Drivers, start your engines! This week is not about quantity, it’s about quality: we have multiple AAA titles dropping this week. Oh, hell yeah! This week the 2Old4Forza clan goes off-track, some folks are gonna get shot, some animals are gonna get shot, we’re gonna learn to dance like a Disney Princess, and we’re gonna grow some awesome beards and dig holes. Let’s proceed, shall we?
Most of the 2Old4Forza clan have already played the demo and the opinions are as different as the colors of the Autumn leaves in Colorado. Playground Games has acquired talent from Codemasters, Bizarre Creations(RIP), Black Rock Studios, Criterion, etc., and is bringing Forza fans Forza Horizon as their inaugural offering. Set in the state of Colorado, during the Horizon Festival, Forza Horizon seems to be reaching out for Need For Speed and Midnight Club fans. The open-world aspect is a big break from Turn 10’s “keep it on the track” mantra; getting to the race may prove to be as much a part of the game as the actual track races. Things that are new: traffic, destructible objects in the environment, headlights, accessibility, dirt, and darkness. Things that are not new: Forza physics, customizable car exteriors, upgrades, game modes like virus, drifting, and letting Jones win...we all enjoy that. Things that are missing: tuning and race models...sorry fellas, no GT2s or LMPs in this game. You may not be able to set your rear differential or adjust camber in Forza Horizon, but you can pick it up, for Xbox 360, on October 23.
The Unfinished Swan
Independent studio, Giant Sparrow, delivers a unique puzzle experience to the PS3 this week. Players track a runaway swan to a blank, unfinished kingdom. Players throw wads of paint around to flesh out a maze-like kingdom. Sounds simplistic, but many of the best games are the simplest. The Unfinished Swan is generating some very high scores and may be worth checking out if you own a PS3. You can follow the swan, starting October 23.
The Killzone Trilogy
The Killzone Trilogy is 2old2play’s HD makeover of the week! All 3 games in this shooter trilogy are being offered in a single package for about $40. No mention of added content, but the makeover is in 720p and supports PS3 achievement trophies. Available October 23.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
The framework for MOH: Warfighter was written by real vets during real combat situations. Authenticity is the distinguishing driving force in the fourteenth installment of this venerable and popular franchise. Danger Close Games is placing cooperative multiplayer front and center with six different specializations and a focus on combat support and teamwork. Single player story centers around Preacher returning home from his tour of duty, only to get pulled back into the good fight. Shit gets real starting October 23 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
I went on a hunting trip once, with some friends, but refused to shoot animals for sport. I stayed at the cabin and slept in front of a big fire while the hunters sat in a blind and froze. They called me a bleeding-heart, liberal pussy. There’s an upside to being a liberal pussy: I was able to eat the chili before I peed in it. I have no problem shooting bears and deer in a video game, but at the same time I have no problem shooting the hunting guide and then stalking his family, in a video game. Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 may or may not be worth $60, but I bet it’s way better than my chili. Available October 23 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions
The game may not be as dangerous as the other Cabela’s game, but it’s still a hunting game. I went hunting with my grandfather once and I shot his dog by accident. Grampa would probably suggest that I practice with Cabela’s Hunting Expedition before I try my hand at hunting again. But Grampa’s dead...and so is his dog. You can hunt this title down starting October 23 on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC...which stands for perforated canine.
A Game of Dwarves
Zeal Game Studio is bringing strategy fans A Game of Dwarves. Players take control of a Dwarf colony and build, and dig, and grow their beards to impressive lengths. Randomly generated maps will extend the replay of this strategy title, which hits PS3 and PC on October 23.
Just Dance: Disney Party
Just watching the trailer made me want to claw my eyes out. Children will enjoy this title, for about ten minutes. Adults will likely want to be somewhere else, anywhere else, during that ten minutes. I’m not saying don’t buy it, I’m saying don’t make me play it. Remember Grampa’s dog? This kiddie title dances it’s way onto shelves on October 23, for the Wii and Xbox 360.
Only one more week until Forza Horizon hits the shelves! Halloween is right around the corner and the games are filling the store shelves like nobody’s business. There will be no lack of games to play this holiday season. This week features a re-doomed space marine, giants in the land of Spyro, shaken martinis, two ways to dance your way to physical perfection, a guitar game with real guitars, crusaders, road warriors, and a Japanese game that has to be seen to be believed, but may never be understood.
