Platform: Xbox One (timed exclusive)
Developer: PopCap Games
In almost every way that counts, Peggle 2 is exactly what we need it to be. What I need it to be. Another hit, another fix, just a bit more of that sweet Pegglin' action to calm the shakes and stop my teeth itching. A prescription for the Extreme Fever we've all been suffering from these last few years.
PopCap's beloved Bagatelle-meets-Pachinko-meets-psychadelic-insanity timesink is is still as enjoyable and inexplicably addictive as ever. Flinging balls at little coloured pegs shouldn't be this much fun, yet Peggle 2 once again nails the middle ground between chance and skill. Superb ball physics allow experienced players to line up and call the perfect trick shot, while most of us enjoy the thrill of a one in a million chance coming good with random desperate punts. Whatever your style, nailing all of the orange pegs results in a crescendo of classical music, fireworks and ridiculous shenanigans that makes us feel warm and tingly all over.
What? You know it's true.
As you'd expect from a next-gen debut title, Peggle 2 is also very shiny indeed. It's crisp, colourful and utterly gorgeous, oozing both class and painstaking attention to detail alongside rampant hilarity by the bucketload. The five characters look fantastic thanks to big expressive animated portraits, reacting to your shots in all manner of silly ways. Returning unicorn Bjorn prances and whinnies, farting out rainbows and magically throwing up the horns with his... horn. Jeff the troll quotes The Dude as he relaxes with a cold pint, all while his goat pals get so amped in the background that their heads explode. Zombie girl Luna's jaw drops so hard that it falls off. Each master is absolutely packed with personality, though of course, they aren't just pretty faces.Click here to read more...
After four weeks of talking about the previously known classes of WildStar, we finally dive into new territory with today’s Class Drop Wrap-up. As usual, I’ll be bringing you my take on the information we’ve had thrown at us by Carbine Studios, highlighting anything that’s caught my eye over the last seven days and giving you a rundown of what we can expect from this newly-unveiled class. I’ll also probably be teasing the massive barrage of WildStar coverage that will go live on Dealspwn later this week, because I’ve got a massive barrage of WildStar coverage that will go live on Dealspwn later this week, conveniently enough. So, you know, that’s cool.
Surely you’ve been keeping up to date with the rest of my wrap-ups? What’s that? You haven’t?! You absolute swine – use the helpful hub below to get up to speed and then make sure it never happens again.
Traditionally, the healers in MMOs have been the backline support troops, standing at the rear of the epic encounters and making sure their buddies don’t scuttle off the virtual coil too quickly. On the bright side, they get to see the battle unfold with the best view in the house, but adversely, for the most part, they have to stand at the back watching health bars for ten to fifteen minutes. In a way, up until now they’ve been like the sober person at a rocking party – just standing there watching everyone have fun, and then when the place gets trashed they get blamed because they were sober enough to do something about it. Well, dear healers, prepare to get drunk* because the Medic finally lets you get up close and personal with your healing. With this high-tech class, you’ll be able to dive into the action to keep your friends alive. In fact, you could say…
Metal Gear Solid V's playable prologue, Ground Zeroes, is getting a retro-tastic exclusive mission on PlayStation... but Kojima has a surprise in store for Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners. A deal with Microsoft sees Raiden returning from an alternate future to save the Earth from the invasion of the body snatchers, bringing his trademark brand of razor-sharp ultraviolence to what appears to be a thoroughly outrageous piece of exclusive non-canon content.
We've got the trailer after the break, alongside some new details about Ground Zeroes' European release date and pricing.Click here to read more...
Developers: Sony Japan Studio
Publishers: Sony Computer Entertainment
Mark Cerny. Architect not only of beloved IPs such as Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, and Spyro the Dragon, but also of the PlayStation 4 itself. This smiling genteel man has been one of the most visible exponents of innovative design over the years, no more so than in the past twelve months as Sony had him take the stage time and time again to tell us that the PS4 was focused on one thing, and one thing only: games.
With such a litany of references and credits, and ably supported by Sony Japan Studio -- an outfit although sometimes lacking in execution and polish brought us the fantastic ideas behind games such as Gravity Rush and Tokyo Jungle -- when we learned that Cerny would be heading up a crack team of developers to produce something for the PS4, we all got rather excited.
And then Knack turned up.
