Wow – March 2013, what a month for PC gamers with four major release titles that we can’t wait to get our hands on. None of them are a new IP, we have Tomb Raider and SimCity offering reboots to the franchises, Bioshock Infinite being set in the same universe as Bioshock 1 & 2 but not following the same timeline or story, and the expansion for Blizzard’s bestselling strategy series, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. I don’t know about you but I’ll be spending a lot of time in my cave this month. Are you looking forward to anything?
Let’s take a quick look at the big four and then a few other things that have caught my eye…
Out on March 5th for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, Tomb Raider is a reboot of Lara Croft’s iconic action series. Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, we head back to the beginning to explore Lara Croft’s origins. According to SE we’ll be fighting “to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.” There have been some impressive videos and screenshots already and it promises to offer some fun.
SimCity is refreshing the franchise with a new game that adds an element of co-operative play to the previous city-building government-management. I was lucky enough to be invited to play during the Closed Beta phase – which was limited to an hour of city building, no where near enough time to explore the options but enough to give me a taste to know I’m going to be spending hundreds of hours building up my empire and playing God. I’m really excited about the new co-operative region play, where you can trade globally with other players and work with your friends on building up a region, each helping (or perhaps hindering!) each other. Although the maps are smaller than previous, controlling a multi-city region is definitely bringing something new to the table.
Heart of the Swarm is an expansion to Wings of Liberty, so will require the base game to play. Luckily Blizzard has the game on sale this week, so if you haven’t picked it up yet – now is the perfect time. This time we’ll be following the campaign as Kerrigan. Time to watch her story unfold – and of course crush our enemies.
- Continues the epic story of StarCraft II from where Wings of Liberty left off.
- Approximately 20 new campaign missions.
- New campaign gameplay mechanics, allowing players to evolve new abilities and units for their zerg army.
- Go into battle with Kerrigan as she tries to restore her strength and regain control of the Swarm.
- New multiplayer units and maps, expanding strategic choice and gameplay depth for each race.
- Expanded features and functionality for Battle.net to improve custom-game search, and new tools for map authors to create even more epic custom games.
- New pre-rendered and in-game cinematics bring the story of Heart of the Swarm to life.
Bioshock is one of the highest rated PC games of all time, with Bioshock 2 also impressing critics and players. Can Bioshock Infinite live up to the hype and excitement? We’re going to find out at the end of the month. Don’t expect to hear from me on March 26th until the game is completed. Who needs sleep? Not me!
It’s worth noting that Steam is offering a pretty awesome pre-order bonus, including a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, one of my favourite strategy games of 2012, and a copy of the original Bioshock which is pretty unmissable if you haven’t played it before. Check out this trailer and join me in excitedly waiting for release day.
There are a ton of other great things coming in March, if you happen to have any extra free time between playing the above. I’ve been playing The Showdown Effect in beta and am looking forward to some crazy multiplayer mayhem when it moves into retail release on March 5th whilst Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is also a game we’ll be reviewing after it releases on March 14th – I’m keeping an open mind. We were originally slated to be getting Metro: Last Light in March, sadly that was thrown out of the window when THQ went bankrupt but we’ve just had confirmation that Metro will be coming back in May so it’s not too long to wait after all. There are a few other Indie titles that look like they could be interesting so keep an eye out for our reviews on Sang-Froid, Tales of the Werewolves, Dollar Dash and Alien Spidy – it’s going to be a game packed month! Glorious.
So tell me…. anything take your fancy for March?