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Monday, October 1, 2012

This Week in PC Gaming: October 1st

Here's a look at some of this week's PC releases.

The first week of October looks a little uneventful in comparison to what we've seen recently. September ended with a bang with Borderlands 2, Torchlight II, and Mists of Pandaria being released during the last fortnight, three highly-anticipated titles that bring a ton of content to the table. While the end of October promises to be exciting as the pre-holiday release season starts to ramp up, your wallet might be able to take it easy during the next couple of weeks.

Some of this week's releases include warriors, wrathful rabbits, and an RTS compilation. We'll also get to play with wizards and magic, either as sorcerers in a dungeon crawler or as the Wizards and Magic of the NBA.

War of the Roses
Paradox Interactive, FatShark
Full release
Tuesday, October 2nd | $29.99

War of the Roses is a third-person action game set in 15th century England. More specifically, the game takes place during - you guessed it - the War of the Roses, a real-life struggle for the throne of England which took place from 1455 to 1485. You'll get to participate in 64-player online battles as an armor-clad warrior on the front lines.

The guys behind War of the Roses apparently want to emphasize the fact that player skill is the driving force behind success in the game. Case in point, the trailer below ends with the narrator saying "Skill rules the battle." Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, clarifying text appears below the game's logo stating that "Skill is Not an Unlock."

I've seen this game pop up a few times but I honestly haven't heard all that much about it. Judging by the trailer, some of the animations look a little stiff and clunky. I might skip this one unless the reviews are glowing or the price is right. There's actually another medieval combat game coming this month, so it might be worth waiting a couple of weeks before making a decision one way or another.

NBA 2K13
2K Sports, Visual Concepts
Full release
Tuesday, October 2nd | $29.99

As you may have guessed, NBA 2K13 is this year's iteration of 2K Sports' NBA basketball franchise. Apparently Jay-Z served as an executive producer for 2K13, though I'm not really sure why that's a good thing.

Unlike MLB 2K12, 2K's baseball offering, the NBA 2K series has been generally well-received throughout the years. Considering EA's NBA Live series is basically dead in the water right now, NBA 2K13 is pretty much your only option.

Yearly sports game releases are usually glorified roster updates with a few gameplay tweaks and maybe a new game mode or two. Thankfully, the $29.99 price tag of the PC version of 2K13 is a little easier to swallow than a full 50 or 60 bucks. If you're a big basketball fan and enjoy realistic sports titles (this isn't NBA Jam, sorry), this is probably worth picking up.

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit
Sega, Arkedo Studio
Full release
Wednesday, October 3rd | $14.99

Hell Yeah! is a kooky side-scrolling platformer by indie French developer Arkedo Studio. From what I can tell, this is their first PC release. In the game you play a skeletal undead bunny in Hell who is hellbent (get it?) on vengeance.

Hell Yeah! was actually released on consoles last week via the XBLA and PSN, so there are a few reviews floating around already. Joystiq and Eurogamer gave the game a 4/5 and 8/10, respectively, while Polygon was slightly more critical in giving the game a 6 out of 10.

The game's art looks pretty fantastic, and it looks like the developers are putting in the effort to make the PC as good as its console counterparts. From the game's website:


We are currently building up steam, please find our current thoughts on PC:

- PC is awesome!
- so Hell Yeah PC will have Steam Cloud saves implemented,
- it will also support Steam Achievements,
- and have higher resolution, AND redesigned controls for keyboard + mouse.

Last but not least: the Xbox360 controller will also be supported (and you will be able to hotswap in realtime)

While this might not be a day-one purchase, it could be one to keep an eye on during future Steam sales.

Realms of Ancient War (R.A.W.)
Focus Home Interactive, Wizarbox
Full release
Thursday, October 4th | $14.99

R.A.W. is another game that released on consoles last week, leaving us the sloppy seconds this Thursday. IGN reviewed the game last week and wasn't exactly thrilled with it.

Here's the first line of the video description posted along side the launch trailer on YouTube: "Console players will get their Hack'n'Slash this year!" That doesn't exactly inspire confidence from a PC standpoint.

R.A.W. looks like a pretty generic hack-n-slash dungeon crawler with the standard warrior, sorcerer, and rogue character classes (literally named Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rogue). This one looks like a tough sell, especially once you start comparing it to Diablo 3 or Torchlight II.

Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection
Tuesday, October 2nd | $49.99

The last major release of this week isn't a new release at all. EA is releasing a compilation of every Command & Conquer game and expansion pack titled Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection.

17 games and/or expansion packs are included in the collection, which is basically every PC title in the series. All of the games have apparently been updated to run on Windows 7 and Vista and the pack is redeemable on Origin.

Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer The Covert Operations
Command & Conquer Red Alert
Command & Conquer Red Alert Counterstrike
Command & Conquer Red Alert The Aftermath
Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun
Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Firestorm
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2
Command & Conquer Red Alert Yuri's Revenge
Command & Conquer Renegade
Command & Conquer Generals
Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour
Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
Command & Conquer 3 Kane's Wrath
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 Uprising
Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight

Assuming you're a fan of the series this sounds great, right? Not so fast. Leave it to EA to make things interesting.

That's right. Apparently a "physical" piece of paper with a redeemable key counts as a "physical" copy of a game now. Everything prior to C&C3 (that's 12 of 17 titles) was released between 1995 and 2003, meaning they could probably fit the entire series on a handful of DVDs. Unless you really care about that art book there's absolutely no reason to go out and buy a boxed copy. EA never ceases to amaze.

Note: this list is not comprehensive but should cover most major titles. Check back every Monday for a new list of PC releases.


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