The summer dead zone is almost behind us! August is here, which means we’re in the home stretch before a blizzard of holiday releases descends. We start to see some of the bigger players emerge this week, with the arrival of both Sacred 3 and Ultra Street Fighter IV. There’s also a handful of very promising indies to suit a variety of tastes. Here’s what’s new in gaming for the week ending August 8.
PC/PS3/Xbox 360 (August 5)
Sacred 3 revives a series that’s been absent for going on five years, but with a new publisher (Deep Silver), developer (Keen Games), and gameplay, it’s not the same Sacred you remember. The previous Sacred games, from Ascaron, were relatively deep, stat-heavy RPGs with lots of systems and moving parts. Sacred 3 takes more of a mainstream-friendly approach with its hack & slash gameplay. We haven’t tried the game yet, but reviews so far have not been entirely favorable, particularly among fans of the earlier games.
For more info on the game, head over to Sacred 3‘s official website.
Ultra Street Fighter IV
PC (August 8)
The arrival of a new Street Fighter variant is always confusing, and Ultra Street Fighter IV doesn’t do anything to break away from that. It’s an add-on pack that introduces five new fighters, some new fighting mechanics and rebalancing, and an “Edition Select” feature that allows players to swap between rules for the different versions of the game. The add-on was actually released earlier in 2014 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it comes to PC this week as a DLC upgrade.
You can read more about what’s new in Ultra Street Fighter IV on the series’ official website.
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Nemesis DLC
Xbox 360/Xbox One (August 5)
Here comes a whole new set of maps for Call of Duty: Ghosts. The Nemesis DLC pack is the game’s fourth and final add-on offering (a free download for Season Pass owners). There are four maps for the game’s multiplayer mode, including one — called Showtime — that revives the fan-favorite Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare map Shipment as Smash TV-like fighting arena. There’s also the fourth and final chapter in the game’s Extinction mode, which pits players against waves of invading aliens in a story-driven survival challenge.
You can find more detailed descriptions and first looks at each map on the official Call of Duty website.
PS Vita (August 5)
Metrico is a sharp-looking puzzle/platformer from developer Digital Dreams that features an art style inspired by the look of infographics. It’s not a game that is easily described, as level designer Roy van de Mortel admitted in a July 2014 post on PlayStation Blog. The game shows well in trailers though, and we’ve got high hopes for positive marks on our coming review. Maybe this trailer will give you a better sense of how it works.
Not enough? Try checking out the game’s official website for more details.
PS3/PS4/PS Vita (August 5)
The Swapper is old news for PC gamers. It’s a puzzle/platformer that is largely built around the use of a handheld cloning device that allows up to four clones of the main character to be created, all in the name of solving puzzles. Rules that govern how the clones can move around tweak the complexity of the puzzles even further. The PC version of The Swapper won the praise of many critics, and it’ll presumably end up with similar accolades when it launches this week on PlayStation platforms.
For more info on The Swapper, head over to Facepalm Games’ official website.
Road Not Taken
PC/PS4/PS Vita (August 5)
Spry Fox’s Road Not Taken, an interactive interpretation of Robert Frost’s famous poem, is a game of survival and growth. You goal in this puzzle-driven game is to venture through an ever-changing forest as you hunt for children lost in a recent winter snowstorm. In the style of other recent, experimentation-heavy survival games like Don’t Starve, the expectation in Road Not Taken is that you’re failing frequently, but you’re learning from your failures.