June jeopardy; PS3 Attitude Big Three
In May, we had the 'GTA Effect'. A title frankly so big it caused other publishers to run for the hills, making it difficult to pick two other good games to join the hotly anticipated 'instant classic'.
So is June similarly the month of the 'big boss' of gaming, pushing all other titles aside? Can we actually find three titles worthy of your time and attention?
Here's the rundown on the Big Three for June. Remember, the Big Three is based on UK and European titles that will launch in June only...
1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots [pre-order game] [pre-order game + official headset] [pre-rent]
Finally, the PS3 gets the exclusive it so richly deserves.
With so much talk recently around the 'business of exclusives' and whether Sony should be paying publishers for the sole rights to a game, it's nice to leave the financial issues behind us and simply revel in the final chapter of Snake's story.
There are a few things that make MGS4 really stand out from the crowd. First, let's talk about lineage.
If you are an MGS devotee, there is plenty to keep you happy in MGS4. As well as the main storyline, many of your questions about the series will be answered with side stories and plot lines that help tie up a whole bunch of loose ends. But you don't have to have played any of the previous titles to understand MGS4 - the game welcomes those that are new to the 20+ year old franchise without making you feel lost or left out.
Secondly, MGS4 is truly epic. The graphics are incredible - sure - but they are backed up by the kind of sound effects and audio accompaniment that will make you want to buy a surround-sound system if you don't already have one! Kojima-san certainly knows how to make you feel like you are truly part of something great.
Lastly, the sheer scale, size and scope of the game doesn't overwhelm the smallest of details. Without giving away anything, you will be truly amazed at the depth and attention to detail MGS4 has to offer.
It is one of the year's biggest games - probably one of the decade's biggest to be fair - so make sure you get your copy come June 12th. Sorry GTA, but you just got bumped...
2. Lego Indiana Jones - The Original Adventures [pre-order]
Providing a nice change of pace for us older gamers, and a title that younger players not suited to the ravages of war can enjoy, the second of our picks goes to TT's first Lego game outside of the Star Wars universe.
Like every other Lego game from TT, this is a slick and easy-to-love game that reminds you how much fun video games can be. The trademark humour, great level design and extensive replay options are all here to enjoy, only this time you're switching your light sabre for a whip and a gun.
There are a couple of new game mechanics in this Lego title to keep things fresh, but nothing that doesn't fit with the series as a whole so this won't feel unlike any of the other games TT have produced.
With this title and Lego Batman on the way in 2008, we'll predict that in next year's Develop 100, TT will remain one of the highest regarded and best performing UK developers.
3. Battlefield: Bad Company [pre-order]
The one thing that will strike you when you play Battlefield: Bad Company is the game's versatility.
Whereas most shooters claim to have different ways to clear the area before moving on to the next checkpoint, B:BC is a lesson in how to do it properly. If you can see it, you can use it to your advantage - indeed, you will have to in order to progress.
Another thing you will notice is the graphics. The guys at DICE have managed to give everything a dirty, dusty and gritty look. They wanted to make you feel like you were kicking around in the grit and grime, and whilst the graphics aren't anywhere near as polished as CoD4 or MGS4, they have their own unique quality that stands out from the shooter crowd.
Mix in some cool characters and a smattering of humour and you have a game that's well worth picking up.
So that's the Big Three for June. There are certainly no shortage of games to play this month - there are no signs of the 'run for the hills' tactics that publishers took when GTA: IV launched - but these three stand out as the exceptional games of the month. Don't you agree?