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Welcome to 2013: a look at the year’s big reveals

Friday, 4th January 2013 08:08 GMT By Dave Cook

Watch Dogs may have given us a tease of the future back at E3 2012, but VG247′s Dave Cook runs down the biggest and best announcements that could hit in 2013.

Leaving speculation to one side for a minute – because goodness knows you don’t need another mostly base-less ‘x biggest things of 2013′ list cluttering up your screen this week – I’ve decided to take a proper hard look at evidence out there in the public domain to see what big reveals could be coming our way in 2013.

Some of the games below have already been revealed, but perhaps don’t have much in the way of information. Think of the initial Wii U reveal at E3 2011 compared to the actual reveal at E3 2012 – or as I’m calling it: ‘the one that actually told us stuff’.

So join me as I rake through the bins of the internet in search of domain filings, leaked screenshots and other trinkets to determine what big games we’ll all be talking about in 2013.


Prince of Persia Reboot
This has been an on and off rumour since early last year. It started with a pair of leaked, live-action images that came with a gold Ubisoft logo, similar to the one used on previous Prince of Persia titles, along with the tagline: ‘Judgement is coming’.

The scenes appeared to be set in a Middle Eastern location, so naturally rumours of a Prince of Persia reboot began hitting the net. The leak happened in June, just before Ubisoft’s pre-E3 conference, but no announcement was made. There was then a leaked in-game screenshot that showed a man similar to the one in the live-action stills in a Middle Eastern setting, along with a ‘Prince of Persia Zero’ watermark.

The story picked up traction once more in December, thanks to the LinkedIn profile of one Marc Cartwright, a developer at Ubisoft Massive. Cartwright was a developer on Far Cry 3, and listed his current job role as “Game designer on AAA next-gen online RPG”. The internet connected the threads and Prince of Persia chatter resumed once more.

The question is: will Ubisoft actually look to reboot Prince of Persia again, after the last attempt saw a mixed reaction? We should know more about this one in 2013.


Just Cause 3
Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios has made no secret of its ambitions to dominate the open world genre going into the next generation. Back in September, studio head Christofer Sundberg went on record saying, “We are set on becoming the best open world developer. That’s our ultimate goal. It’s a very competitive genre. Rockstar is more of a phenomenon than a competitor. What we can offer to the genre is diversity, which very few other open world developers can.”

Sundberg even said that the Just Cause franchise is “absolutely perfect for next generation consoles based on what we know so far”, and his words followed confirmation that Avalanche was working with Square-Enix on a next-gen open world action title, said to be “ground breaking”.

More proof came as Avalanche registered web domains for Just Cause 4 – despite the fact that a third game has yet to be announced – but this kind of practice is common when developers cover their backs in establishing a franchise.

What’s funny is that Sundberg himself teased a reveal for E3 2012 from Avalanche - a title he said was not Just Cause 3 – but no such reveal happened. So while Sundberg downplayed Just Cause 3, it seems like a classic case of misinformation. Either way, we’re getting closer to finding out what the team is up to.


Project Zwei
Back in May, Shinji Mikami confirmed that his new studio Tango Gameworks would release its first new IP as early as 2013 via Bethesda’s publishing arm. The game is a survival horror title that looks to recapture the essence of the genre, which is fitting due to Mikami’s involvement with the Resident Evil franchise over the years. The man created Resident Evil 4 for one.

Although Mikami has been silent on the project’s development for some time, he did release a few pieces of art in April, showing off some grim-looking locales. Bethesda then officially acknowledged the game’s existence, stating that Mikami is being very “hands-on” during development.

Finally, November saw Resident Evil Remake’s lead artist hired by Tango to serve as lead environmental artist on Project Zwei, a move that should come as comfort to those disillusioned by the varied state of the genre at present.


Watch Dogs
I know what you’re thinking, and yeah this has been announced already, but Ubisoft’s E3 2012 showing didn’t give that much away when you think about it. What format is it on? Certainly not Xbox 360 or PS3 according to the rumour mill.

Word on the wire is that this is to be an Xbox 720 launch title, a rumour that has been sparked by Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot confirming Watch Dogs as a 2013 release title. The confirmation syncs up with Microsoft’s Major Nelson announcing an E3 2013 countdown that smells a lot like a Xbox 720 reveal tease. The official Watch Dogs Twitter feed also confirmed a 2013 release window.

Driver San Francisco developer Reflections opened 40 staff positions for Watch Dogs development in November, suggesting that Ubisoft was due to enter some kind of crunch mode to get the game done for 2013. We all know how much Ubisoft likes to have new games out on launch day after all, making an Xbox 720 launch more likely.

