June Bugs

During the first half of 2008, things are looking a bit quiet on the racing front as far as new releases are concerned. The second half doesn't look to be too active either, save for the one or two of the usual suspects that release a new game in a series each year. But if you focus your attention to the year's midpoint, you'll find Race Driver: Grid. From the team at Codemasters that brought us DiRT in 2007 comes a very promising looking racer. Although the game stems from a series, Race Driver has not seen the light of day on consoles or PC since the release of TOCA Race Driver 3 in early 2006. Now sporting a full crash engine that will have parts of your car flying all over the place upon impact, Grid takes you on a solo career initiative to locations in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Unlike many more recent racing games, Grid's focus will not be on car customization. There's no pimping your ride, so to speak. Instead, the game is all about the racing experience with fully licensed vehicles that can be added to your garage as you progress. While it's totally possible to destroy your vehicle during a race, Grid offers a "flashback" feature that allows you to rewind the race ten seconds before your crash and hopefully avoid what was once certain death. Some may view this feature as a cheat, but it may very well be appreciated during some of the longer races. We can better make that determination when Grid ships in June.

Metal Gear Solid 4, titled "Guns of the Patriots", was announced in 2005, long before the PlayStation 3 hit the market. While many hoped that the new game would be the first of a trilogy in the long running series, the folks at Konami assured us that this was not the case. In fact, Guns of the Patriots was named as the final game in the Metal Gear series. While this may disappoint, the game should not -- it looks incredible.

In Metal Gear Solid 4, hero Solid Snake returns in odd but rare form. As the result of a faulty cloning process, Snake is now aging rapidly with looks that could pass for the father of the Solid Snake we've seen in previous games. The final adventure finds Snake using stealth mechanics and an OctoCamo suit to blend in with his surroundings as he attempts to assassinate long time rival, Liquid Ocelot. Expect to be reintroduced to the many familiar characters that made the series great when the game ships in June.

Also slated for a June release is Alone in the Dark. Now here's a title we haven't seen in quite a while. While many believed that The New Nightmare released in 2001 marked the end of the series whose title was synonymous with the survival horror genre, the developers at Eden Studios confirm that this is not the case. Fans that enjoyed Alone in the Dark since its debut on PC in 1992 will be pleased to see the return of protagonist Edward Carnby as he investigates supernatural occurrences that are shaking up New York City's Central Park.

While adventure elements such as puzzle-solving will most certainly make their way into the latest installment, an entirely new way of experiencing the series has been implemented. This time around, the game will be broken up into 30-40 minute episodes. While episodic gameplay is nothing new, it is most commonly offered in separate releases a la Half-Life 2 or Sam and Max. However, in this case, gamers will get the entire saga in a single package. Each episode's cliff-hanger ending will be followed by a quick recap of the events specific to your game and the routes you chose to take on your way through that episode. This seems like a cool feature, but only time will tell if gamers will react favorably or see it as a hindrance to the overall experience. And that time is slowly but surely drawing near. As for me, I have seen this game in action and it certainly has all the elements that should appease fans of survival horror and action junkies alike.

Index The Doldrums of Summer
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  • DeanimatE - Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - link

    where the horse pie is Street Fighter IV?
    that game is going to be huge! :D
  • nicknet - Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - link

    Ships September 16... i'm a little excited about this one too
  • deeznuts - Monday, May 12, 2008 - link

    The fact you have a couple of movie games in there, ugh, thse have such little chance of becoming good games.

    LittleBigPlanet? Man that's going to be huge. Not even an honorable mention?
  • Omega215D - Monday, May 12, 2008 - link

    I guess it is a good thing that Ubisoft Montreal is working on Far Cry 2. Games from this division are usually quite good in comparison to their Shanghai part.

    Also I thought that the next Splinter Cell (also from Montreal) is supposed to be out this year. Any news on that?
  • KeypoX - Sunday, May 11, 2008 - link

    Seems pretty surprising. But nearly all of them are xbox and ps3 ports :(. Hope they port nicely.
  • demiurge3141 - Saturday, May 10, 2008 - link

    i heard that duke nukem forever will be out in 2008......
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, May 10, 2008 - link

    COME TO PC??!!! Don't NEGLECT US!!! "WE" (older generations of really hanus and slightly neat-o nerds) LOVED YOU FIRST GAME PROGRAMMERS!!!
  • EddieTurner - Monday, May 12, 2008 - link

    Haze was originally planned for PC, as well as the 360. That was before Sony sunk their teeth into Free Radical. Now the game is PS3 only. Money talks.
  • SPARTAN VI - Friday, May 9, 2008 - link

    C'mon AT! Why isn't this soon to be PC blockbuster on that list?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 9, 2008 - link

    A) When has Blizzard ever managed to release two games/updates in one year?
    B) No firm data set - just "TBA".
    C) Everyone has pretty much already heard about it -- might as well write to tell people the sun rises every morning. ;-)

    Those same criteria often apply to many of the other games on the list. I haven't seen a single game in the comments that we didn't at least mention in the email messages going back and forth on this article. Eventually, we decided that we should just post what we had and see the reaction rather than spending another several weeks trying to modify things. I figure no matter how much time we spent, we were going to leave off some major games.

    I pushed for including more strategy/RPG/adventure titles personally, but if we had gone for what I was thinking this could have easily been a 10,000 word article. It would have covered more games, but I don't know it would have actually been *better*.

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