What Paul Is Expecting from 2013
2012 is behind us, and once more we have ushered in a new era. Welcome to the New Year; a new beginning, a year full of dreams and promises. Having spent the last few days looking back at the last gaming year, I think of titles that took my beloved hobby into new realms and new directions. Sat here reminiscing I naturally found myself looking to the future. There are two games set for a 2013 release which I have high hopes for, along with a few predictions.
My most anticipated game for 2013 was a show stealer at last years’ E3. It is a new IP with an interesting twist – step forward Watch Dogs. This game is set in a world where computers and technology control everything. You take the role of a high-tech assassin who can hack into just about anything. The premise is one that makes me nerdgasm; the opportunities just seem seem endless. In the gameplay trailer, your assassin taps a target’s phone to learn where he is going next. After following him, the assassin takes control of the city’s traffic system, creating an accident at a busy intersection. This allows the assassin to execute his target in rather neat style.
Having seen this, the possibilities could be endless. Most cars now have computers and electronics built in for engine management, air conditioning and the like. Imagine if you could hack into these as well, making the target change his destination, or even just take control of the immobiliser and bring him grinding to a halt! Hacking into someone’s home network would also be a cinch – perfect for gathering intel and messing with their heads. We’ll have to wait for Watch Dogs’ vague 2013 release date to be cemented before we find out for sure.
Next on my must play list for 2013 is a reboot of a classic franchise – a title that I had the pleasure of playing during last years Eurogamer Expo. Tomb Raider – a series that I initially enjoyed but found myself losing interest in after her third adventure. When Square Enix announced a new chapter in Ms Croft’s adventures I was initially less than enthusiastic about her return. My apathy even persisted when they unveiled that it would be a prequel showcasing her first ever adventure. Then I saw a trailer with a young Lara who seemed to doubt her abilities; a Lara who was unsure of herself. I was a little intrigued – it seemed that we might be getting a much more mature and unique view of our heroine.
Then I played the demo at Eurogamer and was simply blown away. Controlling a naive Ms Croft, a scared animal rather than the bold adventurer of old, captured my imagination. There was a real poignant moment in the demo, one where the game pulled at my emotional strings: Lara is stranded on the island, unsure of what to do to survive or how to cope. She’s managed to find cave for shelter and to scavenge a hunting bow. But when hunger strikes, Lara has to solve the simplest puzzle of all to survive. Taking control of Lara, you head out to see what you can find. Spying a deer in the distance, you sneak up on the vulnerable animal, eventually taking the shot while dealing with how unsteady Lara is with a weapon. The deer slumps and you run over to take the prize. The camera pans to Lara’s face to show tears rolling down her cheeks. This is the first living thing she has killed, and it moved me seeing how strong the storytelling has become.
This New Year is not all about the games, though – in theory we should be seeing new hardware from Sony and Microsoft. The console wars are set to receive new WMDs by the end of 2013… we hope. At E3 we should finally see the Playstation 4 and Xbox 720. These beasts will be set to rock our year and take console gaming into the future. Industry predictions even go as far as to hint that they will hit our shores by Christmas. Meanwhile, Nintendo will be making waves on those same shores all year with the Wii U; around Easter I can see a price drop of between £50 – £100. It won’t be just down to the big three though, as the Ouya console will also be released later this year. Ouya is the first powered by Android, and is soon to be followed by quite a few others. Personally, I’m sitting on the fence until I’ve seen some of the titles – hopefully the openness for development and potential low costs will give us some real gems to play later in the year.
There are quite a few more titles worthy of our attention. Others that spring instantly to mind include BioShock Infinite, The Last Of Us, and Beyond: Two Souls. They all look promising and make me tingle with excitement! I am of course expecting the next obligatory CoD to be announced in May by Infinity Ward. I’ve also got a funny feeling we will be hearing from Rock Steady – with perhaps a Justice League or Superman game to tie in with the 2013 movie release. GTA V will finally be unleashed upon us, and perhaps if we’re lucky RockStar will tease us with a Red Dead Redemption sequel?