When the American Revolution setting was first revealed, a lot of fans screamed, "Really?" But Ubisoft has done a great job since, selling the new concept and making us all believers.
The American Frontier that replaces Renaissance Italy offers a fresh venue with new hazards. Exploration and combat will be instantly familiar, but new Revolution-era weapons such as bows, rifles, and tomahawks shake things up a bit, just as climbing trees and rock formations will compliment the wall scaling of previous entries. With the new Anvil Next graphics engine, the series with a background of impressive visuals will astound us with both the cinematics and in-game animations.
Thankfully, this highly anticipated game isn't too far off, hitting store shelves on October 30th. So forget trick-or-treating this year, because there will be something much sweeter to sink your teeth into come Halloween.
There's no denying that Resident Evil 5 was controversial. The fact that it's the best-selling title of the series must speak for something. Beyond some frustrating controls, there seemed to be an overdose of action and a lacking of the dark tone that should be a mainstay in this horror series. And like RE4, there were no true zombies. Well, the shambling undead make a return in the latest iteration, in stores on October 2nd.
There are three separate storylines to play through, with a fourth revealing itself after the completion of the others. Superstars Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield return to the fight, with Wesker's son Jake Muller also playing a lead role. Being overwhelmed in combat is a possibility in every undead encounter, so Capcom has adjusted the controls for quick and streamlined action, allowing you the flexibility to get yourself out of trouble. The MT Framework 2.0 game engine will continue to deliver extremely high quality visuals, which you can check out for yourself when the demo comes out next month.
Finally back in the Master Chief's Mark VI armor (albeit with a different look due to improved graphics), three years have passed since the events of Halo 3, where John-117 and Cortana find themselves adrift near a Forerunner planet.
The series is making some big changes in the hands of new developer 343 Industries, with a gameplay experience involving much more exploration rather than simply letting you shoot tons of aliens willy-nilly. Speaking of which, the war with the Covenant is finally over, so you can expect a new breed of enemy, as well as fully functional Forerunner technology to play with. The Forge map editor will make a return, and a new story-driven co-op mode called Spartan Ops will deliver five new missions each week for ten weeks.
Halo 4 is the start of a new trilogy for the series, and a darker one at that, but it will be interesting to see if the story, music, visuals, and combat meld together as well as they did in Halo games past.
Borderlands 2 is coming out on September 18th, and you could probably play it every day for the rest of 2012 and still find content to fool around with well into the new year. The world is twice as big as the first game, the amount of side quests will always provide a diversion, and the weapon selection is (shockingly) even more expansive than it was in the original. There are four new classes, with a strong role-playing element making a return, and each newly chosen ability makes an instantly apparent impact on the gameplay.
Of course, all that is only half of what made the original Borderlands a success. The cel-shaded visuals pair perfectly with the overly insane humor, with demented characters that, although twisted, will have you laughing.
Of course, like the original, Borderlands 2 will be best played with three teammates, with challenges and rewards for cooperative play. If you're lucky enough to have three other friends with a lot of time to spare, than Borderlands 2 will definitely keep you busy. Anybody want to be my friend?
Date: August 6, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*