The usual summer gaming drought is almost over. The Last of Us and Animal Crossing have helped me in over coming the lull in releases found at this time of year. With an exciting Autumn and Winter ahead of us, I’ve put together a quick run-down of what should hopefully be getting you excited (and your bank balance wary).
Note: I’m keeping this list exclusive to current gen titles, expect a similar post for next gen soon 😉 Also do let me know if I’ve missed something off the list (probably have).
Grand Theft Auto V
Probably the most anticipated title this generation since well Grand Theft Auto IV. This series has always had a hype about it, both good and bad. Mainstream media seems to love to hate it, while we gamers simply can’t get enough. I’ve always found this to be a series that’s hard to criticise, the scope and polish put into each title leave me astounded. The introduction of playing as multiple characters, having some missions played through different points of view, a beautiful looking in-game engine, awesome and engaging looking multi-player, the list of amazing features goes on and on. Grand Theft Auto V is looking to be one of the great swan songs of this generation.
I was quite underwhelmed with Splintercell: Conviction when it was released way back in 2007. I felt the emphasis on action and set pieces really ruined what the franchise had set for itself and quite a few people agreed. So when Blacklist was announced I was quite underwhelmed after still feeling burnt by its predecessor. But the previews have been quite favourable for the title and it’s been said that the title has gone back to its stealth roots, which I feel is reason enough to have it on your radar.
Lego: Marvel Superheroes
I’m quite late to the Lego video game party, but whether its Harry Potter, Batman or Lord of The Rings, I am always told the quality of these games is amazing. Avengers movie fever may be lowered (until the next one anyway) but this game is a reminder of just how rich for mining the Marvel universe is. If the quality of the writing and humour stays at the high level people have come to expect from Lego games, then we are in for a treat. Co-op play is a big feature of the title so expect this to become a big game at social gatherings, but I’m warning you now, I’ve got first dibs on playing as Lego IronMan.
Even with its horribly cute artstyle, this is a game which has had it’s fair share of gaming controversy. Originally down as a WiiU exclusive, Ubisoft chose to delay it’s early 2013 release in order to turn the game multi-platform, thus increasing it’s reach and sales. Fair enough I say, as the more people who get to play this, the better. This is a sequel to the stellar Rayman: Origins, a game which I feel reinvigorated the 2D platformer this gen. If you’re a fan of pure and simple fun and enjoy a good Co-op experience similar to something found in a Mario title, then you might want to check this out!
Do I really need to say anything? It’s a Pokemon RPG on the 3DS with fully polygonal 3D graphics and is set to be the first games in the main series to allow movement in ALL directions. The addition of 150 brand new Pokemon, a new setting and the recently announced Mega Evolutions, mean this could be the evolution of the series us die hard fans having been screaming for.
Saints Row IV
Bloody hell, this game sure has a troubled and prolonged development cycle. The closure of THQ had most fearing for the series and even though it was saved, it was still feared the game simply wouldn’t be same. In fact it seems the game has stuck to its slightly insane roots and has dared to go further into the relm of random. A dubstep gun (you heard), the promise of more in game dildos and what seems to be the most incredibly out there of story lines, mean this game will no doubt live up to the standards set by it’s predecessors. I fear the open world genre won’t ever the be same after this drops.
The PS Vita is certainly in need of quality titles to highlight on a technical level, just what the little powerhouse can do. I’ve been lucky enough to have played this and I must say it’s looking special. I can’t stress enough how close this game is to the PS3 iteration of Killzone. The 4v4 online multi-player is the stand out feature of the title and could finally be the game to make competitive multi-player genuinely work on handheld.
Batman: Arkham Origins
The Batman titles developed by Rocksteady became proof that if done right a game based on a comic book license could be stellar. With a truckload of source material to mine from it was great to see a developer who seemed to actually care about a license and not just want the money it would probably bring in. The combat system of these games have become that standard that all third person brawlers are compared to, with imitations not even coming close to surpassing it. This being a prequel means there is a lot to look forward to in terms of narrative as we see Batman in his early years struggling to tame an out of control city. And the introduction of an intriguing multi-player feature means the excitement for this is well earned.
Could this be the FPS to finally knock Call of Duty off it’s perch? Well from what I’m hearing and seeing it could be. To me Battlefield has always been the superior title, some people don’t enjoy it’s slightly low pace, but I wouldn’t have the titles any other way. It’s great to have a game which promotes genuine team work to come out victorious. The vehicular combat is also second to none and really helps to highlight just how vast some of the battlefields are. I think this really could be Battlefields year, with gamers seeming to be “over” what Call of Duty brings to the table. With an increase in the overall scope and some unbelievable looking destruction tech, this is probably my most wanted title of the year. Bring it on!
• Watch_Dogs • Beyond: Two Souls • Dragon’s Crown
• Killer is Dead • Disney: Infinity • Call of Duty: Ghosts