Welcome to Day 2 of your Ghoulish & Ghastly Gift Guide!
Additional reporting by Laura Bitten, Maggie Z, and Christopher Foulke.
Multi-player gameplay is all the rage today. Thankfully, multi-player and rage both abound in DARK SOULS. In a poetic twist, this role-playing game allows players to provide an assist by haunting another gamer’s game in ghost form. You will certainly need an assist, too. DARK SOULS ranks among the most demonically difficult games of the year. Lest you doubt us, their website is called preparetodie.com. Abandon all hope, ye who play here!
Price drop! The DEAD SPACE series didn’t exactly evolve from humble origins. Judging by all of the movies, comics, toys, and apps, one imagines Electronic Arts was busily plotting out a ten-year business plan before the story of the first game was even written. Even though the story seldom matches the ambition of the thrilling gameplay, DEAD SPACE 2 was a giant step forward for the series, for mankind, and for one or more species of alienkind. Imagine ALIEN meets ALIENS meets THE THING meets your worst nightmares. Now turn off the lights, press ‘START,’ and listen closely for the unspeakably mutated corpses prowling a dark, abandoned outpost located on one of Saturn’s moons.
Buyer beware: Requiring more than 100 hours to complete, this is the type of game that steals your life and depletes your soul. Give it to the sibling (or parent) whom you don’t wish to see during the long winter months. (It’s better than a Harry Potter vanishing spell!) Borrow it briefly, perhaps a mere 50 or 60 hours, to experience the game as a werewolf or vampire.
If BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM was the digital Sistine Chapel ceiling of grungy, crime-infested cityscapes, then this sequel is heaven itself, five times the size of the original and starring all of Gotham City’s best baddies at their very worst. ARKHAM CITY doesn’t offer any one scene quite as disturbing and disorienting as the Scarecrow levels in ARKHAM ASYLUM (if you’ve never played, let’s not spoil the surprise here, but the developers owe no small debt to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET). Even still, this game proves more satisfying as a whole due to its epic scope. After a long day, nothing beats the feeling of a beatdown as you slam masked henchmen into asphalt, into your gargantuan, well-armored fists, and even into one another.
Price drop! Dust off your Nintendo DS, and buy both of these criminally overlooked games for less than the cost of the overhyped CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3. In DEMENTIUM, you awaken in a mysterious hospital and face off against a legion of surgical experiments run amuck. The official website is styled to resemble an actual hospital site. It’s a bloody great site. No, seriously . . . it’s literally bloody! And it’s great!
Anything we missed? Post your recent video game picks below.