DriveClub's online issues have been well documented since release, and it was only fair that we held off publishing our review until Evolution had time to iron out the kinks and we could actually play it online. Two weeks since release and it’s ‘pencil’s down’ time.
First up, single-player. The campaign is a lengthy selection of events in which you earn fame points that in turn level you up, unlocking more events and faster vehicles. The events themselves have a heavy reliance on time trials over multi-vehicle racing, making it seem like a very lonely game at times. There are drift events too, but the less said about those the better. There are three star awards for each event based on criteria like finishing position, clean laps, lap times or beating racing line or drift challenges.
Races would be quite enjoyable if DriveClub didn't try so hard to make your life difficult. The rubber-banding is merciless, meaning you can never truly get away from the pack and in a straight line they’re much faster than you, even when driving the same car. It's the penalty system that really beggars belief though. Cutting corners and colliding heavily with other vehicles is punished by a stun to the car's acceleration for an indeterminate amount of time. In theory, this isn't too bad, but the game's implementation of it is a disaster. You'll be penalised for going wide on a corner (not exactly cheating), having a tire off the track and sometimes the most minor paint-trades are punished. Racing carefully isn't the key either as the aggressive AI racers will slam into you like a drunk every chance they get and frequently spin you off the track, as they speed off ahead it's obvious the same rules don't apply. Better yet, YOU will be given a stun penalty for their mistakes. That's not to say you won't find yourself getting away with murder every now and then too.Click here to read more...
FIFA 15 is an experimental art game in which you'll delve into Mandelbrot-inspired fractals to discover a hidden synesthesic world of... no, it's footy. This year's iteration is a bit faster and boasts superior player management. If you want in, SimplyGames will save you a fiver on the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Thanks to RK94 @ HUKD!
Platforms: PS4 | Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Bandai Namco | Devolver Digital
"If you miss the thrill of classic old-school shooters, the simple joy of blasting hordes of foes with oversized weapons and ferreting around for secrets, quicksaving and circle-strafing all the while, you should buy Shadow Warrior immediately."
I wrote this line a year ago in my Shadow Warrior PC review, and it still holds true today. Laughing at the limp linear patronising state of the FPS genre, Flying Wild Hog looked back at classic PC shooters and delivered a Wangtastic slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger of a game with huge explorable levels, massive guns and enormous hordes of deadly demons to point them at.
Now a pixel-perfect port is available on PS4 and Xbox One, meaning that console owners have the opportunity to find out what they've been missing. I could probably end the review here... but in all honesty, this is also an opportunity for me to right a wrong.
See, Shadow Warrior has matured like a fine wine, becoming more delicious with age, and a year of perspective makes me realise that I might have weighted certain aspects of the game too heavily even though my criticisms are still the same. On PC I accused many of its unique features of watering down and diluting the classic FPS formula I've loved since Doom, and they do, but a year on I find myself enjoying Shadow Warrior as the game it is rather than the game I wanted it to be.Click here to read more...
NBA 2K15 is an interactive sporting soap opera, and it's quite brilliant in that regard. Visual Concepts have been leading the line in terms of narrative framing for career modes for some time, but last year's next-gen version saw them really ratchet things up in terms of context and plotting for MyCareer, upping the stakes by giving you a nemesis to measure yourself against, a mute team buddy to give you inspiration and a kick up the arse when warranted, and interactions with coaches, GMs and the press.
This year, though, they've really gone the extra mile in cultivating a sporting narrative full of drama and emotion. You kick things off as an undrafted rookie with an obnoxious, Jerry Maguire-esque agent shopping you about low-to-mid-level teams for a trial. The greater the team's standing, the harder you'll have to work to impress them, and so on. Succeed, and you'll earn yourself a ten-day contract; do well in the mattering of games during that short time period, and you might win a spot on the rotation for the rest of the season. It's a true underdog setup that then spins out into regular team meetings, chats with your coach, practice sessions, contract negotiations, team-mates finding out about you entertaining the notion of signing with a another team, squabbles about playing opportunities, clashes with other rookies and players, all in the quest to become the greatest player you can be.
