The Games That Will Define 2013: part 1

The Games That Will Define 2013: part 1


Part 1 of the games we think will define 2013. They might not all be AAA titles, but they will make a difference this year.

In the coming weeks we will present you with a list of games that we think will define 2013. They might not all be AAA titles, but they will make a difference this year. So keep a look out and enjoy.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider games have been one of the longest-running game series and deservedly so. However, instead of continuing the increasingly convoluted storyline, the 2013 addition, simply called Tomb Raider, will re-imagine the very beginning of Lara Croft’s adventuring career. This will allow us to take a look at her tragic past and the events that shaped her into the adventures that we know and love. Lara Croft will be stranded on a mysterious island after the ship that she travelled on sank with all its crew. There, she must survive the challenges of nature as well as humanity. During these struggles she will learn what it means to be a Croft and she takes the first steps to follow the legacy of her family.

There have been many re-imaginings of longtime heroes over the past years. Most of them have taken the nowadays popular dark&gritty route and it must be admitted that this is getting rather an “old” gimmick. In the case of the Tomb Raider, however, we remain hopeful. As long as there’s an interesting storyline to follow and some decent puzzles and platforming to do, this game can hardly fail. Whether it can bring anything new to the basic premise remains to be seen. Our bet is that it will be one of the high points of 2013.

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Raven’s Cry

Another dark and gritty story to look forward to is certainly Raven’s Cry, a game in which we follow Scotsman Christopher Raven as he hunts down the men, led by a ruthless pirate called Neville Scranton, who murdered his family and took Christopher’s left hand. The developers plan to intertwine the action-adventure story with actual historical events of the late 17th century, which certainly raises this title above the competition.

The main attractions of the game will be the architecturally accurate cities of Port Royal, Havana and an ancient Aztec City, as well as the inhabitants of Caribbean: murderous miscreants and loud drunks, masters of the blade and flintlock pistol. Christopher himself will have one hand replaced by a hook and a raven familiar to keep him company, which sounds like just the right kind of hero for this sort of game. And given that Christopher can become either a righteous man seeking justice or another murderous miscreant as the story develops, roleplayers will certainly have their part in the fun as well.

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The Caribbean is also the setting of an upcoming naval action pirate RPG coming from Snowbird Game Studios. Its working title, With Fire and Sword 2, will probably tell you all that you need to know about this game. The game will offer us a new setting and expanded features, but promises to keep the things that worked in Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword.

This probably means that the game will cater to the detail and realism oriented gamers, although the developers have stated that, for the sake of fun, they are willing to ignore realism. They are also dropping the long storylines in favour of sandbox-style gameplay with short quest chains, the reason being that With Fire and Sword showed them that the game engine is not really cut out for long storylines.

A swashbuckling RPG – what more could you ask for?

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Expeditions: Conquistador

My last but not least contender for the best of 2013 does not take us very far away from Caribbean either, although it is set a bit before the age of pirates – namely around the year 1520. In Expeditions: Conquistador, you will take the role of a conquistador, one of the conquerors and explorers of new lands in the Age of Exploration. In this tactical RPG, your simple-sounding task is to make your fortune in the new lands of Hispaniola and Mexico. You select the members of your expedition and try to keep them alive as you explore. You will be faced with moral choices that will either raise or destroy the esteem that your companions feel for you and you will have to live with the consequences of your actions.

The combat will be tactical and turn-based, catering to those of us who no longer have the fast reflexes of our youth, but have not lost their yearning for adventure. If dynamic endings, random events, tactical combat and character management make your heart beat with desire and if you lived and breathed Sid Meier’s Pirates! all those years ago, Expeditions: Conquistador should definitely be also on your watch list for 2013.

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Read part 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the series.