Return of the Sequels: Video Game Releases for 2013!
This year is looking good for video games. Several popular video game franchises have sequels coming out and the best part is that most of them are being released during the first quarter of the year. New video game titles are also coming out and most of them are looking interesting. Without further ado, we start the list with…
Title: Anarchy Reigns (PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Beat ‘em up
Release Dates: JP July 2012, NA January 8, 2013, EU January 11, 2013
Anarchy Reigns is a single player beat ‘em up action game developed by Platinum Games. This game was developed by the same guys behind Bayonetta and Vanquish, not to mention the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Reveangeance! These guys definitely know how to deliver a heavy hitting action game. But what sets this game apart from other beat ‘em ups such as Dynasty Warriors and Sengoku Basara you ask? Online multiplayer gameplay baby! Link up with other players from all over the world and beat the crap out of them!
Title: DmC: Devil May Cry (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Hack and slash
Release Dates: NA January 15, 2013, JP January 17, 2013
Capcom’s celebrated hack and slash action game franchise returns with DmC: Devil May Cry. The game appears to be a reboot of the series with the main hero, Dante, sporting a new look and new powers. Despite the game not receiving a favorable reception among fans, it’s still interesting to see what direction Ninja Theory, developers of Enslaved and Heavenly Sword, has steered this ground breaking action game series.
Title: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)
Genre: Role Playing Game
Release Dates: JP November 17, 2011, NA January 22, 2013, EU January 25, 2013
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a Japanese role playing game developed by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli. Level-5 is a Japanese game development company responsible for creating the critically acclaimed Professor Layton series for the Nintendo DS and Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the Playstation 2. The game was co-developed by Studio Ghibli, a world renowned Japanese animation film studio known for producing critically acclaimed anime feature films like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and more recently, The Secret World of Arriety. The game couldn’t be in better hands. The game tells the story of Ollie, a boy who travels to another world with the hopes of finding his late mother. The game promises to deliver stunning visuals as well as an engaging story with these two companies at the helm.
Title: Strike Suit Zero (Windows)
Genre: Mech/Space Flight Combat
Release Date: January 24, 2013
It’s been a while since the PC had a space flight combat simulator that allows you to control a space fighter craft that even transforms into a mech. Strike Suit Zero is Born Ready Games’ first title. It puts the player inside the cockpit of the Strike Suit, a highly advanced transforming spacecraft, to fight in a war that will determine mankind’s future. Part of the budget for this game was crowd funded in Kickstarter and the company exceeded their goal of $100,000, which goes to show how much faith people have in their project. The concept appears grandiose and the trailers have been epic so far. The visuals are great and the mech design sports a japanese anime look. The Strike Suit itself is reminiscent of Variable Fighters in the Macross series. This is not surprising since Junji Okubo of Appleseed: Ex Machina fame handled the ship and mech designs for this title. Born Ready Games might actually have a winner in Strike Suit Zero.
Title: Hitman: HD Trilogy (MAC OSX, Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Stealth Action
Release Date: NA January 29, 2013
This stealth action game franchise started on November 2000 with the release of Hitman: Codename 47 in Europe. The trilogy includes three of the series previous games: Silent Assassin, Contracts and Blood Money. All three games are remastered in HD with the intention of introducing the series to new players. Hitman: HD Trilogy is going to be published by Square Enix.
Title: Dead Space 3 (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Survival Horror, Third Person Shooter
Release Date: NA February 5, 2013, EU February 8, 2013, AU February 15 2013
Dead Space, developed by Visceral Games, has been the definitive survival horror series ever since the last generation of gaming technology was released. It scared gamers all over with its claustrophobic environments, freaky undead space monsters, and cinematic death scenes. It wowed its audience with cutting edge graphics and realistic ambient sounds. The series returns with its third sequel, Dead Space 3. Isaac Clarke is back with new suits, new weapons….and a partner. Isaac is accompanied by John Carver, an EarthGov Sergeant. The co-op system is a new element for the series. Playing with a buddy might ease the frights a little but it may open new opportunities for horror that were not possible for single player gameplay.
Title: Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 (PS3, XBOX360, WiiU)
Genre: Beat ‘em up
Release Dates: JP December 20, 2012, NA February 5, 2013, EU February 1, 2013, JP January 31, 2013(WiiU)
FOTNS: Ken’s Rage was a bit of a disappointment. It was slow, clunky, and boring. Being a fan of FOTNS and watching it while growing up, one could not help but buy the game when it came out. It paid homage to the famous manga and anime series it was based on. Koei, the developers of the Dynasty Warrior Series, promises that FOTNS: Ken’s Rage 2 will be a departure to its predecessor. It will be faster, and the player will be able to fight more enemies at once, just as an FOTNS game should be. Eager fans don’t need to wait much longer to meet up with Ken and the gang once more.
Title: Crysis 3 (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Dates: NA February 19, 2013, AU February 21, 2013, EU February 22, 2013, JP March 7, 2013
Crysis 3 is a first person shooter game developed by Crytek and published by EA Games. It features the Nanosuit, a highly advanced military suit outfitted with nano machines that allow the player to adapt to any combat situation. The game’s story is set 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. Players take on the role of Alcatraz, the previous game’s protagonist, who returns to New York City, only to find that the Cell Corporation has taken over. New nanosuit abilities and weapons appear to be available, and in some gameplay footages Alcatraz is shown wielding a bow, providing more options for stealth and surprise attacks. The graphics are as stunning as ever but the gameplay doesn’t appear to have significantly changed compared to Crysis and Crysis 2. Multiplayer appears promising with the introduction of new multiplayer modes such as the Hunter game mode. Just a few reasons to be excited with the release of this title!
Title: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Hack and Slash, Stealth Action?