It's rather intoxicating stuff, aided by more fully-featured voice work from the characters you'll meet along the way. It must be said, however, that few NBA players have the acting chops of Shaq, and the monotonous drawl of the likes of Terrence Ross and Andre Drummond, not to mention the interesting timing of some lines that VC clearly didn't have the time to record twice, can make dialogue exchanges inadvertently hilarious.Click here to read more...
Minecraft (PS4) | The Game Collection (via Rakuten) | £9.99 (save £2 vs Base)
Voucher Code: LAUNCHFIVE
The Game Collection ran a £9.99 flash sale for the PS4 version of Minecraft last week, a serious saving, but are still sneakily retailing at the same price via their Rakuten store listing. You'll need to use voucher code LAUNCHFIVE though.
I... don't need to explain what Minecraft is, do I? Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
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...
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...
Sony's weekly PSN deals are now live and relatively underwhelming outside of a couple of major highlights.
As per usual, the dealhunter generals at HotUKDeals have cut through the guff to point out the smartest bargains. oUkTuRkEyIII points out that Urban Trial Freestyle is only £0.79 on PS3 and Vita, whereas jaystan notes that Battlefield 4 premium membership is a steal at £11.80 on PS3 (with a free PS4 upgrade) and Octodad is well worth a look for £5.79.
As a massive fan of Japanese gaming, however, I'd also recommend Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F's Vita version to any fellow Vocaloid enthusiasts... no? Okay then. Check out the full list of discounts (dominated by a disgusting torrent of Battlefield shortcut DLC) below.Click here to read more...
Minecraft (PS4) | The Game Collection | £9.99 (save £2 vs Base)
Flash sale! The Game Collection are currently selling the PS4 version of Minecraft for under a tenner until 12:00 midnight tonight, which is a serious saving. We'd have posted about it sooner, but TGC's servers seemingly collapsed under the demand earlier today, and are now back online and ready to do business.
I... don't need to explain what Minecraft is, do I? Thanks to darioredkin @ HUKD!
LEGO Batman 3 promises to go "Beyond Gotham," but TT Games are thinking bigger. Sure, the Justice League's bid to stop Braniac from abducting major cities takes our heroes around the world and even outside Earth's atmosphere, but at its core this is nothing less than a love letter to DC's entire sprawling universe. It's an attempt to cram in characters from throughout the most obscure parts of the canon, comics, Elseworld stories, the films and everything in between; from the snarling antihero we know today to Adam West's legendary 1960's romp.
And Batcow. And The Condiment King. And Mister Mxyzptlk. And... Kevin Smith?!
It's a veritable DC fan's dream crossover, but fans of the LEGO series can also expect some new gameplay features, enjoyable stud-collecting adventures and the gentle yet anarchic humour you'd expect from the Manchester-based studio.Click here to read more...
It's all in the name. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes us beyond the iconic city on a quest to save the entire world, drawing on a massive pool of characters from every part of the DC universe, fan favourites and Elseworld stories.
I recently sat down with TT Games producer Matt Ellison to discuss how they approached development, what new features to expect and how LEGO Batman 3 promises to be a DC superfan's dream crossover. Not to mention a blast for aficionados of Adam West: the one true Batman.
In my opinion. Watch it all above, including what Ellison other classic franchise TT Games would love to give the LEGO treatment if they could get hold of the license.
NBA 2K15 is finally here, and it's good. I mean really good. Visual Concepts have tweaked a fair few things in this latest instalment of the World's Best Sport Game Series, and one of the nifty new features is the ability to scan in your face for MyPlayer.
Check out my efforts in the quest for facial perfection in the video above.
I won't lie, I didn't hold out much hope that this would be any good. EA Sports' Game Face is utterly dreadful. Aside from it being a slow, clunky, often unworkable piece of crap, when it does have the decency to work, my Game Face creations all came out looking like someone had stuffed several slapped arses into a blender and then given the remains to Picasso.Click here to read more...
