The summer drought is a well known and regular phenomenon. Two or three months with very few game releases leaves gamers contemplating something quite unheard of and a little disturbing: having to do something else. In fact, if you’re using our gaming release calendar (available for free here) you’ll have noticed that apart from Deus Ex on the 26th of August, there’s not much to really get us excited until Resistance 3 arrives at the beginning of September. SEPTEMBER! That’s comfortably over 2 months with barely a big release to keep us going.
But despite the panic seen in many players’ eyes, this comes as a blessing in disguise. This year has seen some stunning games already released including some absolutely huge titles that you can easily sink 30 or 40 hours into without effort. Not only that, there are a few games coming soon that could do with a little pre-release research in terms of playing through prequels. So without wanting to write a basic list of games, here’s a breakdown (not a list, definitely not a list) of why this drought is a good thing.
As already mentioned, some games over the past 12 months have been massive. Mass Effect 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Gran Turismo 5 and inFAMOUS 2 are just four examples of fantastic games that between them could fill over 100 gaming hours without even getting too deep into them. Considering this year has seen a bewildering number of high quality games it’s not unlikely you’ll have picked up a big game and not really got all that far into it. Still plodding around in an underpowered Toyota on GT5? Maybe you never reached New Vegas and want to see what’s waiting for you, well this is your chance. You’ve got a couple of months to sink your teeth into these amazing games and actually get your money’s worth out of them.
I’m sure some of you will be thinking “prequel research, surely” but that’s not quite what I mean. A few amazing sequels are coming up nearer the end of the year. Resistance 3, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3 (yep, it’s the year of the 3s, we’ve already covered that) to name only a few, many of which will be either carry on or referencing a story used in the earlier versions. If you haven’t already played the previous titles in these series, then you might be in luck. Not only have you got some release down-time to play them, but they’re dirt cheap as well. All of these prequels can be picked up easily for less than £20 and chances are one of your mates will have one of them gathering dust on their game shelf. Ask around, and if needs be spend a few quid to find out what all the fuss is about.
Trying Something Different
Even if you’re bored of your games, everything is completed and you’re looking through the window of HMV in frustration, there are still options to be had. The PSN and XBLA have some great unsung games available; dig a little deeper and you’ll find some real gems. Stardrone is worth a look, and those of you with a 360 will be spoilt for choice over the next few weeks with the Summer of Arcade including Toy Soldiers: Cold War and a new Kinect version of the iPhone classic Fruit Ninja amongst others. You’re saving loads of cash by not buying any games, why not try out something new?
Enjoy the Weather
A last resort. It’s quite nice outside most of the time, so go for a walk, play a game of tennis or stick with the gaming theme and sit under a tree with your PSP. Unless you’ve got hay fever obviously, in which case you’ll be better off locked in an airtight room with 41 boxes of Benadryl.
So there it is. Yeah it sucks that the summer is a quite time for games, but there’s no shortage of gaming to be had both to catch up on your games schedule and get ready for the barn-storming end of the year. This gaming drought is a definitely a good thing, make the most of it before you’ve got too many games to play again…
Surely, gamers panic doesn’t exist at this stage in a console’s cycle? I can understand it in the first couple of years but there’s enough quality out there now, especially if you are a working parent. You can’t play everything.
games are expensive and long. We need an 8 month writer’s strike like TV had. We’ve let marketing push our culture so fast that if you don’t play a game in a week you’re late to the party. A bloody week.