Top Ten Tuesday 02

My Top Ten Most Anticipated Games of 2013

Disclaimer: There are many top ten lists, but this one is mine. If you think a game is missing here, I either didn't play it, didn't have any interest in it, or I just hate you.


Pre-List Notes

I began doing these Most Anticipated lists in 2010, when I just jotted down a few games I was looking forward to after doing my Top 10 of that year. Most of them were sequels that didn't even come out in 2011. The curse continued last year as I again had a couple games that failed to release in 2012. This year I'm feeling confident that all of these games will come out in 2013. Whether or not they live up to my expectations, of course, is another matter.


Top Ten

10) Lego Marvel Super Heroes - A very recent addition to this list, having just graced the cover of Game Informer, Lego Marvel promises to give us that consistently high quality cooperative Lego gameplay experience while injecting the awesome roster that is the Marvel universe. Since Traveler's Tales was bought by Warner Bros. (owner of D.C.) many assumed a game like this would never happen. But smarter heads prevailed, and I look forward to the first Lego game set in a world that I really enjoy.


9) Watch Dogs - Watch Dogs was the big surprise game for me that was unveiled at E3 2012 with a cinematic gameplay video dripping in theme. I got all kinds of Deus Ex vibe from the near future world and gameplay. The hero can tap into the electronic network that essentially runs the city, manipulating traffic lights, bridges, and cell phones. Little is known about the overall gameplay and plot but it looks like creative methods of assassination are employed.


8) Bioshock Infinite - The original Bioshock (itself a spiritual successor to the even more seminal System Shock) caused a ripple throughout the game industry upon its release with its fantastic first person gameplay combining shooting and essentially magic powers with an incredibly gripping storyline. Infinite looks to continue on some of those themes by dropping the player into an incredibly hostile environment. But instead of a fallen city at the bottom of the sea, you're plopped into a grandiose city flying through the sky. The frenetic combat, flying via skyhooks, inventive fearsome foes, and a charge whom you must protect all look like Irrational hasn't lost their touch.


7) Aliens: Colonial Marines - Colonial Marines has had a rocky production cycle. Seemingly on the edge of vaporware after years of languish, the game finally began to surface in the last year with preview articles and even a few screenshots and videos. Still I feel that much has been kept under wraps, which is usually not a good sign. While I trust Gearbox, the awesome Texas based studio responsible for Borderlands, this is the game I'm most unsure of on this list. Such is my love for the Aliens franchise that I'm really hoping it's at least pretty good. A Left 4 Dead style co-op multiplayer certainly has my interest.


6) The Cave - Barely got this one in on time, as it releases today! Designed by the brilliant  adventure game godfather Ron Gilbert, and backed by one of my favorite companies, Double Fine Productions, The Cave looks like a creative combination of platforming and adventure as it pits its unique characters to explore and defeat the titular cave. Characters range from a hillbilly to a time traveler to a knight, all with their own abilities, seven in total but the player can only choose three for one playthrough. Different combinations promise different methods to solving The Cave, and multiple playthroughs will be required to see everything the game has to offer. This is all right up my alley, and the Double Fine logo promises it'll have their trademark humor as well.


5) South Park: The Stick of Truth - An officially licensed South Park game, designed as a turn based RPG, developed by RPG juggernaut Obsidian? Such is the case with this crazy big budget game that allows players to create their own South Park character and explore the world alongside the kids that are in the midst of a giant fantasy roleplaying game. Cartman is the Wizard, Butters is the Paladin, Kyle is the High Jew Elf, etc. The trailer already has me laughing, and if the gameplay can infuse the South Park humor with some fun RPG combat, they could have a real hit on their hands.


4) Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm - When Starcraft 2 was in its final year of development, Blizzard came out and said they were splitting the game up into three full games, each focusing on a different faction. While all three would have the full multiplayer suite that Starcraft aficionados are really after, the campaign in Wings of Liberty was lengthy and fun enough to definitely get me excited for the future installments. HotS will focus on the bug-like Zerg faction, a personal favorite of mine since the original Starcraft in '98. While I've never been very hardcore when it comes to the PvP multiplayer, Starcraft is and always has been my favorite Real Time Strategy franchise, and I love playing with friends (with and against). For the Swarm!


3) Grand Theft Auto V - I have played every GTA game ever released. Even those fun little arcade ones that most folks have all but forgotten about before GTAIII changed video games by offering the first large open 3D world to explore and wreck havoc in. Since each iteration, Rockstar has brilliantly evolved the gameplay while retaining their subversive humor and commentary on pop culture and society. At the time of this writing I'm finally playing through the DLC released for GTA4, and loving that gameplay all over again. GTA5 takes players back to San Andreas (their version of L.A.) and introduces three protagonists that the player switches between, a first for the series. Whether or not that pays off remains to be seen, but if there's one developer I trust to deliver on their marquee franchise, it's Rockstar.


2) SimCity - After professing my love for both Starcraft and Grand Theft Auto, it feels weird to put this seemingly benign reboot of SimCity so high on the list. SimCity 4 was released in 2003, and was damn near amazing. Ten years later, the simulation/strategy genre has been all but dying, similar to what adventure games went through until the last few years. These games typically don't work for consoles, and few PC exclusives are released nowadays not made by Blizzard. But Maxis is one of those quiet PC focused companies that haven't forgotten about their roots, and this new game in the seminal Sim franchise looks like something special.


1) Kickstarter Games! - Yeah it's a cop-out, but there's so many awesome games that were Kickstarted last year that I'm looking forward to: Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Grim Dawn, Planetary Annihilation, and Shadowrun Returns just to name a few. I backed eight different video game projects last year, and a good chunk of them have promised to release in 2013. While I'm most looking forward to these games for the games themselves, I'm also interested to see how their release is received, and what it will mean for the future of Kickstarter and the crowdfunding business model as it applies to video game development. If 2012 was the year of the Kickstarter Video Game Boom, 2013 will either be its vindication or its downfall.


Wrap Up

Just looking at this list compared to last year's, 2013 doesn't look as impressive. That said I do like that half the list (not counting Kickstarter games) are not sequels but entirely new intellectual properties, a rare thing when we've come so close to the end of this console cycle generation. The Kickstarter games should provide a lot of fresh and/or retro style gameplay for the PC that will hopefully harbor in a golden age of PC gaming. You heard it here first!

Next Week: My Top 10 Games for a classic console!