8 Great-Looking Games Landing In The Next Three Months
Dark – (PC/Xbox360)
Out July 5/9
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.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted – (PC)
Out July 26
Having quite literally stolen the show at this year’s Rezzed, the eccentric, Kickstarter-backed caper from Big Robot looks set to be one of 2013’s biggest indie sensations.
Taking place on a procedurally-generated island populated by hostile robots – who happen to take the form of top hat sporting Victorian gentlemen – it’s an inspired blend of open-world survival stealth and steampunk sci-fi, with a very British sensibility to boot.
Brilliantly original, off-the-wall and compelling, it seems ideally-placed to be the kind of anecdote-spewing experience that only comes around once in a blue moon.
Killer Is Dead – (PS3/Xbox360)
Out August 27
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.
Rayman Legends – (PS3/PSVita/WiiU/Xbox360)
Out August 29/30 and September 3
That a cutesy 2D platformer could be roundly hailed as one of the greatest games of recent years really speaks volumes for how wonderful, imaginative and simply damn good fun Rayman Origins was – and to say this follow-up is eagerly-awaited would be something of an understatement.
Initially set to be a Wii U exclusive before Ubisoft dropped the bombshell that it would be getting a (delayed) simultaneous release on other major platforms too, it’s fair to say that non-Wii U owners everywhere were over the moon to hear they wouldn’t be missing out on this fresh adventure.
And no wonder. From what we’ve seen so far, the exuberant sequel looks to be every bit as exciting as its predecessor.
Total War: Rome II – (PC)
Out September 3
The magnificent Total War titles haven’t really put a foot wrong over their 12-year history to date, with the spot-on implementation of map-based empire-building and real-time battles consistently adding up to one of the greatest-ever strategy series – as players conquer enemies and establish dynasties throughout the ages.
The original Rome: Total War was something of a game-changer, with its more fleshed-out and detailed 3D world map and suped-up visuals. And this welcome return to the ancient empire looks to have the makings of another significant leap forward for the franchise.
There’s a whole new graphics engine, the actual action looks more detailed and satisfying than ever before, and epic battles can now take place on both land and sea simultaneously; with your forces assaulting coastal cities using both ships and siege engines, for example. Fittingly for a Rome game, the political scheming between scraps also sounds as though it will be taken to a whole new level. So watch your backs out there, would-be Emperors…
Puppeteer – (PS3)
Out September 10/11
Echoing the surreal imagery and imaginations of movie legends Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam, Sony’s bizarre but brilliant-looking platformer casts you as a puppet-boy who wields a pair of magic scissors, travels with a ghostly cat sidekick, and finds and attaches various super-powered heads – because he’s quite literally lost his own.
The design of the environments seems extraordinary, the gameplay mad-cap and action-packed, and there’s a pleasingly offbeat post-modern touch whereby the whole game is being watched by an audience – who will gasp when something scary happens, or cheer when you successfully pull off an audacious move.
All in all there looks to be something rather special about Puppeteer, which is as distinctive and crazy as a console exclusive gets.
Grand Theft Auto V – (PS3/Xbox360)
Out September 17
It’s fair to say that countless gamers are already counting down the days until this fresh installment in Rockstar’s record-breaking, headline-grabbing juggernaut gets unleashed.
And why not? Previous entries have deservedly established the franchise as one of gaming’s most ingenious and entertaining properties, and this new outing looks to have all the elements that people have fallen in love with (the humour, the open-world playground, the great dialogue), while also introducing a few extra dollops of intrigue.
So we have three protagonists now, all with their different backstories and motivations. Then there’s the fact that the gameworld will be simply colossal (bigger than San Andreas, IV and Red Dead Redemption combined) and packed with worthwhile new things to do. Yeah, the hype may be at fever-pitch. But it’s also pretty understandable.
Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs – (PC)
Release Date TBC
Undoubtedly the finest horror game in years, and certainly the most influential, Frictional’s pant-wettingly terrifying Amnesia: The Dark Descent has become justly notorious for its uncompromising use of brutal psychological-oppression. If the trailers and previews of its forthcoming follow-up are anything to go by, however, then sinister sequel A Machine For Pigs could be even more intense in the nightmare stakes.
Delayed from its initial release date but almost certain to arrive later this summer, the successor to the game that launched a thousand YouTube reaction videos has got chiller fans everywhere braced for another round of nerve-shattering, petrifying hide-and-seek.
Developed by Dear Esther creators thechineseroom, that crucial atmosphere, vulnerability and sense of dreadful foreboding looks to have been maintained; but if anything, there’s something about the grimy industrial environments and decadent Victorian aesthetic that seems even more horrific. And that’s before we even get onto the grotesque porcine grunts and squeals you can expect from the title’s skulking enemies. It might not be fun exactly, but it could well be fear at its finest.
Which games are you most looking forward to in the next few months? Let us know in the comments below.