Game On: Summer game preview

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"God of War III," "Final Fantasy XIII" - yeah, 2010 has been a groundbreaking year for gaming. And there are plenty of big titles yet to come. Here are a few games that should make the long wait for "Halo: Reach" and "Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty" pretty bearable.

"Lost Planet 2" (PC, 360 & PS3, May 11)

Capcom's hit third-person shooter "Lost Planet" revolved around a civil war for control of the planet - a frozen world where humanity survived by harvesting the warming innards of the native creatures. In this follow-up, that frozen world is thawing as humanity's terraforming transforms it into a watery, jungle-like environment.

"Red Dead Redemption" (360 & PS3, May 18)

Surprise! Rockstar Games does make games that aren't set in the "Grand Theft Auto" universe. This follow-up to the Wild West shooter "Red Dead Revolver" is poised to show just how lucrative a setting the American expansion is for gamers.

Journey to the time of the gold rush and experience the best spaghetti western not starring Clint Eastwood in this gorgeous sandbox game - it looks like "GTA" with six-guns.

"Super Mario Galaxy 2" (Wii, May 23)

Nintendo's eponymous plumber is back in space, continuing the wild motion-controlled, 3-D gameplay of the last "Galaxy" game. The new title pushes the fun physics-based gameplay by adding Mario's dino buddy Yoshi and a new outfit that lets him tunnel through solid rock. Don't worry, Mario fans, I'm sure the princess is still on another planetoid.

"ModNation Racers" (PS3 & PSP, May 25)

Kart racing games are always fun, even bad ones. But Sony's going beyond the typical "Mario Kart" formula by allowing players to modify their characters, cars and even create new tracks to share online. Imagine "LittleBigPlanet"-meets-"Mario Kart" and you're there.

"Alpha Protocol" (PC, 360 & PS3, June 1 )

Fantasy and space role-playing games get a little old sometimes. Luckily, "Alpha Protocol" takes a modern spy approach that feels like Sam Fisher-meets-"Mass Effect." The accessible setting and a promise that decisions made by the player matter are reason enough to give this game a look.

"Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker" (PSP, June 8)

A "Metal Gear Solid" adventure that doesn't have three-hour cut scenes and isn't a card game for the PSP? Its true! "Peace Walker" tells the tale of Naked Snake just after the 1970s Cuban Missile Crisis. In this traditional 3-D action-adventure, players will experience the formative event that led to Snake becoming Big Boss, the eventual nemesis of the later "Metal Gear" titles.