If you've decided you're talking to football again after England's even worse than expected performance, you might want to take a look at last season's Football Manager title which is down to its cheapest price yet. Expect the usual warm addiction to settle in from your first pre-season friendly right until your family drag you away from it six months later. Fans of a more old school addition can also fire up the Classic Mode which cuts many of the modern features to make it more like the older versions of the game.
Developer: Carbine Studios
Here we are – finally at end of the review that just wouldn’t stop coming (blame Carbine accordingly for their gigantic game, I say.) There’s still a lot to get through before the verdict, but here’s a helpful hub if you’ve missed my previous instalments or want a refresher on my previous musings on WildStar.
We begin this instalment by taking a look at the Limited Action Sets and the AMP system, which acts as the skills and talent tree for WildStar respectively. As long as players are out of combat, the flexibility and user friendly nature of the LAS is one of my favourite aspects of Carbine’s efforts. Being able to swap out abilities at a moment’s notice ensures players can try new tactics and combos, along with the option of powering up equipped abilities with Tier Points to unlock bonus effects. On top of this, being able to buy new abilities from the menu without having to travel to a trainer is a godsend, as it means players no longer have to make their way back to the nearest one upon levelling up (something a lot of MMOs still do, annoyingly.)
Click here to read more...
Expedition was a fun little jaunt containing one of the best maps in the entire game thus far, but with players still clamouring for content despite a major pending update, Titanfall's second map pack can't come soon enough. Especially for season pass holders who already (and ill-advisedly) parted with their cash ahead of time.
Respawn boss Vince Zampella has some good and bad news for you.Click here to read more...
The latest trailer for Warhammer 40K-themed FPS Space Hulk: Deathwing is turning heads and raising eyebrows. Both on account of it being astonishingly pretty, but also because it claims to be entirely comprised of "in-game" footage.
To put this in perspective: each Storm Bolter shell casing is individually embossed.Click here to read more...
Battlefield: Hardline's beta has come to an end, raising more questions than it answered. Is it too similar to Battlefield 4 to be worth buying? Should it be released and priced as DLC? Will you ever behold a more gloriously epic motorbike jump?
The jury is most definitely out, but we'll get another chance to sample Visceral and DICE's controversial collaboration later this year.Click here to read more...
The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing and, as with every year it seems, that's meant a whole bunch of sites and industry luminaries leaping into the discussion regarding whether or not these semi-regular massive sales are any good for the industry. Do they engineer situations where consumers simply wait for the next Steam Sale or Humble Bundle to come along? Does it matter that we all wind up with enormous backlogs filled with games we'll never have the time to play? Are the games we buy devalued in a broader sense than simply the economic?
I await the Steam Summer Sale (and Christmas bonanza too for that matter) with a small degree of trepidation. The allure of the phrase 80% off is powerful indeed and I fear for my bank account. You'd think that working for a deals website for half a decade would have saved me money, but in truth it's just crumbled my resolve because every time I see a good deal, my inner Dealspwny nudges me into buying it. I know that I'm not alone in this -- if there's a game you've been um-ing and ahh-ing about for some time and suddenly it gets a fat price drop for eight hours in a flash sale, that's often enough. The fear of missing out on a good deal can sometimes be the most powerful purchasing incentive.
But I'm not sure that's a bad thing. It's certainly not a bad thing for us consumers. A phrase that I often hear around this time of year is "meaning to buy" as in "Oooohhh, I've been meaning to buy that for ages!" I myself picked up several games in the Steam Sale that I've been contemplating for a while, titles like Far Cry 3 and Prison Architect. And it's not that they were terribly expensive before, it's just that given the state of my timetable, given that these days playing games simply for fun (so without an agenda for review or video purposes) is relatively rare, I always found an excuse not to buy them.Click here to read more...
Sang-Froid: Tales Of Werewolves, Windforge, Final Slam 2, Lyne, Critical Mass & Towers of Altrac aren't necessarily the best games you'll ever play, but Indie Gala have successfully out Steam-saled the Steam sale. 88p for six Steam codes is a steal - prepare for even more games you probably won't play, but feel good to own.
Another day, another clutch of Steam deals worth bringing to your attention. If you haven't yet played Dishonored, it's high time you did at an almost insultingly cheap £2.49, while fans of grand strategy can get their fill with Europa Universalis V for £8.94 and Civilization V hitting its £4.99 de facto deal level yet again.
Banished is also 50% off, clocking in at £7.49. I've not played it myself, but am reliably informed that the engrossing city-builder is very good indeed, and an example of Early Access done right.
Finally, Train Simulator 2014 gives me another excuse to link to that epic Sean Bean trailer. Enjoy, Sharpe fans. And you Game Of Thrones Johnny-come-latelies.
