The Games Of March
March is going to be a crazy month in the world of video games. With new consoles coming out later this year, publishers have front-loaded the release calendar in order give the last of their current-gen games a chance at relevance. Though recent announcements have started to fill-in-the-blanks on our anticipated gaming schedules, most of the games you've been waiting to play in 2013 are coming out this month.
There's something for everyone: Shooters, sports games, PS3 and Xbox 360 exclusives. A lot is going to happen in the next few weeks, so we're going to give you the highlights to help you plan accordingly:
"Tomb Raider": Reviewers are already cheering Lara Croft's return to the AAA game stage. The new "Tomb Raider" takes a grittier, if not more realistic, approach as it rewrites Lara's origin story. In this version, Lara Croft is not a seasoned treasure hunter, but a young academic, who gets shipwrecked on a jungle island and is forced to learn to survive in the wilderness and defend herself from murderous pirates. Despite some brutal moments, the game's blend of survival technique and "Uncharted"-style cover-based shooting sound like they're compelling for anyone who likes shooting, climbing, action and/or adventure.
"Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate": The next "Castlevania" for the 3DS returns the series to its roots in 2D platforming and exploration. At least, it sort of does. "Mirror of Fate" uses "Shadow Complex"-esque "2.5D" visual-tricks and fast combat similar to its home console-cousin. Despite coming to 3DS, "Mirror of Fate" has big shoes to fill, not only will the game's plot bridge the gap between "Lords of Shadow" and "Lords of Shadow 2," but it also serves to connect the "LoS" series with the classic "Castlevania" franchise through its primary characters, Trevor Belmont, Simon Belmont and Alucard.
"God of War: Ascension": The fourth "God of War" is technically a prequel, though it clearly builds the series' legacy of immense over-the-top violence to new heights. Taking place before Kratos begins his war on the gods, but after his family is killed, Kratos is looking for a way to break free from Ares and, In the process, he'll stab, gore, disembowel and decapitate everything in his path. "Ascension" also brings multiplayer to the "God of War" franchise, pitting teams of up to four against each other and monsters in a series of quasi story-driven challanges.
"Gears of War: Judgment": Also the fourth "Gears of War" and also a prequel, Judgment puts players in the shoes Gears' supporting soldier Damon Baird as he recalls that time he was tried for treason in opening days of the Locust invasion. Handled by "Bulletstorm" developer People Can Fly, "Judgment" is going look, sound and play just like "Gears of War," but way faster. Whether that's for better or worse, we'll have to find out.
"LEGO City Undercover": "LEGO City Undercover" should be on every Wii U-owner's radar, if only because it's a new game for a platform that could use one. An open-world cop story with original characters, "LCU" is by far the most ambitious LEGO game since developer TT Games built a franchise around LEGO-licensed spinoffs. If the game makes good on the promise its shown so far, "Undercover" could be something akin to a family-friendly answer to "Saint's Row."
"Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon": Nintendo president Satoru Iwata declared 2013 "the year of Luigi," and kicking off that campaign is the still-surprising sequel to "Luigi's Mansion." Building on the themes and mechanics of the original, "Dark Moon" will feature more ghosts, vaccum attachments, and a generally more expansive experience, which seems odd considering it's been downsized to Nintendo's smaller platform. The will also include four-player online and local co-op so you can hunt boos with a friend.
"Bioshock Infinite": A front-runner for the most anticipated game of both 2012 and 2013, Irrational Games' spritual sequel to "Bioshock" has recieved no shortage of attention. After a long media blackout, "Infinite" was delayed twice-first from October to February, then from February to March-prompting concern across the internet. A recent slew of previews, however, seems to indicate that the next "Bioshock" will absolutely live up to gamers' seemingly limitless expectations. With religion and racism playing a central role in the narrative, it has the potential to light the gaming world on fire. Yeah, you are probably going to want to play this game.
These are not the only games coming in March, though: Here's a full-ish list of games coming out this month. (Note: Release dates are subject to change.)
- "Tomb Raider" (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
- "Amazing Spider-Man" (Wii U)
- "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate" (3DS)
- "Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3" (PS3, Xbox 360)
- "MLB 2K13" (PS3, Xbox 360)
- "MLB 2013: The Show" (PS3, Vita)
- "Scribblenauts Collection" (DS)
- "God of War: Ascension" (PS3)
- "Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory" (PS3)
- "Sniper 2: Ghost Warrior" (Xbox 360, PS3)
- "Gears of War: Judgment" (Xbox 360)
- "Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate" (Wii U, 3DS)
- "Lego City Undercover" (Wii U)
- "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct" (PS3, Xbox 360)
- "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" (3DS)
- "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity" (3DS)
- "Bioshock Infinite" (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- "Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel" (Xbox 360, PS3)
- "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14" (PS3, Xbox 360)
- "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct" (Wii U)
Are you going to buy any new games in March? Let us know what's worth picking up in the comments.