Utter wilderness and outer galaxies, this week in gaming.
Man Vs Wild(Xbox, PS3, Wii)
Price: 29.99 || Official Site
David vs Goliath; Ali vs Foreman; mayonnaise vs ketchup; there are many epic battles that are ripe for a port to your gaming console. However, one of those showdowns can get crossed off the list this week as Bear Grylls and his show, Man Vs Wild, get the console treatment. The game opens with you getting dropped into the wilderness and being forced to survive some of the world’s deadliest environments (such as a four star hotel). You’ll pick up tools and items along the way to help in your survival, resulting in a distinctive RPG feel - though it’s definitely the first time we’ve had to take a realistic approach to escaping quicksand (usually, we prefer the button-mashing route). Five expeditions will pit your wits against raging rivers, bottomless ravines and raw jungles, where you’ll solve puzzles and stockpile animals, aka food, to advance. Bear himself provides the avatar you’ll don, but as much as we love watching him survive on TV, it’s much more satisfying to make him swan dive off K2 instead. That’ll teach him for trying to make us wear sandals made out of tree bark.
Companion Cocktail: Fermented yak milk. Mongolians call it Magash. We call it heaven.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Resurrection
Price: TBA || Official Site
Lately, vampires have lost a whole lot of their hard-earned, badass reputation. Back in the day, it took an entire clan of Belmonts armed to the teeth with crazy magic and cold steel to take them down: now it’s just a sulky teenager with a fetish for glitter-porn. Luckily for gamers that don’t fancy playing through a game as an emo teen heartthrob, Castlevania Lords of Shadow is pumping out one last piece of DLC. Resurrection is the newest addition to the canon, and rounds out Gabriel’s story from the original disc by offering a final showdown with a certain undead icon that will hopefully give fans the final word they want. Though we're totally stoked for the final chapter, PSN's ominous downtime and Microsoft's approval process may push this DLC pack back past it's scheduled release date. We remain hopeful that the timetable doesn’t fly too far off the rails. Until then, we’ll be spending our time sharpening extra stakes.
Companion Cocktail: We’ve been working on concocting the perfect Garlic flavored Beer: fighting Dracula always goes down a bit easier when you’ve got a buzz on.
Price: $49.99 || Official Site
Chances are, you’ve probably played a Maxis game. Originally making a name for themselves with SimCity and then moving on to the extraordinarily popular The Sims, Maxis is trying to catch green, papery lightning in a bottle again with Darkspore, a kinda/sorta follow up to 2008’s Spore. The fairly simple plot begins with you waking from a Rip Van Winkle sleep to find that you’re a Crygenitor (read: mad scientists that dicks around with innocent DNA) and because of experiments gone awry, you’ll now have to dick around some more, putting down the monsters you created the first time around. The story pretty much ends there, tasking you with finding the evil creatures across the galaxy and combating them with the new creatures you’ll create (fighting monsters with more monsters – what could go wrong?). Darkspore offers up 25 different creatures to work with and several variants of each. Though you can only fight with one of your creations at a time, you can have two extra in reserve to tag in or out of the battles as you see fit. Weapons and armor also come into play as you take your creations out for some healthy hacking and slashing. Power ups and items are available throughout the campaign and they, thankfully, help to keep things interesting. We’ve been wary of mixing DNA since that unfortunate incident with the TSA (they asked for a blood, semen, urine and stool sample, so we threw them our underpants), but this was a welcome way to return to the Frankensteinian art.
Companion Cocktail: When there’s this much DNA getting thrown around, you can drink whatever you want but we’d suggest busting out the blacklight first.