Incoming! Week commencing 06/02/12
- Warner Bros. Interactive
- Deep Silver
- Big Huge Games
- 38 Studios
- 2K Games
Welcome, gamers, to our (occasionally) regular round-up of the week’s big releases. Last week saw Konami’s NeverDead fail to set the world alight (though it did set its protagonist alight – often – and we kinda liked it), saw Final Fantasy XIII-2 redress some of its predecessor’s shortcomings while stumbling upon a few of its own, and saw Soul Calibur V come out fighting with some impressive reviews (like ours, for example).
This week the February bonanza continues, and even the mounting snow and howling winds can’t stop us bringing you the lowdown on the best imminent releases – that’s how dedicated we are. It’s not about the money (or lack thereof), we do it all for you.
Gotham City Impostors UK Release Date: Tuesday 7th February (PC), Wednesday 8th February (PSN, XBLA)
Formats: PC, PS3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
In Ten Words: Impersonate villains, fight crime, punish innocents, batarang fools, dress fancy
There aren’t enough multiplayer-only 6 vs. 6 shooters available, which is something that Monolith Productions are doing their best to rectify this Tuesday with the release of Gotham City Impostors. A COD-style FPS, Monolith’s curio features the unique selling point of being able to play not as Batman or the Joker, but as a bunch of crazy vigilantes or villains who dress up either as the Dark Knight or the Clown Prince of Crime to go at each other with a bunch of off-the-wall homemade gadgets and, well, guns. With customisation options so varied that they border on the downright obscene and quirky, imaginative slants on the standard FPS multiplayer game modes like Capture the Flag and Deathmatch, Gotham City Impostors offers a great deal of value for anyone whose ever dreamed of dressing up in a pair of grey tights or some white face-paint and going on a rampage around the streets of Gotham. That’s all of us, right?
Multiplayer? All the way, baby. Soloists need not apply
Collector’s Edition Available? It’s an arcade title, so no. But there will likely be extra customisation items and arenas available via future DLC
Predicted Hit? Yes – the demo was hugely popular and given the quality on show, GCI is unlikely to be remembered as just another downloadable game
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning UK Release Date: Friday 10th February
Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: 38. Studios / Big Huge Games
In Ten Words: Quest bravely, fight skilfully, quaff potions, hurl fireballs, pick flowers
As featured in our four-part rundown of 2012’s best original games, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action-RPG featuring some of the best names in fantasy writing, game design, comic books, musical composition and, erm, baseball. It follows the exploits of the Fateless One (that’s you), recently resurrected into a world where everyone’s destiny is mapped out from birth. As yours isn’t, you’re in a perfect position to defend the world from the forces of darkness – which is incredibly handy, seeing as how the forces of darkness are currently looming. The demo was great, offering loads of unlockable weapons and armour for the main game (and a few little perks for those intending to buy Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 in March), and showcased tons of variety and a charming, almost Fable-esque fantasy world.
Collector’s Edition Available? Not in the UK, unfortunately, but for US gamers there are some impressive bundles. The Special Edition includes a replica deck of 40 Destiny Cards, a seven-piece dice set, the soundtrack CD, and a DLC pack featuring 9 “Fate-touched” weapons (also included in the UK pre-order pack from GAME) and a specially-crafted map. The Collector’s Edition comes with all that, but with a 12.5” “Prismere Troll” statue and a piece of concept art signed by Ken Rolston. The Signature Edition is exactly the same, except one of the big bods (either Rolston, author R.A. Salvatore, comic book maestro Todd McFarlane or 38. Studios founder Curt Schilling) will have signed the troll statue
Predicted Hit? Yes. The pedigree involved is second to none, and the demo (released in January) proved very popular among RPG fans
The Darkness II UK Release Date: Friday 10th February
Formats: PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games
In Ten Words: Dismember gangsters, devour hearts, pump shotguns, shoot lightbulbs, embrace darkness
Starbreeze Studio’s The Darkness was relentlessly dark, wonderfully grim and just a little bit shy of truly great. Digital Extremes aim to push the envelope with their sequel by tightening the gunplay and introducing a concept called “quad-wielding”, whereby protagonist Jackie Estacado can trigger a pistol in each hand whilst his huge, serpentine Darkness tentacles gleefully rip people apart. Featuring gory executions, slightly out-of-place Bulletstorm-style point-scoring and a brilliantly dark and cinematic story, The Darkness II looks set to correct many of the mistakes made by Starbreeze’s flawed classic. We played the recent demo once or twice (nine times, actually) and dissected it to see just what the main game will offer – and we were suitably impressed. Find out just how dark the Darkness gets on Friday.
Multiplayer? Yes, the four-player co-op Vendettas campaign offers something different to the usual bevy of deathmatches and flag-capturing, with a cohesive story that dips in and out of the solo campaign. With four characters to choose from, each with their own weapons and Darkness powers, Vendettas should offer more than a mere distraction to fans of murderous teamwork
Collector’s Edition Available? The Limited Edition features various downloadable goodies including an outfit for the darkling and a couple of extra skills for Jackie, as well as a pair of folders containing volumes 1 & 2 of The Darkness Origins comic
Predicted Hit? It’s a fairly safe bet, as early doors reviews have already handed out scores around the 8/10 mark
Catherine UK Release Date: Friday 10th February
Formats: PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: Atlus Persona Team
Publisher: Deep Silver
In Ten Words: Solve puzzles, date girls, seduce succubi, feel pervy, cold shower
The tale of Vincent Brooks, a young man torn between his obsession for a girl named Catherine and his love for his fiancée, Katherine (yeah, we were confused at this point, too). In true videogame style, nothing is as it appears, and Vincent soon finds himself fighting for his life as events (including multiple unexplained deaths, of course) unravel way beyond his control. Part puzzle game, part dating sim from Hell, Catherine is an anime-styled chiller that examines themes of love and obsession with Japanese aplomb, weaving a complex-yet-compelling story around events that may or may not be real, with multiple possible endings. A massive hit in its native East, it remains to be seen how well Catherine will be received over here.
Multiplayer? Yes there is a multiplayer mode, mostly revolving around leaderboard rankings and a bizarre quiz known as the “Confession Room” where you’ll answer a variety of personal questions and then compare your answers with those of other gamers – it sounds weird, because it is weird
Collector’s Edition Available? It’s already out in Japan, but US and EU pre-orders come bundled with a soundtrack CD
Predicted Hit? Genuinely hard to say. Some people love its crazy “Japanese-ness”, while others are completely put off by it
So that’s it for this week, folks. Anything here got your trigger fingers itching? Anything else coming out that we haven’t covered that’s got you worked up into a lather? Either way, please let us know – that’s what the comments box is for!
Also released this week: Sonic & Mario at the 2012 London Olympics (3DS), King Arthur: The Role-Playing Game (PC), and Grand Slam Tennis 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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