Hello, gamers. Pick & Play here. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to educate yourself on the week's upcoming releases, from the big-budget action blockbuster of Bondian proportions and the epic, sprawling environs of Middle-earth to the claustrophobic corridors of a Mars-based military/science facility and beyond. Fall's in full swing and, with it, the developers have taken off the kid gloves; they aren't pulling any punches. This release list will self-destruct in three, two, one-
(PS3, X360, PC)
For every original Bond game, there has been at least one based on one of the 00 agent's diverse film catalogue. GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and From Russia With Love all jump to mind, not to mention the remake of GoldenEye 007 and a shooter based on Quantum of Solace.
With Daniel Craig's next bond outing around the corner, though, it appears it's time to not only release another game, but take a look back at Bond's oeuvre, and maybe do a little retconning while we're at it. 007 Legends has levels based on five of James Bond's iconic films (as well as a DLC chapter based on the upcoming Skyfall), but they're getting something of a twist. Just as Daniel Craig stood in for Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye 007 Reloaded, and the plot was altered to better fit his characterization of Bond, the five classic films are getting a Daniel Craig overhaul.
Let the devs know how you feel about that, with your wallets, when it hits on Tuesday, October 16.
The Lord of the Rings Online (from here on out: LotRO) is a shining example of the sort of success possible with a free-to-play MMORPG. Along with its fellow Turbine game, D&D Online, it made the plunge into the monthly-fee-less realm and is still going strong years into the experiment. So strong, in fact, that it's about to get a major content update. One might even say an expansion.
While I could go on, I think it'd be best if you heard it from our own Josh Wirtanen, who went hands-on with the new content on a developer-guided tour. The new stuff will pop on Monday, October 15.
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Doom 3 wasn't exactly a flop, but it didn't revolutionize, or even epitomize, first-person shooters the way id Software might have hoped. Complaints were rampant that the game was dark (in excess) and plodding, with none of the over-the-top hectic, Satanic craziness that made the original games worth playing.
That said, the Doom 3 BFG edition might still be worth picking up, especially if you passed on the game when it was new (perhaps due to a lack of the requisite hardware, hm?) Even if you've played it before, the BFG edition aims to part you from your hard-earned money by being more than just a re-release. This is a retooling of the game from the ground up, with elements of Rage Tech sneaking in. We're talking new lighting mechanics, improved textures and, most importantly, a complete shift in the game's pacing to return the series to its roots with higher enemy density and levels that can accommodate them.
In the package, you'll get the original Doom 3, the Resurrection of Evil expansion, and a new chapter, "Lost Mission," spanning eight levels. More importantly, the game is being redesigned in such a way that you won't spend all of your time switching frantically between your flashlight and gun. The imps are coming on Tuesday, October 16.
Ravaged is interesting not only because it's a Mad Max-evoking, vehicular-combat FPS with attractive graphics and tight, focused gameplay. It's also intriguing because it's a Kickstarter success. The developers originally asked for $15,000 on Kickstarter, but managed to hit almost $40,000 before donations were closed. The title was then picked up by Reverb Publishing, which has made something of a habit of publishing Kickstarter titles. Ravaged should be hitting Steam on Wednesday, October 17.
Another Nippon Ichi title, another saccharine, brightly colored, epilepsy-inducing RPG. Mugen Souls has one fairly surprising twist, though: it's space-pirate focused and, as you'd hope and pray for such a title, that means it has ship-to-ship combat! Unfortunately, it's a little less Skies of Arcadia and a little more Sid Meier's Pirates!, the latter of which wasn't a bad game, but I'm not comparing the ship combat in Mugen Souls to the ship combat in Pirates! I'm more thinking of the dueling minigame, which was basically rock/paper/scissors.
It's all very bright and flashy, though, and has that quirky personality that NIS games seem contractually obligated to possess. If you're craving a JRPG fix, you could certainly do worse. Mugen Souls will be out on Tuesday, October 16.
Originally slated for release in the Vita's launch window, Silent Hill: Book of Memories is the survival horror franchise's first outing on Sony's powerful handheld. Out just in time for Halloween, it will hopefully provide a few chilling scares on the go (or in bed, or on the can, or wherever else it is that you play handheld games). Oddly, it seems very combat-focused, allowing you to build your own character and, when you're not exploring puzzle environments, engage in isometric and explosive shooting sections. It's quite a departure from anything and everything else in the Silent Hill universe. Will it pay off or sink unceremoniously to the bottom of fans' memories? We'll know on Tuesday, October 16.
Hidden Gem of the Week:
I have a soft spot in my heart for artsy, 2D platformers. I mean, not all of them scratch this itch (Braid often seemed pretentious, given how simplistic its gameplay was), but when a side-scroller has some quirk to it, it tends to pique my interest. Dokuro is a puzzle-focused title in the genre that looks as though it was pencil-drawn by Tim Burton. A charming, skeletal protagonist combats demonic foes in a world that is mostly black and white, but with splashes of color to add visual variety to the proceedings. There are even boss monsters, which will hopefully play out in the same puzzle-heavy manner as the majority of the game. Look for it on Tuesday, October 16.
Date: October 12, 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.*