The 2009 Summer Games Preview

Written by Joe Martin

June 18, 2009 | 10:47

Tags: #2009 #assassins-creed-2 #batman-arkham-asylum #bioshock-2 #dantes-inferno #dragon-age #preview

Left 4 Dead 2

Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Publisher: Valve, Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 17th

Despite only having been announced in the last few weeks, Left 4 Dead 2 has already provoked controversy and boycotts from the usually docile hardcore gaming market – something of a first for Valve, which appears to have been a little unprepared for the way the community has lashed out at the arguably too-soon sequel.

Whether or not Left 4 Dead 2 will decimate and divide the mod community, two things are certain: Left 4 Dead 2 will sell better than hotcakes at the North Pole and we’ll be first in line to pick up a copy come November.

Designed to be mostly the same as the original Left 4 Dead in terms of gameplay, the focus on the sequel is falls on providing a much tighter and visually distinct set of new campaigns by the look of things. To that end Valve is centring on a new set of survivors in the American Deep South, with the campaigns leading on from each other directly and being set mostly during the daytime rather than the endless night of the first game.

The 2009 Summer Games Preview The 2009 Summer Games Preview - 2
Left 4 Dead 2 will feature daylight maps, new melee weapons and stronger zombies

Those aren’t the only changes to the game though, with Valve also introducing all new zombies and boss infected, such as the infected CDC workers in Hazmat suits that are resistant to Molotov cocktails and a Wandering Witch who creeps through the levels. There’s a revised melee system too, which gives players access to much stronger weapons (chainsaws, yeah!) at the expense of their primary weapon – which would you choose? Let us know in the forums.


Platform: DS
Publisher: Warner Bros. InteractiveThe 2009 Summer Games Preview The 2009 Summer Games Preview - 2
Release Date: November 1st

OK, so Scribblenauts might not be a PC or Xbox360/PS3 game and it may look a little childish and outside of our usual remit, but it’s still one of the titles we’re most looking forward to this year – that should tell you something. And not that we’ve got oddly low standards either – something else.

Essentially a side-scrolling platformer and puzzle game all in one, Scribblenauts’ big gimmick is the huge vocabulary that the gameplay is based around. The basic aim of the game is to go through each level and collect all the little stars that you can – which you accomplish by summoning pretty much any object you can think of by writing what it is you want on the DS’ touch screen. Need a ladder to climb a tree? Write ‘Ladder’. Need a digger? Write ‘Digger’. Need something to kill the enemies between you and your goal? Write ‘Kraken’, ‘Cannon’, ‘Monster’ or even ‘Grim Reaper’.

We’ve not had a chance to try Scribblenauts out for ourselves but we’ve seen some compelling footage and hands-ons that show off it's stunning and unique design. It seems like there’s very little that you can’t create in the game, much of which is probably down to the huge database that the summoning system is built around, which includes a massive number of nouns and general behaviors.

So, yes, Scribblenauts may be a rather childish looking DS game and not a gore-filled PC exclusive shooter – but it’s still one of the most technically impressive, innovative and emergent looking games we’ve seen in a long time. We really can’t wait to see what sort of chaos we can create using the Scribblenaut summoning system.
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