No one likes to release games during E3.
It’s a simple logic; gamers are only capable of paying attention to a limited number of stimuli at any given time, and sometimes we find it more important to churn through hours of press conference footage in an attempt to discern the fate of Mega Man Legends 3.
A few games managed to break tradition this year. A couple are the sort of mediocre-to-bad 3d action games that you’d expect to use E3 to pass under the media radar, but also InFamous 2, which is not only expected to be an outstanding game, but doubly important for Sony in that it’s a major franchise and the first game to launch since PSN came back online last week. Sony is temping karma with this decision; gamers know full well that it is difficult for any game to match the spectacle of a Sony E3 press conference during a year when they’re releasing new hardware. Can Sucker Punch hope to make anyone forget that the Essfita will cost four hundred dollars, last 2 hours on a single charge, and come packaged with no internal memory despite being more difficult to carry around than an iPad?
Collected before you are the games you likely will not be playing until sometime next week. I’ve also included Hunter: The Reckoning because fuck Hunter the Reckoning if it thinks I’m going to spend an entire article talking about it’s sorry bald 3d butt.
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
Developer: Double Helix (PS360) Griptonite Games (Nintendo Ghetto)
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: Freaking Everything
Judging from Thor and Rise of the Manhunters, it would appear God of War knockoffs are the go-to genre for superhero movie tie-ins. While this makes sense for characters that can be defined by giant magical hammers, it seems a depressingly pedestrian turn for something like Green Lantern, a character that can form anything he can imagine, as long as it’s not yellow. Or made of wood. Or presumably Superman. Maybe the Ryan Renolds version of GL is fundamentally stupid and can’t think of anything better to hit bad guys with than F-22 Raptors
Although I have to admit that’s a pretty great idea.
Here’s a fun game to play-- possibly more fun than Rise of the Manhunters itself-- figure out which RotM version actually a budget titles shat out by the same studio responsible for Shattered Dimensions DS using nothing more than the change in boxart:
If you guessed the Nintendo versions, then you guessed correctly!
Hunted: The Demon's Forge
Developer: Inxile Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Inxile created a dark fantasy Gears of War-alike and somehow managed not to include any wizards, dwarves, or Fred Dryer
So I have no idea what the point is. And judging from the reviews, neither does anyone else::
Apparently Hunted’s main failing is it’s aggressive competence in the face of a good-to-outstanding stretch of games heading into Summer 2011. Admittedly, E3 is traditionally a good time to release a mediocre 3rd person action game, Prototype used the same trick in 2009 to great effect and even fooled enough people into buying it to justify a sequel. But this year between LA Noire and Witcher 2 and InFamous 2, people are going to notice egregious bullshit.
Developer: Sucker Punch
Platforms: PlayStation 3
I only recently (and by “recently” I mean “twelve hours ago”) played the first InFamous and I’m sort of disappointed in myself that I waited this long to get hold of the stupid thing as it means I have to wait that much longer to play the second, likely vastly improved game. It also means I dare not do any further research on InFamous 2 as I don’t want the plot elements spoiled. However I would like to take this time to make fun of the InFamous 2 collector’s package, which will go down as one of the most inexplicably overblown collector’s editions in memory:
Look at that fucking thing. Not only does it give us the most hilariously useless backpack of all time, it adds the term “SUPERVOUCHER” to the gaming lexicon.
Also, people are paying you a hundred American dollars for this thing and you can’t even include a full-sized comic book? Seriously? You’ve included the world’s most pointless action figure but you can’t spring the extra buck fifty for 12 full-sized sheets of paper?
Anyway, the street date has been violated worse than Pakistan’s sovereign airspace. If you’re reading this then you should probably be playing InFamous 2 instead.
Red Faction: Armageddon
Publisher: Toy HeadQuarters
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Hey kids remember a couple years back when Volition rebooted Red Faction by releasing what was the most chaotic, free-form, stupid fun open world action game ever released? Remember loving that game? Remember thinking how much you’d love more of that game with more polish and a better story and maybe some granulation between the difficulty modes of “Enjoyably Easy and Why Am I Dying Every Fifteen Seconds on Normal?”
Yeah well fuck you. Red Faction Armageddon is either Gears of War without cover or Dead Space without the ambiance, however you want to describe it. This should not be surprising, The previous (largely forgettable) Red Faction games were also nothing like (the beloved, awesome, deserving of a sequel) Red Faction: Guerrilla. And while it’s nice to see Volition branch out (and perhaps this is little more than an attempt to create a secondary franchise and RF:G will indeed be revisited soon) I do wonder how the studio managed to pull this over on their corporate masters at THQ.
It’s not like you could reasonably expect one of the guys at Relic to approach THQ saying “Hey you know that 40k RTS series that’s made everyone wealthy as Spanish kings? Well we want do ditch that and recreate Moon Patrol in 3d using bishi elves and centaurs”. THQ would leave that developer for dead in a ditch with a conciliatory letter for his wife and family. How did Volition get away with dropping the sure-fired bestseller that was RF:G2?
In wholly unrelated news someone really needs to get to work on that Moon Patrol project.
ALICE: MADNESS RETURNS asks the awkward question of if an Alice game can survive in 2011 without the name American McGee behind it. Also you just totally remembered American McGee was once A Thing.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON Is Call of Duty With Transformers but somehow not as interesting as either.
Yes, DUKE NUKEM FOREVER exists. Yes, it’s going to be awful. No, that’s not the point. You’re going to buy it anyway.