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This week in gaming: Sniping, building civilizations and … simulating mountains?

Welcome to July! Almost! Week one of the first full summer month is deceptively busy with game releases, but don’t be fooled. We’re in for a quiet few weeks ahead, the typical summer lull for video games. Don’t let it get you down though! There’s good stuff coming this week, and most of us still have a whole backlog to dig through as well (especially those that stuck with the just-ended Steam Summer Sale).

Do you like popping off gory headshots from extreme distances? Enjoying the quiet serenity of life as a mountain? Re-releases of games that you may very well have played already? Read on.

Sniper Elite 3 

PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One (July 1)
World War II OSS sniper Karl Fairburne is back in this third-person shooter from Rebellion Developments. Breaking out of the linear corridor-style shooting of the previous games, Sniper Elite 3 aims to recast the series as more of a sniper sandbox, with lengthy missions characterized by large spaces and open-ended mission objectives.
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Karl’s latest adventure is set against the backdrop of World War II’s North African theater. Axis forces are developing a top-secret Wunderwaffe, and it’s your job to find out what it is and how to stop it – all while taking on the collected enemies forces through the lens of your sniper scope. The series’ trademark X-ray killcam returns, and it’s gorier than ever. Read our latest preview.

Mountain 

Mac/PC  (July 1)
Most games are about activity: Go somewhere, do something, save someone (in another castle). Mountain is none of those things. Sprung from the mind of David O’Reilly, the Irish filmmaker and artist behind the futureworld AR video games featured in director Spike Jonze’s HerMountain is, quite literally, a mountain simulator.
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The game features no controls of any kind, but it follows the natural passage of time as things grow and die, and “nature expresses itself.” The game’s official tagline is, “You are mountain – you are god,” and it falls into O’Reilly’s self-described “mountain simulator,” “relax em’ up,” and “Art Horror” genres. An iOS version of Mountain was submitted for approval, but it may not make the July 1 release date.
Read more about Mountain on the game’s official website.

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

PS4 (July 1) | Xbox 360/Xbox One/Wii U (July 2)
Guacamelee! was one of our favorite games of 2013 on the PlayStation Vita. In addition to a ridiculously long subtitle, the new Super Turbo Championship Edition port adds all of the game’s previously released DLC as well as new levels, bosses, and character abilities.
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There’s really not much more to be said. If you like beat ’em ups with Metroid-style maps and striking art design, you don’t mind a stiff challenge (seriously, not for the faint of heart), and you haven’t played this before – or even if you have – Super Turbo Championship Edition is worth checking out.

Civilization Revolution 2

iOS (July 1)
The first Civilization Revolution streamlined the gameplay from Sid Meier’s beloved PC-only series in a way that was more palatable to the console, and later mobile, crowds. With Civilization Revolution 2, the streamlining continues…by eliminating consoles from the equation.
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The sequel’s mobile-only release (Android version coming soon) amounts to roughly the same basic game/gameplay, but with an assortment of new features and content additions that build on the earlier release. If you’re a fan of Civilization Revolution, you’ll probably want to make the upgrade to Civilization Revolution 2.

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn

PS3 (July 1)
Tecmo Koei has a template set with its Warriors games, and it’s something you either love or you hate. They’re technically beat ’em ups, only they’re set on a massive scale, pitting player-controlled super-warriors against armies of grunts, mini-bosses, and bosses on large, open maps.
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Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn plays with that formula by injecting licensed sci-fi built around giant mechs into the Warriors framework. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a particular style of gratuitous action that should appeal to fans of the Earth Defense Force series. Take note, this is only available in North America as a download from the PlayStation Store.

Child of Light

PS Vita (July 1)
Ubisoft’s increasingly name-dropped UbiArt Framework – the foundation that Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends are built on – powers this quirky RPG. Child of Light is a fairy tale related as an epic poem. Just about every line of dialogue in the game has a rhyme attached to it, resulting in a whimsical take on a bittersweet story.
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The gameplay is styled after traditional 2D RPGs, with active-time turn-based combat and side-scrolling exploration. It’s the art design that stands out most, however. The beautiful, hand-drawn look pops in a way that few other games do. Check out our review.

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