Sure, Knack is pretty to look at. Constructed of chunks and shards of minerals and relics, the titular character is a wonderful sight to behold -- an impressive avatar to demonstrate the power in particle rendering and animation that the PlayStation 4 can bring to the table. He trots around brightly coloured landscapes, from ice caves to lava plateaus and gloriously realised, verdant temperate areas, with a fixed camera harking back to days gone by when we'd be controlling a sprightly marsupial on the PSOne. When you open chests stuffed with relic pieces, and Knack absorbs them into his form and swells in size, it's hard not to be a little impressed by the graphical trickery. The textures are gorgeous, the clean, Pixar-esque feel to it all is aesthetically delightful, and Knack at least looks the part.Click here to read more...
Acrobatic action titles? Check. Genre-defining third-person shooters? Oh yes. More plastic peripheral insanity? You bet! We're into the thirties in our countdown of the best games of last generation, and there are more surprises in store. Were you besotted with Bayonetta? Rabid about Rayman? Bonkers for Bad Company? Let us know what you make of thing in the box below.
Also, if you're yet to check out #50-41, click here to do so now!
What we said: Bayonetta herself might well split opinion - can a strong willed, intensely capable female figure who defies manipulation be taken seriously when she's being manipulated into some of the most suggestive poses this side of Spearmint Rhino's front doors? - but it's incredibly hard to argue against action this stylishly accessible and deceptively deep. Sexy, self-referential, slick and stylish, Bayonetta is an excellent action title to kick off 2010, dodging accusation of being derivative with one of the most finely tuned, and fun to play, combat engines seen in video gaming.
What we said: Rayman Origins is mechanically brilliant, perfectly-paced and drop-dead gorgeous, but can you put a price on happiness?
Probably not. But we've got a score for it. - 10/10Click here to read more...
If you want to play Diablo III - on any of its three platforms - Tesco Direct has the cheapest price around (though tied with Amazon on PC). I'm not entirely convinced that the console version is a worthwhile buy if you haven't played Diablo II, and wish Blizzard had created a new console IP rather than ripping the final part of a trilogy out of its context, but there's no denying the fun a controller brings to the previously boring melee combat. Thanks to bargain76 @ HUKD!
Thanks to the 20%-off voucher code listed above, you can get hold of the latest Rayman title for an absolute bargain of a deal. Overall it will save you around £4 over the next cheapest listing.
Colourful, charming, and with the capacity to challenge your platforming skills to the extreme, Jon stated in his review that "Rayman Legends isn't just one of the best platformers we've seen in twenty years, but one of the very best games." For under a tenner I think you'll get your money's worth from this game, and then some. Thanks to nickkelly @HUKD!
We all weighed in on some of our favourite games and highlights from the sixth generation of video game consoles, and now it's time for the Top 50 Games of Last Generation. We opted for democracy over psychic octopuses or Foucauldian pendulums and each writer submitted a top 30, with the resulting entries shuffled into some semblance of critical order by our fuzzy-topped overlord.
The results have been surprising in some cases, and perhaps less so elsewhere. Indeed, there was only one game that appeared in absolutely everyone's list. But you'll have to wait until Friday for that as we begin our countdown of excellence at #50, and work our way up to the pinnacle of this generation.
What we said: Fallout: New Vegas is an epic adventure, simply overflowing with content. If you lost yourself in Fallout 3, gobbled up all the DLC and then loaded up a brand new game, New Vegas is for you. Hook, line and sinker. It's built on aging tech that often rears its ugly head, but it can also offer moments of startling beauty.
What we said: If you prefer your heroics to come with, well, heroics, look elsewhere on the shelf and detractors will no doubt write it off as a Fallout / Bioshock / Half-Life 2 hybrid. If though you like your games genuinely disturbing, thoughtful and intensely creepy, this is brilliant stuff. And hell, if you’re going to make a medley of three games you could do a lot worse than those, right?Click here to read more...
Not content with The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, Telltale Games have announced two new tie-ins based on the Game Of Thrones and Borderlands licenses.
No, not a Game Of Thrones x Borderlands crossover. Let's not be silly.
Both episodic series are in very early development, and built around Telltale's trademark focus on choice and character development. We've got trailers below... though our rabid excitement is tempered with a note of caution.Click here to read more...
