February is here-time for school vacation, valentines, and video games. The CBR Games Roundup is back again with another look at the games that will be arriving this month. There’s a little something for every kind of gamer this month, whether you’re a shooter, brawler, RPG, racer or puzzle fan. February is punctuated by some big titles, including “Bioshock 2,” “Star Trek Online” and “Heavy Rain.”
As always, please remember that the Roundup is not inclusive of every game hitting shelves this month, and release dates are always subject to change.
White Knight Chronicles (PS3) – February 2
After being released in Japan over a year ago, Sony and Level-5 are bringing the PS3-exclusive RPG over to North America. The story follows a young boy named Leonard who discovers an ancient suit of armor that allows him to transform into a powerful warrior called the White Knight. In addition to the regular RPG trappings, “White Knight Chronicles” features a combat system where players to queue up devastating combos that become unlocked through normal combat. The online mode lets players to invite up to four others on sub-quests. The sub-quests allow players to use a character they create, who will be equipped with the same skills and weapons as the character they play in the single player campaign.
Star Trek Online (PC) – February 2 – Website: www.startrekonline.com
Start practicing your Klingon now, because Cryptic’s MMO based on the legendary sci-fi franchise launches this month. “Star Trek Online” will allow players to take on the role as the captain of their own starship in either the United Federation of Planets or the Klingon Empire. Gameplay will feature space exploration and combat, as well as “away team” missions that take place planetside. Crews will consist of NPCs, and certain missions will introduce new races that can be recruited as crewmates. The game’s storyline takes place roughly 30 years after the events of the “Star Trek: Nemesis” film, and the “Episode Missions” will be structured like episodes of “Star Trek.”
Bioshock 2 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – February 9 – Website: www.bioshock2game.com
In 2007, “Bioshock” wowed critics and gamers with its atmospheric vision of Rapture, an underwater utopia gone awry. The first-person action, stealth and puzzle gameplay against the backdrop of Rapture formed a unique experience that went on to win several Game of the Year awards. 2010 will see players returning to the underwater city of Rapture for a story that takes place ten years after that of the first game. After being terrorized by the fearsome Big Daddies in “Bioshock,” players will become one themselves for the sequel.
The multiplayer component of “Bioshock 2” offers a twist in that it will feature its own storyline set one year before the events of the original “Bioshock.”
Dante’s Inferno (PS3/ PSP/Xbox 360) – February 9 – Website: www.dantesinferno.com
EA and Visceral games have reimagined Dante Aligheri’s “Inferno” as the basis for their new action brawler. Dante is a soldier in the Crusades who must venture into the Nine Circles of Hell to rescue the soul of his beloved Beatrice. As he battles his way through the demons and gigantic bosses in each level, he will also be able to “absolve” or “condemn” enemies, which put his soul on a righteous or unholy path, respectively. Each level will bring him closer to a final showdown with Lucifer himself.
WildStorm is currently publishing a “Dante’s Inferno” comic written by Christos Gage. CBR spoke to Gage recently about the series, and you can see what he had to say here.
Aliens vs. Predator (PC/PS3/XBox 360) – February 16 – Website: www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/
Rebellion, the developer responsible for the critically acclaimed 1999 “Aliens vs. Predator” game returns to the series for a new chapter in the franchise. Players can choose to take on the roles of Aliens, Predators or Colonial Marines, each of which will have their own single player campaign. The first-person gameplay will be different for each of the three species, as Marines will be armed with guns and explosives, Predators will have unique weapons and tracking equipment, and Aliens will be more melee-based with claw and bite attacks. The online multiplayer modes of the game will allow all three groups to face off against one another at the same time.
SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 (PSP) – February 16 – Website: www.socom.com/
Slant Six’s third game in the “SOCOM” franchise, “Fire Team Bravo 3” will offer both single and multiplayer gameplay. Players will control a four-man squad of Navy SEALs in a storyline that has them tracking down an ex-KGB operative. The developers are emphasizing action over tactics for this installment, so expect plenty of firefights. The campaign offers four-player co-op and the multiplayer modes will involve up to 16 players via either ad hoc or infrastructure.
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (Xbox 360) – February 17 – Website: http://www.winterbottomgame.com/
Pie and puzzle lovers will likely enjoy this game that combines the two with a 1920s silent movie aesthetic. The pie-obsessed P.B. Winterbottom will have to make his way through 75 puzzles in his pursuit of the “Chronoberry Pie,” which has the ability to alter space and time. The game’s main mechanic is the ability to record short periods of gameplay and use them to clone Winterbottom, so that multiple tasks can be accomplished at one time.
Heavy Rain (PS3) – February 23 – Website: www.heavyrainps3.com
“Heavy Rain” is a game that’s been talked about since 2006, when developer Quantic Dream presented an impressive tech demo at E3. The game is directed by David Cage (“Fahrenheit”), and has been described as a “psychological thriller.” The storyline involves a hunt for a criminal known as the Origami Killer, and will be presented from the perspectives of four different characters. The gameplay will feature a mixture of context sensitive actions (choosing actions based on what’s available in the environment) and quick time events. When one of the characters dies, the game will switch to one of the other characters and continue the story from their perspective.
Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing (DS/PS3/Xbox360/Wii) – February 23 – Website: http://www.sega.com/sonicracing/
The world’s fastest hedgehog is back-in a car. This game features a cast of SEGA characters from the “Sonic,” “Super Monkey Ball,” “House of the Dead,” “Jet Set Radio,” “Shenmue” and “Crazy Taxi” series, among others. In addition to console exclusive characters as well, the Xbox 360 and Wii versions of the game will allow the use of Avatars and Miis, respectively. Up to four players will be able to race in offline splitscreen, and the game will support up to eight players online. Both the tracks and the individual power-ups that each racer has will be based on the SEGA franchises that the characters come from.
That brings the Games Roundup for February to a close. We’ll be back next month, featuring some huge releases like “Final Fantasy XIII,” “God of War III” and “Battlefield Bad Company 2.” In the meantime, head over to the boards and let us know what games you’re excited about, and stay tuned to CBR for interviews with the developers and creators of some of this year’s biggest games.