Games we want in 2013
Game makers this year will serve up a storm of chaos, creativity . . . and Cartman, writes JOE GRIFFIN
We know you’re probably elbow-deep in Christmas games right now, but 2013 is looking pretty promising: This list (which could have been twice as long) is a mouth-watering reminder of some of the phenomenal – and diverse – talents working in the games industry, offering innovations in graphics, game-play and storytelling. We’ve seen some tantalising glimpses of what’s to come – a storm of chaos, creativity, and Cartman . . .
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Made with the full blessing, writing and – best of all – voice talents of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park: The Stick of Truth takes the action role-playing game and filters it through the imagination of the South Park kids. Play as the new boy in town as quests are fulfilled, weapons and powe r-ups are sought, vulgar jokes are made and little children hit each other with sticks. The original show’s animation is low-fi, so the game can recreate its look and sound perfectly.
(Xbox, Playstation 3, PC. ETA: April)
The Last of Us
Early footage of this survival game shows huge potential, as a gruff man and a teenage girl become unlikely allies fighting common enemies: shady military forces, ruthless scavengers, infected humans and The Judean People’s Front (I made up that last one). The story will follow the pair on a strange, violent odyssey across the US. We look forward to thrilling set pieces, strong characterisation and engaging storytelling (with more than a few surprises) from Naughty Dog, creators of the classic Uncharted series.
(Playstation 3. ETA: May)
Lara Croft gets an overdue reinvention in this rain-soaked, mud-caked, ship-wrecked origin story. Expect more improvised weapons and stealth gameplay than in previous outings, and less cleavage and fewer one-liners. Clips have already emerged showing Croft fighting off a would-be rapist, which never happened in the original Tomb Raider games or the cheesy Angelina Jolie movies. Remember the difference between Batman and Robin and Batman Begins? We’re hoping for a similar creative leap.
(PC, Xbox, Playstation 3. ETA: March)
Beyond: Two Souls
Could Ellen Page be the first true crossover movie-to-game star? The Juno actor will play a troubled soul in an epic game that covers nearly two decades of a young woman’s life and mixes paranormal elements with action and adventure. The motion-capture graphics have beautifully recreated her expressive face. Think The Fugitive mixed with The 6th Sense, but told with more panache than either film. Quantic Dream are behind the wheel, and their last title, Heavy Rain, was one of the most cinematic games of all time. Check out the trailer online. It’ll make every hair on your neck snap to attention.
(Playstation 3. ETA: May)
Grand Theft Auto V
Five years after Grand Theft Auto IV, the king of the open-world crime games returns to reclaim its crown. Having wreaked havoc across fake versions of New York, Miami and San Francisco, the latest stomping ground looks a lot like LA: perfect for the series’ mix of amorality, carnage, decadence and satire. The trailer promises the usual mix of exploration, gunplay, car chases and, of course, black humour. With LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games have been on a roll lately, so this is a fine time for them to return to their biggest brand. We’ve seen countless GTA imitators (from Sleeping Dogs to Saints Row the Third), but none has surpassed the original.