What Games To Consider (April 1st – April 5th)

Playstation 3

April 2nd:
–      Defiance (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
–      Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge* (PS3/Xbox 360)
*This game will be released on April 5th in the U.K.
–      Borderlands 2: Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack DLC (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
–      Capcom Arcade Cabinet*: Game Pack 4 (PS3/Xbox 360)
*This game will arrive on Xbox LIVE on Wednesday April 3rd.

Genre – Massive Multiplayer Online/Third Person Shooter
Developer – Trion Games
R.R.P. – $59.99/£37.99 (PC = £34.99)

On Tuesday we have the release of Trion World’s new title Defiance. It’s an apt title for the game, really, considering the sprawling online shooter is defying any border that technology has established over the last few years. Allow me to explain; not only will the game incorporate players from the three main platforms – namely PS3, Xbox and PC –, it will also tie into the threads of a television show of the same name, which is set to premiere on Universal’s Syfy April 15th.

That’s right, Defiance will not only transcend genres, it’s positioned to go beyond its physical boundaries to support a televised narrative in a way never before seen. It’s as though the developing team at Trion took the concept of synergy and compounded it to the nth degree to create an unprecedented collaboration. Though, you get the feeling that the game’s magnitude – advertised as its biggest strength – may just be its defining flaw.

In order for the transmedia project to work, both the game and TV show need to be received well, but let’s allow industry executives to fret over the numbers. At its colossal core, Defiance is a third-person shooter set on a future earth where factions of the human race battle for alien technology. It promises a deep and rewarding system of characterisation, including special abilities, unique weapons and the ability to play as a human/alien hybrid. After kicking about development for five gruesome years, the studio’s ambitious dedication is finally about to pay off because come April 2nd, you can pick up a third person shooter that is truly unique in scope.

Borderlands 2: Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack DLC
Genre – First Person Shooter
Developer – Gearbox Software
R.R.P. – Season Pass Owners = Free, otherwise $4.99

Gearbox Software lifted the lid on some additional content at their PAX panel over the weekend, including an add-on for Borderlands 2 which, as it turns out, is the one that fans have been hoping for since the game was released back in September. The update will boost the level cap from 50 up to 61 with a brand spanking new difficulty mode to boot. What’s more, new weaponry will parachute onto the wild lands of Pandora in the form of the Pearlescent class – which fans will recognise from the original Borderlands. The creative team at Gearbox Software are clearly fans of weighty DLC, considering the upgrade pack will introduce a third playthrough for the game and, if that wasn’t enough, a spike in difficulty by bolstering enemy health. Owners of the game’s season pass will be able to download the content free of charge; otherwise fans can expect a $5 price tag when the content is released digitally on Tuesday.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Genre – Hack & Slash/ Third Person Adventure
Developer – Team Ninja
R.R.P. – $39.99/£32.99

What was once a Wii U exclusive will branch onto PS3 and Xbox 360 on Tuesday in the form of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Having launched on Nintendo’s console back in November in the U.S of A, this brand new version will also herald added enhancements and the in-game downloadable content from the original title. Razor’s Edge for Wii U was originally a HD port of Ninja Gaiden 3 from the developing studio over at Team Ninja, – three releases for one game? Now that’s just greedy – in saying that, this latest increment for Xbox 360 and PS3 with its additional weapons and moves looks to be the most complete yet.

By tossing in three newly playable characters, including Momiji, Ayane and Kasumi, fans of the game will relish the notion of testing out the individual and highly stylised combat systems which the series has become renown for. Having suffered fan backlash for the original Ninja Gaiden 3, this is very much a statement of intent for the studio and, in fairness, Team Ninja have pulled out all the stops to appease their disgruntled audience. The brutal third person hack-and-slash may not be everyone’s cup of tea, though if you do decide to pick it up keep an eye out for symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome, as the developers have promised a much, much harder experience this time round. Yikes!

Capcom Arcade Cabinet: Game Pack 4
Genre – Classical Arcade
Developer – Capcom
R.R.P. – $9.99/£7.99/800 Microsoft Points

Since February 19th, every fortnight Capcom have opened their creative vault to allow a new iteration of the Capcom Arcade Cabinet to leap onto PSN and Xbox Live, and this week will see the release of the 4th instalment in the niche series. When you stop to consider the wealth of nostalgia that the studio is re-releasing onto the digital ether, you may just have to push your jaw back into a closed position. Released in bursts of three, the game packs bode beloved titles from a bygone arcade era, specifically from 1984-1988. From Black Tiger to Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins these games are true relics of the video game industry. This week will see the unveiling of the penultimate collection and will include Commando, The Speed Rumbler and Exed Exes (Savage Bees). Gamers interested in how the foundations of today’s genres were shaped should check out the packs and though the option to purchase the games individually is available, this is a nostalgic treat best served with three portions.

Star Recommendation: Defiance
Worth Checking out for a blast from the past: Capcom Arcade Cabinet: Game Pack 4

On the next page we’ll be venturing onto the lush green lands of Xbox 360…