Out This Week

Risen 2: Dark Waters

All-New, All The Time

It’s our weekly roundup of new releases—NOW WITH PIRATES.

By John Teti • April 24, 2012

Out This Week is a roundup of new games that are out this week. These listings don’t constitute an endorsement or a review of any sort. We also don’t pretend that this is an exhaustive list. If there’s a game on the horizon that interests you, share it in the comments.

Prototype 2
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—April 24

I didn’t play the original game, so I’m going to educate myself on the world of Prototype the best way I know how: by reading YouTube comments for the Prototype 2 trailer. Enlighten me, fellow denizens of cyberspace!

Does this seriously take place in the same place as the first game?

yes it does it’s because james heller wants revenge on alex mercer

they better have some good reasoning for making mercer the villain……

Although Alex being really grim and in moral. Alex technically atoned for what he did. he did try to bring a stop to the virus by making a cure with Karen, but it back fired due to her working for black watch and Gen-tech which are the real problem and responsible for the out break in the first place. Alex did also show care for his younger sister when she was abducted by a hunter. And Alex did stop a nuke from blowing NY. So despite his flaws he’s not Straight up Evil or Good.

Guess what? A few online retailers accidentally delivered the game early. And guess who was one of those lucky people that got it? Normally, I’m not the type to go for overkill, but your particular brand of ‘Stupid’ deserves a response. And after blasting through the game on easy mode, I’ve got three words for you. In your face.

Well, that didn’t work at all. I’m more confused and vaguely enraged than ever.

this game reminds me of 28 days later

Got it.

Risen 2: Dark Waters
PC—April 27

Risen 2 is a high-production-value RPG in which there are monsters and also pirates. In fact, the game’s description on Steam boasts of its “all-new pirate-based theme.” Now, Risen 2 may be a fine game, but I don’t think any game-marketing type can get away with attaching the adjective “all-new” to a pirate theme. Here are some other video game themes that may have some mileage left in them but have worn out their “all-new” welcome for good:

  • You’re a badass maverick space marine!
  • An alien invasion/a virus/an alien virus invasion is attacking New York!
  • Zombies—with a twist!
  • “Moral choice”!
  • An apocalypse happened, and now everything is the color of an old ashtray!
  • It’s a steampunk world with a dark, gritty edge!
  • It’s a sensitive indie game chock full of white middle-class male heterosexual relationship angst!
  • It’s a sweet indie game chock full of references to the 8-bit era!
  • Choose your play style: You can shoot people in the face OR stab them in the back of the neck!
Shifting World
Nintendo 3DS—April 24

If the recent release of Fez has you hankering for more 2D-to-3D-and-back-again bending of space, the people who made Shifting World will be happy to take your money. It’s based on the Shift series from browser-game kingpin Armor Games, and while the browser series doesn’t incorporate the 3D element, it does have the advantage of being free. Plus, even without 3D, the game proved fun and popular enough that Armor published four of them. And here they are, ready to destroy the rest of your afternoon: Shift, Shift 2, Shift 3, and Shift 4.

Noitu Love 2: Devolution
PC—April 23

I know this is going to make me sound old, but it’s an honest question. Do kids today know how good they have it? I watch the trailer for the fast-paced, colorful, super-blasto Noitu Love 2: Devolution and my 10-year-old self says, “I must have it.” Now, when my actual 10-year-old self had to have a game, it meant waiting until someone would drive me to the Toys ’R’ Us an hour away so I could browse the World Of Nintendo aisle and spend a months’ allowance on a game that would have to tide me over for a good long while. But today, I could download this game in seconds. And if I don’t like it, oh well, I’m out four bucks. Is this an amazing time to be a game-playing kid? Or does this retro arcade style only appeal to people my age? I guess the 10-year-olds of today are lusting after the latest and greatest 3D console titles. Screw ’em. This has been The Generational Cliché Minute, with your host, John Teti.

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687 Responses to “All-New, All The Time”

  1. Raging Bear says:

    All you really need to know about Prototype is that it was a game where you could pick a man up and throw him so hard that he explodes against the side of a building several blocks away. Of secondary importance: it had a story of some kind.

    My copy of 2 should be waiting for me when I get home.

    • ShitMcFuckensteinAVC says:

      It really is best if you ignore the plot. Hopefully the protagonist won’t be so growly and angsty this time.

      • Raging Bear says:

         If anything, I’m afraid he might be worse. About the only thing I know about the premise is that his wife and child were killed. Plots that take themselves way too seriously for the absurdity of the ultraviolence around them seem to be the emerging hallmark of this series.

