(Nintendo Wii; November)
Veteran developer Warren Spector (the man behind the glorious, morally ambiguous cyberpunk classics ‘Deus Ex’ and ‘System Shock’) is at the helm of this reimagined Disney figurehead for the Nintendo Wii. Early screenshots look beautiful, and while game-play videos seem to show humdrum platform jumping, Spector’s pedigree as a designer of complex systems means we can still hope for an interesting, rewarding experience.
From (top to bottom): Enslaved: Odyssey to the West; Costume Quest; Microsoft Kinect; Playstation Move and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
(Xbox 360/PlayStation3; Rs 699)
Studio double Fine’s ‘Costume Quest’ is the first in a series of shorter, quirkier games. Known for their superb comic titles ‘Psychonauts’ and ‘Brutal Legend’, the studio’s adorable new game centres around a group of children attempting to foil a neighbourhood kidnapping plot.
(Xbox 360; November)
(PlayStation3, Rs 3,650)
So two years after Nintendo’s Wii made “waggle” a household word, the other two gaming hardware giants are slouching their way towards motion-controls land. The PlayStation Move doesn’t even try too hard—choosing to be a pretty direct Wii Remote rip-off with an eerie glowing orb on top of the device. Move has already got on board a number of solid first-party titles, and hopes to veer the sneering hard-core gamer to put down the controller and wave a wand-shaped dongle around. Good luck with that. Microsoft’s Kinect attempts to jump years into the future, doing away with the controller altogether and relying on “natural gestures”—mime a wheel! Punch the air! Impressive early demos also showed a lag in response time, but Microsoft says all those issues will be sorted out.
ENSLAVED: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST
(PlayStation3/Xbox 360; Rs 2,499)
Every game release calendar has to have one high-budget, visually arresting extravaganza that usually ends up being a middle-of-the-road disappointment.
Here’s hoping this season’s entry, ‘Enslaved’, bucks the trend. This action adventure title features the talent of screenwriter Alex Garland (‘28 Days Later’) and is directed by Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films).
GHOST TRICK: PHANTOM DETECTIVE
(Nintendo DS; December)
The new adventure game from the creator of the brilliantly irreverent ‘Phoenix Wright’ series sees the player as a detective of the afterlife, who uses his spirit powers to prevent wrongful deaths in the real world. No one does silliness and bad punning quite like ‘Phoenix Wright’.
Who needs new when you can milk an existing successful franchise? Here are the latest from the establishment.
From (top to bottom) Civilization V, Rock Band 3, Fable III and LittleBigPlanet 2
(PC; Rs 999)
The grand old daddy of PC strategy games, Sid Meier, returns with ‘Civilization V’. Long-time fans may soon find themselves in a familiar sleepdeprived Civ-fix—‘Just one more turn.’
ROCK BAND 3
(Xbox 360/PlayStation3/Wii; Rs 5,799)
It’s the requiem for plastic instruments and pretend guitars—with ‘Rock Band 3’ and its new ‘Pro’ mode, developers Harmonix want to get serious about imparting real world music skills.
(Xbox 360/PC; Rs 2,499)
Peter Molyneux’S games always come with tall claims (‘Fable III’ deals with injustice and society)—but each iteration seems to inch closer and closer to the man’s grandiose visions.
The game about making games is back! ‘LittleBigPlanet 2’, still a PlayStation3 exclusive, has twice the number of options, twice the number of levels, and its all twice as adorable.