We're only halfway through 2013, and there's still so much to come. There are two new consoles for starters, and next-gen beckons with more power, more potential, and more promise than ever before. But so many of our most anticipated shouts for the next six months have turned out to be current-gen titles. There's life in the old systems yet, and developers at the heights of their powers are looking to make the most of it...
Matt -- Beyond: Two Souls
There's so much to look forward to still in 2013, and Ubisoft hold many of the key properties I'm interested in for the second half of 2013. I need Watch Dogs in my life if it's anywhere close to being as systemic as Ubi Montreal want us to believe; I want to see if the Assassin's Creed franchise can make a comeback with Black Flag, which looks like the modern equivalent of Sid Meier's Pirates! that I've always wanted; and the, of course, the the magnificence off Rayman Legends, which by rights should have been rescuing the Wii U by now.
To be honest, the Wii U would have run away with this crown had all of the games mentioned at E3 been releasing this year. But there are still games for that system that I really do want, The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Sonic: Lost World, and Super Mario 3D World to name a few. But worth slapping down upwards of £200 for a new console, and then further emptying my wallet for a hard drive? Erm, no.
So, hello, Beyond. There aren't a huge number of next-gen launch titles that I'm enormously excited for, and this current generation still has so much to give (take a bow GTA V as well), and thus one of my most anticipated titles comes in the form of Quantic Dream's follow-up to Heavy Rain. I love story-driven games, and Beyond: Two Souls looks like it has a little more for the player to actually do than Heavy Rain ever did. I'm looking forward to seeing where Quantic Dream take the poltergeist mechanic that they've created in Aidan, and, of course, Willem Dafoe.
Brendan -- GTA V
I really want Killzone: Shadow Fall. It’s the top of my PS4 most wanted list by quite a stretch. But that would be a disservice to the current-gen games that are going to send the PS3 and Xbox 360 out with a bang. Until earlier this week, I may have given a cheeky nod to Saints Row IV, as it looks incredibly fun to play. You remember fun right? It’s why we all originally picked up a pad.
I’ll be rattling through Volition’s fun-sim ASAP though, because a few weeks later, it’s the big one. Grand Theft Auto V. Before seeing some gameplay, I’d been on the fence, but who am I kidding, there’s nothing quite like getting excited for a new GTA. I’m even saying that after not really enjoying GTAIV (despite finishing it twice and ploughing in about 100 hours).
Rockstar’s new open-world looks huge. I’m looking forward to just playing around and exploring rather than the missions themselves, which will probably be more of the same, but with mid-mission character swapping. The game looks absolutely gorgeous and Rockstar recently confirmed that the new gameplay trailer was taken from the PS3 version rather than PC dev kit (or the as yet unannounced next-gen version).
Jon -- Watch Dogs
Next-gen games talk the talk, but beyond shiny visuals, I've yet to see one truly walk the walk.
Except Watch Dogs.
Having taken a long look at a production build earlier this year, I witnessed a truly systems-driven game that reacts to your every action, a game predicated on choice where guns, stealth, hacking, traversal and vehicles are all just optional tools in your arsenal to be mixed and matched to your heart's content. Though I still have concerns about how big Ubisoft's Chicago will actually be, since they've remained incredibly cagey on the subject, Watch Dogs is one of the few games that promises to offer next-generation gameplay... not just shaders.
Carl -- GTA V
This was actually a tough one to call, because I would have put WildStar in here only there is no official release date, and while Star Citizen will deliver the first few playable sections of its game later this year the actual release isn’t for over 12 more months, so I had to look further afield. Many games have certainly looked very good, but nothing truly jumped out at me when I thought about which game I was most excited for.
And then Rockstar released a gameplay trailer for Grand Theft Auto V that I had previously stated was what I was waiting for before letting myself get excited. Yeah, well, consider myself excited now.
Seeing the sheer scale of the game world (both in virtual square miles and in verticality) as well being shown the amount of detail going into every optional aspect, from customisation to activities, was impressive, but it was the demonstration of how players will jump between the three main characters and the way players will plan out and execute heists that really grabbed my attention. It certainly appears as if Rockstar have taken to heart the criticisms that GTA IV received once the honeymoon period was over, making sure to deliver the defining sandbox of his console generation, and the action mechanics, which appears to borrow a lot from both Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, came off as a significant upgrade over the previous entry in the GTA series. Hell, even that slight tease for Grand Theft Auto Online had me excited at the possibilities that lie in store – after all, surely with all the focus on heists in the main game it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see an online cops-and-robbers game mode of some kind? With military aircraft thrown in?!
Also, I honestly believe that there will be a side mission where main character Trevor has to catch a fish with his bare hands… and then promptly punches it to death. It just seems like the sort of thing he would do.
What games are you most excited for still to come this year? Let us know in the box below!