I don't often start a preview with a disclaimer, but when a publisher invites you to Brands Hatch for a day behind the wheel, I suppose you probably ought to mention it. Within minutes of emerging from the pedestrian tunnel, I found myself abusing the traction control of a beefy BMW and taxing the patience of a trained racing driver as he patiently -- oh so very patiently -- explained where I probably ought to be braking and hitting the apex to avoid going all kinds of sideways.
This might sound like an old-school journalistic junket, but when I traded the real thing for the PS4 version of Project CARS, on the same track in the same weather conditions, I discovered that it was actually my training.
See, Project CARS is designed to be more than a soulless simulator. It may be underpinned by reams of official engineering specifications and raw data, but every facet of the game has been pored over and tweaked by real racing drivers to give it the human touch. As such, every piece of advice I received on the track was instantly and completely relevant in the game, while the virtual course looked and felt like the real thing.
It's the sort of authentic design philosophy that could well put Project CARS into pole position this Christmas, even as it stares down the barrel of Driveclub and Forza Horizon 2. The fact that it's drop-dead gorgeous, VR compatible, 12K-ready and powered by next-gen tech is probably not going to hurt either.Click here to read more...
Developer: Nine Dots Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco
GoD Factory: Wingmen is the definition of an underdog success story. Nine Dots Studio poured their heart, soul and thousands of Pounds of their own money into creating an extraordinary multiplayer arcade space sim, which then subsequently failed on Kickstarter. However, thanks to a strong prototype, great gameplay and backing from Bandai Namco, the finished product has finally made it onto Steam.
Forget the backstory, though, because we're finally able to take GoD Factory: Wingmen out of the hangar, rev up its engines and listen to her howling roar. Two teams of four pilots leap into the cockpits of painstakingly customised fighters, screaming into what's truthfully billed as 'a mix of Ace Combat, Armored Core, Star Fox, DoTA and more.' Fast-paced, thrilling, visually lavish and pleasingly tactical, it's a very different breed of space shooter.Click here to read more...
Confession time – when it was announced I didn’t give much hope to Shadow of Mordor, despite the cool premise that was being presented to me. “An Assassin’s Creed style game set in an open world Middle Earth? There have been worse ideas,” I thought to myself, but it was the reveal of the Nemesis system that piqued my interest. “If it’s exactly as they’re saying it will be, that could be very interesting” was my response. A game where your villains change every time you play or make a decision? I chalked it down to the overhyping of a system that created the illusion of choice and an elaborate AI army, and went about my business.
But then I went to Gamescom and saw the Nemesis system in action. It’s real folks. It actually works, and it’s going to be the stuff of YouTube gold.
Before we get into it though, here’s a quick round-up of everything else that was shown and told to us during the presentation. The game will take place directly after the third Hobbit film The Battle of Five Armies, filling the gap between the recent films and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. As Sauron’s forces begin their invasion, they wipe out the Rangers of the North protecting Gondor, including Talion – the main character for the game. (Un)luckily for him, a wraith brings him back to life who turns out to be the spirit of Celebrimbor – the Elf king who forged the rings of power that led to this entire mess in the first place. As such, the player will assume control of both Talion and Celebrimbor in a quest for revenge against the Dark Lord’s forces.Click here to read more...
Plugging official specifications and tyre data into your racing game is all well and good, but Project CARS promises to go one step further this Christmas by focusing on the human element. As such, Slightly Mad Studios have worked closely with real racing drivers including Nicholas Hamilton, the original Stig and Oliver James Webb, who advise on how the cars actually handle in real life.
Having recently attended a Project CARS preview session at Brands Hatch, I naturally grabbed Oliver Webb for an interview about his input, which has influenced everything from handling minutiae to track design. Plus, seeing as he's currently one of the faces of BAC Mono, naturally we had to chat about the gorgeous British sports car.
Stay tuned for our hands-on preview, and be sure to check out our previous coverage!
Splinter Cell Blacklist is a seriously impressive sequel hinged around player choice, and better yet, it costs a ridiculous £0.97 on Wii U at Gamestop.
