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The games of February 2013

February 19

Crysis 3

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: February 22

Cool down your consoles and max our your rigs--Crytek is back with the third installment of its “so pretty it hurts our hard drives” first person shooter franchise. Crysis 3 is set 24 years after events of Crysis 2 and finds Laurence “Prophet” Barnes returning to a war-torn New York City to infiltrate its city-wide Liberty Dome and topple CELL's plans for world domination. On top of fighting CELL corporate operatives, Prophet will run up against the remaining Ceph alien forces. The campaign takes place within the Liberty Dome, which is divided into seven unique districts. Luckily, the Prophet is well equipped for the job thanks to his standard nanosuit and an arsenal of human and alien weapons. The action will also carry over online in Hunter Mode, wherein players will either assume the role of hunters or CELL troopers in a “survival of the fittest” test of skill. Watch us brave the wilds of New York City in .

Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection

Platform: PSP
EU: February 20

Sting Entertainment's tactical RPG series has been going strong since 2005, and now the sixth installment is mounting up to storm western shores. Initially released last June in Japan, Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection tells the story of Claude and his sickly sister Yuri and their journey to save the dark world known as Hades. Battles consist of active-time action, wherein players oversee a small band of characters and direct their movements using on-screen cues and timed button attacks. Gamers will also have the power to summon monsters to help even the odds. Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection was also developed by Idea Factory, so fans of Spectra Force and Amnesia may also want to take note of this translated release.

Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi

Platform: PSP

Idea Factory's 19th century hack-and-slash series returns to the PSP in this continuation of the Hakuoki story. Set in Kyoto, Japan, the game will take warriors through two different storylines; One based on the events in the 2012 manga Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom; and the other being an original story called Shinsengumi which takes place in an alternate reality. Series regulars like Salto and Hijakata will be among the playable characters, and each will possess their own special attacks and the ability to enter a rampaging “Fury Mode” once they've taken an adequate beating.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
EU: February 22

The Metal Gear franchise returns to the spotlight with this action-oriented spin-off starring Raiden, the cyborg ninja of Metal Gear Solid 2 fame (or infamy, depending on who you ask). Picking up four years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot, Revengeance finds Raiden enlisting with Maverick Security to up take arms (and heads, and legs, and torsos) against Desperado Enterprises, a private military company bent on overthrowing the government of Abkhazia, Russia. Emphasizing up-close combat over stealth, players will have the ability to slice up the environment and enemies using Raiden's high-frequency blade. The handy “Blade Mode” can also be activated to slow time and dismember opponents with precision. Players' performances will be graded after every mission, and points will be allotted to purchase cyber suit upgrades, weapon enhancements, and other abilities.

Metal Gear purists can rest assured that Revengeance will retain some stealth elements; however, those itching for a genuine Solid Snake experience may have to save their camo for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. See why we're hopeful for Raiden's Metal Gear appearance in 13 awesome things we saw and did in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

February 25

Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack

Platform: Xbox 360

Halo 4 Spartans are getting even more online goodies this month. The Majestic Map Pack is the second map pack DLC release for the popular shooter. Little is known of the update, except that an earlier Halo bulletin named the three maps as Monolith, Skyline, and Landfall. In describing the latter, 343 Industries wrote: “Landfall’s emphasis is on infantry battles against a glittering ocean on a distant world, while Monolith exposes you to the naked vacuum of space--and the firepower of opposing teams, and Skyline’s distinctly industrial feel provides new challenges in somewhat familiar, but occasionally confined spaces.” Get the jump on your competition with our Halo 4 multiplayer guide.

February 26

Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires

Platform: PS3
EU: February 22

Loved Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends, but wish there was more political intrigue and strategic warfare? Tecmo Koei has the cure for your specific blues in this Empires adaptation of Dynasty Warriors 7, releasing exclusively for the PS3. Developed by Omega Force, Empires melds the essential series' format with a focus on defining each player's “lifestyle”. Depending on their actions in battle, players will be labelled as either Brave, Resourceful, Benevolent, Affluent, Orderly, or Villainous according to the new “Fame” mechanic. Each designation brings different benefits and drawbacks to the overall game.

Empires will introduce a new character, Xu Shu, and include 66 playable Dynasty Warriors. How players choose to lead these warriors and (hopefully) bring peace to the Three Kingdoms will be open to their own playing styles.