The games of February 2011



Platform: PS3, 360, PC
EU release: Feb. 25

The title is silly and the tone seems ridiculous, but based on the recent demo and on our recent hands-on time, Bulletstorm's combat might actually be fun enough to justify every "dicktit" and "motherfucktown" in the game. While we've seen scoring systems added to shooters before, it's what you're rewarded for here that makes it so uniquely addictive. A headshot's worth a few points… a groin shot's worth a lot more. And whiplashing an enemy into the air before you string him up with explosives and kick him into the waiting spikes of a mutant cactus? That kind of sadistic combo, accomplished alone or with friends, is what will likely keep us experimenting with Bulletstorm into March, April or beyond.

Killzone 3

Platform: PS3
EU release: Feb. 25

Long a standard-bearer for the PS3, the Killzone trilogy will (potentially) conclude with a raft of badass improvements, not the least of which are more accessible multiplayer, cooler vehicles, more varied environments (read: less brown and gray!) and support for Move and 3D TVs. At its core, though, it’s still about methodically gunning down legions of red-eyed Helghast as you fight to survive on their increasingly hostile planet – something that the addition of jetpacks, mech suits and enormous sci-fi guns should help with considerably.

Ys I%26amp;II Chronicles

Platform: PSP

This will be the third (and fourth) Ys game released on PSP in the past six months – first Ys Seven in August, then Oath in Felghana in November, and now Chronicles, which collects remade versions of the first two games in the series onto one disc. Everything you need to know about Ys is contained in the trailer above – it’s basic hack and slash gameplay done particularly well, with shredding guitars and screamin’ synthesizers backing up your medieval journey. However, this is a collection of the verrrry first two games, so even by Ys standards the guts are kinda basic; for example, you don’t swing your sword, you literally run into enemies. Maybe sample one of the other two first, then dip your toe into the ancient, vanished land of Ys I & II.

Dreamcast Collection

Platform: 360, PC
EU release: Feb. 25

It’s hard to believe that the Dreamcast’s heyday was 10 years ago, but at least those of us who loved Sega’s short-lived console have been given ample ways to indulge our nostalgia for the little white box and its oddball games. The latest comes in the Dreamcast Collection (hopefully volume one of a larger series), which includes Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5 Part 2 and Sega Bass Fishing. It might seem like kind of a thin offering for gamers spoiled by the 49-game Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, but when you factor in remastered HD visuals, Avatar awards and Achievements, it’s unlikely to disappoint. Well, assuming the games themselves still hold up, that is.

Knights Contract

Platform: PS3, 360
EU release: March 25

KC’s hero, Heinrich Hofmann, is much tougher than your normal game character. Most die and respawn all the time, but Heinrich doesn’t let being ripped limb from limb stop him. The immortal, axe-wielding, medieval badass just picks himself back up as the player jams on a button, and once he’s back together again he resumes his undead massacre. He’s constantly supported by an AI companion, a witch named Gretchen who casts nice-looking spells, is usually in need of rescue, and promises to release Hofmann from his cursed immortality if he helps her kill some other witches. Though the prospect of a game built around a long escort mission doesn’t sound too awesome, you’ve got to respect Namco for sticking with a new IP.

Radiant Historia

Platform: DS

Made by members of the development team behind Persona (and other Shin Megami Tensei titles), and possessing a soundtrack by Kingdom Hearts’ Yoko Shimomura, Radiant Historia has the makings of a great JRPG. Its time-bending story stars an angsty young man named Stock, who’s on the brink of death when he gains the ability to travel through time in hopes of correcting history – including fixing the part where he dies. Already a critical hit in Japan, this could be another stellar RPG for DS.

De Blob 2: Underground

Platform: PS3, 360, Wii, DS
EU release: Feb. 25

De Blob might be unfamiliar to non-Wii owners, but the sequel is coming to PS3 and 360 (and still Wii as well). The concept is simple: a blobular hero rolls around in a gray environment that's been sapped of its colors by the color-hating bad guys. With platforming/puzzle action at its core, De Blob 2 tasks you with dunking yourself in different paint colors and then turning the drab world into something a bit more fabulous (interior decorators would love this game). It looks like a casual game for the kiddies, but it's actually challenging, with certain puzzles forcing you to think and specialized enemies requiring tactical approaches.

Assassin%26rsquo;s Creed: Brotherhood

Platform: PC
EU release: March 26, 2011

While it’s not Assassin’s Creed III, Brotherhood – finally coming to PC after its console debut last November – isn’t just another inconsequential spinoff or side-story, either. Continuing the awesome plotline from Assassin’s Creed II, the sequel takes place almost entirely in Rome, where master Assassin Ezio Auditore gradually builds an underground empire of assassin recruits and front businesses, although you can expect plenty of cutaways to Ezio’s modern descendant, Desmond. Brotherhood is huge, and if that isn’t enough, there’s the stealthy assassinate-or-be-assassinated multiplayer to look forward to.

EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious

Platform: PC

We know what you’re thinking: Do enough people really still play EverQuest II to support an expansion?

Evidently yes. We’re as surprised as everyone else who isn’t typing a comment right now about what a big deal EverQuest II is.


Gun Loco

Platform: 360

One word not used to describe Gun Loco would be “subtle.” Trailers for the 360-exclusvie action game focus mainly on cartoony, gun-toting maniacs running as fast as they can at each other, as lead flies and explosions are plentiful. What we’ve seen so far looks pretty cool, and it seems to be more “out there” than most of its competitors. Hopefully this manic energy has enough creativity to support the crazy violence mixed with R-rated one-liners, and maybe there’ll be a little more variety to the game than we’ve seen so far.


While the following titles are definitely planned for release this month, they don’t yet have firm release dates attached to them. You should keep an eye out for them just the same, though.


Platform: PS3

In this Move- and 3D-enabled PSN release, players are tasked with navigating a surreal universe to collect pieces of something called Equilibrix in order to restore the (duh) equilibrium of space and thwart evil aliens called the G-Noids from conquering the universe. The trick is that you never stop moving, and the more stuff you pick up, the faster you’ll go. So it’s more of a collect-a-thon than a shooter. It sports over fifty puzzle-based levels, and for eight bucks, it will probably get picked up in more than a few impulse buys.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow %26ndash; Reverie

Platform: PS3, 360

The first in a pair of planned expansions for Lords of Shadow, Reverie sees hero Gabriel Belmont returning to deceased vampire queen Carmilla’s castle to help Laura, Carmilla’s creepy little “daughter,” contain something even more evil than herself. Not much else has been announced about the expansion, except that it’ll allegedly include time travel, so we’re looking forward to finding out more firsthand when Reverie finally hits.

Feb 1, 2011

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