We are officially in triple-A territory, folks. While the first few months of the year definitely had a couple of heavy hitters on display, February in particular was a bitter disappointment, with many games performing below our expectations (Dead Space 3, we’re looking at you, mate). However, March has brought about some of 2013’s biggest games in the past 31 days, including one behemoth from a little-known developer called Irrational Games. In addition, it also saw the rebirth of one of gaming’s most iconic characters. Naturally, a few stinkers also made it on to shelves, though we won’t lament that much longer. Let’s crack on and take a look at what March had to offer our hungry wallets.
Things got off to an auspicious start, with Tomb Raider leading the charge for the month’s software stampede. This reboot, developed by Crystal Dynamics, takes Lara Croft back to her early years as she finds herself stranded on a mysterious Island after a shipwreck. Gritty, gory and chock full of collectibles, Tomb Raider doffs its cap to Uncharted on more than one occasion, but still manages to calve out its own identity thanks to some brilliant storytelling – Croft has never been more human, and the narrative is backed up by some superb exploration and combat.
God of War: Ascension muscled in a few weeks later, with Kratos returning for another round of skull-smashing, arm-ripping action in this prequel. Aside from a more human protagonist – the game takes place not long after Kratos is tricked into killing his wife and child – Ascension also introduces a wealth of new enemies to fight, not to mention the series’ first stab at multiplayer. Meanwhile, expansion packs for existing juggernauts like DmC: Devil May Cry and Dead Space 3 also turned up, with Vergil’s Downfall and Awakened, respectively. The best of the bunch however is unquestionably Mass Effect 3’s ‘Citadel’ DLC, which offers a fantastic, narrative-driven swansong to Commander Shepard’s unforgettable teammates.
Finally, we have BioShock: Infinite. Originally announced in 2010 and the subject of numerous delays, Ken Levine’s latest baby arrives on the scene to a worrying amount of hype – never a good thing in this day and age, especially after a long-ass wait. However, a quick butcher’s at Metacritic will reveal that we needn’t have worried, as the game not only lives up to the BioShock name, but improves up on the formula with some interesting tweaks. Still, the month wasn’t without a few misfires – notably Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 and the so-so Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel – but overall, March was unequivocally the strongest 2013 has had to offer thus far.
So, what ultimately nabbed our Game of the Month accolade? This, we feel, is rather obvious, but believe it or not, it actually caused a bit of heated debate here at PSU Towers. In the end, the staff vote came down to – of course – BioShock: Infinite. But it wasn’t without a fight, as Tomb Raider nearly managed to tie votes with the Irrational behemoth, much to my personal delight. Still, Infinite deserves all the attention it has received; Ken Levine’s latest effort is a cerebral rollercoaster packed with insightful dialogue, one of the best companions ever in Elizabeth, superb storytelling and gratifying combat. The absence of multiplayer isn’t to be lamented either; BioShock Infinite proves that it isn’t required, and the game’s lasting appeal will have you coming back again and again anyway.
Check out a snippet of our review below, and see what PSU.com’s Adam Dolge had to say about it in the full article here.
“BioShock Infinite is a master class in storytelling. With exceedingly fun gameplay and combat, a beautifully intriguing world to explore, and an extremely impressive cast of characters, BioShock Infinite stands as one of the best first-person shooters ever made.”
Don’t agree with our choice? What do you think deserved the award for PS3 Game of the Month? Let us know below.