Far Cry 3 - December 4thI've played every Far Cry game in the series, and I'm really excited to see where they go with Far Cry 3. Far Cry and Far Cry 2 were so different that there is no road map that might tell you where 3 will end up. Far Cry 2 was also (in my opinion) a big improvement over the original, so I'm anxious to see if there's a similar kind of betterment with this next iteration. However, that desire to see something new is a little marred by my hope certain elements that made Far Cry 2 awesome stick around. Of course, I'm talking about fire. It seems like such as simple addition to a game, fire that actually spreads, but I don't think it's something we've ever gotten in a game with one potential exception. It was kind of amazing to see an explosion catch a building on fire, which spread to neighboring buildings and dry grass. It added a whole new exploitable element to the environment; a tool that was never fully at our disposal before now. Being able to throw your last Molotov on the ground behind you to create a wall of flame between you and the literal army pursuing you was awesome and effective, and I hope there's more stuff like that to come. Also worth noting, the Far Cry 3 booth at PAX probably had the best promotion of the expo. Each morning, they gave a free copy of the game away to the first 50 people to get a mohawk from a girl they had working at their booth. It's a bit of a price to pay, but it's also a free game. I hadn't seen a vendor do that for a long time, and I really appreciated it. So yeah, shout out to whoever at Ubisoft came up with that one.
CoD Black Ops II - November 13thIf you're disappointed in this choice, I really don't know what you'd expect. My first game review on this site was a Call of Duty title, and in it I outlined the reasons behind my affinity for the franchise. Such as it is, I'm optimistically excited about Black Ops II. Truth be told, I haven't looked into it much at all. In this iteration, I believe the intent is to be set in the future. While this is certainly not the first attempt at this in the genre, it is a first for for a Call of Duty title. Granted, they have little in the way of new time periods to exploit; and with Turrok's relative stranglehold on dinosaur-era shooters, the future seems like the next logical choice. Kidding aside, I am looking forward to Black Ops II. A lot of my time playing games is spent wading into the maw of an RPG. I've spent an ungodly number of hours playing those in my time, and sometimes it nice to have a break and play something with a linear story line where I don't have to manage character relationships. I know that at the very least this title will provide that periodic, necessary diversion, but I was pleasantly surprised by Black Ops I, and I'm hopeful that I'll be surprised again.
Because America, that's why.
Assassin's Creed III - November 23rdOh yes. This is exciting. Like really exciting. This was one of the few things I waited in line for at PAX this year, and even though it was just to watch a gameplay demo (and get an inflatable tomahawk), it was totally worth it. One of my friends had a pretty impressive Ezio costume, and the grin on his face when he got called up to be showcased by one the Frag Dolls was priceless. He was less impressed with the demo, which apparently had been out for a while by then, but I (who generally avoids those kinds of things) got to see gameplay for the first time. All the new elements they showcased were money. There are new weapons, you can free-run in trees, and you can assassinate people from moving carts. The new weapons are a point of interest to me, and not just because it reveals new ways to do something repetitive. In Revelations, Ezio's arsenal of weapons felt a little OP'd by the time you started using your one-shot hand cannon against an almost exclusively melee enemy force. The block/counter mechanic took quite a bit of fear of death away from the start, but assassinations still required a bit of finesse. Cut to the most recent title where you still have your counter-kill security blanket, and you can also select your favorite, extremely accurate ranged weapon to take your targets down with relative ease. So I'm hoping the new weapons available to Connor spice things up a bit, and I also hope the greater abundance of rifles in the hands of your enemies gives a player greater pause when thinking about breaking cover.
Resident Evil 6: President Evil
Resident Evil 6 - October 2nd XBox/PS3, PC TBDOk, this is exciting! I'm a Resident Evil fan to the point where I really enjoy it and pretty much everything that has to do with it, but I'm not at all militant about how it's presented to me in terms of cannon accuracy. That last part may cause some to disqualify me as a fan, but trust me, it's a lot easier this way. It's a lot less stressful, and it allows you to enjoy things you probably wouldn't have otherwise enjoyed. That being said, I'm blissfully optimistic about Resident Evil 6. I'm a little less optimistic about the lack of a PC release date. I've learned that this kind of thing comes with being a PC gamer, but it still kinda sucks that I have to wait an unknown amount of time to play something on a system that can actually present a game to it's fullest potential. My girlfriend suggested just getting it for both console and PC, and while that seems wasteful to the Depression Era values previous generations have passed down, I'm seriously considering doing exactly that. It would have likely bought two PC copies anyway for my girlfriend and I to co-op (an, but the lack of release date makes me unsure of how long I will be able to make myself wait. I'll probably end up waiting. I've got more games than I know what to do with right now, and there are a lot of good games coming out that don't feature this particular dilemma. Case in point, the fact that I can write this post and several others about games that only interest me without having to look beyond four months.
