We round up PC gaming's most promising games of 2013, including release dates - here's part one.
By Tim Colwill on January 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm
With a new year comes a new calendar full of games to play, and a new list of must-haves and bargain-buys. We’ve done the legwork and assembled all of the PC games we know about for 2013 into one (okay, two) big lists for you to look over, so gather round and get ready for a great year of gaming.
(Please note that all release dates are as accurate as possible — sometimes all we have to go on is the estimated release quarter. These may be subject to change!)
Click here to see all of the games from July onwards, including games announced for 2013 but without a specific date (there are lots!).
Strike Suit Zero – January 24
Strike Suit Zero comes to us by way of the Kickstarter — a space combat game where you ship turns into a giant robot so you can keep fighting but with more punching, Strike Suit Zero has some serious talent behind it including Junji Okubo (of Steel Battalion, Infinite Space and Appleseed fame) and Paul Ruskay of Homeworld on the music front. 90’s space combat games are back in style, baby.
DmC: Devil May Cry - January 25
This reboot of the Devil May Cry series may sound like it’s the same game (and use the same name) but it’s by Ninja Theory this time around, so you expect a bucketload of slick action, gore, and hairstyles that aren’t even remotely feasible. They’re outsourcing the port to a specialist PC porting company hoping for a good result, and it might just come through. Click here to check out the PC specs, and hang out for our review shortly.
The Dark Eye: Demonicon – January (date TBA)
We don’t really experience it here, but The Dark Eye is one of the biggest pen-and-paper RPGs in Germany, and this upcoming video game adaptation had our resident RPG man Daniel Wilks excited enough to put it in his Most Promising RPGs of 2013 list. Unfortunately all we know about it so far makes it look a bit generic, but never judge a book by its cover!
Omerta: City of Gangsters – February 1
This city-management sim cum mafia family strategy game looks fairly ambitious, and if anybody other than Kalypso were making it, it might be something to worry about. As it is, Kalypso have been pushing out city simulators for a long time now, so it’s good to see them trying something new.
Dead Space 3 – February 7
The first big AAA release of 2013 is Dead Space 3, and EA are making a strong play to dominate the first quarter of the year. This time around we’re looking for more of a shooter bent than a horror one it seems, as our resident gun-nut Toby discovered when he went hands-on in August. We’ll have more for you next week, so stay tuned.
Aliens: Colonial Marines – February 12
A game that’s already raised a few excited eyebrows around the games.on.net offices, A:CM provides what everybody has always been hoping for in their heart: Left 4 Dead, but with xenomorphs. Sure, there’s more too it, and probably even a detailed single-player campaign as well. Oh, and it has playable female marines! But once we get some of that sweet, sweet multiplayer, we’ll be a lot happier — hopefully, anyway. We’ll find out more next month.
Crysis 3 – February 19
This is the last Crysis game in this arc, with Crytek promising that they’ll be shutting the door on Prophet and his wacky suit and ringing in an all-new era of bizarre aliens and lush jungle renders. Crysis 3 is looking to go out with a bang however, with the game’s producer recently saying to us that they weren’t going to be held back by consoles any more, and would be going all out with Crysis 3’s PC options.
Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness – February 28
Shades of Darkness is a new stand-alone expansion for Might & Magic: Heroes VI, Ubisoft’s 4X flagship which has been quietly churning away now for some time. The expansion stars Raelag, first introduced in Might and Magic V, and will incorporate a new faction called ‘Dungeon’ as well as two whole new campaigns. Launching on the same day is a Might and Magic: Heroes VI Complete pack, which will also include Shades of Darkness inside it.
Clang - February (date TBA)
Historical fantasy author Neal Stephenson is behind this Kickstarter-powered game which aims to create a realistic, motion-controlled sword-fighting simulator that should get historical combat buffs all hot and bothered in all the right places. Check out what they’re planning over at their Kickstarter page.
Carmageddon: Reincarnation – February (date TBA)
From historical accuracy to gleeful inaccuracy: Carmageddon: Reincarnation aims to capitalise on the joy that we all felt that first time we ran over 27 consecutive pedestrians. In a video game, obviously. Recreated in modern 3D and with full physics and everything, Reincarnation is hoping you’ll remember enough of the good old days to fork out for them all over again. Although, perhaps some things are timeless.