Doom 3: BFG Edition
Doom 3 is the 2old2play HD makeover game of the week. Released 8 years ago, Doom 3 was known for its tight, dark corridors, evil surprises, and a pervasive sense of tension that could literally exhaust players. In the spirit of remakes and upgrades, id is including the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack, as well as some new levels set in hell, called The Lost Mission. Since modern PCs have more horsepower than they did in 2004, PC players will be able to use their flashlight and gun at the same time, just like console gamers have been doing for eight years. All platforms will notice an upgrade to the player’s speed and our special space marine will be able to carry more ammo, instead of constantly hunting for more ammo. Doom 3: BFG Edition will also include the original Doom, as well as the lovely, and appropriately named, sequel: Doom 2. The mission to hell starts again on October 16, for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Still no word on Doom 4.
Welcome to the second week of mighty October! Put down the video games and take that special someone to the State Fair. Engage a neighbor in a spirited political debate. Brew a cup of herbal tea and enjoy it outside on the patio. Never mind, those are terrible ideas...let’s play some games, shall we? This week we have a naughty bear, alien invaders, a spectral assassin, dancing, kinecting, and orcs have to deal with the human menace.
Revenge solves everything. Players assume the role of Corvo Attano, protector to an empress, in this first-person revenge story. The empress gets herself assassinated and Corvo lands on death row for his failure, but it is not Corvo's destiny to die in prison. Set in a plague and vermin infested port city, Corvo has no set path for revenge and the entire city is at his disposal. We have been promised the whole “your actions will have consequences” deal before (cough Bioshock cough) but Dishonored developer, Arkane Studios, is finally offering to weigh a player’s morality with more than a good ending/bad ending. Players will have a variety of weapons, as well as Corvo’s spectral abilities, at their disposal. Make em pay starting October 9 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Harry Potter Kinect
Warner Bros Interactive and Eurocom are teaming up to break The Curse of the Crappy Potter Games. Players will be able to play as either a cast member or scan their face and join Hogwarts as a custom character. Kinect interactivity promises to deepen the Harry Potter experience with interactive spellcasting, quidditch, and adventuring. Naysayers be warned: this is the studio that brought us Dead Space Extraction. Harry Potter Kinect experience will span all of the Potter material, from the Sorcerer's Stone to the Deathly Hallows, and is available, for Xbox 360 Kinect only, starting October 9.
Of Orcs and Men
The war between orcs and humans is over, and the victorious humans are crusading to wipe out the last of the orcs and goblins in this RPG. French developers Cyanide have teamed up with fellow French studio, Spiders, to deliver a (hopefully) fresh experience to an RPG grudge match that has been raging since Gary Gygax sold his first set of ten-sided dice. Set from the perspective of an orc and single goblin companion, your quest is to assassinate the human emperor who ordered the genocide of your respective races. The studios have promised some interesting new features, like being able to throw the goblin companion, and 20-30 hours of gameplay. PC gamers will not have to wait long: this one drops October 11.
Gaige, a Mechromancer and the fifth playable character for Borderlands 2, will be available for download today. This is one week earlier than originally announced and comes as a pleasant surprise for all those Borderlands 2 fanatics out there.
You can check out her Skill Tree via the Borderlands 2 site and plan your points accordingly.
Check out some gameplay footage courtesy of IGN below.
Will you be her best friend forever?
Welcome to fall, mis amigos! The air is cooler, and so are the games. The tension is ratcheting ever so slowly towards the holiday goodness, and we have two AAA titles to take it up a notch. This week features a 30 year feud, a Torchlight clone with the fun parts removed, men in shorts with dribbling balls, shooting and walking at the same time, Pokemon overkill, and a SEGA Saturn HD remake.
This past weekend I spent some time on the MIT campus at the Boston Indie Games Festival. It was an interesting showcase of a wide range of games their site described as "...a celebration of independent game development with emphasis on the New England region. Boston Festival of Indie Games seeks to support and showcase the efforts of independent game developers by providing a free public event that encourages attendees to share and interact with games in various media, including video games, location-based games, tabletop games and interactive fiction. Produced under the non-profit auspices of Be Epic, a Boston-area live action games production group, Boston Festival of Indie Games is focused on creating an intersection between community, academic and independent interests in game play."
