Game & Controller – Jan. 24

Columnist

Another year begins and gamers prepare to spend another year staring longingly at the calendar, awaiting the release date of the game that will “make” their year.  2013 shows some promising releases (then again, so did 2012).  Whether it’s a hot, new title, a long-awaited sequel, or a fresh reboot of a classic franchise, Couch and Controller has a lot to look forward to in 2013.

 

The release calendar for 2013 is dominated by sequels.  Metal Gear Rising:  Revengeance (19 Feb) switches the focus from stealth to action, and the main character from Solid Snake to Raiden; two moves bound to cause a commotion in the Metal Gear fandom, at least until Metal Gear Solid:  Ground Zeroes  (TBA) puts you back in the sneaky Snake’s shoes.  BioShock Infinite (26 Mar) moves the action from the underwater city of Rapture to a city in the sky – anything to get away from the creepy Little Sisters.  Grand Theft Auto V (Q2 2013) takes players back to the faux-Los Angeles city of Los Santos, boasting a world bigger than Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, and Grand Theft Auto:  San Andreas combined.  Finally, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (Oct 2013) drag the Pokémon series into the 3D age.  Players will explore a new region with new Pokémon.

Do sports games count as sequels?  You can count on all the major sports franchises returning for 2013, wearing shiny, new 2014 labels.  EA Sports’ annual football, baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball titles will be returning with new features, new players, and new victims of the Madden curse.

Aside from sequels, a few franchises are getting a fresh reboot.  Tomb Raider (5 Mar) will go for the “dark and gritty” reboot – no word yet on a “nude code”, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.  

On a fresher and cleaner note, SimCity (5 Mar) is finally coming back.  The new gameplay mechanics focus much more on the inter-connectedness of cities, demonstrating the heavier reliance on sociality and online gaming since 2003’s SimCity 4.  If Tomb Raider is too sexy, and SimCity is too sedate, the classic Playstation 2 series Devil May Cry is also seeing a next-gen reboot:  DmC:  Devil May Cry.  In contrast to Tomb Raider’s dark and gritty reboot, word is that Dante is getting a cute pet and a dress-up minigame.  I kid!  I kid!

It’s not entirely reboots and sequels.  Injustice: Gods Among Us (16 Apr) infuses fighting game action with superheroes from the DC Universe.  If you liked 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, you’re probably either clinically insane, or you’re going to love this.  

Star Trek (23 Apr) tackles the challenge of making a Star Trek game that doesn’t suck.  This game does feature the voice talents of both Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock), and serves as bridge between the 2009 Star Trek film and the upcoming sequel.  On the subject of movie games with a dubious track record, Disney (yes, Disney) will be bringing Star Wars 1313 (TBD) to the table this year – a grittier and more mature look at the Star Wars universe.  Mojang, the folks who bring you Minecraft, are teasing 0x10c.  All that’s known at this time is that it’s set in space and involves spaceships.  If it’s half as detailed as Minecraft, it’s a surefire winner.

Couch and Controller looks forward to covering all of these games over the year.  But still, we have to ask, “Where’s Fallout 4?  Where’s Disgaea 5?  Where’s Lego Django Unchained?”  What’s your most anticipated game of 2013?  Send a message to The Sunflower and make sure it gets covered.