Summer is almost here. Tanning on the beach, soft sand, foamy ocean waves….well, unless you are on the Gulf Coast. Pool parties, Bar-B-Q’s, catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows. Excited? Me either, all that stuff makes me shudder–jellyfish stings, sunburn, sand in crevices, vacuuming the pool, chlorine stinging your eyes, who needs it? Thank goodness we can fire up our PC’s, crank up the AC and frag away with this summer’s gaming goodness!
We are headlong into June, and already two titles have hit, and a couple more are on the way. Use the warm air and nice weather to open up that tower outside and clean it out with a can of compressed air, so the dust bunnies will be at bay for this first month of summer’s game releases!
- June 1st – Alpha Protocol, Sims 3 Ambitions Expansion
- June 8th – Prince Of Persia – The Forgotten Sands
- June 22nd – Transformers : The War For Cybertron
- June 29th – Arma II : Combined Operations and Operation Arrowhead, APB, Sniper : Ghost Warrior, Singularity, LEGO Harry Potter : Years 1 – 4
June kicks off the summer with a bang. Mass Effect fans might enjoy similar mechanics and decision making in the svy vs spy/James Bond setting of Alpha Protocol. Prince Of Persia : Forgotten Sands looks to be a little Sands of Time with a slice of Warrior Within, as it bridges the gap between the two and releases alongside the well-reviewed movie. Arma II : Operation Arrowhead retails for $40, as the stand-alone expansion to the multiplayer hit Arma II. Oddly enough, Combined Ops nets you both the original game AND the expansion for only $49.99, making it a steal for late comers. Most of us, by now, have heard about the interesting MMO that almost made it to 360, APB. And, yes, I am still holding out hope for a good Transformers game with improved online modes first seen in last years Revenge of the Fallen, along with newly added online co-op.
July would be a pretty barren month, if not for PC Gaming’s second coming of the sequel 12 years in the making : Starcraft II : Wings of Liberty. If you haven’t left the biodome, you can check out the Starcraft II Beta Preview, here.
- July 13th – Disciples III : Renaissance
- July 27th – Starcraft II : Wings Of Liberty
Strategy games are hitting hard and fast this month with the turn-based, fantasy setting of Disciples and the sci-fi, real-time strategy tactics of the strategy behemoth, Starcraft II.
Another month, release heavy in the end like July, August may be the hottest month, and the best reason to stay indoors and keep that smooth, pasty complexion as you while the hours away in front of your monitor. Finish the Starcraft Terran campaign, save your pennies and wait for these tasty morsels to hit.
- August 24th – Mafia II, Elemental : War Of Magic, Kane & Lynch 2 : Dog Days
August seems to be the month that could fly or flop, which one remains to be seen. Mafia could go either way, and Kane & Lynch is not coming from the truest of pedigrees. However, if neither of those strikes you fancy, another strategy home run is Stardock’s Elemental : War of Magic, an almost spiritual successor to Master of Magic.
Not ready to let summer go? Check out these Labor Day releases between BBQ’s and bonfires.
- September 1st – Sid Meier’s Civilization V, Jumpgate Evolution *See Below
- September 7th – R.U.S.E., Arcania : Gothic 4, Brink
The strategy hits flow right on over into September this year with R.U.S.E., the Poker man’s RTS that employs bluffing and dummy units to pull your opponents strings and lure them out. Equally as huge is the new iteration of Sid Meier’s Civilization-not just because of the title, but also because of the waning entries in the turn-based strategy/sim genre. If action is more your style, you can’t hope for better than Bethesda and Splash Damage’s Brink, supposedly a new evolution of shooter.
***UPDATE : Civilization V will release 9/21 in North America and 9/24 in other countries***
No matter how you slice it, there’s enough gaming goodness to offset any gamer’s pile of shame this summer, so put the sunscreen away, make sure your drivers are up to date and your hard drive defragged and Mom’s basement stocked with snacks, it’s summer gaming season! The only good part of summer is the Bar-B-Q, right?