An absolute blast from the recent past. Saints Row: The Third is a crazy adrenaline-fuelled sandbox that pushes fun factor to the absolute maximum, and is still well worth checking out. For all you last-gen holdouts enjoying all the big savings without shelling out for new hardware, the Full Package is available for a paltry £7.98 from Zavvi as a PS3 Essential or Xbox One Classic title. Thanks to badger2609 @ HUKD!
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
The release schedules are fattening up nicely now and we have a great selection of titles hitting the stores this week. Like hiding in lockers? Well the horror fan in you might find something Alien-related to enjoy, while the perv in you is also catered for via the latest browser-troubling release from Japan. PS4 racing fans rejoice as a certain much delayed racer is finally on the starting grid and XO owners, get those creative juices flowing for your answer to LBP. Failing that you’ll have to settle for some basketball or running around Hong Kong with a meat cleaver and handcuffs.
Creative Assembly’s title ditches the pulse rifles for a survival horror experience which seems so well suited to the Alien universe we don’t know why it’s taken someone this long to try it. Early reviews are largely positive and we’ll have our own soon. Be sure to check out our past coverage below.
Best Price: Simply Games: £32.85 (PS4/XO)Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 (reviewed) | Xbox 360
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Cards on the table. Fair warning. Be advised. I am not a big fan of Naruto Shippuden.
I love the premise, the setting, the character designs, the amazing powersets and abilities (those wild and disturbing Kugutsu puppets are my favourite), the art style, the themes and Kakashi in all of his slightly pervy glory, but I've never been able to get into the series no matter how many times I've tried. God knows I've tried.
For me the pacing kills it, the drawn-out interminable waiting between interesting events and the hours of angsty posturing when characters should be fighting. Sometimes I wish that I could just skip between the superbly-choreographed battles, preferably with subtitles so I don't have to listen to Maile Flanagan's horrendous nails-on-a-blackboard English dub.
That's probably why I really dig on Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. Everything I like about the series is present and correct -- the diverse well-designed characters with incredible abilities and OTT climactic brawls -- except that the overarching narrative has been replaced by just enough non-canonical premise to hold it together. Unfortunately, I'm also not convinced that it's worth forty quid.Click here to read more...
Microsoft has announced their next selection of Xbox Live Games With Gold, and they're... okay.
Xbox One Gold Members get to try out Chariot, a new cooperative platformer, though sadly also still have to put up with the frankly offensive Crimson Dragon for another month.
Meanwhile Xbox 360 owners get Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and a surprise offering in the form of Shadowrun, which is an odd FPS adaptation of the legendary roleplaying setting. We should give some credit to silverchriz @ HUKD for that last spot!
The Xbox Live Deals Of The Week are now live, and once again, Xbox One owners don't have much to shout about. 33% savings on a full-price download and shortcut DLC? Shameful display.
The real action, as per usual, can be found on Xbox 360. Gold Members can net some discounts on the Skate series and crazy scrolling platformer Abyss Odyssey, while an Ubisoft publisher sale is open to everyone. Beyond Good And Evil HD is a steal for £1.68, even if it's the only thing you buy.
You can find all the links and reductions below,
straight-up lifted from courtesy of Major Nelson. Credit must also be given to yarkiebrown @ HUKD!
Call me crazy, but I don't think I'm in Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2's target audience.
As far as I can tell, it's aimed at fans of an animated television show that turned Pac-Man into a totally radical 90s mascot even though it's now 2014. Whoops. Our spherical yellow pal now has arms and legs, lives in a town called Pacopolis, fights the evil Betrayus and hangs out with a disposable cast with names like Spiral and Cylindria. He's basically Sonic, then. You'd therefore expect a tie-in to be a fairly simple 3D platformer with a basic hub town and some rail shooting segments, but in an incredible twist that's exactly what Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2 is.
However, never let it be said that I won't give a game a fair shake. It's not going to set the gaming world on fire and we've seen the same licensed template hundreds of times -- Scott Pilgrim this ain't -- but it does at least make eating things really, really satisfying.
Click here to read more...
Another year, another spectacular season of Formula 1 racing, another Codemasters tie-in. F1 2014 is out next month on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, giving racing fans their authentic simulation fix without having to buy into any new hardware to calm the shakes.
Having tested the in-development project at Namco's UK headquarters last week, I can report that it is indeed an F1 racing game. I'm not sure what else really needs to be said on that front.
Despite being a relatively early build awaiting visual polish and optimisation, it's clear that the handling is still delightfully scalable and the experience feels authentically F1 thanks to the updated team rosters, cars and the addition of the Sochi Autodrom. New players can leap straight into a one-lap evaluation, which automatically grades their skill level and sets the rebalanced difficulty appropriately, whereas veterans can get to grips with ERS and the new fuel limits.
However, rather than slogging away at a full season (which can now be approached in marathon sessions or smaller chunks), I decided to revisit my favourite feature from F1 2013: the Scenario Mode. Newly expanded in F1 2014, it's another selection of bite-sized challenges that throw you straight into an exciting situation and forces you to overcome increasingly long odds -- many of which are drawn directly from recent racing history and feature some well-observed cutscenes whether you win or lose.
Once again, I suspect that completing your gold medal set is going to be one of the most compelling parts of the package. Since I'll be describing many of these challenges in detail, I suppose you could argue that we need a spoiler alert. Maybe.Click here to read more...
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
For many, Titanfall was the vanguard of a year of games that didn't live up to their hype. I am not one of those people.
