By Space Cowboy
Geeks, gamers, LAN-enthusiasts, lend me your headsets. I’m afraid the drudgery of Christmas – and indeed Christmas shopping – is around the corner, and I don’t know a single person on Earth that enjoys spending the 23rd of December packed shoulder to shoulder at Sandton City, watching people stare with broken spirits in shock and horror at everything they can’t afford, while you yourself (in precisely the same state) shop around for a last-minute gift or two. It’s a depressing state of affairs, but I’ve got news (and a few ideas) that will hopefully ensure you don’t end up staining your white Christmas red.
So, in terms of gaming news, there are a few items of interest that have already been released, and a few that are still due for release prior to Christmas that are sure to get your baubles twinkling and your fir tree standing up straight. Part 1 will deal with those games that have already made it to the shelves, while upcoming releases will be dealt with in Part 2 next week.
First on the list of recently released goodies is Fifa Manager 13. To be honest, I’m no sports fan, and sport games are not my thing at all, so I’m not going to sing it’s praises as though I know dick about it. But what I will say is that it has received mainly favourable reviews (I’ve seen nothing under a 70% turgidity, er, I mean, score) and the overall reception seems positive. The gripes all centre around the same problem: certain micro-features that detract from the game’s fun and believability due to their stretching the gamer’s suspense of disbelief a little too far. As I said, I’m no expert on the game, but if you’re a sporting sort, a minimum score of 70% is not bad at all, and I’m certain fans of the
series will be able to forgive these minor flaws for the overall experience.
Next up is Need For Speed: Most Wanted. When the first iteration of this game came out in 2005, I suddenly stopped hating racers. I’m not sure whether it was the freedom to give the Pigs a big “FUCK YOU” in a Lamborghini, or the cutting-edge graphics, but probably somewhere between these two, I became a fan of the series. The only problem with racers for me is an obvious one: replay value. I don’t have the patience to master every single track in the game and unlock all the hidden cars etc, but hell, NFS:Most Wanted 2012 looks ready to cook. The visuals are brilliant, the sound puts you right in the driver’s seat, and having had a go at a BETA a while ago, you can really feel the speed of the car in cockpit view. If you’re willing to shell out for a force-feedback steering wheel and pedals, or perhaps already have a set, it’s going to complete the experience, and trust me, before long, the thrill of the chase will have you streaking skidmarks all over.
Now, those of you who read my review on the new Linkin Park single Castle of Glass will have also read a fuckload of swearwords, and heard about EA’s new Medal of Honour: Warfighter. Well, the good news is, it’s available for purchase. The bad news is, I’ve had a look at some reviews and the reception has been somewhat less than stellar (that’s what you get for teaming up with Linkin fuckin’ Park) and I have yet to get my hands on a copy and review it for you, but rest assured it is coming. The truth is, if you’re looking for a military-style shooter with decent visuals and lots of bang-bang-you’re-dead, then this game can’t be too bad, though Battlefield 3 fans might argue (justifiably so). In the interim, here’s the Multi-player Launch Trailer that might help sway your decision to buy or hold off for now.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is so fucking good I want to cry. I need to get through more of it to make a decent review of it, but let me say that the original that changed the world of RTS gaming would be proud to see this successor in action. Though a few critics have suggested that it’s “fantastic but doesn’t quite live up to the original”, I say: BAH HUMBUG! Honestly, if you want a game that will make you sweat, cry and bleed, then XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the one for you. IF you aren’t convinced yet, watch this space for the review, coming soon. I came soon after playing the first level…
Right, now here’s a release that has had me in paroxysms of anticipation since I first heard about it: Dishonored (‘scuse the shitty American spelling, it’s the only thing that irks me about the game). This is another game that deserves and will receive a full review (the playing of it is well under way) in due course. For now though, let’s just say that you get to roam around Dunwall, the game’s fictional setting, as an assassin with supernatural powers and lots of weapons, where you are able to dispatch your opponents in pretty much whatever way you see fit by creating your own weapon/spell combo’s, and all of this in a distinctly Steampunk setting. If you’re a real geek, you’ll know what Steampunk means, and that it’s pretty much the coolest geeky thing EVER! Watch this video for some seriously fappable gameplay.
Finally, we have Assasin’s Creed 3. Now although it hasn’t been released for PC just yet, it’s out now at selected retailers for the console gamers out there, on PS3 and Xbox360. I had a taste of it at Rage this year on the Nintendo Wii U, and I must say, I’m very excited about it, more so than for the other console releases and even the PC release, just because the Wii U is going to fart in the face of Sony and Microsoft when it comes out. As far as I know, both the PC version and the Wii U and a few launch titles including this one will be available on the 20th of November, though I’ll make sure a tweet goes up if there’s a change. With an all-new setting and really original new gameplay modes, this game may well turn out to be my “game of 2012” if Dishonored and XCOM don’t beat it to the coveted “Golden Erection” (more on this later). Once again, a little video to whet the appetite, exclusive footage from the Nintendo Wii U version, just so the haters out there can see that Nintendo has what it takes to keep the core gamers good and turgid.
So, with all these shiny new titles to choose from (and a bunch of other honourable mentions like Borderlands 2 and Halo 4 being released TOMORROW!), there is no need to panic when it comes to Christmas shopping! If you really want to be happy this festive season, buy yourself these games, lock yourself away from the world and pretend it never happened. With the titles mentioned here, you are bound to drop a veritable Yule log of excitement at the prospect of so much gaming goodness!
Remember to stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week.
As this fiercely obvious anime reference would imply, Space Cowboy is a fiercely enthusiastic geek, and as such, brings something fresh to geek-journalism. That is to say, freshly squeezed wads of man-berry juice, frantically issued all over anything tech, gaming, and/or Japan related. He does hope you enjoy said bukkake-esque levels of enthusiasm.