There’s been disappointingly little buzz about Aliens: Infestation, so I’m making it my responsibility to tell you about it. First of all, this isn’t Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox Software’s console FPS that’s due out sometime next year. Infestation is a 2D, sidescrolling shooter that drops you and a squad of marines back onto xenomorph-infested planet LV-426 to rescue fellow soldiers, who will live or die based on your split-second decisions. You’ll wield classic weapons like flamethrowers, smart guns, and, of course, the M41A pulse rifle, and maybe even drive a power loader or two. Developer WayForward is the studio that brought us the excellent Contra 4 and, more recently, BloodRayne: Betrayal, although Infestation looks a bit more Metroidvania than the all-out action of the former two games. However it ends up playing, I am firmly on the ready line.
If you’re a 360 owner, it’s time to dust off your steering wheel: Forza Motorsport 4, the other enthusiast driving game, is out this week. (Of course, if you have a 360 steering wheel, you probably didn’t need me to tell you that. In fact, it’s probably been dust-free for weeks since you’ve been doing some warm-up laps in Forza 3.) Along with the usual vehicle and AI updates, Forza 4 adds content from the UK version of Top Gear (including the show’s test track and narration by Jeremy Clarkson) and–what fans have long been clamoring for–Kinect support! As much as we like to rag on the Kinect, this actually sounds like a pretty cool implementation: the Kinect camera will track the player’s head and let them look around the cockpit while they drive, which should be perfect for sizing up the next turn, or gauging the position of rival cars. Just remember to keep one eye on the road.
If you’re without a driving wheel but still want to play something on the 360, then you should probably download Treasure’s Guardian Heroes, a rerelease of the classic, sidescrolling beat-em-up, now featuring online play and upscaled graphics modes. This follows last month’s rerelease of Radiant Silvergun (another Treasure game), and as a staunch PSX/N64 gamer in the 90s, I couldn’t be more grateful that Sega’s letting me finally try out these highly regarded Saturn games. Guardian Heroes frequently ends up on people’s short lists of their all-time favorite games, so I can’t wait to see what the fuss is about.
I talked at length about Ace Combat: Assault Horizon in Episode 23, and now it’s here. While it’s a bit controversial for bringing the series to a real-world setting and for introducing “Dogfight Mode,” which is only a few steps removed from autopilot, I’m happy to say that all the dogfight action and the sense that you’re actually strapped into a cockpit at mach speeds are very much intact–at least during the jet missions. The helicopter segments left much to be desired, but hopefully the full game will be packed with so many jets that no one will care.
Other notables this week:
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (PS3, 360) – Return to Dead Rising 2’s zombie-infested Fortune City, except this time as Frank West, part-time war photographer and full-time fan favorite.
Metal Slug 2 (PS3, PSP) – It’s time to drive the tiny tank again! Although your intake of 2D shooting, zombies, and aliens might be dangerously high this week, throw caution to the wind (along with several thousand bullets) and grab one of the best of the Metal Slug games off the PlayStation Network. Wait for it… wait for it… ROCKET LAWNCHAIR!
The King of Fighters ’96 (PS3, PSP) – It’s not quite KOF’98, but the 1996 edition of SNK’s 2D fighter was about when I really started to get into the series. It may be seriously showing its age, but there’s no denying that this was one of the series’s most memorable and ambitious entires.
Are you practicing violence in 2D or 3D this week, or are you just going for a (somewhat) leisurely drive? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo credit: Ian Lloyd on Flickr)