More games than anywhere else; it’s still number one, it’s TheSixthAxis – and you’re reading entries 55 to 51 in our Top 100 of 2012 recap! If you missed yesterday’s five games, catch up with this handy link just here.
55 Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even realise that War for Cybertron (the 2010 one) and Fall of Cybertron were different games – can we get some naming variation up in this joint? – so I think its best I pass over to our resident Transformers expert Tuffcub, writing in his preview for the game back in March:
It is obvious that High Moon is trying to make the game varied and interesting, War For Cybertron was rather samey – enter a room, kill the bad guys, drive to next room, repeat. The developers have taken the criticisms on board and the new game continually changes the gameplay. One level is a straight shoot out, the next will be tactical, then grappling, then melee combat and then sneaking.
Fall of Cybertron is one of the most recent releases in our list, having come out only a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t get the chance to review it, but the word elsewhere is that Fall is much improved in almost every way. The Metacritic rating sits around 80 across all three platforms, with critics particularly praising the variety of gameplay, and Game Informer describing it as “most faithful treatment of the Transformers brand for fans across any medium in recent years”. Sounds like if you even have a passing knowledge or interest in the franchise, Fall of Cybertron may be well worth a look.
54 Ninja Gaiden 3
One of the “pros” Dan lists in his review of Ninja Gaiden 3 is “initially exciting”. Call me old fashioned, but that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. The main problem seems to be with the complete lack of challenge in the game compared to its predecessors. “There was a time where a single enemy would pose a serious threat to Ryu, and every move would need to be carefully considered, but sadly this is no longer the case,” says Dan. “There’s little satisfaction in having Ryu take down six enemies in one go by simply pressing triangle.”
Oh, and developers, if your plan is to not piss off your customers, maybe start by fixing the problems they’ve been complaining about for years, eh? Dan again:
A lot of the time it [the camera] insists on looking head-on at Ryu, rather than showing you the surrounding environment, so prepare to be hit by projectile throwing enemies you can’t actually see. Amazingly this is the exact same problem I pointed out in my review of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, which is based on a game that’s nearly a decade old. All that time and the camera is still exactly the same.
While our 5/10 score, and the game’s Metacritic rating of 58, isn’t all that positive, maybe there’s still light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking to Eurogamer after the unveiling of Razor’s Edge – the Wii U version of the game – at E3, Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi said that the new edition was allowing the team to reinsert “hardcore elements” to the game – presumably he means some element of challenge. We’ll find out whether that’s really the case when the Wii U version (published by Nintendo, surprisingly) releases at the end of the year.
Dishonored is still a couple of months away from release, but is easily one of my most anticipated upcoming releases. That’s mostly down to the fact that it seems to be one of the few games to really deliver the “play missions however suits you” mechanic since the old Hitman games (okay, okay, Deus Ex is still in my backlog). In development at Arkane, Dishonored – clearly their “u” key was out of action – puts you in the shoes of Corvo Atano who has become an assassin after being framed for the murder of the Empress. Maybe it’s just me, but turning to homicide because you were accused of homicide doesn’t really sound like the best plan in the world.
“With a large number of powers and weapons to choose from, mixed with level design that encourages and enables you to mix and combine these into different styles of play, I doubt that I’ve even covered half the possible routes to cover this mission,” writes Teflon in his preview of a masked party-set assassination level. “Dishonored is a game that looks like it will really capture the essence of the “play-how-you-want” style of game design, all wrapped in a wonderfully realised steampunk dystopia.” Oh, and it sounds like – in some stages at least – you don’t even have to assassinate your targets yourself, rather finding other circumstances that work to your advantage, like cutting a deal with that target’s deranged stalker.
With a development dream team including a number of those behind the original Deus Ex and the creator of Half Life 2’s City 17, and with a cast including Lena Headey, Michael Madsen and Chloe Grace Moretz, Dishonored is shaping up to be something really magical. We’ll be able to find out for sure when the game releases October 12th on PC, PS3 and 360.
52 Soul Calibur V
Released at the beginning of February, Soul Calibur V seems to have gone down a bit of a treat – Kris granted it an 8/10 in the TSA review, even calling it “probably the most visually impressive fighting game on the market”. While not everything is perfect (the very short story mode, outsourced to Asura’s Wrath developers CyberConnect 2 and with barely-animated sketch-like cutscenes that resemble unfinished concepts, being one of the main disappointments), the fighting is solid, and the new super meter appears to have been added without too much disruption to the overall flow of the game. Kris:
The combat system may not be for everyone but it feels easier to pick up than many others, and combos come much more naturally and feel more free-flowing than in other titles. The addition of Brave Edge and Critical Edge attacks, and the simplicity with which they can be pulled off, will appeal to those who want to feel powerful but simply can’t memorise a huge combo.
If that sounds good to you, you can grab the game now on PS3 and 360 for about £15 online.
51 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Xbox 360)
Back before its release, questions were asked (as ever) about how well The Witcher 2, a third-person action-RPG previously exclusive to the PC, would transition across to the 360 – and particularly the controller – in its Enhanced Edition form. Apparently the answer to those questions is “very well indeed” – a Metacritic score of 88 is nothing to be laughed at, with reviews calling it intelligent, well-crafted and fresh. But the best praise to be had is that it feels very much like a game really designed for the console rather than a poorly-thought-through PC port.
The Witcher 2 was a hit comercially as well as critically too, topping the UK all-formats chart in its first week on sale, and helping the Witcher franchise to hit a four million worldwide sales milestone in July. ““I’m still amazed with the result we have achieved with The Witcher franchise,” said Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt RED, when the figures were announced. “Many gamers on many platforms have been drawn to the vivid and complex world we have created.” Those many platforms have yet – despite many, many rumours and retail listings to the contrary – to include the PS3, and whilst the numerous petitions and social networking campaigns anticipating such a port, common sense suggests that the chances of releasing another version probably no earlier than two years after the original PC release are slim due to the likely low sales. Then again, who knows – the game’s strong performance indicates a hunger for fresh and deep RPG experiences on console, and it may just be that CD Projekt are happy to feed that hunger.
Check back on Monday for more, as we head into the top half of the list!