This month shouldn’t even be real. First of all, the apocalypse was supposed to have happened by now. Next up, E3 may not leave any survivors. But here we are, and that game that should have never been finally arrives. Love him or hate him, for better or worse, Duke Nukem is back. Add in the flood of games at the end of the fiscal quarter, and it’s shaping up to be full summer of gaming. Check out the list of major releases this month along with our thoughts on our favorites.
Week of May 31st
- Hunted: The Demon’s Forge – 360, PS3, PC
Week of June 6th
- inFamous 2 – PS3
- Red Faction: Armageddon – 360, PS3, PC
- Operation Flashpoint: Red River – 360, PS3, PC
Week of June 13th
- Duke Nukem Forever – 360, PS3, PC
- Alice: Madness Returns – 360, PS3, PC
- Child of Eden – 360, PS3
- Wii Play: Motion – Wii
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – 3DS
Week of June 20th
- Dungeon Siege III – 360, PS3, PC
- Shadows of the Damned – 360, PS3, PC
- Trenched – XBLA
- F.E.A.R. 3 – 360, PS3, PC
Week of June 27th
Here’s what has our attention this June
Justin L – Unlike these heathens, I enjoyed the hell out of the first inFamous back when you had to pay for it. I didn’t think I’d play the game as I was tired of open world games at the time, and nothing blew me away by the coverage of the game. That’s what I get for underestimating the fun factor that Sucker Punch delivers in their games. I will not make that mistake a second time. InFamous was one of the best superhero games ever made, and I can’t wait to continue Cole’s adventure. A change of setting, a great story, plus larger boss battles, and other super powered enemies makes it look like the action in inFamous 2 will keep up with it’s already entertaining environmental traversal mechanics. It’s the other great reason to own a PS3.
Ethan – Since I’m getting inFamous for free as soon as the PSN welcome back package comes online, inFamous 2 seems to appear more appetizing. I got into the Ps3 market late, so I missed out on what everyone tells me was a great game in the first title and every video I’ve seen of inFamous 2 gets me more and more excited. The game play looks fast and fun, and since I enjoyed Prototype (a similar game that was not as well received) I bet I’ll like I2. I think that this is one of the first third person action titles that I’ve seen offer user created content, and my curiosity surrounding that mechanic is definitely peaked.
Josh – Everything I’ve seen so far tells me it will fix all the problems I had with the original. The first game was really good, and the sequel looks to trump it in every way. Better missions, more powers, and bigger monsters mean I will buy this game.
Ben – While it might not be right away, I’ll be checking out inFamous 2 eventually. I just got the first one as part of my PSN Welcome Back package (which, as someone who never used PSN and hadn’t even given them a credit card number, seems like a pretty good deal to me) so I’m looking forward to checking it out as it comes pretty highly recommended by everyone who’s played it.
Cole – The only game I’m remotely interested in is inFamous 2. After just downloading the first one, I obviously want to get through that before moving on to the sequel but I’m definitely intrigued. It looks to be an improvement on every level and if it is anything like the improvements Bioware or Naughty Dog made to Mass Effect and Uncharted respectively, then inFamous 2 could be great.
Duke Nukem Forever
Justin G – I can’t decide if it’s fatigue from waiting so long or the totally different game-style experiences I’ve had lately with Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed II & Brotherhood and LA Noire, but the excitement I used to have for this game has waned. Still, it’s Duke and there’s nothing to stimulate the need for brainless killing, boobs and one-liners like summertime. I can’t guarantee I’ll pick it up, but like AC/DC, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Detective John McClane, sometimes you just feel the need for some unapologetic, bare-knuckled testosterone without denoument, existential crises or emotions.
Ethan – I can’t imagine purchasing Duke Nukem Forever, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be swayed at the 13th hour. I loved Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 3d, and despite it not having the memories attached to it that Doom 2 had, it was still a game I recall pouring a lot of time into. The thing is, that type of character was relatively foreign back in the day but seems to be the archetype of man as of late so I wonder if the humor is relavent anymore. Either way, I am going to follow this game throughout its circulation to the masses.
Justin L – All of my reasons for purchasing Duke Nukem Forever have nothing to do with the game itself. Whether it’s an affirmation of Gearbox’s balls to pick up the game and finish it, or just my adoration for the idea of the Duke Nukem character, I don’t mind contributing to the future success of this franchise. That being said. I have no expectations of this game other than to just kick back, blow things up, laugh hysterically, and be amazed at this game’s existence in 2011.
Josh – This game will not be good, but I will play it anyways. I feel like if I don’t, my Man Card will be revoked
Ben – I doubt that I’ll be picking up Duke Nukem Forever, but it occurs to me what a great move it was on Gearbox’s part to buy that IP. At this point, they could put out just about anything and a large number of gamers will be checking the game out just because of it’s mythical status. They could just re-release the Windows 95 version of Jezz-ball and call it Duke Nukem Forever and they would still have a built in audience.
Alice: Madness Returns
Alex – I’ll absolutely be playing Alice: Madness Returns. I’m a huge fan of the Alice in Wonderland stories and the original American McGee’s Alice was one of the first scary games I ever played. McGee’s ability to turn normal, everyday objects into instruments of mass destruction simply blows me away. In the original, we viewed Alice as the disturbed child, trying to figure out her surroundings, and beat insanity into submission. This time we get to see her a little older, tougher, fighting off the fringes of her mind. The twisted take on classic characters, brutal weaponry, and pants-wetting demented style of this game will have me hooked on day one!
