The end of August saw what was possibly the most ridiculous fortnight of the year so far. We had a windfall of big-budget, outstanding titles from Saints Row IV to PayDay 2 to Disney Infinity to Rayman Legends. Oh, and Sam Fisher and Suda51 and a bunch of Sectoids showed up too. As did Platinum Games.
As such, this has been one of the toughest Game of the Month pieces to sort out. Not in terms of the outright winner, perhaps, but the runners-up have been hotly contested. And then there's all of the fantastic indie titles such as SteamWorld Dig and Papers, Please and Gone Home and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Shelter.
Here in the UK, we've actually had some sunshine this August. But thankfully, there were so many reasons for staying inside this month, safe from that massive cancerous ball of fire in the sky. Let's take a look at the best of them...
Saints Row IV -- Saints Row IV might not be the game that the die-hard Saints Row 2 fans have hoped for, but neither is it the bundle of juvenalia that The Third became. Instead, Volition have taken the best of both worlds and forged a fantastically self-aware opus that proves phenomenally engrossing whether you're dipping into it for a quick, cathartic blast after a long day or settling in for a few hours of extended gameplay. It's wonderfully referential and surprisingly refined in its approach to mixing things up, it's frequently funny and provides a challenge consistently even when you fear you're about to become too powerful. But best of all, it's a whole damn heap of fun, whether alone or playing with a friend. 9/10
Papers. Please -- It is hard to deny that on paper (pun not intended) it doesn’t come across as a game that would be any fun, and admittedly it doesn’t bring anything new to the industry in terms of mechanics, but what it does do is blend everything together into an addictive and entertaining (if regularly frustrating) package that, just like its aesthetic design, ultimately create a memorable experience. It shouldn’t work, it shouldn’t be fun, but what Lucas Pope has crafted with Papers, Please is a pixellated triumph that blends point-and-click mechanics and a charming artstyle with increasingly fiendish observation puzzles. This is one indie game you should not miss. Glory to Arkstozka! 9/10
Rayman Legends -- It's effortlessly charming, fiendishly challenging, mechanically sublime, and stuffed with enough content to keep us coming back for more long into the winter months. It's a blast solo or with friends, whether you're playing together directly, or trying to best one another's scores in asynchronous fashion in the challenges. Put simply, Rayman Legends isn't just one of the best platformers we've seen in twenty years, but one of the very best games. Absolutely stunning. 10/10
So if you want to bag a copy of Rayman Legends, all you have to do in order to get involved is to let us know what your favourite game of the year thus far has been.
The competition will close on Thurs 5th September at noon.
This month's winner will be chosen by rummaging through haggis for a sign.
A few little house rules:
- UK entrants only please
- No duplicate accounts
- Please use a valid email address
- Do feel free to comment more than once in the thread, but we'll only count you once for entry.