Though historically not as severe as previous afflictions, the Games Industry has been in a coma these past few months.
And rather than rousing gamers with the gentle rustling of smaller games swelling to a single Triple A release, the Industry is cranking it to eleven and intends to wake us sleeping dogs up with a cacophony of blockbusters!Title: Deadlight
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Released: August 1st
It’s hard to do something new with the Zombie genre. Most games struggle to do anything right.
Ignoring the former, the good folks at Tequila Works
are trying their damndest with the latter! Deadlight
is a gloriously rendered 2-D zombie survival puzzler. Health, ammo and stamina must all be managed carefully while combat, for a change, is actively discouraged.
Because when staring down a horde of the undead, what better tool to use than the one thing they’re trying to gobble?!Deadlight
offers a fresh, stylish slant on a tired genre and is well worth plucking from the shadows.Title: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Developer: High Moon Studios
Released: August 24thWar for Cybertron
was a disappointment.
It was a fine offering with some varied play, energetic set-pieces and half decent multiplayer. But it didn’t provided Transformers
with that kick in the pants it desperately needed following years of gaming stagnation and Michael Bay’
s soulless travesties of celluloid.
High Moon Studios aims to rectify such missteps with a robot Tyrannosaurus.
Additional tweaks have been made to weapon load-outs, character specific abilities and customizable creations for online play.
But Fall of Cybertron
needs something special to break from the ranks of mediocrity. Like dynamic “cover”, improved vehicle functionality and, I dunno, A COMPELLING NARRATIVE!!!Title: Darksiders II
Developer: Vigil Games
Released: August 21st
Hailed as a gory, angsty Zelda
with just a splash of God of War
sounded so good, it turned out to be false. An agreeable, technically accomplished endeavour, it lacked Sony Santa Monica’s
ferocity or Nintendo’s
intelligence and intricacy.
Armed with a new apocalyptic horseman,Darksiders II
echoes its predecessors Hub and Dungeon structure, offering more substantial puzzling, expanded platforming and faster, meticulous combat.
Not the prettiest game in the underworld, Darksiders II
still features the voice talent of Michael Wincot
and James Cosmo
(Jeor Mormont, HOB’s Game of Thrones
) a new loot system for swapping equipment and a greater emphasis on role playing than its burly predecessor.
Sleeker, smarter, more precise? Over your dead body?Title: New Super Mario Bros 2
Released: August 17th
Do I even need to say anything about this one? We all know it’ll be fantastic.
That damned idiot Princess Peach
has gotten herself idiotnapped again (try investing in some personal security, Princess, God knows you have the cash!) and it’s up to Mario
to run across the screen, vaulting obstacles and consuming gene-altering fungi.
Preternatural flora, the Super Leaf, makes its long awaited return from the vaunted Super Mario Bros 3
, alongside omnipotent foliage and alchemic flowers which convert brick to gold.
There’s a heavier emphasis on money grabbing this time, with Coin Rush modes complimenting a campaign co-op. In fact, the primary objective is to accumulate 1 million coins.
Apparently it IS all about the Money.
Money.Title: Sleeping Dogs
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: August 17thI’ve already spoke my piece regarding Sleeping Dogs and it’s sordid history
, so there’s really nothing more to say....
...besides hammering home this point - Sleeping Dogs
. Now imagine it wasn’t amoral, sluggish and derivitive.
Imagine fence vaulting, door smashing foot chases.
Imagine cover hopping, time stalling shoot outs.
Imagine ramp jumping, hairpin turning speed-boat races.
Imagine throat chopping, roundhouse kicking, scenery bursting fist fights.
Couldn’t sound less like GTA
Set in the vibrant, seedy underbelly of the island of Hong Kong, Sleeping Dogs
pits undercover officer Wei against the city’s most dangerous Triads.
Sure he constantly tightropes the zipline of moral and legal quandaries throughout his assignment. But at least there’s shopping and karaoke to calm the nerves...Sleeping Dogs
seems the game all sandboxes aspire to be. A joyous fusion of other titles’ mechanics, wrapped in a fresh aesthetic and bowed with some eastern promise.