June 25 – June 29

I saw Spec Ops: The Line at PAX early this spring, and it had the unfortunate timing of delivering roady-run, cover shooter, real-world setting action at exactly the moment, literally by the minute and second, that I could no longer generate any enthusiasm for that style of play. It was like walking into the bathroom in the morning, and picking up the completely rolled up tube of what used to be filled with toothpaste, and fruitlessly squeezing til your fingers hurt to get just one more dab of dental hygiene. I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't coax out a last gasp of interest or care for another game of shooting bad guys in the Middle East while skulking behind conveniently laid cover.

This may be entirely unfair, because what I played of Spec Ops felt like a decently polished game. Not inventive by any stretch of the imagination, but it opened with a nice helicopter action set piece and then dropped you in the desert outside of Dubai. Gritty voice acting and ripped from the headlines plotting I guess was supposed to make me feel some kind of testosterone-infused jingoism, but instead I just felt like I really wanted a nap.

So even though it is clearly the biggest release of the week, I just can't put Spec Ops up on the big board for Game of the Week. No, instead I turn to Penny Arcade On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3. With Hothead games moving on from making PA games, it seemed for a while that we had seen the last of the series, but then came Zeboyd Games, creators of Cthulu Saves the World, and I'm hard pressed to think of anyone better to take up the call.

PC
- London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
- Spec Ops: The Line
- The Race for the White House
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
- McPixel (download)
- Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 (download)
- Thomas Was Alone (download)

Xbox 360
- Dead Island Game of the Year Edition
- Just Dance Greatest Hits
- London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
- The Amazing Spider-Man and Jeremy McGrath's Offroad
- Sledge Hammer
- Spec Ops: The Line
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Jeremy McGrath's Offroad (XBLA)

PlayStation 3
- Dead Island Game of the Year Edition
- Just Dance Greatest Hits
- London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
- Record of Agarest War 2
- Spec Ops: The Line
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Jeremy McGrath's Offroad (PSN)

Wii
- The Amazing Spider-Man

Nintendo 3DS
- The Amazing Spider-Man

PSP
- Farm Frenzy Pizza Party (mini)
- Unchained Blades (PSN)

Nintendo DS
-The Amazing Spider-Man
- Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival (DSiWare)
- Flip the Core (DSiWare)

Comments

London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
The Race for the White House

I wonder what these games are about ...

I just noticed Fray dropped last week. Put it on my wishlist, thought it worth getting a small mention somewhere.

Amazing Spidey looks fun, but I will wait for a sale:) I like the summer months when I can focus on the pile.

Elysium does realize PA Adventures is a JRPG through and through, right?

shoptroll wrote:

Elysium does realize PA Adventures is a JRPG through and through, right? ;)

Shh. Don't mention Costume Quest, either.

Ooh, Agarest 2! More bad SRPG wrapped around anime boobies!

garion333 wrote:
London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
The Race for the White House

I wonder what these games are about ...

18th Century class politics.

Elysium does realize PA Adventures is a JRPG through and through, right?

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

DanB wrote:
garion333 wrote:
London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
The Race for the White House

I wonder what these games are about ...

18th Century class politics.

"The more things change ...," after all.

Elysium wrote:
Elysium does realize PA Adventures is a JRPG through and through, right?

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

I can drink to that. Cheers!

No mention of Dawnguard? I bet that would be the GotW for many Xbox 360 players.

Also missing is Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.

The Amazing Spider-Man and Jeremy McGrath's Offroad

An intriguing mix.

garion333 wrote:
London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games
The Race for the White House

I wonder what these games are about ...

First one's an even MORE depressing take on Orwell's 1984 set in a grim post apocalyptic city of nightmare....oh hang on...no, that's London. Sorry. Easy mistake to make.

Second one's a Kart racer.

MeatMan wrote:

Also missing is Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.

As Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition wasn't listed for PC back in April, I doubt that qualifies too.

Elysium wrote:

I saw Spec Ops: The Line at PAX early this spring

I was sure this was Elysium being funny about the long line to play Spec Ops at PAX, until I realized that was the real name of the game.

shoptroll wrote:
MeatMan wrote:

Also missing is Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.

As Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition wasn't listed for PC back in April, I doubt that qualifies too.

Free DLC is free.

Since it's the GotW, I should mention that pre-ordering Penny Arcade On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 on Steam gets you a free copy of Cthulu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII. 3 games for $5, not bad.

Stele wrote:

Since it's the GotW, I should mention that pre-ordering Penny Arcade On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 on Steam gets you a free copy of Cthulu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII. 3 games for $5, not bad.

And the first two games are on sale as well!

Have never played the first two Penny Arcade titles, though they sit nicely in my laptop's queue... the third is what calls out the most for me out of this week's releases.

Grabbed Rain Slick 3 tonight, as well as getting Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World on my pile now. Whee!

I'm undecided on Spec Ops: The Line. I could use a break from Dragon's Dogma, and simple shooter action might be the palette cleanser I need.

I'm such a ES fanboy that I started the Dawnguard download before I left for work this morning.

For so many games being released, there's very few really good ones...

