August is here, and the CBR GAMES ROUNDUP is back to usher in this month's video game releases.
As the ebb and flow of the annual release schedule goes, we are approaching the busiest time of the year, and some of 2009's biggest releases continue to trickle in this month. As always, please keep in mind that the list is not inclusive of every release for a given month, release dates are always subject to change, and some games release on certain platforms before others.
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (DS/PS2/PS3/PSP/Wii/Xbox 360)-August 4 (Website)
Yo Joe! Picking up after the events of the live-action film of the same name, "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra" will bring in elements of the comics, toys and animated series in a brand new storyline. The co-op action shooter features 16 characters from both GI Joe and Cobra, including bosses that can be unlocked as playable characters. Other unlockables include file cards, concept art, and even some of the public service announcements from the 1980's animated series.
Madden 10 (PS2/PS3/Wii/Xbox 360)-August 14 (Website)
EA's juggernaut franchise is back for another football season, and it's sporting a host of new features this year. QBs will now be able to feel the pass rush closing in, as the controller will rumble when the pocket starts to break down. On the defensive side of the ball, the Defensive Assist feature will help put defensive backs in position to make a play on the ball with the push of a button. There's also full-featured online support this year, including online co-op play, and a franchise mode that allows players to participate in online leagues, which they can then manage from the web or through an iPhone app. For the Wii version, the graphics and character design have been overhauled and will be much more stylized, similar to "Team Fortress 2" or "Battlefield Heroes."
A demo of the game is currently available on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.
Raven Squad: Operation Hidden Dagger (PC/Xbox 360)-August 18 (Website)
Developer Atomic Motion seeks to combine the first-person shooter and real-time strategy genres into one seamless experience with Raven Squad. Players will control two squads that are part of a mercenary company that has been caught between warring factions in the Amazon jungle. Switching between first-person and real-time strategy mode is done on the fly, so players can direct their squads to take certain actions, then zoom into first-person and engage in direct combat. Raven Squad supports online co-op, so players can make their way through the campaign with a friend controlling the second squad.
Wolfenstein (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)-August 18 (Website)
In the latest addition to the Wolfenstein franchise, series hero B.J. Blaskowicz is once again taking on the Third Reich during World War II. The Nazis are trying to harness the power of a dark force called the Black Sun, and Blaskowicz himself will be tapping into some supernatural powers in order to stop them. The class-based multiplayer component of the game will feature Team Deathmatch and Team Objective modes, as well as a "Stopwatch" mode, where each side gets to play through an objective to see who completes it faster.
Shadow Complex (Xbox 360)-August 19
Shadow Complex takes place in the world of Orson Scott Card's alternate future novel "Empire." The game's story is written by Peter David and follows along with the events of the book, as protagonist Jason Fleming and his girlfriend Claire get caught up in a plot by a group called the Restoration that could plunge the country into another civil war. The side-scrolling shooter has drawn comparisons to Metroid in terms of 2D style gameplay, and developer Chair ("Undertow") has used the Unreal Engine 3 to create 3D environments and effects.
Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)-August 24 (Website)
Speaking of Metroid, this month Nintendo is releasing a compilation of the "Prime" trilogy, which updates the Gamecube versions of "Metroid Prime" 1 & 2 with the Wii controls of the third game. The original "Metroid Prime" presented a stark change from the original 2D side-scrollers when it moved into the first-person perspective. When the third game in the series premiered on the Wii, the series evolved again with a new control scheme. The "Prime" trilogy follows series hero Samus Aran and her ongoing battles against the Space Pirates, Dark Samus and the destructive mutagen known as Phazon.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)-August 24
The sequel to last year's extremely popular puzzle game makes its way over from Japan this month. In this new adventure, Professor Layton and his sidekick Luke are trying to solve the mystery of the Elysian Box, which allegedly takes the life of anyone who opens it. The game features 150 new puzzles, and additional puzzles will be released for download each week through Nintendo Wi-Fi.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)-August 25 (Website)
If the all-star creative team and the early buzz are any indication, "Batman: Arkham Asylum" could be the best Batman game ever. Writer Paul Dini has scripted a story that sees the Joker taking over Arkham Asylum with Batman trapped inside, and Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have returned from the animated series to voice Batman and the Joker. The game will provide opportunities for players to use Batman's detective skills, his ability to hunt from the shadows, and his array of iconic gadgets. The PS3 version of the game will feature the Joker as a playable character.
For more on the game, check out CBR's series of exclusive interviews with the creative team:
The final interview in our "Arkham Asylum" series will be arriving on August 14.
And so concludes the CBR GAMES ROUNDUP for the month of August. If we skipped your most anticipated game of the month, head on over to the boards and let us know! And remember to keep checking CBR for exclusive interviews with publishers and creators. Until next month, good gaming!