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot takes itself a tad too seriously in my book, but is still a worthwhile platformy shooter with some superb set pieces and smooth mechanics. It's best enjoyed in the gorgeous efinitive Edition, which can be yours for a shade under £18 courtesy of The Game Collection. Thanks to Chanchi32 @ HUKD!
Do you like tower defence games? If the answer is no, then I really don't know what the hell you're doing here. Go away. Shoo! This game is not for you.
If, however, you do like tower defence games, then you should really stick around, because Defense Grid is back, and it's probably the best tower defence game money can buy.
You will have to buy it, it's not an unbalanced free-to-play, lucky dip of a title, where you never know if everything's actually going to come together and work in a fashion that might prove fun. No, Defense Grid 2 will cost you. In fact, it'll cost you £18.49, and that's quite a lot for a tower defence game in my book.
The thing is, though, Defense Grid 2 is really rather good.
Like a good single malt, Defense Grid 2 is distilled excellence. It's not overly ambitious, it doesn't have lofty goals of flights of fancy, it simply wants to be the best tower defense game there is. And it does pretty damn well aiming for that goal.Click here to read more...
Invest in some underwear, folks! You're going to need spares. The Nostromo Edition for Alien: Isolation is under £35 at Gameseek, and you can knock a further two quid off of the price by using the code 2354682 at the checkout.
Great spot by BazingaBen at HUKD!
The racing game PS4 owners have been waiting for since launch is finally here and it's facing a hell of a lot of pressure after a prolonged development that has seen some mixed messages emerge during the course. It's not been the smoothest of launches either, with the online side of the game being blocked off to most gamers. So, our review is going to be a short while yet as there's no point reviewing half a game. In the meantime though, let's have a look at some of the highs and lows we've experienced in our first four days with the game.
With so many games opting to recreate real-life professional racing circuits, it's always nice to race on brand new track, especially road ones. DriveClub excels with its collection of unique tracks spread around countries like India, Scotland, Chile, Canada and Norway. If you found the recent Need For Speed entries' abundance of straight roads to be a bore, then you'll adore the curves and wriggles offered in DriveClub. To be honest, they feel more like rally tracks, minus the handbrake turns, which is just fantastic seeing as rallying has been on the backfoot in recent years on PlayStation.Click here to read more...
There’s a lot to be excited about with next week’s releases. Take a trip to Pandora’s moon with friends, explore creepy mansions packed with gibbering lunatics and well, probably buckets of giblets too. Fans of racing are sorted this week too (you know, because DriveClub is probably still offline) as they get to choose between a super light set of four wheels or mud-encrusted bikes. Forget all those pretenders though, what you really want to do is drop a ball and watch it bounce around...
Exciting! Of all the early exclusives on the Xbox One, this is the one that had most PS4 owners seething with jealousy. If you're yet to experience Peggle, you should really go and check out a PC or mobile demo and then be prepared to throw money at the sequel on PSN next week. There's no word on pricing yet, but we expect it to be around a tenner.Click here to read more...
This week, we talk about Driveclub's shambolic development period and release, we look further at the latest controversy surrounding Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed: Unity, and we discuss what makes a next-gen game.
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.
We can't get enough of Monolith's Shadow of Mordor here at Dealspwn and we thoroughly recommend you dust off your Uruk hunting skills to get a taste too. Turns out the Nemesis system has managed to back up its bold ambitions with a neat set of mechanics that sees enemies remember you and you can even brainwash them into fighting for you as you infiltrate the highest ranks of Sauron's army. There's an excellent set of skills available to take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses too to create unique experiences throughout.
Thanks to mcoliver88 at HotUkDeals.
Ok, bear with me here. Buy this on PS3 and not only will you get a code for 30 days of play in this subscription-based MMORPG, but you will also get the option to upgrade to the PS4 version for free if you register by the end of the year. Once you do though, you'll no longer be able to use the PS3 version. We're presuming there'll be a hefty PS4 download involved too. This is a great incentive to give the RPG a go regardless of which Sony platform you're using. Considering the PS4 disc version is at least £20, this really is a no brainer.
Thanks to Transformers at HotUkDeals.