In an industry that’s fueled in a large part by hype, sometimes justified and other times not, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a pleasant surprise.
One of this week’s new video game releases definitely qualifies as one of those. It’s a modern update on a classic gaming IP, coming five years after the most recent addition to the franchise and a stunning 33 years after the game that started it all.
I think I can safely speak for a lot of people when I say that it was shown off at E3 in 2013 and again at PAX East this year, it kind of made some jaws drop, in a good way. So many times we gamers get caught up in our high expectations that we end getting let down. Every now and then, though, something comes along and does the opposite, and that’s pretty fun.
Of course we could end up getting our hands on it and discover that the pre-release build-up was all done with mirrors and the game actually stinks, in which case please forget everything nice I just said! But the principle still holds, and with that, we’ll take an optimistic plunge into this week’s new games:
Transistor (PS4, PC) – May 20
Who says action RPGs need to be set in fantasy worlds? Not Supergiant Games, who made this sci-fi take on the genre specifically to answer that question. Okay, not really, but it is nice to see something that isn’t fantasy come down the pike, and since there aren’t too many RPGs of any sort for the PS4 yet, this should be one worth checking out.
Transistor isn’t just the name of the game but also the main character’s giant sword. I’m getting some Final Fantasy vibes from this one in terms of story and gameplay, and I mean that in a good way. I’m looking forward to helping Red defeat the Process.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4, Xbox One, Ps3, Xbox 360, PC) – May 20
In case it wasn’t obvious, this is the game I was referring to in the opening segment of this post. Set in the year 1960 of an alternate reality where the Nazis have developed super weapons enabling them to not just win World War II but pretty much take over the world, it looks like a pretty awesome addition to the series in both concept and execution.
As one of my best friends often says, Nazis are the perfect villain for any piece of pop culture because just about everyone dislikes them and wants to see then get what’s coming to them. The New Order features some really creative ways to do just that, and while I don’t usually mess with shooters due to my severe lack of skill, I can see myself playing this game. Just not well, probably.
Tropico 5 (PC) – May 23
On the other hand, I do often have time for building sim/strategy games. The big additions to this installment in the Tropico series are co-op and competitive multiplayer modes, allowing for up to three other players to be building on the same island. Don’t they know that you called dibs?
Somehow you have to shepherd your island nation through World War I and II, the Great Depression, the Cold War and the end of TGIF on ABC (I may have made that last one up). And you have full control over your country’s constitution, meaning you can mandate pantless Fridays if you so desire. Everyone wins! Not a PC gamer? Hold tight, as this is coming for other platforms later this year.
Also releasing this week: Drakengard 3 (PC) – May 20; R-Type Dimensions (PS3) – May 20; Fit Music for Wii U (Wii U) – May 22); Swords & Soldiers (Wii U) – May 22
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