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The 10 'must have' games of 2013


My new year's resolution? To enjoy as many of these titles as physically possible...

The 10 'must have' games of 2013...

Boy, what a year! In game terms, we defeated yet another visit of the Covenant; welcomed 'future combat' to our fish-based first person shooters (CoD); and survived a Mayan Apocalypse. What?'re saying that last one was real? Really?

Anyhow, 2013 is already shaping up to be a great year for gaming, with rumours of new consoles from both Microsoft and Sony. Of course, in typical Nintendo fashion, the Wii-U has already added a new dimension to the 'VG' genre, whilst providing some top examples of what the new console can do (be sure to check out ZombiU). Even the PC gamers amongst us are in for a treat this year, with some fantastic-looking titles heading our way in the next 364 days.

But, when push comes to shove, which games should you really be saving yourself for? Well, here are our top 10 picks for the year ahead – let us know what you think!

10. Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2

THQ and Relic Entertainment's newest Company of Heroes game promises to leave the gamer with a truly nostalgic experience; returning the feel and quality of the original title, whilst staying the same Tactical WWII RTS that we all know and love. However, this time around it has more of a 'snowy' feel to it – to put it simply – with Russians and the Red Army being involved through the whole game.

Hopefully THQ can pull this off; bringing back old and new RTS players alike, and hopefully saving them from the ominous pit of bankruptcy.

9. Devil May Cry (DmC)

Devil May Cry (DmC)...

Players take on the role of Dante, a somewhat 'unique' individual who uses his powers and weaponry to fight against enemies and navigate the treacherous Limbo. Like previous games in the series, Dante can perform combos by attacking with his sword, Rebellion, and shooting with his twin pistols, Ebony and Ivory.

However, new to the series are modifiers to Dante's move-set, known as Angel Mode and Devil Mode, activated by holding down one of the trigger buttons. When in Angel mode, Dante's sword attacks change to the Osiris, a speedy scythe-type weapon, whilst Devil mode uses the slower but more powerful Arbiter. As to the overall change these will bring to gameplay...well, only time will tell. One just has to hope that, new mode or not, this reboot will still have the same playability as its predecessors.

8. Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light; SHadowlocked...

Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within.

Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever.

THQ's sequel to the amazingly atmospheric Metro 2033 could really be one of the greatest games of the year.

7. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines; Shadowlocked...

Aliens: Colonial Marines is a sci-fi/horror putting the player in the role of a United States Colonial Marine named Cpl. Christopher Winter. The player will have access to iconic weapons from the movie such as the Flamethrower, pulse rifle, smartgun, shotgun, pistol, RPGs, and robotic sentry turrets. Players will also be able to use welding torches to seal doors, and motion trackers to detect unseen enemies.

Considering the previous gaming releases under the Alien franchise, this may be a weird inclusion on a top 10 list. That said, going on leaked footage, screenshots and expert opinion, I've got strong hopes of them nailing it this time.

6. Ni no Kuni

Ni No Kuni; Shadowlocked...

Recently covered here at Shadowlocked, we're very excited for this title. Oh, and the fact that it's a Studio Ghibli production is just swell...

Anyhow, the story of Ni no Kuni revolves around thirteen-year-old Oliver, a resident of Motorville, whose mother, Arie, suddenly dies after rescuing him from drowning. A toy, given to Oliver by his mother, is brought to life from his tears and reveals itself to be a male fairy named Drippy, who gives Oliver a book that allows him to use the power of magic and enter the world of "Ni no Kuni," a reality parallel to his own.

Really, it's got Studio Ghibli written all over it. From the oriental-esque storyline to the anime-infused graphics, this game could well be the hidden gem in 2013; a piece of beauty unbeknownst to the CoD and Fifa masses; and you can be sure of one thing...we'll be covering it right through to release.

5. Metal Gear: Rising Revengence

Metal Gear: Rising Revengence...

