As the Christmas period is over and January 2010 begins you might think that the video game industry would slow down a little having spent all of its big releases in the run up to the festive season. However, if you check out the list of all the great games that are set to be released this month you might change your mind.
This is a very exciting release for fans of violence, action and supernatural witches with guns. Created by the team behind the hugely popular Devil May Cry series, Bayonetta follows the trials and tribulations of a sexy demon-slayer as she battles the forces of evil with every conceivable weapon. Expect to see big boss battles, massive blades, incredible special moves and more than a little bare skin. A thoroughly Japanese game that will certainly satisfy fans of Manga and action. Bayonetta will be hitting the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in January.
Army of Two: The 40th Day
The original Army of Two was a surprise hit when it was released in 2008 and the sequel promises more co-operative action and bloodshed. This time the setting has shifted to China, as our two foul-mouthed heroes attempt to solve a mystery using their brawn and a ton of bullets. The Army of Two experience relies on getting help from your playing partner and it will be interesting to see how the experience translates into the portable version game for the PSP. Although not a particularly revolutionary experience, it is at least refreshing in its brutality and its retro sensibilities. And it does not take itself as seriously as the conveniently similar Gears of War series. Also available for PS3 and Xbox 360.
No other game in history has invited the player to take up the role of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but Darkriders does just that. Rather than the slightly trippy game that this description suggests, Darkriders is going to be a more traditional action-RPG game that will see you killing monsters and investigating dungeons.
Dark Void incorporates over the shoulder shooting action, a vague sci-fi setting and some aerial combat sections into a package that could help plug the gap between Gears of War games. A new cover system that encourages you to keep your eyes on the skies as well as ahead of you will hopefully keep things different enough and since it is being published by Capcom you are assured of a certain level of competency in the level design and control implementation.
Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero
Whilst Resident Evil 4 is considered to be the finest iteration of the popular survival horror series on the Gamecube, Zero had the most interesting puzzle-solving mechanic. This remake for the Wii will cover all of the same ground as the original but with some motion-sensitive controls added in for good measure. With the player controlling two characters and the difficulty ratcheted up this can be a rather terrifying experience and for fans of the series it expands upon the back story of one established character whilst introducing a brand new one to get your teeth into.
SOCOM: US Navy Seals Fireteam Bravo 3
Despite the over-long name, this is a fairly simple game at its heart. It is all about leading a group of your mates into battle against other foes online. With a plot about WMDs tacked on to keep things semi-relevant, this game is mostly about action and tactics as you and your fellow players attempt to co-ordinate and outflank the enemy.
Mass Effect 2
From the creators of some of the best RPGs of the past decade comes Mass Effect 2. The first game in the series stirred up controversy for its depiction of sex, but anyone who actually played the game would have become thoroughly immersed in its complex world, compelling storyline and intuitive gameplay. Expect more of the same from the sequel. The trailer is currently playing in cinemas and it is suitably cinematic. Few other games have the ambition and scope of Mass Effect 2 and it will probably eat up a lot of your time when it emerges for Xbox 360 and PC at the end of January.
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Whilst Street Fighter 4 has been wowing PS3 and Xbox 360 owners with its HD graphics and 3D character models, Capcom have taken the graphical limitations of Nintendo’s console onboard for this latest title. It features tons of characters, many of whom you will never have heard of and an old-school approach to fighting that will baffle some. Expect to be reaching for your Gamecube or Classic controller to make the most of this game.