Despite a multi-player mode that's difficult to love and a pretty atrocious story, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare pleasantly surprised. It adds enough to the core of the game – the infantry action and gun-play – that the campaign never felt like a chore and none of the set pieces and vehicles outstayed their welcome. A new engine and new ideas breath new life into a series that was in serious danger of turning stale.
With a driving model that feels unique MotoGP 14 is the (almost) lone two-wheeler in a sea of car games and it does its sport proud. If what you care about is high-speed, precision driving and the tension of catastrophe lying in wait, then MotoGP 14 could just be your favourite new racing game.
Xenonauts is a faithful modernization of a classic. It retains the features that made X-COM such a tense and memorable game, with base invasions and a gigantic open-ended campaign of depth and freedom. If Firaxis' revamped take on the series felt a little too directed and linear for you, then Xenonauts is likely to delight. By removing the fat and giving us a non-headache inducing UI, the games strengths are allowed to shine through and they remained undimmed by the passage of time.
A vast galaxy, a varied tech-tree, and a million and one decisions to make or automate. Distant Worlds: Universe is perhaps the finest 4x Space game in a generation, certainly since Galactic Civilizations 2. It's a challenging and complex game packed with features that allows you to choose just how you want to play it, while accommodating a wide variety of play-styles and strategies.
Cloudbuilt is a pretty game with a strong incentive to replay. If your primary interest is in a story, it's probably not for you. If you're more intrigued by jetpacks, rocket boosts, wall-running and the thrill of flying off a ramp as you make your way to levels end as fast as you ruddy well can, Cloudbuilt is heartily recommended.
At the moment Loadout provides a diverting break from other titles on the market like the aforementioned Team Fortress 2 but it's difficult to see people choosing it over more polished rivals in the long-term. Annihilation mode could change that if Loadout finds a player-base willing to forgive a few flaws and buy into its silly yet appealing sense of humour.
Despite the flaws and interruptions of the story and presentation, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a superior title. Platinum Game's genius for creating thrilling action games and simple to learn, yet difficult to master combat systems is in full effect here. If you're a fan of the Metal Gear franchise you should consider Revengeance an essential purchase. Otherwise it will depend on your tolerance for cod-philosophy and hilarious(ly bad) voice acting.
It serves to highlight that at it's core Deadliest Warrior is still about the spectacle and the thrill of the carnage - and that aspect still feels leaps and bounds above the combat of other melee-FPS orientated games (I'm looking at you War of the Roses). The increase in class variety is welcome and each combatant has a certain novelty value, but Deadliest Warrior perhaps doesn't bring enough to the table to fully elevate itself above Medieval Warfare.