By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Sweet Release! Bleeding Cool's look at the new games hitting store shelves and digital platforms this week. After April's deluge of downloadable titles completely overshadowed the retail games calendar, May sees us returning to a more traditional release schedule. A traditional release really says it all as we have console re-releases, downloadable content, a weird Japanese role playing game, and finish out with the free games if you subscribe to any of the premium services.
We start off this week with a genre and premise that's as American as apple pie…first person shooting and killing Nazis! Last year Bethesda Softworks reinvigorated the first person shooter genre on new generation consoles with the release of Wolfenstein: The New Order, an off the wall update of the tried and true shooter series with a cool twist. Taking place over a number of years including the 1940s and 1960s where the Nazi's have conquered the world using space age technology. As a freshly awoken B.J. Blazkowicz it's up to you to fight with the resistance and dismantle the Nazi empire. The update to the classic shooter was a critical success for Bethesda and allowed for the commission of a standalone expansion, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Acting as a prequel to The New Order, The Old Blood breaks the story up in two distinct chapters with Blazkowicz infiltrating the titular Castle Wolfenstein, and a second chapter in the city of Wulfburg. The expansion brings new weapons and new enemies, and I'd be surprised if Mecha-Hitler wasn't in there somewhere. The story seems to retain a lot of the pulp charm of the original release with a nice mix of the series classic roots. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on Tuesday, with an Xbox One release Wednesday.
It wouldn't be a Sweet Release! without another addition to the re-release roster! This week's inductee is the fantastic, Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor: Game of The Year Edition. The 3rd person action adventure game places you in the role of Talion a ranger keeping watch over Mordor whose family is brutally slain in front of him. After a magical sacrifice gone wrong, Talion is bound to a wraith making him unkillable and hot for vengeance. Shadow of Mordor broken down to its most basic elements is like someone smashed up Assassin's Creed and the Arkham City games, with light amounts of stealth punctuated by vicious and flowing swordfights. A lot of the games appeal is thanks to the genuinely innovative Nemesis System, where certain powerful Uruks will have strengths and weaknesses based on previous battles. They'll also remember you, calling out specific tactics used against them and won't always fall for the same tricks twice. The game of the year edition comes with all the downloadable content, including the Bright Lord and Lord of The Hunt expansions. I'd imagine that most people have played this by now based on the positive reaction it got last year, but if you haven't it's well worth your time. Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor: Game of The Year Edition released Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Let's catch up with our bizarrely titled Japanese role playing games with Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker. The long running Shin Megami series is an institution in Japan with almost 50 games in the series, an anime, weird sexy vinyl figures and more. As with many Japanese role playing games the story is nigh incomprehensible for me, but here's the blurb explaining it anyway:
Just before the heralding of the apocalypse, when life was normal, some thrill-seekers were registering on a website that promised to deliver fake videos of their friends being killed. As people wondered what these videos could mean, an invasion began and humanity was forced to face a struggle to survive in an unprecedented catastrophe. For the main character and his friends, they stand up for humanity when the very same website uploads an application on their cell phones, summoning demons. From there, newly minted demon tamers begin the fight to survive and save the future of mankind, but the protagonist's decisions aren't without consequences. What he chooses may save the lives of his friends, or seal their fate.
So yeah…story. I appreciate that they make these games, there not for me, but hey, different strokes for different folks. If you pre-order it comes with a CD soundtrack and Atlus has also made a fuss about the game containing both English and Japanese voice acting for the first time. Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker released Tuesday on the Nintendo 3/2DS.
The beginning of the month means a fresh new crop of games if you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus.
Sony starts off the month right with Drinkbox Game's fantastic Metroid-Vania style 2D platformer Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition on PlayStation 4. The PS4 also gets Ether One, a first person puzzle game that's giving off a Mist vibe. From there the list gets a little arty with indie experimental racer, Race The Sun, weird LSD exploration game Hohokum and vague art game, Unfinished Swan across all three platforms. The Vita exclusive title for the month is Murasaki Baby, a puzzle platform game with a Jhonen Vasquez looking art style.
Last month Xbox Live users got a pretty good deal from Microsoft with two extra games of varying quality. But set your expectations to low as this month subscribers only really get three new games, down from six last month. Pool Nation FX returns to Xbox One for another month, while tower defense game CastleStorm: Definitive Edition tries to ease disappointment. 360 users get Mafia II probably the least interesting open world game on a console full of them free until the 15th. The real kicker is our final game, F1 2013….so enjoy this two year old racing game which is free until the 31st.
That's all for this week, if you're interested in interviews about sci-fi comics, why not go check out Bleeding Cool Magazine #16, The Adventure Issue! I talk with IDW's Chris Ryall about his new series Onyx which you might've seen on Free Comic Book Day.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who already has raccoon eyes from being in the sun. Tell him about your weird tan lines @John_Laryngitis on Twitter.