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it’s finally here!

our expert guide to
nintendo’s future

Everything you need
to know inside

PRESENTING THE GAMESMASTER

the definitive list of the best videogames of the year!

previewed!

Mass effect:
androMeda
A galaxy of new info
on Bioware’s latest

60
inside!

PoKÉMon
sUn and Moon
WatcH doGs 2
caLL of dUtY
dIsHonored 2
and More!

interviewed!

sUda 51
teLLs aLL
We chat with a legend

of games development

welcome

Issue 311 / Christmas 2016

“more crackers than
on Santa’s own
dinner table”
is the season of celebration, and that’s
exactly what the issue in your hands is all
about. In our huge Game Of The Year
Awards feature, we’re looking back on a
year of amazing gaming experiences and
giving the coveted GM thumbs up to the absolute best
of the bunch.
And we can’t help but be excited about the glorious
potential of 2017, too. First off, Nintendo’s NX has
finally been revealed and named, and we’re
already dreaming of the potential of Switch
– and digging deep into all the facts in
our must-read feature. Then you’ve
got Read Dead Redemption 2,
perhaps the most anticipated
sequel ever, announced and
looking incredible – we’ve got all
the latest in our massive preview.
Have I mentioned our bumper
reviews section yet? No? Well it’s
bloody packed with great
games, from Dishonored 2 to
Pokémon Sun and Moon to
Watch Dogs 2 to Titanfall 2.
We’ve got more crackers to
show off here than on Santa’s
own dinner table.
Happy holidays to all, and
enjoy your GM!

eDItor’S CHoICe
my top picks this issue

T

22

Nintendo’s back with a console like no other – and
we’ve got everything you need to know.

28

I’m so ready for an epic new Bioware RPG, and Mass
Effect: Andromeda is looking the business.

90

Before this issue, I’d never heard of an amigurumi.
Now I love them. So cuuuuuute!

Robin Valentine – Acting Editor

Get more from your Gm!

Online at www.gamesradar.com/gamesmaster

www.gamesradar.com/gamesmaster

…or subscribe. See p92 for details.

christmas 2016

03

rotting meat. this mythological horror sees you play as a monster who eats delicious vikings. WWIII is not fought with sticks and stones. play with an electric car set. then set something on fire to Jungle Fire.Contents What’s In Your Latest Issue? CoveR stoRy sWitCh 22 nintendo The Wii U’s successor. canoein’. Your introduction to the world of amigurumi. It hadn’t been invented yet. possibly cookin’. previews 28 mass effeCt: andRomeda 32 Resident evil 7: BiohazaRd 33 peRsona v 38 Ghost ReCon Wildlands 40 pRojeCt WiGht Take up your father’s mantle of Pathfinder in an epic open galaxy. try washing this cracking shooter down with a trip to London’s Imperial War Musuem. definitely shootin’. 04 CHRISTMAS 2016 Rockstar returns to the Wild West. We wax lyrical about Alucard’s classic adventure. 2016 Game of the 42 the yeaR aWaRds dead 34 Red Redemption 2 It’s not enough to simply say this has been a year of awesome games – they must be ranked. Regulars 06 fanBase 10 upfRont 54 indiemasteR 86 RetRomasteR 90 CultuRemasteR Let’s talk about Switch. The wurm returns in Nidhogg 2. old women laughing hysterically at nothing. the Japanese art of crocheting cute stuffed creatures. From ex-Battlefield developers. Yep. For extra history. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night. and one crowned king of our collective hearts. Expect cattle rustlin’. and trigger childhood flashbacks with a mini NES. If assaulting a Bolivian drug cartel’s compound during the day isn’t scary enough. etc. and don’t sully the name by getting all lost. baby. but space cruisers and robots.com/gamesmaster . A pair of games sure to banish winter blues. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad.twitter. revealed! Is it a console you can play in Only the best games are featured on GM’s cover! your living room? Is it a handheld you can take on the go? It’s both! Head to our exhaustive feature to find everything you need to know about Nintendo’s hybrid future. you see. and an all-round lack of the letter ‘g’. Run fools over to the sounds of Run The Jewels. Choose Popplio for maximum happiness. Dark corridors. this is terrifying all right. www. Let’s talk about you and me. For our preview of this tricksy JRPG we adopt the persona of someone who writes about Persona V. and ordered. a slashy sequel to the world’s greatest fencing simulator. campfires. we try doing it at night. Reviews 58 dishonoRed 2 62 Battlefield 1 64 Call of duty: infinite WaRfaRe 74 WatCh doGs 2 78 pokémon sun and moon It’s high chaos as Bethesda’s brooding adventure sneaks in and steals the lead review spot this month. We chat with Suda51.

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No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Andy Kelly. we’ve been trying to explain how Pokémon work to our baffled art editor. Bath. .ellis@futurenet.uk Email gamesmaster@myfavouritemagazines.co. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman. Alex Jones.com markEting Marketing Director Sascha Kimmel Marketing Manager Emma Clapp Subscriptions Marketing Manager Jemima Crow ProduCtion & distribution Production Controller Fran Twentyman Head of Production UK & US Mark Constance Printed in the UK by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd on behalf of Future Distributed by Marketforce. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information.com Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Chief financial Penny Ladkin. USA.” he boasts gleefully to all who’ll listen. Which game character should be president? Mario Louise Blain Louise escaped the rain and snow this month by taking a lengthy trip to beautiful. 5 Churchill Place. Canary Wharf. London. the makers of Edge. Which game character should be president? Tingle Leon Hurley Scientists from across the world have been flocking to study Leon after the revelation that he’s completely immune to VR motion sickness.co. If you submit unsolicited material to us. sunny San Francisco.Brand Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath) © Future Publishing Limited 2016. Or. PC Gamer. We’re not sure if it was because she’s so excited for the release of Watch Dogs 2. Matt Elliott. as far as we are aware. E14 5HU Overseas distribution by Marketforce CirCulation Trade Marketing Manager Juliette Winyard – 07551 150 984 subsCriPtions UK reader order line & enquiries 0844 848 2852 Overseas reader order line & enquiries +44 (0)1604 251045 Online enquiries www. BA1 1UA. We reach more than 49 million international consumers a month and create world-class content and advertising solutions for passionate consumers online. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is.uk the most dediCated team in the Business The nights may be getting colder. Magazines Aaron Asadi Chief Financial Officer Penny Ladkin-Brand UK CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne Next issue on sale 29 December 2016 Future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. but our passion for gaming has never burned hotter. even one is pushing it. certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. “I can even handle that bit in Scavenger’s Odyssey where you flip upside down. The Ambury. agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Kate Gray. that might be heartburn from the turkey and Christmas pudding sandwiches Robin brought in for everyone… liCEnsing Head Of International Licensing Matt Ellis (matt. All rights reserved. www. actually. neither Future nor its employees. “You make them fight? Isn’t that cruel?” Of course not. but he’s really struggling with the basics. Which game character should be president? Leon Kennedy www.futureplc. on tablet & smartphone and in print. Official XBox Magazine and Official PlayStation Magazine.team Gm Issue 311/Christmas 2016 Meet The Magazine’s Makers! Future plc. James Nouch. This magazine is brought to you by Future Publishing Ltd. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Leon Hurley. or just to try and get out of our famously terrible office Secret Santa. Julian Benson. There are only so many slumber parties you can invite an industry luminary to before it gets weird. Rob! They like it! Duh. Quay House.myfavouritemagazines. you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. Matt Cundy. Chris Schilling advErtising 2 1 Commercial Sales Director Clare Dove Senior Advertising Manager Lara Jaggon Advertising Manager Mike Pyatt Director Of Agency Sales Matt Downs Advertising Director – Games Andrew Church Head Of Strategic Partnerships Clare Jonik For advertising enquiries please contact Andrew Church andrew. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed. Bath.gamesradar.church@futurenet.com/gamesmaster Editorial Acting Editor Robin Valentine Art Editor Rob Crossland Senior Staff Writer Ben Griffin Contributors Sayem Ahmed.

