Injustice is a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game starring the superheroes and villains of the DC Comics universe. I know what you’re thinking, but thankfully it’s a hundred million times better than Mortal Kombat vs DC was and comes pretty close to the quality of Mortal Kombat 9. It even has a story mode that not only has a really fantastic story but also throws in some mini-games to break up the monotony of fighting and watching cutscenes over and over. Online play is decent. Much better than MK9 was at release but still not as good as Darkstalkers Resurrection or any other fighter that uses GGPO-based netcode. There’s also a challenge mode much like the challenge tower present in MK9, but most of the challenges prove to be pretty annoying. Unless you absolutely adore the game (or want to unlock the final skins), it can be skipped altogether. If you’re a fan of the Mortal Kombat series or DC Comics, though, then this game is a must-buy, no questions asked.
Homefront is an odd game. It feels like a mashup between the remake of Red Dawn, Call of Duty, and Metro 2033, but it is definitely better than Metro 2033 where the gameplay is concerned. The atmosphere and story are unfortunately much less awesome, as scripted moments hamper any fun you could have with the story and make you waste time in the uninspired and bland environments. Fortunately, the gunplay is fantastic. The guns actually feel pretty different from one another (something that is incredibly surprising given the quality of the rest of the game), and there are enough crazy futuristic weapons to keep your attention through the more boring story moments. There are quite a few oddities with the weapon balancing and character animations that become glaringly apparent the further you make it into the game, but if you’re looking for a little fun on the weekend or a game to tide you over until the next big release on your wishlist, then Homefront is a great budget title to give a playthrough.
If you’ve played BioShock, then you already know the basic gist of what you’re getting into with BioShock Infinite. There are guns, lots of crazy powers, and you’re going to be stuck with a companion most of the time. The biggest difference between this installment in the series and the last two, however, is the companion. BioShock Infinite has the single best AI companion I have had the pleasure of meeting in a video game. She’s always helpful, never annoying, not ONCE did I have to worry about rescuing her, and best yet, she was always engaging and bringing things in the environment to light that I had not noticed before. The gameplay is even more amazing (if you can believe it), and each gun feels incredibly different from one another. The different challenges presented make sure that you’ll be experimenting with each one. The powers are even more fun than you’d expect, with each of them having cool interactions with each other. Normally, I’d probably suggest this game based on similar likes, but this is one of those games that every gamer should play.
This last year was pretty great for free-roaming, story-driven action games with releases like Far Cry 3. Sleeping Dogs is no exception to that. It does the Grand Theft Auto genre better than pretty much everything GTA has done as a series. The driving is tight and responsive, each mission has a plethora of checkpoints, and the story is phenomenal. I know it sounds ridiculous, but Sleeping Dogs is probably one of the most perfect adventure games that has ever been released. It blends kung fu combat with amazingly good gunplay, and not once does the game get boring. The voice acting and deep storytelling, a mixture of kung fu and gangster flicks, will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time as each twist and turn comes spinning out at you. The absolute best thing about it, though, is that the driving works so well, you’ll never find yourself mad about having to participate in races. I honestly don’t think that high enough praise exists for this game, so just buy it. It’s damn near perfect.
Being a major fan of the Metal Gear franchise, I was pretty worried about the series taking a step away from the tried and true formula of stealth-based gameplay. After playing Rising, I can honestly say I should never have been worried. Metal Gear Rising is a fast-paced action game in the vein of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry 3 (not DmC, blech) and may be the best action game that will ever exist. There’s so much incredible insanity going on in this title that you’ll often have to take breaks just to digest the events you just witnessed. Despite being a Metal Gear game, it doesn’t suffer from long-winded cutscenes or drawn out events. Everything stays short, sweet, and to the point. If you do get a hankering for more gameplay after the story is completed, then you can play through Virtual Reality training modes (a returning staple). A myriad of items to unlock and numerous easter eggs ensure that you’ll constantly be going back to improve your score to upgrade and unlock the best weapons and costumes available. I really can’t stress this enough: if you love action games, you owe it to yourself to play this. DO IT.
FFXIII-2 is my 4th favorite RPG after FFX, Rogue Galaxy, and Chrono Trigger. Square Enix got it right with this one. The story starts at the end of FFXIII, where a time paradox has shattered space-time, leaving lapses in history and parallel universes to explore. Cities are back. Open world side quests are back. Spontaneous monster spawns are back (but not spontaneous battles, because when they appear, you can choose whether or not to approach them). And fun is back! The battle system lets you fight with any strategy you can think of and uses captured monsters as allies. Everything is upgradeable. Grinding is unnecessary. You make choices that affect boss battles, time periods, cut scenes, and even multiple endings. Yes, it helps to have previously played FFXIII, but this is a completely different game. Just do a little reading, and you’ll be up to speed. Keep in mind, though, that this is a Final Fantasy fan-based game, so expect to see a lot of Chocobos and hear a lot of Moogle talk, kupo.