The industry rebounds after the dreck released last week with another batch of excellent releases. The beginning of February is the new end of January is the new middle of November!
|Pick of the Week: Turok
First-person Shooter | 360, PS3
Turok promises to be the best game in the Turok series, but given the quality of the franchise under Acclaim’s watch, that’s a lot less impressive than it sounds. The game marks the first step in an initiative by Disney Interactive to enter the hardcore gaming space. It looks like they’ve succeeded. With some top-notch graphics, over-the-top weaponry, and multiple online gametypes, Turok is set to deliver on its lofty promises. Those concerned about the controversial team killing element of the Grab Bag Achievement have no need to worry; it will be patched out on day one.
|Runner-Up: Culdcept SAGA
Board Game/Collectible Card Game | 360
Culdcept SAGA is a game that defies easy categorization. Imagine a board game crossed with a CCG and can begin to understand the game’s unique gameplay. Less of a sequel and more of a remake of the overlooked PS2 title, Culdcept SAGA introduces a heap of new cards and online play to the series. If you haven’t downloaded the demo that’s been on Xbox Live for months now, stop procrastinating and get to it. You may find yourself hopelessly in love with what will surely go down as one of this generation’s most underrated gems.
Hit the jump for the rest of the week’s multiplayer offerings.
Also available this week:
|Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore
Rhythm | PS2, 360, Wii
Yay! Another video game to remind the fame-seeking American youth that they have no talent whatsoever. Seriously, buy this for the aspiring singer in your life. Watching them fight back tears as Simon Cowell berates their inability to beat the game’s easy mode is the gift that keeps on giving.
|Medieval II Total War: Gold Edition
Real-Time Strategy | PC
This compilation includes both the original Medieval II and its expansion Total War Kingdoms. You could certainly do worse than two of the most interesting RTSes in recent memory together in a single package. Surprisingly, unless they include orcs and elves, catapults and squires just aren’t as popular in the RTS genre as spaceships, robots, and lasers. So, if you want to storm a castle without having to deal with the resident sorcerer, this is clearly the game to get.
|Sins of a Solar Empire
Real-Time Strategy | PC
Building on the success of Galactic Civilizations II, Stardock Games has another ambitious strategy title on their hands. Melding epic space combat with civilization building – including establishing trade routes and managing culture – Sins of a Solar Empire is macromanager’s dream, playing like combination of Homeworld and Civilization. The game is heavily multiplayer focused, with no single player champaign to speak of, but in this case, that really isn’t a bad thing. Individual games can last 30 minutes or span months, depending on whether you want to conquer a few planets or transform the entire universe into your battlefield. Honestly, consider this game the week’s second runner-up.
Turn-Based Stragety | PC
Clearly, this is a week for PC strategy lovers. Spaceforce allows you to build and manage your very own space station in hostile space. In order to deal with the resident aliens, space pirates, and assorted riftraff, you can build military fleets to engage your enemies in turn-based combat. The game ships with several multiplayer modes and a built-in map editor.
|Twisted Metal Head On: Extra Twisted Edition
Car Combat | PS2
With his latest title, out-spoken developer David Jaffe returns to his roots: The Twisted Metal series. The game is a love letter to the series’ most loyal fans, featuring “lost” levels from Twisted Metal: Black 2, developer commentary covering the entire history of the franchise, and tons of unlockable concept art. Best of all, it comes at a budget price. As always, car combat purists don’t need to worry about finding any banana peels in the genre’s most prolific series.