org. we reckon it’s the games that will determine the success of Switch – Wii U’s library has some classics. the two big questions for me right now are how much will the system cost and how long will the battery last? Nintendo must price the console at that sweet spot in march. We hope you’re able to continue enjoying gaming (and reading the mag). Charlie Ridgewell. Bath.com/gamesmaster . which i think is a good move. which has now been diagnosed as arthritis at the young age of 17. i like it.uk. Future. and we’re really sorry to hear about your diagnosis – we’re glad GM was able to help you feel a bit better in our own small way.COnTaCT Us Email gamesmaster@futurenet. Got your own gaming pic you want to share with the world? Send it in! www. i started having pains in my hands.com/gamesmaster Facebook www.) i also want to get Battlefield 1 and Watch Dogs 2. 06 christmas 2016 *Don’t forget to include your postal address and chosen gaming format! Loyal reader Evan hole has fully completed his Gm papercraft retro arcade! Now this is what pure. Depending on the severity of your arthritis. which will easily take me into next year and beyond. just to separate them further. Please Nintendo release more of your killer library of games on it that were sadly missing on Wii U! i’m sold! When can i pre-order? Samuel Hamilton.99. a charity that works to create custom controllers and set-ups to allow those with physical disabilities to game comfortably. i realise this may ruffle a few feathers. but make sure you put your health first. but as a diehard Nintendo fanboy. Head to p22 for our in-depth analysis! n win! Got an opinion? have even the barest grasp of words and how to put them together? the best letter bags a free mystery prize!* Wii U had some third-party support at launch. this has put a dent in my gaming and writing time. Pic OF THE MONTH Nintendo has definitely got a lot of catching up to do following the disappointing performance of Wii U. i’m hoping with what could be Nintendo’s last physical console it is heavily backed by all the main third parties. tweets. but it’s far too thin. and carrier pigeon death threats Ultimately. especially with mobile at the forefront of its business. the ambury. it purposely marketed it to have no comparison with Wii U. i have pushed myself the last two weekends to enjoy the infinite Warfare beta. It does really fantastic work helping people all across the UK – its website is www.gamesradar. it didn’t even show off touchscreen functionality. Quay house. ase fan fanb ba se se ba L E T T E R of the month switch is the right move for Nintendo. and that’s before i try to pick up my Playstation controller. but hear me out. it will 100% have a touchscreen – in this day and age it’s a must. but it almost immediately dried up. and it’s pretty much what everyone was predicting. really enjoyed it and can’t wait to pick up the final game. and i am now paying the price.twitter. which Nintendo got catastrophically wrong. in the teaser video (which was brilliant by the way) they have positioned the switch at a slightly higher age group. i continue to read your magazine. thanks for your magazines keeping me occupied in a tough time. it might be worth getting in touch with SpecialEffect. although my hands are bad. UK Tough time fanbase fa nb ase b as n fa ase fanbase f nb an fa b ase fanb a s anb e fa ef n as e in July. a good launch price for me would be £249. Ba1 1aU. it’s not me Ninty needs to convince. email Thank you for reading Charlie. Some things in life are more important even than Call Of Duty… D-volution i’m writing to you to vent my frustration over the poorly designed Playstation pads.facebook. undiluted gaming nostalgia looks like.specialeffect. i’d like Zelda thrown in – it’d fly off the shelves! switch is essentially what Nintendo wanted Wii U to be in the first place.twitter. (i really. making more than just one game on it. email fanbase the best of your emails.com/ officialgamesmaster Web www. it has put into perspective how much i take gaming and writing for granted.com/gamesmaster Post Gamesmaster. cheekily. but we agree that it seems like it’s on the right track.com Twitter www. but merely holding it hurts. says samuel N intendo switch has finally been revealed.

and why? Because in most games the face buttons are used more! it’s not rocket science. where the D-pad is. hasn’t. i’ve been banging this drum since the original Xbox launched. christmas 2016 07 . Facebook REd dEad REdEMPTiON 2 a proper 3D mar à la mario Gal io platformer.FaNbasE wisH LisT What games do you want to see on Nintendo switch? i want to see monster hunter let loose from the chafing confines of the 3Ds. fully 3D Pokémon rPG. if it works as well as s forever! then all of the game JHTL @I le.g. with a controller in my hand. You put the main control method in the place where the thumbs sit relaxed most naturally. and i’ve been gaming since pre-1992. XO. It’s maybe notable. bald. but you lot are Mr Positive that it’ll be a corker. i’m 6ft 2in.) a proper metro id game. triangle. Wii U ETA Spring 2017 Despite all the Switch excitement. it’s like sony knows it has made a mistake but can’t bring itself to admit it. i’m not. but we have to say. it’s there as it’s the primary method of control. And Nintendo seem to agree – the new Switch Pro Controller has the same configuration. that one of the most widely beloved controllers of all time is the Xbox 360 pad. PC ETA Summer 2017 Head to p28 for a galaxy-sized dose of new info on Bioware’s latest space-faring. the right stick sits out of the way slightly. Now. they are still in the wrong place. Skellington Da 2 the evolution of the Playstation controllers has brought the analog sticks higher up and moved closer to the D-pad and face buttons with each generation. Zelda can’t compete with cowboys. 5 OFF THE cHaRT! the hot topics you’ve been gabbing about 35% Do you preorder games? 32% the most awesome DLc ever 15% Your favourite videogame characters 10% What’s the best game of 2016? 08% the achievements you’re most proud of www. but the D-pad is in the wrong place. You might have a point after all… As a PSA for angry Sony fans: in addition to being 6ft 2in. in a relaxed position. e. Even if they are just of a bunch of cute Pokémon… n THE LEgENd OF ZELda: bREaTH OF THE WiLd Format Switch. bald.com/gamesmaster Mass EFFEcT: aNdROMEda Format PS4. none of this Federation Farce malarkey. before sony fans blast me for being an Xbox fanboy. it was a revelation to me. Now. Acting Editor YOUr TOP 5 they’re the games that you want! these are the games you want! Ooh ooh ooh! (Er. Every console has its merits. Thanks for reading Jamie! We can see your logic. X. so each generation it brings it a little closer to where it should be. loyal readers will also remember that Jamie is covered in tattoos. and i’ll be happy. Will this be the game to get a PS4 Pro for? 4 sPidER-MaN Format PS4 ETA Winter 2017 It’s rumoured this game will feature Mr Negative as the main villain. think about it. square. we’ve never really had a problem with PS4’s controller in play. though. Robin Valentine. alien-kissing RPG. ny O’Brien. check out images online for yourselves. but the d-pad is in the wrong place” i’m not saying it’s a bad controller. sits over the left stick without bending.gamesradar. Alexis Lucife Facebook 1 a fully fledged. Jamie Garbutt . ax David Antho y. it’s just Playstation that Format PS4. un in the F-Zero r R Krayvell. and bearded (that should scare a few off). which does fit your criteria. swapping the left analog stick and D-pad made perfect sense as the thumb. apologies. 3 HORiZON: ZERO daWN Format PS4 ETA 3 March 2017 Robo-dinosaurs come clanking back on to the list after a long absence. @Stoogie_cf c the trailer shows. and bearded. XO ETA Autumn 2017 This may well be the most votes a game in this list has ever received! Read more about Rockstar’s latest on p34. Just look at the right side of pads. i’d like to know your views on this obvious oversight. before i’m hunted down and burned. just because it’s always been there doesn’t make it right. email “it’s not a bad controller. Keep up the great work. Let me hunt Jaggis on my telly. Even Gamecube swapped the D-pad and analog sticks. @ The_Imagician ure action advent a cyberpunk iverse. Shane Firth. circle. i read this magazine every month. i’m a gamer. Now. Like sky rim with Pokéballs! Alex Shute. i have both a Ps4 and Xbox One. it wouldn’t even be a big change. Your right thumb sits relaxed over the face buttons.

