Microsoft makes plans for Summer of Arcade 2012

Lost, somewhat, in all the E3 banter was the news that Microsoft is gearing up for the fifth Summer of Arcade – somewhat less a celebration of sunshine and instead five back-to-back weeks of awesome new games for Xbox Live Arcade.

Deadlight is a puzzlin’ platformer, full of zombies like all good games these days. Setting this one slightly apart: The scenery features interactive elements, meaning the super-agile protagonist can solve obstacles and dodge the undead thanks simply to using objects at hand.

Dust: An Elysian Tail takes the mysterious warrior Dust to a number of locations across a magical, hand-painted world: Peaceful glades, snowy mountain tops and deep dark forests await the eager explorer – and, of course, these are full of enemies for you to battle. Promising an easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master combat system, the Elysian story unfolds as you explore the world.

Hybrid brings the shooter element to the party, with a third-person game set in the near future. A rebel human faction known as the Paladins has arced up against a new alien species, the Variant. This one comes from 5th Cell and promises a “completely new gameplay experience” the likes of which we’ve never seen in shooting games.

Wreckateer is a curious-looking title for Kinect, which was shown off at this year’s pre-E3 conference. You are in control of a huuuge catapult, given the task of destroying castles. There are a number of obvious comparisons to be made, but we’re reassured that you are throwing rocks and not, say… birds.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD is a surprise inclusion – it’s a reboot/remake/reinterpretation of the classic Pro Skater games. Take the excitement of the original games, splice it carefully into a modern setting (with all the bells and whistles of next-gen), and add the “best controls ever” – you’re onto a winner.

[img_big]center,8713,2012-06-05/3588THPSHD_Tony_Downhill_Stiffy.jpg,Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD[/img_big]

Exact details, timeframes, release dates and even the release order are hiding somewhere – expect big updates from Microsoft in the coming weeks. We do know that Tony Hawk was planned to hit consoles in June, so that gives us an idea that the others should be slotting in somewhere around there.

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