Here's where we stand: 2012's gone and humanity hasn't perished of colossal tsunamis or a catastrophic asteroid strike. If you're the kind that ran huge credit card bills thinking you won't be around to pay them, well, it sure sucks to be you. As for the others, I believe this calls for a celebration. Unfortunately, those who have ran through the unplayed games in their Steam library in the days leading up to the apocalypse will have to wait till the month of March 2013 for a deluge of AAA offerings to throw money on. January is generally a slow month for video game releases, and 2013 doesn't break tradition in that regard.
Still a hit with the ladies it seems
DmC: Devil May Cry
Releasing on: January 15
Platform: PS3, X360, PC (25th January)
The Rajinikanth of the video game world is back. I must say that he looks decidedly less Japanese and, dare I say, less mental as well. Needless to say, the fans weren't impressed when it was revealed that Ninja Theory had taken over the reins of the reboot and planned to turn the Japanese quirkiness of the protagonist into a distinctly Western avatar. This was followed by rumours of Dante turning gay, with the foregone conclusion that the Japanese humour and gameplay would eventually take a nosedive. However, my tryst with the preview told me otherwise. From what I have played, I can say that it retains the excellent gameplay depth of DMC3 that should make it a favourite with hardcore gamers. Praise doesn't get higher than this.
Seven playable characters, out of which three can be selected for the campaign
Releasing in: January
Platform: PC, X360, PS3, Wii U
This Metroidvania (platform-puzzle gameplay in the vein of Castlevania and Metroid) game has a lot going for it. Developed by Tim Schafer's Double Fine productions, The Cave certainly doesn't seem lacking in the creativity department. For starters, the premise is based upon a magical talking cave, which makes one wonder what the folks at the studio were smoking. Pretty good stuff, I guess, because the concept of multiple characters with varied abilities combined with elaborate puzzles that require their combined might is not only whacked out, but also promising as well. The game also touts a healthy 40+ hour play time. However, the real clincher is the ability for up to three players to play the single-player campaign co-operatively.
The slinky burglar is back
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Releasing on: January 22
Platform: PS3, PS Vita
Old school PS2 veterans fondly remember the Sly Cooper series as an accomplished Platform Stealth classic providing a more light-hearted, but definitely not less fun, stealth experience of the Thief games. The trilogy may have ended with the PS2, but developer Sanzaru, who had created the HD remake, takes the reins over from Sucker Punch Productions for the upcoming game. Thieves in Time continues the story from the conclusion of the last game Honor Among Theives, and deals with the long standing quest to recover the Thievius Raccoonus: a book chronicling the secrets of the Cooper family line. Despite an eight-year gap in the series, Thieves in time seems to retain the recognisable gameplay of the original with similar platforming and stealth elements. If you're a kid from the '90s hankering for a nostalgic return to the Sly series, you might want to check this out.
Second time's a charm, I hope
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
Releasing in: January
Platform: PC, X360, PS3, Wii U, PS Vita
I am a compulsive military geek, who's fascinated by and seeks out every bit of information on all badass, expensive killing toys out there. Sniping is one of those disciplines that have largely been underappreciated and grossly misrepresented by Hollywood and video games alike. That is until Sniper: Ghost Warrior crashed the party and impressed everyone with its fastidious attention to detail and a thoroughly technical approach to the art of sniping. Actually, that's not how it went down. It turned out to be a rather average experience because not everyone can stomach the technicalities of factoring in wind, gravity, flight time and distance while shooting people in the face. Well, at least, not unless the whole shebang is spiced up with something interesting. The information on the sequel is sketchy, with not much dope being available as to how the sequel differs, or rather improves, over the previous game. However, if you are a military geek like me, who fantasises of an (almost) authentic sniping experience, you might want to keep an eye out for this one.