Facebook Daniel McArdle is a cosplay addict! Check out his Bloodborne. @JinxedThoughts amazing aRT this picture of his Chris Neal sent in e. Rob Polding. my favourite gaming experience of 2016 has been World Of Warcraft: Legion – it has been outstanding so far. Fallout. @LA_Way Me and a mate did a Macmillan Game Changers 24 hour session of all the old Sonic The Hedgehog games and raised over £220 for Cancer Support. buy them. But forever travelling through my own story. @DrConscience Professor Layton made me the gamer I am today! George Anderson. but it was worth it! Papercraft arcade enthusiast Evan Hole also painted this awesome Zelda design on his wall! POLL POSITION No contest. @RobertJSchuster r . @Gnator8t4 MaNiac OF THE MONTH! cool cosplay I wait for games to go down in price. Toby William Allen. Barry Burke. then watch as they get remastered on next-gen before I’ve played them… Leigh Way. Felt exhausted afterwards. Bring on the next world. Facebook 72% Yes 08 christmas 2016 67% 28% 33% No Yes No Overcooked’s a lunchtime fave over here at Wizards Of The Coast too! Robert Schuster. Keeping democracy alive on our twitter feed Has 2016 been a good year for gaming? Is VR the future of gaming? I’ve been many characters in many games. Sometimes a voice not my own and sometimes mute.FaNbasE es you lov gam eg ve a lo s you lov ame eg eg am v lo ve games u lo yo yo u es YOU LOve Games es m killeR TaTToo cool stuff and videogame culture sOCiaL GrOUsinG Wisdom and weirdness from our bustling social media channels I wish I could remember what I’ve been playing this year… eg u lov ames y yo ou Zinn. and Metal Gear get-ups. gress tattoo sleev pro inrkpartner’s wo anion Cube! mp Co a d an hu featuring Pikac Juan Emilio Santiago made this awesomely sinister painting for a friend who loves Battlefront.

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10 Christmas 2016 ‘Thermoptic Camo’ is invisibility by another name.12 Case study there’s no other developer quite like him – we talk remasters. www. and enemy abilities. and fashion with suda51. Her ultimate is devastating – an EMP that leaves any opponents caught in the blast defenceless.twitter. It also boosts her movement speed for quick getaways. Vr. WINTER WONDERLAND A storm of new updates for Blizzard’s stable of games hACk ATTACk sombra’s suite of awesome abilities Hacking is Sombra’s jam – she’s able to mess with turrets.com/gamesmaster . health packs.

alien-infected weirdo alexi stukov combines the abilities of the terrans and the Zerg. it’s no longer entirely convincing. sabotage health packs. fielding grossly mutated units including tentaclewaving siege tanks and zombified marines. sombra’s on a quest to unravel a global conspiracy that secretly rules the world – and she’s willing to work alongside the likes of reaper and Widowmaker along the way.com/gamesmaster nostalgia-baiting coming – Blizzard’s also releasing a new character class. she’s an Offense character who acts as the perfect thorn in your enemy’s side. she feels fantastic in play. we’ve only got one question: where’s Diablo iV?! n Christmas 2016 11 . Gifted with a natural talent for computer-based subterfuge. and that’s not the only bit of “a swiss army knife of ways to harass and goad those who stand against you” barriers. 18 Super retro land squirrels beware! Our reporter runs with DiY guns in sci-fi themed block builder stellar Overload. normal computer stuff.14 Capital idea 16 Block-bopping feet Looking for cool gifts to get your loved ones? We found a few bits even better than a satsuma. and the graphics will be enhanced (?) to look pixelated. the Necromancer. or Jade www. the 132-strong card list also boasts some seriously cool mechanics. and see injured foes through walls. in-game. Blizzard is releasing two new Zerg-infested co-op maps. lands this month. mean streets Of Gadgetzan. With a “Boop!” and a bucketload of sass. and to give you the perfect excuse to dive back in and try him out. a swiss army knife of ways to harass and goad those who stand against you into making costly mistakes. old school Blizzard fans will be pleased with Diablo iii’s latest update: a retro mode inspired by the original Diablo. and some slick cybernetic implants. Kabal. Street smarts and she’s not the only exciting Blizzard release on the horizon. hack her opponents to disrupt their abilities. Finally. to a weapon that summons piranhas with every attack. and she showed off her techy prowess by hacking her way onto the main stage screens at official Blizzard convention BlizzCon in November. movement will remain locked to eight directions. whether the Grimy Goons. after all that. thanks to a convoluted reveal campaign. drop EmP blasts that take down Lotus. meanwhile. the game’s newest character is finally here after months of teasing. But considering it comes from Sombra’s announcement trailer. She was worth the wait. from a legendary who lets you design a custom spell on the fly. starcraft ii is getting some love with a new commander for the game’s co-op mode.gamesradar. hearthstone fans will be pleased to hear that the latest expansion. As the rumours had suggested. Overwatch fans might have believed the line. Each class now belongs to one of these. it introduces a new concept to the popular online card game: factions. drop a beacon she can teleport back to when things get too hot. too – miner Evacuation and Dead Of Night. she’s a computer genius. with some cards playable across each of the three classes within a faction. You know. We take a trip down memory lane with the Nintendo Classic mini – does it do right by its classic library? F or a while. able to turn invisible. themed around competing criminal gangs. as a nod to Diablo ii. “Who is Sombra? You’ll never know”.

&A Develope
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&
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oper Q&A
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DEV
Q+A

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A

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O

ften in interviews
you know roughly
what to expect
before you walk in
the room. With
industry veteran
and Grasshopper CEO Suda51, we had
no earthly idea. This is a man who
made waves with interactive detective
novel The Silver Case (1999), before
helming survival horror Michigan:
Report From Hell (2004), complex
shooter-noir Killer7 (2005), and Kinect
powered baseball action Diabolical
Pitch (2012). True to his unpredictable
oeuvre, Mr 51 swerved through a
variety of topics. We came for his
newly localised re-release of The Silver
Case, we also got his appreciation of a
good title screen, his skinny legs, and
his burning desire for a Killer7 sequel.

“one thing about
making mistakes is
you start to see
what’s coming”
Suda51, the man behind Killer7 and No more heroes,
talks toilets, punk rock, and revisiting his first game

and said “We really want to localise this
game”. that re-ignited this for me, and
working with aGm it allowed me to finally
realise this dream of bringing the game
out in English. they said they played the
original game, the original release, and
they loved it, and were really adamant
they could localise the silver case into
English perfectly.

