Feature: July is looking extremely quiet on the videogame release front, but we’ve searched thoroughly and managed to find five that should carry us through the downtime…
5. Orcs Must Die 2
EU release date: July 30th
Poor orcs. Their unrelenting attempts to invade the human world were constantly held at bay in a series of horrific and painful deaths at the hands of noob wizard: The Apprentice. Now he teams up with the Sorceress for some fast and frantic co-operative orc slaying. This can only be a good thing. It’s an action/tower-defence sequel that promises all the important extras and additions required by law: a new campaign (both singleplayer and co-op), more vicious enemy types, more devilish traps, more enchanted items and a completely redesigned upgrade system. The orcs must – and certainly will – die, at least on our PCs, from July 30th.
4. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Format: Nintendo 3DS
EU release date: July 20th
While very few of us have any fucking idea what’s going on in this bloated series anymore (as we’re too busy crying out for Square Enix to drop the “D” and hurry the hell up with Kingdom Hearts 3 on a console) it’s still impossible to resist the charms of the Square and Disney mashups. Even if the subtitles are growing even more ridiculous year on year. Expect to be able to jump between a number of Walt’s popular worlds and team up with familiar faces as Sora and Riku undertake a series of trials to become MasterBladers – oh, sorry, “Keyblade Masters”. Combat will be as acrobatic and vivacious as ever too thanks to the “flowmotion” system, which allows the leading pair to make use of their surroundings to pull off even more crazy combos and mid-air juggling. It’s already been released and received well in Japan, but we’ll bring you our verdict later this month.
3. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD
Format: Xbox 360 (PS3 release TBA)
EU release date: July 18th
A series that defined the musical tastes of a videogame generation by introducing us to the likes of Goldfinger’s Superman, that CkY guitar riff and Serj Tankian’s demented garblings before beating itself to death with stupid plastic peripherals is finally returning to its hoodie-wearing and scuffed jeans roots with this month’s HD re-release. Anything after the second entry has been ignored (at least until the DLC starts churning out), so we won’t be reverting across the Warehouse stage come July 18th, but still combining moves for huge scores, collecting the letters S-K-A-T-E dotted around the area and nodding along to long forgotten tunes in an overwhelming wave of nostalgia.
Format: Xbox 360 (free PC version available)
EU release date: July 4th
You’ve played Spelunky on the PC, right? The free action adventure roguelike from Derek Yu, which sent more critics into furious typing sprees of “EMERGENT GAMEPLAY” like Jack Torrance from The Shining while Minecraft was still a distant thought in Notch’s fedora-topped bonce, is now headed to the Xbox LIVE Arcade. The ludicrous combination of overbearing challenge, damsels in distress and hilariously overprotective shopkeeps down in the randomly generated caves is bound to hold our attention for countless hours – even more so with multiplayer support too. Our review is likely going to state the following but in more words: buy this game now. In fact, it’s out today, so you can already. Or, if you’re still sceptical, download the free version.
1. The Secret World
EU release date: July 3rd
It may already be released, but The Secret World is a game we look forward to playing now and the foreseeable future. No one can deny the importance of an MMOs launch period, but the continual evolution of this particularly fascinating modern contribution to a genre steeped in high fantasy and sci-fi has us intrigued. Hell, we’ve been anticipating it since that gripping ARG reveal five years ago. It’s a game full of ambition: classless and freeform levelling, wildly varying quests which send you on more extensive Wiki Walks than any period of procrastination and a contemporary world torn apart by the discovery that every myth, legend and tale is actually true. Whether it’ll maintain a solid subscriber base or be forced to surrender to the free-to-play model is a lingering question for the future. But for now, we’re eager to discover more of this world.
Be sure to keep an eye on BeefJack’s reviews this month to see if we were right to be excited!