This week marks one of the voids of the summer videogame release schedule. On the plus side, this leaves gamers an opportunity to play a little catch-up.
Resistance: Burning Skies (PlayStation Vita)
Surprisingly, the most interesting release this week is the Playstation Vita installment of the ‘Resistance’ series, called ‘Resistance: Burning Skies‘. In short, Nihilistic software has developed the best-looking shooter that I’ve ever seen on a handheld. More importantly, the control scheme actually seems to make the combination of dual analogue sticks, buttons and a touch screen seem natural, effective and even fun. I also want to see how well the smart cover system works in practice.
Batman: Arkham City – Game of the Year Edition (360, PS3)
‘Batman: Arkham City‘ is a stunning game whose quality suffers only because it comes off as less focused and fresh than its predecessor, ‘Arkham Asylum’. Still, I recommend any console players who have not played it to purchase this Game of the Year Edition, despite its rudimentary and much-maligned cover art. If you have a 7.1 system and you haven’t played these games, I truly pity the unrealized capabilities of your home theater set-up. A PC version has been hinted for some point in the nebulous future.
Batman: Arkham City – Harley Quinn’s Revenge (360, PS3)
One of the incongruities between ‘Arkham City’ and ‘Arkham Asylum‘ was the comparative lack of Harley Quinn in the sequel. It’s not as though she was completely absent from the game, but as the credits rolled, I was struck by how underutilized her character seemed. Now I know why. This DLC appears to be an actual continuation of the story, unlike the challenge maps and costume packs that have come before. Unfortunately for me, I have to wait until Warner feels like allowing PC gamers to play.
Max Payne 3 (PC)
Max Payne is back, and this time for PC. Having played through the PS3 version, I want to tell you about the moments in the game when the experience clicks, when the noir ambiance and sanguine outlook of previous ‘Max Payne’ games combines with Rockstar’s incredible visuals and excellent OST to bring about Zen. Sadly, I have to tell you that most of the time, especially through the first two thirds of the story mode, the experience is spoiled by Max Payne and his companion characters’ inability to ever shut up. The game directs you to hunt for clues and golden guns while relentlessly having voiceovers gripe at you that there’s no time and you have to hurry. The developers’ fear that the player might stand there not knowing that that there’s supposed to be tension in the plot has caused them to almost completely ruin the game for me.