Raiders of the Broken Planet Beta Hands-On

season1_big-2I’ll admit straight off that I’ve been a big geek for MercurySteam‘s games ever since I got a review copy of American McGee Presents: Scrapland way back in 2005. Their attention for detail grabbed my eye and I’ve followed each game they’re released always looking forwards to what the team can cook up. Currently, they’ve two big games out or on the way, Metroid: Samus Returns (Nintendo 3DS) and Raiders of the Broken Planet, currently in beta on PC, PS4 and Xbox One with a release date set for its first of  four campaigns September 22.

As I’d been slowly killing off my MMO/online gaming phase (not enough time, too many me-too game, no way to enjoy them offline), I initially planned to ignore this one until I found out it had a solo campaign mode as well as a unique “4 vs 1 counter-operative campaign” that lets you play both sides of the conflict if you so choose or team up with friends to tackle some challenging missions against really pesky AI opponents. While the beta had a few matchmaking issues online (hey, it happens!), the gameplay is quite fun and very challenging in terms of solo play.

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Gamescom 2013: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Trailer: Blood, Right.

Every time I see more of this game, I have to run to the nearest closet, get a hat, put it on and tip it in the general direction of developer MercurySteam’s offices. These guys and gals are knocking it out of the park and onto another planet with this sequel to the first LoS and February 2014 can’t come soon enough. What’s all the more amazing is the game is looking so great on what’s considered “old” hardware by many, but that’s been the Spanish developers very strong point since their first game. As noted previously, this is their final chapter as far as their run on the Castlevania series goes, so anyone else taking over in the future will have a hell of an act to follow, that’s for sure. Of course, the diehard fans of the classic 2D Castlevanias who didn’t like any of the 3D games in the franchise are most likely going to miss out on this one as well, but I don’t think Konami needs their approval these days unless they have something more constructive to offer other than hating the LoS games for their success.