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Launch Primer




Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Lost Planet 2 Preview
 

Lost Planet 2
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Teen

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What kind of game is it?

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person sci-fi shooter in which you must battle the Akrid, large alien lifeforms on the planet of E.D.N. III. In the first game, E.D.N. III was a Hoth-like frozen planet in which soldier Wayne seeks out the people responsible for the death of his father and discovers a massive plan to create mass-scale global warming. The sequel starts a decade later, as the planet is mostly melted down and lush jungles replace frosty tundra.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Red Steel 2

Red Steel 2
Wii
MSRP: $49.99 ($59.99 w/MotionPlus bundle)
ESRB Rating: Teen

All Red Steel 2 Content

 
 
What kind of game is it?
 
Red Steel 2 is a first-person shooter for the Nintendo Wii that  mixes guns with motion-controlled swordplay. The first Red Steel was a launch title for the Wii back in 2006, and while it showed brief flashes of promise, the developers still hadn't wrapped their heads around how the motion control should work. Now, it looks like they have.
 
Who's the developer?
 
Ubisoft’s internal Paris studio is in charge of the Red Steel franchise, along with being caretakers of the wacky Rayman Raving Rabbids series.
 
What's the story?
 
Remember the story from the first game? No? Great, because it's completely irrelevant here. Let me allow Mr. Stephen Johnson to describe it to you, as taken from his most recent preview:
 
"You can forget the plot of Red Steel along with the look. Red Steel 2 does not continue the tale of the first game. Instead of a hoary plot with the Yakuza as enemies, Red Steel 2's pulpy action centers on the player as the last of a race of super-samurai (or maybe ninja?) style warriors who fight with katanas and sidearms. Evil villains called The Jackals have stolen an important and deadly sword, and you gotta light 'em up and chop 'em apart to get it back. Along the way, you'll meet up with colorful allies, train up sword and gun abilities, and generally kick ass all over the place. It's not Shakespearean drama, but you won't care; trust me."

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

God of War III

God of War III
PlayStation 3
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

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What kind of game is it?

God of War III is the final chapter (but not necessarily final game) of a mythological revenge story featuring Kratos, the son of Zeus, battling against his father and the gods of Mt. Olympus. It is also a 3D action game where things die. A lot.

Who's the developer?

Sony's Santa Monica studio is where God of War was born. The first two games were directed by David Jaffe and Cory Barlog, respectively, who have both since moved on to new opportunities -- though they've both had some sort of input or consultation on the story's finale. The third game is directed by Stig Asmussen.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Launch Primer: Aliens vs. Predator
 

Aliens vs. Predator
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $49.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: Mature

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What kind of game is it?

Aliens vs. Predator is a high-intensity first-person shooter that lets players experience the brutal world of AvP through the eyes of three warring species: humans, aliens and predators. Each faction offers unique gameplay opportunities, but in the end, it’s all about disposing of enemies in the most vicious ways possible. Pro tip: if you hear hissing, run.

Who's the developer?

Rebellion has been at the whole “game developer” thing for a while now. Interestingly enough, the developer’s breakthrough title was Alien vs. Predator for the Atari Jaguar back in 1995. Their next big title was, you guessed it, Aliens vs. Predator in 1999. After that, Rebellion delivered a number of sequels and ports of popular franchises including Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, and Rainbow Six. Last year, they released Star Wars: Battlefront: Elite Squadron for PSP and the comically bad Rogue Warrior

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Dante's Inferno
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $39.99 (PSP)
ESRB Rating: Mature
 

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What kind of game is it?

A modern day beat 'em up. A hack 'n slash. Have you played God of War? You have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Dante's Inferno. Dead Space developer Visceral Games have lifted the best elements of God of War's combat and tossed it into a journey through Hell that's based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's three-part epic poem, The Divine Comedy. Dante must travel through the nine circles of Hell to save his princess from none other than Lucifer.

Who's the developer?

Visceral Games, formerly known as EA Redwood Shores, is same studio within Electronic Arts that developed Dead Space. It's not the same team (they're working on Dead Space 2), but you can definitely tell it's from the same thinktank. They also worked on the internally developed the Wii spin-off, Dead Space: Extraction, both The Godfather games and The Simpsons Game.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Launch Primer: BioShock 2 

BioShock 2
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $49.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: Mature

All BioShock 2 Content

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What kind of game is it?

BioShock 2 is the sequel to the brilliant 2007 first-person shooter BioShock. While the original balanced horror and combat, action takes a more dominant role in the follow-up. You still might want to keep a clean pair of pants around though just to be safe.

Who's the developer?

2K Marin cut their teeth porting the original BioShock, which was developed by Irrational Games (formerly 2K Boston), to the PlayStation 3 back in 2008. BioShock 2 is the studio’s first original game since being founded in 2007.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Wii
MSRP: $49.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

All No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Content

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What kind of game is it?

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is the sequel to 2008's No More Heroes. It is available exclusively for Nintendo Wii. The series is, at its core, a brawler/beat 'em up game, but it's loaded with black humor and graphic violence. It's also filled with inside jokes that lovingly poke fun at famous videogame franchises as well as otaku (Japanese geek) culture.

Who's the developer?

Good question. Grasshopper Manufacture is headed up by Goichi Suda, also known as Suda 51. Grasshopper is well-known for creating artistically stylish games that are often aesthetically pleasing, but are an acquired taste to enjoy. The developer started out in 1998 with several Japan-only releases for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 before 2005's Killer 7, a polarizing title  that has become a cult classic. Though not a commercial success, the game gave Westerners a taste of Suda's demented approach to design. No More Heroes proved to be a hit outside of Japan that has grabbed the attention of Wii-owning hardcore gamers.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2
Xbox 360, PC
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $49.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Mass Effect 2 Content

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What kind of game is it?

