By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool's weekly look at the newest video games coming to store shelves and digital download. With March quickly coming to a close the backlog of games is growing ever larger. While originally thought this month would belong to downloadable titles, the last few weeks are making me reconsider with another slate of big name games hitting retail. This week we have another clutch of solid games to contend with including a whole lot of first person shooting, gaming masochism, and a couple of free experiences to ease your wallet.
Now I'm not saying I'm a prophet, but back in October I made the bold prediction that 2K Games and developer Gearbox Software would be publishing a new generation version of Borderlands The Pre-Sequel. Although who am I kidding, with the way 2K has released Borderland's anyone with two brain cells and a console could've sniffed that HD port out. Anyway, 5 months later my prediction has come to pass as Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection. The first person loot based shooter gets and high definition upgrade and packs in the recently released Pre-Sequel along with 2012's Borderlands 2. But wait there's more! The Handsome Jack Collection contains all the downloadable content for Borderlands 2 and all the "available" content for the Pre-Sequel, that's code for expect more downloadable content. Borderlands 2 is a direct sequel to the original, with the Pre-Sequel being the latest game, canonically takes place before Borderlands 2. Each title has six unique vault hunters with individual skills to choose from, to suit a wide ranging array of play styles. For the first time in the series history four player split screen will be available, but god knows why you'd want to play that way. Perhaps the biggest selling point for fans who purchased either version is that you can migrate your saved data to the new version, meaning you won't have lost hours of precious, precious loot grinding. I've been kidding around, but I put over 80 hours into Borderlands 2 and you could certainly do worse for sixty dollars. Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection released Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
All you masochistic Dark Souls fans rejoice, the latest game in the series is here, sort of. Bloodborne is the spiritual successor to the popular 3rd person plodding action game b FromSoftware. Play as an infected character in search of a cure in a mythical city once renowned for its healing, now infected by a horrible plague. The main change in format from the Souls series is a move away from the slow deliberate combat in favor of a faster combat style. Bloodborne's answer to faster action is moving away from the block and parry gameplay of Dark Souls in favor of duel wielding weapons like a sword and gun. FromSoftware's also adding a new Chalice Mode that grants players access to a unique dungeon that can be shared with other players once unlocked. The Souls series has gone on a weird path, starting life as the PlayStation 3 exclusive Demon Souls, transitioning to the multi-console Dark Souls series, and now returning Tuesday as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Just a word of warning, this game has been reportedly too hard for the developers, so take that for what it's worth.
If you ever wanted a harder version of Contra, the latest Spring Fever release on PSN, Metal Slug 3 is the game for you. The classic SNK series is a mix of side-scrolling action, 2D shooting, and light platforming, wrapped up in a squat cartoon look. Fight zombies, giant mechanoid crabs, scuba divers and robots, through 5 stages of side scrolling fury. There's not a ton to talk up about Metal Slug, its best known in America for its run on Neo Geo arcade cabinets. It never quite made as big a splash as similar games in the genre like Contra, but still found a cult following. Metal Slug 3 released Tuesday on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita, with cross-buy compatibility.
Warner Brothers is a little late to the party, but if you've been paying any attention to the MOBA scene (massive online battle arena) you may have heard rumblings about their DC centric entry in the series, Infinite Crisis. The isometric strategy action game pulls characters from across DC's vast multiverse to deal with a pan galactic threat. Players can unlock a ton of different versions of characters like Vampire-Batman, Atomic-Green Lantern, and Mecha-Superman. The gameplay is class based, with certain characters filling a team role like tank or support, with some characters having strong ranged attacks, but poor defense, or the ability to absorb lots do damage, with limited special attack use. Infinite Crisis is working off the free to play model, with players paying for cosmetic items like character skins. It's been in open beta for some time, but launches proper on Friday. No offense to DC but Infinite Crisis seems like it's going to get its lunch eaten by the other popular MOBA games. With DOTA 2, League of Legends, and the upcoming Heroes of The Storm, I'm not sure if this will draw the crowd or money Warner Brothers is hoping for.
Who want's free content! The fantastic Forza Horizon 2 is getting a standalone expansion tying in with the new entry in the Fast & Furious series. Officially entitled "Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious" players will get a series of exclusive cars to race in new open world environments. The narrative has something to do with stealing cars, but it really doesn't matter, a free add on for an already good game is alright in my book. I just hope they do some of that cool sliding car between building nonsense like in the trailer.
They keep that up and add more Kurt Russell and Jason Statham and you've got me for anything. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious releases exclusively on Xbox One for free on Wednesday, but don't wait as it goes up to $10 on April 10th.
In a small redaction from last week, Elliot Quest got bumped to this Thursday on the Wii U.
That's all for this week folks. You can check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead, where in I dissection of the latest issue of The Walking Dead. It gets a new entry this Friday, so go catch up! You can also check out other great articles like Geek Shopping from Jersey cohort Christine Marie.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who just got his creepily accurate Kurt Russell action figure from Sideshow Collectables. If you'd like to see pictures, contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis.