My Most Anticipated Games of 2013

There’s been a fair bit of talk over the past year or so about how the winding down of the current console cycle may mean that we’re hitting a dry patch for quality games. Comparatively that may be true, but I think that we have to remember that even at a time like this, the games industry still provides us with some offerings of amazing quality, and if 2013 is anything like 2012, we have a lot to look forward to. On that note, here are my most anticipated games of 2013 in alphabetical order.

List items

  • For various reasons I’ve not held traditional horror games in particularly high regard. I think they are built in a way which too often ends up making them both not scary and not fun. Amnesia is something different though. Cleverly designed, and featuring a suitably unsettling atmosphere, it’s a truly tense game. A Machine for Pigs looks to recreate what made the original great and tap into the fact that being trapped in a dungeon full of cages and hearing distant pig squeals echoing off the walls is pretty fucking scary.

  • I am simultaneously really bummed out that this is a Wii U exclusive, and yet respectful of Nintendo for publishing a sequel that I just didn’t expect to see. Platinum Games seem to have a talent for combining some of the best parts of western games with the best parts of eastern games, and that was certainly true of Bayonetta. It was almost like a Japanese Saint’s Row: The Third; empowering, confident, and remarkably crazy. Let’s hope Bayonetta 2 can continue that spirit.

  • It feels like this one has been so long coming, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. The thing that made the original Bioshock amazing was the world you explored and the people you met. I believe that Bioshock 2, while a well-made game, fell down because it recycled the same world from the first game we’d already largely explored. Infinite looks to return to the series’ roots, letting us once again experience a beautiful but twisted new city, with breath-taking set-pieces and engaging characters. It’s just a shame about that box art.

  • I really liked Grand Theft Auto IV. The shooting sometimes felt a bit stiff, but I enjoyed Liberty City, the characters within, and even its driving. We don’t know much about the next instalment in the franchise, but if the environment within is going to be of the size promised by Rockstar, and it’s as good as the trailers have made it look, we’re in for something special.

  • I’m not afraid to admit that a lot of my love of the original Luigi’s Mansion comes from the nostalgia I’ve built up for it, and if there’s one thing Nintendo does like no other company, it’s tapping into nostalgia. There’s not much apart from this that I want to play on the 3DS, so it’s entirely possible I’ll never actually pick up the console and experience it, and yet like with Bayonetta 2, it makes me very happy to see the impending release of a weird and wonderful game I was pretty sure would never exist.

  • Pikmin is another series that I have very fond memories of. It’s always great to see Nintendo revisit some of their slightly more neglected games, but the bizarre and inventive Pikmin is a game really like no other. I was never particularly good at the game, but it had a unique style, and did a great job emulating the experience of wandering across a foreign and hostile planet. In Pikmin you were the underdog; tiny, weak, pitted against enormous and fearsome monsters, but able to defeat them through strategy and numbers, and haul back some oh-so-satisfying loot. Pikmin 3 looks to take this formula and slap a new sheen on it for the modern console generation. This sounds like a mighty fine proposition to me.

  • I honestly didn’t expect one of the most promising games to come out of last year’s E3 to be a colourful, upbeat reboot of a classic management game. I love a good management sim and the thought of sinking my teeth into the gameplay of SimCity fills me with glee. My only slight disappointment is that what looks like a great game is going to be handicapped by EA’s detestable always-on DRM.

  • I’m a little sceptical of what the final quality of Tomb Raider is actually going to be, but it’s definitely got my attention. I think it has the potential to be a game that comes across as derivative in its attempts to feel gritty, mediocre in its gameplay, and comical in its continued abuse of the protagonist. But I also think if played right, this is a game that has the potential to be impacting, exciting, and stand up as an example of how to depict a strong female character without alienating women gamers. Here’s to hoping it’s the latter.

  • I’ve read about The Witness, looked at screenshots of The Witness, but I still don’t feel like I really know what The Witness is. In an odd way, this only serves to make it more intriguing. Honestly, I’m interested in anything Jonathan Blow is working on, because while I may not have enjoyed Braid as much as everyone else, Blow’s philosophy of creating games that treat its audience like adults, and using mechanics as part of the narrative really speaks to me. For this reason I’m keeping a close eye on The Witness.