Summer begins – will it be another slump?

*bangs his head against the desk repeatedly*

Sorry, I had to have an emo moment. My worst fears have bore fruit and the realization of another long and hot summer is upon me. This will be the second year in a row that the dreaded Summer Slump attempts to throw me into the fiery pits of boredom. Summer starts today and lasts until September 22. What is out or coming out that is worth playing?

MMORPGs.. WHAT Mmorpgs?!
Age of Conan bombed big time for me. This was supposed to be the game that carried me (and my friends) through the summer. *bzzzt* Wrong. I was able to see in a week what some people are only realizing now. The game is unfinished, buggy beyond reasonable “new mmo” levels, and failing to deliver on promises one after another. Just look at how the ‘world’s first aoc siege’ failed miserably, causing Funcom to release their “Uh oh, you noticed that?” letter promising “good things to come!”.

Aside from Conan the only MMO alternatives are resubbing to “older” games. I’m simply not going to do it again this summer. Warhammer Online is set for a “Fall” release with rumors placing it around September 23. That leaves me looking to other sources for my gaming needs.

PC Games will be late bloomers…
June: Nothing worth mentioning.
July: Nothing worth mentioning.
August: S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky (Might be good)

And just when all hope is lost.. September rolls around to deliver a few titles in the last days of Summer:
Tiberium (Sept 2) – A Command and Conquer FPS game! I have very high hopes and expectations for this one. Spore (Sept 7) – Finally. This should help to ease the pain of a long summer. High expectations for this one. Tom Clancy’s HAWX (Sept 16) – A Tom Clancy game in airplanes… could be interesting. I would get it on PC over Console.

The Console scene is aight…
If you are able to wade your way through the hundreds of EA sports games like Madden, and the atrocious number of Guitar Hero spinoffs, you’ll find that there are several console games coming out soon that look interesting. (Note: Due to some games being released on multiple consoles, I have chosen which console I would most likely buy the game on.)

For Xbox 360: Civilization: Revolution (Jul 8th) looks like it will be another fine civ game. Soulcalibur IV (Jul 29) might be worth a look but it could be just another fighter game that adds more players. Lego Batman (Sept 1) will be fantastic like all the lego games and hopefully give several hours of enjoyment. And lastly Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Sept 16) will probably be the best console game released this summer.

For Nintendo Wii: Mario Super Slugger (Aug 25) will be a Mario baseball game that might deliver the usual Wii game lifespan. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility (Aug 26) looks to be another really good Harvest Moon game.

For PS3: Only one game this summer that looks good for the PS3. Socom Confrontation (Sept 16) looks beautiful. I have my doubts that it will deliver though based on what Graev has told me about it not being developed by Zipper. It wreaks of the leap-frog development that we’ve seen with the Call of Duty series.

To Sum it all up quickly:
Mmorpgs: You failed me. Shame on you.
PC Games: A few games coming at the very end of summer that should be worth playing.
Console Games: Clearly the winners this summer. The number of quality titles being released is high.

This summer will be a partial slump with MMOs and PC games dragging their feet. Turning to console gaming might be our only hope for survival.

Overall this Summer will be LONG and HOT (105 degrees or more here every day) with the only relief being our invitation to E3. In July (14th – 17th) we’ll be roaming the wings of the L.A. convention center gathering all the information we can from the Media and Business Summit then heading back to our Hotel room (we decided battling traffic every morning and night wasn’t worth it so we got one) every night to write our impressions and record podcasts.

If all else fails, there’s always Fall. /facedesk

  • Hmmm, wouldn’t mind some light and fluffy FPS fun to carry me through the summer. Maybe I’ll give Battlefield Heroes a go when it comes out (hopefully this summer).

  • I know what you mean, it seems like a pretty dry year for gaming in general, but summer looks terrible. There’s absolutely nothing of interest to me coming up other than Spore and WAR, and neither of those are due for quite some time. That’s probably just as well since I have more important things to be spending my limited money on than games, like doubling my monthly gas costs and paying more for food. Huzzah.

  • I wasn’t able to find a definite release date so I left BF:Heroes off the list of games. I’m still unsure about how it will turn out. The screenshots and videos show what looks to be a fun game, but that can quickly be demolished if it’s full of obtrusive ads on the interface and other crap we often see in “free to play” games.

    I’ll also be spending some time in TF2 again now that they’re developing the classes further.

  • I agree. The fall will have (/fingers crossed) WAR and should also have Starcraft 2 and WotLK (which I won’t be playing as I stopped playing WOW). In order to tide me over to WAR I have been playing LOTRO but I find it very SLOTRO. I guess I could pick up bioshock or crysis which are supposed to be good. But, of course, I really wants me some WAR.