Speaking of Xbox 720, rumour has it that the console will come with a tablet controller – sorry Wii U haters – which syncs up with leaked footage unearthed in June that showed Watch Dogs being controlled via tablet.

Whether this is simply a SmartGlass function or an integrated part of the Xbox 720 make-up remains to be seen, but still asynchronous tablet play seems to be a next-gen staple so far, and it helps that Ubisoft itself showed Destructoid the game running across multiple devices – including mobile and iPad. Expect big things from Watch Dogs in 2013.


Rainbow Six Patriots
Oh Rainbow Six Patriots, where have you gone? Well, Ubisoft did officially confirm the game’s release for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2013 back in November 2011.

That said, all has been silent in camp Clancy since, aside from a few screens and a target render video. Most recently, Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot has begun touting the game for next-gen formats instead, suggesting that the project has either slipped or has had a re-tool, similar to Ghost Recon Future Soldier. He said it will “surprise the industry.”

It’s going to be a big project according to Ubisoft, which announced that some 200 staff were working on it as of November 2011, a claim that was followed up with a VGA ’11 trailer that showed a wealthy businessman being kidnapped from his home by terrorists.

All fell silent until March 2012, when word spread that key staffers had quit the project. Ubisoft was quick to play down fears that the game had been derailed however, and assured the press that it was still on track for a 2013 release, and then reiterated its stance just ahead of E3 2012. As next-gen looms, we should know more about the shooter soon.


Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
If you read this site a lot, you may know that I’ve gone utterly daft for Ground Zeroes. In fact, I’ve compiled every snippet of information, every screenshot, every trailer, every whisper from Konami and Kojima Productions since the game was revealed right here in my “All Access” round-up. Just know that this will be constantly updated until the game launches, even if that’s a year from now.

But in the spirit of this article, we do know that Kojima’s Ground Zeroes reveal trailer did come with some PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 logos slapped on at the end, suggesting that the game is coming in 2013. After all, Kojima himself has called the title a prologue to something else – which for all intents and purposes could be Metal Gear Solid 5.

There was also the VGA trailer “The Phantom Pain”, which was peppered with Metal Gear Solid nods. Either way Kojima’s winding up to something big, and a 2013 release for Ground Zeroes – in some form or other – could well happen.


Thief 4
Thief 4 is a rumour that keeps on rearing its head now and then, and has been going on for some time. Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montreal is said to be developing the title. Back in August OXM reported that the game is heading to PS4 and Xbox 720 at some point.

June saw the leaking of what appeared to be a 30-second cinematic trailer for Thief 4, but the clip was promptly pulled from the net. It was said to be part of lighting and compositing artist Eric Wong’s demo reel at the time.

In the same month Eidos Montreal actually acknowledged the game’s existence, as studio boss Stephane D’Astous stated, “The success of Deus Ex put two things in perspective for us. Our second game needs to be as good or better than Deus Ex, and it gave a lot of credibility to the studio.” Get his full quotes on the matter of the game’s open nature here.

Speaking of ‘open nature’ Eidos Montreal was hiring for a “semi open-world action adventure title that responds to player choice and interaction”, back in May, a game that includes three main characters and swords.

It sounds like Thief 4 to us, and given the timing of next-gen formats and the length of time this has been in development for, we could see some form of concrete reveal in 2013. Either way it’s a game the studio is treating as a “new IP” according to D’Astous. It could be rather epic indeed.


Destiny
Bungie’s new IP was confirmed for a 2013 release back in May. The release window was outed as part of ongoing legal conflicts between Activision and ex-Infinity Ward members Jason West and Vince Zampella. In the wake of the reveal Bungie’s DeeJ said on the studio’s blog, “While we’re not ready to show you what we’ve been working on, we can reconfirm that we are hard at work on our new universe. We can’t wait for you to see it.”

Sections of the legal documents stated that Bungie’s deal with Activision will see Destiny launch as a timed-exclusive on Xbox – either Xbox 360 or Xbox 720 – and that it would filter out to PC and PS3 over time. The document also stated that the game would receive four major expansions – codenamed Comet.

Elsewhere, Destiny’s budget is said to be a whopping $140 million, and that Bungie employees will be allowed to work on other projects after the IP grosses $750 million. One project revealed during the Zampella-West legal battle was a reboot of Bungie’s shooter Marathon.

