FlatOut 2: (July 11) Developer Bugbear surprised the game industry with the original FlatOut, an impressive looking and driving arcade racing experience that eventually sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. Now BugBear, Empire Interactive and Vivendi Games are back again with this sequel for the PC, PS2, and Xbox. This time the sequel actually has a detailed story driven racing career mode, complete with different characters you encounter. Of course the emphasis is still on fast and furious (no pun intended . . . ok, maybe a little) driving, this time in urban locations as well as rural ones. Impressive graphics, highly interactive environments and, yes, the cool ragdoll driver mini-games all come back, new and improved, for this second installment.
Dungeon Siege 2: Broken World (August 1): Developer Gas Powered Games says “Goodbye” to former publisher Microsoft and “Howdy” to new publisher 2K Games with this expansion pack to 2005’s best selling PC fantasy action-RPG sequel. The expansion takes over directly from the end of the Microsoft publisher Dungeon Siege II, adding two new character classes, over 40 new monsters, an all new campaign and lots of other new additions and improvements. At the least, we can pretty much guarantee that this expansion will be 100 times more entertaining than the upcoming Uwe Boll Dungeon Siege movie.
Dead Rising: (August 8) Capcom is a master at zombie action games with the BioHazard/Resident Evil series. However those games usually have just a few zombies to fight off at any one time. How about when you have to deal with hundreds of them at once? That’s the premise of Dead Rising, the Xbox 360 exclusive title that has your character fighting off hordes of the undead in a shopping mall (a not so subtle nod to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead movie and its recent remake). This game not only looks great thanks to the dev team really using the Xbox 360 hardware features, it also plays great in the couple of times we have gotten a hands-on peek at press events. You can pick up almost anything you can see in the shopping mall to take out the zombies . . . yes, even that teddy bear that you made yourself. There’s nothing cuter than flinging a stuffed animal at creatures who want to eat you.
Saint’s Row: (August 29) Developer Volition and publisher THQ make it down to the wire for the summer season with this Xbox 360 exclusive title. The latest in the open world action game genre, Saint’s Row takes place in the fictional town of Stillwater where the developers are promising a true non-linear gameplay experience where you have to rise up from a small time gang member to the leader of Stillwater’s streets. Having seen live demos of the game first hand, we can tell you that the graphics put previous open world games like the GTA series, True Crime and The Godfather to shame and there will also be multiplayer support in Saint’s Row as well, something that has been oddly lacking from most games in this genre.
Of course there are other games coming out in the next three months. Here are some other titles that didn’t quite make our top 10 list but that you might be interested in anyway:
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories PS2: (June 5) Rockstar Games releases this port of last year’s PSP game to the PS2 and cuts the price down to a nice $19.99
The Movies: Stunts And Effects: (June 6) Lionhead and Activision finish off this movie studio sim game franchise with an expansion that has lots of stuff blowing up.
NFL Head Coach: (June 20) Forget those new Madden and NCAA football games. Now you can be the Mike Ditka of your dreams with this Electronic Arts sports strategy-sim game for the PC, PS2 and Xbox
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow: (June 27) Developer 7 Studios and publisher Bethesda Softworks has you taking control of Johnny Depp in this action movie game adaptation for the PC and PS2 (and no, you can’t control Johnny Depp that way either…)
Rome Total War: Alexander (sometime in June): This Internet download only expansion pack for the Creative Assembly-Sega historical RTS game adds lots of new content for a price of just $14.99.
CivCity: Rome: (July 3) Firefly Studios, Firaxis and 2K Games bring a Civilization sensibility to this historical city sim game.
Lord of the Rings: Battle For Middle Earth II Xbox 360: (July 5) Electronic Arts hopes their fantasy RTS franchise can work on a console.
Chromehounds: (July 8) Big Xbox 360 exclusive mech tactical action from From Software and Sega. And when we say “Big” we mean “Big mechs”...man, your mind is in the gutter today.
Stronghold Legends (August 1) Firefly Studios continues their long running castle sim-RTS series with Dracula and King Arthur. No really, they do.
Nighty-Nine Nights: (August 16) Can this hack and slash Xbox 360 exclusive from Phantagram, Q Entertainment and Microsoft make us forget that all those crappy Dynasty Warriors games ruined this genre for us?
Again, the summer season is usually not the time for a ton of great games, but there should plenty of titles for fans to spend time away from their loved ones to be in front of their TV or PC monitors…just be sure to get some sun during this time. Beginning September 1, when the flood of new titles rushes in like a levy breaking you may not see that odd bright globe in the sky for a while.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!
Mass Effect 3 PC Demo Impressions Mass Effect 3, EA/BioWare's third iteration in their series of sci-fi action RPGs and one of the most anticipated titles of the year, is fast approaching its March 6th release. This week, though, they released a playable demo on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 that offers a glimpse into both the single-player and multi-player portions of the full game.
Whether you're waiting impatiently for your download to finish or don't have the time to check it out yourself, go ahead and read some impressions of the demo from resident FSers Synch and Vandy in today's article!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 Review
The self-appointed "most anticipated game in history" launched worldwide this past Tuesday. Why, it's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, of course (of course), what else? Unsurprisingly, the military FPS debate between this and Battlefield 3 rages on, but now that both have been released, surely we can take a look and objectively evaluate them both? Luke's taken the Xbox version of MW3 for a spin this week, so to find out what he thinks of it in today's review!