The end of 2013 was marked by the launch of new consoles and the arrival of successful franchises. The New Year, on the other hand, offers more modest releases that take advantage of the post-holiday financial slump, gaining a foothold with users with sagas that are set to return with reissues that are more complete or offered on different platforms.
The Banner Saga: Chapter 1 – PC (14.01)
Chapter 1 is the start of a new franchise entitled The Banner Saga, which is focused on tactical role-playing and was developed by Stoic, an indie company formed by BioWare (Mass Effect). The game, which will be free, has been created thanks to a successful campaign on Kickstarter, a crowd-funding platform.
The Banner Saga: Chapter 1 consists of a single player campaign. There will be other chapters for single players, as well as another installment of the franchise in just over a month. The Banner Saga: Factions will be a multiplayer turn-based combat game.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD – PC, Xbox 360, PS3 (15.01)
Liberation was the “lost” installment of Assassin’s Creed, which only appeared on the PS Vita. Taking advantage of Assassin’s Creed IV, Ubisoft is now about to launch a version of the game for consoles and PC, with the obligatory HD face lift.
This time, and for the first time in the franchise, the protagonist is a woman named Aveline. The daughter of a white man and a freed black woman, she has to balance her life as a young wealthy woman with the role of an assassin in order to liberate slaves while revisiting her past.
Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff – Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 (18.01)
Two of the most beloved children’s characters are returning to our consoles. This time, they must collect items for the Museum of Cool while their colleague, Perry, tries to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz, who once again is trying to take over the tri-state area.
These two adventures – that of Phineas and Ferb, and that of Perry – will be two separate game modes: they complement each other by offering the possibility to create and maintain vehicles.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z – PS3, Xbox 360 (24.01)
Dragon Ball Z has had another resurgence in popularity thanks to the premiere of the movie Battle of the Gods. This is why Namco Bandai have, until now, refused to release a game that includes a feature that Goku fans have been demanding for years: a system for cooperative combat, which in this case allows four players per side.
Will this addition be enough to reverse the fortunes of a video game saga that’s been going downhill with each new installment? Hopefully, although the absence of a story mode and the rather inaccurate graphics do make you fear the worst.
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst – PS3, Xbox 360 (31.01)
Another manga hero that’s making a return is the ninja Naruto. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (which was launched back in October for PC) is a hyper-adaptable version of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, a game that appeared in March 2013.
This Full Burst version has all the DLC content so that the game can be updated with a new battle, new playable characters and some graphics improvements.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – PS4, Xbox One (31.01)
Another game that already hit stores in 2013 but is now out in a new edition is Tomb Raider. In this case, it’s taking advantage of the success of the versions for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 Crystal Dynamics to bring us the adventures of Lara Croft on the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles.
But are better graphics and a 1080p resolution enough for users to turn around and buy a game that was already just released?
A quiet month
January is clearly a much quieter month as far as releases go, but we’re expecting big things in the coming months with games that are likely to take over our PC and consoles. Until then, a lack of funds and some new, smaller titles will have to hold us over.