SimCity – March 5
Although it’s packed full of more always-online DRM than you can poke a stick at and Maxis’ excuses as to why they need it are always completely inane, SimCity is looking good. Really good. With that tilt-shift photography visual style and a new reworked interface and overlay system, even Bennett was able to go hands-on with it and still manage to not flood his city with sewerage.
Tomb Raider – March 5
Initially slated for last year, this gritty reboot of one of gaming’s most iconic leading ladies has split fans down the middle, with some saying it’s a great new direction and others wondering if there’ll be anything left of the Lara they once knew. We took a look at it just last month and came away very impressed with the brutal storytelling and the rough, more human new Lara — but the recent revelation that the game will ship with deathmatch multiplayer has some worried if this is just Uncharted 4 (although Uncharted was in many ways a rip-off of Tomb Raider, so… my head hurts).
The Showdown Effect – March 6
This side-scrolling brawler may look like a Super Smash Bros. clone, but with a cast entirely full of cliche 80′s action heroes and more guns and explosions than you can pock a stick at, The Showdown Effect is a wacky and delightful new multiplayer game — but what else would you expect from the people behind Magicka? Take a look at our hands-on preview right here.
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm – March 12
The Zerg have always been my favourite StarCraft 2 race, and the announcement of a whole campaign specific to the delightfully icky bugs is music to my ears. Heart of the Swarm is bringing a host of new units, a new campaign and a whole new method of army mutation to bear when it ships in the middle of March, and those of you lucky enough to currently be in the multiplayer beta will be aware of how hard and fast Blizzard are working to get the balance right in time for release. Also coming in this installment is a training mode against AI who will learn from you and offer strategies to help you improve. The future, everybody!
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 – March 15
The next installment in the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series has now moved on to the CryENGINE 3, which lets it pull off all sorts of visual excellence, as you can see in this latest ‘Brutal War Crimes’ trailer. Other than that it seems to be business as usual, so if you enjoy a bit of careful planning and shooting, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will have you covered come March 15.
Resident Evil 6 – March 21
It would be fair to say that Resident Evil 6 has received somewhat of a mixed critical reception since launching in October last year. Some liked it and others, like our own Toby McCasker, called it “loathsome to play”. Still, anxious to avoid another Resident Evil 4 debacle, Capcom are taking their time and including all the bonus content already released to the console versions. Take a look at the system requirements here.
BioShock: Infinite – March 26
There’s one thing that watching the first five minutes of the BioShock: Infinite story can show you: this is definitely a BioShock game. Set high over the skies of Columbia on a floating city, this time you star as Booker DeWitt, sent in to retrieve a young girl named Elizabeth and return her to the outside world but, of course, things are never that simple. 2K and Irrational took the unusual step of showing the game to media running on a PC instead of on console, which indicates they’re confident this one is in for a strong PC showing. Click here to see all the PC graphics and HUD options you’ll have in the final product.
Don’t Starve – March (date TBA)
An interesting new take on the survival genre, Don’t Starve is an indie offering from Klei Entertainment, the people behind the magnificent Mark of the Ninja. It’s currently in beta on Steam for a reduced price, and tasks you, a gentleman scientist, with surviving after being stranded on an island by a demon. I’ve yet to play it, but everyone who has tells me it’s quite terrifying. Take a look for yourself come late March, or buy it now — and get a spare copy to give to a friend.
Rise of the Triad – Q1 (date TBA)
I honestly thought Apogee Software were dead and buried, but no — they’re still publishing, and in fact they’re publishing Rise of the Triad’s 2013 remake as surely as they published the 1995 original. The remake is being handled by Interceptor Entertainment, and if the trailer is anything to go by, we can expect a retro-tastic butt-load of guns and explosions.
Star Trek - April 23
Describing the gameplay of the upcoming Star Trek game as “bro-op”, Digital Extreme’s Steve Sinclair might have perhaps mistaken it for Army of Two. To me, it looks like a sci-fi shooter where can swap between Spock and Kirk, shoot lasers at things, pinch them on the neck in a Vulcan manner, and largely put the bad guys where they belong: a space grave. Okay, maybe we just have different definitions of bro-op. In any case, with Star Trek: Into Darkness hitting cinemas three weeks after the game comes out, the pressure is on to make sure this one doesn’t leave a bad taste in potential moviegoers mouths.
