Welcome back from your turkey-induced coma. Conscious of the fact that you’re undoubtedly anxious to return to those awesome games you got yesterday (and Rogue Warrior), we continue with the next ten games on the list.
More than half way there now.
Greed Corp. – Developer: W!Games | Publisher: W!Games | Out: Q1 2010
Dutch studio W!Games will soon offer up Greed Corp. on the PSN. A turn-based strategy game, the title will insidiously implant its green message in your brain by presenting a delicate balance between resource gathering and actually keeping the planet you’re living on alive so you don’t die. That said, instead of blowing up your adversaries, you can also detonate the land they inhabit. Can’t see the Green Party getting behind that particular approach.
It’s the first of a planned series of games from W!Games that highlight global environmental issues. We think it’s ingenious and are looking forward to seeing more of the four factions that make up the single-player and multiplayer aspects of the game.
Heavy Rain – Developer: Quantic Dream| Publisher: SCE | Out: February 26th
It’s a game. It’s not a game. Heavy Rain will revolutionise the industry. Heavy Rain will bore you to death. No matter what Heavy Rain is or is not, we can’t get around the fact that it’s coming and things are about to change. Quantic Dream’s poignant and emotionally charged drama is yet another title with the ability to split a room of gamers right down the middle. Personally, I’m looking forward to the sea-change this title promises to usher in, though I fully respect that the game will not be for everyone.
An insight into love, loss and death, Heavy Rain is adult. Not adult in terms of “Keep this away from the kids as it might corrupt their fragile little minds”, but more “So mature that adults are pretty much going to be the only people who are going to get it.”
As a game, it presents some groundbreaking premises which alone should be applauded. Main characters can die while the game continues, and its novel control system has been labelled by producer Guillaume de Fondaumière as something early play-testers claimed was so intuitive, they couldn’t imagine using anything else.
The mystery, and the anticipation, behind Heavy Rain will come to fruition in a matter of a few short weeks. If anything, we’ll at least be able to say what it actually is.
Homefront – Developer: Kaos Studios | Publisher: THQ| Out: March 27th
Alternate universes are a wonderful way for the creative people to come up with some truly speculative and thought-provoking premises. Whether it’s Philip K. Dick’s Nazi controlled America in the Axis winning “Man in the High Castle” to what the hell Spock is doing in the TV series Fringe, there’s always something knowing and pensive when viewing a world so similar to our own yet intrinsically different.
Kaos Studios’ Homefront presents not so much an alternate universe than a futuristic “What if?” The context is quite similar, however, as we get to see what America would look like under extremely unusual circumstances.
In somewhat of a paradigm shift, the US are invaded and must face an internal war against a powerful militaristic oppressor in the form of a highly advanced North Korea. Stemming from the mind of John Milius, the writer of such classics as Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn, Homefront takes place two years after the invasion and well into an ongoing resistance movement. With news of rebel leader Connor Mason now dead, we’re assuming players must step up to the plate and liberate America from the hands of its invaders.
Graphically the game looks good, and the story is at least something different. Will Homefront sink in a sea of FPSs planned for early next year, however? Only time will tell.
I Am Alive – Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai | Publisher: Ubisoft | Out: TBC
Another example of taking a trusted genre and twisting it slightly, I Am Alive is not so much a survival horror game but a game purely based on survival. After an earthquake destroys Chicago, the ensuant aftermath results in a water shortage. Players play Adam, an everyman who gets caught up in the crisis as he searches for his girlfriend, Alice. Expect to set up refuge camps, find resources, fight off fellow survivors and ultimately try to keep breathing. The goal of the game is to make it to the end of nine days.
Once quoted as Jade Raymond’s follow up to Assassin’s Creed, the game is being developed in Ubisoft’s Shanghai office. With Jade’s recent promotion to head of the Toronto office, it’s unlikely she will be involved in the day-to-day running of the project.
Just Cause 2 – Developer: Avalanche Studios | Publisher: SquareEnix | Out: March 26th
It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a parachute and a grappling hook. OK, so physics have been completely blown out the window, but that’s not to say you can’t have a lot of fun in Just Cause 2’s tropical and deadly world. Players once again take on the role of Rico as he travels to the fictional island of Panau with the intent of pretty much seeing the sights, meeting some locals, and blowing up as much of both in the process.
