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Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every Thursday.

Summer is almost here, so go ahead and go outside and enjoy the sun. But when you're done, come back and check out this week's Video Games Plus. We have news on a game based on "The Avengers," gameplay tweaks for "FIFA 13" and finally a review of Sony's new shooter-strategy hybrid "Starhawk.

5 New Features for FIFA

EA Sports’ FIFA soccer franchise continues to evolve. Recently, the developer announced five new features that will be introduced for “FIFA 13," including a skill inspired by Argentine Lionel Messi, forward for FC Barcelona.

“Attacking Intelligence" enables players to to create, curve, or alter runs to capitalize on openings in the game as they occur, make runs that pull defenders out of position to open passing channels for teammates and better position themselves for new attacking opportunities.



Complete Dribbling enables players to face their opponent and use precise dribble touches, combined with true 360-degree mobility with the ball, so it’s easier to be more creative and dangerous in one-on-one opportunities, like Messi.

1st Touch Control eliminates near-perfect touch for every player on the pitch, and creates variety and uncertainty around ball control. Factors such as defensive pressure, trajectory of the ball, and velocity of the pass now impact a player’s first touch, creating more opportunities for defenders to win back possession.

The Player Impact Engine expands physical play from just collisions to off-the-ball battles between players. Defenders push and pull for position and use their size and strength to win possession or force opponents into poor touches and decisions before the ball arrives.

Tactical Free Kicks provides the tools to create dangerous and unpredictable free kicks utilizing the most skillful players on the pitch.

Additional features will be announced in the coming months. “FIFA 13” will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC and more.

Game Time for The Avengers

While watching Iron Man and his super crew duke it out in the blockbuster “The Avengers,” you may have wondered where the hell the video game adaptation was. (And maybe wondered how that crazy helmet Loki wears could ever be comfortable).

Well, Ubisoft has answered "The Avengers" bell. The publisher recently announced that it had struck a deal with Marvel to develop a video game based on the popular superteam. Called “Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth,” the game is reportedly inspired by Marvel comic artwork and the Secret Invasion storyline.

“Battle for Earth,” expected this fall for the Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii U systems, will also feature 20 different characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor, as well as other fan-favorite heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe.

Review: Starhawk

Stuffing third-person shooting, real-time strategy, and spaceship dogfighting all into the same game and thrusting it into a sci-fi western universe sounds like a mashup from hell, at least on paper.

But “Starhawk,” for PlayStation 3, somehow manages to pull off the mix of on-foot gunning, vehicular combat and strategic base building nearly seamlessly. The juice (literally) that makes "Starhawk" go is rift energy, which you gain by killing enemies or destroying tanks of the stuff. That rift energy is used to build in the game's Build and Battle system. Once you gain enough blue energy, you can pull up a menu and make a barrack to refill your ammo or an automatic turret or a depot that provides vehicles for you to ride.

Sure, the campaign mode feels like Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” minus the wit and memorable characters, and the co-op mode comes off as an afterthought. But the successor to "Warhawk" is one dandy of a multiplayer game. It's not just having a faster trigger finger that rules the day, but smart tactics and cooperation with your teammates.

If online deathmatches are your game, “Starhawk” stands out as one of the best alternatives to all of the modern military shooters.

For more from Ryan Smith, follow him on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter.




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