Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Losing a hand and watching your family get slaughtered by pirates can change a boy. In Christopher Raven's case, it sets the young Scottish scallywag on a journey for revenge set against the gritty backdrop of 17th Century Caribbean life. From dark alleys to lost cities and pirate-infested ports, Raven's Cry promises an authentic high-seas adventure which purports to show gamers what it was really like to wear an eye-patch in the New World.
Not to be confused with that other indie pirate game from Ubisoft (Assassin's Oath or something), Raven's Cry promises a high-energy blend of melee combat, nautical adventures, and the ability to shape one's destiny through their actions. Raven's Cry is rated Arrrrr! for really consider giving this one a look.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
Capcom's finger-pointing lawdyer is heading back to the bench in an all new game for the Nintendo 3DS. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies will see Phoenix Wright recovering from the events of Apollo Justice and wielding his legal expertise alongside his assistant Athena Cykes. The game will star a host of familiar characters including Miles Edgeworth, Trucy Phoenix, Pearl Fey; as well as new faces like opposing prosecutor Simon Blackquill.
Dual Destinies will take full advantage of the 3DS's abilities, offering a traditional Phoenix Wright gameplay with crisp graphics and three-dimensional models. New court mechanics such as the Mood Matrix and Thought Route have also been added to the mix to help players better assess witnesses and come out ahead in cross-examinations. The game will be available for download on the 3DS eShop.
Batman: Arkham Origins
DC's Pointy-Eared Detective makes his triumphant return in this prequel title from Warner Bros. Games. Don't let Rocksteady's absence fool you; the studio was involved in the production and Batman Arkham Origins has all the ingredients to make another classic Bat-game, complete with an engaging storyline taking place five years before Batman: Arkham Asylum. Features include a larger Gotham City environment, a new Batwing fast travel system, and a fresh selection of gadgets including the Remote Claw and Shock Gloves.
Of course, Batman games are only as strong as their villains, and Warner Bros. Games is coming out swinging with an impressive roster of villains--each of which has been hired by Black Mask to put the young Caped Crusader out to pasture. Big names include Deathstroke, Bane, Deadshot, Copperhead, Anarky, Firefly, Penguin, and Alberto Falcone.
Batman: Arkham Origins will feature the series' first multiplayer mode. In one variation called Invisible Predator Online, players will split into squads of heroes and villains and utilize a unique set of weapons and resources to outwit (and ultimately neutralize) their opposing teams. Learn more at Batman: Arkham Origins – Everything we learned from Gamescom.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Want more out of your Batman: Arkham Origins experience? Consider this handheld companion from Armature Studios which seeks to extend the Arkham Origin story in a 2.5D action adventure format. Set three months following the events of Arkham Origins (spoiler: Batman survives), the game follows the Bat as he rushes to set Gotham straight after an explosion at Blackgate Prison floods the city with some of the worst villains in existence.
Armature Studios worked closely with the Warner Bros. Game team to retain the look and feel of Bruce Wayne's console appearances, while adapting Batman's gadgets to work in a 2.5D space. Bruce's trademark free-flowing combat, however, has been re-jigged to make sense in a side-scroller. It will focus more on swapping between the background and foreground for maximum stealth and beatings. Players will also be able to choose the sequence by which they take down their villains a la Mega-Man. The will include the Joker, Black Mask, the Penguin, Deadshot, and other series familiars.
Combined with stylish motion comics and creative level design, expect Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate to hold its own against its bigger console brother. See why we're brooding for this Batman: Arkham Origins companion piece in Arkham Origins: Blackgate is the most intriguing game of 2013.
Wii Party U
Platform: Wii U
Get it on Amazon: Wii U
Turn your Wii U into the ultimate house party machine with Nintendo's newest mini-game collection. The latest in the Wii Play line of party games, Wii U will treat players to 80 different mini-games which can be played in crowds of up to five--four on Wii Remotes and one on the GamePad—or alone using the GamePad itself. The games will put the Wii U's GamePad to creative use with such games like Hide and Seek, where four players look for the hidden GamePad user on screen; Map Quest, where players help guide each other to hidden treasures; and Fly Swat, where Wii Remote users buzz around the screen while the GamePad player attempts to swat them.
Wii Party U will arrive bundled with a Wii Remote Plus controller and a GamePad stand. It will also integrate nicely to Nintendo's Miiverse, allowing players to share their mini-game rankings and give their Miis something to do.
Angry Birds Star Wars
Hot off the arrival of Angry Birds Star Wars II for mobile platforms comes this port of the original Star Wars spin-off for all major consoles. The game includes all 200 levels from the iOS and Android original, each of which whisk players through recognizable Star Wars locales in their journey to rid the world of the evil Piggy Stormtroopers.
Angry Birds Star Wars will crash land on consoles with 20 new levels and multiplayer modes allowing players to work together for better high scores or challenge other bird-flingers in 4-player competitions. Prepared for this port you will be after reading our Angry Birds: Star Wars review.