Five Great-Looking June Releases (North America)
This June won’t see the release of any overly-hyped titans in the video game industry, but there are still a number of interesting, new titles and the awesomeness we call E3 to balance it out. So, when you’re not too busy following the event and watching live streams of panels (or if you’re one of those really lucky gamers, actually walking amongst the booths), give a thought to checking out some of these games scheduled to hit stores this month.
Lollipop Chainsaw- June 12th
Lollipop Chainsaw , developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, is an, erm, unique (for lack of clearer descriptors) take on a zombie apocalypse. You’re Juliet, a zombie hunter living under the cover of cheerleader, when your classmates and teachers suddenly become infected and turn into that which you live to kill. Nothing is off limits in this game, it sales-pitch being “Bursting with sex, blood, and rock-and-roll.” Trailers and demos are looking intense and well put together, promising a game well-worth your money. It’ll be released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 both.
Pokemon Conquest- June 18th
Pokemon Conquest is the hybrid child of Pokemon and Nobunaga’s Ambition. The game, as with past Pokemon games, is a built around turn-based combat. Sporting a blend of warriors and good ol’ pokemon, this game promises to be a fresh take on both series. Nintendo DS owners should definitely take a look.
Steel Battalion:Heavy Armor -June 19th
Microsoft has teamed up with Capcom and From Software to give us another installment of the successful Steel Battalion franchise, exclusively for the Xbox 360. Prepare to climb into a cramped Veet and wreak havoc on your unlucky opponents, but this time with a catch. Heavy Armor relies on a unique, gutsy mix of controller and Kinect. However, despite failures with Kinect games in the past (*cough* Star Wars *cough*), the developers have seemingly found a pretty good balance. The controls can be a bit hard to master, but after completing the overly-picky tutorial, it’s easy to enjoy. Polished touches, like grabbing your panicking rookie Comm man as he becomes hysterical in a tough battle situation, and then punching him to snap him out of it, actually create some amazing immersion that just wouldn’t work without Kinect. Check out the demo, free for download on the Games Marketplace.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes -June 19th
The Lego gaming franchise has done it again, taking an epic story and turning it into a great game for both youngsters and adults. Arkham’s criminals have been unleashed once more, and this time, the Dark Knight will need a hand rounding them up. With the playful animation and feel we’ve grown so accustomed to from this series, it is destined to be another solid Lego game. Watch for its release on Nintendo DS/3DS and Wii, PC, PS3, Vita, and the Xbox 360.
Spec. Ops: The Line-June 26th
Announced back at the 2009 Spike Awards, Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person shooter by 2k Games and Yager which will finally see shelves this upcoming month. Set in a futuristic Dubai which has been overwhelmed by cataclysmic sandstorms, you’re Captain Walker, a US Delta squad killing machine sent in with your men to see what has happened to Colonel John Konrad and the 33rd Infantry, who stayed behind to aid in the evacuation of the city.
The game has a very Gears-of-War-esque feel to it, the controls starkly similar. While it’s enjoyable, one worries about originality. However, what will hopefully set it apart is its storyline which is said to be based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. As an English buff, I’ll admit that I may have initially been slightly biased in adding this title to the list. However, after checking out the free demo, available for download on the Xbox 360’s Game Marketplace, and on the PS3’s PlayStation Network, I found that it hold its own, making interesting use of the sandy environment with great level design and details. It’s definitely worth a look.