2013 saw the release of the Next-Gen consoles, but although they’re available now does that make them the current gen? I’m not so sure.
Either way the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One hit the stores this November with a huge success. Both companies stockpiled for months and still, come release day sold out and availability became very limited until quite recently. But why? I queued up in line for my console, got in home and dove in to the future of gaming, only to be asking myself a few days later ‘why did I rush to get one?’ There is essentially one next gen game from each category of game so now, a month later my console is just sat there gathering dust until the next release of a title in 2014. But who needs a better console right now when you have the best of 2013’s line up
5. Papers, Please
It’s not often that you come across a game like Papers, Please but once you do, be prepared to fall into a world of paranoia and passports.
Lauded in all sorts of gaming forums, this deceptively simple strategy game pits you as a border check assistant after the fallout from a civil war. Sounds kind of humdrum, right? Actually, it’s anything but as you attempt to balance keeping your family alive on a tight budget with the temptation of falling on the wrong side of the law with bribes from shady characters really testing your morals. Keep everything in check and you can become a part of the resistance but one slip and you’ll find yourself taken away by the government for treason. A fine line has to be tread and it’s so uncommon to find a game which is so basic yet so rewarding.
4. The Stanley Parable
Now, this could be a bit of a contentious one as it’s not so much a straight up video game as it is an interactive fiction but it wins its place for something that is very hard to get right in gaming and that is humour.
You take the role of Stanley, an everyday guy who realises that everyone in his office is gone. Whilst trying to unravel the mystery, you will be narrated every step of the way by a snooty British guy who describes everything you do in a prissy manner. There’s no real way to win the game but you can stumble upon a variety of endings which are all hilarious. The Stanley Parable proves that no combat doesn’t have to mean no fun.
3. GRAND THEFT AUTO 5
Seeing the difference between GTA4 and GTA5 shows just how far the last generation consoles have come, visually brilliant for a game of such size. The single player story was deep and immersive with so much to do and with it being an open world game, everyone’s experience and stories varied when it came to how and what they had done.
Taking the best bits from all their previous titles and sticking them all back together in the city of San Andreas to create an open world experience rivalled by none. The multiplayer of this game is a glorified beta and started off so rockily that millions of people had a bad time with it and a friend of mine tried getting on to GTAO pretty much solidly for seven days with no luck. But, once online, it’s amazing until you realise that everything you were promised isn’t there, no hunting, no heists and most certainly no depth to any of the missions. Given that this is a work in progress and has so much potential, I think it’s worth grinning and baring it and I know full well if they put a HD Vice City map add on to it the numbers will flock back from current gen.
2. Bioshock Infinite
The second instalment in the BioShock series was by no means bad but it lacked the original’s suspense and had a bit of a feel of “been there, done that” about it. Not ones to rest on their laurels, Irrational Games made amends with this almost perfect follow-up.
Story has always been the driving force behind the BioShock games and this one has the strongest yet as you take control of Booker DeWitt, a former bounty hunter who is assigned to track down a young woman by the name of Elizabeth in the floating city of Columbia. All is not as it seems however as you spiral into a dark world of twists, turns and some pretty natty airborne combat. In terms of quality and engagement, Infinite almost had game of the year nailed on until…
1. THE LAST OF US
In the last few years zombies have become over popular in our society. Not in the sense of we are boarding up our houses and sitting on roofs with a stockpile of Doritos and rifle ammo but like all fads, it’s everywhere you turn. The best thing this zombie loving era has brought to us is this simply stunning release from the makers of Uncharted.
I do not and will never claim to be the manliest man going, but I do not cry over nothing and at the end of TLOU’s epilogue tears were running down my cheeks, maybe it was paternal or maybe it was due to the superb acting and incredible look and feel of this game but Naughty Dog nailed every aspect of what you want from a game in terms of story, visuals, mechanics, length and depth. This game is the number 1 game of 2013 and will forever hold a spot in a lot of people’s hearts. Ellie and Joel’s relationship is fantastic and all the characters are believable and all retain the depth needed to make this essentially an interactive movie, and a bloody good one at that.
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