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Staff Blog: My 7 Most Anticipated Games - Kirk

The Last of Us

A chilling tale of survival, set against the backdrop of a fungal-induced apocalypse. The fight for self-preservation against the infected masses, with no hope. The tainted themselves, only a minor threat - the true adversary is human nature. Desperation is a compelling catalyst to commit the atrocious, and judging by what we've seen so far, the game won't hold back. With Naughty Dog's proven flair for storytelling, I fully expect them to nail the tone of this oppressive landscape, and make you question just how you would react, if faced with a similar nightmare.

The Last of Us

We have been shown how Joel can use stealth to his advantage, conserving precious ammunition. Ammo will be scarce in this desolate land, so you had better make each shot count when an inevitable firefight ensues. When you do run out of ammunition, you can expect to make improvised weapons, like Molotov Cocktails; and you can also expect to partake in some brutal, uncompromising fisticuffs. The combat looks barbaric and cinematic, but only time will tell how interactive it actually is. You can sense the presence of Uncharted's DNA , with a focus on the filmic, rather than 100 hit combos.

The Last of Us

Multiplayer has been confirmed, and if Uncharted 2 and 3 are anything to go by, it will be a welcome addition that doesn't detract from the main experience. It's hard to believe that this is coming from the studio that brought us Crash Bandicoot, with its lovable art style, as this game is looking so gritty that you could scatter it on the road and give traction to vehicles during the winter. A stark contrast indeed. Yes, it looks gritty, but so does sand, and sand is beautiful, right? Remember how gorgeous Uncharted was? Well, expect Naughty Dog to squeeze every last ounce of power out of the PS3 this time around. One last hurrah if you will, before this generation of consoles bows out, gracefully.

God Of War: Ascension

Everyone's favourite bald dude is back (no, not you 47, you've had your chance) and he's presumptively furious. His face is locked in a perpetual grimace, a handy attribute for someone who punches Gods in the face. GOW: Ascension charts the rise of Kratos, or the fall; it all depends on perspective. The game is a prequel to the main trilogy and tells the happy tale of Kratos accidentally slaughtering his whole family. Cheery, huh? Well, it's a good job he does kill his family, because that makes him angry, and you will like him when he's angry. Plus God Of War: Family Life, just doesn't have the same ring to it.

God of War: Ascension

Kratos, to be fair, is the most calamitous protagonist ever seen in a game; he would cast you into the void, just for causing minor incovenience . With this title being a prequel however, we may even see a flicker of humanity break through, before his soul is completely consumed by guilt and sorrow. Or, you know, they could just ignore character progression and make him tear out loads of guts and solve the odd puzzle. Even if they do just stick to the angry-egg template, it's ok, that is what we love him for, after all.

God of War: Ascension

Multiplayer is in, too. You choose an allegiance to one of four Gods, each granting different skills to your murderous avatar. You then take part in online, arena battles, trying to gain control of specific objectives in a stage; like, for example, stabbing an ogre in the eye. The mode looks interesting, and at least offers something different in the stagnated online space. It is shaping up to be one to watch, and if it can stand up to the quality of the previous installments, it can't fail, can it? The ghost of Sparta is back.

Tomb Raider

Reboots are in vogue, so are bows, and if you like either, you're in for one hell of a treat. Lara Croft, has undergone some drastic changes, and she now resembles something that could actually pass as a real woman. The series is being taken in a more mature direction, which also seems to be popular at the moment. Tomb Raider looks to taking buckets of inspiration from a certain Naughty Dog franchise, which could be good or bad, it depends how much freedom is given to the player; it is a game about exploration, after all.

Tomb Raider

It looks like there will be a focus on gunplay too, I just hope that they get the balance right between "tomb raiding" and "shooty, shooty, gun gun". The shooting sections in Uncharted weren't bad, but the highlights came from traversing beautiful environments and inflicting you with a jaw-dropping sense of vertigo. The emphasis seems to be on survival and mystery, and if they pull it off, it could be special. The new "adult" direction could either be a benefit, or a hindrance, only time will tell.

Tomb Raider

Since we're ticking the "gaming trend" boxes, we may as well mention the (recently announced) multiplayer. Not much is known about this, but multiplayer seems like a strange fit for a game of this type, and sparks further worry about the gunplay/exploration balance. The game looks fantastic, aesthetically, let's just hope the cosmetic beauty is more than skin-deep.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Daddy's back, bitches! The most anticipated game of this generation, for many, GTA:5 looks to set a new benchmark in quality for the open-world genre. Rockstar are throwing everything they have at this sequel, and they have a lot: animals, planes, jets, bicycles, submarines, scuba-diving, golf, tennis, boats, cars, motorbikes, helicopters, parachuting, well known rappers, dogs in cars...the list goes on and on.

GTA V

For the first time in GTA history, we will see events unfold from the eyes of three separate protagonists, each with their own speciality and distinctive personality. Their stories intertwine throughout the campaign, and you can switch between them at any point outside of missions. How or if this affects the story is speculation, but each will go about their own routine when not controlled by the player. Then there is the map. Rockstar claims that your playground will be bigger than GTA:San Andreas, GTA:4 and Red Dead Redemption COMBINED! That is big, if there were any doubt.

