This is the time when I’d usually write about three random games that I’m playing, and give you a brief run-down on each one, telling you what I think so far. But due to there being very little to play this summer, (all I’m doing is paying another visit to 2009’s Arkham Asylum and its proving to be a perfect warmup to the sequel which is out soon) I thought I’d tell you about some games that are nearly ready, but not quite… We’ve talked about Battlefield 3, Deus Ex 3 and Skyrim already, but here’s three other games that deserve some more attention.
Batman: Arkham City
Batman has gone through a popular revitalisation in recent years, what with Christopher Nolan’s excellent Dark Knight saga entertaining moviegoers with a much moodier series of films, compared to the lighthearted silliness of previous adaptations. But in 2009, a relatively unknown studio released a new Batman game, one not tied to any movies, and what has since been heralded as the “best superhero game ever made”. Rocksteady’s action adventure beat-em-up Arkham Asylum was utterly fantastic, and the highly anticipated sequel looks to be expanding everything that made that game great. Arkham City promises to be a much bigger game in every way. With a huge open-world and plenty of solid action using a refined version of the original game’s fantastic combat mechanics, every screenshot and video released so far has us drooling in anticipation. You’ll be able to explore the entire city from the very start, take on missions from a host of recognisable characters, and the Riddler is back with a whole new set of cryptic puzzles to solve. To top it off, some new faces will show themselves – after being absent from the original, fan-favourites such as Penguin, Two-Face and Catwoman have all been shown off in various screenshots and trailers. The feline femme will even be a playable character. Oh man, this is gonna be good.
Batman: Arkham City is due out on October 21st in Europe.
John Carmack’s id Software are responsible for practically inventing the modern FPS as we know it, so you damn well pay attention when they announce a brand new IP. They’ve been around for years, and with the likes of Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake being the studio’s only focus for two decades, there’s good reason to be excited about Rage. Unlike their back catalogue of corridor shooters, it is an open world FPS hybrid set in an expansive wasteland – probably the most well realised of its type to date (think Borderlands but with photo-realism instead of cel-shaded cartooniness). There are pockets of civilisation – small towns and makeshift hideouts inhabited by interactive NPC’s and quest givers who’ll probably need your help with this or that, or maybe challenge you to a violent race to the death. The driving sequences look like like they’ve come straight out of Mad Max – homemade buggies mounted with machine guns and slabs of steel bolted on for armour. The game has been built into an entirely new engine, Tech 5, which is full of interesting technical geekiness, the most memorable of which to me is the MegaTextures. id know how to make the most solid FPS games, so I’m really excited to see if they can pull off a game as ambitious as this. The evidence shown so far leaves me feeling very hopeful.
Rage is due out on October 7th in Europe.
I bought a PS3 because it was the only way to play Uncharted 2. It’s one of two PS3 exclusives we deemed worthy of nesting at the Pinnacle of our Tower (at time of writing) and that says a lot for its quality. Nathan Drake’s swashbuckling adventure is one of the best games ever made, a modern masterpiece in gaming storytelling, animation, voice acting and presentation. The graphics are jaw-droppingly good, the pacing is perfect, motion-capture has rarely been done better and the game is polished to the Nth degree. Yes, I’m ever so slightly excited to see if Naughty Dog can pull this off again. The threequel has been shown off at E3, with gameplay footage of Drake and Sully escaping from a burning mansion featuring familiar yet refined platforming and shooting elements. The trailers that followed have shown numerous locations, including the streets of London and an awesome plane crash in the middle of the desert, so we know there’ll be a fair bit of Indiana Jones style globetrotting in the singleplayer. Multiplayer is back too, with co-op modes, and a host of fun deathmatch and team based skirmishes – the icing on a very delicious looking cake.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception is due out on November 2nd in the UK.