Out This Week

Painkiller: Hell And Damnation


Carnage, hell, damnation, and the theories of Charles Darwin—it’s going to be a spoooooky Halloween.

By Steve Heisler • October 30, 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.

Assassin’s Creed III
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—October 30

That’s just like Obama, to release this game, set in the Revolutionary War era, so close to the election. His anti-Templar, pro-assassin agenda has gone on long enough! Power to the people; death to all Animi! (Just don’t try to read into the game’s politics.)

Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Android, iPhone/iPad, Kindle Fire, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—October 30

Developed by Criterion Games—obviously, like the Criterion Collection in the film business, the purveyor of classic video game artworks sure to stand the test of time and be lauded on college curriculums and elevated in grad school thesis papers—this game has cars or something.

Wreck-It Ralph
Nintendo 3DS, Wii—October 30

Based on the upcoming movie, this 8-bit title has cameos from lots of famous video game characters that were not hard to get the rights to, like the paddles from Pong and The Qix from Qix. Plus, remember Dig Dug? Well, they got him anyways.

WWE 13
PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360—October 30

One of the “exciting new features” touted in this release is the addition of authentic crowd noise. So when you’re playing the game, now the audience will cheer and heckle at appropriate times. It’s the year 2012, people.

Primal Carnage
Painkiller Hell & Damnation
Natural Selection 2
PC—October 31

Possible taglines for these three Halloween releases:

“Why settle for simple carnage?”

“Oh, hell and damnation!”

“Attack Of The Clones”

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47 Responses to “Boo!”

  1. Who’s buying what in the Steam Halloween Sale??  Helloooo, Walking Dead.

    • Girard says:

       Hmmm… I just spent money on the Indie Royale Halloween Bundle and already have not time to play those games, but there are a couple of good things in that sale I’ve been meaning to play.

      STALKER is only 10 bucks, which might be useful if I get overwhelmed playing Pathologic and need to switch gears from something bleak, creepy, and Russian to something bleak, creepy, and…Ukrainian.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Nice deal!

        Ooh, I would love to play Stalker again, but there were a couple of places in it that I couldn’t get through no matter how many times I reloaded my saves.

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        I really had trouble getting into the open-world-ness of Stalker. Enjoyed Metro 2033 much more.

    • Fluka says:

      Damn it, well apparently now I’m finally buying Bioshock for $5.  *Grumbles and reaches for credit card.*

    • I picked up “They Bleed Pixels” for $3.29 which I haven’t even played yet but based on my love of 2D platformers, I should love.

      Girard mentioned the Indie Royale bundle with Sam and Max. Also worth mention is [Groupsee’s Bundle](http://groupees.com/damned??) .  This bundle has a game called Blindside which is an audio-only horror game.  If that doesn’t pique your interest I can’t think what would.

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        TBP is a lot of fun, I think you’ll enjoy it — if you can stomach the frustration of your first run through these levels, when they’re taking an hour rather than the three-six minutes they’re meant to. :)

    • BarbleBapkins says:

      I bought Bloody Good Time for like, I dunno, 12 cents yesterday. Its sort of a semi-sequel of sorts to The Ship, although more fast paced and not quite as complex. I think I like The Ship a little better though, even if no one really plays it anymore.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I picked up Overlord I and II for a fiver.
      It plays right into my megalomaniacal hands.

    • aklab says:

      Just bought the Penumbra pack and stayed up half the night playing Overture in the dark.    

    • Bioshock 1 & 2. I’m super late to the party, I know. But still, $10 for both is pretty awesome!

  2. Merve says:

    I just started the original Assassin’s Creed yesterday. It’s surprisingly fun, considering that I’d heard mainly lukewarm things about it. (Waaaaay too many cutscenes, though.)

    Think I could marathon the first 4 games before starting on ACIII this week? Just kidding. I probably won’t get around to ACIII for another couple of years.

    • AC1 is a nice prologue, but if you get bored with the repetition/forced, long, pointless cutscenes, just skip to AC2, it’s far better and you’ll miss almost nothing.

      I personally could not finish AC1 if I didn’t really love that time period/setting.