GTA V

On top of all this, yes, there is multiplayer. Expect more of an online effort from Rockstar this time, as their online focus has grown in scope through their more recent games, culminating in the online "crews" of Max Payne 3. As an incentive to buy Max Payne, no doubt, Rockstar stated that your "crew" from Max Payne could carry over into GTA:5, showing that they have had big multiplayer plans all along. I can't see this being anything less than brilliant.

Bioshock: Infinite

From the depths of Rapture, to the skies of Columbia; Bioshock: Infinite provides the perfect contrast in setting. Whereas you visited Rapture after its fall, this time you witness the revolution firsthand. You are on a mission to rescue a girl, named Elizabeth - yet, she is no ordinary girl. You see, Elizabeth can rip holes in space and time, creating tears into other dimensions and aiding you in your engagement with the enemy. This certainly won't be an "escort mission", as your AI companion can seemingly pull her own weight, helping out as needed. As Booker DeWitt, you will also have an array of powers, upgradable by using Vigors and Nostrums, and unlike Bioshock's Plasmids, these are permanent. It seems this time there will be more emphasis on player choice.

Bioshock Infinite

If, "would you kindly" means anything to you, then this statement from Ken Levine talking about the ending will get you very excited, "it's like nothing you've actually experienced in a videogame before". A confident statement indeed, and one I'm inclined to believe, as nothing yet has matched Bioshock's uber-twist. The highlight of this game will undoubtedly be the story, but the gameplay looks like it's shaping up nicely. With different enemy types requiring you to change tactics on-the-fly, and Sky Rails providing opportunities for flanking - combine all this with Elizabeth and Booker's powers, and you have the recipe for some intelligent skirmishes.

Bioshock Infinite

Multiplayer was considered during the design process, but was taken out, as it didn't fit with the lore, or add anything to the game. So far, it's looking like the strongest, pure single-player game of the year and a true GOTY contender. Early previews have been overwhelmingly positive and I can't help but believe that their enthusiasm is warranted.

Dead Space 3

Necromorphs, yay! Ice planets, yay! Helmets, yay! Co-op, yay? Yep, the multiplayer trend just keeps on rolling. In space, no one can hear you scream - unless you have a headset and then they will. To be fair, you can play it as a singleplayer game, but the developers insist that you will be missing some cool content...sigh. It's hard to imagine any tension, when your co-op buddy dances around during the tense moments, crying down their headset.

Dead Space 3

Expect a similar experience to the last two games, but this time there is also cover shooting, and enemies with guns. The game looks like it is going for the Aliens approach to horror. They have already done tense, cramped spaceships and now they are going to try insurmountable odds and scale. It could work, if they get the balance right, but in my opinion, the strength of the previous games was during the quiet moments, when you knew there was something lurking in the shadows, just out of sight  - this will be hard to replicate in co-op.

Dead Space 3

The multiplayer found in Dead Space 2 has gone, and it was poor, so good riddance. If this means the singleplayer is more fleshed out, it can't be a bad thing. This one could go either way, and I hope my worries turn out to be unfounded, as I'm a big fan of the previous installments.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 has bows. I just thought I'd get that in first, as it seems to be the focal point this year. Damn you, The Hunger Games, damn you to hell! Anyway, the game looks stunning and will push consoles to the max, in terms of graphical fidelity. You can also expect it to look beyond impressive, if you have a PC that cost the same as a car. Talking about cars, you can probably use them as weapons, like you could in Crysis 2's New York. This time, however, New York has been taken back by nature, mixing the jungle aspects of the first game and the verticality of the second.

Crysis 3

The story has never been a strong point in the Crysis series, and this time it seems to have taken inspiration from The Simpsons, by encasing New York in a Nanodome. Expect a linear narrative, but with sandbox elements to the gameplay. Hopefully, the jungle/city mix will provide plenty of tactical opportunities and make you feel quite the badass, as you throw enemies around, utilising the power of your Nanosuit.

Crysis 3

Multiplayer is back! And leading the charge is, Hunter Mode. In this mode, two players spawn as permanently cloaked, hunters. Their objective is to kill all 14 of the standard CELL troopers on the opposing team. Each CELL member killed, then spawns as a Hunter - do you see where this is going? This mode sounds very interesting and hopefully brings some tactical nuance to the bloated online-shooter space. Come for the singleplayer, stay to hunt your friends whilst roleplaying the Predator.

kirkules | 8th January, 2013
Platinum's picture
May have to get The Last of Us even though it is a console shooter, looks damn good.
Beanz's picture
Is it a little troubling that there's only one big original (non-prequel/sequel/reboot) title on the horizon?
Platinum's picture
Doesn't matter, make a new COD, rake in the cash.
Ewok's picture
I don't think so. I'm really excited about some of 2013's planned titles, even if they are reboots or sequels.

Unlike film I think games often work better as sequels, with the lessons learned from early iterations being a major driving force in improving gameplay and experience.

