2013 has gotten off to a stellar start for gaming


Guess who’s annoyed. Yeah, that’s right, it’s me.

I was planning to review the new “BioShock: Infinite” today, but it looks as if 2K Games decided to let IGN.com review the game the week before release — while not allowing other national reviewers, such as myself, to critique it that early.

Is 2K Games giving preferential treatment to certain favorites? I have no idea. But skeptical questions were popping into my head while I read IGN’s review.

Personally, I prefer to buy and rent my own games. But the practicality of the matter is simple: “Infinite” is reportedly too long for me to buy on its release date and play through, in time to make my deadline.

Anyway, this “BioShock” debacle leaves me stranded for a review I had planned, so I guess I’ll tell you which other games to buy instead. Actually, that is not a terrible idea since 2013 has been a great year so far.

1. “Tomb Raider” by Square Enix for PS 3, Xbox 360 and PC; rated “M”; four stars - This doesn’t look or feel like any old “Tomb Raider.” It plays a lot like Sony’s classic “Uncharted 2,” but starring Lara Croft in a cinematic, sometimes breathtaking, sometimes sinister travelogue on an island of very creepy, hands-y dudes. You get great guns, good puzzles and adventure scenes of Indiana Jones proportions.

2. “MLB 13: The Show” by Sony for PS 3 and PS Vita; rated “E”; four stars - I cannot stop playing this game, and I don’t even love real baseball. Maybe baseball players’ faces don’t look perfect, but everything else does. More important: Batting, pitching and fielding is superb and utterly compelling. Be prepared to be patient, waiting for good pitches.

3. “DMC: Devil May Cry” by Capcom for PS 3 and Xbox 360; rated “M”; four stars - Here is an instant classic of a hack-and-slash sword game. You portray Dante, half-angel/half-demon. And you use incredible weapons (a sword, a “God of War”-type chain, an axe, and huge fists) to beat down demons trying to ruin everyone’s day on Earth. It comes with anti-libertarian messages in filmic storylines.

4. “Dead Space 3” by EA for Xbox 360, PS 3 and PC; rated “M”; four stars - How would you like to kill space zombies? Do so in this third-person shooter, set hundreds of years in the future, as you portray Isaac the crafty engineer. You slay creatures and use telekinesis to move puzzling obstacles. This startling game made me jump at times. It is creepy and, at in some moments, it’s slightly reminiscent of “Blade Runner” (sort of).

5. The online multiplayer of “Gears of War: Judgment” by Microsoft for Xbox 360; rated “M”; three stars - I gave this game only three stars because the solo campaign is short (a third-person shooter, shooting aliens), and because I still don’t like how slowly “Gears” characters move. But the online multiplayer is the best of the franchise. So if you’re hankering for online gun battles, this is your 2013 winner to date.

(“Tomb Raider” by Square Enix retails for $60 for PS 3, Xbox 360 and PC - Plays exhilarating and fun. Looks awesome. Moderately challenging. Rated “M” for blood, gore, intense violence, strong language. Four out of four stars.)

Doug Elfman is an entertainment writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.