70. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
You’ve got to respect Konami for picking a naming convention and sticking to it. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was 2010’s well received reboot of the Castlevania series, so the 3DS based follow up to that is, of course, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. They wouldn’t want anyone thinking it’s an entry into the non-rebooted franchise now would you?
A home console follow up to Lords of Shadow has also been announced, Lords of Shadow 2, and Mirror of Fate sits between the two with the game’s climax setting up Lords of Shadow 2. Whilst Mirror of Fate will start 25 years after the events of Lords of Shadow, it will jump around in time as the story progresses, following the stories of Trevor Belmont, Simon Belmont, Alucard and Gabriel Belmont.
Perhaps the most interesting feature I’ve seen mentioned is the way it will use the 3DS’ touchscreen to allow you to make notes about areas of the game you’d like to explore later on. Given the exploration mechanics of Castlevania games then that seems like a brilliant, simple addition to me.
The game will be a 2.5D side-scroller and is set to be released in March this year.
69. PES 2014
Sports game are always the hardest to write about when we do our top hundred lists; you know they’re coming but there’s rarely anything announced about them until a few months out from release. So yes, unless something catastrophic happens to Konami they will be a PES game in 2013 but we can’t say much more beyond that.
What we can do is look at trends. Whilst the FIFA series still seems to be leading the football game market, with the last three entries sitting at an average of 88 on Metacritic, Pro Evo is slowly catching up. Although the average for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of PES 2011 was 78, PES 2013 has worked its way up to 81. Not a huge gain no, but it does seem that the series is slowly improving.
If past years are anything to go by we should see the game sometime in September or October and we’ll probably see an announcement sometime in late April.
68. Lost Planet 3
Fortunately we know rather more about Lost Planet 3, having gone as far as previewing the game back in October. Sadly Peter Willington, Lost Planet 2 fan and writer of said preview, felt that the game didn’t live up to the previous Lost Planet, with most the interesting elements being stripped away. Fortunately, he did see some light at the end of the tunnel:
Lost Planet 2′s chaotic charms are gone, you don’t feel very agile, and in all it feels like a more generic shooter than before, but Lost Planet 3′s story and sheer presentation power may well save the day on this occasion.
You may be wondering what caused such a radical change in this game compared to the last, and it’s simply that Capcom have outsourced the development. Much like DmC: Devil May Cry, the game is part of Capcom’s strategy to build a stronger following in the West by outsourcing development to Western developers. Whilst Capcom seem to have hit pay dirt in giving DmC to Ninja Theory, the choice of Spark Unlimited for Lost Planet 3 looks like it might not come off quite as well.
Perhaps what’s most peculiar given the name is that the game’s a prequel, taking place significantly before the events of the original Lost Planet. This means that the technology in the game is less advanced, with the mechs you use being designed for mining rather than combat. You also no longer start off as badass mercenary or soldier, you’re simply trying to help terraform the planet – hence the mining mech. Of course this will change as the game progresses but staring off this way will hopefully give Spark Unlimited more room to play with the story.
If you fancy dipping your toes into the frozen wastes of Lost Planet 3 then you’ll have to keep your eyes open for a release date, as none has been announced beyond a 2013 release.
67. Homefront 2
Whilst the original Homefront wasn’t exactly terrible, it didn’t really set the world on fire either. Although we gave it an 8/10 in our review, it’s currently sitting at a 70 on Metacritic. For most games this wouldn’t be a problem but THQ’s promises about the game were so strong that the mixed reviews it received actually caused their share price to drop. Its sales were also a little mixed, selling 2.6 million in its first two months. Again, not terrible but also not the best.
However, it seems that THQ were spurred on, determined to make the series a success. Homefront 2 was announced in September of 2011 and, in a smart move, development has been handed over to Crytek UK. Although as Crytek UK they’ve largely been responsible for multiplayer design in Crysis 2 and 3, they’re probably best known for creating the TimeSplitters series back when they were Free Radical.
Beyond a financial year 2014 release, pegging the game as releasing sometime between April 2013 and March 2014, we don’t really know much about the game. However, presumably it’ll continue the story of a Korean invasion of the US that was the focus of the first Homefront. Assuming the game’s still on target for financial year 2014 then we should be hearing more about it very soon.
66. Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut
When researching Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut I came across this snippet of news from Tuffcub. What’s not interesting is the news itself but the note at the end which points out that the non-Director’s Cut version of the game has the Guinness World Record for “Most Critically Polarizing Survival Horror Game”, with IGN giving it a 2.0/10 and Destructoid giving it a 10/10. Interestingly, that 2.0/10 comes from IGN US, with their UK branch giving it a 7.5/10. Clearly it’s polarizing even inside outlets.
The original version of the game arrived in 2010 on 360 worldwide, although the PS3 version was only released in Japan. Fortunately the Director’s Cut, scheduled for a first quarter release in the EU, will be a PS3 exclusive and allow Western PS3 owners to get a look at the game that pushed Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro’s career forwards.
The game’s frequently likened to Twin Peaks, and revolves around the story FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan who’s been tasked with the investigation of a ritualistic murder in the fictional town of Greenvale. Things quickly take a turn for the worse, and for the weird. In fact it actually seems far to weird to describe, so my only advice is to give the game a go if bizarre survival horror games are your thing.
Our countdown continues later today with another five games, and you can can check out earlier games in the list here.