2013 is looking like it could be the last year for the current generation of consoles (for PS3 and Xbox 360 at least). Next-gen consoles look like they’ll release later this year or early next year, snaring attention away from current-gen consoles. With that in mind, it’s important that developers push themselves this year, as their next projects will be with unfamiliar hardware. Let’s look at some already announced titles that should be challenging for ‘Game of the Year’ awards come the end of the year.
5) Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
From the developers of Heavy Rain comes another story heavy game focusing on a girl with a connection to a ghost, and her 15 year experience or journey through life. The premise sounds very interesting, and if the production values can match or indeed surpass Heavy Rain, then gamers should be in for a really good treat with the game. One slight trepidation comes from having played Heavy Rain itself. The story in Heavy Rain kind of fell flat on its face nearer the end of the game. For a game very focused on story-telling, that was a bad misstep. Hopefully no such problems arise in Beyond: Two Souls, and if that turns out to be the case, then this game will definitely be a contender for game of the year.
4) Rome II: Total War (PC)
The Total War real-time strategy series is one of the best examples of its genre. I used to enjoy playing 2D RTS games back in the day, but could never get into the newer 3D RTS games. Except for the Total War series. In 2013, the Rome version of the game returns for a sequel, and it looks every bit as good as all its predecessors. While the graphics are certainly something to behold, the meat of the game comes down to its turn-based move system coupled with the real-time battle simulations. Nothing feels more daunting than defending a fort from invasion or on the other hand leading the assault on the enemies terrain. The large variety of units for you to choose from coupled also with the variety of factions all add to the game’s depth. Rome II: Total War looks to be another great game in the series and a contender for game of the year too.
3) Bioshock Infinite (Ps3, Xbox 360, PC)
The immense popularity of the first Bioshock speaks volumes to how gamers are salivating at playing another game in the series, this time developed once more by the original Bioshock development team (Bioshock 2 was develpod by a different team). The previews for the game have only added to the anticipation for it. A living and breathing world drifting high up in the skies (as a contrast to Bioshock’s underwater city, Rapture) looks like a great place to explore. The story of Elizabeth and her bird-like guard is also very intriguing, and if the story is anything like the original Bioshock, it should be spectacular. Another great contender for game of the year. The bonus for this game (unlike the rest on this list), is that it will release on three different platforms, allowing many people the chance to play it.
2) The Last Of Us (Ps3)
Naughty Dog, developers of the Uncharted series, is looking to add another great title to its repertoire. The Last Of Us looks like it will be another great PS3 exclusive. Most of the anticipation for this game comes from the fact that Naughty Dog has an excellent recent pedigree, but the previews from the game also elevate the games status. The game looks to be more open than the Uncharted series, and the story features two very interesting characters facing an apocalyptic situation. Everyone loves a good apocalyptic story and the banter between the two main characters adds to gamers’ anticipation for the game. It even looks like the gameplay will be affected by the presence of two main characters too.
1) Grand Theft Auto V (Ps3, Xbox 360)
One can’t really look past GTA V for potential game of the year nominees. Rockstar is known for quality games in general, let alone for its flagship title, Grand Theft Auto. GTA V is looking to be a huge open sandbox game featuring three main characters and a much bigger landscape than in GTA IV. We already covered one feature on GTA V here at Explosion, and for good reason, many gamers around the world want to get their hands on it. Rockstar’s quality shines through in this series and it isn’t looking to let up here. After dabbling in the shallow end of the pool with GTA IV, Rockstar are looking to up the ante and dive straight into the deep end with GTA V. While the game is definitely on the card for the PS3 and Xbox 360, a PC version also seems likely down the line whilst a Wii U version is a bit more of an unknown. It seems like a GTA game would sell well on any console, so it’s probably in Rockstar’s best interest to get the game on as many platforms as possible. Here’s hoping many gamers get to experience this game of the year contender.
So, that’s today’s list. Do you guys have any other games you see as a game of the year contender? Truth be told, there are many interesting games releasing this year, so much so that another 5 more games could easily be added to this list. Maybe I’ll expand this article in the near future to include more potential candidates.