Welcome to the fourth annual edition of New Horizons. You can forget about sequels and spin-offs, because our massive preview special is overflowing with new and original games.
Just how far are you willing to go to secure victory? Vita exclusive fantasy action game SOUL SACRIFICE allows you to give up your own body parts in order to fuel your magical attacks. You can blame Mega Man legend Keiji Inafune for this short sighted approach to resource management. If you’re feeling a little squeamish about it, you can always sacrifice one of your co-op partners instead. You know, for the “greater good”.
Given the sheer number of zombie games already available, it can’t be easy to come up with a snappy new title. That’s why we’re impressed with STATE OF DECAY. Sure, the name isn’t quite as infectious as Left4Dead, but it’s a big step up from Touch the Dead and for that, we’re grateful. With a focus on gathering resources and improving defences, this open world survival game from Undead Labs is set to arrive on XBLA and PC in early 2013.
Forget Disneyland. It’s obvious to anyone with a pulse that Media Molecule is the happiest place on Earth. After delivering two insufferably cute LittleBigPlanet titles, the UK developer is trying something new, while remaining true to its art school heritage. TEARAWAY is the story of a little paper craft chap determined to save the day. If the trailer is any guide, this colourful adventure will make extensive use of the Vita’s touch pads.
If the 80s taught us anything, it is that no problem is so complex that it can’t be solved by a single heavily armed helicopter. Anyone who doubts this truism clearly hasn’t done their research (i.e. watched hours of Blue Thunder and Airwolf). Further proof is on the way in the form of Most Wanted Entertainment’s THUNDER WOLVES (can’t imagine how they came up with that title). This explosive arcade throwback is coming to XBLA, PSN and PC.
Imagine being stuck in a remote cabin with only a PlayStation Move controller for entertainment. It may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but in this case it’s (gasp!) all too real. A tongue in cheek tribute to the teen slasher genre, UNTIL DAWN features a blend of action and puzzle solving. It’s a definite change of pace for developer Supermassive Games, which until now has specialised in family fare.
It may sound like a militarised walking aid for paranoid retirees, but WARFRAME is actually an ambitious sci-fi shooter from the creators of Dark Sector. As a member of an ancient order of warriors known for its mastery of the titular battlesuit, you’ll be drawn from your slumber in order to battle a sinister faction known as the Grineer. This free-to-play PC title from Digital Extremes is currently in beta.
If you’re at all susceptible to video game addiction, you’ll want to steer well clear of WARRIOR’S LAIR, the new action RPG from Sony and Idol Minds. Formerly known as Ruin, this epic fantasy allows you to play on either your PS3 or your Vita and then transfer your save freely between the two. Only the Vita’s miserable battery life stands between you and perpetual dungeon crawling.
While the Dogz franchise enjoyed modest success, it always languished in the shadow of Nintendogs. Seemingly undeterred, Ubisoft is taking another crack at the canine crown with WATCH DOGS. Hopefully the high tech action and espionage on offer will compensate for the absence of actual dogs. This open world blockbuster is in development at Ubisoft’s flagship Montreal studio, best known for its work on Assassin’s Creed.
Maverick creator Jonathan Blow must have invested his Braid money wisely, because he now has his own private island. Being the magnanimous fellow that he is, he’s asking you to drop by for a visit. As THE WITNESS is all about exploration and puzzle solving, you’ll really only need to pack one item of clothing for the trip: your thinking cap. (Brings some pants too. What the hell is the matter with you?) Target platforms are yet to be announced.
Forming an alliance to battle a common foe is a proven recipe for success (just look at The Avengers) but why cap the membership at five or six? THE WONDERFUL 101 features no fewer than 100 costumed vigilantes. Why not 101? Well, according to developer Platinum Games, the player is the 101st member of the team (that’s… that’s beautiful… *sniff*). This vibrant real time strategy game is on its way to the Wii U.
That’s more than enough rambling from us. It’s time for you to step up to the plate and let us know which of these original offerings is likely to catch your eye during 2013. Perhaps we missed your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.