As the summer months continue, we're struck with another week with few releases. Though we await the windfall of autumn, however, let it be noted that this is a week with some intense depth across its limited breadth. Without further ado, the week's releases:
(PS3, Xbox 360, DS, Wii)
By far the most recognizable name on this list, Captain America on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 promises third-person action and puzzle-solving as players guide the First Avenger through Baron Zemo's Hydra-occupied, Bavarian castle-turned-military-base. In addition to what is described as "acrobatic" and "free-flow" combat (words that have been tied to the seminal super-hero title Batman: Arkham Asylum and its forthcoming sequel), Captain America will be able to use his shield both as a melee and a thrown weapon. Both editions support 3D on 3DTVs or on 2DTVs via TriOviz Inficolor 3D glasses.
The Wii edition of Captain America: Super Soldier aims for the whimsical, offering a more forgiving experience and graphics intended to echo those of classic Saturday morning cartoons.
On the DS, Captain America stars in a side-scrolling brawler, much like the previous Marvel handheld release, Thor. Though the action is confined to two dimensions, the player is not limited to a linear path through the game, which encourages exploration in the vein of classic Metroid and more recent handheld Castlevania titles.
(PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Eschewing the Wild West setting of previous Call of Juarez games for a more modern tale, The Cartel follows a member of the LAPD (a descendant of the McCalls from the previous games) as he travels from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico. He and his companions, Eddie Guerra of the DEA and "Kim" of the FBI, are tasked with unraveling a dangerous conspiracy that will bring them into conflict with the drug cartels of Mexico, both on its streets and in its night clubs. Perhaps this first-person shooter's most compelling feature, however, is three-player online co-op, allowing one's friends to join Ben McCall as Eddie and "Kim" for the story campaign.
Though the game is coming to consoles now, the PC version of The Cartel will be available on September 13.
The latest in the long-running IL-2 Sturmovik series of World War II air combat simulations, Cliffs of Dover returns the series to is PC roots after an attempt at breaking into the console market in 2009 (IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey). The first PC release in the series in four years, Cliffs of Dover has been billed as more of a "spiritual successor" to the IL-2 Sturmovik name. It was originally intended for release in 2006 under the name Storm of War: Battle of Britain, but was held back and released instead in March of this year across Europe. As with previous IL-2 Sturmovik titles, those who pick up the game now will benefit from the fruits of an established and dedicated modding community.
A sequel to Supreme Ruler 2010 and Supreme Ruler 2020, Supreme Ruler Cold War is a political and military strategy game, stretching player options with its new "Sphere of Influence" system. A campaign mode allows players to control either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sandbox mode opens the game up, allowing one to govern any post-World War II nation. In situations when diplomacy and espionage fail, the game moves over to a real-time combat engine.
Summer Party collects all of the DLC and Best Buy exclusive songs on one disc available at retail, with a few exceptions. Players who want some more Katy Perry or Rihanna in their lives will enjoy "Firework" and "Pon De Replay," while those with a taste for the ironic or classic camp will be able to get their grooves on to "Barbie Girl" and "Kung Fu Fighting." Those looking for "Not Unusual," "Crazy Christmas," "Spice Up Your Life," "Come On Eileen," and "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," however, are out of luck.
(Wii) & (DS)
Releasing ahead of the July 29 movie they're based on, these tie-in titles for The Smurfs also round out both the Wii's summer dance titles and this week's Wii and DS releases.
The Smurfs: Dance Party is, as the name suggests, a Smurf-centric dance game. It features over 20 dance routines ranging from "chart-topping" music to "classic tunes."
The Smurfs (DS) is a minigame collection including cake decorating and dress-up.
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Bastion
Bastion is an isometric action-RPG in a post-cataclysmic world. Players assume the role of "the Kid," who journeys through the now-desolate land as the game's narrator relates his story in real-time. The narrator is the title's most intriguing feature, with his musings delivered dynamically and at plot-specific junctures. Combining whimsical and colorful art with somewhat abstract and desolate environments, Bastion smacks of cognitive dissonance and wears its noir stylings proudly in its narrative, while keeping them understated in the rest of its presentation. With a story penned by former GameSpot editor-in-chief Greg Kasavin, Bastion is a title to watch, and the kick-off game for Xbox Live's Summer of Arcade.
By Shelby Reiches
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.*