I’m not saying July’s contributions are exactly stellar. November 2011 this is not. But the sheer fact that I could actually compile a list of five halfway decent titles in what is customarily the summer’s most parched month is somewhat miraculous.
As ever, the industry continues to encourage gamers to take in a brain-dead blockbuster, throw a plastic disc at one another and let the sun’s harmful rays slowly sizzle their flesh.
To GO OUTSIDE, so to speak.
But for the first summer in recent memory, the Games Industry has actually bothered to provide an alternative to those among us who physically recoil at the notion of lathering up in sun screen, slipping on the flip flops and slapping toward the nearest beach!Title: Inversion
Developer: Saber Interactive
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Released: July 13th
Putting it diplomatically (because what is Life without Tact) Inversion
hasn’t exactly been raking in the glowing reviews in recent weeks.
But with a mechanic as fresh and appealing as gravitational manipulation, plus the lure of destructible environs and online multiplay, it might well prove worth a weekend’s rent!Title: NCAA Football 13
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Released: July 10th
Despite the fact its participants wear armour, dump tackle each other into states of partial consciousness and have been known to somersault into touchdowns, American Football has never really cracked the illustrious continent of Europe.
Probably too stimulating or something...
Regardless, EA Tiburon
are striving to convert the masses with hundreds of fresh animations and manoeuvres like the Pump Fake, Shovel Pass, Drop Back, Abort Fake, Pick Up Blitz and Throw On.
Admittedly, I have no idea what any of that means. But I’d certainly like to!Title: Wreckateer
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Released: July 25thWreckateer
tasks you, as the newest recruit for the Wreck and Tinker Destruction Company, to thoroughly demolish castles suffering a significant goblin infestation.
You achieve this by piloting catapulted ballistae into various structural weak points. A physics based puzzled wrapped in a quirky fantasy robe, Wreckateer
seems to have the same potent mix of charm and fundamentals that saw Double Fine’sTrenched
the king of last summer’s arcade offerings.
Employing some pleasingly minimal Kinect
gestures, players can steer a projectile’s trajectory post flight, altering speed and triggering secondary functions to better topple bricks, mortar and goblin.
Hardly a landmark for subversive gaming, Wreckateer
is more likely to win over sceptics with flawless implementation and suitably crude humour.
Which, in fairness, has ever proved more alluring.Title: Skyrim - Dawnguard
Released: July 26th
Before you lynch me for inaccuracies (is there a worse offence for a games journo to commit?... probably is... use your imaginations) it’s worth remembering that
release date wasn’t revealed until AFTER I scribbled up last month’s feature and
B) The PS3
versions have yet to land. Oh and also
C) I honestly thought I’d NEED it as filler for Games of July.
Though merely a chunk of DLC, Dawnguard
still earns its place! An expansion pack to Skyrim
proper, with an estimated campaign length of 10-20 hours, Skyrim’s first chunk of DLC outsizes the vast majority of full retail titles!
Yes you COULD opt into the Dawnguard
, a band of crossbow wielding, werewolf mutating, armoured troll leading Buffy Summers’s.
Or you could be a soddin’ vampire! One with wings and shit, that eats people for XP, turns into mist and bats and junk and chucks goddamn giants clean over high buildings! Like a boss!
Hardly Sophie’s choice there, Bethesda
With the additional side quests, fresh dragon shouts, original enemies, previously undisclosed location and brand spanking new Dragon Bone Weaponry, Dawnguard
is just the excuse you need to revisit the frosty northern exposure of Skyrim
Ha! As if you ever left...Title: The Secret World
Publisher: Funcom, Electronic Arts
Released: July 3rdWe previewed the unholy waste out of this ambitious little number
a few months back. Hell, we even stopped for a chinwag with Funcom’s
own Thor Anderson
who elaborated on their level-less subscription based MMORPG.The Secret World
’s hook is that, as the tagline suggests, Everything Is True.
Vampires. Gods. Clandestine Organisations. Aliens. Alternate Dimensions. Robots. Astrology. You name it The Secret World
happily welcomes it into its all-encompassing cannon.
This makes for a varied PVP experience to say the least.
The second major hook? Circle-strafing the traditional levelling superstructure, players earn XP used to purchase any skill for any class at any time. Players are not restricted to the habitual Tank, Caster, Healer archetypes. Instead they’re free to experiment with play-styles normally avoided.
Best of all, apparel serves but one function: fashion. Want to dress in UGG-Boots and a leather jacket, sporting an M16, a magical scythe that cuts through reality and a top hat, then go for it!
In The Secret World
, style is content to bolster substance.
Though hardly an MMO fanatic, I’ll gladly slot The Secret World
into the hot-spot this month, if for no other reason but the ridiculousness of this trailer. (Specifically 1:06 – 2:14)
Well played Funcom
. Well played.