Invasions and natural disasters await gamers in the coming weeks
This is that time of year when things hot up. As the summer approaches, game publishers ready their finest product for consumption by millions of gamers everywhere, and it all starts in March. The first signs of the inevitable gaming apocalypse can be seen (appropriately) in THQs latest shooter, Homefront. Penned by award-winning writer Jonh Milius (co-writer of Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn), Homefront is a first-person shooter set in the year 2027, starting off with an invasion of the United States by North Korea. Primarily a shooter, Homefront features what THQ describes as an ‘interactive cinematic FPS experience' with players taking on an infantry role whilst being able to issue commands to a variety of air and land units in the game's campaign mode. Homefront's multiplayer will be centred around large scale vehicular battles and a ‘battlepoints' system with which players will be able to purchase vehicles, weapons and upgrades.
Once the Koreans are done with the United States, another invasion awaits — an alien invasion of New York City. Well, to be fair, the invasion is already over by the time Crysis 2's story kicks into gear. The year is 2023 and the city of New York has been evacuated due to alien infestation. The game promises more of the intense action seen in its predecessor and ‘Crysis Warhead', with German developers Crytek promising that the combat will be ‘catastrophically beautiful'. Let's hope that with the urban-jungle setting, new and improved Cryengine 3 graphics engine and a better story, Crysis 2 will surpass the original in every possible way.
The apocalyptic month in gaming continues with the third instalment in Sony and Evolution Studios' Motorstorm series, (once again) appropriately titled ‘Motorstorm Apocalypse'. The series takes an interesting turn this time around, thanks to the developers opting to craft a single player experience that's more story-driven. Featuring in-game comic-inspired cinematics, Apocalypse also sports an urban setting for the first time in the series. To make things more interesting, the city is on an island that's being hit by a natural disaster of epic proportions causing buildings, roads and bridges to collapse and explode, with the racers having to cheat death at every corner. The premise holds promise, but it remains to be seen if the gameplay is up to scratch, and let's not forget that releasing a game with a natural disaster-centric theme isn't probably the best idea given the current situation in Japan.
Rounding off the month in gaming is a different sort of invasion — it isn't earthly, nor is it alien. It is extra dimensional. Nintendo's 3DS hand-held gaming device hits retail shelves in Europe and North America on March 25 and 27 respectively, and it's sure to change the face of gaming forever. Eliminating the need for 3D glasses, the 3DS' auto-stereoscopic dual displays are capable of producing 3D images that can be seen with the naked eye. A tonne of content in the form of first and third party titles is in the pipeline, with games such as Pro Evolution Soccer 3DS and Super Streety Fighter IV 3DS being available at launch.