What if you started killing people? Not because you’d had enough of the suck-ass way of the world that had so embittered you. But because . . . well, you don’t know why. And it’s a trend. Good people elsewhere in New York City are whacking their fellowmen. That’s the premise of INDIGO PROPHECY, an eerie adventure story that recalls the games Myst (the adventure part) and Johnny Mnemonic (the interactive movie part). Yeah, the controls are a little twitchy at times, but you’re really inside the emotion of this mystery (helped along by a disturbing score and decent voice acting). Question is, can you get to the bottom of it? And, do you really dare to?
Speaking of Myst, the last episode of the landmark series has just been released. MYST V: END OF AGES is rife with the brain-crushing, ulcer-inducing puzzles that the series relies so heavily upon. Yet this is a 3D game, and you can explore pretty much everywhere your heart desires. And don’t be too afraid of those lanky Bharo folk. They’re gonna help you out sooner than you think. Beyond the puzzles, the other Myst signature is still here: graphics that blow you away. In the snow environment, you actually feel like you’re part of “Slava’s Snow Show,” inside one blustery blizzard.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Criterion Studios
Playing BURNOUT REVENGE, the latest in the crash ’em up Burnout series, almost feels like autocide. You’re wiping out so many cars by crashing into them and onto them, GM and Ford should recruit Jack Bauer to go CTU on your butt. While it’s not the amazing surprise that Burnout 3: Takedown was, the game still provides the quick chills and thrills of bumper-to-bumper bust ups—with an alternative rock ‘n roll soundtrack that kicks like the better Lower East Side rock bands. Like each performer at Lach’s Anti-hoot, one of the allures here is that each race is pretty short. Add special effects of lurid pyro and twisted metal that Hollywood can’t touch, and you’ve got the second best Burnout to date. (Last year’s was a smidgeon better since it felt so new.)
WWE Day of Reckoning 2
Developer: Yuke’s Media Creations
One of the things I’ve always disliked about wrestling games is that they didn’t feel like the humorously melodramatic soap opera they are on TV. Without the interesting fighting or compelling, operatic tales, I certainly didn’t feel like a wrestler. WWE DAY OF RECKONING 2 changes that somewhat with an extended story mode. You’ve climbed up through the ranks to become a top dog, but the doggone title is stolen. You try to retrieve it with the support of your galpal, who happens to be skinny looker Stacy “How Does She Wrestle in Heels?” Keibler. With some of the best graphics seen on the GameCube, some decent (though not perfect) A.I., and a fighting system that makes you care, this is an essential title for the wrestling fan, and for the curious (even if you’re not really going to get Stacy Keibler—not even if you’re that drooling dog Neil Strauss feigning in Style mode.)
187 Ride or Die
There’s street cred and then there’s street cred. 50 Cent arguably had more cred with Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ than with The Massacre—simply because he got rich and didn’t have to die tryin’. But then there’s the desperate try for cred. 187 RIDE OR DIE is an urban racing game with a lot of shooting of AK-47’s. For bling, the makers added some story elements by Straight Outta Brooklyn director Matty Rich. The story? Regain turf captured by a rival gang. The game’s mainly just racing and shooting, like the makers were on some sort of OCD kick and couldn’t do anything else but race and shoot, race and shoot.
Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance
Then, there’s BEAT DOWN: FISTS OF VENGEANCE with these too-pretty characters who’ve been framed by the local mob. They seek redemption via vengeance. Here, the story’s intense and varied, but there’s a problem with everything from camera angles to the repetitive fighting and the interrogations, which become banal and stupid. It should have been called “Beat Down: Fists of the Dense.”