October 29: wallet threat level red

, | Features

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation is an uncanny Unreal 3 remix of the original Painkiller, which is my favorite Doom game of all time. It’s every bit as good as it was in 2004. Actually, better. I forgot how awesome it is to play a shooter that doesn’t need a reload key. And this time it’s got co-op support. If there’s one thing better than replaying Painkiller, it’s replaying Painkiller cooperatively.

Cargo Commander is an indie space dungeon exploration game. Think of it as a sci-fi Rogue-like with unique space-based qualities and the catchiest space honky-tonk aesthetic this side of Starcraft 1. Here’s how it plays.

The last few Assassin’s Creeds are kind of a blur for me. Kind of like they were a blur for the folks who made them. Zing! So I had very little enthusiasm going into Assassin’s Creed III. After playing for a while, I still had very little enthusiasm. Assassin’s Creed III starts slow, despite an interesting idea for how to do a prologue. It’s ponderous and familiar. It features way too much Desmond (at this point, any Desmond is way too much Desmond). For those of us burned out after a few years of cavorting around cities that weren’t as good as Venice, Assassin’s Creed III feels like just another Assassin’s Creed, but with dishwater dull Colonial architecture. Here we go again. But then you get past the first five or six hours and, holy cats, the Assassin’s Creed series is good again! At this point, I couldn’t be happier with how this is turning out. Consider your wallet imperiled.

After an extensive beta period, Natural Selection 2 finally goes live this week. This team-based aliens vs marines multiplayer shooter/strategy hybrid has a following from the first game for a reason. And lest you worry what you’re getting into, this is no free-to-play grindfest. It’s a straight-up, two-asymmetrical-but-equal-teams-against-each-other, reset-to-zero-when-you’re-done complete package.

And speaking of team-based multiplayer shooters with a twist, Guns of Icarus launches this week. This release doesn’t yet include an intended adventure mode where your airships fly around trade routes to make money and buy upgrades. Instead, it’s an airship vs airship skirmish game in which players crew the airships. Considering the dearth of airship deathmatches since Flying Heroes, I’ll take what I can get.

Electronic Arts releases Need for Speed: Most Wanted. No telling how long the servers will be up, so hurry up and race before it’s sunsetted!

Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth is some sort of Kinect fighting game that poses the question “who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Wolverine?”. The correct answer is “Spiderman and Woverine aren’t Avengers”. I also would have accepted, “I’ve already played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and I didn’t need a Kinect to do it”.