June is the kind of month in the video-game industry when not much is expected to release. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3, hits the second week of the month. It's the industry trade show where publishers show off titles that will be released throughout the rest of the year and early into 2012—and that means publishers are gearing up for the show, enduring the show and then de-stressing after the show.
Yet, there are still a few surprises coming out this month.
Tuesday, June 7
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (PS3, 360, Wii, NDS)
Typically, superhero games based on films don’t do very well. They are a marketing ploy to get consumers to spend more money on the film property and license. This one says it is inspired by the film, which means that the storyline may or may not mirror the movie. Hopes are not high for a great gaming experience.
Infamous 2 (PS3 exclusive)
After the hacking debacle that shut down Sony Online, Sony Computer Entertainment needs a hit—Infamous 2 could be what the doctor ordered. Protagonist Cole is back, and a new evil entity, The Beast, is born and intent on destroying Empire City and everything else that gets in its path. This is a highly anticipated, third-person action-adventure and might be one of the glowing releases of the month.
Duke Nukem Forever (Balls of Steel Edition) (PS3, 360, PC)
The title alone should tell you what is in store in this first-person shooter.
Duke Nukem is an icon. He is the king of bullets and blood. The press release for the game says it all: “Shoot hoops, lift weights, read adult magazines, draw crude messages on whiteboards or ogle one of the many beautiful women that populate Duke’s life; that is if you can pull yourself away long enough from kicking ass and taking names. Duke Nukem was and will forever be immortalized in gaming history, and this is his legend.” This is a spendy title at $100, but since this sequel has been in development since the late '90s, you've had plenty of time to save up. Plus, this is a collector’s edition and comes with a ton of goodies.
Alice: Madness Returns (PS3, 360, PC)
Whatever preconceptions you have about the Alice in Wonderland story, leave them behind. This is the sequel to American McGee’s Alice, a dark and twisted tale of a little girl in a mental hospital who like to run around with a butcher knife. There is some semblance to the Lewis Carroll story, but the unpredictable and the horrific is more the norm here than rabbits jumping down holes.
Alice: Madness Returns takes place 10 years after the conclusion of the original game, with Alice struggling to recover from the emotional trauma of losing her entire family in a fatal fire. After spending a decade institutionalized in an insane asylum, she is finally released to the care of a psychiatrist who just may be able to help her conquer the nightmarish hallucinations that still haunt her. Alice embarks on a mission to root out the true cause of her family's mysterious death, jumping from a gloomy and stark London to a rich and provocative Wonderland.
Sunday, June 19
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS (N3DS)
The short of it is that the 3DS is a new handheld system by Nintendo, and what better way to give it a ton of publicity than by revamping one of the all-time classic games, giving it a 3D look and re-releasing it.
Tuesday, June 21
F.E.A.R. 3 (PC, PS3, 360)
The third installment in one of the creepiest first-person shooter horror games ever created is finally here.
The story goes like this: Nine months ago, Point Man and his F.E.A.R. squad were tapped to stop a telepathically gifted cannibal who had begun a murderous rampage. Point Man learned the target was his brother, Paxton Fettel, working alongside their tortured and psychically powerful mother, Alma Wade. Despite this revelation, Point Man followed orders to destroy them and subsequently ravaged the surrounding city and most of his F.E.A.R. team. Now, it is clear that Alma’s psychic influence survived—and worse, she is about to birth something that could destroy the world.
F.E.A.R. 3 features cooperative play, a robust single-player game, and if it pulls off what the previous two did, it should also have its share of spine-tingles and fodder for nightmares.
Dungeon Siege III (PC, PS3, 360)
It’s a Square Enix role-playing game that looks luscious, just don’t expect a fresh, new story. The storyline is along the tried-and-true lines, but the game should still be a treat for desktop and console gamers looking to kick off the summer with some beautiful RPG action.