- Metroid Prime
- Red Dead Redemption
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
FIFA 17 is the biggest stride forward for football this generation. I can’t say it’s reclaimed the crown from PES, and for the players who have made the switch, you’ll still find the controls a little too erratic. But with vastly improved A.I. and more attacking options to complement the defensive backbone, this is the strongest FIFA this generation where it counts. The Journey is in its infancy, but makes a quality debut in what is the best FIFA for single-player fans in recent history, alongside a deeper Career Mode. With a more attacking mindset in-play, it’s specular running on Frostbite — if anything, we have to wonder why EA waited so long to make the switch. After three years and four instalments, FIFA 17 is the stride forward we’ve been waiting for this generation; thank you, Frostbite.
Battlefield 1 is the definitive Battlefield game not only of this generation, but this decade. By focusing on moments and emotional realism, rather than a continuous campaign, it’s crafted the best single-player experience of any Battlefield game, and backs it up with stellar multiplayer. Operations is the best addition in years, and the returning favourites suit the World War I theme to a tee. Now, I’m off to attempt to land a plane on the airship and take it down from the inside. That’s possible, right?
At its best, Titanfall 2 is the same nail-bitting mayhem that made the original such an invigorating start to this console generation. The contrasting combat between titan and pilot intertwines seamlessly, with both having a greater arsenal at their disposal. Attrition is given a run for its money by Bounty Hunt as the obvious mainstay, while Amped Hardpoint is a clever tweak to a game mode you’ve played a thousand times.
The multiplayer isn’t deeply flawed, it’s just boringly safe. We’ve had this movement system for three years, and there are better implementations of it in and outside of the franchise. The maps aren’t particularly well designed and the RIG system isn’t all that dissimilar to Specialists from Black Ops III, but needlessly makes loadouts more complicated without improving them. Matchmaking is atrocious and desperately needs to be fixed. Early in my online career, as a lowly level 5, I was constantly matched with players well above my rank. It’s impossible to compete against well-drilled teams with considerably better weapons, and that happened on a consistent basis. Even worse is imbalanced teams. I’ve been in too many objective matches that begin as four against six. By the time the teams have been balanced, which takes way too long, the result is known.
Here I am, nearly the end of this review, and returning players are probably thinking this all sounds familiar: correct. Dishonored 2 doesn’t do much differently, but rather tweaks what came before it, while averting risk. Emily injects new abilities, alongside some different weapon upgrades. There are excellent new environments to go with a similar story that doesn’t really go anywhere; it’s almost a clone of Corvo’s original desire to clear his name of wrongdoings amidst a powerplay. It makes for a very good action-stealth adventure that genuinely encourages playing by your own rules. But whereas we praised Dishonored 1 for being one of the most unique triple-A games of last-generation, that inherently isn’t the case with its very good, but very safe, sequel.
Steep is a bit like being taught how to ski by an imbecile masquerading as a qualified instructor. Someone like your mate Dave, who has seen snow once in 28 years, but instils a false sense of sensible education. You’ll be fascinated by the beauty, and grow to crave the thrill; but eventually the spiral of incompetence will threaten to kill you, so you’ll throw down your hired polls in frustration and return to the solace of the bar, a more natural environment, and vow never to return.
Don Bradman Cricket 17 expands on its pioneering predecessor with the fundamentals of cricket translating to fun, challenging gameplay. Batting and bowling are similar, but better rounded, and the introduction of female cricketers has been given the utmost care. The career mode is much deeper, and the customisation options are off the chart — it’s a cricket game that gives you back what you put in.