  • okay i just read a view reviews for Alone in the Dark and it seems to be an average game and atari did some really stupid things by threating the websites/magazines that gave bad reviews o.o I only have german links for this so I can’t post something for you here but I’m sure it’s not hard to find.
    Anyways, yea the summer will be a bit dull =/

    (sorry for bad english -_-)

  • I hope Mythic is paying attention to AoC’s ‘end game’ issues. There will be no excuse for their city warfare to have the same issues.

    Yea, this summer there is really no must-buy for me.

  • Hey come play CoH with me, man. Nothing deep, but it’s fun enough to keep me going for a few months!

  • I feel your pain. Fortunately I have this thing called Work and a few other events this summer to keep me busy. I am starting to go back and play some of my older games. Or ones that I missed the last time around. But even then there are not that many “new for me” games that I have not played.

    I might breakdown and get a game console. I am leaning towards the PS3 since it has more RPG based titles that did not port to the PC.

  • Well Gustavef if I were you I would check out the Xbox 360 instead of the PS3. It’s been getting tons more RPGs than the PS3. IF they ported to the PS3 it’s A LOT later.

  • Lol, I sometimes yearn for the days when I could play games as much as you guys! I’m lucky if I can get 10-15 hours per week now that I’m a “responsible old fart” at 28! πŸ˜›

  • /slay Bartlebe

    @Aspendawn: Tempting, it really is. I’ve sub’d and cancel’d EQ2 more than any other mmorpg. I sub and play for a few months then cancel and repeat the process. I’m really fighting that urge.

    @Tachevert: Renegade was actually pretty dang good! I had a lot of fun with that game. Albeit the potential for greatness was there and it fell short, it was still good.

    @Bowman: Battlefield Bad Company is another game on my list that I’m on the fence with because of how it’s being developed. I was initially pissed off when I heard about them charging you RL money for better stuff. When that was scrapped then things started to look up, but I’m still unsure about whether or not I can get into a console FPS game.

  • # Tachevert Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm e

    I donÒ€ℒt know if I can get excited about Tiberium. Renegade stunk, badly. IÒ€ℒd LIKE to get excited, though.

    Wow, I don’t even know what to say. Renegade was actually incredibly good and people still play it.

  • If you ever had love for a battlefield game, it’s an absolute must have.

    Massively destructible environments are the next logical developement to add to the battlefield formula. And by the looks of it, they totally pull it off.

    DLC is a new way of publishing content and earning money with games. I can’t really hold a grudge on EA for trying something new. The public outrage has sure been a lesson for them. They backed off the idea of selling additional guns for IRL cash.

    Anyways, the game looks really good. The trailers and especially the gameplay demonstration by the producer got me really excited for the game.

    Can’t wait to cut through a fence with my combat knife… or blowing up a wall with my grenade launcher to storm a building.

  • @ console FPS concerns

    I look at it this way.

    On a PC with a mouse and a keyboard, you get great and especially quick analog aim and turn. But you have shitty digital movement.

    On a console with a gamepad, you get good analog aim and a slower turn. But you get analog movement too!

    Especially for singelplayer FPS I take a gamepad over mouse and keyboard anytime.

    I love the fluid movement of a gamepad controlled FPS. It gives me the feeling of being a really nasty creep on the hunt, like some kind of predator in the wild.

    Anyways, since everybody got the same aiming and turning ‘handicap’ playing with a gamepad, I don’t see why it should bother me. It’s fair game to me.

  • I’m not really excited by any of the summer games beyond Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. There are still some triple A games I haven’t played, but the thing that’s hurting the most is not having a solid MMO to play regularly.

    Steam will fill in the summer gaps with games I didn’t have time for during the rest of the year like Company of Heroes, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, and others.

  • Perhaps get yourself in the mood for WAR by spending some time on the creep side in LotRO PvMP. Just get a normal character to level 10 and you are good to go with a level 50 creep. It’s not perfect, but there’s no denying that it’s a fun and mostly polished PvP experience.

  • I thought Battlefield Heroes sustainable income was coming from people buying visual gear for their character? In effect, gear that makes you look cool (i.e. social customizations) but doesn’t alter the gameplay. At least that’s what I heard (and I thought it was on this site in a post a while ago).

  • That is a feature available, but it doesn’t limit them to not using ads. I have not searched much but I would be really interested in whether or not they have officially acknowledged the existence of ads.

  • I wouldn’t get your hopes up for E3, apparently not many game companies are going to be there anymore. E3 has gone down a lot.

    At least we have the existing MMOs to play fir the summer, unless of course your bored of them already. I saved Mass effect just for this occasion, whats better then playing a deep RPG all summer.

  • Yeah if you’re looking for a way to spend your time, I’d say look no further than Mass Effect.

