Upcoming PC Games of 2013: January – April

7 Jan 2013  by   Peter Parrish
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PC GAMES Jan - April 2013

A brand new year means a whole hard-drives worth of fresh digital joy (and, inevitably, weary disappointment) to look forward to.

To help keep you on track with what’s on its way in the coming year, we’ve scoured press archives, old news pieces and our own dodgy memories to come up with a two-part definitive(ish) IncGamers list of upcoming PC titles.

This first installment deals with the games that are scheduled to show up in the first four months of the year. Release dates can sometimes be as substantive as a fart in the wind, but we’ve tried to be as accurate as possible with the information to hand.

 – January –

Shootmania Storm (Nadeo)

Shootmania Storm

Peter: 23 January will see Nadeo’s entry in the competitive multiplayer FPS genre emerge from beta and take its first tentative steps as a fully released title. I’ve previewed the game twice now, and it seems to offer the (now) trademark Nadeo mix of straightforward central mechanics and approachable user customisation. It’s responsive, easy to pick up and in ‘Royal’ has at least one outstanding mode of play. Whether it can also capture the eSports audience it so clearly craves remains to be seen.

Find out more on the official website.

DmC Devil May Cry (Ninja Theory)

DmC Devil May Cry

Tim: Alright, I admit that Dante’s new look may not be for everyone and a few of the trailers have made my eyes roll so hard they nearly flew out of my head, but Enslaved was enough to give me permanent faith in Ninja Theory and DmC‘s demo wasn’t the crushing letdown I half-expected. In short: this might actually be pretty good. PC release is on 25 January – a week after the console launch – so we’ll be finding out for sure pretty soon.

Find out more on the official website.

The Cave (Double Fine)

The Cave (1)

Tim: No, it’s not Double Fine Adventure – it’s just a Double Fine adventure. Although considering The Cave sprang from the mind of Ron Gilbert, the word “just” probably has no place in that sentence. Pick three characters from seven and descend into a cave, using your chosen team to solve puzzles and explore weird and wonderful locations. It sounds like Maniac Mansion combined with surreal environments, and that’s enough for me to put this in the “can’t wait” section of my own little list.

Find out more on the official website.

Strike Suit Zero (Born Ready)

Strike Suit Zero (2)

Paul: Transforming space ships, fast paced space combat, and loads of missiles are what you’re going to get from Born Ready Games’ upcoming title. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign the game will see players undertake single player missions over an evolving storyline which we had a taste of in our preview last year. Paul Ruskay, who created the soundtrack for Homeworld, also shows off his talents in the game, one which we think could tick quite a few boxes if you love space combat. The game is scheduled for release this January.

Find out more on the official website.

- February –

Omerta City of Gangsters (Haemimont)

Omerta City of Gangsters

Peter: The prospect of a gangster-themed title from the (re)makers of Tropico already has me picking out a pin-stripped hat and oversized machine gun. If Haemimont can apply the same sort of whimsical humour to mob hits as they did to repressive banana republics, then this turf-building and turn-based combat hybrid set in the Prohibition-era US could be a heady mix of sluggers, suits and speakeasies. It’s due for a drive-by on 5 February.

Find out more on the official website.

Dead Space 3 (Visceral)

Dead Space 3 (2)

Tim: Jump-scare horror plus action plus snowy external environments plus a new upgrade system plus… drop-in co-op, with each player having slightly different experiences? Really? Huh. There are two things heavily in Dead Space 3‘s favour: the first is the general pedigree of the series, because the previous Dead Space games are absolutely worth a play. The second is that, if nothing else, it’s going to be genuinely interesting to see how well the new ideas work. We’ll be able to investigate on 8 February, generally regarded as the spookiest day of the year by everyone who hates Halloween.

