Hardcore gamers - don’t trade that Wii in just yet. The folks behind Viewtiful Joe are bringing you a momentary reprieve from pet shampoo simulators in the form of an over-the-top, Sin City-esque bloodbath that you may not want to play when company comes over. Whatever... they had us at “Chainsaw Arm!”
The title may suck, and the ultimate experience may be more akin to an expansion pack than a sequel, but we don’t care. Bungie, a company that truly looks out for its fans, has described this as a “labor of love” to the Halo community. Do you really expect them to disappoint? The new squad-based storyline and reconnaissance gameplay have us intrigued already.
After years of skepticism following Killzone 2’s infamous 2005 “unveiling,” developer Guerilla looks poised to finally silence its critics with a beautiful, suitably gritty World War II shooter disguised as a sci-fi epic. Interesting characters, relentless enemies and memorable set-pieces keep it from being just another space-marine shooter, and – perhaps most importantly – it already looks better than the “spec footage” that inspired so much hate.
Alan Wake is a writer who’s lost everything he holds dear. His fiancé is missing, and with her, his motivation to write. The sleep deprived author used to rely on his strange dreams for inspiration. But those dreams have turned into nightmares, leaving Wake in a surreal town that bears an eerie resemblance to his latest novel. With its unique premise and creepy atmosphere, Alan Wake sounds like a macabre mix between Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark, and a David Lynch marathon.
A modern detective mystery, Heavy Rain boasts a massive 4000-page script, dozens of branches, and an unsettlingly dark story – you’re a female journalist investigating the disappearances of young girls. Given the size and scope of the story, it’s almost amazing that Heavy Rain also showcases some of the most stunning graphics we’ve seen. Ever.
Could a Batman game actually be good? We’re almost afraid to get our hopes up, but everything reported about Arkham Asylum so far sounds so right. Most crucially, predatory stealth and detective smarts will play as much of a role as punching and kicking. Hmm, wonder where the developers got that brilliant idea from?
The first Beyond Good & Evil somehow paired driving and spaceship shooting sections with on-foot stealth sneaking and combat, and mated a meaningful sci-fi story about conspiracies and aliens with fuzzy animals and a jet boot-wearing, talking pig. Yet, everything felt just right. The sequel can’t get here soon enough.
Finally getting the monumental music of The Beatles in (legal) digital format? Exciting. Seeing those songs show up in a videogame? Awesome. But knowing that the creators of Rock Band and the original Guitar Hero are working directly with the remaining members of the group to create a full-fledged, full-catalog, full-history “visual and musical” extravaganza? Overwhelming.
If you gathered data on the people who flipped out over the 1984 film and the people currently playing today’s games, we’d imagine you’d see one helluva crossover demographic. Thanks to the publishing saviors at Atari, we’ll finally be able to live out our ideal career path with proton packs and poltergeists aplenty.
Defenders of the Starry Sky may be the ninth installment in the Dragon Quest series, but it’s the first to debut on a handheld system and will feature real-time combat and four player co-op via the DS Wi-Fi. Purists may not be pleased with the changes, but we think IX’s new direction is a promising follow up to Square’s re-release of Final Fantasy IV last year.
It’s an action-packed RPG featuring everything cool about being a spy – why not get excited? As secret agent Michael Thorton, you’re all about sneaking, karate kicking, rocking all sorts of guns and gadgets, and most importantly, sliding on a tux and using your suave moves to bang one impossibly hot female after another.
The game that’ll result in more guys begging their girlfriends to trade them a DS for their PS3 than ever thought possible. Joining the handful of M-Rated DS titles, Chinatown Wars brings in a new cel-shaded Liberty City story, a 2.5D isometric perspective and a few nefarious touch-screen elements you should’ve expected - like hotwiring, bomb making and drug itemization!
Even though it’s the latest in Capcom’s long line of retro retoolings, Bionic Commando lacks the killer-app appeal of Mega Man or Street Fighter. Thousands know the name, but they don’t know why they should be excited. Well, we’re citing its grapple-swing gameplay as our favorite new means of transportation and the primary reason you should give a shit when it arrives in the bleak, gameless summer months.
The fathers of the first-person shooter at id Software are exploring uncharted waters with their new game, Rage. The game’s gorgeous outdoor landscapes are a far cry from the claustrophobic corridors we’re used to seeing in the Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake series – and it looks like there’ll be bits of RPG goodness mixed in as you upgrade your buggy and tour the beautiful barrens of Rage’s post-apocalyptic world.
Somehow, the concept behind The Sims franchise seems just as appealing today as it did a decade ago... despite the nearly dozen ports and smothering avalanche of expansion packs in between. Now, with an infinite degree of customization and an entire virtual town to explore, playing virtual God should be more satisfying and ego-tripping than ever.
To hell with golf, tennis and the same goddamn party he’s held for the past 10 years, we can’t wait for Mario’s next adventure in the consistently entertaining (and often hilarious) Mario & Luigi series. If you haven’t sampled GBA’s Superstar Saga or Wii’s Super Paper Mario, do so, then join our ranks in eager anticipation.
After the minor fiasco of GT5 Prologue – criticized by some as a glorified demo sold near full price – hopes are running high that the real deal will go far beyond the small taste offered up by Prologue. For now, it’s looking more likely that we’ll see a bunch of add-on content for Prologue before GT5 ever shows its face, but our money’s on gearheads having something to look forward to before year’s end.
A console RTS that was actually designed to be played on consoles? Halo Wars may mean great things for the genre, which until now, has been marred by countless shoddy PC ports. From what we’ve seen so far, the game’s controls are streamlined and easy to get into. Plus, playing god with tons of micro Halo units on epic maps can’t be a bad thing.
If you’re like us and thought Crackdown was one of the finest multiplayer games to date, don’t let the “MMO” in APB scare you off. With the same developer behind both (Realtime Worlds) APB allows the players to populate this expansive crime scene with gangs and/or law enforcement, for a feel that’s more guns and grenades than axes and elves.
The original Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords proves that casual games can be done right – very, very right. Galactrix improves on the Bejeweled-meets-RPG formula by taking the puzzle action to space, complete with customizable spaceships you can arm to the teeth with gem-blasting weapons.