Operation 2012: Part Two – 2013
Atttennnnn-hut! At ease, soldiers. Not you, Jenkins. Now, you’re probably wondering why I brought you back here, and let me assure you that once we’re done here we can all go back to our piles of shame, because mine’s starting to look like Keel-a-man-jaro! Don’t correct me son, ‘less you wanna be stuck on Latrine Simulator detail again! You may remember the last time I gave you all a warning about the tide of enemies about to storm our compounds, but seeing as we have some new faces with us today, allow me to fill you in. Y’all are fucked. Especially you, Jenkins. Even if I have to see to it myself, I will ensure that each and every one of you maggots are fucked so thoroughly that you’re going to start putting on pretty dresses and cleaning my house.
If you thought last year’s opening assault was bad, then this year will have you putting your underwear on your head, sticking two pencils up your nose spouting the word “bibble” over and over again. Don’t you dare consider it, or I’ll have you playing Edutainment titles on the Wonderbook so fast your head will spin. January isn’t as safe as she usually is, with not just one but two potential blockbusters slamming down our doorsteps. Those pesky Eastern devs aren’t just siccing another RPG about a ten-year-old boy and whatever the heck mascot they have chasing him (his nose is a lantern? What?) in Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, but they’ve even brainwashed some Westerners to bring back the ever-irksome son of Sparda in DmC: Devil May Cry. No Private, this is not another Pearl Harbour!
If that ain’t enough for you, our chances in February look so abysmal that I have half a mind to cancel your shore leave for Valentine’s Day so you can catch up wagglin’ your joysticks! Them pesky strategists have sent perma-death fantasy epic Fire Emblem: Awakening at us first off, with a third entry in the Dead Space franchise straight after. No, Private, I do not know why it’s now a bland third-person co-op shooter anymore, just close your eyes and think of Britain. Or your gamerscore. What am I, your mother?
Not had enough of your man versus extra-terrestrial mayhem? No you haven’t Jenkins, shut up. For everyone else, how about the double-threat of Aliens: Colonial Marines and Earth Defense Force 2017? We’ll get our top man on it. Speaking of our top men, we’ll need one of you to slim down into one of our nano-suits if we’re going to take on the motherboard-melting might of Crysis 3. While that no doubt manly tussle is going down, we’ll need our most irritatingly depressing ninja on-hand to take on Raiden and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Feel free to tell Kojima to stop abusing the English language while you’re at it. Throw in a sequel to the limbless wonder’s Origins, stick it on the Wii U and you also have Rayman Legends bringing up the rear, no doubt sending fists flying up our back passages. Stop sniggering soldier, people do actually play the Wii U, you know.
Those left alive after that assault will be left marching into… the third month, and boy, is this one a doozy. Not only do we have a return to city-construction with the non-numbered fifth Simcity, but the busty disgrace to archaeology herself is planning to crash-land this month. The Tomb Raider’s looking so battered you’d think Chris Brown was on the plane with her. From the “you’ll want to protect her” gaffe to “protecting her is pretty much the entire game” we finally get Bioshock Infinite, its game-long escort-mission and a mode promising to take us back to the days before shooters were two weapons at a time, cover-based affairs. Bringing us right back again will be two weapons at a time, cover-based affair Gears of War: Judgement, which earns my ire simply because this People Can Fly production isn’t Bulletstorm 2. And who could forget Fuse? You know, Fuse! It was colourful, personality-filled Overstrike, until EA decided to change it to a bland, gritty co-op shooter so poorly search-engine optimised that all you’ll probably find on Google images are a bunch of pictures of electronic supplies.
Along with the showers comes April, and no fools will be tolerated, even if they come spandexed and ready for a fight; we’ll need our brawlers at the helm for Injustice: Gods Among Us. Not content with your emotionless protagonists in tight-fitting Lycra? How about in uniform instead? Hey, don’t ask, don’t tell, but Spock will no doubt point out the ill-logic of our ventures to defend ourselves from this coming onslaught of games once Star Trek launches. If teaming up with Vulcans isn’t your thing, then we’ve got the perfect mission for you: sunny skies, tropical landscapes and a teeny-tiny zombie infestation problem await you in Dead Island: Riptide. Don’t let the name fool you; I’ve heard they serve some killer pina coladas.
If you fancy somewhere a bit colder, then we’ve also got orders to come on down to South Park and have ourselves a time. Friendly faces will be abound in South Park: Stick of Truth, though humble folk without temptation may go home empty-handed. Refusing to do so will be the heist-pulling extraordinares in the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V, which should be releasing around this point. All signs point to May, but every time we asked our mole in Rockstar they just sent us a screenshot instead. I’m genuinely not sure if they’re mocking us or only capable of communicating via static images.
Just because the summer time lacks in more blockbuster affair doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels; we still need to send our most elite spies to Los Angeles as the industry announces its next assault on our free time. Count in the rumoured console announcements and I’m getting chilling precognitions of our wallets crying in court as they tearfully explain to the jury where we touched them. During this less crowded time of year we should also choose to tackle those whose releases may have passed us by due to their currently unconfirmed release dates. There will be mysteries to solve in Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse, ghosts to bust in Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, plants and soldiers to command in Pikmin 3 and Company of Heroes 2 and an international Raccoon Crime-Syndicate to take down through the power of capitalism in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Now, this is where things get sketchy; we know that there will be another massive strike in the final months of the year, but to what extent we simply don’t know. Even without the potential new console cycle, we’re looking at a physically impossible horde the likes of which we’ll eventually tire of in multiplayer modes. Quantic Dream are planning another storytelling disasterpiece with Beyond: Two Souls, which at least has the decency to be full of mumbo-jumbo bullshit from the offset, instead of sneaking it in the latter stages like Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain.
From the recognisable face of Ellen Page we move on to a blank, expressionless one in Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns, the third Thirteenth Final Fantasy. Honestly troops, I think that title is a bigger affront to logic and sanity than Square-Enix’s insistence that anyone actually gives a damn about Lightning. Added to the mix will be Hoth Simulator Lost Planet 3, stealth-em-up Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Stallone-em-up Rambo: The Game and memory-wracking Remember Me, which I genuinely forgot about until now.
Men, after the battles you’ll be waging, I’d be content to give you all some leave back to Cyrodiil and Elder Scrolls: Online, but it may not be possible. You see, EA and Activision are once again planning to whip it out and prove they have a bigger package than the other side by threatening to launch megaton nukes at each other in the form of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty 10.
With a threat this imminent and this dangerous, you’re probably expecting me to make some kind of heart-warning, eleventh-hour speech, but this ain’t the movies, son, and I’ve got nothing. Come December, I fully expect to be visiting your homes and informing your next of kin that you didn’t make it. Especially yours, Jenkins. If any of you actually make it, then you’ll have not only proven me wrong, but you’ll get to experience the swan-song of one of the biggest generations we’ve ever had, but the enemy isn’t about to limp quietly into the good night.
Just remember soldiers: They can take your wallets, your time and your lives, but they’ll never take your gamerscore!
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