Flash Sales & Community Choice | Expire 02:00
A couple of standout bargains to be had here. Steamworld Dig is an absolute steal at £1.74, since I praised the 3DS original in our full review. An outstanding steampunk platformer that offers genuine exploration and excellent procedural generation.
Beat Hazard Ultra (£1.39) and Star Wars Battlefront II (£2.20) are also well worth a look. Consider checking out GameRanger to replace the now defunct Gamespy server browser.
There's nothing quite like a wave of scathing reviews to smash the price of a game down. Game are clearing copies of the Extermination Edition for a very re-sellable £3. The game's campaign is only about six hours long and the co-op struggles to run smoothly enough to bother. Multiplayer fans may be able to persevere with the competitive options though. Using the motion scanner to track down other players playing as xenos can be a damn intense experience. Playing as the aliens should have been better though, as their controls are really unresponsive. We know curiosity is going to get the better of you eventually, so you might as well get it as cheap as possible if you want to take a look at this train wreck.
Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.
Intrepid (and patient) space explorers will be well away with the latest Steam Summer Sale update, at least, so long as you don't own Kerbal Space Program or the Endless Space: Emperor Edition. Both are excellent, time-consuming and available at significant discounts. Compelling RTS Company Of Heroes 2 is cheap as chips now that the Western Front Armies expansion has launched, while Child Of Light is well worth checking out if you didn't pick up Ubisoft's gorgeous poetic JRPG at release.
Flash Sales (Expire 02:00)
For me, the ace in the pack has to be The Secret World at £9.99. Funcom's buy-to-play MMORPG is one of the most unique, compelling and atmospheric MMOs to have ever released, and rewards every second you put in with its recklessly innovative mission design and solo-friendly campaign. The DLC 'issues' are also exceptional and well worth the Massive Edition upgrade.
I pledged to keep an eye out for a deal on the Massive Edition in an unabashed love letter to Funcom's bizarre yet brilliant experiment, so consider that promise fulfilled. If twisted bodywork is more your cup of tea, though, I also recorded some ridiculous footage of Next Car Game. It's still in early access, but as ridiculous as you'd expect from Bugbear Entertainment.
As always, tell us what you're buying, or if the Steam Summer Sale is leaving you unseasonably cold!
I love Titanfall. Though light on cosmetic customisation and all the extraneous fluff we're used to from modern console shooters, it delivered where it counts: numerous exceptional maps and forward-thinking mechanics that makes most other games feel flat and sluggish. Also massive robots. Who doesn't like massive robots?
We scored it accordingly, but over the last few months, things have taken a turn for the bizarre and macabre. Despite a great new map pack hitting all platforms and the core gameplay remaining effortlessly entertaining, Titanfall's matchmaking has somehow been getting worse, not better. Due both to a declining player base and some foibles of the Azure cloud servers (and the last update being broken), we've often had to wait several minutes just to find a session even in the most popular gametype, while the community becomes increasingly irate at the lack of customisation options and modes.
The moaning began. Understandably. Something has to give, and soon, because a shooter I play on a daily basis is now more difficult to recommend than empirically worse games.
Thankfully, Respawn has now revealed a massive new update that... if it works... will fix almost everything we had a problem with; from the overpowered Carbine to the paucity of gametypes.Click here to read more...
Castle Crashers is £0.99 until 18:00 this evening.
Check your Steam, PSN and XBLA backlog, and if you don't own it, now would be the time to rectify that mistake. The Behemoth's colourful brawler is still one of the most enjoyable local co-op games out there. The other flash sales aren't quite as inspiring, mind.
GRID: Autosport releases this Friday, and in case you're interested, it's really rather good. Grippy handling, a wealth of content and great AI make for a huge and polished racer -- which is definitely worth buying on PC to benefit from the full 1080/60 visual experience, 4K texture pack and a longer-lasting community. Amazingly, CDKeys are charging a paltry £16.25 for a limited black edition Steam Code, which saves you roughly £14 versus the standard edition.
Remember to like their Facebook page to receive an extra 5% off. Thanks to greysquaill @ HUKD!
We've long known that Call Of Duty needs more mechs and lasers, and Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare is fit to deliver courtesy of a whole heap of implausible futuristic kit. Behold: directed energy weapons, drones, AI shields and a battlesuit that allows you to run faster, jump higher and teabag with the force of a hydraulic ram.
It all looks a bit Crysis to us, the exoskeleton especially, but that can't be a bad thing. What do you make of Sledgehammer's new direction?
Ubisoft should be congratulated for taking risks on experimental digital games, and this one's a doozy. Valiant Hearts provides non-combat puzzles set in World War One, designed to show the human dramas behind the miserable carnage. It's very different, educational, thought-provoking and frankly the sort of thing that we'd like to see more of. Anyway, it's out now and the PC version will set you back £9.00 at Greenman Gaming with their APIZS9-460INI-BL4WZ9 voucher code.
