While the Summer is the time for tentpole movies, mid-September to mid-November seems to be THE time for games with a glut of big releases hitting over two months, all to be ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday period.
We’ve already had the juggernaut “Gears of War 3”, and two well received new efforts “Rage” and “Dark Souls” from the manufacturers of “Doom” and “Demon’s Souls” respectively. For military FPS lovers there’s “Battlefield 3” and the sales goliath of the season – “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3”.
There’s plenty of big franchise sequels as well including “Assassins Creed: Revelations,” “Sonic Generations,” “Saints Row the Third,” “Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One,” “The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword” and the long-awaited RPG epic “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”.
Two games however have already scored my pre-orders, two games that are arguably the most cinematic of the season’s releases and two that have just delivered new trailers promoting their releases – “Batman: Arkham City” and “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”.
Batman: Arkham City
Reviews for “Batman: Arkham City” have begun trickling in and the talk is frankly incredible with 9/10, 9.5/10 and quite a lot of 10/10 scores all citing this as a serious contender for not just Game of the Year but one of the best console games yet.
On Metacritic the PS3 version sits at 98/100 which ties it with “Grand Theft Auto IV” for the best score of all time, just ahead of “Uncharted 2: Honor Among Thieves” with 96/100.
On Xbox 360 it currently sits at 95/100. “Grand Theft Auto IV” at 98/100 and the three-way tie of “Bioshock,” “The Orange Box” and “Mass Effect 2” at 96/100 sit above it, while it currently shares the same score as “Red Dead Redemption” and “Portal 2”.
The first game, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” had around 12-15 hours of main storyline game play versus the 40 hours or so on hand here which will be keeping many occupied for much of the rest of the year. The game itself hits stores all around the world this coming week.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
The first game was by far the best launch title of the PS3 and a great little game in itself.
The second game however improved on it in every way with its stunning environments and excellent melding of cinematics, gameplay, strong voice acting and fun but ambitious writing. It remains one of the best console games thus far created, certainly the single best PS3-exclusive title to date.
Developer Naughty Dog have yet to let us down and are back with this third entry. Can it match its predecessor?