Drought’s End: Part 2

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Mid to late August usually marks the end of the summer gaming drought as we enter a packed release schedule that runs right up until the New Year. Here’s part 2 of our showcase of games that you’ll want to play this Autumn.

Spore (Release: 8/09 )

You can’t but help be caught up by the excitement around Spore. Sure it looks cutesy, with an aesthetic that might mark it out unjustly as something for the kids. But for anyone who’s sat down with the freely available Creature Creator portion of the game, the appeal is immediate and engrossing. Create your own unique creature and customise it to extremes, then watch as the game skillfully animates your concocted monstrosity and fashions adorable baby versions to accompany it. The game is touted somewhat glibly as “Sim Everything”. Take your lifeform from primordial bacteria and evolve it into a globe spanning civilisation. And then take it to the stars, into a galaxy of creatures populated by the imaginings of other players, uploaded to the global Sporepedia. It all sounds so… big. The scale and scope of Spore could turn out to be astonishing. Let’s just hope the “game” portion is up to scratch.

Fallout 3 (Release: 3/10 )

It’s Fallout-bloody-3, the next big RPG from the boys who made Oblivion. Roam free around post-nuclear apocalypse Washington, engage all manner of nasty mutants and bandits, work with or against a number of different factions, explore the wasteland to your heart’s content, get a dog, oh yeah, and Liam Neeson is your father. What more needs to be said?

Red Alert 3 (Release: 28/10 )

This one could go either way. While its great to see RA making a comeback after all these years, we still know very little about the game. The gameplay trailers floating around seem carefully planned and scripted and no one has had any hands-on time with the game yet. I’ve just had an email from EA telling me that I have my place in the open multiplayer beta that begins in the next few months, so we’ll know soon enough how things are shaping up. Biggest hang up for me so far? All the unit barks seem lifted from RA2. Verbatim. That may sound petty, but it screams of corner-cutting to me. Of course, that’ll probably be fixed somewhere down the line. Frank Klepacki (C&C music maestro of Westwood yore) has been signed up to redo the Hell March tune again, and maybe some other audio work too.

Dead Space (Release: 31/10 )

Survival horror? That’s a genre the Resident Evil games ran into the ground right? Survival horror in space? Well, you might just be onto something there. To be fair, Dead Space is looking pretty spiffy and, more importantly, rather scary to boot. You’ll play Isaac (Hayes?), a lone engineer trapped on a giant space ship whose crew seemed to have turned into…well, something. Something evil obviously. Interesting features abound – the devs are touting “strategic dismemberment”, where it’s often better to blow limbs off of your hideous enemies to slow them down rather than aim for something trivial like the head. The first-person HUD looks to be minimal, projected into the world holographically by the suit of armour you wear. And it all looks rather horrifying – some of the trailers show space nasties tearing fragile Isaac’s soft man flesh to tiny bits. Aces.

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2 Responses to “Drought’s End: Part 2”

  1. Drought’s End: August Gaming and Beyond Part 1 « The Irish Gamers Says:

    […] Irish Gamers are looking forward to once we’ve gotten summer out of the way. Stay tuned for Part 2 in the next few […]

  2. The Monthly Wrap-up: July « The Irish Gamers Says:

    […] from August onwards. The end of 2008 is going to be a great one for games. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our […]

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