By Phillip Levin / Asst. Inscape Editor
By Phillip Levin / Asst. Inscape Editor
Summer’s over, and fall gaming season is nearly upon us, during which the year’s biggest games are released. Below, you’ll find five games we’ve decided to spotlight.
“Assassin’s Creed 2” (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Anyone who played the original “Assassin’s Creed” no doubt walked away impressed by the game’s stunning visuals and gameplay. It’s no wonder the title was a huge commercial success for Ubisoft, nor is it that the publisher is readying a sequel just in time for this holiday season.
“Assassin’s Creed 2” stars a new time traveling assassin, Ezio. The game doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor’s template, but rest assured; Ubisoft is looking to take its franchise to new heights with this sequel. The adventure is set in Italy during the Renaissance, where you’ll visit cities like Florence, Venice, Tuscany and others. The focus of the game is still tracking down and assassinating specific targets, but “Assassin’s Creed 2” will be more story-driven than the original.
And while there will be plenty of city architecture to explore and climb, as well as enemies to do combat with, the game will also feature underground platforming-centric scenarios ala “Prince of Persia.” What’s more, the game’s protagonist will come across new abilities, like the capability to swim and glide with the use of Da Vinci’s own gliding device. Look for the game this November.
“Borderlands” (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
“Borderlands” is an original effort from Gearbox. It’s a futuristic sci-fi first person shooter with role playing mechanics. Remember “Fallout 3?” “Borderlands” combines both the first person shooter and RPG genres in a similar fashion, except this game is more focused on its first person shooting aspects than “Fallout 3.”
In the game, you’ll tackle missions, level your character and collect new weapons and items. “Borderlands” features a groundbreaking content generation system, which allows for a nearly infinite number of missions, items and environments. What’s more, the game supports online co-op, allowing up to four to play through the game’s campaign mode together. Even more exciting, co-op is drop-in/drop-out, which means you can easily have a friend join your adventure at any time. “Borderlands” hits store shelves October 20.
“Brutal Legend” (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
There aren’t too many games like “Brutal Legend.” The game comes from Tim Schafer, who is responsible for the well-received 2005 Xbox title “Psychonauts,” and throws players into the shoes of Eddie Rigs, voiced by Jack Black.
Eddie finds himself in an unbelievable world of rock ‘n’ roll, where he fights enemies using his battle-axe or guitar. With the latter, he can call forth pyrotechnics, which shoot out of the ground to damage enemies. Not crazy enough for you?
He also has an ability called face melt, which literally causes enemy faces to melt off. Yeah, melt off. Eddie’s eccentric moves will come in handy as you do battle with this rock world’s enemies and bosses on a quest to dethrone this world’s tyrant, Lord Dolivicus. You’ll also hear other familiar voices, as the game’s cast is voiced by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Ozzy Osbourne.
“Modern Warfare 2” (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
If there’s a single game this fall to be most excited about, Infinity “Ward’s Modern Warfare 2” is it. This is the sequel to the acclaimed “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” although by the lack of the words “Call of Duty” in its title, you might not have guessed that.
The shooter continues where its predecessor ended. You’ll control a member of Task Force 141, completing missions in Afghanistan, Rio de Janeiro and Russia. During this year’s E3, the developer demoed a level from the game — an icy mountain in Russia, complete with rock climbing. Graphically, the game looks fantastic, featuring improved textures and lighting effects. In addition to the campaign storyline, there’s a new separate special ops co-op mode, which can be played either online or locally via split-screen.
But the reason you should be excited for “Modern Warfare 2” is because of its online multiplayer. Expect new modes, maps, weapons, a redesigned killstreak system and other new content. “Modern Warfare 2” is out November 10.
“New Super Mario Bros.” (Wii)
Although there are many other games releasing this holiday season that are worth noting, “New Super Mario Bros.” gets a place in the spotlight because, well, it’s a brand new “Super Mario Bros.” game. It’s not often we get a new “Mario Bros.” game, you know. However, this isn’t the single-player-focused “Mario Bros.” so many grew up with. Nintendo has turned its series into a multiplayer one, not unlike “LittleBigPlanet” on PlayStation 3.
The gameplay you know and love hasn’t changed — you’re still platforming your way through 2D levels. But the dynamic of having three other players on screen does change up the game. You’ll have to play cooperatively to complete each level, since there are obstacles you’ll encounter that require a group effort to overcome. Simultaneously, though, each level is a competition to see who will collect the most coins. Nintendo hasn’t announced a release date yet, but “New Super Mario Bros.” is expected sometime this fall.