Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm Looking Forward to 2013

So, now that we officially know the world isn't going to end in spectacular fashion at a time where many thought that it might and thus we're back to just wondering when it's going to happen, I think it's appropriate to look to the future.  You know, the future that is going to be there definitely for sure unless something happens that -nobody- expected, because I guess that is still a possibility or something.  Regardless, 2013 is going to be a thing, and from what we've seen already, what we know to expect from the year, it's going to be quite something to anticipate.  Here it is, only the end of 2013, and I already know of quite a few big games that will make 2013 a rather big year for everyone, which is saying something to be sure.  Not even just games that I am personally excited about, though there are those, but there are things that are just going to duke it out for GotY - that much is clear already.  If you think about it for a moment that right there in itself is fairly remarkable.

One such game of that caliber will assuredly be the above-pictured The Last of Us from everyone's favorite developers with the magic touch, Naughty Dog.  Boasting some of the best graphics that you'll ever see on a modern console and gameplay to match if the Uncharted games are any indication, TLoU is certainly going to be a ride unlike anything else the year might have to offer.  From what we've seen, it does seem to scratch the same itch that an Uncharted game might do (which is just as well, seeing as we likely won't see an Uncharted title in 2013 unless Bend Studios makes a Golden Abyss follow-up.....which I would adore) but it'll do much much more than that which is enough of a hook right there, personally.  That's no surprise, I'm sure, since you all know of my absolute love of Naughty Dog, but that adoration is well-earned and what I've seen from TLoU promises that my faith, my excitement, is in fact well-placed.

Something else rather tantalizing that the game adds to the mix is a focus on survival that hasn't been absolutely explained just yet, much like a multi-player aspect that is similarly vague.  Parts of me hope that this is, in fact, because they are going to share aspects - specifically that there might be a survival focus on one of the Multi-player modes because that could be really really fun and interesting.  Part of the survival bit is a little crafting system with which you can make some weapons and, presumably, medicine and other helpful things, not just destructive things.  From what I can tell, it's not the most advanced system, but neither does it need to be, and I'm sure it'll be robust enough to play a vital part in the game as a whole.  Really, there's just a lot to like here and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on my copy of the game.

Another game that is probably on top of most of the 2013 wish-lists or what have you that are out there is the recently explained Grand Theft Auto V.  Not only because of its pedigree which is quite extensive as we know, but because the scope of the game, as it has been detailed is huge and promises to really change what you might expect from a Grand Theft Auto game.  Whether or not they'll be hugely successful with the execution remains to be seen, as Grand Theft Auto IV was quite ambitious itself and, depending on who you ask, it didn't really live up to the expectations or the franchise in many many ways.  While it is hard to think of a game like Grand Theft Auto V possibly being something even resembling a disappointment, it certainly wouldn't be the first time, nor the most recent time, where a hugely-anticipated game turned out mediocre or otherwise disappointing.

With three different protagonists who all have been suggested to have their own 'lives' when you're not controlling one, the game is really breaking new ground in more ways than one.  It's also the biggest source of possible apprehension that I find with the title since I just have no idea how that's going to affect the overall game.  I believe sources indicated that the three would share assets (somehow) between them, so the reason to switch between them is really only to utilize their individual skill sets.  We don't know what those are just yet, but all three characters will be their own character fully and completely, thus giving you a reason to -want- to play as them, if only in theory.  I assume it will also affect other things, possibly contacts and the like, but the reason -is- there at least.

The part I worry about, however, is how three characters is going to affect the game overall.  The main reason that the three protagonists are like this is...well, actually it's to try and bait you further into the game, playing you against two of the other protagonists to urge you to find a 'favorite' of them to feel more of a connection with the game, ensuring you'll play it longer and more intently.  But the other reason is that three different characters have been created, have been developed and thought out by the teams and they want to make damn sure you play all three of them.  So to that end, I worry about how the story will be - will all three characters get their own 'story' told through a series of missions that end up coinciding at certain points?  Or is it just that you can play any mission as any character, but they're very clearly designed towards one character or another?  It's a hard balance that Rockstar has to draw with this set-up, and I can only hope that works well for them since GTAV has ever opportunity to be pretty fantastic.

Metal Gear Rising:  REVENGEANCE will allow me to cut all most of the things.


Yeah, that's it, really.  I mean, yes, there will be the special brand of Kojima crazy to it assuredly, as well as the Platinum crazy on top of that, and the game will be action-packed and wonderful, but I really, really just want to play with the Zan-datsu stuff.  And the rest of the game. 

But mostly the Zan-datsu stuff.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg here as there's all -sorts- of other things to be looking forward to in 2013.  DmC:  Devil May Cry, Ni no Kuni:  Wrath of the White Witch, Dead Space 3, Tearaway, Sly Cooper:  Thieves in Time, God of War:  Ascension, Killzone:  Mercenary, South Park:  The Stick of Truth and Watch Dogs among many, many other games are all slated for the year.  And that's just what we know about.  There's still plenty of time for things to get announced, finished and released before the end of next year, and at least a couple of those will likely be wonderful in their own right.

So while 2012 was a really fantastic year for gaming (if not much else for some of us), 2013 is shaping up to be quite a contender in its own right.  Just when you thought it was safe to bring your wallet out in the light again.

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