Most Anticipated 2013: Tyler's Picks

By Tyler J. Smith, Dec 26, 2012 9:00am PST

There's a lot to be excited for in 2013, and the Shacknews staff each have five games on their radar. The editorial team at Shacknews outlines their most anticipated games of 2013 individually. Next up, we've got intern Tyler J. Smith's list of next year's titles.


Star Trek

I'm sure you're well aware the next Star Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, is out in theatres May of 2013. It's not like I post every teaser trailer in Late Night Computing. Never. But did you know there is a cooperative shooter starring Captain Kirk and Commander Spock decloaking a few weeks earlier? And it features a rather ferocious looking Gorn Hegemony? You don't say!

Jeff certainly seemed to enjoy his brief Star Trek sneak peek during the far out 2012 E3 demo. While there are a few rare gems in the series, Away Team and Birth of the Federation being my favorites, Star Trek in gaming has seen a marked decline over the last generation, marred by disappointing titles like Star Trek: Online and D-A-C. I have hope in the game even with Digital Extremes dicey record, as God of War writer Marianna Krawczyk is set to helm the story with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurztman, both of whom are heavily involved in the new movie.

This tantalizing glimpse into J.J. Abrams' new universe will be difficult for any Star Trek fan to resist come April 23, 2012.


Nuclear Union

Imagine as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis explodes into a full nuclear Armageddon between the Soviet Union and the United States, vaporizing nearly half of the planetary population while rendering the vast majority of the surface uninhabitable as radiation poisons everything it touches. This is the world of Nuclear Union, 50 years after the apocalypse, where communist machinations have given rise to a new Soviet empire.

A third-person roleplaying game by Men of War creator Best Way and publisher 1C Company, Nuclear Union is a touch of alternative history, with a dash of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and a side of Fallout 3. Sounds like a feast to me! Of course, since I said S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you'll also want to know there are anomalies and disgusting mutants. You'll have Mad-Max-style bandits too, and Best Way promises there will be several dominant factions on the scene, built from the ashes of the old world, with the military muscle to enforce their collective will.

Intrigued? I know I am. While there isn't a solid release date yet, Nuclear Union is due out sometime in 2013 for the PC.


Dead Space 3

Isaac Clark suits up to take on the Necromorphs and Unitologists once again in Dead Space 3. Really, you think he'd just find a quiet corner of the galaxy to retire to, but he seems to have a penchant for getting into trouble. If "I have a bad feeling about this" belongs in any character's repitoire, it's him.

The engineer-turned-soldier crash lands on the frozen planet Uxor and finds himself on the hunt for another planetcracker. There's more trouble to be found in the third iteration, as Unitology has outfitted their very own soldiers to prevent any further sabotage of their plans. It's a good thing Sergeant John Carver, a survivor of his very own Necromorph uprising, managed to find Issac. He'll need all the help he can get.

Visceral Games and Electronic Arts have faced a fair amount of criticism for evolving the once survival horror series to action horror over the last several years, but I'm still looking forward to the game. The increased militarism of Aliens only added to the suspense of the movie, as the soldier's hubris ultimately caused their demise. As Andrew points out in his preview, the game still feels like Dead Space, which is good news!

Dead Space 3 will begin the terror anew on February 5 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.


Marvel Heroes

Freedom Force and its sequel, Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich, are two of my favorite superhero games. It's no wonder why I'm looking forward to David Brevik's free-to-play action roleplaying game Marvel Heroes, which combines the brutal gameplay of Diablo with many of your favorite superhero personalities.

Iron Man? Captain America? Hulk? Thor? They're all making appearances to stop the incorrigible Dr. Doom, who somehow managed to get his slimy fingers on a Cosmic Cube capable of wrecking massive destruction. You'll be able to customize your favorite heroes with new costumes and powers to keep the game feeling fresh, and team up with friends to take on the numerous villains scattered throughout the plot written by Marvel comic scribe Brian Michael Bendis.

Gazillion studio director Jeff Lind described how each character can play differently back in October. "Each character will have a large set of powers that are appropriate to him or her," Lind explained. "So Wolverine will have a fast-paced play feel and a set of slashes, lunges, healing factor, but this is still an RPG. You have to choose what powers to pick and which to invest in. This way, one player's hero will be different from another's."

Marvel Heroes is currently closed beta testing, expected to launch sometime in 2013.


MechWarrior Tactics

MechWarrior Tactics and MechWarrior Online combine for a one-two knockout punch in 2013, both featuring thunderous mechanical warfare in a free-to-play capacity. While MechWarrior Online places you in the cockpit of one of these behemoths, MechWarrior Tactics returns to the hex-based tabletop for a strategic turned-based approach.

As Jeff noted in his preview of the game, whereas MechWarrior Online places pilots into a 12v12 deathmatch, MechWarrior Tactics pits two player-controlled lances comprised of 4 mechs against each other. Before heading into battle, you'll need to customize your lance with the latest gear, including paint, build, armament, and unit type. Each turn consists of an "attack-move-execute" phase, where commanders will dictate what each unit will do during a turn. Target and fire at your opponent, determine where to move said unit, and watch as a realistic portrayal of the sequence unfolds in a cinematic event.

Fans of the old MechCommander (download and play for free here) and MechCommander 2 (download and play for free here) will be excited by the promise of MechWarrior Tactics.

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