On the nature of the game itself, Destiny is said to be a sandbox MMO shooter, a rumour fuelled further back in October, when Bungie announced it had hired Red Dead Redemption Danny Bulla. Following the hire, a post on the Bungie blog stated, “We liked Red Dead Redemption so much that we hired Danny Bulla to come here and help us fill your next sandbox. He’s doing some amazing work and, so far, he hasn’t tried to lash any of us to a pair of railroad tracks.”

The world got its first glimpse at Destiny’s artwork and plot in November, when a series of leaked deign documents hit the net. There’s a lot of information therein, and you can check it all out here.

Finally, a member of Acti-Blizz team DemonWare played Destiny back at Bungie Days in July, and he said it was a lot like Halo, and compared its brand of exploration to Elite.


Respawn Entertainment’s New IP
This is a quick one, but the first game from Jason West and Vince Zampella’s new outfit Respawn Entertainment could be cleared for a fiscal year 2014 release, depending on the final outcome of their legal wranglings with Activision. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter predicted that the game would launch in 2014. Given the timing, a 2013 reveal could be on the cards. If this happens, expect it at either E3 2013 or the VGAs.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4
Another year, another Call of Duty. Chatter regarding Modern Warfare 4 came in waves at the end of 2012, sparked by Sledgehammer Games hiring for a new PS3 and Xbox 360 Call of Duty title.

Adding to this rumour, Siliconera reported that Modern Warfare 4′s voice recording has already begun in Los Angeles, and that the lead character is codenamed ‘Ben Burke’. We’ve got some alleged script samples of Burke’s dialogue right here, along with the source’s claim that the game will launch in 2013. It’s the same source who correctly leaked information on Sleeping Dogs and the Tomb Raider reboot months before they were officially announced.

In other MW4 voice rumours, the actor Bill Murray – the same chap who voiced Captain Price – was said to have spilled the beans on his involvement in the game to a fan during a passenger flight. Infinity Ward was quick to debunk the claim just days later, but didn’t deny the game’s existence.


Fortnite
Back at the VGAs in 2011, Epic Games announced Fortnite by way of this trailer, and ex-Epic veteran Cliff Bleszinski was quick to add that there will be no ‘dudebros’ in it. Thank christ.

The game is said to focus on resource gathering and – inspired by Minecraft – it lets players repel demonic enemies by crafting forts. It also runs on Unreal Engine 4. We know that another Unreal Engine 4 title – developed by Blacklight creators Zombie Studios – is launching in 2013, so it seems likely that Epic will strike while the UE4 iron is hot and do a proper big Fortnite reveal this year.


Super Smash Bros. Wii U
The next instalment of Super Smash Bros. was mentioned back at E3 2011. That feels like forever ago now. Recently, creator Masahiro Sakurai has said he’s prepared to make us wait a long time for it, but in all fairness a game like Smash Bros. is what Nintendo needs to keep Wii U interest high. It seems unlikely that we’ll go another full year before Nintendo properly announces the game, so a betting man might wager his home on a 2013 reveal.

We already know that the game’s core mechanics are now complete, and that Tekken’s own Katsuhiro Harada has stated that the game is a big priority over at co-developer Namco Bandai.


The Legend of Zelda Wii U
This is another game that has been billed for a 2014 release, but one that could very well see a reveal at this year’s E3. Back in September we reported on a rather large leaked report from sources allegedly close to the matter, stating that the game was originally slated for a Q3 2013 release, but that ambitions meant it had to move back to 2014. It is also said to follow the visual style of Skyward Sword and the Zelda Wii U tech demo revealed at E3 2011 is nothing to do with the actual game.

In terms of scale the source stated that Zelda Wii U would be the biggest game in the series yet, with some dungeons comparable in size to Hyrule Field, a suite of online features, and a range of diverse new mechanics on a dungeon-to-dungeon basis. Miyamoto said that the game was in R&D phase back in June 2012, which slots in with the source’s claims that Nintendo had produced a forest test dungeon in order to play around with its ideas. We also know that Nintendo is very excited at the idea of marrying Zelda with the Wii U’s bespoke features.


Mafia 3
Details are scant on this one so far, but back in August 2012 we reported that Mafia 3 is currently in development at 2K Czech for Xbox 720 and PS4. Sources close to the matter say the game will launch in 2013, and while 2K declined to comment on the matter, the studio started hiring for a ‘secret’ next-gen title back in November. The threads are slowly coming together on this one.


Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Here’s a little doozy that keeps on rearing its head from time to time. Back in March VG247′s sources told us that Crystal Dynamics is indeed working on a next-gen Soul Reaver reboot. No official announcement has been made, but the studio itself keeps teasing something but never actually announcing, which leads us to believe that something big and potentially delayed is in the works over there.


