Battlefield 3 is out today and it’s a big one. Developer DICE is calling it the successor to 2005’s Battlefield 2, which is to say it’s not a new entry in the Bad Company offshoot series that featured slightly scaled-down Battlefield gameplay and (rather successfully) introduced destructable environments. Destruction does return to some extent in BF3, along with series staples like jets, squad leaders, and 64-player Conquest games played over expansive maps–although the latter is exclusive to the PC version. No matter which version you pick up, though, you can expect the same world-class, team-based FPS gameplay that DICE has engineered down to a science since Battlefield 1942 nearly ten years ago. That’s provided you can ride out the launch week server woes and patches, of course. I’ll be making an effort to play it, in one form or another.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Wii owners can look forward to Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, which is a co-op platformer sort of in the vein of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It’s been criticized for being on the easy side, but is high difficulty really what you want when you already have four players crammed onto the same screen? More importantly, didn’t we just get Kirby: Mass Attack? I can’t keep up.
Getting back to violence, if you’re a PlayStation 3 owner and you missed out on The House of the Dead: Overkill a couple years ago on the Wii, you have a second chance this week with The House of the Dead: Overkill – Extended Cut–a remastered version of the lightgun shooter, now with Move support. Hailed as one of the silliest, raunchiest and yet still most shamelessly fun lightgun games in recent years (The pedigree definitely instills confidence.), this is exactly the type of game I had in mind when I picked up a Move. Sadly, there’s no online co-op, which seems like it would be a no-brainer, but to make up for it there are new levels, weapons, and support for both stereoscopic and classic red & blue 3D–yes, really. No word on whether it comes with a pair of glasses.
This one was a bit of a surprise: Although rumored to be in the works for a while, Sega recently confirmed an HD update of its classic arcade racer, Daytona USA, for both PlayStation network and Xbox Live Arcade. I’m ashamed to admit that I never got to spend as much time as I would have liked playing this in the arcades and can’t say much more about it, but I’m going to try to make up for that this time around.
Finally, SideScroller, the latest in Q-Games’ PixelJunk series, hits the PlayStation Network today. Inspired by a bonus level in their previous game, PixelJunk Shooter 2, SideScroller is a throwback to one of my all-time favorite genres: the 2D shooter. When I first heard Q-Games was working on this, I imagined something sort of loose and very physics-based like their Shooter series, so it was a huge surprise to see this neon-coated trailer that’s packed with an agile ship, waves of enemies, classic weapon powerups, and even a hilarious Engrish voiceover. This looks like something I’ll be proud to add to my shooter library.
Are you playing something besides Battlefield 3 this week? Are you looking forward to hitting the track again in Daytona? Let us know in the comments!