Tomb Raider in particular looks excellent. I've had some hands-on with it and was really impressed, despite having never been a big fan of the series.

That doesn't mean I don't look forward to new IPs though. Kirk mentioned The Last of Us, which looks awesome. I'm also looking forward to Beyond Two Souls which looked great at E3 and the misses is desperate to get her hands on Ni no Kuni.
kirkules's picture
Yeah, Beyond: Two Souls, Ni No Kuni, Remember Me, The Last Guardian, Aliens Colonial Marines, Watch Dogs... Quite few considering the console is at the end of its lifespan.
azrael316's picture
GTA 5? Yawn, gave up on that series after I realised I hadn't actually plated GTA4 and only partially played Lost and the Damned...

Tomb Raider? Maybe, if the reboot works, ok. But they better leave in making her jump off a Sphinx to splat head first on the floor!

Dead Space 3/Crysis 3... Meh.. Just so much Meh....

Bioshock : Infinite. Interesting, not played ANY of the previous games but the 5 min sneak peek had me wanting to play this quite badly. lol..

The Last of Us : The fact it mentions games that are NOT on the PC makes me thin this will just be one long series of QTE with some bland video sequences in between.

God Of War: Ascension? And lst but not least is the least interesting game of the 7. It needs to make its mind up, Action or RPG... Its a rare beast that make the transition to do both. I'll stick with Baldurs Gate Enhanced for now thanks.



I might be wrong, and probably am. But this is my opinion and I am drinking right now, so there.. :P
kirkules's picture
I will never take you seriously after yawning at GTA5.
azrael316's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkules View Post
I will never take you seriously after yawning at GTA5.
The series has a LOT to do to gain me back asa fan. Last good one was San Andreas.
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael316 View Post
GTA 5? Yawn, gave up on that series after I realised I hadn't actually plated GTA4 and only partially played Lost and the Damned...
So you didn't play the last game and yet are saying this one will be boring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael316 View Post
The series has a LOT to do to gain me back asa fan. Last good one was San Andreas.
That fact that it has been compered more to San Andreas than IV does not intrigue you at all then?

Quote:
Dead Space 3/Crysis 3... Meh.. Just so much Meh....
Have you played the Dead Space 3 demo? Have you read the preview posted earlier? It's essentially the same as Dead Space 2 but with some different enemies, co-op and a different story line. What's so meh about that?

I can't comment on Crysis.

Quote:
The Last of Us : The fact it mentions games that are NOT on the PC makes me thin this will just be one long series of QTE with some bland video sequences in between.
It's sad that games aren't even being ported to the PC these days but that doesn't rule them out as bad games. It means the publishers/developers have just made the choice to not put it onto PC. Chances are it's all to do with sales and keeping prices high but who knows.

Quote:
God Of War: Ascension? And lst but not least is the least interesting game of the 7. It needs to make its mind up, Action or RPG... Its a rare beast that make the transition to do both. I'll stick with Baldurs Gate Enhanced for now thanks.
When was God of War ever an RPG? I am not a fan of the series and even I know that it has always been a hack-and-slash action game?
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael316 View Post
The series has a LOT to do to gain me back asa fan. Last good one was San Andreas.
Not to jump on the bandwagon but...

GTA games since San Andreas:
GTA IV (not played)
Two standalone DLC for GTA IV (partially played)

kirkules's picture
It's ok, not everyone has good taste. It did some things that no other game has managed to repeat in the whole generation. It also scored 9's and 10's across mainstream game press. Not sure how you can validate your opinion if you never played it. Many people were put off by what they considered a "boring protagonist", but in my opinion, Rockstar are brave for trying something different.
Dead Alive's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael316 View Post
The Last of Us : The fact it mentions games that are NOT on the PC makes me thin this will just be one long series of QTE with some bland video sequences in between.
The rest I don't care about, as I'm not a GTA fan, Tomb Raider is very wait and see for me, don't like Dead Space, BioShock seems like I *may* like it after not liking the first two, and I've fallen out of love with GoW after the third.

But The Last of Us, I've seen nothing of it as I don't own a PS3 anymore so it's of no relevance to me, but based on Uncharted alone it's ridiculous to write off a new ND game.

Uncharted 3 was the reason I re-bought a PS3 last time around, just because I loved 1 and 2 so much. If I recall, there were exactly... no quick time events in any of those. Set-pieces, yes, but you had direct character control throughout, it wasn't 'press X to not die'.

It's not like PC games/ports are void of QTE's. Battlefield 3's pathetic single player still makes me cringe. What's that? Finally, a jet! Want to fly it? Tough, click the left mouse button when we tell you to shoot and shut up.
Platinum's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkules View Post
I will never take you seriously after yawning at GTA5.
rep4u
Cronos's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkules View Post
I will never take you seriously after yawning at GTA5.
You used to take him seriously?
azrael316's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkules View Post
I will never take you seriously after yawning at GTA5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
rep4u
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronos View Post
You used to take him seriously?
ANYONE took me seriously???
Platinum's picture
You have lost this thread
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
You have lost this thread

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