Mar 02, 2013 07:49 AM EST | By Michael Epstein email: email@example.com
With the PS4 announced and rumors of Microsoft's plans to unveil the next Xbox in play, our attention is already turning toward a new set of consoles, a new set of games, a new beginning.
As we dream of "Killzone: Shadow Fall" and "Halo 5" it's easy to get lost in the fantasy and forget the fact that there are still a substanial number of games coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Publishers focus more on sequels late in a console cycle because being recognizable might be enough to make fans pick a game up off the shelf. But what about the games with no big name to back them? While high profile, there's a wave of games coming whose biggest strength, their originality, has been co-opted by bigger, but not necessarily better things.
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After two generations, "Resistance" and "Ratchet and Clank" developer Insomniac has left the safety of their Sony partnership to make multi-platform titles for all gamers to enjoy. Originally unveiled as the more light-hearted "Overstrike" at E3 2011, "Fuse" is a class-based co-op-focused shooter-get it?-where up to four players team up to shoot stuff and save the world. You might say that sounds kind of generic: As a developer Insomniac has never been about breaking the bank with a unique concept: Their games are all in the details.
As in their past series, Insomniac is always really good at one thing: Making cool, wacky guns. Though the game has taken a more serious tone since changing its name, each character an outlandish take on some FPS staple. My personal favorite is the "Warp Rifle," a sniper rifle that creates miniature black holes that can be chained together by taking down multiple adjacent enemies.
As a new FPS that looks pretty standard at first glance, "Fuse" might be easy to overlook if someone didn't sit you down and tell you to pay attention.
"Fuse" is expected to hit stores this Spring.
2. "Killer is Dead"
The next game from "Shadows of the Damned" creator Suda 51 we don't know all that much about. "Killer is Dead" is the "personal story" of Mondo Zappa, a honorable assassin who carries a katana in one hand and has a gattling gun instead of the other.
And just like that, you have everything you need to know.
Like all of Suda's games, "Killer is Dead" is hyper-violent and dripping in style. Though some aspects of the game are clearly continuations of concepts from his past games, "KiD" has the speed and, let's face it, the insanity necessary to keep even the most jaded players engaged.
"Killer is Dead" should be coming out in Japan this Summer.
3. "The Last of Us"
"The Last of Us," "Uncharted" developer Naughty Dog's fourth PS3 game also feels like its most ambitious, not because of its mechanics, but because of its tone. The game's brutal violence seems meant to add gravity to the kind of action a chronic gamer might be desensatized to.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a devestating fungus turns most of humanity into zombie-like plant monsters, "The Last of Us" follows Joel, a survivor who agrees to help another survivor Ellie, across the US. Though fungal-zombies play a role, Joel and Ellie will face just as many problems from other people-scavengers and others living outside the law of government-run quarantine zones.
With "The Last of Us," Uncharted developer Naughty Dog has decided to switch gears and dive into a new experience right when the shadow of the PS4 is beginning to eclipse everything. Creating a second team to start developing the game in secret while working on "Uncharted 3," the developer clearly wants to make this game for this platform.
"The Last of Us" hobbles into stores June 14.
4. "Remember Me"
What kind of game would you get if you took "Ghost Trick" and "Bayonetta" and smashed them together? I'm not entirely sure but "Remember Me" seems like it could be one of the many possible options.
The game isn't actually as quirky as that description makes it sound. Players control Nilin, an amnesiac woman with the power to "remix" people's memories in order to get them to do things in the present. The game balances out the "inception"-style puzzle mechanics with plenty of button-mashy melee combat, which features a customizable combo system.
The game's interesting sci-fi narrative and potential for both satisfying combat and puzzles should attract gamers to "Remember Me." The game's unfortunate release date, one week before E3, however, makes us wonder if anyone, including Capcom, will give it the attention it (hopefully) deserves.
"Remember Me" hits store June 4
5. "The Last Guardian"
After more than five years, it's hard not to think of "The Last Guardian" as vaporware. Sony is adamant that the now-legendary project from "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" creator Fumito Ueda will come out someday, but even if it does the window for it to be anything other than a crushing failure is closing.
At its core, "The Last Guardian" is a story about a boy and his dog. Except the dog is huge. And has wings. Players control the boy, who needs to figure out how to make "Trico" solve puzzles and keep him safe from harm. As with Ueda's other games, explaining the game past the basic concept would likely do the game a diservice. The one thing about the game you need to know is that it's goal to get players to establish an emotional bond with an computer-controlled character.
As the game that took an entire console cycle to build, even if "The Last Guardian" manages were to make its way onto the PS3, it will be impossible for the game to withstand the crushing pressure of fan expectations and the need to prove itself as one of the best games on the late PS3 and the PS4 launch.
"The Last Guardian" will land on PS3 someday... Maybe.
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