Well, we already covered some of 2013's films to look forward to (and not) last week, so why not give the video games of this year their time in the TR limelight as well?
Despite what the naysayers would tell you, I thought 2012 was a damn fine year for gaming, one that gave us such classics as The Walking Dead, Borderlands 2, Journey, Fez, Dishonored, Hotline Miami...Well, you get the idea. The point is, the games of 2013 have a lot to live up to, but damned if they're not going to try. Granted, narrowing down the list to just ten games was a near-impossible task, but let's see if we can't get you excited enough to spill your wallet out for this year's crop of digital escapist entertainment...
15 through 11. Guacamelee!, Beyond: Two Souls, The Wonderful 101, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs
Aaaaand thing are not off to a good start, admittingly, when we're breaking general list rules and looking like none of us can perform basic math. Okay, explanation: These games are the only five from TR's last gaming preview list that haven't been released yet, due out this year. But since none of them have experienced any significant developments since then, and since putting them on this list would arguably just result in me repeating myself, we're just going to give them a bit of an Honorable Mention here for now, since all of them are still worthy of being this year's Most Wanted. That being said, The Last of Us will apparently have multiplayer, and The Wonderful 101 did get a new trailer recently, as seen above. Apparently it now has even larger enemies, some shooting levels, and most importantly, waterslide. So yeah, friggin' sweet.
(EDIT: Yeah, go figure, The Last of Us starts getting new previews showcasing more details the second I finish writing this.)
10. Remember Me
Granted, given the slipping of Capcom's reputation into "Satan" territory over the past year and with people questioning their output (along with their usual taste in dialogue, though that's pretty much expected by this point), people have been quite skeptical over Remember Me. Nonetheless, there are still a number of reasons to be hopeful for this one, number one being the unique "memory remixing" mechanic it features, where you get to enter someone's mind and alter their memories in order to achieves your goals...a mechanic that has apparently been phased out of all the game's current trailers, sadly, quite possibly due to the original showcase of them being a tad dark. (EDIT: one just showed up as deadline for this piece was approaching.) Well, crap. Now all we have to be impressed by are the gorgeous graphics, engrossing cyberpunk world, and crazy-ass combat featuring over 50,000 combos. Dang. So yeah, hopefully our protagonist Nilin's adventures as a "memory hunter" end up capturing more than a few hearts this year, also insert stock joke about game being memorable.
9. Don't Starve
First, let's get this out of the way: Yes, Don't Starve obviously sounds similar to Minecraft. In fact, Klei Entertainment - the people behind last year's critically acclaimed Mark of the Ninja - have openly stated Minecraft was indeed an influence here. But where Don't Starve stands out is in its larger emphasis on survival. You're thrown into a foreign world, isolated with no explanation as to what's going on without so much as a tutorial to guide your way, and you only have one real goal (no prizes for guessing what that goal is). You'll have to hunt, build, search, experiment, and die very, very often in order to succeed and fulfill the titular requirement, and the developers aim to make it all as satisfying as possible. The game's Victorian-meets-Tim Burton presentation style definitely helps as well, and pretty much perfectly nails the feeling of otherworldly creepiness presented by a world in which everything aims to kill you somehow. Don't Starve is available as a beta right now, and if the final product is even one-fifth as good, then your giant voxel reproduction of the Enterprise may very well have some major competition for your attention...
8. Soul Sacrifice
If there's a system in 2013 that needs a good boost in quality games, it'd be the PS Vita. Of course, giving it that boost would require someone to give Sony a swift kick in the ass and actually remind them that, oh yeah, the Vita still exists and it actually needs some damn games, period. Luckily, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune is here to help try and save the day with Soul Sacrifice, a fantasy action game with quite the surprising focus on the theme of sacrifice. Basically, the player controllers several different sorcerers throughout history via the use of a Necronomicon-style book and has the option to perform sacrifices to increase their power, be it sacrificing enemies, party members, or even your own body parts, in the case you want to create a bitchin' giant sword made of your own spine and various organs (and who wouldn't?). And of course, as you might have guessed, your play style and tastes in sacrifices will eventually shape your character and how they battle the traditional assortment of freaky-ass monsters with human faces, so you might want to think twice before pulling a Mola Ram on your partner. Throw in some four-player co-op so you can show off your scars to all your friends and let them join in on some intense combat, and you might just very well have the killer app the Vita finally deserves (well, along with Gravity Rush).
Honestly, Fortnite deserves a spot on this list simply by virtue of being a shooter with a vibrant, colorful style and a sense of humor in an age where every other major shooter features roided-up space marines in a gritty brown apocalypse. Even more amazing? This one is coming from Epic Games, a.k.a. the guys behind Gears of War, a.k.a. the KING of shooters with roided-up space marines in a gritty brown apocalypse. Epic wanted to debut Unreal Engine 4 with something original and unexpected, and god bless 'em for it! Admittedly, details on this one have been kind of tight - the only gameplay demo so far was shown behind closed doors to the press at last year's Comic-Con - but the game essentially revolves around a co-op series of battles where players have to scavenge for materials - any materials (the Minecraft influence strikes again, but still in a good way) - by day in order to fends off impish creatures wearing human skins as hoodies by night, presumably leading up to one of those classic cartoon moments where you frantically board up the door with everything humanly possible only to turn around and discover the monster was in the room with you the whole time...record scratch! So between the lovable TF2-esque style and the scavenge-infused and tower defense-style combat that sounds like a hoot, Fortnite sounds and looks like it'll be an absolute blast to play, especially with the emphasis on co-op play. Did I mention the freaky creatures that wear human skin hoodies? D'awww, they look kinda cute...
Hey, Sony DID remember to get someone to make more Vita games! Thanks for the ass kick, whoever you are! Tearaway is the latest from the makers of LittleBigPlanet, and it looks to deliver the same insane levels of charm, whimsy and originality that its predecessor had. Taking place in a holy-crap-that-looks-astonishing fantasy world composed entirely of papercraft, the player takes control of a plucky little messenger who has to traverse the land in order to deliver a special message to...um, the player themselves, actually. Yeah. Seriously. Plot oddities aside, Tearaway has more going for it than just a unique and jaw-dropping visual style (seriously, if what you see in that video doesn't make your eyes slightly pop, you have no soul), such as the ability to play god using pretty much every single ability the Vita has, as seen above. Whether you're folding the terrain to your benefit, bursting through the screen to solve puzzles, or literally blowing your enemies away, it's a safe bet to say Tearaway is the type of game that plans keep you entertained and astounded at every turn. Just please resist your urge to give that elk a skin made of penises.