Welcome to the fourth annual edition of New Horizons. You can forget about sequels and spin-offs, because our massive preview special is overflowing with new and original games.
Left to his own devices, HAROLD won’t make a lot of progress in the game that bears his name. With your help, though, he just might make it through Moon Spider’s beautifully rendered 2D obstacle course. As his guardian angel, you’ll lower ramps, sever ropes and summon platforms, all in an effort to see him to the finish line. Harold is due on PC and unspecified consoles (presumably the Atari Jaguar and Commodore Vic 20) in autumn.
The climate probably isn’t right for a new instalment of Pro Cycling Manager. What a relief, then, that Cyanide Studios is setting aside its earlier franchise in favour of IMPIRE. In this PC strategy game, players stock their underground lairs with monsters and traps designed to eliminate pesky adventurers. Unless Oprah can convince a prominent dungeon master to ‘come clean’, Cyanide should be on fairly safe ground this time around.
Once considered a creative juggernaut, Team Ico is now known mainly for its inability to finish THE LAST GUARDIAN. This tale of a boy and his feathery companion looks promising, but after four appearances on our annual New Horizons list, this PS3 exclusive is veering dangerously close to Duke Nukem Forever territory. Surely we’ll have the chance to experience this fantasy adventure in 2013?
Remember when you went away for the weekend without arranging for someone to water your fern? Well, guess what? It’s payback time. THE LAST OF US takes place in a world decimated by a virulent strain of plant life. No, it’s not an unofficial adaptation of The Happening, it’s a lavishly staged blend of action and stealth from Naughty Dog. The latest PS3 exclusive from the creator of Uncharted is due for release in May. REVIEW
Thanks to Twisted Pixel, you’ll soon have the chance to ride the world’s most advanced motorcycle. Scratch that. If early footage of LOCOCYLCE is anything to go by, you’ll spend more time being dragged along behind the bike than actually riding it. If this strikes you as just a wee bit bonkers, you’ll want to look away whenever the bike unleashes its slow motion karate combos on enemy vehicles. You read that correctly. LocoCycle is coming to XBLA.
We can only assume that Microsoft possesses ‘sensitive’ photographs of Gore Verbinksi. Why else would the director of Pirates of the Caribbean risk his sanity on MATTER, a project almost entirely reliant on the accuracy of the Kinect? Though details are currently scarce, it appears that this intriguing sci-fi puzzler will see you guiding (or at least trying to guide) a metal sphere through a transforming labyrinth of light and steel. CANCELLED
Ubisoft is inviting you to take the Macaulay Culkin approach to home security in its latest free-to-play offering THE MIGHTY QUEST FOR EPIC LOOT. Fill your castle with all manner of diabolical death traps and then watch other players crash and burn in their attempts to reach you. Don’t be afraid to get nasty. After all, there’s nothing worse than an uninvited guest. Except maybe Shingles. And Nickelback. PREVIEW
As the owner of the Bates Motel once observed, a boy’s best friend is his mother, even if she happens to be dead. It is a theme repeated in NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH, a sprawling fantasy RPG that charts a young boy’s struggle to resurrect his dear old mum. We’ll find out if this collaboration between the creators of Professor Layton and Spirited Away lives up to its potential when it arrives on PS3 next week. REVIEW
If Metro 2033 didn’t already convince you to cancel your trip to Russia, the new RPG from Ukrainian Developer Best Way ought to do the trick. PC release NUCLEAR UNION takes place in a capital decimated by atomic fire. A handful of survivors huddle in concrete bunkers beneath the city, presumably taking solace in the knowledge that everyone associated with Police Academy: Mission to Moscow is long dead.
Paris is known throughout the world as the city of love, Vienna as the city of music. As the prohibition era setting of OMERTA: CITY OF GANGSTERS, it’s fair to say that Atlantic City hasn’t been quite as fortunate. This pin striped blend of action and strategy is the latest title from Bulgarian studio Haemimont Games. You’ll be able to begin building your criminal empire when the game arrives on 360 and PC in February. REVIEW