It's so cheap, in fact, that it won't qualify for free delivery, instead requiring an extra £2. Which is still phenomenally inexpensive.
Without the Titans, admittedly. Respawn has announced that Titanfall Update 6 is going live today, which adds the new Pilot Skirmish gametype to the rotation. Each team fields eight pilots but lacks the ability to summon Titans, which will squarely put the focus on mobility and finding vantage points.
Update 6 also includes faster matchmaking and extra tweaks to the Black Market system. Read all the details here.
Bundle Stars' Inferno Bundle is great raw value, offering ten games for a paltry £2.99 over the next five days. However, I'm not entirely convinced that quality matches the quantity.
I can personally vouch for Urban Trial Freestyle and Orbital Gear being rather fun, and have heard some good things about 8BitBoy. The rest, though, will need to be taken on faith - or just sit uninstalled in your Steam library, forever. Thanks to Rubisco @ HUKD!
Shock horror: Microsoft has actually put some Xbox One games on sale this week after last week's miserable Need For Speed DLC-a-palooza. Unfortunately one of them is Lococycle, which deserves your contempt and pity, so let's accentuate the positive and focus on Child Of Light. This superb blend of JRPG and interactive poem is beautiful and well-tooled, though you might want to play it on a harder difficulty setting. It's £8.03 versus £11.99 for Xbox Live Gold Members - on Xbox One only.
Remember that you can also freely download Super Time Force! Do it. While you wait, you can find the rest of the deals below including a nifty £6.79 for Resident Evil: Revelations, and an Activision sale, thanks to heatlight and SVRich @ HUKD!Click here to read more...
Words can't quite explain just how utterly bonkers Bayonetta 2 actually is, so here's a little video showcasing five of the most crazy happenings I've encountered thus far in the game. We can only talk about the game up to chapter five currently, but already I've unleashed a Hellish unicorn, surfed the tunnel of a tsunami on the steeple of a cathedral, stopped a Lumen Sage with an epic fistbump, and seen Black Santa wall-ride a department store in a Cadillac.
I can only apologise for the number of times words fail me in this video and I'm reduced to shouting "WHAT?!" in delighted confusion, but you'll hopefully understand why by the end.
Dieselstormers, formerly known as Project Ravensdale, is already shaping up to be a seriously hectic cooperative run & gunner. Four dieselpunk knights do battle with Orcs and Goblins using crazy upgradeable weapons, nifty energy grappling hooks and a whole lot of firepower. Plenty of features are yet to be implemented, including armour customisation, a better crafting interface and more mission variety, but what's here is rather fun if a little bare-bones. I'll drop a preview this week.
The Tokyo Game Show is about to kick off, but you can always rely on Sony to turn up to the party early. They've been busy this morning; dropping a slew of major announcements including a Japanese release date for Bloodborne, a new platform for Persona 5, a new Resident Evil and absolutely no new details about The Last Guardian.
You can watch the press conference above, but I've rounded up the biggest headlines and trailers for your convenience.
Bloodborne is already looking seriously tasty, not to mention playing brilliantly, ahead of its launch next year. Let's face it: you're excited. As such, feast your eyes on this brand new Japanese trailer, which proudly proclaims a February 5th release date.
Japanese release date, I should stress. It's likely that Bloodborne will be somewhat delayed in Europe to give The Order: 1886 time to breathe, but we probably won't have to wait too long.Click here to read more...
If you're in the market for an Xbox One this year, or hovering on the fence with a severe case of the 'grass is always greener' effect, Gamestop might be about to tip you over the edge. They're currently offering a £309.97 price for the white Xbox One console and Sunset Overdrive, which is extremely competitive to say the least. It's cheaper than the solus Xbox One and even PS4 at retail!
You won't receive it until 31st October, though, and remember that it's the garish white version. At least it won't show scratches and dust anywhere near as much. Thanks once again to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!
