New Video Game Releases: Valiant Hearts, Grid Autosport, Shovel Knight And More


Hey, even though it’s now officially summer, there are games coming out this week. Real, actual games I tell you!

That’s exciting because of how barren this season usually is when it comes to new video game releases. I’ve long maintained that if just one major AAA release decided to buck the trend and shoot for a summer launch date, it could rule the sales charts for weeks. Then again, I have very little business training, so it’s quite possible I’m talking out my hind end.

Regardless of platform, there’s something new out in the next seven days. I’m not sure we’ll be able to say that every week until the fall, but we can for now. And now is all we’ve got. Let’s get to the games!

Grid Autosport (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – June 24

Codemasters knows its racing games, and the studio is trying to wring one last gasp out of the seventh-gen consoles here. I got a chance to preview Grid Autosport at the Bandai Namco event in Las Vegas a few months ago, and what impressed me about it was the great flexibility it gives players to race the way they want. To put it even more succinctly, choices = good.

The five different types of racing range from open wheel to tuner competitions, and over 22 racing and street circuits are included. Tackle them all or focus on one particular discipline. Go through entire race weekends from practice to qualifying to race day or skip the parts you’d rather not play. It’s up to you, and if this isn’t enough racing for you, then you’re about as hardcore as it’s possible to get. You may want to get some additional hobbies.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – June 25

If you watched the Valiant Hearts trailer at E3 and didn’t get a little emotional, you’re probably like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz: no heart. It was also possibly the only trailer I’ve ever seen that was narrated by a dog. So good job Ubisoft, you made history!

Interestingly, I wasn’t even clear at first that this was a puzzle game, but it is, albeit one that involves people fighting in World War I. It’s got a very unique look thanks to the UbiArt Framework, and my guess is that the story is one that will continue to pull at your heartstrings. You know, if you’ve got them.

Shovel Knight (PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U, 3DS) – June 26

Who says you need a sword or lance to be a knight? A sharpened shovel will do just fine, thanks very much, especially if your beloved is captured by an evil Enchantress. I’d also suggest a Louisville Slugger could come in handy if you’re talking about more modern times.

Shovel Knight is the latest game to go retro in the graphics department while incorporating current visual tricks at the same time. It’s also apparently got intentional references to the original Duck Tales console game, which we all know is awesome. Then again, the developer also named Dark Souls as an inspiration, so maybe this game just has you die over and over again in glorious 8-bit splendor. Buy it and find out!

Also releasing this week: Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita) – June 24; Farming Simulator 2014 (3DS, Vita) – June 24; RBI Baseball 14 (PS4, Xbox One) – June 24; XBlaze Code: Embryo (PS3, Vita) – June 24; Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition (PS4, PS3, Vita) – June 25