Whether it be the mythical past or the enlightened future, the theme of revenge runs through this week’s videogame releases.
God of War: Ascension (PS3)
Finally, a character born on the PS2 can get swept up in the prequel craze. You may have heard of or even played one of the five games detailing Kratos and his mythical revenge, but now you can play the story before the revenge in ‘God of War: Ascension‘, which is oddly enough even more gory. The thing with ‘God of War’ is that the combat, the incredible set-pieces and the ridiculous level of gore are often imitated but never duplicated. Although we’ve already seen Santa Monica Studio bring the ‘God of War’ thunder on the PS3, the thing that most intrigues me in the latest title is the multiplayer aspect. Those Blades of Chaos may be the focus of the single-player campaign, but they’ll truly test their mettle in multiplayer.
One more little detail: ‘Ascension’ includes a demo for ‘The Last of Us‘, which is pretty enticing. Unfortunately, that demo is not expected to go live until the end of May, which is a mere two weeks before ‘The Last of Us’ is scheduled for release.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC, Mac)
Blizzard follows through on its promise and plans to deliver ‘StarCraft II’ in three parts with ‘StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm‘. Technically an expansion on the base game, ‘StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty‘, ‘Heart of the Swarm’ delivers two things: a Zerg campaign (‘Liberty’ has a Terran campaign and ‘Legacy of the Void’ is the planned Protoss installment) and new units, which in theory will reinvigorate the already popular multiplayer scene.
While I have little doubt that ‘Heart of the Swarm’ will tempt players who are otherwise unfamiliar with ‘StarCraft’ and “WarCraft’, it’s hard to think that anyone who lost interest in the real-time strategy series with ‘Wings of Liberty’ will suddenly be ready to pour hours into this expansion unless they’re huge Zerg fans above all else.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (360, PS3, PC)
Lush, extreme landscapes. Play spaces that allow players to crawl under brush and through nooks and crannies. One of the best things that ‘Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2‘ has going for it is the tech to realize these kind of environments with Crytek’s CryEngine 3. Checking out those levels and deciding just how hard to set the difficulty for this game is where I would find fun. This is not ‘ARMA’, so don’t expect to wait a day in the same spot in order to line up a shot, but neither is it ‘Battlefield’ or ‘Call of Duty’ with just a sniping level or area. This game has been pushed back a few times, so let’s hope that the quality has been ensured rather than sacrificed.
Darkstalkers Resurrection (XBLA, PSN)
‘Darkstalkers Resurrection’ sees another of Capcom’s beloved fighting franchises re-emerge, but in a relatively pure form. The download includes arcade versions of two games: ‘Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge’ and ‘Darkstalkers 3’. Both games will include optional filters to smooth over the HD scaling, online Versus play, and achievements/trophies. The two-title collection will be available on PSN for $14.99 and XBLA for 1200 MS Points. The first ‘Darkstalkers’ is available as a PSOne classic, but lacks all the online goodies. In any event, this could be your chance to learn about the series before Capcom drops a modernized sequel into our midst.