Still reeling from the shock that was Resident Evil 6. I feel you. Maybe a steampunk version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution will cheer you up. No? How about a half-naked princess fighting monsters? Now we’re talking!
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
Dishonored (Xbox 360, PS3)
Sunday October 9, 2012
Tired of simply assassinating your targets? Some games have dabbled with non-violent resolutions, but they usually boil down to rendering enemies unconscious instead of filling them with lead, which if you stop and think about it doesn’t really resolve anything. Can’t you just make them irrelevant some other way? Dishonored may have found way possible way.
In Dishonored, you play as a former bodyguard, Corvo, wrongly accused of assassinating the Empress of Dunwall. Fortunately for Corvo a shadowy group of assassins decide to give you a second chance and recruits him into their ranks with benefits, namely the ability to wield supernatural powers like teleporting short distances, freezing time, and even possessing other beings. One has to wonder the logic behind becoming an assassin when you’re trying to prove that you weren’t one to begin with though.
Corvo will always have multiple ways to achieve his objective. The most boring way usually involve barging in guns blazing slinging offensive powers left and right. A slightly less boring alternative involve sneaking around and removing obstacles strategically without ever setting off the alarms or getting caught. Even this method has started to become stale as well given how many other games pull it off, but Dishonored ups the ante by offering a third alternative specific to every target.
One such target involves a woman at a costume ball. If you talk to enough guests of the party enough, you will come across a man who is in love with her and offers to take her far, far away and never return so long as you don’t stab her or anything of the sort. She would never willingly go on her own, so you’ll still have to get her to him somehow. What happens to her after she’s taken away is left to our imagination.
Dishonored promises to be an open world game, at least to a certain extent. Each mission puts you in a certain segment of Dunwall, but that segment offers a wide variety of secrets and nooks and crannies that has nothing to do with your current objective, or at least not at first. Exploring these beaten paths may lead to alternatives to achieving your objectives or just useful items and ammo like any good open world games.
New IP or not Dishonored caught everyone’s attention from the moment it was revealed with an impressive trailer, and previews after that has been very positive. By all accounts, Dishonored looks well on its way to becoming a great game for 2012.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360, PS3)
Tuesday October 9, 2012
The mere mention of XCOM will either engender absolutely nothing out of you or an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. For the former, congratulations! You’re young. Now get off my lawn before my shotgun makes you. For the latter, the announcement of its revival back in 2010 has brought dread to their hearts because this revival changes it into a First Person Shooter instead of a strategy game like they remembered it. Fortunately for them, Firaxis was also working on the re-imagining of XCOM into XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
The story doesn’t get any fancier than aliens invading earth. Only the elite military group, XCOM, stands any chance of repelling this invasion. On the small scale, you get to control a group of four to six units into battle. Each battle will be turn based with you directing each individual unit around the map. Unlike most games of this kind though, their movements won’t be confined to some invisible grid. Instead they’ll be able to move just about anywhere you need them to.
On a much larger scale, you’ll spend time in your home base customizing your unit’s loadouts, managing resources, upgrading units, creating new units, and monitoring the entire planet for any alien incursions. At times you’ll have to decide where to confront the aliens when they invade in multiple locations at the same time.
If you get tired of bashing the computer in single player mode, you may want to give the multiplayer mode a shot as well. In this mode, you’ll be able to not only deploy human unit but alien units as well. You’re allotted a certain amount of points to spend on each unit and equipment they bring into battle. Stronger units and equipment cost more points, so do you want to swarm your enemies or hit them with one or two virtual tanks?
With last week’s release of Carrier Command, this marks the second week in a row we see strategy games getting revived and modernized. Given the console space’s lack of compelling games in that department, we could most certainly use more of these kinds of games on the market.
Coming This Week
Tuesday October 9, 2012
Just Dance 4 (Xbox 360 Kinect, PS3 Move, Wii)
One of these days the fine folks at Ubisoft will figure out that the internet exist and simply release these “song packs” as downloads. Unless you absolutely must have 40 more songs to sate your Just Dance hunger, I suppose you can’t go wrong with this one.
Port Royale 3 (Xbox 360, PS3)
Time for another segment of “Box Art Vs. Reality.” The box art here seems to suggest an action adventure game starring you as a pirate. The actual game, however, plays more like SimMerchant. You start out by choosing either Adventurer or Trader. As a Trader, you basically play the life of a merchant constantly trading goods between different parties to accumulate wealth so you can expand your trading empire. The Adventurer choice has a more traditional bent in that you’re out to rescue the woman you have a crush on. You can still do trades and whatnot, but you’re also able to pillage and plunder as well. Kinda makes you wonder why they even bother with the Trader option doesn’t it?
Spy Hunter (3DS, Vita)
Everyone knows the best part about James Bond movies is when the man gets into his car and starts flaunting all of its gadgets. Why not play a game where it’s all about that? Thirty years ago, someone already figured that out and made Spy Hunter. After its last outing in 2001, the series returns with this sequel, which basically plays a lot like Mario Kart just without any concept of racing whatsoever. Now I wonder what the red button does?
Dragon Ball Z for Kinect (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Don’t hide it. At some point in your life, you’ve done the fireball motion. Now put those skills to work in Dragon Ball Z for Kinect. This fighter lets you do the various fighting motions you’ve seen in the Dragon Ball Z universe as a way to control the game. Just remember. Being good at Dragon Ball Z for Kinect does not translate to crime fighting skills.
Fable: The Journey (Xbox 360 Kinect)
So far Kinect’s track record with a purely gesture based game has not been pretty. Both Kinect: Star Wars and Steel Batalion has failed miserably in terms of controls. Now the venerable Role Playing Game series, Fable, will be doing the same thing with casting magic spells and horse-drawn carriage driving. Will Lionhead succeed where others have failed?
Harry Potter for Kinect (Xbox 360 Kinect)
This week is fast becoming a Kinect extravaganza week hasn’t it? This one has you replaying moments from all eight movies through the Kinect like Harry’s first Quidditch game or the cart ride through Gringotts Bank’s caverns. Thankfully you won’t have to actually say any of the spells in order to cast them putting all the time I practiced pronouncing “Winguardium Leviosa“ to an absolute waste.
Naughty Bear: Double Trouble (PS3)
Remember that game about a murderous Teddy Bear? Well, it got a downloadable sequel for PSN and XBLA called Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise Island, but 505 Games must have thought that PS3 owners don’t connect their PS3 to the internet or something because it’s the only console to get this disc version, which also includes the first Naughty Bear. What’s new in this sequel? Aside from new weapons, new kill animations, and new locations, nothing. Our favorite serial killer bear still has it out for every other bear on Paradise Island. I’m sort of surprised some Teddy Bear producing company hasn’t sued for defamation of character or something by now.
Code of Princess (3DS)
Everybody knows that making your main character a scantily clad princess who can kick butt automatically improves the game right? Right? Whether that’s the case or not, this brawler RPG hybrid looks mighty impressive given its customizability, online multiplayer components, and the sheer number of playable characters. Now stop ogling that box art and get back to work.
Imagine Babyz 3D (3DS)
If you’re ever looking for work as a babysitter, nothing says you’re a competent babysitter on your resume than saying you’ve completed Imagine Babyz twice, once on the DS and again on the 3DS port. Trust me. That’s how I got my last babysitting job for my sister.
Monster 4×4 3D (3DS)
Put on your Monster racing pants on and get out there and crush some cars on your way to the finish line. Just be sure to leave a note with your info on every car you crush along the way.