Q

You’re a well-known figure in the
industry. How do you use this to
positive effect on this game?

A

Why are you returning to The
Silver Case? Is it purely out of a
sense of nostalgia?

the biggest thing is that, using my
current status, i can be producer of
the game. Obviously this is a game i
made myself nine years ago, but that was
before. Now i’m suda51 – everybody
knows that name! Back then, i was just a
guy called Goichi suda. i want to use my
current know-how and abilities to
produce and to re-arrange the silver
case into the modern era of where we
are now with games.

A

in a way, yeah, you could call it
nostalgia, in that it was the first
game Grasshopper ever made.

Q

Out of all the games you’ve
made, what sequel would you
most like to see?

Q

A

Q

How tricky has localisation been
for The Silver Case and do you
have any anecdotes from the process?

A

the huge amount of text is
probably the main reason it never
came out in English in the first place.
then, about two years ago, a company
called aGm introduced themselves to me

i have a game called Ward 25,
which is a sequel to the silver case.
We made a new engine called the Film
Window Engine. if you’ve got to see or
play the silver case, these windows
pop-up in different areas on the screen.
it’s cinematic and interesting and it’d
never been done before. Because we
went to all that trouble to make the

engine, i wanted to use it again. For a
while, we couldn’t, but i was finally able to
with Ward 25. i still have all these stories
and ideas which relate to this world. i
really want to keep that line going, it’s
kind of my vision for sequels. For
example, i would love to make something
for Ps Vr that uses this world too!

Q
A

What do you think of PS VR? And
VR in general?

Q
A

How has Grasshopper changed
from The Silver Case to now?

as a game creator, i definitely want
to make something for it. i feel the
technology is amazing and i think it’s the
future of gaming. this is technology that,
ten years ago, i could never have
imagined the everyday consumer would
be able to use and purchase. i really want
to do a game using that technology.

that was 18 years ago. at first we
started with three people. ten
years later we had the most we’ve ever
had – 150 people. then it became part of
the Gungho group, and the numbers
started to shrink down, so now it’s around
40 people. there’s obviously been lots of
changes in that period and 18 years is a
long time. in 2011 there was the big
disastrous earthquake in Japan, and we
had about 20 foreign staff at the time.
about half of them returned to their
home countries. Lots of different things
happened over the years. that might be
a little different than what you were
expecting, but that’s the answer that i felt!

“A gAme where you finish the
Q
lAst boss, turn it off And
forget About it – i did not wAnt A
to mAke A gAme like thAt!”

What is the key ingredient to a
great videogame?

this might not necessarily be the
industry standard, but for me a
good game is one that has a solidly
traceable line from the beginning to the

12

christmas 2016

end, and a rhythm. Not in terms of sound,
but a rhythm to the game itself. One
where you turn it on and from when you
see the title screen to when you turn it off,
you can tell someone’s thought about all
this, someone’s taken the time to make
sure it’s coherent. and so, having this
maestro playing the orchestra and
having this beautiful rhythm throughout,
from opening the book to closing the
book, that’s what i think makes a good
game. For me, to put it more simply, think
of the title screen. it says ‘Press start’,
right? how does the game then transition
to the next part? Does the screen just go
black and then transition? Or does
something happen in that title screen
that allows it to transition well and
smoothly into the next part?

Q

It reminds us a bit of the menus in
No More Heroes, with the guy
sitting on the toilet. It’s like you
thought about the menus so much
that you added this feature.

A

Yeah, that’s to create the player
mood. that’s something i try to do
with the games we make at Grasshopper.
so in Japan, it’s called Biohazard, it’s
resident Evil over here, when you press
the start button, it kind of fades out
slowly, right? Just from that the player
gets drawn in by the voice – just pulled
into the game world. Even from there you
know this is an amazing game.

Q
A

Which of your other games
would you like to remaster?

after Ward 25, in terms of
playability, No more heroes
and Killer7.

Q

How has your career changed
since The Silver Case? Not only
career-wise, but how have you
changed as a person?

www.twitter.com/gamesmaster

most
wanted
What’s most tickling the
team’s fancy this month

ROBIN’S PICK

Sunless Skies
This sequel promises to take the brilliant
Lovecraftian atmosphere and
storytelling of Failbetter Games’ Sunless
Seas into space. The stars are dying and
the ‘bohemians, revolutionaries, and
outcasts’ of the Victorian Empire are
heading into the void to find new lives
for themselves. That’s my kind of weird.
PC – Spring 2018

A

Well, for one thing i gained five
kilos! there were times maybe
where that flew up to ten kilos. and i
gained about two centimetres, so i’m a
little taller, but that’s not what you’re
asking… about two years ago i met one
of my high school classmates, and that
person said i hadn’t changed a bit. so i
feel that really i haven’t changed all that
much actually. Going back to when i was
first making games, i feel that desire and
that feeling to create something new –
that hasn’t changed a bit since i first
started. Over 18 years i’ve made a lot of

Crime Watch

A visual novel, The Silver Case
originally launched on PlayStation in
1999. It centres on two detectives
from the High-degree Murder
Division investigating a series of
bizarre murders in a city called 24
Districts. Largely told through
sharply written text across dynamic
comic-like windows, interaction
comes from point-and-click
scenarios, QTEs, and Q&A sections.
An HD English language remake hit
Steam this year, and is scheduled to
release on PS4 in early 2017.

www.gamesradar.com/gamesmaster

mistakes, and moving forward i’ve tried
to learn from those mistakes, thinking
about everything, and one thing about
making a lot of mistakes is you start to
see what’s coming ahead, you can kind of
predict what can happen.

created a bunch of first experiences for
me. Whenever i make a game, i want to
make it better than the last one. i feel
as though i haven’t reached my peak
because i always want to improve on
what i’ve done.

Q

Going back to The Silver Case,
what was the original aim? What
did you want to achieve?

Q

In terms of your personal style,
you’re known for being quite a
sharp dresser…

A

A

so one thing would be to get the
player completely engulfed in this
world… in other words, a game where
you finish the last boss, turn it off and
forget about it – i did not want to make a
game like that! rather, when the game’s
over, i want people to take what they’ve
experienced and apply it to their daily
lives, continue living out there from the
point where the game stops, maybe
putting into practise the things they saw
and the things they learned. that’s
applicable to all the games i’ve made.

Q
A

Is The Silver Case one of the best
moments of your career?

Yeah, in a way. i had just started
Grasshopper and the silver case
was our first game. i had left a company
called human, i was a new president, this
was the first time i had the responsibility
of feeding people, as it were, my
employees. it was the first time i was
completely responsible for making my
own game and my own world, without
anything coming before it. all of this

Oh, thank-you! For one thing, i
always get new shoes for events.
and i do a lot of internet shopping.
there’s nothing in particular, but what i
have found i’ve drifted to is skinny
pants, a t-shirt, and this leather jacket.
it matches my body style the best.
When you throw the skinny pants on, it
always ends up looking like punk-rock.
But actually, the coordination of all
these parts my wife does. i’m not very
good at pulling it all together, so my
wife will say “Wear this tomorrow”. and
occasionally she’ll purchase things for
me. my legs are kinda skinny and
they’re not very long, so i’ve figured
out what works for my body style.

