Videogames highlights - July 2013

August 23, 2013 · Filed Under In Depth, Videogaming 
This entry is part of the series Videogames Highlights

In Depth - A merciless lens pointed on the hot topics, passionate and detailed retrospectives, reflections beyond the appearances Traditional publishers think about making money first instead of showing at least a bit of respect for the user and his needs, and that’s a fact. But as the recent case of Broken Age teaches, the path of self-production has its own drawbacks as well: despite a multi-million crowdfunding campaign closed on Kickstarter, designer Tim Schafer and his Double Fine ended up exceeding their budget - which had unexpectedly grown already compared to the initial expectations - and now plan to collect new funds by releasing a first half of the game on the Steam Early Access service. An uncharted territory, really, while traditional AAA productions continue to grind millions of dollars in stores. It’s all Star Wars’ fault, it’s always Star Wars’ fault one way or another.

Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition

If Silent Hill and Twin Peaks had a baby, that nice little child would be named Deadly Premonition: the game was already released on PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in the past years, earning the Guinness world record for the most polarizing survival horror title ever. The blend of non-linear gameplay in an open-world environment, the tones of a horror comedy and the not-exactly comfortable controls provoked enthusiastic praises and merciless pannings, and for the PC debut of the game Director’s Cut on Steam (after the PS3 release on April 2013) developers plan to improve what can be improved (controls, graphics, idiots suits in DLC form) just in time for Halloween.

Death Cargo

Death Cargo

A creation of the wicked minds of the Italian production companay Necrostorm, Death Cargo is a round-based beat’em up designed to make use of the graphical style from the first titles of the Mortal Kombat series (now completely in CGI) with real-life actors recorded and then digitized with a good amount of post-production effects to make things more intriguing. Death Cargo’s sci-fi set - an intergalactic ship full of self-aware weapons with enormous destructive powers makes an emergency landing on Earth, a second Death Cargo is sent on the planet to recover the assets - provides a reason for splatter fights as rarely seen before, and the fatalities - here called “Deathrips” - are bloodier than ever. To be released on PC within the end of the year, hopefully.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

The latest chapter of an action adventure series that grows more and more ambitious with every new iteration, Grand Theft Auto V is about to sell a fuckload of copies thanks to a complex gameplay, a story interwoven among three different faces - and characters - of the Los Santos crime world and the chance to do anything, from bank robbery to skydiving going through hunting and extreme customization of vehicles and weapons. Rockstar promises gunfights with renewed mechanics, intense missions from the start and a multiplayer mode with a “dynamic and persistent” world - right, at least until the servers will be on-line. To be released on September for PS3 and Xbox 360, on PC maybe. Nay, for sure but it can’t be said.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

The predictable and already announced sequel of the murder simulator known as Hotline Miami is being developed by the folks at Dennaton Games. Other than telling the events that come before and after the story of the first HM, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will retain all the features that turned the previous chapter into a small cult in digital format - including the lysergic and fucked up atmospheres of the Eighties, the vigilantes masked as talking animals (it’s the masks, they talk; I think) and the corpses piling up on the floor. To be released in 2014 on PC (Win-Mac-Linux), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Mercenary Kings

Mercenary Kings

Tribute Games is dedicated to making games with a classic design and modern aesthetics, and Mercenary Kings - the new game the developer is working on - is introduced as a side-scrolling shoot’em up filled with the cartoon-military spirit of the games from the Eighties like Commando, Mercs, Contra and Rush’n Attack. Personally I would add the original Metal Slug to the list as well, even though in Mercenary Kings players will have to face a more demanding and complex - and hopefully rewarding - challenge thanks to a weapon crafting system which encourages experimentation. To be released as a digital download on PC and PS4 in the upcoming months.

Strider

Strider

Oh, look who’s here, the good old Strider Hiryu: Capcom announecd the return of the super-cyber-ninja-robot-killer in a new title of the most beloved platform-game series of all times (the first Strider must be loved, love it, or I’ll come there to slice you) which will be simply named Strider. Made to satisfy the uninterrupted demands from the fans, Capcom states, Strider will retain the side-scrolling setup of the previous titles (in 2 dimensions and half) adding up new capabilities and an upgradable skill system for Hiryu’s trustworthy cyber-blade. The idea of a remake for a masterpiece like Strider (the original arcade) is promising, the developers to which Capcom entrusted the work (Double Helix) are a bit less encouraging. To be released at the beginning of 2014 as a digital download on PC (Steam), PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One.

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