        • AuroraBoreanaz says:

          “Graaaah!  My wife and son were KILLED!  So now I’m gonna run through the city and murder hundreds of people at a time with tentacle-axes!”

        • HobbesMkii says:

          Teti has selected some pretty good YouTube comments that seem to suggest that the game isn’t the only one making the mistake of taking itself far too seriously.

        • itisdancing says:

          Were his wife and son killed by a guy throwing them against the side of a building several blocks away?

          TRAGIC IRONY.

          No, the only thing I know about this game is that you can get a day-one DLC which lets you kick people in the butt, and they explode, and then the angry man makes a joke about butts. I know this because I have seen the ad for it roughly 10 000 000 times.

        • Raging Bear says:

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus The start-to-losing-the-moral-high-ground in this game is about 6 seconds.

          @HobbesMkii:disqus To be fair to them, the game does grapple with the thorny issue of in morality.

        • Effigy_Power_also_plays says:

           I think most people, me included, really only went for the “Open World” descriptor… I am a sucker of that… to be totally honest, towards the end I spent more time in a Helicopter or Tank than on foot.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         What do you think, @ShitMcFuckensteinAVC:disqus ?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_BXB6q-OUc

    • dreadguacamole says:

       You could also turn into a human tank and run at high speeds down busy city streets, tossing cars aside. And when the combat helicopters come after you, you can throw trucks at them.
       Can’t really say it was a great game, but I definitely had a great time with it.

  2. Aaron Riccio says:

    Shifting World will probably be the first game I pick up once I finally buy a 3DS. Even though it looks terrible (story-wise) in comparison to the PC entries, which pitted you against a GlaDoS-like tormentor. I just like the gameplay that much.

  3. Chip_Dipson says:

    My nine-year-old son appreciates how good he has it, but his perception of the gaming world is decidingly more fractured than it was when I was a kid. Where video games were essentially “all games are pretty expensive and you need to wait/earn them” for me as a kid. My son is very cognizant that there is a level of game that you wait and save for (console titles, some downloadable stuff), and smaller games that are essentially free (basically anything covered in Sawbuck).

    The idea of waiting all week to watch a new episode of a tv show or a holiday special, or spending all of a Saturday morning watching cartoon through sugar-glazed eyes is sadly lost on him though.

  4. RidleyFGJ says:

    I think the only other major releases this week are both for PC; Telltale’s episodic take on The Walking Dead starts today (the console version doesn’t start for a bit), as well as the frustratingly delayed port of Binary Domain this Friday on Steam.

    Something of a calm before the storm of May; I don’t know how gamers are going to survive Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3 on the same day.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Diablo 3 is the one I’m more excited for, because it’s still being developed by the same people who made the first two. Plus, the open beta was enough to inspire confidence in me (demos! They’re just so great! Why did people stop doing that?).

      Max Payne 3 has all the hallmarks of a “wait and see what the reviews say and pick it up when it loses twenty to thirty bucks in value.”

      • AuroraBoreanaz says:

        Do you have any hopes for the real money auction house?  I’m gonna make enough money on it to quit my job and buy a mansion!

    • GhaleonQ says:

      Red Katana for American home release means root and I will be happy.

    • Merve says:

      How am I going to survive Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3 on the same day? By buying neither. *dons hipster glasses*

      In all seriousness, I’m sure they’ll be great games. But they’re not really in my wheelhouse. (Plus, my backlog currently consists of Beyond Good and Evil, Costume Quest, Fallout: New Vegas, Hydrophobia: Prophecy, L.A. Noire, Saints Row 2, and potentially un-rage-quitting Far Cry. I think I’ll be occupied for the next little while.)

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Ugh, L.A. Noire. That game is the most frustrating thing I’ve ever played. And not because it was particularly bad; it wasn’t. But because it was one of those games where you see all these glimpses of a much better game peeking out from behind the corner, waiting to be played, but it just never delivers.

        • ElDan_says_Fuck_Disqus says:

          Agreed. I don’t care how realistic the facial tics are, if I have to spend a third of the game watching a movie, a third of it walking into walls and picking up empty bottles only to be told they don’t matter, and a third of it doing the same “drive to location, kill everyone there” mission over and over again, I’m not interested.

          This game also suffers from the problem that also faced GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption: I’m supposed to feel sympathy for a character trying to be a better person when I had a hand in helping that character murder hundreds and hundreds of people. Cole is deeply affected by the things he saw in the war, yet he has no qualms in killing an entire bank full of goons to stop a robbery? Seems unlikely.

        • Effigy_Power_also_plays says:

           That sums it up pretty well. Why create such a great open world, so huge, so beautifully designed, and fill it with nothing to do. Miles and miles of stretches of emptiness, context-wise… It was a real waste of space. Talk about ruining the instant popularity bump games get from the “Open World” qualifier.

