Ah, more satisfying recapping. Today, I bring you news of a football game built on the new Metal Gear Solid engine, a lengthily-titled portable Castlevania spin-off, and Deadly Premonition, which I’m not even going to try to explain. Enjoy!
70. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate
Released in March, Mirror of Fate is the 3DS exclusive direct sequel to 2010’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Taking the form of a 2.5D side-scroller, Mirror of Fate fills in the gap between that game and the upcoming Lords of Shadow 2, intertwining the stories of the rebooted franchise’s core characters.
Mirror of Fate released in March, and received mixed but mostly positive reviews, with its Metascore currently sitting on 72. Joystiq’s 7/10 comes pretty close to the average, with Ludwig Kietzmann noting that “though the jumping, climbing and swinging may feel awkwardly moored by the engine and the dark atmosphere, this batch of Belmonts brings an appropriate heft to combat,” echoing widespread commendation of the game’s combat.
Elsewhere, reviews praised the game’s graphics, and specifically its implementation of the handheld’s 3D feature, as well a puzzle-heavy but rewarding mid-section, while criticising the game’s all-too-easy difficulty, as well as the lack of levelling and significant exploration. All in all, Mirror of Fate is perfect for those looking for a great 3DS action title, or something to tide them over until the full-on Lords of Shadow 2.
69. PES 2014[drop2]The Pro Evo series has improved all too gradually this generation, but never quite managed to reach FIFA’s level of quality and popularity. Well that all might be about to change, since this year’s entry in the franchise is a reboot of sorts. The game now runs on Kojima’s FOX Engine, and includes a lengthy list of new and upgraded features.
These include the new TrueBall physics (“it’s improved ball physics, naturally, but it also takes into account the size and stature of the player when it determines how the ball reacts,” says Peter), and the Motion Animation Stability System – MASS, conveniently – which governs player animation, collision and interaction.
There’s also the “Heart” system, where individual player performance and crowd enthusiasm will directly affect team morale, “Team Play” which enables the creation of intricate plays with a small number of team members that can be played out in-game, and an updated PES ID, doubling the number of star players that have their own individual animations.
There’s no UK release date yet for the title – which is sticking to current generation systems for this iteration – but the game is due to release on the same day as FIFA (September 24th) in the US, so its clear Konami is ready to rejoin the fight for the football game crown.
68. Lost Planet 3
Lost Planet 3 is in fact a prequel to the first two titles in the series, returning the action to E.D.N. III, and placing players in the shoes of Jim Payton. Gone is the emphasis on co-op that underlined the previous games, with LP3 instead focusing on crafting a solid single-player experience.
Of course, the single-player adventure arena is a lot more crowded than the co-op space, but the game seems to be bringing along some neat features of its own – Payton works for a mining corporation, and thus has a mobile mining mech that he calls home, and while players can wander from it, they’ll lose UI elements like the radar, putting themselves in danger. It’s a neat idea to emphasise the early-explorer story behind the game, but quite how well it’ll work out in practice is yet to be seen.
Lost Planet 3 is due to release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 30th.
67. Homefront 2
“Unless something catastrophic happens to Konami there will be a PES game in 2013,” wrote Kris last year – in actual fact, the catastrophe happened not to Konami (who as you can see above are indeed making a PES game this year) but to THQ. Following the company’s implosion earlier in the year, the rights to Homefront 2 (and the series in general) were picked up at auction by developer Crytek, the people behind the original Far Cry and the series of Crysis games.
The first Homefront seems to be remembered more for the hype surrounding its release than the actual game, which we rated an 8/10 back at launch in March 2011 (the accompanying book was not too shabby, says the dashing author of this review). The second game is (or at least was, last time we heard) in development at Crytek UK, the team behind the multiplayer components of Crysis 1 and 2, comprised of the people who developed the TimeSplitters series as Free Radical Games, but that’s about all we know for now.
Homefront 2 was planned for a 2015 release, but Crytek did suggest the title “may slip” to a later date now the project is independent of a publisher. The last we heard was in January, when Crytek head Cevat Yerli said the “last milestone was excellent” and that details will be released “soon”.
66. Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut
You have to admire the game that made Guinness create a new world record for “most critically polarising survival horror game”. The Twin Peaks inspired Deadly Premonition was the game that launched the career of game director Swery65 (now working on Microsoft-published episodic Xbox One exclusive D4), and the Director’s Cut sees it come to the PS3 in the west, having previously launched only on 360 here originally despite a PS3 version existing in Japan.[drop]Deadly Premonition is, if you aren’t aware of it, an open-world horror game that ranges from traditional shocking horror game tropes to… comedy. On it’s original release in 2010, as well as picking up that world record, it was described by GameCentral as “the strangest video game of the year”, while Gamespot named it the “most surprisingly good game” of that year.
Released at the end of April on PS3, the Director’s Cut adds Move controls and 3D support, as well as updated controls and an extended opening and ending. Reviews were by-and-large as varied as the original version, with the new edition netting an extra two points on Metacritic over the original. The game has also been recently announced for a PC release, having also been green-lit on Steam, with publishers Rising Star Games aiming to release the game this Halloween.
That’s it for today – come back tomorrow to see how games 65 and up fared!