Monday, May 9, 2011

Smash, Shoot and Slash Your Way to Gaming Glory in May

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale

Game on!

While May is trying to decide what to do with itself weather-wise, there are some hot video-game titles that could warm the cockles of any gamer's heart.

Already in release is Thor: God of Thunder, and it is getting the same treatment that most superhero games from SEGA that have movie tie-ins get. In other words, pass on this. It’s getting roasted. The rest of May has promise, though.

Tuesday, May 10

Virtua Tennis 4 (360, PS3, Wii)
In case you hadn't noticed, with the PlayStation MOVE controller, the Wii motion-controllers and the 360 Kinect all going strong, games are drifting toward that area where people actually get up and get physically involved. SEGA has had a decent tennis series that is going full bore into that arm-swinging frenzied action gaming arena. The company wants players to get on their toes, set and return volleys, go for that overhead smash and serve up aces. There is also a new career mode with off-court fame making its debut in the series. Online, the game offers both competitive gaming, as well as casual, with a newly designed online hub and tournaments set to entice players to hone their cyber tennis skills.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (3DS)
OK, maybe this title has some appeal to the younger set, but come on, who doesn’t like to buckle a few swashes, enjoy some childish entertainment and play with LEGOs? This game is an exclusive to the 3D NDS and comes from Disney Interactive. It features more than 70 characters to play and interact with, is filled with some irreverent humor, has creatures from the Pirates film franchise, sports more than 20 levels of game play and comes with a two-player cooperative mode and a freeplay (a.k.a. sandbox) mode.

Brink (360, PS3, PC)
Bethesda Softworks has made some epic games, and Brink has some of the flavor that Fallout had, but with notable differences. The player takes on a character on a floating city called the Ark, which was originally built as a green habitat. But when the oceans began to rise, the Ark became a refuge for humanity and now the utopia is on the brink of total collapse. So, someone has to step up, decide the future of the city and save humanity. It’s a first-person shooter; there are bad guys, bizarre people and general mayhem to reform into some semblance of order. Brink features single-player, cooperative and multiplayer game modes with dynamic battlefields and extensive customization modes in which players can build up their character across all modes of play.

Tuesday, May 17

Fable III (PC and 360)
Stop me if you have heard this set-up before: a land divided, tyranny run rampant, and you, as the focal point of this role-playing game, get to step up to either become the benevolent leader the people need or the dark tyrant the people fear will lead Albion into the abyss. The game is set five decades after the events of Fable II, and players will start as the child of the hero from that second entry in the series. The themes may be familiar, but the challenges are still inherent and morality hangs in the balance with every choice.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC)
The first Witcher game was definitely adult in nature, challenging and a blast to play. The story was based on a series of short stories by Andrzej Sapkowski, and bridged the realms of fantasy and medieval reality. The hero is Geralt of Rivia, a warrior who tackles the monstrosities that many fear. For the second game, CD Projekt and Atari have engineered a brutal combat system on a new game engine to render out extremely graphic results. High fantasy will be on vivid display with this title, and players looking for a deep and engrossing story, with plenty of side quests and a fair share of challenges will likely find it here.

L.A. Noire (PS3, 360)
RockStar Games has brought out some titles that have walked the edge between acceptable and for mature gamers only. Titles like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are not recommended for the kiddies and serve to remind gamers that the publisher is interested in the entertainment value and that means the content takes players to places that other game designers fear to tread.

In L.A. Noire, the setting is Los Angeles in the days following World War II. The criminals are looking to take control of La-la land and players take on the role of Cole Phelps, a decorated war veteran who rises through the ranks of the LAPD and finds himself as the epicenter of the crime wave that threatens to engulf the city. The game features a new interrogation system that allows players to read emotions as they search for the truth. Of course, the game also has its share of blood and gore, nudity, sexual themes and violence.

Tuesday, May 24

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale (PC)
More role-playing games close out the month and what defines RPG better than a D&D game? The Dalelands are threatened and players are tasked with restoring order to them, unlocking the secrets of Mines of Tethyamar and overcoming the evil in the Tower of the Void. The game features four-player cooperative play while general gameplay follows the formula of other D&D titles. But if you are fans of NeverWinter Nights, or the Icewind Dale style of games, and think this will be a step backwards in the graphics department, think again. From gameplay footage, this promises to be a bit of eye candy.

Tuesday, May 31

Hunted: The Demon’s Forge (PS3, 360, PC)
A pair of mercenaries, linked by a common need to escape the evil that shadows the world and enslaves the people, The Demon’s Forge may distinguish itself as an ultimate cooperative action RPG with two main characters linked by the common need to escape slavery. Only one of the characters (melee attack and ranged attack) can be played at a time, but the journey goes through dark lands with incredible challenges rendered out with an impressive graphics engine.

Dungeon Siege III (PS3, 360, PC)
You hear the word "dungeon" and immediately think it’s a dungeon crawl. Well, yes it is, but that doesn’t mean the game takes place entirely in dungeons. There is a big world to experience, and Square Enix is the developer, which means it will be a rich and graphically pleasing adventure. The balance between the two main factions of Ehb has been broken and the world wobbles on the edge of a consuming darkness. As one of the last of the disgraced protectors of the land, the 10th Legion, the player must find companions and save the kingdom.

So there you have it, a first-person shooter (Brink) to kick off the month and strong RPGs to finish it. It warms my gamer's heart just thinking about it.

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