Details about Xbox Live Arcade’s “House Party” promotion have leaked today, revealing the four titles that will be available in weekly succession, most likely starting in February. This year’s batch takes the “arcade” out of the picture, with a lineup of mostly top-notch first-person shooters.
Watching the above leaked trailer for “House Party 2012” reveals that the four games being released once a week are: Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, Warp, Nexuiz, and I Am Alive. Microsoft hasn’t announced the exact order or release dates about any of these games, but here’s a quick rundown of what we know about each title:
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare: It’s not exactly a “sequel” to the underrated FPS from Max Payne creator Remedy Entertainment. It’s a new chapter to Alan Wake’s story, a sidequel that tackles the mystery of the evil Mr. Scratch. It also introduces some wild new game modes and fun weapons. Expected to be an Xbox exclusive.
Warp: The only puzzle-based game on the list, EA’s Warp is a top-down stealth adventure that puts you into the shoes of Zero, a little orange alien who’s attempting to escape from an underwater prison. What makes Warp unique are Zero’s five special abilities: warp (teleport anywhere), frag (teleport into objects or enemies to destroy them from the inside out), echo (distract enemies with a replica of yourself), swap (trade places between your Echo and any object), and launch (teleport into objects and shoot them at high speeds). Looks like a fun, quirky game that could generate a lot of buzz.
Nexuiz: No idea how you pronounce it, but it’s described by publisher THQ as a fast-paced, competitive “arena shooter.” It’s powered by Crytek’s powerful CryEngine 3, and features a futuristic art style influenced by Victorian architecture. It pits members of two alien races in broadcasted combat with one another, as part of a treaty to end a very long-running war. Of the four, this is the one I’m least sold on, but hopefully it will be a fun surprise. Despite that wretched name.
I Am Alive: I just recently mentioned how intrigued I am by this long-delayed, post-apocalyptic survival game from Ubisoft. Back in the day, it was first planned as a retail purchase, but over time, it’s transitioned into a download-only title. Its immersive, open-world action mixes scavenging with fighting, while the protagonist searches a destroyed city for his missing wife and daughter. Expect lots of emotional, moral choices that will leave you feeling good about yourself — or show just what a terrible person you really are.
Since this list is leaked information, we’ll call it “unconfirmed,” even though that splashy trailer from Microsoft is all the confirmation anyone needs. Release dates and prices will no doubt be announced by MS when the time is right.