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.
Omerta: City Of Gangsters
Boardwalk Empire has piqued our collective interest in Prohibition. The illegal sale of booze was romantic, spurred on by men in immaculate suits and women done up in 1920s Great Gatsby decadent-chic. Also: tommy guns. Omerta transports you to the same Atlantic City that Steve Buscemi calls home and makes you the kingpin of a growing bootlegging empire. You’ll hire goons to defend your turf and develop secret distilleries that churn out bottles with “XX” on the label. Imagine the same game applied to the business of selling heroin—the key players wouldn’t be nearly as fetishized in the fashion industry, and the consequences of success wouldn’t be a raucous night out but rather a lifetime addiction to a crippling death drug. Plus, what would the soundtrack be coming out of the old Victrola? Fun.? Omerta is infinitely more palatable.
Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear
PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360—January 29
Speaking of fetishes, it seems like there’s a new game every week where the good boys in red, white, and blue take down some nebulous Middle Eastern superpower. In this one, you head behind enemy lines to rescue a spy who holds targeting information for an Iranian nuclear base, and fire round after round at other soldiers, sometimes from a helicopter. Look, I fully support what those brave people in the real military are doing in the real Middle East. To quote the comedian Mike Birbiglia, “I love the troops, because if they weren’t the troops, I’d have to be the troops, and I’d be the worst troops.” There’s just something unsettling about a game that makes no attempt at masking its merciless killing in any sort of fantasy or irony. There’s enough of that on the news.
Skulls Of The Shogun
PC, Windows Phone, Xbox 360—January 30
Okay, this is what I’m talking about. You are a brave samurai warrior who was killed, and now you’re coming back to haunt your enemies. Well, a little more than haunting—you gather an army of the undead to vanquish your enemies by slashing at them or literally eating their skulls. Murder seems more okay to me when it’s happening a long time ago and carried out by zombies. Clearly, the simple task of existing in reality is too much for me to bear.
Let’s Fish! Hooked On
PlayStation Vita—January 29
Let’s (kill some) fish!