      • alguien_comenta says:

        The repetition was really annoying but I enjoyed some of the kills on ACI more than some in ACII. @Merve2:disqus , if you get bored of the sidequests you can just do the minimum required to get to your target and advance the plot as fast as you can

        • Merve says:

          That’s usually what I do. The only game I ever 100%ed was Sleeping Dogs. I usually try a couple of sidequests, but from what I’ve been told of the AC series, sidequests don’t confer any benefit in the main quest line, so I think I’ll be safe sticking primarily with the main plot.

          I typically have three or four games on the go at any given time, so I don’t see myself getting bored by the repetitiveness of Assassin’s Creed. I’ll likely play it only every few days.

        • Aaron Riccio says:

          @Merve2:disqus You’re a better man than I am. When I get a game, I tend to just sink all my time into it for a few days. I don’t 100% it (except for Rayman and, similarly, Sleeping Dogs), but I do pretty much all the main and obvious side-content. 

          So yeah, when the East Coast finally gets their shipments of ACIII, I’ll probably vanish for a while.

    • PaganPoet says:

      It’s a good game and I agree that the criticisms against it are harsher than it deserves, it’s just that everything about it was improved/perfected by its sequel.

    • Captain Internet says:

      “I probably won’t get around to ACIII for another couple of years.”

      Probably best to make a handy note of that- it’ll save your ancestors a lot of searching if they ever want to use the Animus to play the Assassin’s Creed games. 

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Also, the idea of a machine that can use your DNA to view/experience the lives of your ancestors is ridiculous.  If it had all of that information encoded, DNA would probably be a billion-, trillion-, or more-times longer than it is.

        • Enkidum says:

          Yeah, it bugs me when the hand-wavy magic stuff in games (or movies, stories, whatever) is such patent bullshit. Currently playing through Deus Ex HR, and I’ve been really impressed with the effort they put into making the augment technology have one foot in the real world. All the little books you pick up that describe how the neural implants and so forth work were written by someone who actually has some knowledge of neuroscience.

        • Merve says:

          I’m not usually too put off by fake science in fiction; I can just accept the premise and keep going. It’s not real, after all. I just rolled my eyes at the Animus device and moved on.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          I can usually ignore it as well, when the story is good enough.  I just don’t understand why they couldn’t make the AC series without the goofy sci-fi framing device.  Does it actually ADD anything to the experience to have to jump between a bad-ass hitman in historical period settings and some doofus lying in a metal bed?

        • Enkidum says:

          I’ve only played through about 30 minutes of AC I, but what I thought they were trying to do with the framing device was the common thing now in games of here-is-an-narrative-excuse-for-why-there-is-a-tutorial-level-and-occasional-onscreen-instructions. It’s like if they ever break the narrative to just tell you how to play the damn game you’ll lose the magic, or whatever.

          Of course I understand that the modern times story goes on through all the series and not just providing a framing device for the tutorials, so apparently I’m wrong. 

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I usually hate pseudo-science, but AC requires so much suspension of disbelief that I am fine with it. After all, Templars were not monstrous tyrants and Assassins far from liberty-loving dudes.
          The scifi in AC is so outrageous that it hurts, but it’s also very exciting and really pulled me along.
          I will reserve the selfish right to point out technological and generally logical flaws in other games, but AC has grabbed me enough to get a pass.

        • Aaron Riccio says:

          Actually, I enjoy the whole sci-fi concept bookending the series. It allows them to actually change settings in each entry while still remaining bound to an anchoring story, though I think they’ve clearly not handled it as well as they might have. However, the series has done fairly well at evolving (1.0, 2.0, 3.0), and I don’t think it would’ve been as creative if it hadn’t given itself the freedom to skip generations and settings as it did. 

          Also, from a storytelling perspective, I enjoy the way it explains why you’re only ever focused on BIG moments in the game — it’s because the smaller moments are skipped right over.

  3. PaganPoet says:

    No mention of Okami HD, GS? Judging by its dismal sales, so many missed out on this beautiful game when it was first release. If you don’t already have this game, do yourself a favor and get it on PSN out today.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      I bought Okami when it came out for Wii, but found the controls to be almost unusable, despite making all theoretical sense in the world.
         I figure this is my opportunity to really dig into this game, but find myself holding back in the (vain, unfounded) hope that it will release on Vita.
         Maybe I should quit being dumb and just buy it.

      • The Wii version seemed really sloppy. The controls were poor, and the box art had a friggin’ IGN logo. It felt like Capcom trying to cash in on the Wii at a time when just about any game was selling a million copies.