Titanfall has kept me coming back week after week, month after month, because its gameplay is evergreen. I'm not just throwing myself through the grinder for randomised loot or arbitrary metagame levels, rather I'm playing simply because the thrill of snapping necks, dropping mechs and effortlessly traversing an entire map without touching the ground is nigh-on perfect, and worth every minute. The small yet dedicated fanbase clearly feels the same, enjoying the fact that the skill ceiling is as high as the lofty maps themselves.
So the third and final map pack is Respawn's opportunity to go gonzo; to create a crazy, visually diverse and utterly innovative last hurrah before presumably concentrating on a multi-platform sequel.
This didn't happen, sadly, but IMC Rising is still an excellent expansion that subscribes to a familiar template: two undeniably brilliant maps and a third that reveals a unique edge after a few matches.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | PS4 | Wii U | Xbox 360 | Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Avalanche Software | Ninja Theory (combat)
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Guardians Of The Galaxy deserves a good game. This isn't it.
We were initially thrilled at the news that Disney Infinity 2.0 would be doing the heavy lifting when it came to Guardians' movie tie-in. Instead of a terrible Activision-published atrocity, we were promised a lengthy piece of fanservice including high quality miniatures and production values, boasting a story from none other than Brian Michael Bendis himself, available for £15 alongside the Star-Lord and Gamora figures. What a fantastic idea.
And what horrible execution. Disney Infinty 2.0 ultimately triumphs despite its issues, but the Guardians Of The Galaxy playset is one of the worst games I've suffered through in years. Other sites seem to have included this expansion in their reviews for the base game, but I'd like to discuss what is effectively a DLC pack in detail so you can be forewarned against throwing bad money after good.
Or, in other words, buy the Rocket Raccoon figure and steer clear of this sorry shovelware.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | PS4 | Wii U | Xbox 360 | Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Avalanche Software | Ninja Theory (combat)
Publisher: Disney Interactive
There's no such thing as a "good game for kids." There are only good games, some of which are more accessible than others. Take Minecraft, designed to encourage experimentation and creativity regardless of age. Or Mario, beloved by millions despite punishing each pitfall with instant death.
Half of Disney Infinity 2.0 gets this absolutely right. The toybox mode is utterly fantastic no matter how old you are. Create your own levels, invite some friends and then watch your favourite Disney and Marvel toys come to life. It's genuinely magical.
Sadly the other half displays the same lazy level design, shonky mechanics and lack of care that typifies so-called kids games. "Who cares? It's just for children."
Fun fact: everyone deserves quality software. So thank goodness that Disney Infinity 2.0's better half is also its biggest by far!Click here to read more...
This was initially set to be a FPS title, but after the success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown -and a bit of fanboy outrage- 2K opted for a third-person perspective and shoved in some tactical options to make it more in-line with the traditional XCOM experience. It's a little rough around the edges and full of all the grey corridors you can imagine, but there's fun to be had ordering around your Mad Men-era squad. The story is surprisingly strong in parts too.
Thanks to Irah at HotUkDeals.
Destiny has been a huge seller, but FIFA is bound to smash it off the top spot next weekend and is a good shout for Xmas #1. Other brave (foolish?) games are releasing the same week too, including the eagerly awaited Gauntlet remake and the intriguing murder mystery title, the Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Check out the full lineup for the week below, along with links to our past coverage and the best online pre-order prices.
As a console gamer, I’m really jealous that this is only coming to PC for the foreseeable future. I blame this newfound addiction to Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. Gauntlet is a true original brand though and we can’t wait to see its modern update. It has four player co-op of course.
Pre-Order: Steam £14.99Click here to read more...
Platform: PS4 (Tested) | Xbox One | PS3 | Xbox 360
This review was always going to a tough one to write. On one hand, this is my first new-gen title, and the choice to make the jump for Destiny puts a lot of expectation on it. On the other hand, the difficultly of separating naturally-grown excitement from the flow of mainstream hype has complicated matters, to the point that our Editor Matt laughed as he handed me the job. Add on top of this the fray that has been other reviews coming out within days of release (and the fact I hate review scores – there, I said it) as well as a huge focus on the budget for the new franchise, and it’s been a little daunting in all honesty. Still, a week of play in Bungie’s long-awaited new IP has allowed me to see most of what the game has to offer, so to hell with the numeric opinions of others, and to hell with the budget (I couldn’t care less if it cost $500 million or a fiver to make) – it’s time for me to help you decide if it’s worth your time and money.
Let’s go over the basics for any newcomers in our ranks. At its core, Destiny is a persistent online shooter that sees players choose between three class types and races, each with their own distinct abilities and cosmetic choices. From there, players are charged with levelling up and finding the shiniest of loot by either jumping into PvE encounters or PvP fights, with more content unlocking as the player’s level increases. It’s part MMO and part co-op encounters, all tied together with FPS combat that we know and love, but it’s also not quite like anything else that’s come before it. Despite the similar mechanics, it’s not Halo, and it’s not World of Warcraft either. The nearest thing to it (and I can’t believe I’m bringing it up again) is Defiance – the game that never realised its potential. In fact, there are a quite a few issues that Destiny shares with Trion’s online shooter, but there is one difference that separates the two – Destiny is fun to play for all the right reasons, and that in my mind overshadows the problems that are there.Click here to read more...
While lacking the expansion DLC content provided by the individual Game of the Year editions, this is still tremendous value for money as Borderlands 2 alone is generally the same price as this collection. Gearbox's cel-shaded FPS series is more of an RPG take on the genre, which has been adored by millions since launch. Newbies should note that these games are much more enjoyably when played online if you don't want to face a lonely grind. Get involved!
Thanks to Buzzdurband at HotUkDeals.