June 20 - June 24

Dungeon Siege is the latest traditional PC franchise to spread its wings and explore new platforms for making more money. Usually I carp and moan about this sort of consoled marginalization, but DS was never a particularly sacred franchise for me, and it's easy enough to imagine transitioning the game to a console without losing much in the process. It wasn't exactly rocket science before. So it would be easy enough for me to tag Dungeon Siege III as my game of the week, except for one thing. It's being developed by Obsidian Entertainment.

This tells me to wait a few weeks (read: a few patches) before looking into any kind of purchase.

Instead, my pick of the week is F.E.A.R. 3, which is a series I've always felt consistently provided a solid gameplay experience. I know these aren't exactly beloved shooters, but what the game has lacked traditionally in storytelling or level design, I've always felt like it made up with tight, responsive play, something they can hopefully bring to the coop mode. Also, the main character has a pretty cool beard, which is like automatically +10 Elysium points.

So F.E.A.R. 3 gets my nod for this week.

PC
Arma 2: Reinforcements
Cars 2: The Video Game
Dungeon Siege III
F.E.A.R. 3
Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising

Xbox 360
Cars 2: The Video Game
Dungeon Siege III
F.E.A.R. 3
Shadows of the Damned

PlayStation 3
Cars 2: The Video Game
Dungeon Siege III
F.E.A.R. 3
Shadows of the Damned

3DS
DualPenSports
Petz Fantasy 3D

DS
Cars 2: The Video Game

Wii
Cars 2: The Video Game
Gummy Bears Magical Medallion
Maximum Racing: Super Karts

Comments

Looks like zero purchases this week. My wallet needs the break!

no need to worry about Dungeon Siege 3 as far as stability is concerned - It's one of the smoothest, hassle free games I've played through in a LONG time. I can scarcely believe Obsidian made it.

I was pleasantly suprised by it actually, after the lacklustre demo. Glad I took a gamble on it.

A quick summary off the top of my head:

- pretty short (i finished in 13 hours including side missions)
- terrible PC interface, but you get used to it
- you REALLY need to play with a 360 controller

+ bug free as far as I could tell
+ not entirely original story but VERY well told with sympathetic characters
+ has a suprising amount of branching dialogue and some quite tough moral choices, especially for an action RPG.
+ has obsidian's patented fallout style "this is what happened to X" endings based on your actions throughout the game.
+ this actually HAS an ending, no stupid cliffhanger
+ combat feels really good once you unlock more powerups and attacks
+ Excellent art style and design. Good music too.

if you go into it thinking "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" rather than "Diablo" then you'll probably have a good time with it.

No mention of Shadows of the Damned? Huh. I would've thought it would get a nod just out of sheer oddness.

When I read "Shadows of the Damned," I think "are no more dark than the shadows of the saved."

I don't know what that means about the game, though.

Shadows of the Damned is pretty much the only thing this week that looks interesting to me, but it's honestly not one I'll be getting at release.

wordsmythe wrote:
When I read "Shadows of the Damned," I think "are no more dark than the shadows of the saved."

I don't know what that means about the game, though.

If you stand in the shadow of the damned, it might feel creepier. Hmmm?

I enjoyed the F.E.A.R. series as well, but a different developer with a mediocre track record is giving me pause on whether the quality of this installment is up to snuff.

Shadows of the Damned looks like the typical Suda 51 joint to me: Crazy and outrageous style mixed in with very boring gameplay.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:
Shadows of the Damned looks like the typical Suda 51 joint to me: Crazy and outrageous style mixed in with very boring gameplay.

Could be, but the gameplay has input from Shinji Mikami, so it should be better than Suda's normal stuff.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:
I enjoyed the F.E.A.R. series as well, but a different developer with a mediocre track record is giving me pause on whether the quality of this installment is up to snuff.
Isn't this one Monolith partnering with Day1—the same combo that did the original title?

You forgot Trenched. That's my Game of the Week.

jonnypolite wrote:
You forgot Trenched. That's my Game of the Week.

If Giant Bomb's Quick Look is any indication, then I'm with you whole-heartedly. That stuff looks FUN. Looks like it might actually have some gameplay depth to back up its style and charm, something none of Double Fine's downloadable fare has really offered yet.

Also purchased DS3. It works really well (Obsidian finally nailed it), has a certain look to it that I just adore (the cut-scenes remind me of Icewind Dale 1), and the combat packs a meaty punch, especially the physics once you pull bigger moves.

All in all, I'd say to try at least the demo.

It's something really nice to play with friends.

wordsmythe wrote:
Isn't this one Monolith partnering with Day1—the same combo that did the original title?

No, this is Day 1 mostly working on their own. And the original was Monolith on their own. Day 1 just ported the original to consoles...and didn't do a very good job of even that.

+1 for Trenched

I plan on trading my copy of L.A. Noire for a XBL points card or two at my local independent retailer (read: not Gamestop) so I can buy it.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Isn't this one Monolith partnering with Day1—the same combo that did the original title?

No, this is Day 1 mostly working on their own. And the original was Monolith on their own. Day 1 just ported the original to consoles...and didn't do a very good job of even that.
Thanks for clearing that up. It honestly wasn't a title that ever appealed to me, but now that I know that I live mere blocks from Day1 Chicago, there's a personal interest.

I feel pressured to add Shadows of the Damned to the pile while working through FEAR. Not sure if it's worth it. Thank gods for justin.tv.

UPDATE: Yep. After seeing a few levels of that, there's no way I'm dropping $60 on it. There's artiness, and then there's bad design. Too much of the latter won't justify the former.

The Dungeon Siege III demo took the snooze train to Blahville with a quick stop in Diablotown followed by a long layover in Dragon Age Wannabe Junction and Camera Control Nightmariapolis.

I'm glad to hear the full game is better, but the demo saved me $60.

I wanted to like DSIII, but the demo failed to impress. However, I was playing on the PC and I am hearing from some people that this game plays better with a gamepad? Has anyone found this to be the case? I will try the Xbox 360 demo, but if this is the case, this might be one of those rare times that I prefer the console version over the PC.

I love the (unfortunately spelled) F.E.A.R. franchise, so I will pick that one up once I am done playing through (the surprisingly enjoyable, despite the reviews) Duke Nukem Forever.

In retrospect shouldn't this have been Free Team Fortress 2 week?