The place was packed with a wide range of ages, skill levels and games. I was only able to attend for a few hours so I focused on the video games being showcased. Here are some standouts for me:
Welcome to the first week of autumn. It’s time to put away the tank tops and half shirts, time to trade in the sandals and flip-flops for something warmer, time to say goodbye to your bathing suit and time to get your game face on! I know that most of us are trying to find the words to express our disappointment for the new iPhone, but let’s not dwell on that because we have games to buy. This week features a dead rabbit, kung-fu pandas, grown men in shorts kicking a checkered ball, a scantily-clad fighting game, and an 80’s naval battle game reboot.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - So you played out the main quests, toppled the Lich King, and survived the Cataclysm, what’s next in World of Warcraft? Kung-Fu pandas, that’s what! Blizzard is marooning players on Panda Bear Island, insuring that the age-old struggle of man vs orc becomes a three-way. This add-on should have great appeal in South Korea (who, by the way, has way better internet speed than you) but will likely just give the rest of us another reason to hate panda bears. Available for the PC starting September 25th.
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission - Have you ever been swept over by a wave of nostalgia for an old game that you played back in the day and asked yourself “Self, wouldn’t it be great to play a remake of that old classic favorite of mine today?” If that game was Carrier Command, then the Gods of Old School Remakes are smiling on you, friend. Carrier Command: Gaea Mission gives warmongering micromanagers a way to kill two birds with one stone! The game gives players complete control over battlefield and individual units in a quest to control the seas and defeat the enemy’s navy and carrier. Take control of the PC seas starting September 27th.
FIFA 13 - The vultures at EA deliver their third sports game in as many weeks. This weeks target: American 3rd graders and the rest of the soccer-loving world. FIFA 13 promises better ball control during possession, improved dribbling, AI, and physical play. Engage yourself in a riveting battle for ball possession, create your own custom team, and do your very best to stay awake during the most advanced and lifelike soccer game ever made! This gem hits the Xbox 360 and PS3 on September 25th in the US, and 3 days later in the UK, on September 28th.
Dead or Alive 5 - Tecmo and Team Ninja deliver on the newest generation of Dead or Alive this week. Interactive and exotic environments that cater to a character’s strength are a nice, new touch added to this historically rock-solid fighting franchise. Team Ninja claims deeper immersion and bonding with fighters with little extras, such as trickling sweat, and plenty of ways to master the fighting techniques, power blows and special moves of their respective fighters. All that and super skimpy outfits make Dead or Alive 5 the most highly anticipated fighting game of the week. The beat downs start September 25th on Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles.
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit - Ash is everything a rabbit should be, a skeletal Prince of Hell with a fetish for his rubber ducky, a love for firearms and the desire to use them. Compromising pics of Ash and his rubber ducky surface, making Ash into the laughing stock of the underworld. In Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit it will be the players joyful duty to kill anyone on his road to revenge, either by vehicle or gun. Hell Yeah! is chock full of challenging side-scroller action, guns, jetpack and razorblade unicycles of death, poop demons (not a typo), and all the animated violence one would expect from the rubber ducky-raping Prince of Hell. Arkedo Studios and Sega bring this downloadable title to life, for about $15, on September 25th on PS3, September 26th on XBL, and October 2nd on PC. Give it hell, amigo.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes - After the release of the last great detective game, LA Noire, I bet a lot of folks are itching to play Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is actually the sixth game in the series and gives players the opportunity to stomp around Victorian London to contaminate crime scenes, solve mysteries and save the day. Developer Frogwares dropped this one earlier than anticipated, with a considerable price drop ($39.99) compared to a AAA title. Frogwares also increased the budget for this game and it looks incredible, so let’s not jump to any conclusions. That would be poor form, dear Watson. This sleuthy adventure arrives on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 September 25th.
For those of us waiting for the next great fighting game from Ed Boon, the end is now in sight. Warner Bros and DC Comics recently announced that Injustice: Gods Among Us will arrive at stores in April 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is the newest fighting game from NetherRealm Studios, creators of Mortal Kombat, and features a host of DC heroes and villains, like Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Batman, Superman, Solomon Grundy, The Flash, and many more.
