With one short month to go before Far Cry 4 lands, we take a decisive look at all the available evidence, including our very own hands-on sessions, to make the case that we could be looking at a Game of the Year contender here. So dive into this week’s Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014.
You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but the honey badgers are arguably the most vicious creatures in Kyrat. Hunting missions will make a return, but using fire or explosions to kill animals will result in damaged pelts that are worth less cash and possibly not be as useful for crafting. Looks like we’ll have to avoid using rocket launchers and mines on the monochrome missile-like bastards then. Other animals that want to eat your eyes include wolves, rhinos, leopards, eagles, cave bears and much more. Come at me, nature!Click here to read more...
We've been getting stuck into the long-awaited Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel this week, so take break and check out our Opening Scenes video and Top Ten survival guide. Elsewhere in the features Carl has been playing with some new ships in Star Citizen and even took them out for a race or two. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has rocketed up our most wanted lists thanks to Jon's recent hands-on report and interview, ensuring it's a perfect title for you and the little ones, although we all know that's just an excuse. Matt's Interactive Narrative series continues this week with a look at sports games and he also chats with the team behind Company of Heroes: Ardennes Assault before getting a hands-on for himself too. Our weekly guide to next week's releases is up too, including links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices on the leading formats. There's even more packed into the features section and you can find all the links below.
In the reviews Matt's been blown away by the mighty Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, but had his buzz mildly dampened by the surprisingly awful F1 2014. Jon's been reviewing his usual selection of questionable Japanese material again in the stacked forms of Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus and Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. He also reviewed the really rather boobless, but excellent Defense Grid 2.Click here to read more...
A great week for Wii U owners who can feel super smug as the Umbran witch makes her Nintendo debut. There’s quite the musical theme elsewhere with the latest Just Dance title and Harmonix’s motion-controlled take on Fantasia. The words Firaxis and Alpha Centauri are probably enough to get our PC-gaming readers excited, not to mention a certain Dreamfall title. Read on for the full rundown along with links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices.
Fans have only been waiting since 2006 to find out what happens next in the Dreamfall saga, so yeah, they’re pretty pumped for this one. We get the feeling this is going to be a Kickstarter success story and can’t wait to play the new episodic format. The game is also coming to PS4 at some point, but release dates vary from next week (wrong), to November, to next year. Expect reviews of the PC version from our very own Carl Phillips soon.Click here to read more...
This week, we deal with Driveclub's latest woes and ask how big games sites can justify early reviews for online games, we chat about Microsoft's continued defence of their indie parity clause, and we take a look at the announcement for the rather controversial Hatred.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Morning, folks! Here's a link to some of the larger stories of yesterday for some breakfast reading. Although, we're beginning to think that DriveClub not being online is starting to become the status quo rather than news. It seems like everyone had a rough day though with delays for our favourite upcoming racer and the latest Hitman movie. I'd clear some hard-drive space on your XO too, as Master Chief seems to have put on a bit of weight.
The big question to be posed to the latest in a line of yearly, iterative games is always "what's new?" People won't drop fifty quid for a game that makes the odd cosmetic change or just swaps old rosters for new. We like progression, we like to envisage some sort of movement forwards in the quest to create the most authentic, awesome representation of a sport or pastime, as if there's a perfect goal to be reached that yearly series creep closer to each year.
Of course, when a new batch of consoles have been released, but you're still tethered to the old bunch, I would imagine that keeping up, let alone trying to improve in meaningful fashion, can seem like a Sisyphean task. Unfortunately, in a year where games are shinier and sparkier than in previous ones, you have to make some strides in terms of gameplay.
Sadly, F1 2014 doesn't really do that. In fact, in many ways it does the exact opposite.Click here to read more...
What's better than being able to freely download and play a game for an entire weekend, then paying a tiny discounted price to own it forever if you enjoy it?
Being able to freely download and play TEN games! I suppose that it's ten times better if you want to get technical. Steam are now running ten simultaneous free weekends, allowing you to download all of the full versions and play them as much as you like until the early hours of Monday morning, while also offering serious discounts. There's no way you'll be able to play all of them, but there's something here for everyone.
Your best bet is to browse over to the splash page and see what takes your fancy, but for completion's sake, here are the ten games in question along with their discounted prices, links and reviews where possible.
Let us know what you're playing!
GOG's weekend sale is now live, offering major savings on a slew of niche games published and developed by Retroism and Enlight Software. It's an odd selection, including some ancient Sid Meier titles like Pirates Gold, Colonisation and Covert Action (£1.48 apiece) alongside the Seven Kingdoms and Capitalism series. Bizarre, shonky yet strangely compelling cyberpunk adventure BloodNet is also up for grabs at £1.48, while the mech-on-mech showdown Slave Zero is well worth a look for genre fans.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is out today in the UK, and our full review will be going live very soon. It's a fun and famililar burst of shooting and looting, meaning that our Borderlands 2 survival guide is still packed with plenty of relevant tips, but the low-gravity setting, ace bouncy combat, new enemies and brand new characters mean that even Vault Hunting veterans can potentially be caught unawares.
Never fear, because I'm here with a few useful, practical and sometimes completely esoteric survival tips that are as spoiler-free as humanely possible! Ten, in fact, though I don't really see much point in ordering them this time.
Double-jumping is all the rage these days. Taking a look back at the platformers of yesteryear, Titanfall did the business and now everyone else is falling over themselves to follow suit.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, however, takes a totally unique approach to double-jumping. In a low-grav situation, you'll gain extra height if you hit the button without touching the stick, but holding a direction turns it into a powerful lateral boost instead (depending on your momentum at the time). You'll need a few hours to fully get used to it, as the additional altitude can be used to pour devastating firepower down on foes or engage aerial foes in the air.
