Posted by Asif on June 10th, 2011
The games featured in Release Notes are listed based on a complex formula that boils down to me just copying and pasting names from GameSpot’s weekly release list. Half the time the games listed don’t even come out that week, because the single GameSpot intern that compiles the list is busy not giving a damn for college credit. Well, this week I’ve tried something different; I’ve listed the games based my personal level of interest, with a little bit of randomness thrown in to keep people guessing. Unfortunately, it ended up being the same order as the GameSpot list. More unfortunately, that puts us one step away from not just stealing from GameSpot but becoming GameSpot. Even more unfortunately, if, like a Franza Kafka story, that transformation happens and we wake up one morning as GameSpot, someone just kill us, then write on our tombstone, “Live Free or Die GameSpot.”
inFamous 2 (6/7/11)
The first inFamous is currently one of the games available on the Playstation Network for free as part of Sony’s, “We’re really sorry about being terrible. Please, don’t hate us!” campaign. I’ve been playing it, so I can tell you with full authority that it’s about a guy named Cole MacGrath, he has electricity-based super powers, and he may not have showered in a while because he lives on a rooftop. In Cole’s universe a rooftop is the master suite of the homeless world.
It’s a serviceable game and hits all of the notes you expect from a climbing-up-buildings, open-world, third-person action game. Plus, you shoot electricity out of your hands, an idea popularized by George Lucas, then retroactively made a lot less cool by George Lucas.
While I enjoy electrocuting deserving thugs and undeserving pedestrians as much as the next compassionless lunatic trained on videogames, I’m not sure why Cole’s powers allow him to jump off of tall buildings and land without a scratch. He can’t take a few assault rifle rounds to the chest without curling up into the fetal position to die in the street, but falling from thirteen stories isn’t a problem. It’s one of those things that’s supposed to make sense only because that’s how these games work. If a guy can shoot electricity out of his extremities, up to and including his electron-engorged junk, then he must be able to do practically anything, except stop a bullet or fly or look like he’s taken a shower recently.
But enough about that the original inFamous. The sequel seems to be more of the same, but better! Is it so much better that you should spend sixty dollars to buy it, rather than download the completely free first game on your PS3? Who knows? I haven’t played the game, but if you end up playing it, send us an email and tell us how you feel about this value proposition. Based on reader feedback I will possibly fork over the money to buy this game. Then I will forget to write a review about it or even mention the game on the website. That sounds like an exciting win-win for everyone who is me.
Red Faction: Armageddon (6/7/11)
How do you follow up an entertaining sandbox game where freely traversing the surface of Mars and destroying everything in sight is the entire point? Apparently, you start the sequel in a series of poorly lit, brown tunnels. Volition, the developers of the Red Faction series, decided to leave behind the open world of Red Faction: Guerilla and, instead, went straight to the linear shooter playbook, tore out a page, then painted that page brown. It’s difficult to tell if the game takes place on Mars or inside a giant Martian monster’s colon.
Needless to say, I enjoyed the free wheeling exploits of the bald guy from Guerilla. The best part of the game was when I wasn’t in a goddamn brown tunnel. I was free to run or drive along the contours of Mars’ surface and jump a giant truck right through some poor, oppressed, working man’s home. It was gratifying to watch the man’s house fall apart piece by piece, then, if I hadn’t accidentally crushed him under my tires or under a mountain of his own home’s debris, get a side-mission from him.
I guess the fine folks at Volition who brought me that unique experience want to try something more inline with industry standards and concentrate on the over-explored shooting part of being a bald man in space. I say more power to them. If they want to spend millions of dollars to compete in the crowded market for third-person, men-in-space shooters, they have every right to do that, just like I have the right to not care and completely ignore this game, which I will be doing starting… now!
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (6/7/11)
Years of hard living, reading TMZ, and just existing have slowly bled out all empathy from me. If I was still capable of feeling, I’d feel kind of bad for the poor developers who drew the short straw to work on this game. It’s not an enviable position, because the appeal of being Green Lantern is that he can conjure up anything he can imagine. In this game be prepared to conjure up whatever the designers of this game could imagine. Game footage suggests it’ll contain a dizzying array of things to shoot, bludgeon, and stab enemies with, just like every videogame. If you end up playing Rise of the Manhunters and are shocked to find it’s terrible, just use your Green Lanternesque level of imagination to imagine yourself riding a jet ski on a sunny day or hitting Ryan Reynolds in the face with a jet ski on a sunny day.