Find out more on the official website.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (Gearbox)

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Tim: I want this to be good so badly. I really, really do. I want a good, creepy, tense game based around the Alien franchise, punctuated by bursts of frantic and terrified action, because just about everything since 1999’s Aliens versus Predator has let me down in one way or another. I’m not too hopeful, but let’s stay positive: Gearbox is in charge, it looks pretty damn authentic, it’s got co-op, it’s… oh, sod it. I’m not optimistic, but I’d love to be proven wrong. We’ll find out around 12 February, assuming it doesn’t slip again.

Find out more on the official website.

Crysis 3 (Crytek)

Crysis 3 (2)

Tim: You never know – this one might actually run on most PCs. As with Crysis 2 it’s being optimised to work on consoles, and as PCs have shuffled along a bit further since that came out, a good amount of us might be okay! Until we try to put it into the SLI-melting high detail settings, obviously. (Oh, and if you’re into gameplay, it’s also got a bow, some fun-looking asymmetrical multiplayer, and the usual Crysis malarkey of technowizard supersuits.) Your PC will be fizzing in despair around 22 February.

Find out more on the official website.

Dark (Realmforge)

DARK

Peter: Ok, so Dungeons ended up a bit rubbish, but I’m willing to give Realmforge another chance. Dark is promising to stick you in the blood-craving body of a somewhat amnesiac vampire, who wakes up in the present day without much clue what’s going on. More broadly speaking, it’s looking like a third-person action title with some stealth bits and basic RPG-leveling of your vampiric powers. Might be total bobbins, but it has enough of the right ingredients to intrigue me. Dark is either due in February or “Early 2013,” but that should amount to roughly the same thing.

Find out more on the official website.

- March –

Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics)

Tomb Raider (4)

Tim: Hooray, another game about which I’m legitimately excited! Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot will, I suspect, either be really good or really disappointing. Dealing with Lara’s origins – as a scared girl trapped in a terrible situation – it sounds interesting. The open-world, the exploration mechanics, and the character development are the key points for me, here. That said, how much character dissonance there’ll be between Lara under the player’s control as a killer, and Lara as a scared girl in cutscenes, is something that could completely shatter what looks to be the game’s primary character arc. We’re looking at 5 March for this one, assuming no slippage.

Find out more on the official website.

Sim City (Maxis)

Sim City

Paul: The latest incarnation of Sim City promises a Sim experience quite different from what’s come before. The game does have an online only requirement which may put off some gamers, but Maxis felt it was necessary to fulfill their vision with the multiplayer aspect of the game. Player-created cities will influence each other which should make the game quite a challenge. From the developer videos that have been released, the game does look like it’s going to be something quite special and Sim City could just be one of the finest PC games of 2013. At least, we hope it will be.

Find out more on the official website.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 (City Interactive)

Sniper Ghost Warrior 2

Peter: Delayed and delayed again, but Ghost Warrior 2 should be emerging from the trees around 12 March. Really this time. Probably. The original got a bit of a critical mauling for (among other things) its rubbish AI, so City Interactive’s main task with this sequel should be to avoid making those same mistakes again. This time around, your first-person sniper man will be visiting Sarajevo, Burma and Tibet, so you can pretty much guarantee some gritty war-crimes subtext to all the head-shots and breath holding.

Find out more on the official website.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (Blizzard)

Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm

Paul: Blizzard will return in 2013 with the second part in the StarCraft 2 trilogy. While StarCraft 2 was a decent RTS, it didn’t really bring anything new to the RTS table – it was simply a very solid title. We expect more of the same from the next game which has been in beta test for quite a while now. So what happened to Sarah Kerrigan? The story continues in Heart of the Swarm which, without a doubt, will see StarCraft fans rushing to the shops to pick this up to experience a whole new campaign.

Find out more on the official website.

BioShock Infinite (Irrational)

BioShockInfinite_BeastofAmerica_Screen3

Peter: BioShock moves from sea to sky for this not-at-all-a-sequel continuation of the series’ mechanics and themes. This time around you’ll be controlling ex-Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt through a strange floating city called Columbia in a fictional (or is it?) version of 1912. DeWitt needs to ‘extract’ a girl named Elizabeth in order to clear an unspecified debt, and will be using the established BioShock combo of weapons, gadgets and exceptional powers (in this instance dubbed ‘vigors’) to achieve his goal. Like the original BioShock before it, Infinite is expected to offer a unique, captivating world full of scripted FPS events and Ken Levine’s recent political musings. Look to the skies on 26 March and you may see it hovering into view.

