Videogames highlights – June 2010, E3 special
In the days between the 14th and 17th of June Los Angeles hosted the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the most important yearly exhibition of interactive entertainment where big names and small publishers showed an almost endless cornucopia of video games coming for the next months (and years). The E3 2010 edition was marked by publishers optimism for a market that suffers the economic crisis but hopes to return soon to make the same money they were used to. Many, too many sequels were showed, while the final result suggests a noticeable revival compared to the past editions. What follows is a personal survey of the stuff appeared during and around the video gaming show, where highly appealing games and underdogs with no big names behind them alternate as usual.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Developed by MercurySteam in collaboration with Kojima Productions, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is
the shameless God of War clone the game to which Japanese publisher Konami entrusts its hopes to make the Castlevania saga fashionable again with a complete reboot for the events involving the game characters. The long trailer presented at the E3 shows off some of the title’s features: an outstanding voice acting cast, God of War alike third-person action, giant bosses, vampires, werewolves and (hopefully) so much blood. To be published by the next fall on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Dead Space 2
And after the prequel for Wii, the action survival horror developed by Visceral Games in 2008 earns itself a true sequel designed for the major gaming platforms out there. Dead Space 2 will be out within the end of January 2011 on PC Windows, Xbox 360 and PS3, EA announced during the E3 2010, and will feature the mining engineer Isaac Clarke again while fighting with his own madness and the disgusting (and spewing) Necromorphs infecting the space station known as “Sprawl”. The game release will be anticipated (apparently on Xbox 360 and PS3 only) by a series of mini-games made to tell the events before Dead Space 2.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The many game reboots showed in Los Angeles include this Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the third episode of the famed sci-fi FPS saga created by Warren Spector (Wing Commander, Ultima Underworld, System Shock and many more). Human Revolution once again dips the player into a distopian cyberpunk scenario where the megacorporations rule the world and you are no one if you don’t have a couple of bionic full-optional arms at least. The game will once again guarantee many selection and customization options in the nth marriage between first person shooter and role-playing game that in 2000 was a rare thing, but nowadays is almost the standard. To be released during the first part of 2011 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage
Following the Japanese release during the past March, the game previously known as Hokuto Musou gets a Western release and a title that is comprehensible by who doesn’t understand kanji too. So Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage will be shipped to North America and Europe during this fall, and how the following trailer (unveiled a few days after the E3) illustrates Kenshiro fans will have a broad chance to slaughter the enemies thanks to their mastery of Divine Hokuto School deathblows. And of the Nanto School, it seems.
Lost In Shadow
Lost in Shadow is likely one of the few original gaming products showed at the E3. Developed by Hudson Soft exclusively for Nintendo Wii, this unusual puzzle-platformer follows the adventures of a shadow forced to interact with the settings background to solve the various puzzles centered around manipulation of light (therefore of its opposite). The shadow, which is searching for its owner, will be able to only count on the help from a sylph to activate particular spots useful to change levels structure. To be released within the upcoming fall in the USA and on the 22nd of July in Japan.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising
If MGS 4: Guns of the Patriot ended a cycle, Metal Gear Solid: Rising has to open another one with radically changed protagonist and gameplay. The genre is always the stealth-action popularized by the endless Metal Gear saga, just this time the hero doesn’t use fire weapons but his sword to cut, cut, cut everything he wants, from concrete pillars to human beings going through vehicles and watermelons. Yes, it’s no joke, the (first?) game official trailer shows it all. Solid Snake retired? Raiden seems more than ready to take his place within the series.
The recent bankruptcy of the famed Midway Games brought to a new studio (NetherRealm Studios), a new ownership (Warner Bros.) and a new chapter of the Mortal Kombat bloody saga. The game, simply named Mortal Kombat like the original, is being developed by Ed Boon cares – the series historical designer – and represents the “return to roots” of the violent beat’em up gone through every kind of technology, platform and game perspective. In 2011 (on Xbox 360 and PS3) Mortal Kombat will return to be a a one-on-one 2D beat’em up while showing off advanced 3D graphics, mature contents, new features (tag team and on-line fights above all) and the usual, brutalizing Fatalities.
Strider is about to come back, at least in spirit: directed by the creator of the aforementioned classic Kouichi Yotsui, Necromachina seems to be nothing more than the rendition from a modern standpoint of one of the most beloved arcades from Capcom (by myself and many others as well). Action, explosions, giant bosses and fights by the plasma sword will drive the player (or four players in on-line multiplayer mode) for 12 levels to go through in a strictly 2D perspective. To be released on the Xbox Live Arcade network at an unknown date in the upcoming future.