  • @Sylar: Plenty of companies attend E3. In fact, MOST attend E3. I know what to expect from it, and I’m excited (as I always am) to see what’s announced/showcased.

  • Xbox 360 is having “Too Human” coming out in August, a futuristic ARPG. Looks to be pretty cool, and I’ll probably endup buying it.

    PC side of things, nothing interesting really… I’m still logging in AoC every few days due to boredom, but that will end after my sub runs out in like 5 days. I’m actually probably going to start playing EQ2 again, since it’s free until August… which should get me by until Too Human. THen I hope my 360 gets me thru to WAR. Pray for me!

  • I’ve broken out the N64 again. Hopefully Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, and Ogre Battle can keep me busy enough till something nice comes out πŸ™‚ I’m waiting for Soul Calibur 4 even though I’m a bit weary about them adding icons like Vader and Yoda…makes me feel like the game is going to suck. Although, I think it would be pretty hard for anything to be as craptastic as AoC. High system req’s and broken promises for the loss πŸ™

  • E3 isn’t what it used to be Keen, its just a business event now, no showrooms, no boothbabes, no hour long queues for your favorite games, just a bunch of people in a room talking about the games and the boring side of them at that. From watching the news some companies are dropping out of E3 and some aren’t putting that much effort.

  • Three days ago I started an MMO that has caught my attention and will keep me busy until WAR comes out. It is called Requiem: Bloodymare

    The Good: Battle animations are excellent. You can level up or down the amount of blood you want splattering…(they do this MUCH better than AoC). Auto attacks are back for this game, but you have plenty of skills to keep it interesting and diverse. The DNA system, and monster morphing. You will eventually (in the lvl 20’s somewhere) have the ability to morph into a beast that you have previously conquered. Up to that point you can accumulate various DNA factors that will change your avatar abilities….sort of like a trait or deed tree, but it comes with leveling, not grinding.
    Getting back to the morphing, say for example you are a caster…and you find yourself surrounded, or in a melee situation…you can morph into a melee monster and do what you need to do. Gameplay in the nighttime is slightly different than during the day. The mobs are higher HPs and aquire slightly different abilities. The game is free to play (but see the ‘The Bad’).

    The Bad: The game is downloadable only….took me 16 hours to download….thus you need to do one of those overnight download projects. The character creation page is sparse, at best. Not many choices, and your character will look like others until higher lvls and different armour sets.
    It is FREE….why is this bad? Well so far everything is just fine. I am lvl 18 and have been having a blast, however, at the higher lvls, the monthly fee of $7.99 opens up better armour and weapons, but you can continue to play for free all the way. BUT since I am playing this just to pass the time, I have not experienced any gameplay issues by taking the lower route. I am far from the end game, so I can’t comment on that yet. Yes, there is PvP but that is more toward the end game….you can duel right from the start.

    By all means, this is not the total answer for the ‘summer blues’, but it has captured both me and my gf attention enough to play deep into the night…and for no cost.

    Just my thoughts….

  • @Sylar: Again, I know exactly what to expect. Graev and I are going as press with full access to private appointments and demonstrations. In addition to the private demonstrations there is a showcase pavilion (yes, a showroom) with everything being showcased out in the open and Nintendo/Sony/Microsofts big presentations at the Kodak Theatre. I prefer E3 this way over the boothbabes, boothes, and other nonsense that has nothing to do with the games.

    @sandoz: Thanks for sharing! I’ll check it out. πŸ™‚

  • From August on, there’s a lot of promising games coming out. Hopefully, I’ll have the money to buy at least half of them. πŸ™‚

  • Playing Mythos right now for my mmo fix, plus an upcoming beta. AOC is pure trash once you get past the omg it looks purty nonsense. Console gaming always seems to be the saving grace come summer time to be honest.

    Got MGS4 on the way from gamefly right now and topspin should be releasing today or tomorrow. Maybe it’s just the perv part of me but Shaparova’s grunts are awesome πŸ˜›

    Middle part of july sees the release of NCAA Football which, imo, has been better than madden for the past couple years. The game will tide me over a bit I am sure. Come mid August there should be Too Human and Madden 09. The past couple years of madden have kinda been a let down but there are a good number of features that sound real good.

    September of course signals the end of summer for the most part with high quality titles like Force Unleashed, Infinite Undiscovery, and Warhammer Battlemarch. Looks like a real good gaming summer to me. Too bad the PC is on the short end of the stick. Might have to try Deadliest Catch πŸ˜›

  • @ Bowman:

    The XFPS attachment for XBox let’s players use keyboard and mouse as an XBox controller. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten owned in Halo on XBox live by someone with one of those, especially in sniper matches.