Back on a diet
After the feast of new games of new consoles throughout the entire month of November, things are drying up in the new release well. We'd be a lot more upset about it if we weren't lousy with games to play already, and now that we're coming out of our triptophan comas we can make a mad dash to beat as many 2013 games as possible before December 31st.
The biggest game this week takes us to the racetrack in a "oh yeah this is coming out too" momment, while two DLC packs breathe new life into a pair of late October releases and some Sega Genesis classics get the stereoscopic 3D treatment on Nintendo's handheld. There's a few things to watch for here, but we doubt any of it is going to knock the doors down.
Batman Arkham Origins: Initiation
Coming To: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC (December 3)
It wouldn't be an "origins" game without taking us back to the very beginning, and the new Initiation DLC of Batman: Arkham Origins plans to do just that. We're going to control a young Bruce Wayne as he trains in North Korea's Paektu-San Mountains. Four new challenge maps, a horde of enemy ninjas, and the cunning Master Kirigi all await Bruce as he strives to complete his training and become the Batman. While we're curious why a game called "Origins" didn't have the very FIRST story in the timeline included on the disc, we're still really excited to try it out; it'll lead up one step closer to our dreams of being superheroes.
Battlefield 4: China Rising
Coming To: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC (December 3)
Battlefield 4's first map pack hits this week after giving players a month to familiarize themselves with the BF4 way of doing things. China Rising adds four full maps representing the Chinese mainland to the game, including Silk Road, Dragon Pass, Altai Range, and Guilin Peaks. The pack also brings five new weapons never before seen in BF4, a few new vehicles, and two drones for use by certain classes called the Unnmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle and the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. If you pre-ordered Battlefield 4 or bought the Premium package, then China Rising is yours to enjoy at no extra cost. Those who didn't do either of those things will have to pony up $15 to travel to China.
Coming To: PS4 (December 3)
Four animals imprisoned in the same laboratory, each altered to have a unique power. One can levitate, another can create an object from nothing at all, the third zaps opposing forces with ease, and the fourth can phase out at will. Working together will allow the little critters to escape, and that's where we all come in. Tiny Brains is a four-player co-op platformer with plenty of puzzles to solve and rooms to explore, and yet another new indie offering on the brand new PS4. We love the indie influx; if that wants to continue ad infinitum, who are we to stop it?
Sega 3D Classics: Altered Beast
Coming To: 3DS (December 5)
RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE. The beast is back and available on the go, allowing people to play this Genesis classic whenever and wherever they want. We have a lot of fond memories playing this back int the day, trying to defeat every spooky monster we could while trying to save the day. We always loved turning into the beast too; that extra surge of power was well worth the work. Our only mistake back then was trying to play it before bed...that never ended well. Of course, now we could play it while laying in bed if we wanted to...oh boy.
Sega 3D Classics: Sonic The Hedgehog
Coming To: 3DS (December 5)
Look, we know we don't have to elaborate much on this. The vast majority of eyes that will read this piece (and an impressive amount of people who will never read this) have heard of, seen, or played the iconic Genesis classic at one point or another. Some of us were tangled in the SNES vs Genesis war, reveling in playing Sonic so we could do what NintenDidn't. We hope this return to the classic Sonic format will inspire those in charge of the hedgehog now to make a game that hearkens back to that excellence, because Sonic desperately needs an image restoration. He needs it immediately too, so it's gotta go fast. GOTTA GO FAST.
Gran Turismo 6
Coming To: PS3 (December 6)
Oh hey look Gran Turismo 6 is coming this week. We're excited to get behind the wheel and race in Sony's premier driving sim, but we have a few questions about it. First, if you knew this was going to be a current-gen game, why not release it sooner than three weeks before Christmas? Furthermore, with a new generation of consoles around the corner, why not just hold off on development until the PS4 is read for a full-scale GT? Whatever their reasons, Sony is heading back to the racetrack this coming Friday, so if you want to put the pedal to the metal, race over to wherever you buy games and get it then.
Jingle bells are ringing...
Slim pickings perhaps, but with the holidays approaching we're not surprised. There are a few quality experiences to be had this week, including some retro flavor in Altered Beast and Sonic the Hedgehog, so all is not lost in garland and glitter. With a few games being teased for later this month (TellTale, we're looking at you, you teases), the year 2013 may go out with a bang after all.