We’re assured better AI over the first Just Cause and some silly action sequences to keep you interested. We’re not sure about you, but Just Cause 2 looks like a guilty pleasure to us.
Rico will be descending from on high – rocket-launcher a-ready, in the already overcrowded month of March.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – Developer: IO Interactive| Publisher: SquareEnix| Out: TBC
If we were IO Interactive, sketching out the goals of Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Dogs during one of its initial Scrum meetings*, we reckon one of the sneaky objectives might have been: “Don’t get anyone in the gaming industry fired.”
Gertsmann-Gate may have come and gone, but the effects of what happened regarding GameSpot and the first Kane & Lynch review is still felt today. Game reviewing is a black art; an inherently subjective process very few sites accurately endorse. When certain publications have apparently lost the bottom half of the scale, every bone fide 8 or 9 out of 10 has its intent diminished. But we were talking about Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Dogs. (Were we? You’ve barely mentioned it yet Kovacs!)
The point is, 6/10 review scandal aside, the first Kane & Lynch was a title that possessed a high degree of production value but lacked polished gameplay. With the recent Dog Days teaser showcasing some disturbing, raw and visceral action interspersed with more subtle and insightful snippets of at least one of the main character’s lives, we get the feeling past missteps won’t be retread this time around.
*We’re not sure if IO Interactive use the Scrum methodology, but they might!
Kurayami – Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture | Publisher: TBC | Out: TBC
Suda51 (or Goichi Suda to his Mum, his moniker stemming from go being Japanese for five and ichi the word for one – now you know) is one of Japan’s most eminent game directors. The creative mind behind Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes fame and Killer7, Suda-san is also close mates with Hideo Kojima who he still might make the mysterious Project S with.
The director has also voiced a fascination with Czech author Franz Kafka and his intention to create a game tentatively called Kurayami (Darkness in Japanese) inspired by the writer’s fiction. Little is known about Kurayami other than that players must fend off the darkness itself with a torch as they travel around “an eerie town.”
We promised not to feature obscure speculative Japanese titles on this list. Sorry about that.
L.A. Noire – Developer: Team Bondi | Publisher: Rockstar Games | Out: TBC
Where to start? Something of a dream project to many, L.A. Noire also happens to be one of those games that keeps coming up around the water-cooler here at TSA. “What the hell is it? Will it ever be released? And is it coming to the 360?” It’s all up in the air.
What we do know about L.A. Noire is that Team Bondi have been hard at work on the project for yonks with the first mention of the 1940’s detective story back in 2004 when the title was confirmed as being funded by SCEA. Things may have changed, however, as Take Two have since announced the title is planned for “next-gen consoles”. Plural.
From what we can ascertain of what has been confirmed, the game sounds a lot like L.A. Confidential. With a “perfectly recreated 1940’s L.A.” and a series of murders to solve, expect dapper suits, wide-brimmed hats and Russell Crowe wailing on as many people as possible. OK, we can’t promise that last part.
Lost Planet 2 – Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom | Out: February 2nd
Lost Planet for the PS3 was something of a disappointment. A game released back when the PS3 was taking hit after hit in the porting stakes, the title suffered from a stuttering framerate and other graphical anomalies. With Lost Planet 2, however, we’re hopeful there won’t be a repeat performance.
Returning to E.D.N. III ten years after the events of the first game, the planet now sports lush jungle environments to get your grappling hook stuck into. Apart from the expected single-player campaign, Lost Planet 2 also offers online single-player co-op allowing you to finish the game with up to three mates. Online multiplayer is also confirmed for up to 16 players with 4-player co-op mode also featuring.
Mafia II – Developer: 2K Czech | Publisher: 2K Games | Out: Q2 2010
An open-ended sandbox title with a distinctive Italian organised crime influence, Mafia II offers up ten square miles of unrestricted city for you to unleash your Coso Nostra flavoured vengeance on. Mafia I was an acquired taste but sold well enough to warrant a sequel. If you like your games with a vindictive slice of Italian attitude, Mafia II might be right up your alley come next summer. Offers. Refusals. Yaddy-yaddy. You know where this is going.
We’re back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. Basically until we get down to Z. Is there a game out next year that starts with Z? All we can say is maybe. No, seriously, we’re not teasing or anything. They’ll probably change the name between now and then.