Conversely, the boost provides a major speed increase, the ability to circle strafe in the air or the extra oomph you need to make it to a distant platform. Or even pulling back from a botched jump and ensuring you return to the platform rather than falling into the abyss. Practice makes perfect.Click here to read more...
I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's a difference between a great deal and a great game. This is a great deal, netting you a Steam code for Planetary Annihilation at a major saving.
The game, though, feels unfinished despite leaving early access. Planetary Annihilation was very promising in preview and is fantastic fun when you're wielding huge robot armies and smashing moons into each other, but the lack of tutorials, multiple factions and a more digestible UI can make this insane RTS an overwhelming and frustrating experience for newcomers. I doubt I'll have time for a full review, but I personally wish that Uber had spent more time rounding what feels like a fun yet incomplete product into a full package.
The Humble Weekly Bundle is now live and distinctly Canadian, taking aim at developers and studios based in the Vancouver area.
Beat 64p to get Shank and the first two Penny Arcade Adventures (well worth doing, though Robert Boyd's later Penny Arcade Games are vastly superior), while also getting unfunny wasted opportunity Deathspank: The Baconing and Boximals Bounce.
Beat £3.73 to also receive Shank 2 and PvZ GOTY. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
How cheap does ZombiU have to get before you buy this criminally-overlooked horror masterpiece?! It annoys me that Ubisoft were brave enough to create one of the most tough, faithful and terrifying survival horror games of the last decade, yet the final product was slapped down for having clunky melee combat, high difficulty and other essential survival horror elements. Ugh.
Anyway, rant over. We've seen it £1 cheaper during a previous Game Collection flash sale, but they're back with a great price nonetheless. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
The early bird catches the worm, but the late and tardy birds reap magnificent savings. ShopTo are currently selling and Xbox One console with The Evil Within, Alien Isolation, Wolfenstein, Forza 5 & Dead Rising 3 for £399.85, which is £30 less than the solus console itself cost just one year ago!
Madness, especially seeing that all but one of these games scored an 8/10 (because we haven't reviewed The Evil Within yet!). Thanks to partyblast @ HUKD!
I'm quite excited for Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault. I must admit that I'm more of an offline player than an online one, having had my backside handed to me on numerous occasions, but that's what this expansion is all about. Just like Western Front Armies, Ardennes Assault will be a standalone slice of strategic action, but one that eschews the linearity of COH 2's campaign for something a little more dynamic.
My preview for Ardennes Assault went live yesterday, and here's what I had to say about my time with the game in my closing paragraph:
The bottom line is that Ardennes Assault finally brings the feeling of grand strategy and broader tactical thinking to bear on a game that has been renowned for tactical gameplay on a smaller, more individual scale. Company of Heroes has long been a series that is all about making the best with what you have, realising the importance of different individual units and the ways in which they can complement one another. Now, added to that formula, there's more of an opportunity to be a true armchair general, as well as a major on the field. It looks like it truly present the best of both worlds, and that's very exciting indeed.
As well as going hands-on with the game, I also had the opportunity to sit down with campaign designer, Mitch Lagran, to have a chat about the changes that Relic have made and the ambitions that the studio has going forwards.Check out the interview after the jump >>
The big news today is that Google and Asus are making an Android micro-console... because... no, I have absolutely no idea either. At least the odd circular casing can double up as a hockey puck. Here are your headlines.
It's always a good sign when a preview event starts wrapping up and the first thing you think is 'Nooooo, please let me take this game with me'. It was nice to place the latest standalone expansion pack for Company of Heroes 2 in context, with our gaggle of assembled European writers given a tour of the Bastogne barracks -- the operational heart of the Allied war effort during the Battle of the Bulge -- before checking out the game inspired by that bloody piece of history.
Inspired is certainly the word, as Relic have used the events of the battle to bookend this particular experience. Essentially, Ardennes Assault gives players the freedom to plan out their own military machinations in the region by way of a 'meta map'. If The Western Front Armies provided a multiplayer introduction to this newly explored theatre of war and the factions involved, the Ardennes Assault pack is the singleplayer counterpoint -- an expansion that zooms in on three individual companies and their commanding officers, struggling to take control of a region filled with constantly shifting German divisions. The idea is clear -- to present a relatively open ended canvas, framed by history, upon which we armchair generals might paint our personal tactical masterpieces.
Our two-hour session with the game consisted of playing the same mission multiple times. Set not far from Bastogne in the town of Houffalize, the skirmish in which we were involved saw us trying to join up with an allied column to the north, cutting through German-controlled territory, overrunning the enemy's artillery stations, and co-opting the massive guns for our own purposes. By focussing in on this single mission (there will be 18 in total we're told -- seven rather broad encounters and eleven more scripted scenarios) several times over, we were able to see how the different companies performed, and how the map changed depending upon what stage of the campaign we were at when we took the plunge.Click here to read more...
In this week's episode of Game Night, Carl and Jon try their luck at surviving Dungeon Of The Endless, the current Early Access project from Amplitude Studios. Part RPG, part roguelike, part 4X strategy, and all parts punishing, see how this genre-mash-up is shaping up whilst the duo flee in fear from huge hordes of enemies.
Be sure to check out Jon's hands-on impressions of Dungeon of the Endless here.
The Xbox One keeps getting cheaper as Microsoft's aggressive price cuts and willingness to abandon Kinect sends prices tumbling. GameStop's latest deal sees the White Xbox One, controller and Sunset Overdrive slashed down to £309.97, which is a seriously smart bargain as things stand.
Alternatively, ShopTo will throw in CoD: Advanced Warfare for an extra £40, if you're interested. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!