The games of June 2012

Don't let the E3 highlights obscure what's right in front of you.

June 26

Spec Ops: The Line

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

EU: June 29

Spec Ops: The Line arrives later this month following a flood of expectations, which curiously have less to do with its third-person shooting combat than its purportedly dark narrative subject matter. We've covered how the title aims to shock gamers used to bloody, violent fare, and how it pulls inspiration from classic works like Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness, but in a medium defined by interactivity, will the game have the chops to stand out and properly deliver its tale? Or will it just seem like a sand-set take on Gears of War? Such questions remain unanswered, but we're anxious to take it all in and see how the chips ultimately fall.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS

EU: June 29

Recent Spider-Man games haven't been earth-shattering affairs, and licensed film adaptations rarely draw much enthusiasm (though Spider-Man 2 bucked that trend some years back). Yet The Amazing Spider-Man has us intrigued. Releasing just before the new film series reboot hits theaters, the superhero game returns the web-slinger to New York City in an open-world adventure that looks slick and isn't bound by the constraints of the film's origin story. Still, we've heard this tale before with oh-so-many superhero movie games, and they don't always pan out. Those Spider-Man 2 memories are hard to ignore, though, so we're staying rather optimistic for now.

London 2012

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

EU: June 29

Officially licensed Olympics games are rarely great, yet most of us hold dear some memory of playing one as a youth, in part because they're so iconic. Mario and Sonic have already had their fun with the London 2012 games license, but now it's time for the real-deal simulation – and based on our early preview the game actually looks pretty good! It's optimized for Kinect and PlayStation Move, but a regular old controller will do, and the expectedly wide spread of events is here, including cycling, gymnastics, and table tennis. Add in online leaderboards and controls that don't depend solely on button mashing and our interest is at least mildly piqued.

Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection

Platform: PlayStation Network

EU: June 26

The trend of light gun shooters from other platforms taking root on PlayStation 3 with Move support continues with the Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection, which brings together a pair of entertaining Wii shooters: Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles. Both titles explore familiar sights and terrain from the survival horror series under the guise of a blast-'em-up, and this gussied-up tandem will be sold digitally for just $26.99, with the individual releases available for $14.99 a pop. Both are breezy bits of fan service that should prove to be amusing and well-priced little treats for Move owners come later this month.

Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

EU: July 6

It's fair to say that the upcoming re-release of last year's divisive Dead Island finally kills whatever meaning the Game of the Year tag carried as a marketing ploy, but for those who missed out on the open-world zombie-bashing experience, this expanded package certainly doesn't seem like a bad deal. At $29.99, you'll get the entire original game along with a new single-player story arc that puts a fresh spin on the core campaign, as well as an arena-based survival mode. We liked quite a bit of what we described as an "ambitious, shaky experiment" in our original review, and at the lowered price, maybe even we can avoid rolling our eyes at that subtitle.

Record of Agarest War 2

Platform: PlayStation 3

EU: TBA

Following two previous multiplatform entries, Record of Agarest War 2 is due out later this month exclusively for PlayStation 3, continuing the series with a new active grid-based battle system and HD character sprites. Though armed with a litany of changes and improvements, the sequel is only likely to appeal to the existing niche audience that snapped up Record of Agarest War and the Zero prequel over the last couple of years. On the other hand, the addition of new PlayStation Move mini-games like "Bathtub," "Shiatsu," and "Massage" have us… admittedly perplexed and a little creeped out. So there's that.

Jeremy McGrath's Offroad

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network

EU: June 26

Jeremy McGrath made his name in motocross, and even headlined a few video games in the genre many years back – but for his latest gaming venture, on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, the racer is adding a couple wheels to his repertoire. The truck-racing affair promises a variety of customizable vehicles across multiple classes, as well as eight-player online antics. And the press release for the $10 downloadable game promises "graphics beyond anything else out there," which we assume is meant only in comparison to the previous Jeremy McGrath titles released long ago.

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