We continue to roll through our top hundred games of 2013 today with another five games making an appearance. We’ve got superheroes fighting, Gears facing prosecution, tanks blowing things up, raccoons stealing time and an undercover police officer you today. This might possibly be the most disparate group of games I’ve ever covered in one article. Oh well, here goes!
45. Injustice: Gods Among Us
As a huge comic book nerd this is one of the games I’m most excited about from next year. While 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe title seemed to fall a little flat, particularly in the US where the game’s fatalities featured censorship to achieve its Teen rating, Injustice looks incredibly tantalising. Of course, part of that comes from the success that NetherRealm had with last year’s Mortal Kombat, but a large part of it is simply that the game looks better.[videoyoutube]
While I thought Mortal Kombat looked and played absolutely brilliantly, Injustice has had two years of improvements to the version of Unreal Engine 3 that the studio uses and it really shows. The gameplay trailers we’ve seen look absolutely glorious, with detailed characters, fluid fighting and rich environments.
Speaking of the game’s environments, it looks like NetherRealm have added a lot of elements of the environment that can be used as weapons, such as steam pipes and laser cutters, as well as a number of multi-level stages. These look just as exciting as the combat itself, and should help to give the game some of its identity.
The game will feature a story mode similar to the last Mortal Kombat, with Lead Designer John Edwards stating that it will help explain exactly why heroes are facing off against each other (it should be obvious why they’re fighting villains). If the story mode turns out anything like Mortal Kombat’s then it will probably be the game’s centrepiece, and may elevate it above other, more established fighting games.
If you’re as excited about the game as I am then you can expect to see it in April 2013.
44. Gears of War: Judgement
Gears of War: Judgement should be this generation’s last hurrah for the Gears series, and it feels a little like it’s being pushed out just so that Microsoft can have something exclusive on the 360 before their next console arrives. Part of this comes from the fact that the game’s a prequel to the core Gears of War series, although the feeling also comes from People Can Fly’s involvement in the game.
That’s not to say I’ve got anything against People Can Fly, Bulletstorm was a lot of silly fun, but their involvement does make the game feel a little bit like it’s a side project for Epic, something they’re putting out to keep Microsoft happy while they work on products for the next-gen.
As for the game itself, it focuses on Gears regulars Baird and Cole before the events of the main Gears of War story. Judging by the E3 trailer they, as well as the rest of their squad, are in a bit of trouble, with Baird seemingly on trial for disobeying orders and treason. We’ll find out exactly how much trouble in March.
43. Command & Conquer
The next Command & Conquer title has seen a whole raft of changes since the game was announced at last year’s VGAs. Coming from BioWare Victory, it was originally announced as a sequel to Command & Conquer: Generals. However, since then it’s moved on and become a free-to-play game. Victory will be adapting the content they’d built for Generals 2 into the new game but apart from that it seems like the game may have changed a fair amount.
So what do we know about the new, free-to-play game? Well fortunately, despite initial concern from fans due to its free-to-play nature, the game will have a single-player mode. It’s also going to feature three factions; the EU, the GLA and one unannounced faction.
The gameplay video that was shown at Gamescom looks pretty impressive, even if we don’t know a huge amount about the game. Battles look large, and the graphics look relatively good. Vehicles also seem to have the same kind of style you’d expect from a Command & Conquer title.
While we don’t have a definitive release date for the game just yet, you can keep up to date by signing up for the beta.
42. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
I tried the latest Sly Cooper game on Vita at this year’s EGX and, to be honest, I couldn’t really get to grips with it. It seemed like a reasonably competent 3D platformer but some of the mechanics were completely lost on me; all I really managed to do was die a lot.
Fortunately, Blair’s looked at the game in a more in depth preview and he actually understood it. Not only that but he actually seemed to like it a lot. Despite being the fourth entry into the series he found that it works well for newcomers, so perhaps a stint with the game from the beginning might straighten out my issues.
The game’s set to feature Bentley, Murray, and Carmelita Fox as playable characters alongside Sly, and Blair found that each character he played with had their own abilities and uses in gameplay, although the underlying game managed to stay fluid throughout. That sounds pretty positive, and it’s nice to see some differentiation in the characters.
If you hadn’t guessed, the game’s central plot revolves around time travel, with Sly popping back and forth through time, seeing different locations and periods as he goes. We’ll also get to meet some of Sly’s ancestors, something that might be interesting for adding to the franchise’s law.
Perhaps the most important thing to note about the game is that it’s set to be a cross-buy game, as long as you buy it on PS3. That’s right, pick the game up on PS3 and you’ll get a Vita copy for free. Sounds like a great deal to me.
If you want some Sly in your life then you don’t have to wait long, with the game set to arrive on February 5th in the US, or March 22nd in Europe.
41. Lego City Undercover
While Lego games have really made a name for themselves in recent years via their film adaptations, Lego City Undercover is the first time I can remember people being excited about a Lego game that isn’t adapting a beloved film story. The game’s set to be a Nintendo exclusive, available on both the Wii U and 3DS, and will star undercover cop Chase McCain. Now that’s a good name for an undercover cop.
To be honest Chase may not be the most realsitic depiction of an undercover cop ever though, as he apparently has the ability to wall jump and the game’s cover features him holding a grappling hook. It also shows him waving a badge and wearing a police uniform, so I’m not sure how on board he is with the undercover element of his job.
Whilst the game’s going to feature your typical gameplay mechanics from earlier Lego titles, such as being able to build objects from discarded Lego pieces, it’s also set to bring new elements into the mix. Most notably, it’s an open world game and is borrowing some elements from games like GTA. Obviously it’s not going to be all that GTA like when you’re playing as a police officer, but you will be driving around in cars and helicopters and, presumably, causing at least some level of mayhem.
Hopefully we shouldn’t have to wait too long for this new spin on Lego games, with it being set for a Q1 release.
That’s it for today’s portion of the list. If you missed earlier entries you can catch up here, and we’ll be back tomorrow with the next five games to make the cut.