Half-Life 3
Yeah, probably not. But this leaked concept art sure looks nice eh? Also, this source said the game is open world and launching post-2013, which wouldn’t rule out a reveal this year. Plus, after DotA 2 launches fully Valve has nothing else on its slate. Half-Life 3 could be the next logical step But it probably won’t happen.

What do you make of the above? Do you think any or all of these games will get a bigger announcement in 2013? Let us know below.

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30 Comments

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  1. Erthazus

    Excellent, but in my opinion you missed Final Fantasy XIII Versus and some other games that I can’t remember.

    Oh, Project TITAN from Blizzard.
    https://twitter.com/mikemorhaime

    @mikemorhaime
    Happy new year everyone! Hope to see you at #blizzcon 2013.

    Blizzcon 2013 is a reality and they will show it for sure.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Edo

    I’m guessing also Alan Wake 2(at least according to the latest rumor)hoping for Fallout 4,next Batman game from Rocksteady and Mirror’s Edge 2 to be announced at some point this year.Also I think that Half-Life 3 WILL be announced this year(maybe we will have to wait for the actual announcement till December 31st but nevertheless :) ).

    #2 2 years ago
  3. mistermogul

    Looking forward to Watch Dogs, Ground Zeroes and Zelda especially.

    I do hope the Xbox 720 comes with a tablet controller as I love the WiiU Gamepad. I’m totally sold.

    Problem is if 720 does come as a powerhouse and a tablet controller, how frickin much is it going to cost? £500?

    I can’t see how MS or Sony would be able to add good processors, GPU’s AND a tablet controller for a decent price…?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Pytox

    Also maybe some new info on Prey2? Also Rocksteady was working on a game with the Justice League in it no? :) Mirrors Edge 2 would be nice :D and maybe a killer instinct from ms but that probably won’t be happening any time soon.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. polygem

    destiny all the way!
    zelda, smash bros, thief, legacy of kain and half life…really good stuff.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. SameeR_Fisher

    Dave that was a very nice article, I totally enjoyed it, you missed a couple of games though like Syphon Filter 4 that was supposed to be shown in E3 ((it was leaked with God of War)), I am thinking a launch title for PS4.

    Now for a few thing:

    Prince of Persia Reboot: wasn’t really a fan, so a reboot would be good IMO, starting from scratch, yet I know some people didn’t like the PoP spin off, but hey it wasn’t in the same vein now was it ?!

    Project Zwei: one of the most aniticpated game by survival horror fans IMO, though RE4 wasn’t a true survival horror title, it was held in a special place for alot of gamers, but Shinji Mikami now can have a very new start enforcing the horrors that we need.

    Watch Dogs: a launch for X360 ?!, hmmmmm interesting, what about the PS4 ?!, if the PS4 comes with anti-used measures, I will buy X720 with Watch Dogs, if not I will wait for the PS4 release, I don’t think a title as big would be an exclusive title.

    Rainbow Six Patriots: I don’t think this will be a launch title on Next Gen, maybe multi-format like this gen and the next one like Splinter Cell Double Agent was, also I hope R6P doesn’t turn into CoD-wanna be, removing Sears was a grave mistake.

    Thief 4: the hyperlink for Stephane D’Astous directs me to a 3DS cut article :D, anyway I never played any Thief title, probably cause most of the titles weren’t on PS, so with Thief 4 it is rather a great thing, if it is a continuation then I hope they release an HD collection, if it is a reboot like Lara Croft, then that is even better for me, I am also very interested in seeing a sequel for Deus Ex Human Revolution.

    Mafia 3: give me some awesome stuff, and you will get my absolute support.

    Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: maybe my biggest anticipated game here and at the same time my biggest disappointment, you see Defaince ended on a cliff hanger, I am not so sure a reboot is what we need, I wanted them to finish the story first, then do the reboot, either ways I hope it turns out great, LoK is one of my fav. series ever, also shouldn’t they reboot Blood Omen ?!, that is where the series actually started.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 Thanks :)

    I had to cull some games or else I’d never stop :P

    As for Blood Omen. That would be logical yeah, although I think more gamers remember Soul Reaver as they maybe came to the ‘Legacy’ series later in the day. I’d love to play a new Soul Reaver personally :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Clupula

    The only two I care about are Ground Zeroes and Project Zwei. The rest aren’t my cup of tea.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think I’m the only bastard who actually liked the remake. Great voice-acting, nice little story, frankly astonishingly beautiful landscapes, it was all great…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 loved the art style mate. I think it could have been good if they pumped out a decent sequel, but it’ll never happen now.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. SameeR_Fisher

    @7: haha very true, alot of great games coming out // leaked // teased :D

    BTW didn’t Eidos get God of War maker as well ?!, there were rumours he was working on the next Soul Reaver.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Dave Cook

    @11 David Jaffe? Or someone else? I might have to look into that one. Did you see that on VG247?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Moonwalker1982

    I seriously wonder if we’ll see Rainbow Six Patriots on this generation consoles, i bet it will be next-gen. Especially after Ubi’s Yves Guilemot ‘tease’ .