Q
A

And, finally, what would you
like your legacy to be?

i just hope people know me as
that one Japanese guy who
made a load of wild, silly games. i’ll
keep doing what i do. For the time
being, people will think, “What’s this
guy gonna do next?”. n

BEN’S PICK

Ghost Recon:
Wildlands
Wildlands’ open-world
Bolivia will offer the
wide-eyed
exhilaration of
Rapture or New
Bordeaux, but with
the added ability to
ride into battle with
three mates in a
helicopter. I also want to gun
a motorcycle across a salt flat and see if
the swampland has crocodiles.…
PS4, XO, PC – 7 March 2017

ROB’S PICK

Gran Turismo Sport
As a massive racing fan, I’m seriously
excited to see what Polyphony Digital
can do on current-gen consoles with this
new series entry. Plus, I’ve got a
trip planned to drive around
the legendary Nürburgring
in Germany – the chance
to hone my racing line
before I get to hit the
asphalt for real could be
just the ticket for
improving my lap time.
PS4 – Winter 2017

christmas 2016

13

gearS of War
LanCer rifLe
repLiCa

£200
http://bit.ly/gmlancer

if you’ve got a ludicrous amount
of disposable cash, then: a) can we
have some? and b) maybe you’ll
like this meticulously crafted Gears
Of War Lancer rifle replica, to make
you feel like marcus Fenix.

Dragon age
Tea

£10
http://bit.ly/gmdatea

there’s nothing quite like a Bioware
brew. this premium tea blend, inspired
by Dragon age inquisition’s own
Dorian, has a real Christmassy feel
thanks to its cranberry and
almond flavours. Yum.

present
day
’Tis the season for extravagant

displays of capitalism. With that in
mind, here’s gm’s latest and greatest
gifts to put on your list for Santa, or
buy for your treasured player Two
numSkuLL
ChriSTmaS
jumperS

£30
http://bit.ly/gmnumskull

Oh, that’s why sonic’s blue – he’s
bloody freezing standing around in
just his shoes in the middle of a
winter wonderland. Bet he wishes
he had a lovely Christmas
jumper like this one. With his
own face on.

SneS CarTriDge
SoapS

£13
http://bit.ly/gmsnessoap

isn’t it annoying when your mum
insists you buy her toiletries and
slippers instead of the Legend Of
Zelda? so ungrateful. Now you can
fuse the two together with these
adorable sNEs-themed soaps.
Win-win!

14

Christmas 2016

www.twitter.com/gamesmaster

Jigglypuff owes you £200.ly/gmmonopoly We feel a bit bad about plonking a mug of steaming hot coffee on Parappa the rapper’s face. But no more! this mug comes with an assortment of stickers for designing a super mario Bros level while enjoying a festive beverage.com/gamesmaster Christmas 2016 15 .gamesradar. No festive period is complete without a family board game that leaves you all ready to kill each other. mugs rank just below socks.ly/gmdragonbones For those with relatives who try to force their enjoyment of airfix models onto you at every opportunity. www. which is always a plus in our book.SkYrim SkeLeTaL Dragon kiT £24 http://bit. this year. this understated Witcher iii wallet doesn’t instantly scream “i’m a total nerd”. styled after Ps1 classics also including Gran turismo. and Destruction Derby. pokémon monopoLY pS1 CoaSTerS £10 http://bit. why not combine your interests with this build-your-own skyrim dragon? spread the gaming love! SmB BuiLD-YouroWn-LeveL mug £8 http://bit. Wipeout.30 http://bit. but these coasters. because.ly/gmcoaster £34 http://bit. WiTCher iii WaLLeT £16.ly/gmwallet Once you’ve bled your friends and relatives of their hard-earned cash. well. you might as well throw Pokémon in the mix too. you’ll be needing somewhere to store it. are too natty to resist.ly/gmmariomug On the scale of boring Xmas presents.

which is easy enough. This month our versatile reporter straps on his tool belt and. Mined. but with a few twists – including a more refined art style. i discover he’s run off to join the rebellion against the imperium machina. gun. apparent is a heavy conc ly if i die. you might say. it’s quite the escalation. Eventually. But i can’t possibly set out to save anyone from planet-invading robots before i learn to dig things and make stuff from the bits. then who’s the real m e? es ky houses with badly 0 minut n. ld might be cute. sigh in person 16 Christmas 2016 15 minutes While still sturggling with this revalation. making the usual pits in the ground. the village ch ugh a process ief. this s about tank. nky i fire it up and its plinky plo ing charms over a narrative. difference. and a single-player campaign that spins a tale of space war and kidnapping.twitter. lit little village full of wav as i wake up in a brightly ts. it’s har urc reso from self a gun that i made my soldiers in the face with deadly with it. so that you can craft. erm. and replaces . who i eventu of elimination. a game about constructio While this is ms by this point to last fortable-looking bedroo g planned stairs and uncom Overload works its craftin llar ste how le-player to see hits me like ess etn swe so i decide to try the sing e twe . flowers. i came to build now he’s laying bad houses an on some heavy if a clone can re d philosophical ide place me and no as about ident one can tell the ity. i use a gauntlet to pull away blocks. gaps in NPCs’ walls. my brother an ally he tells me to ta d then introdu lk to the villager ces the cloning me. star it ond sec minecraft a a brick the with vie mo ey Disn ls. a woman called selia then teaches me how to make things by combining them at crafting stations. and squirre life and occupants tendin about looking at the wild der wan g i as otin k sho rac be ndt i’ll r sou n an hou d to believe that in less tha stole from any i es vegetable patches. y brother’s miss this wastes no ing. www. 5 minutes Obviously no ga me will let you loose without tu in telling me m torial payment. it starts with making fruit juice from ten berries. then makes rescuing him. it’s like a low res g to their grass. th time me exercise be en it’s time to ta fore i can even lk to Li King Pe track down thro think of i. It’s about building.lost in space sci-fi crafting and an existential crisis in stellar Overload T hanks to Minecraft. sure. a clone ept to deal with machines. but it’s wor s thi t.com/gamesmaster . there are now at least a million games about building things with blocks that you’ve collected from around you. Right then. Whoa. to check out Stellar Overload. i set off to find my brother. and a hole that traps a squirrel. i’ve made enough won a lifetime. then she shows me how to make a gun. via a note in a tree.

