The PS3’s 2013 line-up of exclusives could be its strongest yet

Sony has no intention of making the same mistake twice. February 20 could very easily be the date that the Playstation 4 is announced — the Japanese electronics giant will not only get a head start on Microsoft, who are set to announce their new console in June, but seek redemption for mistakes past at the same time. The PS3, after all, spent an entire year playing catch-up despite sporting better specs (admittedly, the launch line-up wasn’t particularly strong). But it isn’t time to move on to the next generation just yet. This year’s game line-up on the PS3 is rather spectacular; so spectacular, in fact, that it could possibly be the best ever for the console both in terms of exclusives as well as multiplatform titles.

Let’s look at the big guns first. Come March, Kratos will grace our television screens once again in God of War: Ascension. This year’s instalment is a prequel to the original God of War, set in the months following Kratos’ horrific killing of his wife and child. The development team has improved gameplay, with more fluid QTEs and combat. Needless to say, Ascension will push the PS3’s hardware to its limits (remember God of War 2 on the PS2?), and we’ll get that trademark Sony first-party experience we all know and love. Also, there’s multiplayer. Enough said.

Naughty Dog’s latest IP takes us on a post-apocalyptic picnic to the dystopian urban landscapes of ‘The Last of Us’. Okay, it’s not much of a picnic when “former humans” would rather see the game’s protagonists Joel and Ellie (who looks suspiciously like a young Ellen Page, but more on that in a bit) dead than living, but hey, that’s dystopian future-Earth for you. The game looks tremendously impressive from a graphics standpoint (no doubt that hardware is being pushed over the edge again) — but it’s great to see Naughty Dog taking a break from Uncharted and producing something that looks and feels so unique.

Will the real Ellen Page please stand up? Quantic Dream and videogame auteur David Cage’s latest project, “Beyond: Two Souls”, stars Ellen Page (in all her performance-capture glory), and is another intense character-based narrative adventure game that doubles as a psychological/spiritual thriller experience. Trying to make sense of that description is probably unnecessary and certainly a waste of time, but the game itself promises to be interesting, posing questions about death, the afterlife and other such spiritual things. Let’s hope Cage goes a little easy on the QTEs and a lot easier on the self-indulgence. Fortunately, he’s got a great track record with games of this type — Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain were some truly fantastic games.

MLB: The Show is one series that probably flies under India’s Cricket-shaped radar. After all it’s a game about a sport whose “World Series” features teams from, (wait for it), one whole country. But that doesn’t make The Show any less awesome. It’s authentic, it looks great, and it is feature-rich, apart from being widely regarded as the best series of baseball simulators. MLB 13: The Show promises more accessibility, improved ball physics, graphics, Playstation Move support and cross-platform save games that can be used with the PS Vita version of the game.

You can look forward to Until Dawn (a survival/horror game in which your PS move controller is the flashlight) and Ni no Kuni (a JRPG from Level-5 and animation giants Studio Ghibli) as well. Who knows, Rockstar might give us a Christmas present in the form of Agent later in the year.