Why not start the season with total chaos? "Anarchy Reigns" has been released overseas for months and its North American and European releases have been steadily delayed by Sega but we're assuming it's actually coming out in 10 days and should make for an action-packed start to the year. Promising heavy multiplayer action including Death Match and Survival modes, "Anarchy Reigns" is essentially an arena game in that you take on a few opponents to see who can unleash the most insane special moves on each other or team up to fight the horde. A number of other modes have been promised and the game features characters from Sega hits past like "MadWorld" and "Bayonetta". Jack from "MadWorld" swinging his chainsaw at the always-entertaining Bayonetta? Where do I sign up?
Before You Buy: Go back and play "MadWorld" and "Bayonetta" for a hint of the intense combat you can probably expect here.
Suggested Reading: Official Site
It's been over eleven years since Capcom's "Devil May Cry" took gamers by hellstorm in its initial release for PS2. Three successful sequels followed but the series went dormant in 2008 and five years in the world of video games is a lifetime. Do young gamers still care about Dante, the hero of these remarkably influential games? And can Capcom pull the same feat that Square-Enix and Rockstar pulled last year with "Hitman" and "Max Payne," respectively. Those reboots were two of the best games of 2012 and it's unlikely that the new "DmC" will be that creative but you never know. It's going to be one of the most interesting games of early 2012. Let's hoping it's "good interesting" and not a cautionary tale about mistakes that can easily be made when trying to reboot a beloved property.
Before You Buy: There are four "Devil May Cry" games. Go back and play the last one, as it's probably going to be the closest in tone to what you can expect here.
Suggested Reading: Devil May Cry 4 Screenshots
Alternates: "Sniper Ghost Warrior 2"
The first RPG of 2013 in North America happens to be one of the year's most interesting games, an adventure of childlike wonder brought to gamers by the brilliant minds at Studio Ghibli. The animation studio that gave the world "Spirited Away," "Nausicaa," "Princess Mononoke" and more worked with Level-5, the amazing developers of the addictive "Professor Layton" games on this title that has already won awards in Japan. With the visual splendor of Ghibli, a score by their longtime composer Joe Hisaishi, and a story that promises the kind of adventure too often missing from modern RPGs, this game is high on most people's list of the most-anticipated titles of 2013. Not just the month or the quarter, but the entire year.
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Before You Buy: Go watch a Ghibli film or two to get accustomed to this world -- "Spirited Away," "Ponyo," "Howl's Moving Castle," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Nausicaa," or "Princess Mononoke" would work. Heck, just watch 'em all.
Suggested Reading: The Most Exciting Games of Early 2013
January 29: Hitman Trilogy
Only recently announced, this is one of those releases that makes one wonder what took so long. Perhaps they were waiting to see how "Hitman: Absolution" did before choosing whether or not to release the earlier "Hitman" games in HD remasters but with collection releases for "Killzone," "Devil May Cry," "God of War," "Resistance," and virtually every other mega-franchise of the '00s, it's about time that Agent 47 got in on the act. "Hitman Contracts," "Hitman 2: Silent Assassin," and "Hitman Blood Money" will all be available in one release for just $39.99. Start your year off with a few contracted kills.
Before You Buy: The original news brief about the release
Suggested Reading: "Hitman: Absolution"