Release Chat – Week of 16 / 11 / 09

In which Stew belatedly yet apologetically lets us know about the big releases this week. And there are some big releases this week...

Apologies for the lateness this week. I was attending the NEoN 09 festival in Dundee throughout the weekend, having exclusive looks at new technology and games like Crackdown 2, APB, and listening to some inspirational speakers. Does that sound like something you might have liked? Keep your eyes peeled for NEoN next year then!

Assassin’s Creed 2 is the… shall we say… cautious

ly awaited sequel to one of the most hyped misfires of 2007. The original Assassin’s Creed was an absolute triumph of Tech over Design. It started off as one of the greatest games you’d ever hope to play. The action figure was a joy to control, and the locations looked stunning. But the game flow was nothing more than a series of repetitive and nonsensical ‘investigation’ missions, unlocked by climbing high towers, completing enough of which would un

lock the ‘Boss’ of the city, which you had to do nine separate times. Things got weirder still in the outside area. It’s the only game that springs to mind where you can get done for speeding.. on a horse. The penalty for which was death. You can trot or canter past the guards, that’s fine; but as soon as you shift up to a gallop, they suddenly recognise you as their enemy. Jumping off a high building into a bale of hay is a very satifying action. Doing it 100 times isn’t. They claim to have addressed all this in the sequel. Fingers crossed!

Two games which were announced to an unsuspecting crowd at this years E3, and have been top of my most wanted list ever since, are both being released this week!

New Super Mario Bros Wii is a new 2D Mario game (do the 3D ones even count?), is a Wii interpretation of the ‘New Super Mario Bros.’ game which delighted loads of people on the DS a few years ago. It looks like everything you could wish for and more, with the ‘more’ in this case being integrated 4-person multiplayer in every game mode! I feel a ‘New Super Mario’ Party coming on!

And then of course, there’s Left 4 Dead 2. The demo last week proved to everyone else that which we knew already: that this indeed deserves the title of true sequel, rather than an add-on pack. The first game took over our lunch times for a very sustained period after its release. With the sequel, the team have amped up the attention to detail with regards to the games environments and settings. They’ve gone to lengths to make each scenario feel unique in its on right, with level specific zombies and set pieces. Just can’t wait to see what they haven’t told us about!

Finally in cinemas this week, from out of nowhere, there’s a new Coen brothers movie! A Serious Man sees them nod back to their indie roots, with a cast of unknowns telling a darkly comic story about a quiet man’s response to his normal life unravelling before his eyes. Empire says it’s their warmest film since Fargo.

-Stew (@chicknstu)