The year 2023 promises to be even more exciting than usual for PS5 and XBOX 360. There are games that are re-imagined as well as new issues and expansions on the menu. Gamers will have much into which to sink their teeth.
Coming in January 2023, this game takes you, the hero, into the far future to battle mutants on board the USG Ishimura, a mining ship. Your crewmates have mysteriously disappeared. Are they the rampaging mutants, or are they being held prisoner somewhere on the ship? Might they be elsewhere?
The game’s engine is EA’s Frostbite, which garnered so many positive comments regarding Star Wars: Squadrons and Star Wars Battlefront II. The story of the game is the same as that in its earlier incarnation, but the development of the characters is much expanded. The environments, items, and other in-game things are similarly redesigned.
The upshot of the redesign is to remove all screen loads so that the game presents a seamless environment on whichever console you’re playing. That means that removed content from the previous version might make an appearance because the technology has improved to the point that its inclusion is again feasible. Dead Space is a futuristic sci-fi horror game for a single player in contrast to the earlier Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, which included multiplayer.
Valheim from Iron Gate Studios will finally see its Mistlands expansion very early in January 2023. It is exclusively for the XBOX360 in addition to its PC version, which has been out since February 2021.
The game is a survival game that you can play either solo or with up to 10 friends. The world inside Valheim is gigantic, and the addition of Mistlands will make it even larger. The game involves your quest to reach Valhalla through defeating five powerful Norse characters under the watchful eye of Odin, the AllFather.
There are five “biomes,” or environments, in which you, the Viking hero, will build, fight, and seek your destiny. Each biome offers its own challenges, and the fun of discovery is one of the game’s huge selling points.
The opportunity for building is almost unparalleled, and the crafting opportunities are varied and extensive. There is no set “time table” to defeat each “biome boss,” so you can take your time and enjoy the jaw-dropping sights in the game. Despite its lower-tech graphics, the emphasis on lighting shadow within the game creates a lush and beautiful world. Mistlands itself is a difficult and shrouded-in-mystery additional biome that is best suited for a team of Vikings to conquer together.
Deliver Us Mars
February 2023 sees us on our way to the Red Planet. Survival games seem to be a theme for 2023. Deliver Us Mars builds upon the successful ARK franchise, and you, again as the hero, must explore the desolate Martian landscape to discover what happened to the arks and how you can rectify the situation.
Like in Valheim, the emphasis is on the lighting and the real-time shadow placement, both of which bring Mars to life as you climb precariously up steep cliffs and/or elevator shafts. Gravity, even though it’s not Earth standard, is your biggest enemy because falling equals death.
The rub of the game? The person who stole the arks designed to save humanity from extinction is none other than your character’s father. So, there is some unresolved family drama interspersed with the action. There’s little shoot-em-up in this game, and you must rely on your brains to figure out puzzles and obstacles. It’s almost a little like a combination of Valheim and Myst.
Aliens: Dark Descent
Later in 2023, Aliens: Dark Descent puts you in command of a squad of colonial marines sent to Moon Lethe to control an outbreak of “Ripley’s bad guys.” Unlike other games, you have to be able to act and think in real time to give your squad orders. Seconds one way or another might mean the difference between success and failure.
Your squad might just have to retreat and regroup, or you might wind up being the only one left to fight off the hordes. Hope your ammo holds out! The big rub in this game is that death is permanent, so if you lose someone, that’s that. The almost-as-big rub to this game is that the xenomorphs, being super-intelligent and all, actually learn as they go and adapt to your tactics. So, you have to change it up to keep them guessing.
You can, however, recruit whom you want to be on your team. There are marines of all sorts of talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Further, you can train them to learn new things and to develop “tricks of the trade” that will help them survive against the relentless numbers of things with “acid for blood.”
Atlas Fallen is so far TBC, but the release date should be summer or later in 2023. The idea is that you have to punish some corrupt gods who seem to be “airing their grievances” on a world made up of half a dozen semi-open areas. The main shtick to the game is that you don’t find gear.
Instead, when you defeat enemies, then you can collect their essence to increase your powers. Instead of finding that “cool sword that flies,” you just make what you want out of the sand that covers everything. You can tangle with this world and its vain and corrupted gods alone or with a partner.
The chief advantage to a game like this is that the replay value is stunning. There are many more ways to devise your character than you might see or think about at first glance, and switching it up the next time will be just as fun.