    #13 2 years ago
  14. SameeR_Fisher

    @12: nope Cory Barlog, not the maker, I was mistaken on that, but a game developer on both GOW1&2 and Game Director on GOW2.

    I believe the news about him were reported a while ago before I joined VG247.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. polygem

    and here i am. waiting for sony to finally reveal: medievil. the rise and fall of the pumpkin king…i am serious now. i want that.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. polygem

    “Whadda YOU want, you fleshless FREAK? Hang on – is that YOU, Sir Daniel? I didn’t recognize you for a moment. Eyebrows make such a difference to a man’s looks. As, indeed, does the rest of the face.”

    #16 2 years ago
  17. polygem

    witch i mean. the king was lame

    #17 2 years ago
  18. TD_Monstrous69

    One thing I hope to hear about in 2013; The Last Guardian. I’ve basically given up on it being a game for the PS3, and thinking they must’ve moved this on to be developed on the next-gen PlayStation awhile back, I’m keeping my fingers crossed at E3 2013 for that. Also, a lot of these rumored games for next-gen, I’m predicting at least a quarter of them will be launch-day titles for next gen consoles, and the rest will be launch-window titles (namingly, stuff that launches within the first year, except the Nintendo games of course), with a couple of them being delayed.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. silkvg247

    I am gutted that they’re rebooting soul reaver rather than the original LOC.

    Is a COD sequel really worthy of the list? Meh so many sequels and reboots. Big deal, doesn’t excite me personally. One exception is Just Cause, because I did love the second one.

    I am excited about Zwei and Fortnight looks interesting.

    Also looking forwards to the TITAN reveal which is presumably this year.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Dragon246

    @18
    Sony, unlike certain other hardware manufacturers, doesn’t announce false things in regards to games. Last Guardian will be a ps3 game, along with ffv13. The only game I am sad about is agent. It has most probably been canceled.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. JPdot

    I hope we get more informations about Watch Dogs, HL3, and Thief 4. Also, it won’t hurt to know what Nintendo plans to do with his IPs in the coming months.

    About the POP rumor…I just want Ubisoft to stop beating this dead horse: let the Prince rest in peace with his legacy and stop revitalizing his corpse.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. stretch215

    I just hope next gen is more focused on quality components than gimmicky tablet controllers. After some time with the Wii u, I’m just not feeling it. Don’t get me wrong, that tablet controller has it’s moments but (as #3 said) to keep costs reasonable you can’t have everything.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DSB

    Thief 4 has been confirmed since 2009, and it was featured on Eidos Montreal’s website even before Deus Ex: HR came out.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Dave Cook

    @23 yeah man, but it hasn’t been announced in the usual manner beyond the logo. No trailer, no art, no gameplay details.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DSB

    @24 Yeah. That’s pretty much how it went with Deus Ex HR. They announced it and everybody went crazy, and then they just went dark. They probably won’t show anything until a year before release.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Dave Cook

    @25 It’s a counter-productive strategy I think. It gets people doubting the IP and fearing development hell or a slip. Not good PR as they say.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Maledictine Jim

    So a nice article Dave, but would you tell me how could Crystal Dynamics announce a Soul Reaver game, when they explicitly said they aren’t working on one less than two months ago.
    http://twitter.com/CrystalDKarl/status/269376989922721792

    #27 2 years ago
  28. 2EX08

    Wheres the last of us?
    XD

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Eddie Rodrigues

    Well I wouldn’t have put MW4 since of the ‘emotional failure’ most players got while playing MW3, it’s pretty easy so play a CoD game made by Infinity Ward even in multiplayer, but difficulty is fully subjectivie.

    Next, I’d like to say that some games were missing here, maybe Majora’s Mask 3D (not announced but possible) and Soul Sacrifice (announced, demonstrated and purely beautiful). Although Dark Souls 2 might not follow the same path of the other Souls games it is worth mentioning. Last but not least… ermmm Last of Us and Beyond, both PS3 exclusives I am sure people will love and have a huge hype…

    #29 2 years ago
  30. MAXIV

    where is PRAY 2?

    #30 2 years ago