Platform: PC (£6.99, reviewed) | Also on iOS & Android
Sorry, no, this isn't the stealth sequel to Beneath A Steel Sky. Instead, the developers behind Incredipede and Pineapple Smash Crew have collaborated on one of the most bizarre and intriguing game concepts you'll see this year: an alien jellyfish procreation simulator set beneath the thick Venusian clouds, which challenges us to help an intrepid Cnidarian spread its seed and fertilise a variety of extraterrestrial flora.
Or looked at another way, it's a groovy and relaxing one-button casual game that feels partway between Worms, Angry Birds, Tiny Wings and Machiavelli's Ascent.
The brief opening cinematic sets the stage. Venus' dark side actually glows -- in real life as an unexplained scientific phenomenon -- emitting a faint auroral effect known as the 'Ashen Light.' Deep Under The Sky finally has the answers that have long eluded NASA's top boffins: beneath the crushing acidic clouds lives a thriving ecosystem of bio-luminescent creatures. Playing as one of them, a whopping wobbling jellyfish, we'll blast aerodynamic packets of seed material across 2D levels with the aim of exploding them within range of receptive plants, thus ensuring that the species will live on.Click here to read more...
GoD Factory Wingmen is the dictionary definition of an underdog success story. This ambitious, gorgeous and thoroughly intense multiplayer arcade space sim missed its Kickstarter target, but was picked up by Namco Bandai and finally released last Friday.
Spoiler alert: it's awesome. Hectic action goes hand-in-hand with addictive progression and comprehensive ship customisation.
I'm currently working on our full review, but to tide you over, here's the full unedited video of my first space skirmish. Four pilots per team, two carriers, one highway through the danger zone!
Platform: PS4 | Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Here we go again. I reviewed Diablo III on PC... then the last-gen console version... then the Reaper Of Souls expansion pack... and finally we come to this. The Ultimate Evil Edition. The final showdown. It's time for the last dance with the devil -- that is, unless Blizzard brings out another expansion.
To be honest, I'm still in two minds about whether Diablo III really works on consoles. Despite pretending to be a glorious last stand against the forces of hell, all it really involves is holding the A button (X on PS4) until all the enemies are dead or you've passed out from boredom. The leap from mice to controllers removed an entire dimension of precision priority targeting, so instead you'll just mash that button and then mash it a few more times to pick up all the loot in the vicinity. Then roll. Then hold down A for another five minutes.
This shouldn't be fun. It should be torture. But ultimately, somehow, Diablo III's Ultimate Evil Edition ends up being enjoyable and annoyingly addictive to the point where I'd rather be playing it than leaving my den -- let alone writing this review.
Basically, Just Add Mates.Click here to read more...
Project CARS is looking more exciting (and gorgeous, it must me said) every time we see it - and I managed to scrape an amateurish fourth place during a hands-on race around Brands Hatch.
Be on the lookout for the dynamic weather, which massively affects the driving conditions, handling and visibility. This demo track accelerates the onset of a rainstorm over three laps, so you can judge for yourself.
Oh, and sorry about the glare! I'll have some shinier videos for you soon, along with more in-depth coverage. Did you catch our interview with producer Pete Morrish?Click here to read more...
Metro Redux is a fantastic new way to experience Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light on new-gen consoles, but if you've yet to take the plunge, your wallet will thank you. Amazon and Tesco will sell you a copy of Last Light at a £5 saving, which is a great price for this grim and unrelenting experience.
The Xbox 360 version is also available for £7.00 from Tesco. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Infinite Space III: Sea Of Stars | IndieGameStand | £0.63 minimum (RRP: £6.99)
Blast From The Past: Strange Adventures In Infinite Space
The Strange Adventures In Infinite Space series heavily influenced FTL as the original permadeath space odyssey, providing an entire procedurally generated galaxy to explore, loot, conquer and constantly surprise you in the space of a lunch break. The first two games were utterly superb and I have little doubt that the third will surpass them. The early access Steam build is currently only $1 -- 60p -- so get in on the ground floor.
Alternatively, pay £1.05 to also receive the first two games in the series. Thanks to TehJumpingJawa @ HUKD!