(This is another edition of /RANT, a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect those of GameFront.)
The year 2012 is in its final days, and we dispense with pointless reminiscing in order to look forward, with rudderless speculation and naive hope. On this quiet and ponderous week, there’s really nothing better to do than add to the overwhelming noise of list columns with yet another list column. We have plenty of games coming out in 2013, but which titles am I looking forward to? I’m sure you’re all incredibly curious about that, so I’m going to tell you immediately. Let’s get on with it, for Christ’s sake!
An obvious choice, but a worthy one. BioShock Infinite is high on most gamers’ lists of anticipated 2013 releases, despite its ever-shifting launch date becoming akin to that guy in the Popeye movie who kept kicking his hat away whenever he attempted to pick it up. Initially due in 2012, then February 2013, and now on March 26, Irrational Games’ return to the BioShock property has been surrounded by rumors of development trouble and key developers leaving the studio. However, few modern companies inspire as much faith as Irrational, and there are few who doubt the inevitable quality of Infinite in spite of any gossip.
For me, Infinite is something of a validation, as I’d argued for years that BioShock, as a series, should be similar to Final Fantasy — different worlds, different stories, with key themes preserved. BioShock 2 seemed too obvious and safe, as well an unnecessary return to a world that had been fully concluded. It was still great as a game, but it was a bit of a letdown in thematic terms. Infinite, taking place as it does in a sky city beset by political struggle, is the BioShock sequel I always wanted, and if it does well — which it undoubtedly will — it should hopefully set the course for the entire series thereon.
Excuses to feel smug aside, Infinite’s just looking set to deliver the same sense of discovery and wonder that the original BioShock did, delivered via the medium of a solid first-person shooter. Artistically gorgeous, thematically exciting, and packed to the brim with deadly robot politicians, Infinite has me all fired up.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
I’m a big fan of Aliens, to the point of wasting hundreds of dollars a time on eBay splurges for rare Aliens stuff. For years, I’ve been an obsessed devotee of all things Xenomorph-related, and so it’s hardly surprising that I’m always excited when a new game is in the works. Sadly, the license hasn’t been in great shape these recent years, with the last release — Aliens vs. Predator — providing quite the disappointment. That in mind, I remain cautiously optimistic about Colonial Marines, even if it has been in development for literally ten thousand years.
Captained by the good folks at Gearbox, Colonial Marines is being put together by some pretty hardcore fans of the IP, and has been trusted enough to be considered a canonical sequel to the classic Aliens movie. Having played some of its multiplayer in the past, I can confirm that the basics are at least all there, so this should be a solid shooter at the very least. Add to that all manner of playable Xenomorph action, as well as a story that seems set on bringing back the moody atmosphere of the films, and I find it hard to contain my giddy pleasure every time I think about it.
I’ll just have to keep crossing my fingers until the knuckles bleed.