Find out more on the official website.

Metro Last Light (4A)

Metro Last Light

Tim: THQ’s monetary problems have caused me a great deal of sadness, if only because their 2013 lineup looks rather solid. Metro: Last Light, if it actually makes its March release date, should be decent: Metro 2033 worked well by focusing on survival, scavenging, and growing tension over run-and-gun action, and all signs indicate that Last Light is following the same spooky path. I’d be happy to see more Metro, so let’s take a moment to hope that financial woes don’t cause this to either slip into oblivion or be forced into shops before it can be properly finished.

Find out more on the official website.

Don’t Starve (Klei Entertainment)

Tim: I’ve already written a fair bit about Klei Entertainment’s survive-‘em-up, but for the uninitiated: you’re dumped into a wacky wilderness and have to survive against both hostile beasties and the growling of your rapidly-emptying stomach. There’s research, crafting, and combat galore, with plenty of weird little combinations to uncover and plenty more to the world than a first glance may show. It’s currently in a regularly-updated beta (with pre-purchase of the game granting instant access) with systems being reworked and new things being added at a superhuman pace, but if you’d rather wait for the full version to come out then it’s due “Late March.”

Find out more on the official website.

- April –

Star Trek (Digital Extremes)

Star Trek (1)

Peter: Slash fan-fiction authors will surely rejoice at Star Trek’s close, co-op pairing of Kirk and Spock, as the duo make their enterprising way through various levels of third person shooting. The title is a sort-of spin-off from the second film in the rejigged series, but set in the time period between the two JJ Abrams productions and featuring Kirk’s old pals The Gorn. An authentic audio experience is guaranteed, because all of the key cast members from the film are on board to provide voices. Launch should take place on 23 April.

Find out more on the official website.

South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian)

South Park The Stick of Truth (2)

Peter: Obsidian and South Park isn’t a connection I’d have made before this game was announced (given the tone of Alpha Protocol, Archer would probably have been my cross-over animated series of choice), but I’m ready to believe. The art team has nailed the deceptively simple look of the show, and the trailers released to date have provided enough laughs for me to feel confident about its writing. The best episodes of South Park are still the ones where the kids just have absurd adventures, so if the mechanics feel right this could be the perfect opportunity for a satisfying, self-satirising RPG. Assuming THQ’s new financial overlords keep the publisher going long enough, this game will arrive in “early fiscal 2014″ (which, confusingly enough, means April – July 2013). Let’s be positive and hope it’s April.

Find out more on the official website.

- Q1 2013 –

Company of Heroes 2 (Relic)

Company of Heroes 2 (1)

Paul: Fans of Relic’s excellent RTS Company of Heroes have been waiting a long time for a sequel. THQ may be having a few financial issues right now but they do have one of the most anticipated strategy games of 2013 to get out the door. Set in 1941 on the Eastern Front, players will command the Soviet forces as they take on Nazi Germany in some stunning looking environments powered by the Essence 3.o engine. All the video footage that has been released for the game so far is highly impressive and Relic could take the RTS crown this year with CoH 2. The game is currently in alpha testing with a beta to follow and a final release expected in March. Given THQ’s financial situation, though, that date could move around.

Find out more on the official website.

Lost Planet 3 (Spark Unlimited)

Tim: I’ll be honest – I’m not quite sure what’s going on with Lost Planet 3. It’s a prequel to the first game, so the titular lost planet of E.D.N. III is still frozen over. The bits we’ve seen looked a bit Dead Space, in terms of claustrophobic corridors and sudden assaults. So… it looks almost nothing like Lost Planet 2, then, and what we’ve seen is somewhat dissimilar to even the first title. The devs have promised that we’re still going to see plenty of open areas and the like, but I’m still a little uncertain as to the ultimate direction Spark Unlimited (the new developers for the franchise, most recently known for the atrocious Legendary and Turning Point) are planning on going. Still: the game is being directed by series creator Kenji Oguro, and Lost Planet 2‘s problems might mean a new direction is a decent idea, so hopes are still high for the faithful.

