After a deceptively busy release schedule in January, the February 2013 video game releases are much less subtle. Featuring new entries in several iconic franchises, the this month’s release schedule will undoubtedly empty a few wallets before the real party starts in March.
First person shooting fans will even be able to venture beyond this list, as Crysis 3 hits shelves on February 19, giving this month a diverse list of offerings that span every major platform and have something for just about everyone. Check out our list of the top five most anticipated February 2013 video game releases and let us know your picks in the comments.
Fire Emblem: Awakening | Intelligent Systems | February 4
Following a rough launch, the Nintendo 3DS has rallied as of late, but many still question the library of games that backs the hardware. With Fire Emblem: Awakening, however, Nintendo has successfully brought one of its most respected franchises to its current-generation handheld device.
Players can even opt to embrace the ultimate challenge by turning “permadeath” on and seeing how far their favorite party members can make it into this adventure. As one of the most highly-reviewed games to release the year, Fire Emblem: Awakening could prove to be a sleeper hit that finally brings the series to the mainstream’s attention.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time | Sanzaru Games | February 5
With Sucker Punch Productions stepping away from the franchise that helped put it on the map, Sanzaru Games, which helped remaster the original Sly Cooper trilogy for HD re-release on the PlayStation 3, is taking the reigns and putting out the first new entry in the Sly Cooper franchise since 2005. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time follows the events of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, and sees the raccoon gaining several new abilities through a new costume mechanic introduced in this entry.
To make this title even more enticing, Sony is utilizing its popular cross-buy promotion, which gives anyone who purchases Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for PlayStation 3 a free digital copy of the PS Vita version. With the game seeing positive reception on both platforms (minus a few control gripes on the Vita port), the cross-buy promotion is sure to push a few on-the-fencers towards a purchase.
Dead Space 3 | Visceral Games | February 5
The action horror series Dead Space may have become more action than horror with this latest entry, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most anticipated games of 2013’s first quarter. This time around, Visceral introduces cooperative play, making the game play much differently than any title in the franchise to date.
Unfortunately, the release has been marred by controversy surrounding micro-transactions, which allow players to pay extra money to gain access to better weapons and components at an earlier stage in the game. Luckily, it’s less of a “pay-to-win” model and more of a “pay-to-earn-quicker” model, making it so players who pay more don’t necessarily gain an unfair advantage over those who don’t. As long as you’re not opposed to the infamous EA Online Pass system and the micro-transactions, Dead Space 3 is one of the games that fans of the action genre should look into.
Aliens: Colonial Marines | Gearbox Software | February 12
Aliens: Colonial Marines is just one name in a long list of games that were scheduled to release last year, but in an effort to make the experience better, the developer decided a delay was necessary. After experiencing not one, but two delays (one pushing it from Spring 2012 to Fall 2012, then one pushing it to early 2013), Gearbox and SEGA are finally releasing this horrifying shooter based on the Alien film franchise.
The campaign follows the events of the second film, Aliens, and based on reports that the Gearbox team met with Ridley Scott during the filming of Prometheus, the stories may even connect, as well. The mulitplayer will be what gives this game life; during our time with it, it proved engrossing, exhilarating and intuitive. Players looking for a complete shooting package may look no further than Aliens: Colonial Marines, but it will be an uphill battle for Gearbox’s hyped shooter, as it releases a mere week prior to Crysis 3.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance | Platinum Games | February 19
Taking a decidedly different approach from the rest of the Metal Gear series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be bringing a more action-based experience to the universe. Developed by Platinum Games under the supervision of Kojima Productions, Revengeance deviates from the stealth-based style of play and not only encourages players to be noticed by their enemies, it invites them to approach them head-on.
With Raiden as the main character, players will utilize an advanced sword-wielding mechanic that allows the character to freely swing the blade based on a reticule targeting system. Those wanting stealth mechanics will still have their wish fulfilled, however, as side objectives require Raiden to go unnoticed. Fans of the series and action enthusiasts alike should keep their eyes on this one.