Like Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon before it, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood sets a new standard for standalone, downloadable content. At $19.99 (or your regional equivalent), it represents one of the best values in current games. Between the 8-10 hour campaign full of fantastic moments and scenarios, the challenge maps, and the nightmare levels there's a lot to love for the money. While the massive file size (over 37 GB!) may cause some internet connections to cry, it is well worth the space in your Xbox One's hard drive. The New Order was one of the underground hits of 2014, and The Old Blood has taken that torch and ran with it. Get psyched and consider it a must play.
The quality and quantity of the content in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are beyond compare and without peer. It is now the gold standard to which all other RPGs will be held. With hundreds of hours of rich, detailed story, a plethora of side quests, incredible aesthetic design, deep combat systems, and unprecedented sense of place and character, it checks off all of the boxes for excellence in the genre. Those plaudits come at a price, though, as the game can be a technical grab bag of minor (and major) bugs and glitches. While there is little doubt that CD Projekt RED will be giving the game consistent patch and DLC support to smooth out the majority of these marks, you can only buff out the dents in the horrific control scheme so much. Fortunately, these technical gripes and moments of mechanical frustration are easy to overlook when examining the experience as a whole. This is a game that should not be missed by RPG fans, should be tried by curious gamers, and will be looked back upon as one of the best ever. Consider it a must play and say goodbye to your summer.
Ori and the Blind Forest is arguably the best game of 2015 so far. Visually it is gorgeous and has a beautiful soundtrack to complement it. The lack of load times helps the flow of the game, and the platforming gameplay is fluent and precise all the way through. Difficulty spikes bring a challenging edge, and the escape sections are some of the most hectic portions of any platformer game. Ultimately, I cannot recommend this game enough, it is a must play.
Batman Arkham Knight is a magnificent and fitting end to the Arkham series of games in every possible way. The city of Gotham is a huge, spectacular playground for you to explore, the story sucks you in despite it's inevitable outcome, and the combat and stealth elements that brought Arkham Asylum to everyone's attention have never been better.The game does have its faults; a couple of times it completely froze after navigating to the dashboard, framerate drops occur occasionally, and the Batmobile whilst brilliant for navigating the city is overused and repetitive in tank battles, but that can easily be forgiven when the rest of the experience is as good as it is. For anyone who likes Batman, the previous releases in the franchise, or open world games in general, Arkham Knight is an absolute must play, and offers a genuine reason for gamers who haven't yet made the jump to the new generation of consoles to seriously consider making the switch.
The best thing about Fallout 4 is the freedom that it gives you, not only with what to do and where to go, but also how quests will turn out. Will you talk your way out of a certain quest or run in all guns blazing? The choice is yours. Obviously the game is not without its problems; starting and ending conversations can sometimes be a little awkward, NPCs have a habit of getting stuck or being in the wrong place, and there were more than a couple of problems in figuring out what the settlements needed. Overall though, the game is pretty close to perfect, and if you decide to pass on exploring the vast wasteland, then you only have yourself to blame. The hype is real, and you won't be disappointed.
The Phantom Pain is the kind of game that actually feels as if every seemingly insignificant gameplay detail actually has a real purpose. Every mission, side-op and minute spent assigning staff back at Mother Base makes a real difference to what can or cannot be achieved out on the field. At its core, it is still a stealth-action game, but it never ties you down to just being stealthy. Every mission can be approached in a multitude of different ways and it's left up to the player how to progress. The more manageable approach to storytelling may not seem true to the Metal Gear Solid series to date, but it fits in well with the game's more flexible approach, which lets people attack the game head on or play in smaller bites without needing to worry that at any moment they may have to set aside an hour purely to watch a surprise cut-scene.