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Who needs rest? We should probably spend some time recovering from last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo, but we've got too many cool things to share, such as a look at "F1 2012," the upcoming Formula One racing game from Codemasters, a preview of the surprisingly non-nerdy "Star Trek" game, a hands-on take on the new "Metal Gear" and a review of the cheerleader-grindhouse spectacle "Lollipop Chainsaw."
'F1 2012' Humming Along
There are plenty of racing titles on the way -- as always -- but Formula One fans who appreciate realism in their simulators will want to check out the trailer for "F1 2012." We witnessed it at E3, where the developer Codemasters featured the new Circuit of the Americas, which is still under construction in Austin, in a single-player time-trial mode. It’s safe to say the game is coming along quite nicely.
Codemasters is hoping to expand the appeal for the single-player game and career mode with a new Young Driver’s Test mode near the beginning of the game’s season. Players will get to choose from several different teams -- including Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, and McLaren-Mercedes -- for this mode.
There will also be tweaks to the physics of the game to improve realism. For example, you might feel the car sliding as tires wear down or lock up. There’s also a new localized weather system, so only part of the track could be wet.
“F1 2012” is slated for a September release for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
Epic 'Star Trek' Demo
Set your phasers to awesome. We promise that it’s going to be OK to nerd out to the upcoming “Star Trek” game. We sat in a makeshift starship theater to witness extended 20-minute demo at E3 and wondered if it has the potential to be best movie tie-in game ever.
The game is actually set between the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot -- directed by J.J. Abrams -- and the upcoming sequel. It’s being developed by Digital Extremes, who is also working heavily with Bad Robot, Abrams’ production company, to better merge game and movie. That also means that the movie's cast, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg, are lending their voices to the game.
“Star Trek” is being designed as a cooperative action/shooter with one player controlling James T. Kirk and the other as Spock. The buzzword used to describe the action was “asymmetrical co-op." What that means is that Kirk and Spock have different tendencies over the course of the game. Kirk relies more on straight-out combat and aggression, while Spock is more calculating.
The primary enemy in the game is a legendary lizard-like race known in Trek lore as “The Gorn,” which was featured in an episode of the old TV series. “Star Trek” will beam into stores sometime in early 2013.
Swordplay Is King in New 'Metal Gear'
A thumb-blistering hands-on demo with “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” at Konami’s booth at E3 left us with two conclusions about the game:
1. A lot of hardcore "Metal Gear" fans will probably hate it.
2. They will probably be stupid to do so.
"Revengeance" is quite a departure from the calculated stealth-heavy gameplay found in previous "Metal Gears." Made by Platinum Games, the developers of “Bayonetta,” the latest in the "Metal Gear" saga is more of a straight-up hack-and-slash action game. And it stars the ninjalike character Raiden, instead of Solid Snake.
Raiden first appeared as a playable character in “Metal Gear Solid 2." He may not have the gruff charisma that Solid Snake does, but he’s certainly got the sharpest sword ever made.
Using something called Blade Mode, you can get an up-close perspective of Raiden holding his katana. The action moves in slow motion as you use slice unfortunate enemies in your path -- heads are lopped off, limbs are hacked -- and the game even keeps track of how many little pieces you’ve turned your opponent into. It’s outrageous but completely fun, like the game “Fruit Ninja,” with people instead of watermelons.
"Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" will land on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 early in 2013.
Review: Lollipop Chainsaw
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" meets "Night of the Living Dead" in this over-the-top comic parody of low-budget grindhouse horror and lowbrow anime-style sleaze.
In “Lollipop Chainsaw,” out now for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, you play Juliet Starling, a high-school cheerleader who fends off zombies with pom-poms and a chainsaw in a variety of “Bring It On”-style dance moves.
We should also mention that Juliet's sidekick is her boyfriend -- or, as it were, her boyfriend’s decapitated head, which you can magically wear around your belt; he gives you advice on how best to fend off the undead.
While the bloody hack-and-slash gameplay is entertaining, and James Gunn’s script brings the laughs, the dark humor isn’t for everyone. The story mode also ends a bit too quickly.
Despite its flaws, “Lollipop Chainsaw” stands out as a unique alternative to the billion other ‘kill-the-zombie’ titles on the market.