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The games of April 2011


Conduit 2

Platform: Wii
EU release: Apr 22

The sequel to 2009’s Third Party Wii Game That Tried ditches a lot of what made the first game unique, but emerges as a more coherent, goofier and more conventionally fun alien-shooter as a result. Picking up more or less where the first game left off, the sequel sees Agent Michael Ford encased in futuristic armor and given the voice of Jon “Duke Nukem” St. John, and then sent around the world to find key precursor aliens before the villainous Trust does. It also promises a wealth of inventive multiplayer modes, so Wii owners hungry for a new shooter should have a lot to look forward to.

Prince of Persia Classic Trilogy HD

Platform: PS3
EU release:Already available

God of War, Sly Cooper, Beyond Good & Evil… and now Prince of Persia. Who needs backwards compatibility when so many of the previous console generation’s greatest games keep getting re-released? We’d accuse publishers of double-dipping our wallets for what’s essentially the same experience only half a decade later, but the addition of HD, 3D and Achievements or Trophies is so hard to resist.

Plus, you’re getting three games for less than the price of one. Sands of Time is a modern classic, with swashbuckling adventure, charming romance and an endlessly satisfying time-travel trick that landed it the #61 spot on our100 Best Games of All-Time. Warrior Within’s presentation is pathetically crass – angry and dark and way too interested in baiting teenage boys – but the gameplay’s still a blast. Fortunately, The Two Thrones manages to combine the two experiences and end the trilogy on a high note, pulling the emo back just enough for the more innocent fun of the first entry to resurface.

History Great Battles Medieval

Platform: 360
EU release:Alreadyavailable

This is a port of a PC game published by the History Channel, so we hope it's historically accurate (har har). History Great Battles Medieval takes place duringthe Hundred Years' War between France and England.The game claims to haverealistic weapons, armor, and war strategy.The campaign allows you to gain experience points so we're not sure how realistic it will actually be (hint: humans don't really gain experience points). It looks like there are just the two factions available: the English led by the Black Princeand the French following Joan of Arc. With only a couple factions we're betting the multiplayerisn't the focus of the game, but then history nerds will probably want to play the campaign more anyway.

Extraction Point: Alien Shootout Duke Nukem: Critical Mass

Platform: DS
EU release: Apr 8

After a long and weird history that reportedly saw its license revoked and name changed, it appears Duke Nukem: Critical Mass is back on track – and, according to developer Apogee, was never off-track to begin with. Apparently a 2D side-scroller with 3D elements, DN:CM has always had a whiff of sketchiness around it, so our hopes aren’t high. If nothing else, though, it’ll be nice to see at least one Duke game hit stores before June.

Final Fantasy IV the Complete Collection

Platform: PSP
EU release: TBA

If SNES, PS1, GBA and DS versions of Final Fantasy IV aren't enough, there's yet another remake on the way, this time exclusively to PSP. The gameplay and story are identical to the 1991 original (which we named thesecond bestFF of all time), but the graphics benefit from new high-res sprites and the beautiful soundtrack is remastered for CD (well, UMD) tech. The package also includes The After Years, a so-so sequel released in installments throughout 2009, as well as a new chapter called "Interlude" that directly connects FFIV and The After Years.

Mortal Kombat

Platform: PS3, 360
EU release: Apr 21

Just as Street Fighter IV re-invented Capcom's iconic franchise for the modern day, this new Mortal Kombat seeks to reboot the ailing series and reaffirm its place as one of the most vicious fighting games out there. No more silly fart fatalities, babalities or friendships; just head-splitting, torso-tearing finishing moves that each elicit an honest "holy shit!" the first time they happen. However, all the gore in the world won't save a busted game, so developer NetherRealm has placed an equal emphasis on creating solid combat mechanics, including more elaborate combos than the "klassic" games and a special meter that can be used to interrupt your opponents' moves. We like what we've played so far, so be sure to check out our review for our final opinion. In the meantime, PS3 users candownload a demoand try it right now.

