Borderlands 2 is one of the unmissable videogame experiences of the year.
It is survival horror right down to the limited effectiveness of your pistol and the scarcity of resources and manages to be thoroughly unnerving despite its low pixel density. The storyline has you questioning everything – even your own character – throughout and is the thing that will keep you coming back if you can bear the incredible tension the game’s atmosphere creates.
While the power of the 3DS can occasionally be seen working to bring about the delightful art styles and adding some lovely depth to the animations, this is essentially the same substance as every Layton game so far. That is by no means a bad thing. The puzzles offer plenty of variety and there is a lot of content to get you started, even without venturing into the mini-games and the daily puzzle downloads.
Call of Duty: Ghosts does a good job on all accounts. The single player eventually goes in a direction which I liked and enjoyed, while the multiplayer holds onto what it does best, with a few tweaks to the formula. It even manages to straddle the generational divide quite well, even though the current machines suffer badly in comparison. However, it is generally more of the same, and really doesn't push itself hard enough to overhaul and redefine what Call of Duty can be.
Tearaway is the kind of game that the PS Vita has demanded since launch, something crafted and tailored to its form and its capabilities, but rather than feeling forced, creating an easy sense of wonder fun and inventiveness. Continuing Media Molecule’s push to unleashing our creativity, it also features a story, a world and creations which delight at every turn, no matter how old you are.
As a package, it's a superb launch title and a great first person shooter. Killzone's back, and we can't wait to see where it takes us next.
We need more games like Resogun. Housemarque have once again proven that they're the masters of innovation through old school design. It's a stunning game, and perhaps one of the best to show off your new hardware. It's rhythmic, satisfying, hardcore and ultimately a joy to play, and well worth as many hours of your time as it can steal.
There's some great design here, but it's joined by some poor choices and visuals. While children may have a blast, the difficulty and controls are a bit strange, as if they weren't designed with them in mind but everything else was. It's just utterly average and repetitive, despite there being an underlying potential for something superb.
NBA 2K14 is a gorgeous looking game, with a vastly improved MyCareer mode and an in depth MyGM mode. MyTeam is something that will take plenty of time to get into and enjoy. However the inclusion of microtransactions and the need for an internet connection have a major impact on how easy it is to recommend this game. Still, it's the best basketball game on the market.
Mario Party: Island Tour is ultimately disappointing. It looks and sounds like a first-party Nintendo product but a great deal of the fun has been stripped out of it by tedium. The best way to experience the game also requires each participant to own a 3/2DS which makes it one of the most expensive multiplayer experiences out there (but cheaper for it being download play enabled).
Just remember to turn off the lights and try not to cover your eyes, because you're in for one hell of a ride.
Strider is an enjoyable game but it's not one that particularly stands out against others of its type. It is cleverly designed, as this style of game must be, but not so much that it earns the right to sit alongside the genre's ageing greats like Symphony of the Night and it's not quite up to the complex replayability of modern classics like Shadow Complex. It's a decent game that generally looks very nice and will while away a few hours, but you won't be rushing to tell your friends about it and you might not want to return after completing it.
It remains one of the best 3DS titles, and now takes its place among PlayStation's best too. It might not be an extremely lengthy affair, but when it comes to art direction, well paced gameplay, and a brilliant sense of exploration, SteamWorld remains king.
Splitting Ground Zeroes back into a separate release was always going to be contentious. Thankfully, there is a lot more gameplay and depth than the early reports of the main mission's length suggested and it's full of potential for exploration, fan service and Kojima's particular brand of hackneyed allegories. Unfortunately, there is still too little primary content to justify the £29.99 price tag or even the £19.99 digital pricing for PS3/360, so I can't recommend this to anyone but a die hard MGS fan.
While the narrative might not have the same impact as previous games, it's somewhat more of a down-to-earth tale of an ordinary man with extraordinary powers, and that's an exciting new direction for the series to take.
If you're eyeing up the PlayStation 3 version of Xtreme Legends then I can't strongly recommend it. New characters are always great, as are new stages, but the lack of thought put into the addition to Ambition Mode is disappointing to say the least. The same negative applies to the PlayStation 4's Complete Edition though doesn't impact on the game's other contents, taken from the original Dynasty Warriors 8.
If repetition isn't a problem for you, however, and you just want to blast-off into space and shoot down enemies by the bucketload, then this game is definitely something you should look into.
Trials Fusion continues the tradition of finely balanced frustration and joy that always made previous games in the series so compelling. The online multiplayer situation is a little unclear at launch but this series has always been mostly about the leaderboard struggles and Fusion delivers that in spades. The user-generated content adds plenty of longevity, even beyond the promise of those six DLC packs over the next year and the new trick system – frustrating and difficult to master as it is – is a perfect fit for the game.
The ability to play across all of your systems, and transfer effortlessly between them, cannot be overstated, and the fact that you only have to pay once for it is an ideal that some companies are sadly still avoiding. Whilst there isn't necessarily much of a traditional challenge to the game, working your way through the different worlds is so enjoyable that you'll barely notice.
It's very faithful to the movie and manages to embellish enough so as to not be a simple retelling, yet doesn't quite cover enough ground to be anything other than a companion to the films. It's probably the best Hobbit game you're going to get – just don't expect a massive deviation from the LEGO formula.