central giant eye. Until they run out. Christmas 2016 17 . when i reach ow i’ve killed be works. it’s enough. i find attractive. with plenty of gems to collect. this is basically weaponised building too a l that’s capable of firing blo cks like bullets. 340 of them. i’m sur e my brother will be fine . as there are small drones. drones. the along squirrels few a maybe and kill. my back-up plan of ‘running past all the angry people’ doesn’t really work out. i’m tw ing skills d ak camp to ask ab an . a galactic arm t my gun. easy is e nston moo the works then. i try it on i can collect. BlOcked Out 50 minutes i might be a little sulky as the rebels send me off on another fetch quest. www. i’ll just 1 hOurs 30 minutes With the switch flicked. i thin k i’m alright with this massive brick rifle. with pages and pages of blocks. i’m glad i tested the gun now. as the military here h i test they do at least give me a jetpack. howeve rly they don’t kn ea Cl . as i’m able from their lasers shoot that things ball floating weird and way past soldiers. it’s nice and enough: i just have to fall down a hole more mes beco soon cave’ a in but ‘not being here. though. via random diggi you want help… they nd dema to base the to out. and the imperium’s troops soon shoot me to pieces. act uall y. i’ve sort of forgotten this was meant to be a minecraft to a because it’s totally a cutesy voxelized Destiny right about now – right down switch. which is where things get shooty. On to blast my i pass a couple of peacocks. a way ng and jetpacking into ceilings. Eventually. i’ve at least i come back as a clone. dr y m les and a rabb ey mock both th se ba l be it on three beet . so much so that they don’t want it. i’m sti reasonably happ out my brothe o flamingos. the place i arrive at is locked up tight. re ain the fore and will ag r. pointy corner lets s. Big. then the building mode is dauntingly fleshed out.we 30 min ll in this ve somethin rel (they ar l is all Now i ha d a pisto a passing squir parently juice an sing. that quiet in and get lost underground. terminal. machines. and lovely. and if you do want to create things instead of destroying them. but don’t expect it to be a childlike challenge. Battling against the imperium is enjoyable in an almost retro shooter kind of way. and have anothe even r fetch quest for me. i charge back reason. turrets and soldiers to deal with in a hail of bullets. i’m off to shoot a load of and then maybe test out stuff the building side of things. clone. there’s plenty of action in the single-player and it certainly has more substance than just basic hut building. so call it 338. No me to get some armour? Fine. i’ve been wasting my time with mere gun. but an underground teleporter whisks me away to some Doom-like corridors where i find the armour. stylised visuals. vital a reach to floor platforming section over an electrified 40 minutes i have to dig moonstone from must have a mining background. ap at feels most pres arby rebel th ne t a ea d m fin w f to rns into ra ediately sent of m im village) and it tu i’m the way i test as ng y.n testing the gu utesg to drink and something to shoot ethnoingt sdowiingth. tools. so alo on ou ab ke ta re to su t ed y that it no ll ne i r. For an Early access game there’s a lot in here to enjoy already. Without any ammo. but things soon pick up. it’s deadly. on ap we and my 1 hOur for this. the rebels certainly sed seem pleased to see it. -m Oh ink it. to got people the way back base and turn out every box i can find to make bullets. whic a cave before they’ll agree to help me.gamesradar. heavy bul with sharp. moonstones in hand. there’s a cutesy tone to everything. dig a couple of holes in your base. turns out i may have shot too many animals.com/gamesmaster there’s masses to have fun with here. three or four a bullets to kill a hedgehog? What about one massiv of aluminium? Nothing get e chunk s rid of small woodland anim als like a hunk of proces ore. Finding by firing myself into the ceiling. honestly. and other gear to play with. i also need to hack a terminal to find something called a ‘Block thrower’. Or do i? am i still me? Oh there’s no time the rebels’ to back head i way. which makes the future look even more exciting. and claim my rew hack the ard: the mysterious Block thrower. i can finally access the last part of the enemy base.

or just grab it for yourself? it’s £49. serving. metroid. mega man 2. or a chance to swot up on gaming’s rich heritage. Want to give one to a loved one. the fact it’s all packaged in an adorably teeny-tiny replica of Nintendo’s iconic ’80s console and the games are played using a replica NEs controller makes it a much more exciting (and legal) proposition than using an emulator on PC. Final Fantasy. it’s really short). as either a nostalgic trip down memory lane.99 here: http://bit. Excitebike.com/gamesmaster . Castlevania. depending on your age. and the Legend Of Zelda all crammed inside its tiny plastic 18 Christmas 2016 confines. and to re-explore or experience for the first time some of the most important and influential videogames ever made. the slightly awkwardly titled Nintendo Classic mini NEs comes with a UsB-connected old school controller.e. the mini NEs is a tiny bundle of retro joy. and it’s impressively pixel perfect on screens from tiny monitors to 55-inch hDtVs (with optional retro Crt filter). With the likes of super mario Bros 3.ly/gmminines n “it’s a chance to have your very own videogame museum” www. it’s a chance to have your very own videogame museum. Otherwise. On the downside. This diddy emulator plugs into your TV and plays 30 built-in games. Donkey Kong. Kid icarus. and it’s a shame it only comes bundled with a single controller – if you want to play with a buddy you’ll have to fork out for a second pad (£35).blast from the past Buying back your childhood for Christmas T he NES has never looked more adorable.twitter. Ninja Gaiden. so be prepared to sit close to your tV. cable length can also be described as mini (i. Punch-Out.

started. which can be bought separately (£60 each) or as part of a supertruck bundle (£200). Provided you’ve got spare vehicles. they even shout quips as they’re racing. unlock an additional mode – takeover. either ai or human.The starter set. make sure your two bundled cars are charged. any track configuration works. But genuinely impressive technology revs it into the 21st century. at least. well. which is shown here. Race down to electRic avenue anki Overdrive brings arcade kart racing to life L ike Scalextric. as long as the circuit closes. and use its powers to take out the other racers.gamesradar.com/gamesmaster christmas 2016 19 . From there. and includes two cars and all the gubbins you need to get. then plonk them onto the road. your iPhone or android phone is the controller. that classic children’s fave responsible for so many confused dogs. that’s the century we’re living in right now! in anki Overdrive. each motor completes an automatic lap to test it’s actually raceable before intelligently settling itself on the starting grid. simply download the free app. it’s like there are real tiny people inside. How’s my driving? blasting opponents with weapons) and King Of the hill (disable other racers to drive away with the figurative crown). anki’s new supertrucks. here up to three cars fire at an ai-controlled big rig to assume control of it. costs £150. the virtual drivers – who all have their own personalities – can be customised with helmets. n there are a variety of different modes to try. and loot awarded for success on the track. this is about constructing a track and racing miniature cars around it. here’s where the fun starts. including Battle (score points by “the virtual drivers can be customised with loot awarded for success on the track” www. you can invite up to three competitors. leathers. Why. honestly. We were fooled.

which means no more cross-eyed treats such as Deadly Premonition (at least not for the foreseeable future – it’s not clear if he’ll return to games at some point). although he says his health is improving. 20 christmas 2016 taking the Ps high street retailer Game has taken full advantage of the Ps Vr hype by charging customers to try the new tech in-store. developers of the latest Deus Ex games. but fan-made demo sonic Utopia has us spinning in our seats. swery. the charge is refunded if you buy the headset after the demo. but there will be no more new content or updates. servers will remain switched on for now. but dumbing down the horrors of battle into a meme-inspired social media campaign is probably a step too far. a half hour session costs £15. he took a sneaky pic and posted it on the internet. dude! www.twitter. all the best. field of memes a videogame about a war which claimed 38 million lives is already something of a moral minefield. from £70.boom town hill start it’s been a while since we were genuinely excited by sonic the hedgehog. Word to the wise – you can grab single controllers elsewhere for under £40. has already been on a break from the industry for a year due to ill health. real name hidetaka suehiro. and Game has also upped the price of the move controller twin Pack to a walloping £140. must do better. Described as an experiment that “tries to expand on sonic gameplay in an intuitive way in 3D”. we don’t want to continue thanks monster sink While the push for new players by switching 4v1 shooter Evolve to a free-to-play model earlier in the year may have boosted numbers. while Xbox One has enjoyed an almost 1000% rise in units shifted since the release of the Xbox One s.com/gamesmaster . for microsoft. but still… Oh. rather than current caretakers crystal Dynamics. happy days! mars attacks id software has released a new – and completely free – arcade mode for Doom. sub scribe When a guy riding the montreal subway spotted a fellow commuter’s laptop showing details of a new tomb raider game. we hate goodbyes One-of-a-kind maker of games swery65 has retired from access Games. it obviously hasn’t provided enough of a lifeline – developer turtle rock studios recently announced it will no longer be supporting the game. check it out here: http://bit. Ea had to have this pointed out to them after several such insensitive and ill-conceived tweets promoting Battlefield 1 had been approved and posted. so it’s good news all round – for sony. Unfortunately. Win Lose Topping the leaderboard this issue yoU yoU No. and for the industry in general.ly/gmutopia Ps4 looks like it will hit 50 million consoles sold by the end of the year (and Ps Vr sales are ‘on track’). Looks like shadow Of the tomb raider is the name. the score attack challenge of blasting through streamlined chunks of the campaign as fast as possible (and with all weapons and upgrades unlocked) for leaderboard glory has pulled us back to mars for even more demon ass-kicking. and it’s being made by Eidos montreal. it reimagines the Green hill Zone as an open world.

