Hell of a 180 there, Gaming Industry!
Last month, I couldn’t even run this feature; too few noteworthy titles.
But it’s August now. And for the past couple of years, August has heralded the launch of gaming’s silly season. (Top 5 Games of August 2012
, Games of August 2011
This month features stealthers, shooters, heisters, hunters, Xbox’s Summer of Arcade and no small quantity of perversion. Just as well none of us have, you know, obligations and stuff.
Title: Charlie Murder
Developer: SKA Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Released: August 14th
In all honesty, I’m not all that pushed on Charlie Murder. But, rising to power on their appropriately acclaimed Dishwasher series, Ska Studios couldn’t be considered slouches.
Charlie Murder boasts a refreshing punk aesthetic, some interesting combo mechanics and a decent take on PVP. And still it’s not the best co-op brawler out this month....7.
Title: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Released: August 23rd
It’s a shame Sam Fisher is such a super spy. Because otherwise, someone could sneak up behind him and extract the iron rod from his ass!
Blacklist looks wicked dull, despite transplanting genius gameplay elements from 2010’s Conviction (Mark and Execute, Takedowns, Last Known Position etc.) It’s also bursting with additional non-lethal and EXTRA-lethal avenues.
Like recent greats Deus Ex, Dishonored and Far Cry, Splinter Cell: Blacklist hooks gamers with all that juicy ‘choice’. Crucially though, and quite unlike the former, it doesn’t have much of a personality to speak of...6.
Title: TMNT: Out of the Shadows
Developer: Red Fly Studio
Released: August 28th
I know it’s based on a Nickelodeon cartoon, not the original material.
I understand the opportunity for platforming, puzzling or comedic antics will be scant.
I realize the absence of 4 person local co-op is a shameful missed opportunity.
But I can’t argue with those combos....5.
Title: Payday 2
Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: 505 Games
Released: August (That’s as specific as it gets, I’m afraid)
UPDATE - August 13th-16th platform depending
Left for Dead meets Heat. Monaco meets The Dark Knight’s Opening. And then the Third Dimension. Payday 2 is for people who enjoy jolly co-operation.
A surprisingly competent first person shooter is the bedrock for this online co-operative pilfer’em’up. Payday 2 demands players combine their respective skills and perks to make off with the contents of a bank vault. Standing in your way are petrified hostages, gun toting security guards and a solid three feet of steel!4.
Title: Sir, You are being Hunted
Developer: Big Robot
Publisher: Jim Rossignol
Released: August 19th
Not really sure what there is to say about this one... It’s just your bog standard run of the mill open world survival game in which your trusty butler guides you towards mystic runes while automatons dressed as Victorian gentry hunt you down like the dog you are!
Come on, Big Robot! Maybe try something less derivative for a change.3.
Title: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Developer: 2K Marin
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: August 23rd
Considering the 18 year gap between the original XCOM and last year’s Enemy Unknown, 2K are pretty insistent that the franchise is sticking this time. Hence The Bureau: XCOM Declassified hits shelves only ten months later.
Considering The Bureau’s colourful history (read dodgy, worrying, surprised it still exists) it’s a testament to the work of 2K Marin that it looks, well, a little bit excellent. That said Bioware and HBO probably deserve a slice of the credit...
Atmospheric, tactical and fiendishly difficult, there’s a not-insubstantial chance The Bureau could turn into 2013’s sleeper hit.2.Title: Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Released: August 13th
My bias in favour of all things Dishonored should surprise few.
But in my defence, its gorgeous aesthetics emphasise a meticulously drawn Georgian Whale-Punk setting. Also, its accessible gameplay encourages experimentation, goading players to compound acts of increasingly intricate devilment.
Devouring Swarm – Bend Time – Spring Razor – Possession – Blink – Enjoy!
The Brigmore Witches DLC is many things.
The final three chapters of Daud’s dark and dangerous subplot.
A trio of sandboxes, crafted with the merry amalgamation of complimentary gadgets, ammunitions, traps and abilities in mind.
A trinity of locales, revisited and unseen, further colouring the already glorious tapestry of Dunwall.
But principally, The Brigmore Witches DLC is more Dishonored.
And who wouldn’t want that?!1.Title: Saints Row IV
Developer: Volition Inc.
Publisher: Deep Silver
Released: August 23rd
As something of a Saints Row virgin, I give my full, explicit permission for this game to happen to my face right now.
While (some) long term fans might lament this iteration’s blatant shark jumping, I applaud it. Finally volition are talking nonsense on a scale I can not only appreciate from afar, but get on board with.
Not content to put players in the platinum tipped shoes of the POTUSA during an alien invasion, Volition also lumped a Matrix Style computer simulation and a healthy smattering of superpowers into the mix.
This fresh madness couples with Volition’s acclaimed customize-whatever-the-hell-you-want engine and a returning cast of brash, energetic, foul mouthed and unassumingly witty hoodlums.The result is a title likely to thrash Rockstar’s latest in every way that counts...
Not graphical presentation, not map size, not even mission count.
But sheer entertainment.