Every gamer I know is taking a breather. In this crazy industry, we get flooded with more new games than we can possibly play from September to November. December is usually when we backtrack and catch up, but I know I certainly won’t be able to play everything I want to. Choices are made, which lead to sacrifices (no, not human sacrifices, though…), and some games just don’t get played. It sucks, but it’s a vicious cycle that I’ve gotten used to over the years.
This year was no different. I’m planning my December game time as we speak, but in the back of my head I can’t help but wonder what 2013 will bring. Sparks are flying by this point, but I pinned five of my favorite ideas down to share. I even put them in order of priority, because you know, serious lists need to be done in “countdown” format. Remember VH1′s “Top 100 One Hit Wonders?”
5. More Crusader Kings 2 content
Crusader Kings 2 has been my latest addiction. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent close to 25 hours playing this enthralling grand-strategy game. I had a few epic games, one seeing the Aztecs swarm over Portugal and Spain, but I can’t wait to see what else is planned for this gem-of-a-game. Some of the DLC so far has had minor impacts on the game. While I love the Sunset Invasion DLC, it admittedly only changes the flow of the mid-to-late game. The Sword of Islam DLC, however, not only revised combat, but it allowed you to play as Muslim leaders which, in itself, is a completely different experience.
I’m sure more content is on the horizon, but something I want to see is being able to play as Pagan leaders (especially those pesky Aztecs). As I said, playing as a Muslim leader is vastly different than the Christian leaders, so adding a third drastically different type of ruler would really change things up. After another meaty expansion, another hypothetical scenario would just be dreamy.
4. Manhunt 3
Manhunt is one of my most memorable Playstation 2 experiences. For the time, it was quite shocking, but not only that, it was a stealth game I could get into. Consider me disturbed but sneaking up on people to suffocate them with a blue plastic bag is way more thrilling than sneaking by them in a cardboard box. The story, too, had me more interested than most stories from Rockstar developed games. To be frank, I’ve never been too captivated by a Grand Theft Auto games story. Regardless, Manhunt won me over on many levels.
If you remember Manhunt, there’s a chance you remember Manhunt 2, which was not quite so good. It’s not particularly shocking that they haven’t done a Manhunt 3 by now, but I feel the time is right for Rockstar Games to revisit this disturbing “murder simulator”. With today’s technology, a new Manhunt game has potential to be a real winner in a lot of areas. Surround sound, HD graphics, trophies/achievements to get players to play differently, online co-op – the list goes on and on. Even if we don’t get a Manhunt 3, a Manhunt HD remake would satisfy me.
3. Need for Speed Underground 3
Okay, we’ve been getting reboots from Criterion. They are amazing, too. But I miss blinging out my rides in Need for Speed Underground. I also miss drifting events. And sparkly, iridescent paint. And stupid looking rims. And retarded spoilers that make Honda Civics look like airplanes. Customizing cars however you wanted was a big deal in the first two Underground games, released when times were both fast and quite furious.
Since those days, the focus has been more on the racing. That’s fine and all, and the racing has only gotten better. The time has come for my lowered, pearl white Mazda RX-7 with Volk Racing wheels, a slick carbon fiber hood, and widebody kit to roam the streets – in HD. If Need for Speed Underground 3 had all of the options (and more) from Underground 2, it would quite possibly be the best game ever. Let me repeat, ever.
2. More Playstation Vita games
I shouldn’t really need to go into too much detail on why I want to see this in 2013. As an early-adopter, I put a lot of faith into the Playstation Vita. There’s already some really great games on it, but if you look at upcoming releases it’s not only depressing, it’s downright scary. Things are generally pretty slow out of the gate, but there is at least a window of hope. As of now, it looks very cloudy through that window. I want that to change in 2013.
A few things come to mind, the first being Gran Turismo. I thought the PSP game was a serviceable handheld version of the iconic-but-fading racing simulator, and with more power at their fingertips Polyphony could do great things. I’ve previously discussed an array of PSN titles that would be great on the Vita (link here), but I think a serious title that’s missing is Soul Calibru- wait..nevermind.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberations may not have been the greatest game, but it did show that fun handheld experiences can be had by building off of console titles. Borderlands is a favorite of mine, and a serious strategy game like XCOM: Enemy Unknown would be another welcome addition to the system. We don’t need ports, these could be all new experiences, even if they aren’t quite as lengthy. Glancing over at my stack of DS games, I’m reminded of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. A Vita-exclusive Chinatown Wars 2 would completely make me feel like my purchase has been a valid one.
1. Battlefield: Bad Company 3
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is quite possibly my favorite multiplayer game. The single-player still stands as one of my favorite first-person shooter campaigns due it’s general plot and linear-but-still-sandbox levels. Countless hours were spent in the multiplayer, where the maps felt like they were designed for a particular game mode, and not to be universally tailored to both Rush and Conquest. Yes, I know, eventually all of the maps were available in all of the modes, but they initially felt like they were designed with an intended purpose. Do I even need to mention the Vietnam expansion, which was basically a whole new multiplayer experience?
Bad Company 3 needs to continue the cliffhanger story, most importantly. Instead of trying to go toe-to-toe with Call of Duty, Battlefield: Bad Company 3 needs to focus on being it’s own game. Because, really, that’s what Bad Company 2 was. It was not a horrible attempt at recreating the Call of Duty experience. It was its own game. Most importantly, Bad Company 3′s online needs to feature the mass-destruction that is missing in Battlefield 3′s multiplayer component. I can’t stress that enough.
EA, I’ve pointed you in the general direction. You know what needs to be done.
Anything unannounced that you would like to see in 2013? Let us know in the comments below!