Did you miss us? It’s been a while since there have been any notable releases, but a few stalwarts have decided to be brave and send a couple of their games out right in the middle of E3.
First out is Red Faction: Armageddon by Volition, Inc. If you’ve listened to any of our shows (especially last week’s), you already know that all three of us are hopeless fans of the previous game in the series because of its online multiplayer and signature destructible environments. You may also know that Volition caused a little controversy by removing the multiplayer component from Armageddon. I’d be lying if I said I’m not disappointed, but there’s still a lengthy singleplayer campaign where you get to shoot aliens with a huge arsenal of over-the-top, sci-fi weapons, including a gun that flings around whatever debris you can get in your sights. Of course, there’s a sledgehammer if you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.
In addition to the campaign, there’s a four-player, cooperative horde mode called Infestation, and Ruin mode, which tasks you with obliterating every structure in sight with your weapon of choice. Many developers have dabbled with destructible environments in their recent games, but none of them deliver quite the same satisfaction that comes from watching structures crumble under their own weight as only Volition’s Geo-Mod 2 tech can accomplish. That destruction is front and center in Ruin mode, and I’ve got to confess that it’s a little addictive watching your score creep up as buildings collapse all around you. It’s definitely worth trying if you’ve got a penchant for putting holes in walls or giant laser beams.
It’s also worth paying attention to the audio as you play. Guerrilla already had fantastic surround sound support, but they seem to have taken extra special care with the sound effects this time. Explosions and gunfire sound are crisp and pack a real sonic punch, especially when you’re dual wielding some Banshee heavy pistols. There’s also a cool, eletronic vibe to the soundtrack, composed by Brian Reitzell.
As for competetive multiplayer, here’s hoping for its triumphant return in Red Faction 5.
The other big game out this week is Sucker Punch’s Infamous 2, which returns you to the shoes of Cole MacGrath. He’s still zapping bad guys and generally causing mayhem with his lightning powers, but this time he’ll do it in a new city that very much resembles New Orleans. The morality system that we discussed at length in episode 7 makes its return as well, although Sucker Punch promises your decisions will carry more weight this time around. Paul should be happy.
To coincide with their announcements at E3, Nintendo’s turned on the eShop for the 3DS. Just power on your system and apply the latest update to gain access to the 3DS’s lineup of downloadable titles and classic Gameboy games like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. The sooner you do it, the better, since they’re giving away a version of the NES classic Excitebike that’s been updated in 3D. I’m a little jealous.
Are you getting either of this week’s big games? Has E3 fever got you too preoccupied to actually play games? Let us know what you think of the new releases and any of the news coming out of E3 in the comments!