June 3: wallet threat level forgotten

, | Features


This week Capcom releases Remember Me, a sci-fi adventure game in which the main character climbs around a lot (“Can we appeal to the Tomb Raider crowd?”), gets in fistfights (“Can we appeal to the Arkham City crowd?”), and manipulates memories (“Oh, right, we have to fit the central conceit into the game somehow…”). It begins with an interesting aesthetic, but once you escape from the laboratory and climb out of the sewers, you come to that moment when the music swells and a sweeping vista of the amazing sci-fi city stretches before you. My reaction to that moment in Remember Me was, “Really? That’s all you got?” Any further curiosity about the world or the gameplay pretty much dimmed once I got hung up on the first puzzle, which involves watching a doctor give medication to someone over and over again. Basically, these are puzzles about fast-forwarding and rewinding through cutscenes while you guess at whatever obscure solution the developers have in mind. If you really want to play an adventure game, I’m sure someone other than me could recommend a good one.

Also out this week is new DLC for Sins of a Solar Empire, a fantastic RTS that’s no less fantastic for its ongoing touch of feature bloat. Every time I play, there are about six or seven cool things that I know I’m probably not going to touch this time. Whether it’s mines, starbases, titans, some of the cruisers, superweapons, artifacts, inter-imperial pacts, refineries, or cultural boundaries, there are far too many nifty features for any single play sessions. Consider the trade port subgame. You might not even know it exists. But if you string together an unbroken line of trade ports, you get an income bonus. So you don’t just want that dwarf planet because your people need a place to live. You want it because it will extend your trade route by one system. Spacerailroad Tycoon in my RTS. The $5 Forbidden Worlds add-on will lets you further tweak planets, and it will add news planets, bonuses, and technologies.

A possible release this week is State of Decay. It’s in certification at Microsoft, and if all goes well, it will be included in Wednesday’s Xbox Live Arcade releases. Why should you care? Because of all the genres that need more games, single-player open-world zombie survival games need more games the most. Besides, I haven’t headshotted a zombie since dinking around with Resident Evil: Revelations a few weeks agao. I’m starting to go into withdrawal.

Finally, I wouldn’t normally care one whit about a free-to-play action RPG/MMO. But given that Marvel Ultimate Alliance is one of my perennial “you know, I should go back and play that yet again…” games, I’m actually looking forward to the free-to-play action RPG/MMO Marvel Heroes. The early launch this weekend has apparently been beset by problems — the PR rep sheepishly slinked away after last Thursday’s “hey, do you want early access to Marvel Heroes?” email — but whenever its issues get ironed out, I’m looking forward to getting my Jean Grey on. That right, Jean Grey. That’s how I roll.