This is a very difficult game to describe, if only because I can't say I fully understand it myself. What I do know is that you play as Vincent, a man in his early thirties who's having some relationship issues with his longtime girlfriend Katherine. One morning he wakes up next to Catherine, a woman he met at a bar the night prior, but since he's unable to remember what went on that night, he's forced to search his consciousness to solve the mystery. That's when things get really weird. The game gets a dose of puzzle/platforming horror as Vincent traverses his mind, passing mental blocks and fighting demonic sheep, all the while fighting the clock that's always ticking away as the foundation of his mind crumbles below him. Yes, Catherine is quirky, but it's also beautiful and offers something that many other games do not: a mature, adult story that will, at times, get a little raunchy.
It was a friend who turned me on to this game, and after playing through the game's stylish, Okami-esque demo I can say that I am very excited for this game. Its biblically-inspired story and characters might not appeal to some gamers, but its refined combat and stellar visuals certainly should. The game's look is reminiscent of past cel-shaded games like Okami and its combat is pretty similar to other beat 'em ups like Devil May Cry. Both comparisons are fitting, as the game's development is being led by Takeyasu Sawaki, who worked on both games. It might have a nonsensical title, but don't let that fool you; this is a game you should definitely try.
Those of us who still have fond memories of 2006's stylish shooter Black will instantly recognize Bodycount, since it's being heavily influenced by the game. Developer Codemasters is even calling it a "spiritual successor" to Black, and one look at it is enough to tell why. Both games share a very similar cinema-style action and a focus on destructive environments that are now a pretty common feature in many shooters. Supposedly, everything will be fully destructible, and the game will also feature cooperative gaming for those who want to blow things up with their friends. Black was overlooked when it released five years ago, and the lack of headlines for Bodycount is a little troubling, but hopefully it'll surprise us all when it blows up retail shelves late next month.
Rise of Nightmares has a lot going against it. First off, it's a Kinect-exclusive, which automatically cuts its availability to roughly a fifth of Xbox 360 owners. Secondly, it's a full-on horror game, and the first of its kind for the Kinect. If the trailers and screenshots that have steadily leaked out lately are anything to go by, it's also shaping up to be a deeply disturbing game with terrifying enemies and creepy locales. As a huge horror fan, I hope this game will perform well, even with everything it has going against it.
They Bleed Pixels was just revealed earlier this week. It doesn't yet have a release date, but developer Spooky Squid Games has confirmed that it will in fact release sometime this summer. What at first might look like a full-blown arcade game, this is actually an indie game, but its pixilated, gothic environments and Super Meat Boy-inspired gameplay might help it stand above the plethora of other indie titles fighting for gamers' attention.
By Adam Dodd
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*