The 12 Games I’m Most Looking Forward to Through March 2013

Forget the whole year in gaming, that's just too big: Let's talk about what's on tap over the next three months, because the first quarter's looking huge.

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Namco Bandai

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (March 5)
Here’s the sequel to Konami’s 2010 Castlevania reboot we’ve been waiting for, envisioned as another side-scrolling, whip-slinging adventure on Dracula’s gothic candlelit turf starring four playable characters in various time periods. Castlevania-heads rejoice: Konami’s promising at least “20 hours” from this one. (3DS)

SimCity (March 5)
I’ve been watching the developer videos for this SimCity reboot with TIME Tech editor Doug Aamoth, who’s something of a SimCity guru, and we both agree it looks pretty snazzy — a multiple city-building strategy game that appears to scale elegantly between drag-and-drop simplicity and drill-down fiddling. Fingers triple-crossed. (PC)

Tomb Raider (March 5)
Another Tomb Raider? I know, but I’ll give developer Crystal Dynamics the benefit of the doubt, since they’re putting forward something few games do: a strong, hopefully non-stereotypical “male fantasy” female protagonist in a sandbox-style action-adventure that’s a full continuity, origin-story reboot. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (March 12)
What more can StarCraft II do? Extend its story with 20 new missions, of course, for those that care, but also: focus on the alien Zerg, tweak the game’s visuals, add seven new units (and remove three) and price all of that in expansion territory ($40), though yep, it’ll require Wings of Liberty to run. (PC)

Gears of War: Judgment (March 19)
I enjoyed Gears of War, adored Gears of War 2, but bounced off Gears of War 3 so hard I couldn’t force myself to finish it. Gears of War: Judgment is the fourth in this sci-fi third-person tactical shooter series: a prequel co-developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Painkiller) with series creator Cliff Bleszinski once more handling design. Oh, and it’s co-written by a 2010 Guggenheim fellow. (Xbox 360)

BioShock Infinite (March 26)
A new BioShock from the guy (and much of the team) that crafted the original? A creepy castle-in-the-sky dystopia? A computer-controlled compadre who’ll toss you weapons in a pinch? A connective rollercoaster-style rail-system you can ride dangling with one-arm from a weaponized Sky-Hook? Sign me up. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

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