          And yes, the characters were so unbelievably hard to like… not Call of Juarez:Cartel-hard, but hard enough.

          It could have been, but wasn’t. Combined with the fact that your quality of investigation had no effect on the story… blargh.

        • HobbesMkii says:

           @ElDan_says_Fuck_Disqus:disqus I actually thought Niko Belic had a pretty well constructed tragic character arc, hamstrung by his apparent unwavering willingness to use unmitigated violence at the drop of a hat, despite saying how he didn’t want to do that any more. But it’s not like the game provided me we an option other than “kill those people” so he really couldn’t put up too much of a fight.

          Rockstar definitely did better by their protagonists in the DLC for that game.

        • Effigy_Power says:

           The GTA “protagonists” of late have been pretty well written in such a way that crime and a life of strife and violence aren’t just some cool fantasy a la Saints Row (which has its place too). I suppose if we were given the chance to try and get to our goals by other means than shooting missiles at helicopters, we might try it, but it might not make for a great game… I don’t know.

    • stuartsaysstop says:

      as of yesterday evening the first episode of walking dead was up on the psn, as well as a demo, so the console versions are in full swing as well

      • RidleyFGJ says:

        Ah, I suppose that they decided to not wait for the 360. Then again, it’s something of a small miracle that Telltale wanted to bother with XBLA again after the massive headaches MS gave them over how to handle episodic games on their platform.

  5. lokimotive says:

    Well holy crap. That Noitu Love has been in development for freakin’ ever. That developer’s “Chalk” is also worth checking out, though don’t expect any improvements or deluxe editions of it anytime soon. He seems to have a habit of starting a brilliant idea then getting frustrated and moving on to something else. See also, the promising “The Iconoclasts” which was posted in a state of, Eh, I started this, not sure what to do with it, for quite awhile. Now, apparently he’s starting up work on it again… but not really promising anything.

  6. Drew Toal says:

    Does this mean I can still be a badass maverick space marine?

  7. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:


    It’s a sensitive indie game chock full of white middle-class male heterosexual relationship angst!”

    I lol’d. Loving this site more and more each day.

    • AuroraBoreanaz says:

      Another one to add to the list: “The protagonist doesn’t speak, even though everyone else does!”  I’m looking at YOU, Gordon “Mary Sue” Freeman!

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        Has that ever been advertised as a feature though? 

        Related; I started playing Wind Waker for the first time recently (never had a copy of my own, but I’d played my friend’s copy) and Link wouldn’t talk to his grandma to let him know where he was going, or to ask for the shield or whatever. I was frustrated. Now I’m in this stupid fortress and keep getting thrown in jail and having to start over. I always liked the art style, but damn I am not having fun with it right now.

        • Girard says:

           Once you get past that fortress, you’ll be fine. The game is beautiful! Don’t give up on it!

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          That’s what I’m hoping, but it always bums me out when a game starts out with a poorly designed level. I absolutely HATE having to press through to get to the good part. 

          A lot of RPGs seem to be that way. “Oh, about 8 hours in the game gets good!” Yeah, no, not doing that.

      • Girard says:

         I got to Half Life 2 very late (only last year or so), and I was struck by how much the “immersive” choice to eschew cut scenes for in-engine story stuff happening around you didn’t actually immerse me, but made me feel like I was on one of those Universal Studios “Ride the Movies” type rides. All the NPCs were just park employees reciting their lines at me as they ushered my silent ass from place to place while various setpieces occurred.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          I thought Half Life 2 was really fun, but the story is pretty lame (I understand that it’s subtle and there are newspapers on the bulletin boards or whatever, but it’s still not particularly interesting.) The big set pieces made it worth it to me, and I was really immersed in certain parts (Ravenholm! The parking garage in episode 1! The strider invasion thing in episode 2!) but that was because it was engaging and fun. The story parts were very theme park ride.

          Similarly I didn’t really like Uncharted 2 because it felt like nothing but theme park ride.

        • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM says:

          but that’s what’s cool about it

        • HobbesMkii says:

          The funny part about the “no cutscenes” in Half Life 2 is that the parts where they build the plot are largely cutscenes–they stick you in a room with some NPCs and no exit. I like to move around while they’re delivering their lines so that they’re constantly forced to turn and talk at me. They do some weird stuff. Alyx, for instance, is pretty good at walking backwards.