PSA: I daresay that some of you might have noticed a whole whirlwind of news surrounding thesurvivor2299.com, a supposed teaser site for Fallout 4, over the last few weeks. Not from us, though, because it was the most obvious hoax I've ever seen. Polish hosting bought from GoDaddy? Not exactly Bethesda or Zenimax' style, putting it mildly. As news editor, I didn't want to waste your time with it, despite any number of our fellow sites going headline-crazy.
Regardless, the site was outed as a hoax over the weekend, set up for $900 all-told by a self-confessed "selfish bastard with a lot of money." That's that then, in case you were still following it.
Don't get me wrong, though, we all crave Fallout 4 - which the latest rumours suggest could be set in Boston and The Institute (the remains of MIT). What do you want from the next game in the series?
It's been a long road filled with death, more death, red phantoms dealing out death, and fat things with giant sickles that have a taste for slaughter, but we've finally reached the end of our dedicated episodes of Dealspwn Playthrough from Dark Souls II's Beta. In our final look at the recent Network Test, we change classes once again to show you the nimble Archer in action.
But during the recording of this video, Namco Bandai decided to put the game into High Difficulty mode, and push Carl to his limit. Can he get to the Skeleton Lord before the servers shut down with increasingly challenging enemies now in his way? You'll have to watch to find out.Click here to read more...
If you only watch one trailer today, make it this one. We'll wait. Do it.
Yeah. Hello Games, the developers behind Joe Danger, are taxing their four-man team to the limit with No Man's Sky: an entire procedurally-generated universe to explore in a first-person Sci-Fi adventure. Every star in the sky has a planet or two to explore, a galaxy full of players, potential and promise. And space combat. Hinging on the thrill of exploration, No Man's Sky will feature an infinity of planets with their own ecosystems, fauna and flora, all procedurally-generated and waiting for players to discover their secrets.
We need it madly. This is very much what we all want from 'next-gen' gaming experiences. Mind you, release platforms haven't been announced yet (we expect a PC release at bare minimum), though Sony's indie expert Shadid Ahmad is making some interesting (if slightly biological) noises.Click here to read more...
This week sees one major console release in Gran Turismo 6, the latest simulator from Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital. Would you like the good news or the bad news?
Good news first, GT6 has entered the UK chart in eighth place, which is impressive considering that it's releasing on what is now a last-gen console. However, its first weekend sales were five times fewer than Gran Turismo 5 saw in the same period. This isn't specific to the franchise - for example, we saw it with the likes of DmC - but hopefully we'll see the new console generation perk things up on the sales front.
In other chart news, Knack is thoroughly pointless and still outsells Super Mario 3D Land, while Killzone: Shadow Fall retains its top ten position. Xbox One exclusives fare far worse, lead by Forza 5 in 26th place, and currently outsold by Halo 4 - which came out this time last year.Click here to read more...
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is superb, varied and absolutely enormous - a lot of game for £30. And an wonderful stealthy, stabby, shooty mess of it for £8.99. SimplyCDKeys are willing willing to part with a Uplay code for relative peanuts, though of course, that does mean installing and using Uplay. Probably worth it in this case.
Credit to Looking4Glitches @ HUKD, who found this long before we did!
There's sometimes a world of difference between a good game and a good deal. Case in point: Marvel Adventures: Battle For Earth is not a good game, but The Game Collection will save you £4 vs ShopTo, who were otherwise the cheapest retailer around. Frankly, though, you should probably buy LEGO Marvel Super Heroes instead. Thanks to dontasciime @ HUKD!
Epigenesis Early Access | GamersGate | £2.00 (RRP: £6.99, save £4.99)
Epigenesis won this year's Build Something Unreal competition: a crazy anti-gravity ball game that rekindles the crazy pioneering spirit of Unreal mods. It's in early access, so so will update regularly over the coming months, but GamersGate will let you get involved for £4.99 less than Steam's official price.
PS3 500GB, The Last Of Us & Gran Turismo 6 | ShopTo/Play | £189.99
The PS4 may be out in the wild, but this deal allows you to get a brand new PS3 super-slim with half a terabyte of storage, along with Gran Turismo 6 and The Last Of Us. Or in other words, a great console, one of its hottest games of 2013 and its hottest Christmas game. For less than £200.
Thanks to andywedge @ HUKD!