Wildstar is the big new MMORPG of the moment, and Carl has been keeping us up to date with the very latest in his epic protracted review. The short version is that Wildstar is more fun, colourful and plain bigger than most MMOs out there and is likely to earn its subscription.
If you want to get in on the ground floor, you can grab the game and a month of play time for less than £27 at Greenman Gaming. Be sure to use the APIZS9-460INI-BL4WZ9 voucher code at checkout!
Today's big-ticket deals are a mixed bag with some serious highlights, which we've linked directly to our reviews. Excellent fantasy 4X game Age Of Wonders III is on sale for £14.99, while tough hex-based strategy title Blackguards is well worth considering at £10.19. Torchlight 2 is no stranger to cheap deals, but worth grabbing if you don't own the pitch-perfect dungeon crawler already, while complete editions for Metro: Last Light and Fallout New Vegas are on hand for thrifty completionists.
However, the biggest bargain is to be found in the community choice section, as you can pick up Blackwell Legacy for a ridiculous £0.39 until 02:00! A sure-fire hit for adventure game fans, who might be better suited in picking up the £1.49 bundle.
Flash Sales (Expire 02:00)
Nidhogg is easily the cream of the crop here. Many gamers loved the idea of a hectic local multiplayer fencing game, but couldn't bring themselves to stump up £11 for the privilege. £3.73 might well be more your speed. Here's our full review. Otherwise, Space Hulk is more palatable at a cool £1.90, deeply mediocre as it is.
Developer: Codemasters Racing
GRID Autosport doesn't have an in-car cockpit view. It has two in-car cockpit views.
Despite releasing a scant twelve months after GRID 2, Codemasters' latest track racer addresses every criticism that fans levelled at last year's mixed effort. And then some. Awkward drift-heavy handling has been replaced by tight grippy simulation. Instead of no driving assists whatsoever, we can access every optional helping hand imaginable, letting us scale the experience to our specifications. An idiotic story about social media gives way to a freeform campaign that Milestone would be proud of, complete with five totally different disciplines and AI that fights back, preparing drivers for an enormous multiplayer suite powered by the RaceNet sevice.
In short it's everything that dedicated racing fans wanted from GRID 2... but by tuning, tweaking and expanding upon practically everything in the package, GRID Autosport is also deeply impressive in its own right.
You could even argue that it's five track racers in one, spanning TOCA to tyre-shredding street showdowns.Click here to read more...
Relic have listened to their fanbase. It's taken a year, but the Public Games List option is now absolutely A Thing you can have in Company of Heroes 2 thanks to the arrival of a standalone expansion pack that sees the focus of the war move from the Siberian wastes and the Eastern Front across to a whole bunch of battlefields in and around Belgium. Finally, finally there's a server list to make configuring online multiplayer matches that much easier. It's about damn time.
In many ways, The Western Front Armies feels like an old-school expansion rather than the DLC drops we tend to see these days. Though there's nothing new per se for singleplayer strategy fans to get stuck into in terms of campaign missions, but TWFA's release heralds the arrival of two new factions: the US Allied forces and the Oberkommando West Axis army for a bunch of skirmish shenanigans, and online battles. Company of Heroes has always been a series where the offline components are really just the means by which you get to grips with the depth of tactical systems before taking your strategic brain online and pitting your abilities against other armchair generals across the globe.
The Western Front Armies doesn't require the base game so if you want to jump straight in at the deep end, you absolutely can, but here's how it works:
You're essentially purchasing the use of the new factions, along with the usual COH2 multiplayer modes, and the various tweaks and improvements that Relic have made over the last twelve months. You can buy the use of the US or Oberkommando West forces individually for around a tenner, or pay five quid more to bag them both. That needs you all of teh COH2 multiplayer goodness you could want (Theatre of War content aside), along with AI skirmish options for your purchased factions if you fancy a little bit of offline practice. You won't be able to play as the Soviet or Wehrmacht forces if you don't own the base game, but you will be able to play against COH2 veterans who haven't upgraded, so the player pool is kept nice and large. Better yet, there's no real map restriction. As well as the eight new maps included with TWFA, you'll be able to play on any of the original COH2 maps as long as one of the players in your match has the base game.
But you can buy the complete base game for less than the price of one multiplayer faction in TWFA, so what's new?Click here to read more...
Are you ready for big big savings? Obscure Electric Six references aside, the question is valid, because the latest Steam flash sales are actually rather tasty indeed. Fantastic brawler Guacamelee Gold Edition is astonishingly competitive with change for £2, while Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed and DiRT 3 are both DiRT cheap.
The wildcard is StarForge, an early access procedural craftbox that makes big promises but isn't guaranteed to deliver on any of them ever. Buy at your own risk.