Dead Island: Riptide – April 26
We don’t know much about Riptide, but we do know that (as in most sequels) there will be a new setting and character, and those are the island of Palanai (previously a resort, now a zombie hellhole) and John Morgan, a man so badass he has two first names. He’s also an ex-Marine, or Navy SEAL, or something. The important thing is, Deep Silver seem pretty keen to deliver on all the things you liked about the first game — although hopefully with less horrific bugs. Check out the new trailer and see if it grabs you like the original did, back in the day.
Metro: Last Light - May 14
With THQ going under, floating a bit and then going under again, there’s a small chance that Metro: Last Light might not make it to March as planned but, if everything works out, we should be in for a treat. The sequel to Metro 2033, Last Light is set to be darker, grittier and even more radioactive than the first time around — so much so that THQ basically consider it to be a whole new IP. While we don’t have any specific info on the PC support Metro will offer, the developers have made some very promising noises. Stay tuned.
Wargame: AirLand Battle – May (date TBA)
Wargame: Airland Battle may have a silly name but it has a top pedigree: the sequel to Wargame: European Escalation, Airland Battle is set between 1975 and 1985 in the war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. A new version of the impressive IRISZOOM engine is promised, with greatly improved graphical fidelity and an increased level of detail. Four new nations are also playable. Hit up the official site for more.
South Park: Stick of Truth – May (date TBA)
Obsidian are well known for making fantastic RPGs, so when it was announced that they were teaming up with Trey Parker and Matt Stone to make a South Park RPG there was a very definite look of confusion on the face of nearly everybody who heard it. And yet, it’s actually looking really good. Assuming it survives the THQ asset sell-off, we should expect to see it some time in May.
Remember Me – June 6
Capcom’s latest release is a bit out of left field: you play a ‘memory hunter’ in a dystopian future who travels into people’s minds and explores a futuristic city while trying to why your own memories have been erased. Footage so far shows a heavy emphasis on platforming and acrobatic combat, with a good dose of stealth and parkour mixed in. Click here to check out all we know so far.
Company of Heroes 2 – June 25
2013 continues its strong RTS run with Relic’s latest offering, Company of Heroes 2. Set on the Eastern Front, you’ll take command in the war between the Soviets and the Germans as you fight over frozen battlefields and icy lakes, burning down farm houses and using blizzards as cover. We recently went hands on with both the multiplayer and the single-player campaigns, and came back feeling very pleased. Plus it looks stunning DirectX 11, too.
Lost Planet 3 - June 25
Lost Planet 3 serves as the prequel to the two previous Lost Planet games, but for the first time in the series Capcom have moved development outside of their own teams and hired Spark Unlimited to handle the new game. Lost Planet 3 returns you to the icy environments of the original and new, er, older mech suits that are the fore-runners of what you spent the first game piloting. More news as it happens!
Dark – Q2 (date TBA)
We don’t know a lot about Dark — you’re a vampire, you wake up in a world of vampires, and you employ both stealth and RPG elements on your quest to… vamp. Presumably. Like I said, we really don’t know a lot. The teaser trailer from May is about as much as there is to go on, so take a look at that and… stay tuned. Vampires!
Divinity: Original Sin – Q2 (date TBA)
Serving as a prequel to Divine Divinity, a game which still wins my own personal award for Most Hilarious Game Name of All Time, Original Sin will feature two main playable characters, as well as co-operative multiplayer and turn-based combat. Fans of the series will also enjoy what is described as an “adventure building kit”, so that adventures and maps can be shared online with other players. Plus, you’ll be able to pick up anything that’s not nailed down. The creators are really excited about this, so maybe you should be too. Learn more at the official site.
Mars: War Logs – Q2 (date TBA)
Mars: War Logs is an upcoming cyberpunk RPG from Spiders, set — as you might imagine — on Mars, where an unnamed cataclysm 200 years ago has resulted in the planet now being controlled by the guilds who control the water supply. It’s an interesting idea and promises a complex world, a complex crafting system, and a harsh, radioactive environment to explore in. Here’s a trailer you might enjoy.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs – Q2 (date TBA)
The indirect sequel to the ridiculously popular cult hit Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Machine for Pigs is actually being developed by a different developer thechineseroom with some assistance from the original people at Frictional Games. We don’t know very much about it for now, but if indie horror is your bag, this should be on your purchase list. Here’s the latest trailer for you to enjoy.
Click here to see all of the games from July onwards, including games announced for 2013 but without a specific date (there are lots!).