Portal 2

Platform: PS3, 360, PC
EU release: Apr 21

We just recently put Portal at the top of ourgreatest games of all time, so yeah, we're a bit excited for Portal 2. The sequel promises to do everything bigger and better: the puzzles, the equipment, the story, the humor. In addition to the regular portal gun, you'll get to play with toys like goo that accelerates movement or makes you bounce in the air. It also features a co-op mode with two adorable robots who must endure GLaDOS's sadistic tests, for she has no sympathy even for her mechanical bretheren. Will Portal 2 top its predecessor and become the new greatest game ever? We can't wait to find out.


Platform: PS3
EU release: Apr 22

Having established itself during the PS2 era as the ultimate in super-hardcore, squad-based tactical military console shooters, SOCOM 4 triumphantly returns with a more cinematic presentation, a Gears of War-style approach to cover-based shooting, automatically replenishing health and Move support. But as much as reading that might annoy the series’ more devoted followers, it’s fine by us, and SOCOM 4 certainly has the action chops to at least be intriguing. It also comes with some enjoyably brutal multiplayer modes that were made with the input of some of the most dedicated PS2 SOCOM fans, so it’ll at least make for an interesting break from endless rounds of Call of Duty.



Platform: PC
EU release: Apr 28

Darkspore wants to fill the dungeon-crawler void before Dungeon Siege III and Diablo III hit, but it’s taking the unusual approach of a sci-fi world instead of the typical fantasy one. Its name comes from its use of the Spore Creature Creator to generate the heroes you control, but aside from the robust body modifications you can do, the gameplay is not like Spore at all. A purely PC point-and-click co-op action experience, you choose a squad of three heroes and land on planets to kill and loot to your heart’s content. A simple tap of a key swaps out one hero for another, and friends will be able to create squads that complement each other. To add further depth to the game, it also features a trading-card-like structure where you can gather hundreds of heroes and then mix and match them tocreate the ideal “deck” for each planet.


Driver: San Francisco

Platform: PS3, 360, PC
EU release: TBA

Having practically inventing the 3D car-crime genre before fading into a series of mostly terrible sequels, Driver is reinventing itself yet again – this time with what could be a genuinely interesting twist. Early on, hero cop Tanner falls into a coma after a crash, and – whether he’s trapped in his own imagination or is simply able to to astrally project himself – gains the ability to possess other drivers during chases. This means that literally any vehicle you see is available for use, and while it might just be a way of cutting out the lag time between ditching your flaming wreck and “commandeering” a new ride, it also opens up new possibilities for creatively cutting off and running down fleeing criminals. So long as it’s not as crushingly difficult as previous games by developer Reflections, it could be a good time.


The following games are very likely to appear as downloads on Xbox Live ArcadeorPlayStation Network some time this month. We can't be sure exactly if and when they will come out, so keep an eye on your XBLA or PS Store if you're interested.

Red Faction: Battlegrounds

Platform: PSN,XBLA

If you’ve pre-ordered Red Faction: Armageddon from certain stores (or have a PlayStation Plus account), you may already be slated to get this for free. If you haven’t, then you should know that Battlegrounds is a downloadable twin-stick, car-combat spinoff of the upcoming Armageddon that looks a bit like a top-down Twisted Metal. Even if you’re not getting it for free, it looks like an interesting departure from the usual swath of twin-stick zombie/space shooters, and at $10, fans of making things explode might want to keep an eye on it.

Stacking: The Lost Hobo King

Platform:XBLA, PSN

An RPG about trick-or-treating? A tower-defense game with both mechs and WWI trenches? Sesame Street on Kinect? At this point, the only thing developer Double Fine could do to surprise us is fail to surprise us, and this DLC for Stacking is no exception. Charlie Blackmore must visit a kingdom of hobos, consult with hobo mystics, recover the lost hobo crown and reunite the hobos “under one sardine.” As if the world of puzzle-solving Victorian-era Russian dolls that love to fart on each other wasn’t delightfully strange enough already…

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance

Platform: PSN

As one might be able to guess, Dungeon Hunter is an isometric dungeon crawler in the vein of Diablo (or more recently, Torchlight). Alliance allows four-player online and local co-op, so it will be best if you have friends to bring along. This version is designed specifically for the PS3, which means you can play it like a hack-and-slasher with a controller or you can hook up a Move and use it like a mouse for old-fashioned pointing and clicking. Other than that, it's your standard loot-grinding fantasy action/RPG.

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