Its almost officially Summer which means late nights on the porch watching fireflies, barbecues on the beach, and eating franks at the ballpark. Its a time for stretching the legs after a long winter and to go out and explore a new world. Awww, what are we saying. Just exactly who are you trying to fool here? You’re going to play video games for three months straight and there's nothing that's going to get in your way. So in support of those who would rather go without sunshine, here’s 5 games coming out this summer that are guaranteed to make you forget its even summer out there.
5. Green Day: Rockband – Tuesday, June 8th
Following in the wake of the successful Beatles: Rock Band, it seems only appropriate that Harmonix would select another well-known band for their next title. Although they might not be as influential as the iconic 60's rock band which saw their music explode in popularity across multiple generations, Green Day can still be identified among the younger generation of gamers, particularly those born in the late 80's and early 90's. Like the Beatles before them, Green Day will give you the chance to play and sing along with all the songs you know and love. Best of all, this Rock Band title comes equipped with two full albums - 1994’s “Dookie” and 2004’s “American Idiot”. Also included in this title will be Green Day staples such as “Brain Stew/Jaded,” “Geek Stink Breath” and “Hitchin’ a Ride”. With over two decades of influential music under their belt, you can bet Green Day will continue to stand out against the continued noise that is Guitar Hero.
4. Blur - Tuesday, May 25
Bizarre Creations hopes to bring something new to the tried and tested racing genre by debuting their latest project called Blur. Don’t let the name fool you, as this racing title will be anything but on your gaming radar. Blur is an in your face racing game that will see players jump straight into heart-pumping and dangerous action with 20 cars on a single track all of which have the same objective - to finish #1. This arcade style racing game ala Mario Kart will see players trade paint with one another as they collect power ups and special weapons to blast cars with huge bursts of energy, increase speed, and perform hairpin turns. If there's one thing you can count on, it's that this game will deliver on all party game fun without pandering to the younger generation.
3. Singularity - Tuesday, June 29th
Announced way back at E3 in 2008, it seemed like Activision and Raven Software would never get around to releasing this title and it was suspected of being locked up in development indefinitely along with Duke Nukem. But thankfully, Activision has gone out of their way to finish this game as well as remind us it will be out this summer. In singularity you will fight your way through an ever-shifting environment, haunted by creatures warped by time itself, while glitches in time hurl you back and forth between a 1950's past and the present day as you try to solve the mysteries of the remote island you are stranded on.
The gameplay will revolve around a time manipulation device strapped on the main characters arm which can employ 4 different abilities. Revert, Age, Stasis, and Impulse - all of which will without a doubt play important roles in problem solving, advancing the storyline, and, of course, crushing those who get in your way. Revert will allow players to rewind an object or human being backwards in time while age will do the exact opposite. Stasis enables players to pull or push an object Jedi Knight style, but they will also have the ability to freeze said object in time. Last but not least, impulse sends out a wave of energy which functions in the same way as a 360 degree force push. All of the abilities will be upgradeable giving the player their own style of time manipulation.
2. Mafia 2 - Tuesday, August 24th
You can't get two more different approaches to open-world gaming than Just Cause 2 and Mafia II. While both titles descend from the same inspiration - Grand Theft Auto III - and both utilize a sandbox approach through the game's lead actor, you'll find that main staple of this game doesn't revolve around chaos and unwanted destruction. Instead, you'll find yourself immersed in the world of underground crime and find your main interests lie in expanding the family business and going out for a stroll in 1950's America.
The setting itself is doubly appropriate since, as you can guess from Empire Bay's name, takes inspiration from two well known US cities. San Francisco is one half of the lifeblood for this fantasy with the other half being New York. When you finally get around to playing this game, remember that comic mayhem commonly found in open-world tradition simply won't be appropriate for the hard-won realism that Mafia II will tout. Expect punishing gunfights and a hard to shake police force in this gritty crime drama.
1. Alpha Protocol - Tuesday, June 1st
In the genre-bending world that is modern videogames, things are not always what they seem. Take the game Alpha Protocol for example which walks like a shooter, talks like a shooter, and even looks like a shooter. But, once you take a peak under the hood, you'll find a third person, skills-based, action espionage RPG that's far more about character stats and interactive cut-scenes than it is about running and gunning. Alpha Protocol is certainly different, and playing it will require a reboot of your third-person shooter instincts. Gamers will have a direct impact on how the game plays based on the decisions they make in-game and how they flesh their character out.
Whether or not you plan on spending summer camped out on the couch or only visiting your gaming system on a rainy day, there's no denying that there is some excellent content this summer that may make you think twice before putting on that suntan lotion and heading for the pool.
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