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New Releases for The Week of Bats and Bombs

New Releases for The Week of Bats and Bombs

Shank is back in Shank 2. This game, like its predecessor, is a 2D platforming brawler with a focus on violence and crude humor. The new game features more weapons, more enemy types and a new story. The engine is the same, but the developers have revamped the control system to allow more fluid combat, and restructured the way items work so that the enemies’ dropped weapons can be used against them. The graphics have also been refined.

Gotham City Imposters is a team-based first-person combat game. The multi-player only game takes place in the DC universe, specifically Gotham City.  The city has turned in upon itself, and even the mooks at the top have lost control—with gangs of combatants facing off in massive arenas, one team dressed as clowns, and the other as bats. The gameplay looks like it will be similar to other games of the ilk: levels designed for confrontation in several game modes, a range of weapons, and defined roles within the team. The major gimmick they’re pushing for this one is customization of one’s character. There is a massive portion of the engine devoted to allowing players to make their clown or bat look just the way they want.

Another sequel this week, The Darkness II, is a first-person shooter with a lot of demonic stuff going on. The dark game has improved upon the previous by allowing players to interact with the environment more dynamically (lots of things can be picked up and used as weapons), and has improved upon the Darkling control sequences, allowing the player to look through the eyes of the monster, sneaking around, and using gruesome attacks like eye-gouging and acid urination. The protagonist has been given the ability to actually use his freaky demon arms to fight, performing bloody finishing moves on certain enemies. New RPG elements have also been introduced, allowing Jackie to trade in evil essence for new abilities on a  tree of new attacks and statistics.

The Icrontic Spotlight this week casts shadows across the vast landscapes of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Single-player, open world, adventure RPG games don’t find themselves in a crowded field, and most of the entries are merely pale imitations of the clear field leader, The Elder Scrolls. Mostly this is because major studios rarely try to tackle the challenging genre, which requires more man-hours and a larger team of creators than any other genre. This is why it’s so satisfying to see a new AAA game of the style. The developers have admitted that The Elder Scrolls series has influenced them, and it can bee seen in the basic design, but they have also taken influence from more combat-focused games like God of War. In Reckoning, players begin as a ‘blank slate’ who has only basic combative skills, and as they work their way through the world they develop along skill trees which allow them to choose their ‘fate’, which is the game’s basic class system. Unlike some other recent role-playing adventure games, it truly is an open world game in which the players follow their own path around the land and through the story, choosing which threads of the tale to pick up, and which to leave behind. Some have criticized the graphical style as being too cartoony and colorful, as usual, comparing such complaints with the style of World of Warcraft. The trailer does make it seem very colorful, but perhaps only compared to the drab landscapes of Skyrim, where most open world RPG fans have been spending a lot of time lately. Can the new game stand up to comparison with the greatest single-player gaming franchise of all time? So far, the reviews are favorable, but then, they always are…

Following is a full list of this week’s announced North American releases

Windows

  • Disciples III: Resurrection
  • Gotham City Impostors
  • Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • Shank 2
  • The Darkness II

DS

  • Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness
  • 40-in-1 Explosive Megamix

3DS

  • Resident Evil: Revelations

Xbox 360

  • Cell: emergence
  • Gotham City Impostors
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • Shank 2
  • The Darkness II

PS3

  • Gotham City Impostors
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • Shank 2
  • Smash ‘N’ Survive
  • The Darkness II
  • The House of the Dead III
  • The Simpsons Arcade Game

Comments

  1. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a product from Big Huge games produced near Baltimore MD. Between Big Huge Games, Firaxis and Bethesda, I think the Maryland is the hottest area for game development on the east coast.

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