Opinion: Eight Fantastic-Looking New Games You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

The coming months may be jam-packed with hugely-hyped titles and high-profile releases, but there are also plenty of amazing-looking ‘under the radar’ games to look forward to throughout 2013. From inspired indie creations to genre-mashing gems, we take a peek at eight of the best…

 

Dark

Forget Twilight. Real vampires are back – with this intriguing stealth-action adventure from Realmforge Studios casting you as blood-sucking, human-stalking nightwalker Eric Bane in a grim, futuristic city full of shady possibilities.

With various vampire powers at your disposal, and an RPG-like system that allows you to refine both your preferred playstyle and the way you interact with the world around you, Dark appears to have a film noir backdrop as compelling as Bladerunner, and gory, ruthless cat-and-mouse action that will make Blade look like Bambi.

 

Depth

Without doubt one of those ideas that makes you sit up and shout,”Why the hell hasn’t this been done before!’, Depth has a sublimely-cool and deliciously simple premise at its core. Namely: divers vs sharks.

Promising an intense underwater multiplayer experience, the title sees teams of players assume control of either harpoon-wielding frogmen, or razor-toothed predators – resulting in a contrasting experience of tense, survival-horror for the humans, and a wild stalking simulator for the sharks. Could be magnificent.

 

The Witness

A compelling first-person puzzler from Braid creator Jonathan Blow, exploration and discovery is the name of the game here.

Offering up non-linear gameplay and a genuine sense of mystery as you negotiate the wide-reaching environments, this video of an early-build demo at PAX back in 2010 offers an initial glimpse of what we can expect. Will it be a modern day Myst, in both magnitude of impact and excellence of execution? Only time will tell.

 

Charlie Murder

From the genius one-man development team that brought you The Dishwasher games, this side-scrolling arcade brawler casts you, and up to three buddies, as a disgruntled punk band attempting to see-off their hated rivals – in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Sounds like fun to us.

Boasting a similarly distinctive art-style to his previous efforts, James Silva’s latest creation looks to be an absolute triumph of deliberately trashy OTT, beat ‘em up, co-op action – with plenty of insane action and looting, the odd bit of detective work, and a kick-ass soundtrack to boot.

 

Routine

One of the surprise packages of Gamescom 2012, this indie horror has some inspired ideas up its sleeve. Set in a refreshingly retro version of space – complete with floppy discs that must be collected – it has you investigate an eerily-deserted lunar station, where something very nasty awaits.

Thanks to randomised environmental threats, locations and pick-ups, it changes every time you play – which is probably a good thing, as you have minimal means to fight back, and permadeath awaits you should you fail. Could this be 2013′s sci-fi answer to Slender?


 

Killer Is Dead

Masterminded by the now-legendary Suda 51 – of Killer7, Shadows Of The Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw fame – this new console action title has been surprisingly overlooked by many of those ‘Games of 2013′ previews, with all those blockbuster releases and eagerly-awaited sequels turning attention away from this thrilling-sounding new IP.

Whatever you think of Suda 51, you can’t accuse him of lacking weird, wonderful and original ideas. Boasting a phenomenal graphic novel aesthetic and casting you as a cybernetic hit-man who can attach various weapons to his arm (sounds cool already, eh?), expect another all-out serving of action mayhem and tongue-in-cheek humour, with a neat side order of style.

 

Cradle

Developed by former-S.T.A.L.K.E.R talents and already being hailed as “bizarre and beautiful”, Cradle appears to be a true model of originality – and the epitome of ‘different’.

The open-world adventure is set in a remote part of Mongolia, where you must embark on a quest to re-build your mechanical companion and explore the mysteries of an abandoned amusement park nearby. Existential, intelligent, and seemingly captivating, it could be one of the most unusual yet awe-inspiring games of modern times.

 

Ether One

With welcome shades of To The Moon and Inception in its concept, and an eye-opening art style that suggests a visual treat could be in store, White Paper Games’ alternative sci-fi experience casts you as a ‘Restorer’ – an individual who enters the minds of mentally-ill people in order to rebuild their fractured memories.

Offering up cryptic puzzles, environmental re-configuration and a storyline that sounds both gripping and thought-provoking, this just might be one of the most masterful indie creations of the year.

 



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