8 Final chapter Prologue www. if you only do one thing this month. Unless it’s been delayed again since we wrote this.06/12 shocking killers 02/12 the christmas-themed Dead rising 4 arrives with some festive ways to murder the undead. stay in and play videogames. The To do lisT 09/12 at long last crucial dates for your gaming diary. Out today. 22/12 deals or no deals? this is our bet for the start date of the steam Winter sale – guard your wallet close. eat. XO. the Last Guardian. Ergo. Keep eyes peeled for new game reveals. XO. but otherwise make a note of these events… here it is. new year revelations Grab issue 312 of Gamesmaster and read all about the biggest games coming in 2017. so tonight will be darker for longer. PC ETA 24 January 05 For honor Format PS4. 25/12 29/12 21/12 light relief it’s the Winter solstice. PC ETA 7 March christmas 2016 21 . incoming six big releases headed to a format near you… 01 02 gravity Rush 2 Format PS4 ETA 20 January 03 Kingdom hearts hd 2. PC ETA 14 February 06 horizon Zero dawn Format PS4 ETA 3 March ghost Recon Wildlands Format PS4. christmas play today is a special day for ignoring the family and spending time with all your new games. XO. 03/12 powder rangers snow-covered extreme sports sim steep hits slopes today.com/gamesmaster Format PS4 ETA 24 January 04 Resident evil 7: Biohazard Format PS4.gamesradar. Let the wintry games begin! xp gained the doors open at Playstation Experience 2016.

Feature On The Cover! 22 Christmas 2016 www.twitter.com/gamesmaster .

a device designed to be played at home and on the move. But the format holder has clearly learned from the muddled mistakes it made when revealing Wii U to the world a little over five years ago. we’ll examine switch in careful detail. this time around it seems everyone is talking about Nintendo’s new console announcement for all the right reasons. and – wahoo! – you’ve got a dose of instant excitement. An immediately appealing concept paired with an extremely solid pitch. Combine the two. and the gleeful buzz around the Nintendo switch reveal has been generated despite the fact it’s exactly the hybrid hardware many had been expecting for several months already (thanks entirely to incredibly accurate ‘sources’ spilling the top secret beans earlier in the year) – in short. Can it retain third-party support? Will it be more Wii than Wii U? and what the heck is a Joy-Con? read on and become enlightened… www. taking you through everything we know about the console before analysing its future prospects. Over the next few pages.com/gamesmaster Christmas 2016 23 .NiNteNdo switch switch Why Nintendo’s home console/handheld hybrid is its best idea in years I t’s a winning formula.gamesradar.

and remove it. Where the Wii U GamePad had a chunky Fisher Price feel. but seems designed to be ergonomically sound. the Joy-Con Grip (as the standard controller is named) has a slightly unusual appearance. the thought of playing a gorgeous new Zelda game whenever and wherever we like sets our hearts aflutter. while the Joy-Con controllers. too. Recent patent filings hint that the Joy-cons may even include projector functionality. Mirroring the layout of the two recent Xbox pads. with the image instantly switching from your tV to the smaller screen. you slide out the sides of the controller. You control the games with a pad that looks like a wonky-eyed. but it’s apparent the screen size comes in between 6. But while it’s unwise to read too much into figures. without needing the connecting wire. GriP Pro coNtroller cute but also practical. with the added benefit of being portable. size aside. if you would rather use a more traditional pad (because you fear change). there’s a stand that lets you prop the screen up for a more comfortable viewing angle if you choose to play this way. Nintendo power Nintendo is being cagey about switch’s exact dimensions and specs. if nothing else. but they’re smartly designed and should be ideal for solo play. and two switch screens can wirelessly link-up for separate screen multiplayer. with its clean lines and matte finish. Voila! Your console has become a handheld – though quite a hefty one. it’s a handsome bit of kit. in that regard. they can also be used individually during multiplayer games. with the possibility of motion-sensing features besides. floppy-eared dog. looks much sleeker and sexier. it’s not massively different to the idea behind Wii U’s off-tV play – a second screen you can play games on without needing your telly. the switch itself is a tablet-like device that can slot into a dock. it’s almost like an amalgam of Nintendo’s last two home consoles.com/gamesmaster . the switch. at around 4in wide. which unclip and slide out when you press the plus and minus buttons near the top. there’s the Pro controller.2in to 6. it’s unlikely switch will match Ps4 or Xbox One for horsepower. 24 Christmas 2016 Joy-coNs Our hands are already cramping up a little at the thought of using these in multiplayer games. this robust controller shell houses both Joy-cons. there are rumours the Wii remote’s ir functionality will be included. aren’t quite as titchy as they first seem. roll on march. with the image appearing on your tV screen. and there’s an alternative option in the form of a revised Pro controller. if you want to take your game on the go. it’s telling that switch already has more demonstrable industry backing than either Wii U or 3Ds. the small controllers that slide out from the Joy-Con Grip shell can be attached to the screen – and they can also be taken off and used in a similar manner to the Wii remote and nunchuk. held sideways like an NEs pad (albeit with an analogue stick rather than a d-pad).5mm headphone jack. which uses four buttons instead. the key differences are range and versatility.Feature On The Cover! UNplUg aNd play How Nintendo hopes Switch will change the way we play – again so what exactly is switch? in some respects.twitter. however. that mystery button beneath the minus will likely sync the pad with the switch. which is more like a traditional pad. slot them either side of the tablet within the dock. www.5in. then. the revamped Pro controller boasts a proper D-pad – unlike the Joy-con Grip. while the phenomenal viewer interest in its official debut suggest Nintendo has found an idea with strong appeal beyond its core fanbase. and a regular 3. and it’s unclear whether the audience that wants to play home console games out of the house is large enough to keep third-parties happy – Vita’s struggles would tend to suggest otherwise.

in other words.NiNteNdo switch dock Nintendo has confirmed that the dock’s primary functions are to power the switch while charging its battery – and. of course. www. it’s unlikely to provide any additional technological grunt. and it’s been strongly hinted that it will support a resolution of 720p. though we’ve heard otherwise. screeN this should measure between 6in and 7in diagonally. the dock would appear to rule out the possibility of touchscreen functionality. to allow it to output to your tV screen.com/gamesmaster Christmas 2016 25 .gamesradar.

re .

