So, as the clocks have gone forward and the rumbling of spring and summer comes, April rears up on the calendar. These new brighter evenings and warmer days of sunshine however do not mean that the games industry assumes we will all be heading outside for all hours, oh no. There are still a number of great titles to keep us entertained before the sun-soaked summer months roll into town.
The most exciting game, for me, worth mentioning this month is one that intends to make you an offer you can’t refuse. The Godfather II is the sequel to the original Godfather game, released to critical acclaim in 2006. Although the writer of the original novels Mario Puzo and The Godfather movie director Francis Ford Coppola do not have any input, the game still intends to have a narrative punch that other games lack, and is based loosely on the film of the same name. However, there are certain deviations from the plot, such as there are none of Vito’s flashbacks in the game.
The action follows on from the first game as your player character, Dominic, is ordered by Corleone family Don, lynchpin and patriarch Michael to take control of the New York family after the death of Aldo, the previous player character from the Godfather. The action then spans across several different settings, including Miami, Havana and New York City, as you battle the other families internationally and take over further crime rings to become the most powerful Don in America.
A third-person shooter as before, the game also has a certain strategy element to it too, as you can order your team to protect and expand territory and take over businesses. The game has the familiar open-world theme to it, as you move from mission to mission along the storyline and a squad mechanic, that can see you ordering a bunch of your men to carry out what you want. Bundled with this is an absorbing multiplayer game so, in all, it is a title to very much look out for when it is released on the 4th of April, on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Changing the timbre of this article somewhat is our next title to look out for, Singstar: Pop Edition. Now, there have been a raft of Singstar games, and all wish to make you a star in your own right, even if it is only in your own living room. Singstar has always been the ultimate party game, and with this new addition you are adding some classic tunes to sing along to, including hits from Kings of Leon, Robbie Williams, Sam Sparro and the Sugababes, among others. It comes out on the 17th April for the PS3, and if you think you’ve got the X-Factor (!) it won’t be one to miss.
In the interests of fairness to all platforms, I have picked out “Blastworks” for the Wii (released 17th April), a typical arcade-type shooter that will undoubtedly have that simplicity and dangerously addictive nature all arcade shooters have. As well as the tactile and satisfying control you will get by using the Wii remotes, you also get to design and export your own weapons and levels to friends and the internet. Fun for all the family, it promises lots of hours chasing top scores!
Another game to catch the eye is Battlestations: Pacific, released by Eidos on the 24th April for the PC and Xbox 360. Set in the bloody Pacific theatre of WWII, the game can put you in control of the Divine WInd, or kamikaze, pilot heading for the decks of ships or on those ships, firing desperately into the sky and attempted to battle back the Japanese forces. A sequel to Battlestations: Midway, you can play out the strategy and action game across many levels on either side, Axis or Allies, and with a refined graphics engine the game would seem to be a winner.
Rounding out the month as we started it, we can not fail to mention Mafia II, which comes out on the PC. A cinematic and action packed third-person shooter, you take on the role of Vito Scaletta, a Sicilian immigrant working his way to the top in the fictional post-war Empire City. With a huge story and visceral action, this game promises to be one of the most immersive shooters ever made – in fact, the screenplay of the game stretched to over 700 pages, which is a lot of cutscenes!
So, there is something for everyone in gaming this April. However, it has to be said that, if you’re into your action-based Mafia games, in April, you are a made man.