Hot chick on the cover? Check. Kind of resembles the Baroness from GI Joe? Double Check. Guns? Check – check her feet too, cause those high heels are packing heat too. Wait, what? From the get-go, you know this isn’t going to be a normal shooter. But just how far down the rabbit-hole does it go? Come with me for an interesting journey.
To be totally honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this game. On the surface, it looks like Devil May Cry and God of War thrown together, mixed in with a few of the more “respectable” character models from the Dead or Alive series for good measure. In other words, it had the potential for being something very entertaining, or something that felt like it’s been done to death a hundred times before, and that within minutes I would be turning off my Xbox and tossing the game and case back into the Give to Friends I Don’t Really Care About pile of games.
But along comes one of the most over-the-top, guns-blazing, unforgettable prologues I have every experienced in my 20 plus years of gaming. Without warning, you are thrown into what in most other games would be the lead-up battle to a boss fight, with seemingly endless wave after wave of enemies, just asking to be executed in the most over-the-top style you can imagine. Of course, at this point, you have had no proper introduction to the control system or special move-list, so you are basically pulling off random combos and incredibly well animated visceral executions without knowing how or why you are doing so. Did I mention that this was all happening on the face of a giant clock tower – as it is careening end over end down the face of mountain? Bayonetta is a game that reaches through the 4th wall, grabs you by your face and screams “can you hear me now?” as loud as possible, while punching you repeatedly about the head and neck.
The art style for the game is very unique as well, which fits the over-the-top in-your-face atmosphere, from having still photo spreads for cutscenes (which are actually still images from a roll of film, interestingly enough) with the dialogue played over the images, to full out game-engine animated scenes mixed up to keep you on your toes. Bayonetta herself is apparently the last Witch on the planet, and has just woken up from a 500 year nap at the bottom of a lake, and is on a mission to find her memory and cause general havoc and chaos for the good guys – or bad guys, in this case. Every singles enemy in the game is an “angel”, replete with glowing halo’s over their heads, and your job is to eradicate them in the most awful and punishing ways possible. You even have the option of executing Punishment and Torture attacks, such as summoning an Iron Maiden to crush and destroy your enemies, or at later stages when you have improved your magic abilites, calling larger than life demons to eradicate all the enemies around you. Read more…
Another big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Another tie-in video game. But this one has James Cameron’s name on the box, so it can’t be that bad, right?
To be fair, I had very low expectations for James Cameron’s Avatar – The Video Game. It immediately brought back horrific memories of playing through another movie tie-in videogame with a title as long as my forearm (Peter Jackson’s King Kong The Movie The Game). It has always amazed me that a videogame form of a film seems to need the suffix “The Game” tagged on to the end of the title, as if the general public wouldn’t be able to figure out that the product they are currently holding, which may say Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo on it, isn’t actually the film that’s currently in theatres, but a game based on said film. But I digress….
If you’re expecting any kind of spoilers about the movie from this game, you won’t find them. The game is set two years prior to the events of the film, and you play a forgettable character that really doesn’t matter. You have a wide range of choices at the start of the game as to your gender and race, but this has no affect on the rest of the game, as you soon become a nameless grunt stuck on both sides of the ensuing conflict on the planet of Pandora. The basic story is similar to that of the film in that the humans are on Pandora and the Na’vi don’t really appreciate them, but since this is a few years prior, things are a little less established, and the invading human force hasn’t set up such a large presence – at least, not yet.
Through the main arc of the game, you progress to fighting with the humans and then with the Na’vi, eventually allowing you to make moral choices as to which side of the conflict you feel more at home with. The problem with this is that the game makes it very hard to side with the technologically-inferior Na’vi, especially when you can pilot mech suits, use rocket launchers and flamethrowers when you’re human, and on the flipside use bows and arrows and command bees. Bees? Really? I think I know which side I’m going to be sticking with, thanks.
Army Of Two
It’s time to work together to survive this winter! Army of Two can be played co-op over Xbox Live or with an AI partner to form the finest force against the enemy the government can afford. Plus if you pre-order Army of Two this holiday on the 360 you’ll receive exclusive community created weapons. If you’re a PS3 owner you receive an exclusive dossier including hints and content from the graphic novel.
Army of Two comes out on November 13th, 2007 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It’s a violent game so it’s rated M for mature and will retail at $59.99.
See you in the war!
Do you have a beast of a PC? Does your graphics card far exceed any benchmark out there? Great! You might be able to play Crysis! Powered by Crytek’s CryENGINE2, Crysis is an amazing achievement on all fronts; gameplay, visuals, and an amazing storyline make this game a possible “Halo killer” for the holiday season. Pre-order now and get a 16 page book full of concept art, an exclusive in-game vehicle and a bonus disc with behind the scenes footage from Crytek.
Crysis is out November 16th for PC and retails at $49.99/$59.99 for the Special Edition.