It's been a while since I bought a new videogame, so I was browsing to see what's out there. Here's what caught my eye.
It's the third game by Codemasters around the sport (I've got 2010 but not 2011). As before, the graphics look outstanding, and I'm sure the very long (full-distance, if the player wishes) race weekends will be just as immersive as 2010. The weather system was also fantastic, and if that's unchanged from two years ago it'll still be amazing.
There are a couple of potential problems, though. Penalties could be too harsh, which was very annoying, and getting the AI right is tricky. A personal issue for me is that I tend to get an aching neck or back if I play for prolonged periods, but at the same time I don't want to have a race shorter than 50% (around an hour).
The addition last year of the new Pirellis, and the extra time to get to grips with them in gaming terms, should bode well and add a new element of strategy. It'll be fun to see whether they've managed to realistically capture the awful reliability of Schumacher's car or Maldonado's dodgems approach to driving.
The game is out on 21st September. I don't plan on pre-ordering, but might keep an eye out for reviews.
This is a single player first person action game from Bethesda, which is a pretty good start. The player-character is an innocent man (aren't they all?) accused of murdering the empress he was meant to be guarding. A friendly fellow gives him magic powers and he escapes, and spends the game running around killing his enemies.
Dishonored is set in a single city, Dunwall, which seems quite interesting. Videos suggest it's industrial, with cars that run on rails and a combination of technology and magic. Mission outcomes vary based on your actions and play styles can be stealthy and ninja-like or a head-on aggression.
Dishonored is out on 12 October. There's an outside chance I'll pre-order.
Could this game help ease the transition from Olympic glory to the mundane tedium of life without 8 hours of sport a day?
Possibly. The game seems quite well received, and there's a fairly wide array of events. However, even given it's not my type of game (I think I played the Olympic game for Barcelona, or maybe Seoul) there are a few issues. The biggest one is that the 100m isn't in. If there's a single main event in the Olympics, that's it.
The competitors aren't based on real people, so you won't see Hoy in the velodrome or Bolt on the track, which is a bit of a let-down.
It sounds like it might be a decent game for multiplayer, but as I consider multiplayer the work of Satan that doesn't appeal to me.
London 2012 is already out, (perhaps obviously).
The above three games are out either now or will be in the next 1-2 months. There are two more games down the track that have caught my eye. I've mentioned them in other posts, so I'll just run over them quickly.
Yes, it's a reboot, and not without some controversy. I like the apparent shift to survival (I liked Snake Eater), although it remains to be seen whether the unhelpfully entitled Tomb Raider can stand comparison with Uncharted.
I won't be buying this immediately, partly because I can take or leave Miss Croft generally, and partly because it comes out at roughly the same time as the game below. I will be keeping an eye on it, though, and might buy it later. It's due out early in 2013.
The Last of Us
Yes, it's a zombie apocalypse/collapsed civilisation game, but there is some genuine innovation. In fact, I've not been this likely to pre-order a game since Skyrim.
The zombies are freaky fungal fellows, but the real draw of the game is the pair of protagonists. The player-character is a grizzled man, who ends up being the rather rough-edged guardian of Ellen Page's CGI doppelganger (non-playable). I've seen a few videos and the interaction between the two (including in free-play) is very well done. It's highly unusual to go for a surrogate father-daughter relationship (Ellie is circa 14, so she's not a toddler but still needs Joel), but it actually looks pretty promising.
The world is more realistic than heroic, and scavenging and scrimping is important. Items can be combined, but in multiple ways (the same items can make a medical kit or a Molotov Cocktail) and there's a premium on ammunition.
The Last of Us is due out in early 2013, and I believe it's PS3 exclusive. I'm near certain to pre-order it.