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EU: June 14
Build a new life, make animal friends, and forge a village of your very own in this next chapter of Nintendo's Animal Crossing series. The first of the franchise to land on the 3DS, New Leaf will let players run amok as mayor of their new home, wherein they'll have the authority to shape its development and influence its growing population. Animal Crossing: New Leaf will introduce an enhanced level of customization to the series, affecting everything from the player's appearance, every nook and cranny of their home, and the establishments that occupy the village's numerous districts. Oh, and it's in 3D (did we mention that?). GR spent a day as mayor inside Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Check out our office report in Animal Crossing: New Leaf preview – new screens and details.
Maxis's granddaddy of city-building sims is finally getting a home on Mac. Originally released on PC this March, the Mac release will be free to owners of the PC version (and vice-versa) and sport cross-platform multiplayer. Owners of multiple platforms will also benefit from the ability to use cloud-synching to move between both PCs and Macs without missing a beat. SimCity suffered a challenging launch thanks to EA server issues. Here's hoping the Mac debut goes a bit smoother. Online issues and a few nitpicks aside, we found a lot to love about this updated take on Maxis's classic series. Check out our PC experience in the SimCity review.
Naughty Dog is poised to put the “fun” back in fungus invasion this month with the long awaited release of The Last of Us. This new IP from the makers of Uncharted aims to rejuvenate the survival horror scene with an epic adventure that will find heroes Joel and Ellie trekking across a United States besieged by martial law and the effects of a cordycep-esque fungal outbreak. The story will pit survivors Joel and Ellie against infected humans and what's left of humanity with gameplay that tests players' abilities to hold their own in a fight, negotiate their way out of tough situations, or slip through unseen. BioShock Infinite's Troy Baker lends his vocal talents to Joel, while Growing Pains alumni Ashley Johnson will be heard as Ellie. Prepare yourself for the end of the world (or the beginning of a new one?) in our preview, How we killed all of the enemies we killed in The Last of Us.
Platform: PS Vita, 3DS, DS
Dive into the war-torn world of Chima in this sandbox entry for the LEGO video game franchise. LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval's Journey casts players as the lion prince Laval who must harness the power of chi and brave the eight animal tribes of Chima to thwart Cragger's plans for world domination. Legends of Chima may not be as well known as other LEGO properties, but after LEGO City Stories, we're ready for another open-world LEGO adventure.
Platform: PS Vita
Mickey and Oswald are making the leap to PS Vita this month in this colorful handheld port of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Picking up from the first Epic Mickey, the adventure will see the pair painting new realities and encountering old friends in Wasteland, a repository for classic Disney mascots. New features on the PS Vita will include the ability to fine tune one's painting skills through the touchscreen, tap instructions to NPCs, and using the system's motion-sensing tech to handle driving and camera controls. Friends will also have the benefit of ad-hoc network functionality to link up and lead the mouse duo to victory. Disney Epic Mickey 2 was a so-so diversion on consoles (read our Epic Mickey 2 review). Will this PS Vita controls bring this imaginative platformer to life?
Experience a good ole fashioned whodunit from both sides of the crime in this adventure game from KING Art (The Book of Unwritten Tales, The Critter Chronicles). Told over three episodes, The Raven: Legacy of a Mastery Thief will challenge players with solving puzzles both as an enigmatic thief called The Raven and his gumshoe pursuers. The adventure game action will be housed in real-time 3D graphics and intends to cater to both adventure game experts and rookies alike with various difficulty options and clue systems.
Platform: Wii U
EU: June 28
Nintendo's lovable anti-hero makes his debut on the Wii U this month with the release of Game & Wario. Following in the footsteps of previous Wario minigame collections, Game & Wario will provide 16 slightly deeper minigames that will make full use of the system's Wii U GamePad. Party games will include Patchwork, which uses the touchscreen to assemble puzzles, Disco, which challenges players to a rhythmic game-off, and Islands, a Fronk-launching game for up to five players. Each outing will be hosted by an off-beat cast of emcees, and tokens from their completion can be used to purchase extra trinkets and activities. The game launches at a value price, and you can take a sneak peak at Wario's new gig in Game & Wario – New mini-games shown off in fresh screens.
The year is 1941 and Mother Russia is on the brink of collapse. Through flashbacks told by Soviet Army Lieutenant Lev Abramovich Isakovich, players will command the Soviet Red Army in key conflicts throughout the Eastern Front. Saved from the closure of THQ, Company of Heroes 2 will be driven by developer Relic Entertainment's (Warhammer 40,000, Company of Heroes) Essence 3.0 Engine, which will bring an enhanced level of troop control, weather mechanics, and overall realism to each battle. The sequel will also sport a new TrueSight system that will influence each unit's field of vision in relation to their skill and position in battle. Company of Heroes won a rare 5-star review from our own troops. Find out why in our Company of Heroes review.
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