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New Year Revolutions: The Top Games We're Looking Forward To In 2013


Even though the excess of New Year is still fresh in our aching heads, this week sees the release of the first must-have blockbuster of 2013. Capcom's revamped and rebooted Devil May Cry has wowed critics and won over fans with its slick combat and slinky visuals, but that's just the start of what promises to be a spectacular year in gaming. Here are five games that we can't wait to play in the months ahead.

Crysis 3 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC at GAME

Crysis 3

Out: February 22nd
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Why So Excited?: Because the Crysis series has always been the benchmark for the modern shooter in terms of lush visuals, and developer Crytek is promising to pull out all the stops for this trilogy-closing entry. You'll take control of nano-suited anti-hero Prophet as he returns to a New York enclosed in biodomes which have allowed tropical jungles to sprout on the familiar streets of the Big Apple.

Using your high tech bow, and the various cool abilities that your armour provides, you'll sneak and slay your way through stunning open environments. Quite apart from the in-game thrills on offer, when most of the big shooters cluster around the pre-Christmas rush there's also something rather fantastic about a AAA shooter bold enough to stake its claim in the quieter early months of the year, where nothing can distract us from its groovy gameplay.

Tomb Raider on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC at GAME

Tomb Raider

Out: March 5th
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Why So Excited?: You really have to ask? It's the return of Lara Croft, arguably the greatest modern video game character, absent from our joypads for far too long, and often stuck in average or poor quality sequels before that. After inheriting the series from defunct UK studio Core Design, developer Crystal Dynamics finally gets to divert from a 1990s template and reboot Tomb Raider in its own style.

The result is an action adventure that has more in common with the cinematic rush of Uncharted than the block-shoving puzzles and somersaulting tiger-shooting of old. There'll be multiplayer for the first time in a Tomb Raider game, and there's also the story to consider – one that's written by Rhianna Pratchett, and follows a much younger Lara as she learns to become the confident hero we already know, having been stranded on an island controlled by brutal pirates. Action and drama, with a gaming icon? What's not to love?

Bioshock Infinite on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 at GAME

Bioshock Infinite

Out: March 26th
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Why So Excited?: Because how often do you see a sequel so gleefully tear up everything from its predecessors? Bioshock Infinite may share the name of the 2007 smash hit, but virtually everything else is different. The gloomy and desolate undersea city of Rapture is replaced with Columbia, a steampunk city in the clouds. Dark is replaced with light. Water replaced with air.

Can a game still be claustrophobic and scary in such bright, open environments? If anyone can pull it off, it's Ken Levine, the Bioshock creator who returns to the series after sitting out Bioshock 2. And it's not as if he hasn't had the time to perfect the game – Infinite's release date has slipped back more than once, but rather than a sign of trouble, it shows that Levine won't let this complex moral fable go until it's just right, even to the point of removing features – such as multiplayer – which weren't working to his required standard. When so many games tend to favour a kitchen sink approach, that sort of polish and focus demands to be rewarded.

The Last of Us on PS3 at GAME

The Last of Us

Out: May 17th
Platforms: PlayStation 3

Why So Excited?: It's Naughty Dog, one of a handful of big studios that effortlessly combine compelling core gameplay, brilliantly realised characters and staggering cinematic sweep. What happens when a developer with that pedigree tackles the survival horror genre? That's what we can't wait to find out. The Last of Us was sprung on the gaming public just over a year ago, and it immediately became a “must see” title.

Set after a virulent plague wipes out most of humanity, it follows a grizzled survivor called Joel and Ellie, a young girl who he has taken under his wing, as they struggle to stay alive in the ruins of modern society, where brutal gangs and bloodthirsty maniacs lurk in the rubble. Unapologetically violent and with a gruelling storyline that explores the characters as much as the haunting landscape, The Last of Us brings us one step closer to gaming that packs as much punch as a big-name movie.

Grand Theft Auto V Xbox 360 and PS3 at GAME

Grand Theft Auto V

Out: Spring
Platforms: PlayStation 3

Why So Excited?: If you have to ask, you must have been on Mars for the last decade. A new Grand Theft Auto game is a guaranteed event, not least because Rockstar doesn't turn these sequels out unless there's a good reason to do so. No annual updates for this series, so the news that players will be returning to the hot sticky streets of Los Santos for the first time since 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is enough to put us on the edge of our seat.

Ever the tease, Rockstar has released only a few trailers and handfuls of screenshots, but it's enough to whet the whistle. With stunning graphics, bringing the city to life in never-before-seen detail, the big selling point is that this time around we'll be controlling three characters as they navigate the underbelly of modern urban life. Swapping between them at will, and combining their skills for missions, this could well be the evolutionary kick in the pants that the free-roaming crime genre needs. Would you expect anything else from the maestros that created the genre in the first place?

Published: 17/01/2013

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