Getting PA:Otrspod 3 and Unchained Blades for this week. PA:Otrspod will probably go straight to the top of my list given how much I enjoyed the last two. I'm still hoping they end up releasing their games for Vita though.

Elysium wrote:

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

Hurrah! I've pretty much had the same bias against modern military shooters for awhile. Mainly, I don't enjoy playing a cookie-cutter soldier and prefer more adventure-shooters. The Resistance series is the closest thing to military shooters I've ever enjoyed playing.

kazriko wrote:

For so many games being released, there's very few really good ones...

That's generally known as "every month but November" since that's when all the holiday releases drop.

Elysium wrote:

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

I was right there with you until I read the Edge review during my lunch break. If it's as subversive within the genre as is claimed, then I'm actually kind of interested.

By its final minutes, Walker himself has grown from chisel-jawed videogame lunk to something approaching a character, even if he’s not one you necessarily like. He becomes a traumatised, maniacal, murderous wreck, and in this transformation is a wry criticism: this is what any shooter protagonist should look like after the amount of death and destruction they routinely face.
Pretendbeard wrote:
Elysium wrote:

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

I was right there with you until I read the Edge review during my lunch break. If it's as subversive within the genre as is claimed, then I'm actually kind of interested.

By its final minutes, Walker himself has grown from chisel-jawed videogame lunk to something approaching a character, even if he’s not one you necessarily like. He becomes a traumatised, maniacal, murderous wreck, and in this transformation is a wry criticism: this is what any shooter protagonist should look like after the amount of death and destruction they routinely face.

I read that review too, and that put the game from "couldn't be less interested" to "hmmm..." in my mind. I gather that the action is pretty much standard pop and shoot cover based, but the characterisation aspects might make it worthwhile.

I haven't played any MW games since MW2, and have never played any BF at all.

So I made the mistake of listening to Weekend Confirmed on my way home from work yesterday, and now I have a copy of Spec Ops: The Line. Granted this wasn't my first temptation as I had pre-ordered the game after listening to an old episode of Talk Radar, but it was enough to push me over the edge.

I can't promise anyone that they'll fall in love with the gameplay, as it seems to be a sort of combination of Gears of War's cover style mixed with Call of Duty's modern shooterisms. Basically, people go down faster and all the enemies are humans with different sorts of guns, though there are subtle changes to the A.I. based on who you're fighting.

What has thus far elevated the campaign is that it feels like there was some honest effort to write here. The first time you face American soldiers you hear the other guys shouting "Don't trust 'em! They're CIA!", and then your buddies are constantly shouting stuff like "Dammit! We're not CIA!" and "Do the words Friendly Fire mean anything to you?!" There's a level of character going on, where they're trying to make sure you know who it is you're shooting at and that the situation is totally screwed up.

This is also some of the best use of pick-up audio recordings and such in a while. There aren't a lot compared to other games and they're referred to as "Intelligence", but it's all enough to actually paint a picture of what might have kick-started things in Dubai and what may be going on.

I can't promise it as a game to everyone, but if you haven't played a modern war shooter in a while then there are worse things you can do than pick up Spec Ops, in particular because the focus this time was on campaign (including every single achievement being "Campaign Only", which is almost unheard of these days but really drives home where the developer's priorities were).

Yeah, I keep hearing good things about the sp campaign in Spec Ops. That's not enough to get me interested though. I'll stick with the anecdotes.

spider_j wrote:
Pretendbeard wrote:
Elysium wrote:

I guess the good news is my bias against JRPGs is now superseded by my bias against cookie-cutter, modern warfare shooters.

I was right there with you until I read the Edge review during my lunch break. If it's as subversive within the genre as is claimed, then I'm actually kind of interested.

By its final minutes, Walker himself has grown from chisel-jawed videogame lunk to something approaching a character, even if he’s not one you necessarily like. He becomes a traumatised, maniacal, murderous wreck, and in this transformation is a wry criticism: this is what any shooter protagonist should look like after the amount of death and destruction they routinely face.

I read that review too, and that put the game from "couldn't be less interested" to "hmmm..." in my mind. I gather that the action is pretty much standard pop and shoot cover based, but the characterisation aspects might make it worthwhile.

I haven't played any MW games since MW2, and have never played any BF at all.

Kirk Hamilton said roughly the same as everyone else at Kotaku.

I guess I just wonder that's so amazing about a game that's obviously patterned after Heart of Darkness / Apocalypse Now. I mean, we already had one of those.

Plus, there's this whole other discussion in my mind about why we need overt flags in order to make it OK to actually think about what's happening in a game.

Edit: I have TWEETED on this subject.

Basically, for most GWJ folks, I'd say wait for a Steam sale. For me it's pretty fun and good, but I think with modern war shooters I'll probably differentiate from a lot of the folks around here.

I just finished Spec Ops: The Line after getting it for $25 from Amazon. It's certainly not a great shooter, but it really does some interesting things with the characters and narrative. I'm kinda surprised that there doesn't seem to be a thread on it.

TheCounselor wrote:

I just finished Spec Ops: The Line after getting it for $25 from Amazon. It's certainly not a great shooter, but it really does some interesting things with the characters and narrative. I'm kinda surprised that there doesn't seem to be a thread on it.

I didn't think anyone else would end up buying it. >.>