Find out more on the official website.

Zeno Clash II (ACE Team)

Zeno Clash II

Peter: I absolutely love Zeno Clash, so the idea that more of it will be turning up in the first half of 2013 makes me a thoroughly happy fellow. Last time around, ACE Team crafted a marvellous, fantastical world and populated it with weird characters who wanted to engage in fisticuffs. The melee system wasn’t flawless, but it did present first-person punching in a convincing, weighty fashion. Zeno Clash II is teasing even greater ambition in terms of open spaces and locations, plus an (optional) co-op mode. As long as it has more blind assassin guys tossing suicide-bomb squirrels around, I’ll be quite satisfied.

Find out more on the official website.

Impire (Cyanide)

Impire (2)

Peter: Another year, another attempt to channel the pure subterranean joy of Dungeon Keeper. Long may it continue, at least until a developer gets a modern remake right. By the looks of things here, Cyanide will be ripping the process of building dungeon rooms, looking after creatures and fending off nosey heroes straight out of Bullfrog’s classic title. Not necessarily the most innovative project around, but one that could be worth looking out for given Impire’s obvious inspiration.

Find out more on the official website.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (thechineseroom)

Amnesia A Machine for Pigs

Tim: Amnesia: The Dark Descent is rightly regarded as one of the most bloody terrifying games in recent years. Personally, it reminded me of Clock Tower: you were running and hiding rather than fighting back with heavy weapons, and that level of powerlessness was a large part of what made it so pants-browningly scary. While details on this follow-up are a bit thin on the ground (ensuring a fair few surprises) it looks like we can expect some wider areas and some tweaked enemy AI, all of which should mean that series veterans hopefully can’t use past experience to anticipate what’s going to happen and how to survive. Originally delayed from Halloween 2012, it seems fair to assume that this’ll make its new date of early 2013.

Find out more on the official website.

Divinity: Dragon Commander (Larian)

Dragon Commander

Peter: You know, after Obsidian, Larian might be the RPG studio that gets me most excited for their games. The offbeat tone of Divinity 2 and the willingness of the team to solve the game’s problems in the re-released Dragon Knight Saga gave me a lot of faith in their commitment to making well-crafted, amusing titles. Dragon Commander is … well, I’m still not quite sure what it is. Right now it appears to be a real-time strategy game of sorts, where you can hop into the body of a jet-pack wearing dragon (yes) and control matters directly. Oh, and it has RPG bits where you can marry a skeleton princess. That’s plenty to convince me it’s worth investigating.

Find out more on the official website.

The Showdown Effect (Arrowhead)

The Showdown Effect

Peter: It had to happen eventually. Arrowhead stopped making DLC for Magicka just long enough to start a brand new multiplayer project. In The Showdown Effect you’ll be controlling one of several playable action movie character clichés and doing what action movie characters do best; shooting everything. It’s a 2.5D competitive affair and looks suitably hectic from what brief gameplay has been shown so far.

Find out more on the official website.

Defiance

Defiance

Paul: TRION are back with a new MMO and this time it’s a shooter. Based on a TV tie-in with the syfi channel, which will also air the Defiance TV show at the same time, players step into the future where aliens and humans live along side each other. I think you can guess it’s not going to be peace and harmony. The game and TV show will also influence each other’s storyline which will be a first for an MMO. How that will work out is anyone’s guess at this point but it’s an interesting concept nevertheless. Will TRION pull it off? We’ll have to wait and see as the first Beta test gets underway on 18 January 2013.

Find out more on the official website.

Check out Part Two, in which we look at the games coming up in the rest of the year.

Did we miss something? It’s entirely possible we did. Give us your suggestions for anticipated PC games of January-April in the comments, below.

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