A long time in the making, in the latest boot of this ever-growing series players assume control of cyborg ninja Raiden, the katana-wielding ally of MG mainstay Solid Snake. To start, Raiden is playable in his "White" form, based on his appearance in Guns of the Patriots (where he is depicted as wearing white armor); but, at some point during the game, this to the more powerful "Black" cyborg armor variant which draws extra energy from "Zan-Datsu" kills.

Unlike previous titles in the Metal Gear series, Rising Revengence is action-orientated, focusing on sword-fighting and a sophisticated cutting system. Although Raiden's main weapon will be his high-frequency blade, he will also have 'sub-weapons'; courtesy of similar blade-like weaponry...and a rocket launcher.

Peculiar, we know...but hey, who made us the experts on cyborg ninjas and their possessions?

4. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Another massive reboot, Tomb Raider is set to explore the origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Setting out to 'make her mark', the ship Lara travels on, Endurance, is hit by a violent storm and split in two. She and many other survivors are stranded on an isolated tropical island in the Dragon's Triangle; and Lara is forced to fend for herself, encompassing everything from finding food and water to survive, fighting off the more dangerous animal inhabitants and trying to trace the other survivors.

Conversely, a darker threat awaits, courtesy of a malevolent group of mercenaries who seek to kill her and her companions. So, as well as basic survival Lara must prepare herself for physical combat and, should it come to it, taking the life of another human being. Does it get any grittier?

Tomb Raider will be an open-world game with at least a 12-hour campaign – according to a Q&A with the development team – so there will be plenty to look forward to and explore.

3. Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft II: Heart of the swarm

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the second game in the trilogy of Starcraft II. The expansion will include additional units and multiplayer changes from Wings of Liberty, as well as a continuing campaign focusing on the Zerg species. It will span approximately 20 missions and will be priced as an expansion set.

So...a bargain. 20 new missions for an expansion price. Got to be worth a look, surely?

2. Bioshock: Infinite

Bioshock: Infinite...

The player controls Booker throughout the game, eventually teaming with the computer-controlled Elizabeth. Like previous BioShock games, the system uses a combination of weapons, gear, psychokinetic powers (granted through "vigours") and Elizabeth's own powers to fight off hostile foes and make their way through Columbia.

In contrast to the limited spaces of the underwater city of Rapture, the open-air city of Columbia provides far more combat challenges, including combat that takes place aboard the city's Skyline rollercoaster-like rail system. The game will also feature a "1999 Mode", harkening back to games like System Shock 2 where decisions made by the player will have a more permanent impact on the game, possibly leading the player to an unwinnable situation and requiring a restart from an earlier saved game. If the system works, well, we may have a new era of video game playability at our disposal; and for that reason alone, this has to be a must for 2013.

1. Gears of War: Judgment

Gears of War: Judgement...

On 4 June 2012, Microsoft officially announced the development of Gears of War: Judgment at the company's press conference during E3, before releasing a debut trailer and demonstrating the upcoming multiplayer features. Prior to Microsoft's announcement, video game journalists had already determined that the chronology of events in Gears of War: Judgment would pre-date that of the other releases in the franchise, and that the prequel would feature Damon Baird and Augustus Cole as protagonists. But most importantly...Gears of War is back!

Few games have captured a gamer's heart like the Gears series, and few will in the future. Three may indeed be the magic number, but we all knew – sooner or later – we'd see more of the Cog and their brutal locust battles. Thankfully, it was sooner...

See also:

5 Games to play before Doomsday

Ten must have games for 2012

Lists at Shadowlocked


If you're interested in writing for Shadowlocked (disc and screening reviews, etc, or just getting some extra coverage for your extraordinary writing talent, get in touch with us.



#1 RE: The 10 'must have' games of 2013 Sam 2013-01-03 05:27
Only ones I really care about are CoH2, Bioshock Infinite, and Last Light. Hnnngh.

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