Warner Bros brought us a gameplay trailer and some new images straight from the floor of the Tokyo Game Show.
This game looks better every time we get an update, and we still expect to see a few new characters added to the roster before Injustice: Gods Among Us hits the store shelves. Sorry Aquaman fans...there’s still no sign of the Prince of Atlantis.
Summer couldn’t keep us down forever. We all knew it would end sometime, and then the games would drop weekly like manna from heaven. Step outside and take a breath of fresh autumn air, my fellow gamer. It may be a very long time until you see the sun again. The game releases get real starting...now! This week we have a dungeon crawler, a pair of classic collections, a new F1 racer, and the highly anticipated sequel to Borderlands.
Borderlands 2 - I’ve seen a lot of folks on my friends list playing the original Borderlands this week. Been practicing for Borderlands 2? I don’t blame you, my friend. Gearbox Software took all the best things about the original and made it better. Game Informer already rated this one a 9.75 while gushing that Borderlands 2 “stands as a prime example of how to knock a sequel out of the park.” PC, PS3, and XBox 360 players can get their four player co-op on starting September 18th.
F1: 2012 - The car-loving codemonkeys from Birmingham, Codemasters, deliver on the F1 experience that they should have delivered in the first game. Updated AI, improved car fragility, accessibility without compromising difficulty, and the ability to circumvent the enduro aspect of the original are just a few of the tweaks in F1:2012. This one won’t take a decade to finish. F1:2012 hits American shelves on September 18th for the PC, PS3, and XBox 360. Euro racers get it 3 days later on September 21st.
Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set - There are some folks out there, most of whom have unpronounceable names, who claim that Street Fighter is superior to Mortal Kombat. If you are one of these folks, this is your week to prove your undying love to Capcom’s definitive fighting series by laying down $150 for the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set.
The set includes:
Four “critically acclaimed” Street Fighter games. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition with all costume DLC, and Street Fighter X Tekken including all character and Swap Costume DLC.
A two-disc Blu-Ray set that includes a documentary highlighting the profound influence of Capcom’s iconic fighting game series. The collection of videos also includes Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV Anime movie, every single episode of the Street Fighter animated series, and Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie.
A specially commissioned light-up and detailed collectable Ryu statue. The statue is a full eight inches tall and features Ryu in mid-Shoryuken, with flames lit from below. Won’t that look great on the shelf...in your mom’s basement?
An eleven-disc collection of 25 years of Street Fighter game music. It also includes remixes and fan-created tribute tunes, and doubles as a repellant for members of the opposite sex.
A 64-page hardcover art book full of professional and fan art, dedicated to the glory of Street Fighter.
A full-size replica of Ryu’s belt. Created to regulation specs, this is the belt that holds up Ryu’s pants in every game, and includes his classic "Fūrinkazan" in kanji!
A numbered certificate of authenticity, so folks know that you’re the real deal.
For some hilarious testimonials and pictures of people who take this game way too seriously, as well as information on a global Street Fighter tournament, be sure and check out streetfighter25.com. Just remember that Scorpion and Sub-Zero never asked you for $150. Available on the PS3 and XBox 360 starting September 18th.
Kirby’s Dream Collection Special Edition - Nintendo celebrates 20 years of Kirby by releasing a six game collection, complete with booklet and a CD soundtrack, on the Wii for September. All six classic Kirby games are represented, and some are updated to include multiplayer modes and new challenge stages. The CD soundtrack has all 45 of your favorite Kirby tunes. The booklet is a 45 page monster crammed full of pictures, history, and everything you never wanted to know about Kirby. Available September 16th for Wii.
Torchlight II - The sequel to the hit dungeon crawler, Torchlight II takes players beyond the town of Torchlight and introduces new character classes, dungeons, and skill trees. Runic Games also added online multiplayer co-op via a free peer-to-peer network service so you don’t have to go it alone this time around. Available for about $20, on the PC, starting September 20th.
See how 343i brought the new enemy class, Prometheans to Halo 4. There are still more back story questions to be answered about the Prometheans but you can get some clues by reading Halo: Cryptum and Halo: Primordium by Greg Bear.
Check out this cool Return of the Forerunners video.