Staff Editorials

Game of the Month: August 2012
Posted: 12.09.2012 14:27 by Comments: 0
Unlike the summer months, August is merely the calm before the storm – some big franchises like to get in early during this month to avoid the Christmas crunch, and you of course get the usual ‘filler’ titles as well, but it all really serves as a pre-cursor to what we in the industry call ‘silly season’. Surprisingly, there are not a lot of contenders for the August edition of Game of the Month – the releases were either mediocre or spectacular, and there were only a handful of the latter. Let’s see what we have:

Sleeping Dogs

Considering this game had a troubled time during development, it’s surprising that it was so well received. Originally meant as a reboot for the True Crime franchise, Sleeping dogs has all of the open world action gameplay you could want, with Arkham City style combat, a cover system, and a whole other mix and match of mechanics that make this an all-round interesting title. No multiplayer, but that didn’t stop our writer Nick Akerman from giving it a good review:

“It's remarkable how well United Front Games have fostered this game. All the uncertainty and lack of future is eradicated for a consistently entertaining title. If Sleeping Dogs started life as an unloved orphan, it's now an adult that can hold its head high. Now the title has realised its potential, the Activision family will be regretting their decision to give up one of the year's surprise hits.”


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike Global Offensive was only ever going to go down one of two ways: People would love it, or people would hate it. The problem with a franchise like Counter-Strike is that it’s been going so long, and the community has become so intense, that there’s always a danger the fan base will cannibalize itself. Not only would CSGO have to compete against other first-person shooters, but it would also have to compete against those within its own fan base that feel the earlier versions are superior (most notably 1.6). For Marco Fiori at least however, CSGO found a fan:

“Some would conclude and suggest CS: GO hasn’t changed so why bother. This is flawed – GO is perhaps the most exciting game in the series. It’s culled the crap, brought new content and tactics to a near-perfect series, and focused on community. It’s got an extremely bright future ahead of itself.”


Darksiders II

The first Darksiders was a bit of a cult hit, as far as new IP’s go. It launched to little fanfare, swallowed up by more visible franchises, but in years since has slowly and steadily grown a dedicated fanbase, so much so that THQ (despite financial troubles) decided to go for a second game. Now the concepts and lore lightly touched in the first game have been expanded into a diverse and rich pseudo-biblical canvas where Death, the loyal brother to War, is on a desperate mission to clear his brother’s name. as Nick Akerman writes:

“Death undoubtedly represents the best of Darksiders so far. Vigil has worked hard on a game that, in all honestly, I don't want to spoil. In the epic journey across many lands, plenty of interesting characters are met, and titbits revealed. It's the type of game that is best experienced, which is arguably a huge compliment in itself. What I will say is, Vigil is on to a winner here. By bringing together a host of old-school mechanics, something oddly fresh is created. It would be a crime if this is the last we see of the series, as Death's story indicates the Darksiders universe is only going to get stronger with time.”


And the winner is…

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Yes, this month’s award goes to Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. The first game in this series had some good ideas, but a little bit poor in execution, and the second game has done so well in making up for it that we felt it deserved the award this time. Ultimately, if you’re not a Transformers fan you might not be interested, but if you ignore the brand you’ve got a very atmospheric and high paced action game. Leading the Autobots and the Decepticons through Cybertron’s last days familiar faces are all rendered with wonderful graphical fidelity. Also, Peter Cullen. Chris Capel was very much impressed:

“Despite the lack of co-op Fall of Cybertron is a huge improvement on its predecessor, offering plenty of entertainment for the non-fan and out-and-out geekgasms for the Transformers acolyte. The only reason I’m not scoring it even higher is the game having debatable long-term appeal, and because War For Cybertron pretty much laid every foundation here. If you want a fun, entertaining shooter you should look no further, and if you’re a Transformers fan you’ve already got it. ‘Til all are one and all that.”


And that’s it for this relatively short but sweet edition of Game of the Month – no real surprises here, as all of these releases have been fairly high-profile, but maybe we’ve made you take a second or third look at something you’ve overlooked. Bring on September.