And if that isn't enough, the international release will include both Japanese and English voice tracks—the way it's supposed to be done.
The story of a young boy named Oliver who wishes to see his mother again is something anyone can relate to, while stepping into an alternate magical world alongside a bumbling sprite with a lantern for a nose is simply fantastical. Ni No Kuni has the power to revive that nostalgic and wondrous quality that only the best RPG classics have. Just less than a month to go!
Gears of War: Judgment
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Epic Games, People Can Fly
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Don't worry, guys. Cliff Bleszinski made sure to put his stamp on this one before moving on to bigger and better things. Maybe you still haven't gotten enough of Delta Squad after the epic finale in Gears of War 3. Maybe you miss Baird's wise-cracks and Mr. Cole Train. Because Epic Games is counting on it.
In Gears of War: Judgment, a prequel to the main Gears of War trilogy, a 14-years-younger Lt. Damon Barid leads Cole and two new COGs named Sofia and Garron as Kilo Squad. Near the beginning of the Locust War, Col. Ezra Loomis accuses the squad for treason and stealing experimental technology, for which they must explain themselves and thereby narrate what transpired. As you muster your way through Baird's past memories, you must slaughter waves upon waves of Locusts, as this installment will allow for the most Locusts on screen at once. They really are pests.
The main feature, though, is the new class-based multiplayer mode called Overrun, which pits five COGs against five Locusts in specific roles such as medic, scout, engineer, and soldier. Locusts get their share of ticks, wretches, grenadiers, and other nasty creepy-crawlies, if just to troll the opposing COGs. And we all know you like trolls.
Grand Theft Auto V
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar North
Release Date: Q2 2013
Following well in the footsteps of its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto V has already brewed controversy, from whether the series will ever feature a female protagonist, whether Rockstar will oblige PC fans ad Nintendo with a Wii U port despite its lack of family-friendliness, and whether it's worth having three criminal protagonists: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. At any rate, Rockstar has dispelled projections of the game's release this year and still hasn't given us a solid release date apart from the vague Q2 2013.
But how can we not like it? There are shootouts on jet skis, sharks, mini-submarines, jets, blimps, and Rottweilers riding shotgun in cars. Woof woof. Set in the fictional city of Los Santos in San Andreas, GTA V will feel familiar to those living in Los Angeles and obviously those who have played San Andreas on PS2. This game's version of Los Santas has been hawked as the greatest open world that Rockstar has attempted, beyond that of any three Grand Theft Autos combined.
In story missions, players can swap between all three characters as they conquer objectives together and can swap between them freely while exploring Los Santos to the fullest. Each protagonist can play a variety of sports and practice yoga and body-building, but will also reportedly have autonomy outside of your control. Let's hope they don't get themselves killed.
And that's just all that Rockstar has cared to reveal so far. They know they've got us. By the balls, more like.