22nd March, gearsofwar.xbox.com
This prequel, set about 15 years before the events of Gears of War, centres around the arrival of the Locust and the bloody conflict that follows. Probably the biggest Xbox 360 exclusive of 2013, it looks likely to offer broadly similar gameplay to the three Gears of War games we’ve already seen, albeit with an overhauled multiplayer mode that, for the first time, brings class-based combat to the franchise.
Gears of War: Judgment
A downloadable XBLA (and Windows) game that’s got us extremely excited, State of Decay is an open world (think Grand Theft Auto-style) game in which you control a group of survivors struggling to stay alive through a zombie apocalypse. You’ll need to hunt down or trade for supplies, create and maintain bases and recruit specialist survivors to your group, all the while trying to avoid the hungry, shambling hordes that roam the landscape. The world, and story, develop depending on the choices you make.
We don’t know too much about this first-person shooter, other than it’s set in the 1930s and concerns a San Francisco private detective contending with Nazis and many other dangers as trots the globe in search of ancient artefacts. So: Indiana Jones crossed with Uncharted and all using the Unreal Engine 3. Colour us excited.
State of Decay
Another XBLA game, Ascend will be totally free to play for anyone with an Xbox Live Gold account – and by that we mean the whole single- and multiplayer portions of the game. It’s a third-person action RPG in which you play a Caos: essentially a giant who wanders around a mythical landscape hitting things in an effort to “ascend” to god-hood. Ascend will also be linked to a mobile game, so you can build up your character when you’re on the train – or the toilet, if that’s your bag .
26th March, bioshockinfinite.com
Coming to the PS3 as well as the Xbox 360, BioShock Infinite is one of the most highly-anticipated titles of early 2013. Trading the mid-century undersea city of Rapture for 1912 Columbia, a city in the sky, the game is set to be the Mad Men of first-person shooters (where Call of Duty is Sons of Anarchy or something): intelligent and thought-provoking but also consistently fun.
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