With E3 in June, it’ll be a great month for getting excited about down-the-line games. It’s also a ridiculous time for current games, with oodles of top-notch-lookin’ high profile games hitting store shelves and digital distributors. For the adventurous type, June has a handful of games that could go either way, and a couple underdogs that a few folks will no doubt fall for. We hope you’re done with Portal 2, LA Noire, Motorstorm Apocalypse and whatever else you’ve got left from earlier this year—it’s time to move on to one of the busiest videogame summers since the infamously prosperous year of 1874.
EU: June 10
Superpowered parkour courier (parkourier?) Cole McGrath returns to zap the bejeezus out of everything impeding whatever progress he’s trying to make in Infamous 2. The sequel to Sucker Punch’s first PS3 title seems to have recast the entirety of the original’s terrible actors, which should work much to the story’s benefit this time around. The gist is still the same: Shoot lightning from your fists until evil is thwarted. That’s fine by us. The overhauled combat allows for a faster flow of melee/electrical attacks, too, and Cole has plenty of new platforming abilities to unlock as well. If you haven’t played the original Infamous, it’s currently part of Sony’s Welcome Back program, so it’s available for free via PSN—and unlocked Trophies earn you free bonuses in Infamous 2. Get to it.
Platform: Um, 3DS
EU: June 6
While not technically a game, Nintendo’s home for downloadable games launches June. About time, too—this comes after a handful of irritating delays that’s since kept us from going on shameless shopping sprees. Don’t they want our money? Of course they do. We all get Excitebike 3D for free, which should act as the perfect “the first one’s free” fix addiction. 3D Classics, Virtual Console and the full DSiWare catalog should be launching with the handheld’s first major firmware update, and it’s only a matter of time before Game Boy ports and unnecessary 3D remakes strip our credit cards dry. If the DSiWare launch is indicative of a pattern in DS downloads, you may want to hold off on jumping into the eShop’s immediate offerings—dark times, if you’ll recall. We’re excited nonetheless. Bring on Super Mario Land, baby.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
EU: June 3
Each Red Faction game tries something new, so it isn’t entirely surprising to see Armageddon abandoning the open world that made Guerilla such a wildly fun time. Armageddon’s trying something new to Volition, but kinda old to us: It’s an over-the-shoulder corridor shooter. The hook is the Magnet Gun, a fancy-pants polarity gun that flings tethered objects (buildings, dudes, monsters, whatever) together. Once you’ve destroyed the entire environment with your reckless magnet gunning, the Nano Forge—which disintegrated everything in its Guerilla gun form—can repair it. Violence is balanced like the yin and yang. Check out our FAP for Red Faction: Armageddon to get a better look at how the new direction works out.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
EU: April 21 (out now)
The Operation Flashpoint series has always taken a different approach to first-person shooting. First and foremost, it’s considerably slower-paced, it’s tactical and long-ranged, and difficult than your usual military action game. Checkpoints and unfair deaths are a lethal combination that persists in Red River, but it should be a satisfying bit of atypical action for the patient player. In that respect, Red River looks and feels much like its predecessor, Dragon Rising. This is great if you’re a fan, of course, but it takes time to adapt to if Call of Duty’s conditioned your play style in the last few years.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS
EU: June 17
The side story companion to DC’s Green Lantern flick comes from the folks behind Silent Hill Homecoming (cool, sure) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (oh Jesus). Rise of the Manhunters mixes the same sort of brawling we’re used to in superhero adaptations, featuring a Sinestro second player in the campaign, with some rail-shooting pew pew. Hal Jordan’s ring opens up a lot of opportunities for flexible combat, what with the ability to use it for damn near anything and all, so expect to smack and shoot the shit out of everything ‘til you’re ready to puke. OK, that’s not fair. Bagging on another movie tie-in made by folks who previously made a terrible movie tie-in is unfair, especially when, well, this looks and sounds kind of cool. Fingers crossed. We deserve a great superhero movie-game at this point.
Subtlety clearly isn’t in this 3DS game’s list of interests, both in terms of its blatant title and outright forgery of Professor Layton’s puzzle-solving and murder mysterying. The overall pitch is a bit more complicated than “solve some puzzles, solve a case,” with the story incorporating some sort of 60s game show where contestants are also detectives. Not the most ethical approach to televised entertainment, but after LA Noire got our juices flowin’ for the genre, we’ll take dark crime thrillers where we can get ‘em. Ubisoft touts Hollywood Crimes as the first “interactive 3D movie,” which is both concerning and delicious considering the cheesy-looking FMVs we’ll be tinkering with.
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC (July)
EU: June 24
Don’t want to upgrade your current copy of Street Fighter IV again? Capcom’s gracious enough to make the four new characters—Oni, Evil Ryu, Yun and Yang—from the Arcade Edition of Super SFIV available as a $15 DLC pack. If you’re late to the party and want to get in on one of this generation’s greatest brawlers, the Arcade Edition, with its improved online options and social sharing, is the way to go. This is as big as its ever been, and at $40/ £25 it’s a killer package. We loved Super Street Fighter IV to pieces, and more of it is just swell. It’s great to see Capcom so vigorously keeping this community alive, even if the rate of re-releases is assaulting.
EU: June 24
Another mini-game compilation with a free Wii Motion Plus Remote. Regardless of its quality, it’ll sell approximately one hojillion copies. If you’re into another party game for your Wii, look forward to boat racing, stone-skipping, and mole-whacking. With Nintendo’s new console announcement right around the corner, another one of these things seems silly. For new Wii owners suckered in by that alluring price drop, though, this might be a good way to waste some time.