Trying to beat the heat with this summer’s best video games? You might still get burned.
The summer weather must be having an effect on Xboxes and ?PlayStations, because this season’s biggest video games are getting nasty. This group of giant tanks, chainsaw cheerleaders and angels of death isn’t meeting for any ice-cream socials, so put up your dukes before pressing the start button on these surefire hits.Gravity Rush
The newest Sony hand-held system receives its first tour de force in this manga-inspired romp through a wild, futuristic cityscape. Gravity Rush’s hero has the power to change her gravity at will, prompting players to twist and turn the Vita in real time, using its gyroscope to slingshot across walls and ceilings. The zero-gravity mechanic feels slick on the hand-held system, and the comic-shaded world pops with hand-drawn visual effects.
(Available June 12)Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
Xbox 360 Kinect
In older versions of the Steel Battalion series, you controlled your robot-tank avatar with an unwieldy controller that had enough levers and buttons to rival a Russian sub. The latest and long-anticipated incarnation of this gaming epic is a bit more accessible thanks to the Kinect sensor, as waving and gesturing with your hands helps you plow through waves of futuristic combat.
(Available June 19)The Last Story
Before Nintendo launches? the Wii’s follow-up system later this year, it has one last swan song for fans: a role-playing adventure from the creator of the Final Fantasy series. Appropriately, The Last Story has plenty in common with its forebear, but its warm cast of characters, top-of-the-line voice acting and action-filled battles stand out from the competition. Genre fanatics should expect dozens of hours of swords-and-?sorcery questing.
(Available June 19)Lollipop Chainsaw
The pulpy dialogue and bloody action of grind-house movies has found its virtual match. Lollipop Chainsaw’s lead characters are as bizarre as the arcade-?inspired minigames you’ll play between waves of nasty zombies. The game’s irreverent sense of humor mixes well with its fast action.
(Available June 19)