It won't convert those who despise the Souls series, but the journey through the stunning lands of Drangleic is, for the most part, everything fans could have hoped for in a sequel. With fresh challenges, dastardly traps, and murderous invaders waiting at every corner, the sense of discovery and accomplishment is there for the taking… providing you're patient and brave enough to overcome it. The Iron Price of gaming is back, and it demands that you die.
All things considered, WildStar has not only managed to weather the storm that was its launch period, but has continued to remain a fast paced, entertaining, and thoroughly challenging MMO for genre veterans while being accessible for newcomers. With powerful and versatile customisation options, and content for almost everyone, it's a game that doesn't reinvent the MMO wheel, but is the logical culmination of all that is great with the genre. Providing the same level of quality & regularity continues with its content updates, there will be more than enough reason to stay on Nexus.
Despite the glaring issues that, understandably, some might not be able to overcome, Destiny does manage to create a sturdy foundation from which Bungie can build its new franchise. If you can get past its foibles you'll discover an addictive online shooter that is just good old-fashioned fun on a delicious tasting bun.
As cliché as it is to say, good things come to those who wait. With an expertly written narrative, a brilliantly realised location in Europolis, and subtly far-reaching choices to make even at this stage, Book One: Reborn is an excellent return to The Longest Journey saga. In fact, if this is reflective of the episodes to come, Dreamfall Chapters could end up being a masterclass in adventure gaming
It's Civ, but not as we know it… and that's a good thing. The focus on choice and adaptability on the alien world allows players to deal with new challenges on the way to taming this new frontier. It's not a flawless effort, but provided you can overcome the slower pacing of progress, the addiction of going yet another turn is absolutely there, making Beyond Earth a highly enjoyable entry in the Civilization series.
While owners of the PS3 / Xbox 360 version won't have much reason to upgrade, newcomers to Rocksmith 2014 Edition will find a wealth of options within this musical training tool… provided they have an optical-out audio solution. Without it, the latency could ruin an experience that is otherwise well presented, highly customisable, and a great way to improve those shredding skills.
Forget the disappointments of the previous instalment – BioWare are back on top form with Dragon Age: Inquisition. With huge expansive locations to explore, a rich and detailed world to be immersed in, and a branching narrative that has the player make tough choices, it is not only one of the best RPGs of the year, but a strong last-minute contender for game of the year.
Despite the limitations of its aging engine, Telltale have managed to replicate the world of Westeros in its cel-shaded art style. More than that, the dangers and intrigue from Game of Thrones are there, and if Iron From Ice is any indication, we could be in for an enjoyable yet emotional charged journey to save House Forrester.
With more narrative setup slowing the pace a little, it's steady as she goes for the second episode in Telltale's Game of Thrones series. New characters, some twists and turns, and more familiar faces keep things interesting, but let's just hope that, with the pieces now in place, the action can ramp up for the next episode.
It's time for us to finally move on from SimCity, as Colossal Order have taken the familiar aspects of city building simulators and given it enough of their own spin to make it fresh. It's certainly not a flawless attempt, and will definitely need some post-launch patching, but the fun factor is there alongside the addictive gameplay. I guess you could even say that, for a first attempt, the foundations are solid as a rock.
Its level design may be repetitious, especially on solo play, and it may not innovate on the genre or the Sniper Elite franchise, but if you're looking for some competitive co-op fun that prioritises non-stop action over narrative, Zombie Army Trilogy hits the mark, and then some.
Despite some technical gremlins causing cosmetic issues throughout the game at launch, Book Two: Rebels successfully builds upon Book One's excellent start. More agonising moral choices lie in wait on the streets and Propast and Marcuria as Red Thread Games deliver another well-written and entertaining instalment of Dreamfall Chapters.
After two episodes of build-up, we finally get some narrative progression in Episode 3. Choices are starting to matter, the dangers becoming more immediate, and the decisions harder to make. Along with effective use of the TV show's soundtrack at key points, it makes the The Sword In the Darkness the best episode yet, and a fine half-way mark for Telltale's series.
Combining with frantic combat and an utterly barmy sense of humour, the side-scrolling action of NOT A HERO can be just as unforgiving as it can be enjoyable. Providing you have the patience to overcome its challenging later levels, BunnyLord's flawed yet commendable political campaign is certainly worth your vote.
The Forrester's finally make a stand as the second act of the series comes to a close. Great pacing ensures this action-packed forth episode is enjoyable throughout, but it's quite clear that greater dangers await players in the next instalment. Regardless, Telltale have done a fine job with Sons of Winter, as the quality of the series continues to rise.
Once the balancing had been fixed it could be a great team-based shooter, but its monetisation and unlock system will no doubt rub a lot of players to wrong way. That said, it's free and a fairly small download, so it's certainly worth a look, but time is running out to get things right with new competitors almost ready to steal the spotlight.
A few linear moments and one rather lazy twist aren't enough to derail what is perhaps the most faithful representation of the TV show to date. Well paced scenes and yet more agonising choices make Nest of Vipers a strong penultimate episode, and set up a big showdown for House Forester in the conclusion of Telltale's Game of Thrones series.
This alternate timeline in the Sword Art Online universe is reserved for only the most hardcore of fans. Poor frame rates in the social hub, curious customised character restrictions, and a lack of true narrative focus will get to players over time thanks to repetitive content. A true lack of visual improvements makes the Vita-to-PS4 transition ultimately appear underwhelming, but those desperate for more adventures with Kirito no doubt enjoy running around the colourful world of Aincrad – so long as they employ patience while getting to grips with the combat system.
As the situation escalates for Fiona and Rhys, we're treated to another slice of masterclass storytelling from Telltale. Hilarious, exciting, and containing several unexpected twists, Escape Plan Bravo delivers what can only be described as an emotional roller coaster.