        • Girard says:

           Yeah, I’m not really big on FPSes or action movies, so the “cut-scenes” relating the boilerplate alien action story and the straightforward FPS segments were kind of boring to me. The weird departures from standard FPS gameplay, like the buzz-saw laden survival-horror in Ravenholm, or the “don’t step on the hot lava!” sandbug levels were interesting, though.

          I kind of put down Episode One a while ago from a combination of boredom and going back to school (episode one seems to be heavier on the “run around a ruined building shooting soldiers” gameplay as far as I played it), but at some point I’ll fulfill my gamer obligation and wrap up the episodes. Maybe this summer.

        • Merve says:

          During the cut-scenes in HL2 and the episodes, I just used the gravity gun to lob random objects at the NPCs. It kept me amused for a little while.

          @bakana42:disqus: Episode Two is definitely worth it. There’s some pretty interesting level design, especially “Freeman Pontifex,” where the whole level is one huge puzzle.

        • doyourealize says:

          I, too, only played HL2 (all the HLs, actually) very recently.  And even though I’m not really a fan of FPSs, I had the exact opposite reaction.  I thought the lack of cut scenes moved things forward at a much quicker pace than other games, and I absolutely loved it (even though silent protagonists are jarring and just plain weird).  It could be because I’ve only recently begun playing the genre on PC, which is a whole different experience, especially for FPSs, than consoles.

    • itisdancing says:

      He didn’t ask for this!!! He’s just a regular man thrown into fantastic circumstances!!!

  8. Mookalakai says:

    Tomorrow I’m going to ask a girl out, and when she says no, I’m going to buy Prototype 2 on the way home, and work out my complex sexual frustrations by cutting everything I see in half.

  9. STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM says:

    Risen 2 looks interesting, I’ve been wanting a pirate RPG ever since that Pirates of The Caribbean RPG was canceled 

    tell me, does anyone know if it lets you sail your ship around? is it open world?

    • HobbesMkii says:

       All I know is that Terry Pratchett’s daughter wrote it.

    • dreadguacamole says:

       There was a Pirates of the Caribean made by Bethesda after the first movie came out. It was a generic pirate game they’d been working on for a while (Sea Dogs 2, I think) with a quickie PoTC varnish.
       It was an absolute mess, which was a shame because I really liked what they were going for – imagine Morrowind crossed over with Sid Meyer’s pirates, with an overarching storyline you could feel free to ignore, explorable land masses, dungeons/forts, sailing, sea battles and (iirc) an attempt to have an economical model.

      • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM says:

        I’m aware of that one, but the one I was talking about looked kind of like “Fable, with pirates” and was canceled only about two years ago or so

        I’ve always wanted another game like Wind Waker, where you can sail around and explore the ocean, I fucking loved that, I have NO idea why so many people disliked the sailing in that game

  10. Effigy_Power_also_plays says:

    Regarding Risen… I am still peeved about RPGs that won’t let you choose your gender. With all the lip service paid to “Yay, Gamrr Gurls” and all that, you’d think the male archetype hero would be a thing of the past.
    Even Mount and Blade let you play as a woman, and there it didn’t even matter.

    • Mookalakai says:

       Actually in Mount and Blade playing as a lady does change the game quite a bit, because it’s way harder to advance in a kingdom and gain respect, but everyone is always surprised when you kill a ton of guys.

      • Effigy_Power_also_plays says:

         Huh, I didn’t notice that amongst all the couched strikes I delivered. Interesting.

    • dreadguacamole says:

        If you’re peeved by that sort of thing, I really wouldn’t go anywhere near a Risen game; the devs don’t seem to see anything wrong with all women having the same hyper-sexualized body type, or almost universally being all whores, barmaids or kept housewife types.

       Having said that, they’ve improved since the Gothic days – Risen’s one strong female character is fairly independent and can’t be romanced, so I guess that makes it more progressive than Bioware. On the other hand, you have to go rescue her at one point…

      • Effigy_Power_also_plays says:

         Yeah, Gothic was quite nice in the beginning, but when women are rarer than dragons, something is a bit odd.

  11. asdfmnbv says:

    So after Risen, the main character’s plan to save the world from lizardmen and the monsters only he knew how to kill was to become a pirate and fight crocodiles?

  12. dreadguacamole says:

     I’m really looking forward to Risen 2. The original game gets a bit of a bum rap based on the xbox port, but on the PC it was an amazing game; the open-world sense of exploration and challenge is unparalleled, as far as I’m concerned.

    • MSUSteve says:

      I quite enjoyed Risen on the PC, despite its flaws.  I’d never call it an amazing game, but something about it really hooked me, so I endured its horrendous combat and overly tough early difficulty because I enjoyed the sense of place and the characters so much.  I’m definitely looking forward to Risen 2.

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