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Gamers Expect: 2013

The turkey has been eaten. The champagne drunk. The cellophane unwrapped and you are once again being dominated on a new multiplayer you just haven’t quite got the hang of yet. That’s right, it’s the end of the holiday season and the start of a new year. We may have to go back to work, and be slightly heavier than we were a few weeks ago, and some of us may even had broken our New Year’s resolutions already, but there are still reasons to be excited about 2013.

With a plethora of AAA titles, and a host of indie gems on the horizon, as well as the inevitable announcement on next-gen consoles that will undoubtedly be powered by small nuclear generators and have the power to plug us into the matrix, what’s not to love…

But is that right? Will the hype and the expectation really live up to our dreams? In 2012 our hopes were dashed when the Zombie Apocalypse didn’t begin on December 21st, the Mars Curiosity failed to find Prothean Beacon, and Kate Middleton didn’t break up her marriage and seek me out to declare her love. Videogame disappointments were just as common; Mass Effect 3’s ending, Kinect Star Wars’ dancing and Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City’s entire game.

So with Santa presumable completely available at this time of year, we’ve written our Christmas list early (or is that incredibly late?) as we compile our wish list for 2013.

Games that work as they should

Dishonored Glitch

Texture popping, getting stuck on the environment, and guards spawning in front of you. Dishonored had a lot of bugs, not to mention 2012. Whether it were side missions that appeared off the map in Sleeping Dogs, Adams in Spec Ops: The Line deciding to dance rather than shoot, or Max Payne taking so many pills in his third outing that the environment disappeared, glitches were common in even our favourite games. We hoped after dragon’s flying backwards in Skyrim the gaming industry might have realised more thorough checks may need to be put in place before they go to market…but our time in 2012 suggests not. However with the delay of Bioshock Infinite, we’re hoping Ken Levine’s team have learnt from last’s years errors and are leading the way with a fail-free launch.

DLC that is worth our money

Mass Effect 3 Omega

Some of you hate DLC, and think it’s a cheap way for the publishers to make even more money by selling content that should be in the packaged game. Others love it, and see it was a great way to breathe life back into an old title. Well we love it too, that is when it’s any good; Skyrim’s Dawnguard expansion let us live (or is that un-live) as a Vampire Lord; Deus Ex Human Revolution: The Missing Link added a huge chapter of gameplay; and Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss gave us just what we wanted, hours of beautifully crafted terror. Not every effort was so successful however, with Mass Effect 3 leading the way with sub-standard DLC that never lived up to the heights of Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker. Be it overpriced characters for Mortal Kombat or half-hour long missions in Saints Row: The Third, money has been taken for little reward. This year we want DLC that is worth the cash, or even better, follow the example set by the Witcher 2, who gave away the new Xbox content free to all PC owners.

Something to fight other than zombies

ZombiU Sewer

Dishonored, Sleeping Dogs, Skyrim, Black Ops 2, The Walking Dead, XCOM, Minecraft: What do they all have in common? At some point or other, in some DLC or other, the undead walk into view. It was original back when Left 4 Dead threw hordes at us. It was fun when we encountered them in the radiated sewers of Fallout 3. It was challenging when we were surrounded by them in Dark Souls. Now it’s just a bit dull. In 2012 we may have killed more virtual undead than virtual people: we were saturated with the blighters. So this year we really hope some original monsters come chasing us. Be it Slender Man, Handy Man or even Superman in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Give us something we haven’t killed a hundred times before. We’re not holding our breath for Dead Space 3.

Games for the Windows 8 Phone

Windows 8 Phone

Yes you can connect your Windows 8 Phone to your Xbox account. Yes you can see you achievements. And yes, you can type messages to your friends. But what we really want is decent games on it. In 2012 the only offerings were the standard set of Angry Birds, Sonic and Wordament. Give us a handheld Dark Souls, a mobile Gears of War, a portable XCOM. We want to save the world on our way to work, so let us.

Games that meet their hype

Tomb Raider - Tomb and Torch

Despite glitches and zombies on every corner, there is no denying that we were spoilt for choice in 2012. From intelligent indie titles like Fez and The Unfinished Swan, to the conclusion of epic adventures in Assassins Creed 3 and Mass Effect 3, and new IP’s that blew our socks away including The Walking Dead and Dishonored, we had a huge variety on offer. And with our views firmly set on the next generation of console we hope the PS3 and 360 go out with a bang, unlike the fizzle of the Wii. Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and Aliens: Colonial Marines are all set for the first half of 2013, and as our expectation builds we really hope we aren’t going to be disappointed. Indie titles such as The Cave, Stasis and Tengami all look stunning, and after seeing The Cave, Tomb Raider and Aliens at the Eurogamer Expo in October we’re sure those titles will please. Fingers crossed for the rest then…

With our wish list complete we hope Santa can make these hopes comes true. But what’s on your wish list for 2013? What games are you looking forward to? And what lessons from 2012 do you hope developers and publishers learn from?

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