Opinion: Eight Incredible-Looking New IPs Coming In 2013
Watch Dogs (PS3/Xbox360/PC)
Armed with a deliciously intriguing premise, Ubisoft’s eagerly-anticipated open-world adventure is that rarest of things: a big-budget Triple A game with a highly original concept at its centre.
Taking on topical themes of reliance on technology and the ethics of information control, Watch Dogs casts you as a skilled hacker who can tap-in to computer networks to aid and facilitate his vengeful actions. For example, when escaping after committing a very public assassination, you might mess with a nearby set of traffic lights to cause a welcome distraction in the form of a catastrophic car pile-up.
You can also hack NPCs personal devices to obtain important information, and open-up side quests around this fascinating neo-noir’s huge city – which is at your cyber-tampering, anarchy-unleashing mercy.
Until Dawn (PS3)
Inspired by classic slasher movies like Scream and Friday The 13th, this terrific-looking title aims to plunge the player into a full-on ‘Teen Horror’ experience – complete with deliberately hammy cliches and nerve-jangling jump scares.
Scripted by Hollywood screenwriters and making use of the PS3’s Move system to guide characters’ actions, the game follows a group of teenage kids as they (quite unwisely) journey to the woods on a dark, ominous night.
Flipping between various perspectives, the player’s actions, decisions and attention-to-detail will determine which teens will ultimately survive, and which will fall foul of whatever inevitable nastiness awaits…
Remember Me (PS3, Xbox360, PC)
Boasting lavish sci-fi cityscapes, fast-paced melee combat and a compelling new mechanic called ‘memory remixing’, Capcom’s seemingly slick action outing is certainly one to watch.
You play the athletic and deadly Nilin, searching for answers in a dystopian surveillance state that has wiped her memories. Perhaps ironically, the novel game mechanic previously mentioned allows you to manipulate targets by altering their recollections of an event. Consider our curiosity piqued.
With its free-running platform sections, crunchy-looking combat and sumptuous visuals, Remember Me looks both stylish and compelling.
A first-person horror experience nightmared-up by former employees of Ubisoft and Naughty Dog, Outlast’s hide-and-seek stealth approach is clearly inspired by Amnesia – but it also takes a cue from Assassin’s Creed and Prince Of Persia, with intense parkour-like chase sequences as the player flees from terrifying foes.
Casting you as a journalist exploring an abandoned insane asylum, there are also clear similarities to chilling film series REC as you view pitch-black environments with the aid of night-vision cameras.
Although formal gameplay footage is yet to be released, this fantastic trailer offers a tantalising taste of what developers Red Barrels are aiming for.
Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
David Cage’s new project with Quantic Dream is another ‘interactive-movie’ in the mould of Heavy Rain. But it looks to have a more philosophical depth than that widely acclaimed last outing – following its female protagonist Jodie through 15 years in her life as she deals with an invisible presence that accompanies her.
Starring the rather excellent movie actress Ellen Page, what Cage appears to have in store for us is a complex supernatural thriller that deals with questions of death, religion and the afterlife.
You can control Jodie’s paranormal companion to navigate the environment in first-person and even float through walls, and both this – and the apparently high standard of writing and presentation – suggests this could be a genuinely absorbing event.
State Of Decay (Xbox360/PC)
We all know that zombie games have been done (ahem) to death, but this extraordinarily ambitious open-world concept from Undead Labs could potentially trump DayZ as the ultimate post-apocalyptic simulator.
It’s billed as a third-person action game with endless possibilities. You can team-up with fellow survivors or become a lone wolf; establish and fortify a base or take the fight to the enemy hordes; take a quiet, cautious approach, or hop in a pick-up truck and go on a rampage of gory road rage.
The key word here, as with any good Sandbox, is ‘choice’. And the developers aim to keep things interesting by having an ever-evolving world, where searching locations, hunting for supplies, and each and every action you make have profound consequences on the in-game environment.
Developed by a talented team who were formerly at work on the sadly ill-fated S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, this free-to-play MMO is something of a spiritual successor to the much-loved survival-FPS series – and it sounds fantastic.
Plunging players into a catastrophe-riven world plagued by environmental hazards and feral animals, Vostok Games has risen from the ashes of GSC Game World to produce an online shooter that promises to be every bit as gripping and immersive as its illustrious forebears.
The Last Of Us (PS3)
Perhaps the most massively-hyped of all of 2013’s new IPs, Naughty Dog’s forthcoming thriller continues the apocalyptic trend with the story of gruff survivor Joel and resilient teenager Ellie – journeying together through a ruined society plagued by violent bandits and monstrous, mutated humanoids.
Apparently similar to The Road in its dark, mature and gritty themes and desperate battle for life in a world gone to hell, it blends stealth, action and intelligent problem-solving as you attempt to guide Joel and Ellie through a variety of dangerous locations and scenarios.
What looks to set this apart is its extraordinary visuals, mooted complexity in terms of the varied way in which you can approach and resolve situations, and – perhaps most importantly – Naughty Dog’s insistence that this will be a truly engaging exercise in meaningful characterisation and emotional storytelling.