I don't have anything snarky to say about
this. It just looks awesome.
Dishonored - October 9thYou can check out the trailer on their website, it's all you need to see to get excited for it. Nearly everything about this game looks incredible; the story line, the setting, everything. I saw it at PAX and I while I checked out a little of their demo, I didn't have the courage to get in line and wait, for fear of spoiling something in the game. Unfortunately this time, my fear has prevented me from assuaging the only real doubt I have concerning this game, which is the gameplay itself. I know, kind of a basic element upon which the whole game hinges, but it's a caution I am going to dismiss regardless. My worry arises from this being a first-person oriented Bethesda game with a focus on melee combat. Anyone who's played the Elder Scrolls series, or really any melee-heavy RPG, knows where I'm coming from. Still, what I've seen is more akin - thankfully - to Mirrors Edge than Skyrim when it comes to the combat, so I'm hoping this will pull through for the better. And I'm sure it will. The nice thing about Bethesda is that they make good games, and I'm sure this won't be an exception. Besides, the worse case scenario that the combat is a little too reminiscent of some of Bethesda's other titles still means that it'll take away a substantial portion of my life. Just like every other Bethesda game I've played.
No, it doesn't stand for Big Friendly Giant.
Doom 3 BFG Edition - October 16thIf you first saw this a PAX, you were probably thinking the same thing I did, "Didn't they already do this? Are they rebooting a reboot?" Well, all signs are pointing to yes at this time. The new edition, featuring an updated engine, gets an HD facelift as well as some other considerations. I'm am less sure about my acquiring this particular title, simply because I've already played it. I know it comes with some extra missions, but it's still the same game. I remember it; it scared the shit out of me. It's one of the few times a game has genuinely terrified me; it's in elite company with Silent Hill and it's damn inside-out dogs. It's going to a take a bit of encouragement to go through that again except with more realistic detail. It's going to take a relatively cheap price tag, but I don't think that's something I'm going to get. When the developers are emphasizing that this is a new game and that they've done a lot of work to make it more than just a re-release, this tells me that one of two things are probably going to happen:
- It's a new game, and it has a new game price tag, OR
- It's the same game as before, and it has a new game price tag.
Borderlands 2 - September 18thI'll cut to the chase and say that this is not a game I really care about, but I always feel like I should. I played quite a bit of the first Borderlands when it came out; and I liked a lot of things about it (mostly the blended shooter/RPG elements), but there were a few things I just couldn't get past. First, was the enemy spawn patter that just never changed. Every time you left your first little town, TA-DA! Here come 4 or 5 dooders out of a little canyon pathway to a base on the right. What's that you say? You just cleared that base out 30 seconds ago? Well too damn bad, because you just left town and that means it's enemy spawn time. In my opinion, a major hurdle of any action RPG is avoiding, or at least disguising, the redundancy inherent in a game where your mission/quest/thing options are to interact with an item (retrieve/deliver it, activate/deactivate it) or interact with a person (talk to them, kill them, or talk to them and then kill them). Maybe if there was some kind of explanation for it, even a weak one, I probably would have stuck it out, but it added points where you were constantly being grounded in routine. What has impressed me about Fallout 3: New Vegas (yes, I'm still playing that after 10 weeks) is it's ability to make the things that I've been doing over and over again seem new and meaningful. I've spent 10 weeks taking a long time to go from point A to point B so I can do a relatively simple task and then fast-travel back to point A. but I'm having fun doing that, and I didn't have fun doing in it Borderlands.
What's he going to do when they get to Borderlands 3? Do you think they'll give him an extra arm?
Brought to you by someone who definitely did not also make NFL Blitz.
The absence of Midway games in development probably means no Big Head Mode for Injustice. Sorry.
While I don't think we're going to see a spine removed, it's still pretty intense.