Opinion: The Five Hottest Games Of The Summer
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
We may not be the biggest proponents of motion gaming here at FMV, but it’s fair to say that forthcoming blast ‘em up Steel Battalion may well transform the way everybody feels about Microsoft’s Kinect system. So impressed was Jonathan Szafran during his coverage of PAX East, that our man in New York professed to being “floored by how good it looked, how incredible it sounded, and how fantastically it played”.
Potentially the first really satisfying ‘hardcore’ title for Kinect, the game makes use of both the standard 360 controller and (impressively responsive) motion gestures, with its promising blend of intense, hi-octane action and rich atmosphere suggesting that this really could be something special.
The Walking Dead: Episode Two
Telltale pulled off an absolute blinder with the debut installment of their downloadable video game series, and hopes are high that the next chapter will be every bit as satisfying.
Probably one of the most impressive gaming experiences ever to be derived from a film or television IP, Episode One was a surprisingly nuanced exercise in character-driven suspense and intrigue, combining point-and-click style adventuring with tough decisions and in-depth conversations in order to lay the foundations for a truly compelling story.
It certainly resulted in something a great deal more original than the tiresome zombie FPS most other devs would have opted for. And with the second episode hinting at even more brutal sequences and heightened tension, it will be fascinating to see how player choices ripple out into the events of the next two hours of gameplay.
Comparisons with GTA have inevitably been made, but this open-world crime thriller has also been turning heads thanks to the way in which it seemingly marries top elements from a variety of great games, with bone-crunching brawling action akin to Arkham City, bullet-time gunplay similar to Max Payne, OTT vehicle combat sections along the lines of Borderlands and adrenaline-pumping free-running sequences a la Assassin’s Creed.
Although the title has endured a troubled development (it was going to be the third ‘True Crime’ game before being cancelled by Activision last year), with Square Enix behind it and some very positive previews doing the rounds, the hope is that this could be an experience to really savour.
The sequel to 201o’s entertaining hack-and-slasher is nearly here, with THQ’s answer to God Of War attempting to sail into full-on franchise mode with its new adventure of foe-felling, carnage unleashing action – this time offering the player the chance to step into Death’s unholy shoes.
With a nimbler protagonist, increased RPG elements and various flaws from the first game addressed (including those infuriating difficulty spikes), this is shaping up to be an impressive stop-gap before God Of War: Ascension lands.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Available to download from August for around $15 or the equivalent, Valve’s multi-platform online team-based shooter could be THE multiplayer sensation of the summer.
Offering classic Counter Strike gameplay with fresh ideas, weaponary and gameplay modes into the bargain, if the Beta was anything to go by this should be a slick, polished and hugely entertaining experience.
What are your most anticipated games of the summer? And do you agree or disagree with the choices above? Feel free to add your comments below.