Videogames highlights - June 2012
Sir Arthur returns on these pages after a vacation that lasted for too long, and he’s back (as usual) trying to make up for the time lost on the ruthless flowing of news in the computer world. Let’s talk about video games, to begin, and in particular about the many titles shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012 held during the first days of June. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony showed their novelties for a generation of gaming machines next to retirement, while the PC continues to represent the only platform capable of surviving and adapting to the technological changes of the industry. And of foretelling them.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
The makers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent are back, even though they aren’t alone this time: developed by thechineseroom and produced by the aforementioned Frictional Games, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is an indirect sequel to the previous Amnesia that should spark a new dose of cold shivers to anyone hating dark places and monstrous creatures that haunt the dreams of the very bad children. The “first-person survival horror” formula remains the same, while the new developers promise outdoor locations and stronger adventure game elements. To be released at the beginning of 2013 on PC (Windows, Linux and Mac).
Beyond: Two Souls
Another important (and welcome?) comeback is the one of Quantic Dream: the new game from the developers of the renowned psychological thriller known as Heavy Rain deals with the theme of life after death through a psychic connection between the lead character (Jodie) and a spirit named Aiden. The French company promises not just very realistic graphics and character models but also a richer gameplay - beyond the adaptive “Quick-Time Event” mechanics of Heavy Rain - with a much more direct control over the characters. Coming exclusively on PlayStation 3 during the first months of 2013.
DmC: Devil May Cry
Dante the demon-killer is back… younger than ever: DmC: Devil May Cry, the reboot of the hack’n slash series with the same name demanded by Capcom and developed by Ninja Theory, describes the bloodthirsty adventures of our hero in an alternate reality beyond the one the previous chapters are set in. Now Dante is seemingly much more gross and trouble-maker, and he must face an entire sentient town called Limbo City. Other than the usually endless demons horde, of course. To be released on January 2013 for Xbox 360 and PS3, later on PC Windows.
With the exclusive partnership between Microsoft and Bungie broken up for good, the Halo franchise is now in the hands of 343 Industries - ie the studio opened by Microsoft itself to manage the entire universe developed around the popular series of shooters including games, comics, novels and more. Introduced with great fanfare at the E3, Halo 4 is indeed the first video game entirely developed by 343 Industries and clearly an Xbox 360 exclusive. Master Chief is back as the main protagonist of the story, while the “innovations” of the new episode include a new alien race and tens of episodic missions released on regular intervals (and for free) after the game’s debut. Which will happen the next 6th of November, by the way. And it won’t be the end of the series, that’s for sure.
I love platform games, but the simplistic graphic style of Rayman Legends doesn’t fit me: for every other one, near the end of the year this new puzzle-platformer made by Ubisoft exclusively for the new Nintendo console (Wii U) will come out. The game will have strong multiplayer elements, where up to five players will be able to co-operate to overcome the several levels included in the colorful adventure of the angry aubergine. One of those players will use the tablet-controller the console is equipped with, with game modes between casual and silly that will surely please people of every age. Definitely not me.
Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6, ie the horror game that doesn’t scare, the action game that doesn’t entertain and the umpteenth sequel that doesn’t says anything new. Other than that this new messy, made-in-Capcom caravan is available in two different special editions (on for the PS3, another one for the Xbox 360 and fuck the PC…) and offers a bizarre multiplayer mode where the players, if they are lucky enough to be at the same point in the game at the same time, can take part at the same zombie-kill on-line and off-line. To be released on PC Windows, Xbox 360 and PS3 the upcoming 2nd of October.
The Last of Us
Developed by Naughty Dog as a “survival” variation of the Uncharted action-adventure series, The Last of Us was very well received at the E3 winning the critics award as best game of the show and best original game. The game seemingly doesn’t lack originality, even though the gameplay pretty closely resembles the one of the aforementioned Uncharted. To be released exclusively on PlayStation 3 during 2013.
Another game that shouldn’t lack originality is this Watch Dogs, a new “open world” effort from Ubisoft Montreal (the same guys of Prince of Persia, Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed) focused on a hacker capable of penetrating and subduing the operating system that controls an entire city. Built over a new graphic engine, Watch Dogs offers remarkable chances for interaction with the game’s world by controlling any kind of electronic device (phones, traffic lights, screens or whatever). To be released on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 during 2013.
- Videogames highlights - December 2012
- Videogames highlights - October 2012
- Videogames highlights - September 2012
- Videogames highlights - August 2012
- Videogames highlights - July 2012
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- Videogames highlights - April 2012
- Videogames highlights - January 2012
- Videogames highlights - June-December 2011 special (part 2)
- Videogames highlights - June 2009