I hate to keep using “calm before the storm” analogies, but I really don’t have much choice at this time of year. Come March or so, the video game industry is going to be launching a full-scale assault on our wallets and our free time. It’s not going to be pretty, except for the part where we get to play a whole bunch of (hopefully) awesome games.
Until then, the amount of new games in the pipeline is definitely more of a trickle than a flood. And that means that writers like me are forced to resort to clichés just to talk about new releases. Fortunately, I’m not above trotting out any number of well-worn phrases or comparisons.
But that’s enough of that. Let’s get to this week’s list, which includes a turn-based RPG, a “death is quick” FPS and the first DLC for an Xbox One exclusive. Onward!
“Dead Rising 3″ – Operation: Broken Eagle DLC (Xbox One) – January 21
This addition to Capcom’s “holy crap, that’s a lot of zombies!” game was originally intended to be a Christmas present for players on December 24 before it got pushed back. Each of the four planned DLC episodes is supposed to star a different character, and this one features Spec Ops Commander Adam Kane.
Kane apparently has access to soldiers, vehicles and weapons that original protagonist Nick Ramos didn’t have. In other words, this sounds like a fun way to bring some serious firepower to the zombie apocalypse. Boom!
“Insurgency” (PC) – January 22
I’ve mentioned numerous times on this site that I’m the world’s worst FPS player, so I’m clearly not the target audience for something like this. Still, I get the impression that the big budget thrills of the “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield” series are wearing thin on some, so maybe scrappy genre entrants like “Insurgency” have a chance to turn some heads.
Originally a mod from a few years back, this is the game’s first standalone release. It’s said to emphasize teamwork, cover and positioning and be pretty unforgiving to players who don’t understand those concepts. It’s clearly not for me, but with multiplayer and co-op modes, it might be worth checking out if you’re an FPS fan looking for something different.
“Blackguards” (PC, Mac) – January 24
Based on popular European pen-and-paper RPG system “The Dark Eye,” “Blackguards” puts the bad guys front and center—particularly your character, a convicted murderer. Can your party act in its own questionable self-interest and still save the world from an even greater evil?
With turn-based combat and a dynamic and flexible leveling system, this looks to continue a strong start to 2014 for RPGs that began with the release of “The Banner Saga” last week. I think I can speak for many gamers when I say let’s keep them coming.
Also out this week: “Lucifer Ring” (PS3, PSP) – January 21; “OlliOlli” (Vita) – January 21