I should clarify before we begin. This is NOT a list of the best titles of 2012’s first half. That’s on its way...
Instead these are three games that most of you likely overlooked. Understandable given the calamitous locomotion of Hype
that was Mass Effect 3
and Max Payne 3.
But in the summer’s driest month, dehydrated bodies wilting at the thought of another barbeque or midday kick-about which renders the head pounding from hyperthermia, perhaps this offering of comedic androids, gut painted corridors and world trembling histrionics will see a lazy weekend well wasted.
Note: The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
very nearly made the cut. Snake Eater
remains a prime candidate for Best-Game-In-Universe and is a visual feast in High Definition. But as the collection’s ages vary between two and eleven years old, it’s time fresher titles enjoyed some limelight...3. The Darkness 2
If The Darkness
was a Bastard Sword, then its sequel is a Pig-Sticker!Digital Extremes
stoked the unhurried, murky role playing atmosphere of Starbreeze’s
original, then hammered and honed it into a razor sharp five hour event.
Where its predecessor slowly crept into the consciousness, twisting and manipulating players into an agent of anarchy, The Darkness II
disorientates, clubs from all sides, prompting players to lash out with animal intensity.
But it’s not all dual wielding Uzi’s, brandishing car doors like riot shields or whipping foes in twain with spiked demonic tentacles like you’re the protagonist in a certain notorious horror hentai...The Darkness II
is literally defined by lighter moments, unexpected flashes of calm, sensitivity and feeling. As Jackie pines for his lost Jenny and receives a sympathetic pep talk from his loving aunt, the sedate pace is often shattered by the arrival of teleporting cultists or gun totting mobsters.
Ultimately, The Darkness II
is a carnival of torment, mythology and, astonishingly enough, heart wrenching sweetness.
I can understand how you’d miss that though, considering the game’s major selling point was the lure of pulling someone’s skull out their ass...2. Binary Domain
Failed Consequence System aside, everyone seems oblivious to the fact Sega’s Binary Domain
has a dazzling sense of humour!
For each tongue-in-cheek, every whiff of well intentioned cheese and all that clichéd action movie banter, there’s a cultural idiom, prejudiced slur or cutting observation to curl your mouth ever upwards.
Complementing a frantic pace, droll repartee and base joy of obliterating robotic adversaries, Binary Domain
showcases an eagerness to wrestle adult themes such as transhumanism and morality, while consistently stunning players with a genuinely unsettling vision of the near future.
stumbled over obvious chestnuts. But this loss of footing resulted solely from treading where most shooters daren’t. Even when it fell on its ass it would laugh right along with you, its charismatic cast never shy an insightful observation cleverly phrased.
If nothing else, it features a charmingly optimistic French robot who wields a machine pistol and wears a jaunty red neckerchief.
Sold.1. Asura’s Wrath
After lengthy confabs with the good people of Oxford and several all nighters with their most recent dictionaries, I can say with quite some assurance, there are OFFICIALLY no words in the language of English to describe Asura’s Wrath.
A brainchild of Naruto
, Asura’s Wrath
blurs the boundaries between interactivity and passivity, agent and audience, game and anime.
It’s a bit like Heavy Rain
If Heavy Rain
had swords the size of planets and six-limbed protagonist that can roar interstellar fleets into oblivion!
Gamers are basically just along for the ride in this one, tasked with little more than a few dozen minutes of interactivity squeezed between sequences of otherworldly grandeur.
And bizarrely, that’s more than acceptable.Asura’s Wrath
grips it and rips it with such unprecedented intensity you’ll happily forgive its basic Hach’n’Slash mechanic, hodgepodge shooting galleries and abundant Quick Time Events.Asura
is the driving force here, his story, his journey, his love, his loss and, as you MAY have guessed, his wrath.
And that’s wrath with a capital W.
And a silent OMG-WTF-ROFL-BYOB-I-DON’T-KNOW-WHY-I-LOVE-THIS-SO-MUCH-BUT-I-DEFINATELY-DO!
Be it an interactive box-set or a cut-scene heavy brawler, Asura’s Wrath
is worth experiencing if just for the fact it makes Kratos
seem about as irate as one of those beguilingly adorable internet meme kittys.