With 2012 already a smudged headline on yesterday's newspaper, it's time to get excited, all over again, for the next twelve months and the incredible games they are sure to bring. There are some amazing-looking games due out this year, including Grand Theft Auto 5, BioShock Infinite, Beyond, The Last of Us and more. And with the next-generation of consoles set to explode onto the scene, proper brand new games are surely not far behind. Hopefully.
Developers, too, have boarded the hype train. While they're busy beavering away creating the games out this year and beyond, they're keeping an eye on the games their peers are beavering away on too. But which ones? Read on to find out developers such as Ken Levine, Chris Roberts, Chris Avellone's most anticipated games of 2013.
Jake Solomon, designer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown at Firaxis
"I'm cheating, because I've already had a sneak peek of BioShock Infinite and found it to be even more amazing than I had hoped. So now the game I most want to play in 2013 is the next entry in my all-time favorite series: Grand Theft Auto. The story will be great, the world will be jaw-dropping, and for a month or two it will be all anyone is playing and talking about. It's going to be a great game - GTA always is - but the question is: how great? I always use the GTA games as a barometer for our industry. Every new installment in the series raises a bar that we'll all be chasing for the next five years or so. I can't wait to see how far they've gone this time."
Scott Warner, lead game designer of Halo 4 at 343 Industries
"There is a bunch of stuff I'm looking forward to but two games in particular stand out.
"On the big budget side of things there is Grand Theft Auto 5. Red Dead Redemption is my favourite game of this generation so I'm hoping some of the great lessons learned from the great experience get into the latest GTA and make that already great series even better. In my mind, Rockstar Games can do no wrong right now, especially when it comes to character, setting and tone in a video game.
"In the realm of all things indie I can't wait to play Blendo's Quadrilateral Cowboy. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's a game based around old school 1980s hacking - hopefully it'll be even better than Activision's old gem, Hacker. Blendo is the brainchild of Brendon Chung, a great designer I worked with at Pandemic Studios. I think he downplays how inventive his work is but personally I think he has the makings of a Fellini of video games."
Sooner or later, the stories and characters start to bore me, but the freedom to just roam pulls me back, often for years to come
Ragnar Tornquist on GTA5
Ragnar Tornquist, creative director of The Secret World at Funcom and lead designer of The Longest Journey/Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
"In 2013, I'm looking forward to diving back into Grand Theft Auto. There's a decadence to their worlds that's instantly seductive. I'm rarely able to complete these sprawling open world games; I get stuck on the details, on the possibilities. Sooner or later, the stories and characters start to bore me, but the freedom to just roam pulls me back, often for years to come."
Chris Roberts, creator of Wing Commander and now Star Citizen
"Next year I'm looking forward to Grand Theft Auto 5 and Crysis 3. I'm also curious to see BioShock Infinite."
Colin Johanson, game director, Guild Wars 2
"Looking ahead to 2013, I haven't had a chance yet to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown with all the craziness of the Guild Wars 2 launch so I'm really looking forward to playing that next year."
Richard Garriott, creator of Ultima, co-creator of Portalarium where he's making Ultimate RPG
"I have always been a fan of the easy to play action RPGs and well balanced RTS & tower defence games, so I am looking forward to what the new Tomb Raider may have in store as well as the upcoming Sim City. And even though I am a PC and mobile guy, I may just have to sneak a peek at the new God of War on the PS3!"
I know, I know, I work on it, but there's still so much more the other design team has done I'm looking forward to playing
Obsidian's Chris Avellone
Chris Avellone of South Park: The Stick of Truth and Project Eternity developer Obsidian Entertainment
"For 2013, my anticipated titles are Wasteland 2 (I know, I know, I work on it, but there's still so much more the other design team has done I'm looking forward to playing) and also Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs."
Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith from Arkane Studios, developer of Dishonored
"Raph and I are both waiting with excitement for next year's BioShock Infinite."
Ken Levine, creative director of BioShock Infinite developer Irrational Games
"I'm a huge fan of Company of Heroes. I'm looking forward to that."
It's wonderful that we can still play a story-based FPS in a fresh, interesting, intriguing world
Ben Cousins, general manager of Scattered Entertainment and head of DeNA's European Studios. Ben is working on the upcoming mobile FPS The Drowning
"We've done a bunch of research into console shooter players this year, and it's very clear that there is some significant fatigue among gamers for the multiplayer-focused war FPS game represented by Call of Duty and it's clones. In this environment, games like BioShock Infinite have an opportunity to really capture the imagination. I've been following the thread of this genre for 20 years, starting with Ultima Underworld and System Shock all the way through to Dishonored. While I miss the open-world, loot-heavy feel of the finest example of this genre (System Shock 2), it's wonderful that we can still play a story-based FPS in a fresh, interesting, intriguing world - one that doesn't treat us like dunderheads and which rewards smart thinking as well as fast reflexes. The development of BioShock Infinite has apparently been far from smooth, but I have my fingers crossed that it will be up there with the finest 'smart FPSs' of all time."
Chris Seavor created Conker's Bad Fur Day while at Rare. His new game, Parashoot Stan, is out now for iOS devices
"There can only be one game for me: The Last of Us. When a developer like Naughty Dog decides to tackle survival horror there's nothing else to do but grin. Seems from early sneak peeks it's not going to disappoint either. The whole narrative drive of the grown up protecting the innocent through the horrors of their circumstance will be a very compelling motivation for the player. I expect quite an emotional one as well. Looks beautiful too. And the banter between them hits the perfect tone; some brilliant acting. Very natural. From the clips I've seen they've definitely understood that action works so much better when punctuated by quiet and contemplation. Can't wait!"
Peter Molyneux founded Bullfrog, Lionhead and, most recently, 22cans.
"It's got to be Grand Theft Auto 5 or BioShock Infinite. I'm going to go for BioShock Infinite. I think they really want to make a great game. I get that sense from them that they really want to make a great game. I'm really looking forward to it. That being said Grand Theft Auto is always a joy to play, so that would be a close second. With BioShock there seems to be this sense that they're taking the right amount of time over it and they're willing to take the risks and the pain of delaying it to get the game right. They released the first five minutes which I thought was everything from BioShock 1 which I found intriguing: the story, the mystery and the quirkiness. I thought, brilliant!"
They released the first five minutes which I thought was everything from BioShock 1 which I found intriguing: the story, the mystery and the quirkiness. I thought, brilliant!
Sheldon Pacotti was the principle writer for the original Deus Ex series, and creator of Cell: Emergence
"I'm a hopeless Quantic Dream fanboy, so I'm most looking forward to Beyond. I appreciate the courage with which the studio has tried new game mechanics for helping players inhabit a story, as well as their focus on character-based storytelling. What cripples most games as storytelling vehicles is that they are one-scene movies: all gunfight or all car chase. I think it's wonderful that games like Fahrenhiet and Heavy Rain let players do a multitude of normal human tasks, like lifting weights or searching for change in your pocket.
"If games are going to move players the way movies do, they will need to be able to hit a variety of emotional registers within a single experience. Regarding Beyond, I'm particularly interested in seeing a power curve tied directly to the player-character's emotional state. Isn't that the way it is in the movies? The hero finally delivers the decisive blow when he - and the audience - are at their angriest or most terrified."