Justin L – I mean this with complete respect, but Alice, I love you, you crazy bitch. Not only do I get the chance to play through one of my favorite games ever with the free download of American McGee’s Alice, but I get to spend more time with my favorite lunatic. I did not know how the years would treat Alice, the gameplay of the original was decidedly janky and saved by its imagination and style. However, Alice: Madness Returns not only looks engaging and fun, but just as twisted as I could ever dream. This is a descent I’ve been looking forward to for a decade and I’ll be happy if I never make it back.
Justin G – I never got to play American McGee’s Alice because the copy of the game I got wouldn’t properly load back in college. I was totally bummed out by this because it came highly recommended and I’m a fan of creepy oddness in games. Everything I’ve seen from Alice: Madness Returns looks great, so I think that, coupled with the fact that there are a few games I have backlogged with only minimal playtime on them that I’m not totally psyched to get back into, Alice and her transdimensional/LSD induced platforming violence has a good shot at seeing some playtime from me this summer.
Ethan – Out of all the June releases, Trenched has me the most excited. I love mechs and I love the tough guy art style of the World War 2 era man magazines, two things that make up the bulk of what Trenched has to offer. The level of customization looks incredible and having progression and 4 player coop just sweetens the pot. Oh and did I mention the tower defense elements that are included? Well they are there and I love that style of game so keep the goods pouring in Mr. Schafer. Double Fine studios is making a good move in focusing on smaller titles and I think this is gonna be the breakout XBLA game of the summer (if not the breakout all around game).
Justin G – TRENCHED! MECHS! DOUBLE FINE! That should pretty much sum it up for you, but if it doesn’t: I am totally getting this game. Not only do I have crazy respect for Double Fine, even if Brutal Legend didn’t turn out quite as well as I’d hoped, but…MECHS! Ahem. Also, I’m very intrigued to see how the amalgamation of tower defense and straight up mech carnage works out, gameplay wise. On top of all of that, the art style in both the gameplay and narrative trailers looks great…I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that the gameplay works out better than Brutal Legend.
Ben – I always did have a thing for mech games so I will also probably be picking up Trenched. And how can you not like supporting Double Fine? Win-win.
Justin L – I have nothing new to add here, but more fan boy love for Double Fine. I love the range of their downloadable titles and it’s about damn time we got some mech action around here. This one should be fun with a small group of friends who get into the mech/tower defense gameplay, but I have a feeling it won’t be for everyone.
Best of the rest
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge
Justin L – My hopeful pick of the month. Last month, I was cheering for Brink, this month its Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. I want a reason to have a co-op dungeon crawl, but I also don’t want a broken one. The lack of coverage of the game leading up to the release had me worried, so I’m definitely on the fence. However, I think this is less risky pickup because the game has many more unique qualities so at the very least, if its not broken, it will feel fairly new. If it comes together, there will be an entire new definition of bro moments when I tag team hellish creatures brutal medieval weaponry and friend with plenty of exploding arrows.
Justin G – I don’t know much about it other than the indication it may be short, but the trailer with the Filter cover of the Turtles’ “So Happy Together” was attractively odd and showed some gameplay that got my attention. I’m inherently skeptical of any game that promises a great experience single OR co-op with the drop-in/drop-out ability, but that’s mainly because I have yet to see ANYONE really turn out the kind of team/partner AI that does really well. Still, the Gears of War with swords description sounds…well, awesome. So, since we’ve talked about the summer lull in game releases, this may turn out to be one of my summertime fillers.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Josh – Transformers: War for Cybertron was one of the best games I played last year and had amazing 3 player co-op.. High Moon put forth some sweet fan service with a worthy prequel to the cartoons I grew up on. However, the Michael Bay movies are hot trash. I’m looking forward to this game, but I’m really worried that it’ll be held back by the shitty source material.
Justin G – I didn’t get into War for Cybertron, mainly because I didn’t hear about the buzz it got until quite a while after it was released and by that point, I was pretty deeply into other games. I think there’s a decent possibility I’ll pick it up just for some popcorn-style mayhem.
Shadows of the Damned – Justin L: The creator of Resident Evil, the producer on Silent Hill, and the mad man behind No More Heroes have joined forces to create Shadows of the Damned. Looks like the third person shooter genre is about to get a dose of character and a hell of a lot of so-weird-it’s-not-really-offensive moments that will make this one memorable at the very least.
Red Faction: Armageddon – Ethan: It had an extremely entertaining demo and most the reviews I’ve read so far point to it being a more compact and linear version of Red Faction: Guerrilla. This makes me a bit nervous because destruction only works when the scale is relatively large and open however that game was almost too open. That being said, the addition of the bug like mutants and some really sweet tools like the magnet gun and vortex gun make this a tough one to miss out on, especially as the summer heat increases and my thirst for destruction follows suit.
Dungeon Siege III – Josh: This is a fall Steam sale purchase for me. I spent countless hours playing the first two games cooperatively. They were both solid action RPG’s. This one being developed by Obsidian does give me pause, though. Those guys are just so hit-or-miss.
Child of Eden – Justin L: Whether or not the standout Kinect experiment turns out to be best with motion controls doesn’t matter to me, this is the next game from the creator of Rez and it’s been too long since a game put me in a good trance.
Giant Bomb (images)