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After the crazy number of releases during the last week of June, as well as the insanity of E3, the game's industry seems to be taking a short break before things heat up again in the fall. But even though July's new release slate doesn't look all that impressive at first glance, a closer look reveals some gems to keep you gaming through these hot summer nights.
From the ultimate Metal Gear collection to movie tie-ins, meaty expansions, ports, and a few indie hopefuls, this month offers a number of refreshing choices for all gaming types. See what you can look forward to in our full run down of the month's releases...
Platform: PS Vita
Fuel up the Quarp Jet and ready those bombs. After minor delays and hiccups, FuturLab's Velocity Ultra for PS Vita is finally ready to chart a course for Sony's handheld. This high-def remake of the original PS Mini has been tailor made for the PS Vita, offering revamped visuals, 60 FPS gameplay, and online leaderboards to give it extra oomph on the go.
For those unfamiliar with the original PS Mini, Velocity straps players into their very own Quarp Jet and tasks them with saving ships and battling Zetachron after the fallout of a collapsing star. So yeah... good luck with that!
PC kombatants will soon taste the komplete fury of NetherRealm's 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot. Adapted for PC by High Voltage Software, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition will arrive as a digital download first, with a boxed version to follow on August 2. It will feature all previously released character DLC, including Skarlet, Kenshi, Rain, and Freddy Krueger; as well as 15 classic Mortal Kombat skins and three retro Fatalities. It will also cater to the fighting game elites by shipping with support for the Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition Fight Stick.
It's been a couple years since we last got blood on our hands in the 2011 brawler. Read our impressions in the Mortal Kombat review.
The Creative Assembly's history-drenched strategy title comes to the Mac in a big way this month. Napoleon: Total War – Gold Edition will return players to the Napoleonic Wars where they will assume the role of Napoleon himself in notable battles all over the globe.
The Gold Edition will arrive with all the updates and expansions that have been released for Napoleon: Total War since it first marched out in 2010. This includes The Peninsular Campaign, the Heroes of the Napoleonic Wars and Imperial Eagle Packs, and the Coalition Battle Pack. We enlisted with this Total War chapter on PC. Read our full accounts in our Napoleon: Total War review.
Platform: Xbox 360
EU: July 5
Who will you be? Bloodthirsty killer or supernatural assassin? In Realmforge Studios' Dark, you'll have a chance to try both on for size in a game that lets players slip into the role of a vampire who can both attack his prey with brutal efficiency or toy with them from afar via unearthly powers. Open-ended conversations and skill trees will also play a critical role in the game's progression, allowing virtual blood-suckers to enjoy all the stabby, sucky action at their own pace.
Dark released for PCs in June. We look forward to seeing if it can carve out a name for itself with the home crowd via this month's console debut.
Chomping at the bit for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes? This 25th Anniversary MGS compilation from Konami should help curb your cravings. The 2-disc collection features all of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear games, including Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, Metal Gear Solid 2: HD Edition, Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition (which also contains the MSX editions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake), Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Trophy Edition. A downloadable voucher for the original Metal Gear Solid will also be included.
In addition, Konami will augment its Metal Gear-a-thon with two Ashley Wood digital graphic novels and a 100-page Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Book. If that isn't enough to scratch your Solid Snake itch, there's simply no pleasing you.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
EA Sports' college football series takes the field for another year in an outing that promises to give sports fans an enhanced NCAA Football experience. This year's edition will be carried by the Infinity Engine 2, which EA claims will bring “renewed authenticity and enhanced realism” to every match. Other additions and improvements include a new stumble recovery mechanic, refined hitting, new offense options, and the introduction of real-time physics via the game's Force Impact System.
EA hopes to bring a new level of detail to its NCAA Football franchise both on and off the field. Get caught up on the full list of upgrades, and our gameplay impressions, in NCAA Football 14 preview – Hands-on the new physics engine.
Platforms: PC, Mac
Wield might, influence, and the power of the arts in the latest add-on to 2010's Civilizations V. This second expansion brings all new resources and tools with which to lead your people to glory in the industrial age and beyond. Fresh gameplay tweaks such as the introduction of policies, ideologies, and culture victories will add more ways to expand your empire's footprint; while new civilizations, wonders, units, structures, and scenarios will make Sid Meier's sim even more addicting than before.
Civilization V earned a near perfect score with GR's armchair empire builders. See why we're eager to dive back in in our Sid Meier's Civilization V review.