Release Dates: NA February 19, 2013, JP/AU February 21, 2013, EU February 22, 2013
Raiden is back and Platinum Games just made him cooler than ever! The game is set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots with the cyborg ninja Raiden as the main character. This game focuses on hack and slash action, contrary to its stealth action predecessors. Raiden fights using his High Frequency Blade and is able to strategically slash enemies and other objects to pieces in what appears to be a Cutting Mode. In Cutting Mode, time slows down and allows the player to precisely slice an object or opponent by maneuvering how the blade moves. The stealth element appears to be limited to performing reconnaissance using Raiden’s visor to avoid enemy encounters. It may not be the hard core stealth action game that the previous Metal Gear games were, but the hard hitting action and visceral slashing gameplay are reasons enough to pick this one up!
Title: Tomb Raider (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: March 5 2013
The Tomb Raider series receives a reboot with Tomb Raider, developed by Crystal Dynamics. The series starts fresh with a young Lara Croft. The game will feature the events that will shape her into the bad ass tomb raiding heroine that we all know and love. The developers have announced that it will be an open world exploration action game, allowing the player to control Lara and move about the island where she, along with other survivors, was stranded after a raging storm splits their ship in two. The game promises to breathe new life into the series and the gameplay trailers have been nothing but refreshing. The game will be published by Square Enix.
Title: God of War: Ascension (PS3)
Genre: Hack and Slash, Action Adventure
Release Dates: NA March 12, 2013, EU March 13, 2013, AU March 14, 2013, UK March 15, 2013
Serving as the fourth game and prequel to the series, the game is set before the events of God of War. Players take on the role of Kratos once more as he tries to cut ties with Ares, the God of War. The game still features the violent gameplay and cinematic battles it is best known for. But does it have anything new to bring to the table? Online multiplayer. Players can now serve under a deity of their choosing and compete in teams to take control of a map and earn rewards from the gods. Whether this will prove good or bad for this story driven action game remains to be seen.
Title: Gears of War: Judgment (XBOX360)
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Release Date: NA March 19 2013
Gears of War: Judgment is set before the events of the previous Gears of War trilogy, making it a prequel to the entire series. The game still retains its two player co-op feature allowing two players to experience the entire campaign mode and assist each other in dealing gratuitous amounts of damage against the Locust invasion. The developers have announced new multiplayer modes and other game modes for online enjoyment. This is the first game in the series that was not exclusively developed by Epic Games. People Can Fly co-developed the game and it will be published by Microsoft Studios.
Title: BioShock Infinite (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Irrational Games pulls us out of the water and takes us to the skies with BioShock: Infinite. Even if it is the third game in the series, the developers have announced that it has an original storyline but it still contains gameplay concepts that were used in the previous games. The year is 1912 and the game puts the player in the shoes of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton Detective, who is sent to rescue a girl named Elizabeth in the floating city of Columbia. Through the course of the story, the player will gain access to new weapons and powers allowing for a customized gameplay experience. Elizabeth will also work with the player and use her own abilities and powers according to the situation. The series have definitely taken a different turn with this title, opting for the clear skies in the floating city of Columbia instead of taking place once again in the claustrophobic confines of the underwater city of Rapture.
Title: Dead Island: Riptide (Windows, PS3, XBOX360)
Genre: Adventure, Role Playing, Survival Horror
Release Dates: NA April 23, 2013, EU April 26, 2013
Dead Island: Riptide picks up where Dead Island left off. Thinking that they have finally escaped the undead horrors of Banoi island, the four survivors find themselves fighting for their lives in the zombie infested island of Palanai. This sequel, developed by Techland, uses the same first person perspective present in the previous game. The game appears to be just an extension of the story. The developers have announced that there will be new enemies, weapons, a new playable character…and many more. It doesn’t appear that it will have any innovations or new game mechanics in play. Techland has not released any official gameplay footage in their website and because of this we can safely assume that it would just be more of the same thing.
Title: The Last of Us (PS3)
Genre: Action Adventure, Survival Horror
Release Date: May 7, 2013
The Last of Us is a survival horror action game developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PS3. The game is played in a third person perspective with the player controlling Joel, a man trying to survive a world being retaken by Mother Nature after a fungal infection nearly decimates the human race two decades ago. He is accompanied by Ellie, a 14-year old girl who grew up without knowing how everything was before the infection nearly turned the whole world into a teeming forest. The game focuses on survival and the player must work with Ellie to solve puzzles, gather resources, and even fight off other survivors and the infected. The game’s graphics are gorgeous, as shown on Naughty Dog’s official gameplay trailer. You can see the desperation in the way the characters move, even in the way they fight off enemies. The environments are just breathtaking and eerily realistic. The vision the game presents may very well be how the world may look like if something like this ever happens.
Other notable games were announced for release in 2013 but the developers and publishers have not yet released any specific dates just yet. I have listed some of these games below:
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (Windows, MAC OSX; Survival Horror)
Animal Crossing (3DS; Simulation)
Elder Scrolls Online (Windows, MAC OSX; MMORPG)
Grand Theft Auto V (Windows, PS3, XBOX360; Action Adventure)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, XBOX360; RPG)
Lost Planet 3 (Windows, PS3, XBOX360; Third Person Shooter)
Star Wars 1313 (Windows, PS3, XBOX360; Third Person Shooter)
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (Windows, PS3, XBOX360; First Person Shooter)
Toki to Towa (PS3; RPG)
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (PS3, XBOX360; Hack and Slash)
The third and fourth quarter appears almost devoid of game releases. Rumors have it that the next generation of gaming hardware from Sony and Microsoft are going to be unveiled during the latter half of this year. The truth to these rumors remain to be seen.