        I struggled through almost twenty hours, because there was so much to love about the game. When I lost an hour of progress (a particularly frustrating fetch quest, to boot) to a power outage, I was done. My brother has since loaned me his PS2 copy, which sits unplayed.

      • Matt Kodner says:

        similar experience. Put it down after a few hours because I couldn’t deal. I think there were also issues with tiny text sizes that I couldn’t figure out how to remedy? 


  4. His_Space_Holiness says:

    “My name is David Garner. I had an ordinary life.” is not the most foreboding opening line for a trailer.

  5. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Holy shit, you know what else is new this week?  Disney owning Lucasfilm!

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Is this supposed to be like a bad thing or something? People seem to be upset about it or something. I never really cared for Star Wars, but it seems to me that this is a huge improvement over George Lucas, right? Like, oh no, your poor childhood will be retroactively ruined because someone will go back and change scenes and make terrible prequels! 

      Basically I hate Star Wars fans.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         Yeah, in that long span from when I saw the originals and when the prequels were announced and I was told that it was my generation’s defining pop-culture moment, I can’t say I ever gave much thought to that franchise.  Sure, there were things I got really excited about–video games, Star Trek, Dr. Who–but as I grew older, I still enjoyed many of those pursuits, but I realized that these things needed to be enjoyed in moderation and from a perspective uncolored by the nostalgia of my childhood.

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        Actually, I admire the fact that Lucas has been so up front about this being a money issue and that he’s more than willing to package up a beloved product for the next hundred years if it’ll get him the cash he needs to do vanity projects like Red Tails.

        That said, true Star Wars fans will never be bothered by whatever “saga” comes next . . . they’ve been reading the Expanded Universe books for the last fifteen-odd years, right? They’ve already introduced and killed more new characters in those books than Lucas ever dreamed up.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        To be fair, Disney had a rough patch there with Mikey Eisner in charge, where all they did were crappy direct-to-video sequels of all of their classics. Once he got booted they got better again…Tangled was fantastic, The Frog Princess was okay and at least semi-original. Plus they own Pixar and Marvel, and both of those studios are pretty great…so I actually think this might IMPROVE Star Wars properties in the long run. We’ll see.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        It’s either the salvation or the ruination of the franchise, depending on what side of the frothing intensity you fall on.
           I’m of the third, un-cola branch that was hoping Star Wars would actually die soon and leave some good memories before being watered down to nothing.  Just because it’s been taken away from one incompetent, doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t been placed in another incompetent’s hands.  You can’t go home again.
           You know, Simpsons, etc.
           My only opinion on this is the franchise is now assured perpetuity well beyond my lifetime and all the folks born in the late 70’s have to come to terms with the fact that the series is no longer ours to feel any ownership over.
           It’s merely another symbol of the ceaseless passage of time and whatever misgivings I may have doesn’t mean that there isn’t an 90% chance I’ll still be in a theater when the next movie comes out.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I am having the same reaction to that I had to Disney buying Marvel.
      At first I had the general “Oh fudge” reaction, but after about 60 seconds of thinking, I stopped to care. I’ve stopped reading anything Marvel years ago, because the quality is pretty bad (apart from some fringe editions) and a massive money-grab.
      Same can be said about Lucasfilm. Lucas always admitted that the company is about making money by all means necessary and Disney runs under the same creed.
      Marvel was kind of shitty before and remains kind of shitty. I don’t think Lucasfilm will be affected in any other way. It’ll keep churning out toys and animated series and breakfast cereals and underpants and chair pads for decades to come based on roughly 16 hours of so-and-so footage.
      Business as usual.

      • Enkidum says:

        Actually Marvel Comics have been on an upswing for the past decade or so. Quite a few really good titles right now, apparently, which was news to me, but check out recent Comics Panels on the AV Club for recommendations. And Marvel’s films are generally really good – at least the last chunk have been, no duds since X3 I think.

        I think Disney making Star Wars films can mostly only be a good thing – it’s not like they can get any worse, and quite likely they’ll get better.

        • robthom says:

           “Actually Marvel Comics have been on an upswing for the past decade…”

          Actually they haven’t.
          Not in quality at least.

          I do agree that there are still some good arcs buried in there,
          underneath a mount Everest of retcon trash.

          Man I miss the marvel days of 1 friggen X title.

  6. are you implying that Criterion doesn’t make classic racing games? ’cause they do