Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Top Tips For 2013 - Part Two

Here we are again, picking our most anticipated games of the year, with £20 riding on the highest aggregated Metacritic score come December. Bojeeva won by a country mile in 2012, but the battle to see which of us has the best taste in games continues in 2013...

Check out his five selected games for 2013 here.

Grand Theft Auto V
Pretty much a gimme, this one. Rockstar haven’t put a foot wrong with Grand Theft Auto, ever. Yes, some people complain that the fourth installment was too grim, and had too much emphasis on social aspects, but next time you hear someone moaning about that, ask them if they’d honestly rather not have played it? 

With GTA V, it looks like we’ll get a return to the over the top, planes-and-rockets style action of the earlier games, whilst retaining the detailed, realistic world of GTA IV. Only bigger. Much, much bigger. It seems clear that Rockstar are attempting to take everything that’s ever been praised about GTA and serve it all up on one plate, with an interesting new multi-character side dish.

Bioshock Infinite
The interesting thing about these lists is how much they force you to question what you look for in a game. I may spend all year lamenting the lack of originality on display in gaming, and wishing for interesting new worlds to explore, but come list time in January, I suddenly find I’m really just looking forward to familiarity. Take Bioshock Infinite. It’s not set in the undersea city of Rapture that hosted the first two games, and that bothered me. I was genuinely disappointed to be going somewhere new rather than returning to the same old environment. At least, I was until I saw the flying city of Columbia. Now, I’m champing at the bit for some plasmid and projectile action. 

Dark Souls II
If there’s a gamble on this list, it’s Dark Souls II. Some reports say we'll have it before 2014, some say in 2014. If the latter are correct (and with no official release date announced, they might well be) then my score will take a hit in this years Top 5 comp. I don’t care.

Dark Souls was so good, I’m damn well going to start being excited about it now, and stay that way till I play it. Dark Souls might just be the best game ever. Not actually my favourite, mind you-there might be two, maybe three games I’ve enjoyed more. But certainly the most compelling, the cleverest, most perfectly pitched balance of challenge and reward I’ve ever encountered. And let me be clear-I don’t play difficult games. I play games for the environments. I play games so that I can sit on my sofa yet immerse myself in alien worlds or historical settings. If a game is too difficult, I won’t get to see  those environments. By my standards, Dark Souls should have been the absolute antithesis of what I want from a game, but it wasn’t. It was a beautiful, frustrating, challenging and addictive set of detailed environments, assembled with breathtaking genius. I only wish there was a no-baddies mode so you could explore the entirety of the twisted yet near seamless map without being killed every three and a half seconds. Roll on the sequel.

As a massive nerd, either Deadpool or Injustice: Gods Among Us was going to make the list. Seeing as how I hate all fighting games with the exception of the Fight Night series, my choice was clear. 

Poor old Deadpool hasn’t been well treated by movies or games, but his starring role in High Moon’s 3rd person hack-and-shoot extravaganza will hopefully change all that. An unkillable mercenary who combines childlike exuberance, a desperate need to be liked and absolutely no grasp of social boundaries will make a delightful change from all those grunting super-soldiers that usually populate action games. It’s a comedy premise that will stand or fall on the dialogue, and early videos lean too heavily on the obnoxious, but I’m hoping the game itself will pull it off.

The Last Of Us
Long time Megabits readers will know how much I love a bit of post-Apocalyptic action. If exploring new environments is my favourite part of gaming, then exploring familiar worlds turned upside down by catastrophe is just the flipside of that coin. The Last Of Us offers action and exploration in a convincingly destroyed world, and it’s from Naughty Dog, so you know that it will be as watchable as it is playable.