In this week’s very international videogame selection, Stan Lee takes on New York, the CIA destroys Dubai, and Great Britain goes for the gold.
The Amazing Spider-Man (360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS)
The last ‘Spider-Man’ game I played was ‘Spider-Man 3’, which I found to be even more disappointing and more scarring than the ‘Spider-Man 3’ movie. While I haven’t seen audiences clamoring for another webslinger movie, there’s hope for the ‘Amazing Spider-Man‘ game. First off, the combat system appears to be similar to the rhythm-based system from the excellent Batman games, ‘Arkham Asylum’ and ‘Arkham City’. Meanwhile, Peter Parker’s cell phone and GPS are integral to navigating the city and mission objectives, which further illustrates that the developers aren’t afraid to implement some systems that work and that players enjoy.
Beenox has been very outspoken in stating how unencumbered development was with regard to the new movie, and the game’s story occurs after the events of the movie. None of film’s cast is involved with the game, which should be a plus, since having to build a game around existing voiceover is a sure way to ruin it. In this ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ story, Bruce Campbell voices an extreme sports reporter, and should punctuate the game with some decent quips. Besides, you get to play as an amazing Stan Lee. What more could players ask for?
Spec Ops: The Line (360, PS3, PC)
My first response to ‘Spec Ops: The Line‘ was, “Oh good, another shooter. It’s been at least five minutes since the last one.” In spite of this ambivalence, I played the PC demo, and it struck a chord. The PC version looks excellent, and the game’s setting of a devastated Dubai is almost inspired. The controls for this third-person shooter are like a broken-in pair of shoes, immediately familiar and comforting. That’s partly because it uses the Unreal engine. I wish that I could have played a tougher difficulty level, but the demo was locked to Normal and the enemy AI wasn’t terribly challenging.
From what I gleaned of the story, Dubai has been completely devastated by a series of sandstorms. Your special operative team (think Delta Force) has been sent in to determine the fate of a missing Army regiment and to evacuate friendly survivors. As you navigate the beautiful and broken buildings of the world’s newest and most ambitious skyline, you quickly find yourself in the middle of a new civil war between a crazed U.S. Army regiment and a CIA-backed set of insurgents. Unlike many modern shooters, however, this game is no globetrotter. The player is left to deal with a very sick conflict in a very remote place.
London 2012 (360, PS3)
Would I rather that ‘London 2012‘ was all about fighting eight robot masters, co-opting their powers and defeating their creator, none other than Dr. Wily? Yes, no question. Instead, ‘London 2012’ seeks to capture the imagination of would-be Olympic competitors. Track, field, swimming, plus loads of other events that are summer related are all present, with many supporting the use of Kinect on 360 and Move on the PS3. While the box art is draped in the American flag, the official trailer is entirely focused on Great Britain. I have to apologize in advance for the music in this trailer. I think that the people over at Sega Australia are having a not so-subtle laugh at expense of the Brits.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PC)
Having played this game on the 360, I have no doubt that the PC version’s visuals will be a massive improvement. As a realistic shooter, the strength of ‘Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier‘ lays in the future tech gadgets that the player employs on the battlefield. Opto-camo, grenade-like sensors, remote-control camera drones, and remote mechs all aid in completing mission objectives, ghost challenges and making the game fun. Using the heads-up display to mark targets for three squad mates, and then performing four synchronized shots is satisfying if finicky, and entirely encouraged as a means of low-visibility warfare. While the game will allow you to shoot just about every enemy you see, the fun is using your squad and gadgets to be ghost-like.
To that end, I present the short live-action film, ‘Ghost Recon: Alpha’, which I feel relates the enjoyable aspects of ‘Ghost Recon’ better than any of the game’s trailers do.