Sep 062012

Yeah, this one was kind of hard to fit on a title. But it’s kind of a big one, at least for me. This one is actually one of the more exciting genres for me this season. A titular survival horror returns and of course we got two different assassin franchises vying for your attention as you make digital stabby-stabby. Pretty short list today too. On the flip… Nothing but big and highly anticipated names.

*Quick disclaimer: as you may have noticed I am not previewing portable consoles games. I apologize for that and if time permits will try to do a separate segment next week. Okay then.

October 2nd

I still finding it extremely difficult to believe that we will see Resident Evil 6 this Fall. It’s been less than a year between the official announcement and we’ve even see the release date get pushed up (that’s right, not pushed back, how often does that happen these day). Even so, the very next adventure is almost here and it has many survivor horror fans salivating with anticipation. First of all, let me say right away that the game really does remind me off the best RE4 and RE2 had to offer in terms of atmosphere and gameplay, and it finally looks like we can put RE5 behind us. I mean, partner AI can’t be any dumber than Sheva (can it?!!!). In the new game you’ll get to play three different campaigns, each with their own unique playing style and story (each also rumored to be about 3/4th the length of the 5th installment).

As Chris Redfield’s story will be a straight up action approach, as he is sent into an infested city with a squad and only one mandate: if it moves, it gets shot. Leon Kennedy’s campaign will be a lot more claustrophobic and focus as much on saving and helping as on killing. When watching clips I can’t help but feel a feeling of nostalgia for the best RE had to offer, nostalgia in a better packaging. More dark corners, more scarce ammo and more importantly claustrophobic areas, in other words, what survival horror is supposed to be. The final character is Jake Muller. His blood holds the cure, or at least a hope of one, and as he tries to escape with it in his body a Nemesis like figure will pursue you always (shades of RE2). So far, each campaign seems to capture a unique feel, which is great. Notably, there is also a fourth campaign you get awarded once you finish the other three. You finally get to play as… (dramatic pause) Ada Wong! Yup. Can’t say I’m not excited. Oh, and mercenaries mode is back. But who cares. Ada Wong!

*video courtesy of IGNEntertainment and Capcom

October 30th

Okay, technically it’s Assassin’s Creed 5, but we exist in the world of Rockstar and Capcom numbering systems, so we’ll let that one slide. The UbiSoft franchise finally leaves Ezio d’Auditore behind for a greener pastures, or whiter ones as it may be. Players will now take control of Connor (and most likely Desmond to some extent), a Native American Assassin in the time of the American Revolution. That sounds like fun. For the first time, the game is abandoning the high spanning architecture of Europe and the Middle East for wider and more open spaces. You will interact more with the wilderness as well as certain U.S. cities that should be easy to recognize. The time-skip also means numerous new in-game mechanics and abilities. Connor can now use a tomahawk to dispatch his enemies along with everything else, and of course guns have come a long way. It will be interesting to see how UbiSoft will incorporate everything into the final build, but from the demo gameplay available out there so far, things look promising. With the new engine, AnvilNext, developed for ACIII, sky is the limit. New in-game features will include naval warfare. Multiplayer modes will of course make a welcome return as well. New stealth-positioning moves look awesome too, and long awaited.

*video courtesy of UbiSoft

November 20th

For me, this game cannot come soon enough. It is my overall choice for the best game the season, and probably my most anticipated game too. Agent 47 is back. I’m going to let that marinate for a while… Good? Okay. 47 is now on the run, trying to confront a new villain as well as uncover a grand conspiracy. The previous game (Blood Money for those who don’t quite remember), while a great title, has missed some opportunities at times feeling rigid and sluggish. Seeing the videos for Absolution erases any kind of doubt for a repeat scenario. Every single demo looks fluid and well thought out. Not only does 47 bring all of his expertise, he also has some new tricks up his sleeve. More options, more way to interact with the environmental and a whole new meta game around sneaking and changing disguises. Another addition to the game is “instinct mode”, but you can just call it “detective mode,” courtesy of Arkham Asylum. There is also now an online component, known as contracts mode. Players all over the globe can set their own contracts within a number of single player environments, with parameters allowing for bonus rewards and objectives. The catch is that you cannot set a requirement for something you yourself cannot pull of in the game. This seems to be the Hitman version of the EA Autolog that will encourage gamers to compete for the title of the best digital assassin.

*video courtesy of IO Interactive

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