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Happy new year!

Do the Waltz!

I hope 2013 brings you happiness equal to the above image, dear readers – we should all be so lucky!

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No need to get excited, it’s only a brand-new trailer for GTA V

Almost a year after that wonderful debut (those teasing #$^!@#%s!) comes the second official trailer for GTA V. And if you haven’t clicked ‘play’ already, we need to have a talk.

A lot of information about GTA V’s been revealed in the last few weeks – we’ve got a release date, confirmation of the three-protagonists rumour and a fairly staggering estimate of the size of the gameworld we’ll be commiting all sorts of illegalities in come Spring 2013.

Click on past the break to find out what I thought about the video.

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Deadpool will quip his way through your fourth wall in 2013

Yes, the Merc with a Mouth is finally getting his own game – and, as befits a character with that moniker, it’s going to be bloody, over-the-top and filled with enough one-liners to give Duke Nukem a complex. Announced at the San Diego Comic Con 2012 with the above trailer, the game will be developed by High Moon Studios (the guys who do the Transformer games), produced by Activision (the guys who do the Call of Duty games), and will feature Nolan North (the guy who does everything in every game, ever) in the titular role.

No more details were forthcoming, unless you count that…rather forthright invitation to Wolverine near the end of the trailer. Code, perhaps? Nah.

So, the good news is that there’s a new Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer…

It’s called ‘Suspense’, and, as you can see for yourself, it’s pretty good. Good enough to take your mind off the fact that it’s been delayed until February 2013? Sega thinks so.

I have to say, the beginning of this trailer really gave me hope. To this day, Aliens vs Predator 2 holds a special place in my heart for the way it mercilessly shredded my nerves throughout the Marine campaign; and, if I’m honest, no game since has really matched up. This, though – if it can maintain the…well, suspense of those opening shots – it might just usher in a whole new series of sleepless nights.

Full press release after the break.

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Company of Heroes 2 Announced, Will Be Set In Soviet Russia

"It's more than a city...it's a symbol."

Earlier today, THQ took the wraps off Company of Heroes 2, a sequel to the much-loved 2006 original, scheduled to release in early 2013. Set amidst the frozen battlefields of World War II’s Eastern Front, players will be tasked with taking charge of the Red Army and repelling the legions of Nazi invaders. Sounds tough, but worry not – history relates that the Germans did come a cropper in Russia, partly because they failed to take into account what Ned Stark kept banging on about, and partly because of the Red Army’s aptitude for sheer bloody-mindedness. (Also, I’ve heard that, in Soviet Russia, cold catches y- come on! You knew that was coming.)

Company of Heroes, for me, was the game that made strategy gaming sexy again when it released – kind of like what Call of Duty 4 would do for shooters a year later – and, as a result, I am positively besides myself with excitement that it’s getting a sequel. I’m also glad to see Relic exploring the Eastern Front, as it’s hitherto been woefully under-represented in gaming. Relic’s also bringing an upgraded Essence Engine to the party, which should result in “increased graphical fidelity and new environmental destruction.”

If I’m honest, that’s not even really necessary – CoH was pretty darn close to perfect, by my reckoning. Just give me more of the same, THQ – don’t fix what isn’t broken – and we’ll both be laughing. You, all the way to the bank; and me, all the way to Berlin.

Full press release after the break.

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Crysis 3 – First Look

Crytek and EA have released a first gameplay trailer for Crysis 3. The game, which was announced last week, takes place in a ruined and overgrown version of New York City. For fans of the series, this might well be reason for optimism, as this might help Crysis 3 pull off that Predator-esque vibe that the first game so memorably had (and the second one, well….didn’t). And, while we’re being optimistic, we might as well hope for a return to the original game’s sandbox gameplay, right?

It doesn’t look a whole lot different from Crysis 2, it has to be said. Still, it’s early days yet; there’s plenty of time to see if the latest member of the Crysis family lives up to that ‘3’ on the end.

Crysis 3 Will Decloak in Spring 2013

Crysis 3 was officially announced by EA and Crytek earlier today. The ‘premier sandbox shooter experience of 2013’ will once again return to New York; however, it looks set to be a different New York from the one we saw in Crysis 2. Players will step into the nanosuit of Prophet as he wages a one-man war of retribution; and woe betide any Ceph or human fool enough to get in his way. If they had you at ‘Crysis 3’ and you don’t want to waste your time with any more of this ‘announcement’ thing, the game is actually up for pre-order right now on Origin.

Personally, I thought Crysis 2 was a step down from Crysis; maybe it was just the curse of the sequel striking again, but it lacked that magic that the first game had. Be that as it may, the Crysis series was never going to go away; and Crysis 3 might just return it to its former pre-eminence. That might just be my optimism speaking, but here’s yet another reason to hope that those pesky Mayans got it wrong.

Check out the full press release (as well as another picture of Prophet wielding that sweet bow) after the break.

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New SimCity Will Reticulate Your Splines in 2013

If, like me, you have fond memories of whiling away hours in SimCity 2000 – or, indeed, any of those lighthearted simulations with a ‘Sim-‘ on the front – you’ve got one more reason to pray that the Mayans got it wrong. Accompanied by the above trailer, Electronic Arts and Maxis have announced a new SimCity game at this year’s Game Developers Conference. As of now, there’s no word on whether this new title (which is already available for preorder on Origin) marks a reboot of the SimCity series, or if this game will slot into the lineup as SimCity 5. Either way, for those of you who might be concerned about whether the franchise’s trademark zany sense of humour is still alive and kicking, here’s a quote from Maxis Senior Vice President Lucy Bradshaw : “You never know when a giant lizard might just trundle around the corner and kick the buildings down.”

Welcome back, SimCity. We’ve missed you.

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