I hope you didn’t squander last week’s reprieve in gaming before this week. Honestly, I’d like to see how you’d play anything other than Diablo 3 this week unless of course you’re not into Diablo 3. As a follow up question, do you exist? If you do, I guess the following games might interest you.
Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher. The following are subject to change without any warning.
Releases To Watch For This Week
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)
Tuesday May 8, 2012
Poor Max Payne. The guy just can’t catch a break. Starting with the death of his wife and newborn kid in Max Payne, his life just keeps going down the drain. Just when it can’t get any worse like it did in Max Payne 2, he finds himself in a sequel to this third person shooter series where his life will undoubtedly get even worse.
Several years after Max Payne 2, Max Payne has left New York City altogether and finds himself in Brazil working private security for a wealthy businessman, Rodrigo Branco. Unfortunately for Payne, Branco’s wife got kidnapped on the night he was supposed to be protecting her. Now Payne must shoot his way to find her and clear his name.
The original Max Payne introduced the Bullet Time mechanic to video games, and this iteration continues that tradition. Like before, Payne will be able to slow down time to help you aim as well as to help you avoid fire since you can see each and every bullet fired at you. It also makes the times Payne jump through the air with guns blazing that much more balletic than in normal time. As overpowering as this may sound, consider the fact that Payne does not have regenerative health. Unlike many, many other shooters, Payne will have to rely on finding health items and whatnot to regain health, which makes the need to avoid damage that much more integral. Hopefully Bullet Time will help you avoid most of it.
Stranglehold once tried to implement Bullet Time in its multiplayer mode where everybody enters Bullet Time the second anyone starts it. It didn’t work out all that well, but perhaps Max Payne 3 has the solution to that.
Unlike its predecessors, Max Payne 3 has a multiplayer component. It follows much of the conventions of current multiplayer shooters such as customizable load outs, a leveling system, Deathmatch, team modes, customizable appearances, and whatnot, but it does stand out with the Burst system. After the adrenaline meter builds up enough through skillful play, you will be able to activate specific abilities like forcing a player to drop all of his grenades fully primed or disguising yourself as an enemy. Oddly enough, it can also activate Bullet Time. Instead of slowing everybody down like in Stranglehold, it only slows down you and anyone in your line of sight. It kinda makes you wonder what that scene will look like from the outside though doesn’t it.
Gamers didn’t exactly fall in love with Max Payne’s because of its awesome shooting mechanics, which makes one wonder the relevance of the multiplayer component. They fell in love with the Noir story of Max Payne. I sometime wonder if the series depend on people’s schadenfreude for Payne more so than anything else. Multiplayer’s legitimacy aside, Max Payne 3 has shaped up to be very pretty graphically speaking and a real treat for animation fans thanks to the seamless way Payne’s different animations blend into each other. Let’s see if people can put down their mouse long enough to take a look at Max Payne 3.
Coming This Week
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Battleship (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)
Let me say this right up front. No. This movie tie-in does not include the actual game of Battleship. It actually has more in common with Crysis, given the FPS parts of the game and the aliens part, than the board game. Although occasionally you do control ships to fire some gun batteries, but you never actually say “Fire on B-7,” or anything like that. I can’t wait for the movie version of Monopoly.
Game of Thrones (Xbox 360, PS3)
On the bright side, at least the general setting of Game of Thrones does make some sense for a video game, until you realize that the true nature of the Game of Thrones series doesn’t exactly lend itself to being a video game. That doesn’t seem to be stopping Cyanide from trying though. This RPG looks to play a little bit like Dragon Age complete with a circular menu to choose skills to activate and an obligatory skill tree. Unlike Dragon Age, or any Bioware games for that matter, conversations will be a touch more subtle in terms of its outcome. Now which option lets me sleep with my sister?
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends (Xbox 360, PS3)
Can’t get enough Ferraris? Wish you could drive every Ferrari? Well, your wishes just came true. This sim racer comes with over 50 Ferrari models with a buttload of tracks to drive them on. Just don’t look for anything deeper other than living out your Ferrari wish fulfillment though because it’s fairly light on any feature that doesn’t involve you driving a Ferrari.
Akai Katana (Xbox 360)
I love watching videos of people playing insane shoot’em ups, especially if they’re playing a Cave shooter. Renown for their difficulty, Shmups made by Cave test its player’s fine motor skills and their ability to see opennings in the waves of bullets thrown at you. Akai Katana represents Cave’s first horizontal shmup, and in classic shmup fashion tells an insane story about flying samurais with magical katanas capable of unleashing swarms of bullets and opening portals for vehicles of doom to pop through and unleash hell. Good luck.
Sunday May 20, 2012
Mario Tennis Open (3DS)
For a fellow who looks like he could lose a few pounds, Mario sure plays a lot of sports doesn’t he? We haven’t seen him play Tennis in a long while, but it looks like he’ll be making a come back to it here. In addition to buttons, you’ll also be able to play with the touch screen Super Street Fighter IV 3DS style, meaning the touch screen gets segmented into different buttons representing the various tennis strikes you can execute. Also a first for the series, Mario Tennis Open supports online play for doubles and singles matches. Happy volleying.