Videogames highlights – June-December 2011 special (part 2)

In Depth - A merciless lens pointed on the hot topics, passionate and detailed retrospectives, reflections beyond the appearances Here is the second part of the Videogames highlights special covering the last 7 months of 2011. In this case too, skimming of links and games collected in a so large period of time left out a good amount of nice things and other awful ones (Duke Nukem Forever, oh god…) but the final result pleases me anyway: there is so much good stuff to enjoy, gaming events to remember (Fus Roh Da! :-P) and little gems that in my opinion are worth all the attention they can get.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The most important videogame of the latest years? A blockbuster that made hundreds of millions of dollars in profits? An immersive experience to try at least once in a lifetime? The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is this and much more: the fifth episode in the renowned Elder Scrolls series is an “open world” role playing game set in a vibrant and life-rich world, provided with an exceptional technical side, an extremely flexible skill system… And then there are the dragons, many dragons with their magical essence “absorbable” by the player’s character.

Bethesda new fantasy epic won among the critics despite its defects, and recruited an unprecedented army of paying players despite the many issues that plagued and still plague the code and that the USA software house tried and still is trying to resolve. Available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 since November 2011, Skyrim is an obligatory purchase for any player that wanted to define himself a “GDR fan” and not just that. If someone felt like being particularly generous, then, who writes accepts rich donations to be able to afford a new PC to run such masterpiece properly 😛

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

If in a sense Skyrim stands for the modern peak of ac
tion RPG gaming developed in the West, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword could be considered as a recent proof of the ability that Japan still has to create great games and charm children of all ages. Available since November 2011 exclusively on Wii, the new title from Nintendo is an action game with RPG elements featuring once again the eternally young warrior Link, blonde Zelda and the obligatory evil force plotting to split the two. The following trailer is noteworthy especially for the soundtrack, available elsewhere in an extended version for people willing to devote 20 minutes to the listening.

The War of the Worlds

Developed by Other Ocean Interactive, The War of the Worlds is an indie platform game based on the di H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic with the same name that persistently tickles the strings of my heart for several reasons: the game – as honestly acknowledged by the developers themselves – mimics the gameplay mechanics of classic cinematic platforms (Out of This World, Flashback), depicts the misadventures of a man overwhelmed and constantly on the run, is told by Patrick “Jean Luc Picard” Stewart and is exclusively single-player. Available since October 2011 on Xbox Live Arcade, The War of the Worlds should also arrive on the PlayStation network soon. And the PC? Yep, where the hell is the PC version…

Tomb Raider

It is simply named Tomb Raider, it’s the ninth episode of the famed 3D action-adventure series carrying the same name but its aim (its ambition?) is to tell the deeds of a young and unexperienced Lara Croft in the throes of her first adventure. Developed by Crystal Dynamics with the money (so much money, it seems) of Square Enix, Tomb Raider was majestically shown at the E3 2011 with a remarkable trailer (“Turning Point“) that promises many good things and with an interactive session that sparks some doubts on the title’s true interactive level overall. To be released on PC (Win und Mac), Xbox 360 and PS3 during the third quarter of 2012.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

The trailer for the new shooter featuring the auto-anthropomorphic robots is simply epic, nothing comparable to the sub-normal, hamburger eaters-fitting entertainment that “director” Michael “Boom! baby!” Bay brought on the big screen with the three Transformers movies. Set on the sentient machines’ native planet, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron shows darker tones than the previous shooter developed by High Moon Studios and features the Auto
bots while they are losing their war against the Decepticons. The game should be out for Xbox 360 and PS3 in the Fall of 2012, and unfortunately a PC version is out of discussion for the time being.

Trine 2

It’s out! It’s out! And I still have to play thoroughly the first chapter installed on my hard disk ages ago 😛 Anyway Trine 2 appears visually superb with much richer settings than the previous game, offers new interesting features like the “Unlimited Mode” and the cross-platform multiplayer game between PC and Mac, and it seemingly once again features a challenging and well designed gameplay. The new puzzle platformer by Frozenbyte is available on PC and Mac (and on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network) since December 7 2011, while it’s awaited on Linux OS somewhere in 2012.

Wipeout 2048

Every PlayStation console MUST have its Wipeout, and the recently unveiled PlayStation Vita is no different: Wipeout 2048 is the futuristic racing game developed by SCE Studio Liverpool to support the new Sony handheld launch, it can benefit from the console multiple input mechanisms (touch screen and rear touchpad besides the PSP traditional pad and joypad) and it has been made quickly thanks to the very mature development tools provided by the Japanese giant. Available in Japan since January 19 and arriving within the next two days in the West together with the Vita console.

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