Mass Effect 2 is the sequel to 2007's excellent 3D action-RPG from space Mass Effect. While the first game blended RPG elements into a hybrid of fast shooting action and strategic planning, the sequel comes out guns-a-blazin'.

Who's the developer?

BioWare's (Dragon Age: Origins, Star Wars: The Old Republic) Montreal studio -- a mix of ME team members and fresh blood -- is responsible for ME2, and Casey Hudson returns as the game director. BioWare is best known for raking in tons of money via their award-winning RPGs.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Wii
MSRP: $49.99
ESRB Rating: Teen

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What kind of game is it?

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is a 2D fighting game for the Wii that features characters from Capcom’s rich history taking on an assortment of characters from Japan's Tatsunoko Production Co.

Who's the developer?

Eighting is a Japanese studio that specializes in fighting games, particularly ones attached with Japanese licensed properties. They were behind the Bloody Roar series that appeared on the PlayStation and PS2 before moving on to games based on Bleach, Zatch Bell, and Naruto.

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Launch Primer: MAG

sjohnson
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Posted January 25, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson


Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

MAG

MAG
PlayStation 3,
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Teen

 All MAG Content

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What kind of game is it?

MAG's original subtitle was "Massive Action Game," and that pretty much sums it up: A first-person shooter of epic proportions where up to 256 players divided into three factions battle on the same field for ultimate supremacy.
 
Who's the developer?

Zipper Interactive. Zipper is the company behind the SOCOM games, so they know squad-based, realistic military combat. Previous SOCOM games have featured 32-player online battles, but do Zipper's multiplayer chops extend to 256?

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

‘Dark Void’ Impressions

Dark Void
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $39.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: Teen

All Dark Void Content

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What kind of game is it?

Dark Void is a 3rd-person action game that features a mix of on-foot gameplay and jet-pack powered flight.

Who's the developer?

Airtight Games was formed in 2004 by former members of the development studio FASA, who was responsible for the underrated Xbox flight game Crimson Skies. Former Valve developer and Portal figurehead Kim Swift recently joined the studio and is working on a yet-to-be announced project.

What's the story?

Dark Void's plot is fairly straightforward sci-fi. Our hero Will is a pilot who finds himself pulled into a different dimension called “The Void.” Here he uses his flight skills to help a resistance group fend off a looming alien threat. And he shoots stuff.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Army of Two: The 40th Day
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP
MSRP: $59.99 (console), $39.99 (PSP)
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Army of Two: The 40th Day Content

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What kind of game is it?

Army of Two: The 40th Day is a 3rd-person shooter based on private military contractors (PMCs) operating in modern day combat settings. It is the sequel to 2008’s Army of Two.

Who's the developer?

EA Montreal is based in -- surprise! -- Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Formed in 2004, EA Montreal’s gameography includes Boogie and SSX Blur for the Wii, games that are decidedly different from their premier franchise, Army of Two.

What's the story?

A couple years after the events of Army of Two, Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem have started up their own PMC conveniently called TWO (TransWorld Operations). The unfortunately-tattooed Alice Murray has joined them as their go-to gal for intel and support. On a mission in Shanghai, something happens, and the boys are drawn into some unwanted combat. The 40th Day is about Rios and Salem making it through this incident alive and profitable.

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Ever find yourself in a conversation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute because you haven't been paying attention? Remedy that with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (sans spoilers) about a new game.

Darksiders

Darksiders
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Darksiders Content

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What kind of game is it?

Darksiders is a 3D action-adventure game set on a post-apocalyptic (in the biblical sense) Earth.

Who's the developer?

Vigil Games is an in-house studio owned by THQ, and is based in Austin, TX. Joe Madureira, the studio’s creative director, is best known for his work in the comic book industry, notably his mid-90s run on Uncanny X-Men. Darksiders is their first game.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Bayonetta

Bayonetta
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
MSRP: $54.99
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Bayonetta Content

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What kind of game is it?

Bayonetta is a 3D action game of the “beat-‘em-up” variety. It’s all about combat: physical melee attacks combined with ranged weaponry and magic, used to fight hordes of enemies big and small (but mostly big). It’s also somewhat about unrestrained scenario design and the attractive qualities of the female form. Somewhat.

Who's the developer?

Platinum Games is the development studio that formed when Hideki Kamiya left Capcom in 2006 along with fellow developers Shinji Mikami and Atsushi Inaba. Between the three of them and their associated teams, there is a strong (and creatively unique) lineage of both 2D and 3D action game design, as they were responsible for Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, God Hand, Killer 7, P.N. 03, and Okami. Oh yes, also a little game called Resident Evil 4.

Platinum’s most recent game was last year’s MadWorld for Wii, a similarly bombastic and violent action game.

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Ever find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are talking about the latest and greatest game, and you can't contribute to the conversation because you haven't been paying attention? Solve that problem with our Launch Primers: everything you need to know (except the spoilers) about a game that's about to be released.

Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott Ending Next Week

Left 4 Dead 2
Xbox 360, PC
MSRP: $59.99 (Xbox 360), $49.99 (PC)
ESRB Rating: Mature

All Left 4 Dead 2 Content

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What kind of game is it?

Left 4 Dead 2 is a first-person shooter that pits you and three other characters against a seemingly perpetual barrage of zombies.

Who's the developer?

Valve is based in Bellevue, WA (just outside of Seattle). Half-Life is the game that made them famous, and Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, TeamFortress 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead further cemented their status as one of the industry's most respected development studios. Left 4 Dead was developed by Turtle Rock Studios, which was purchased by Valve in 2008. Turtle Rock had previous experience working on the Counter-Strike franchise prior to L4D and the acquisition.

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