2013 will be remembered as an incredible year for releases, ranging from heavy hitters like Grand Thieft Auto-V BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us to peripheral surprises such as Tomb Raider and Guacamelee. Yep, 2013 will no doubt go down in history as one of the best years in gaming.
Grand Thieft Auto V
As an open-world game, GTA V is without equal. San Andreas feels like a living, working island thanks to both incredible scale and impressive attention to details.Players have the option to cause havoc with a chopper, or just spend a leisurely afternoon playing golf. When you want to be guided through a compelling story or two–without the tedium of repeated tropes–GTA 5’s fantastic script and fresh mission design makes it so. It’s the characters that push you through the lengthy story to the end credits. It’s all rounded off by a thrilling, yet fitting, ending that leaves you stunned.
The Last Of Us
The Last of Us is one of the best games of 2013. It’s a masterpiece of mature, gameplay-driven narrative, stunningly well-realised world-building, and uncompromising but intelligent systemic game design. The excitement created by the fight for your life gameplay works hand in hand with the edge of your seat story. The whole experience is dark.The Last of Us is often a stressful game to play, it’s also an immensely rewarding one. Seeing the bond that forms between Joel and Ellie is very touching. This makes The Last Of Us a very intelligent, powerful and artistically-minded game of 2013.
Lara’s latest outing is far and away one of the best action adventure games in recent memory, featuring fantastic platforming, puzzle-solving, and genuinely enjoyable firefights. And her new origin story, coupled with a great performance by voice actress Camilla Luddington, makes Lara a much more believable character, even if she does murder by the hundreds like her treasure-seeking contemporaries.Tomb Raider’s stellar gameplay is complemented in equal measure by its immaculate pacing. Nearly everything the game has to offer is of astounding quality, making this one of 2013’s biggest surprises.
Bioshock : Infinite
At the begening ou’re staring in awe at the majestic beauty of your surroundings: man-made beaches floating in the sky, or towering high-rises that loom over industrial districts. In the next, you’re shaken by reprehensible acts of racism, or mystified by the implications of a single coin flip. Booker and Elizabeth’s adventure through a city in the clouds may play like a shooter, but it feels like an astonishing voyage into a self-contained world. This is no mere escort mission, either–Elizabeth is a companion with an air of independence, totally capable of fending for herself during firefights. When you’re not in the heat of a shootout against John Wilkes Booth worshippers or animatronic presidents with Gatling guns, Elizabeth’s eager optimism serves as the perfect foil to Booker’s world-weary grit. That contemplation alone makes BioShock Infinite well worth playing, and one of 2013’s strongest releases.
Maybe you’re in a helicopter flying towards a building when a rocket hits the rotor, sending the aircraft spinning out of control. Maybe you jump out at the last second and land on a rooftop as the chopper explodes on impact, only to hear the building’s supports start to creak and groan. Maybe you jump off just as it falls apart, deploy a parachute, and land in time to pull out your upgraded PKP Pecheneg light machine gun and fire shots into the back of an unsuspecting enemy. Maybe this all happened over the course of ten seconds and was one of the most thrilling moments of your gaming career. Every match you play has the potential to be a thrilling, dynamic, cinematic orgy of explosions, making for memorable encounters that no other game could hope to deliver. It’s entrancing, and everything you’d want from the best shooter of 2013. Though the single-player leaves much to be desired, you’ll hardly have time to complain as you spend dozens of hours on the multiplayer battlefield.
Assassin’s Creed : Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag might just be the greatest pirate game ever made. Few things are as liberating as piloting your very own ship through the 18th Century Caribbean, ransacking schooner’s and engaging in epic battles with towering English warships. Protagonist Edward Kenway even makes for the perfect pirate. He’s allegiant only to his coin purse, and willingly risks life and limb in the pursuit of filling it, whether that means taking on assassination contracts or plundering ships at sea. The gorgeous open world is immensely fun to explore and was packed with genuinely enjoyable distractions: underwater salvaging dives, plenty of treasure hunts, and more than enough pirating to go around. In fact, the only real souring notes to be found in Black Flag are those spawned from its Assassin’s Creed roots–a somewhat lackluster sci-fi story hook, and a few too many tailing missions hinder one of 2013’s most refreshing voyages.
Gran Turismo 6
When the whole “accurately mapped constellations” feature was announced for Gran Turismo 6, it seemed to be the last thing the development team should be focusing on. Gran Turismo 6 arrived in the office and found the game had been turned into something pretty near perfect after all. GT6 takes the wealth of content in GT5, polishes it up, dresses it in new clothes, adds some guitar harmonies and victory sparkles, and delivers the most exhaustive, feature-rich racer available on modern consoles. But the undeniably best part is the driving itself: It has never, ever felt so good. Congratulations to Yamauchi and the Polyphony team.
Call Of Duty : Ghosts
Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn’t ignore the formula of fast, fluid gameplay that has made the series famous, but introduces a unique new premise, unprecedented player personalization, and sweeping changes that breathe new life into the multiplayer experience. It’s over-the-top and at times unnecessarily complex, but serves both current and next-generation consoles with ambitious new ideas and tremendous replay value. Call of Duty: Ghosts isn’t a reinvention of the franchise, but proves there’s still room for innovation within its existing formula. Though at the risk of overcomplicating things at times, its robust multiplayer gameplay, surprisingly fun co-op modes, and lengthy, challenging, and varied campaign makes Ghosts one of the best Call of Duty games to date.
Injustic : Gods Amoung Us
Superheroes are sweet. Superheroes (and supervillains) punching each other in the face with earth-cracking force is even sweeter. Injustice is one of the most accessible fighting games of recent years, finely tuned to appeal to hardcore fighter fans, diehard comic readers, and the average gamer alike. Watching someone pull a crazy grappling hook combo with Batman, or calling down the thunder as Black Adam, or pummeling someone through the entire planet twice as Doomsday is utterly thrilling, every time. Injustice also furthers the concept put forth by the most recent Mortal Kombat: fighting games can have a great single-player story–one that doesn’t rely on text-heavy exchanges between still images of your character. The plot of Superman losing his cool and going full dictator is gripping, and every hero and villain gets a chance to shine during the campaign. Injustice is the fighting game that DC fans deserve.
Saints Row IV
You’d be hard-pressed to think of a year that was more replete with wonderfully artistic, experimental, boundary-pushing games than 2013. Saints Row IV is not one of those games. No probing meta-narrative. In fact, it’s the apex of what’s starting to feel like old-school game design. You’re the President of the United States of America. And you have super powers. That you use against aliens. Saints Row IV is genuinely hilarious thanks to its sharp writing and voice-over performances. But it’s not just in the writing; the game lets you participate in some insane, unbelievable set-piece moments, like gunning down a fleet of alien ships from a POTUS-themed AA canon. And as silly as the game sounds on the surface, the humor is often incredibly subtle and restrained. That it’s a competent and addictive action game is almost a bonus.
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