but we know what it is and how it’s going to work. and it seems this time Nintendo strongly fancies a tilt at the esports crowd. not least for Wii U owners who won’t want to pay twice for upgraded versions of existing games. we should be able to expect quantity between and quality when it comes to first-party software – and the quick fix of Nintendo still makes some of the best games in the mobile gaming and the business. Christmas DECEmBEr 2016 27 . you’ll get fairly short odds on a new version hitting Switch during its launch window. the release gaps that plagued Wii U and (to a much lesser extent) 3Ds should be all but eradicated. but it needs to be competitive – even if it’s not actually in direct competition with Ps4 and Xbox One. switch’s brew it also means Nintendo can focus on one piece of hardware. ink-credible shooter on Switch . the presence of a playable king Boo and two item slots (as previously seen in Gamecube entry Double Dash) hint that this is more than just Mario kart 8. such as splatoon and mario Kart. and the potential cost of the tech involved. it doing just that. Nintendo’s insistence that it won’t sell at a loss. www. it will be four months until Switch is released: that might not sound like a long time. be cost-effective enough to port games to – though Nintendo will be hoping switch slots as revisiting older games could be tempting for some neatly into that gap as the publishers keen to squeeze more value from their back console does into its dock. We catalogue. but it is in an industry as fickle and impatient as games. it’s the ideal showcase for local wireless multiplayer.5. Yet the early response suggests there’s room in the market for an inclusive.and new hairstyles.NiNteNdo switch a SwitcH iN time does Nintendo’s new console have a bright future ahead of it? A fter the rampant confusion that surrounded Wii U’s unveiling. We might not have all the details. and how much it retails for at launch. suggests it won’t be cheap. blockbuster dazzle of a few doubts remain. rather than having to split its resources between two very different devices. Nintendo got its early messaging spot on with Switch. a lot will depend on how easy it is to develop for. as such. and we shouldn’t see any slapdash stopgaps like animal Crossing: amiibo occupy Festival or the distinctly miserly mario tennis: Ultra the space smash. home console games often lose something on the n Chris Schilling smaller screen. Portable Dark souls. the apparent lack of backwards compatibility – Nintendo has stated that switch is primarily a single-screen experience – is a potential sticking point. SpLatooN Switch whether it’s a sequel or an update. By the time you read this.com/gamesmaster Mario kart Switch Given the frankly astonishing attach rate for Mario kart 8 (roughly 60% of wii u owners have a copy).gamesradar. the potential is mouth-watering. including a vibrant Mexican-style town and a hazardous temple. we’re getting more of Nintendo’s colourful. it’s a promising start. and the potential for some of for families and friends to the experiences they could bring is pretty exciting. and games designed for portable play don’t certainly wouldn’t bet against necessarily fare as well on the big screen. accessible and social console there’s plenty of big name support behind switch. and that’s an incomplete list. if it’s underpowered. already. still. Mario’s triple-jump is also back – a welcome change after 3D Land/ world’s more limited moveset. that look likely to be revived on switch. anyone? enjoy together – something to thrill switch But what about the games? We’re already gaga for what Nintendo’s new baby has in store… Super Mario Switch early snippets of a new 3D Mario game from the peerless eaD tokyo team suggest a return to more open environments. as in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. Nintendo now needs to capitalise and build upon this early momentum. there are notably more developer names working on switch titles than we saw for both 3Ds and Wii U – Nintendo’s list highlighted 48 partners. Likewise. it may not Ps4 and Xbox One. Keeping third parties on board will be important if switch is to appeal beyond Nintendo’s usual demographic. But the publisher subsequently saying it isn’t confirming a Switch release for Skyrim isn’t a good look – especially in light of Nintendo’s historical third-party struggles. in theory. gear and maps prove it’s not just a quick-and-dirty port. SkyriM Switch what we’re assuming is the remastered version of Bethesda’s award-winning rpG represents good optics. if only to demonstrate the calibre of game you’ll be able to play on the go.

The Andromeda Initiative began in
2185, and your crew travelled for six
centuries, asleep, before reaching your
unfamiliar new destination.

“don’t let the omni-tools fool
you, folks – this is an entirely
new world”

Classes are gone, replaced instead by a skill system that promises players the
flexibility to build out versatile generalists or highly-specialised characters.

28

Christmas 2016

Although Bioware hasn’t shown any footage of them yet, it has confirmed that Turians
will appear in Andromeda. Garrus fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

www.twitter.com/gamesmaster

Preview

Eyes-on With Future Hits!

Format PS4, XO, PC Publisher EA
Developer Bioware ETA Spring 2017

Mass EffEct:
androMEda
We’re back once again for the
renegade master

S

ix centuries have
passed since the
Reapers blazed
a genocidal trail
through the Milky
Way, but the crew of
the Hyperion is blissfully unaware of
the destruction suffered by humanity
and its alien allies. That’s because the
colossal ship is one of four Arks built
during the events of Mass Effect 2, and
launched just as Commander Shepard
and his crew staged their suicide
mission on the Collector base. While
Shep and the gang marched into
near-certain doom, Pathfinder Alec
Ryder led humanity’s search for a new
home in an unexplored galaxy.
But humanity didn’t make this journey
alone. a total of four ark ships set out on
that lengthy voyage – one human, one
salarian, one asari, one turian – enduring
600 years of cryosleep in the hope that
the andromeda galaxy would prove
a hospitable home for these futuristic
frontiersmen. Naturally, things didn’t
go according to plan. the hyperion was

This charming Asari lass is called Peebee – and her eccentric personality couldn’t be
further away from the bookish, restrained Liara.

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damaged, separated from its fellow arks,
and humanity found itself isolated on an
unfamiliar world. and while Bioware
remains tight-lipped on the exact fate of
alec ryder, as you play the part of one of
his children, scott or sara, you’re handed
the mantle of Pathfinder in his absence.
With that, the stage is set for what
looks to be a true reinvention of the
franchise, which promises an entire
galaxy of new worlds to explore while
boldly sweeping aside heaps of
accumulated lore and franchise
convention. though you play as
shepard’s contemporaries, with similar
tools and technology, you’re detached
from the world of the original trilogy,
separated by a vast expanse of time and
distance. Don’t let the Omni-tools fool
you, folks – this is an entirely new world.

Easy Ryders

Your crew is different too, and noticeably
less militaristic than that of the original
mass Effect trilogy. rather than a squad
of hardened gun-nuts, Bioware sends
you into the unknown with a younger,
untested team drawn from considerably

The co-operative multiplayer mode of Mass Effect 3 is back in Andromeda, enabling
teams of up to four players to work together to face off against waves of foes.

Christmas 2016

29

Preview
Eyes-on With Future Hits!

space smoochin’

We evaluate our new romantic prospects
Krogan
This musclebound
studmuffin may look
tough with his large
shoulder humps full
of fluids and nutrients,
but we bet there’s a
surprisingly sensitive
heart hidden beneath
that leathery hide.

Asari
Asari are known
throughout the cosmos
for their elegance, and
Peebee here has painted
an elegant streak of
purple right across her
elegant eyeballs. And
you know what? She is
absolutely working it.

Salarian
Talk about tall, dark, and
handsome! We’ve only
seen the back of this
slender Salarian’s head,
but the sight of those
horns glistening in the
light of an unexplored
world has us dribbling
with space-lust.

Abomination
Okay, so this is a space
monster and not a crew
member, but we need to
know: is he single? This
hunky beast’s ring finger
is tantalisingly out of
frame – it’s as if someone
at Bioware wants to keep
us guessing.

you to disagree with an NPC without
kicking them out of a window.
and you can use that newly enhanced
dialogue system to romance your crew
mates, as it looks like andromeda will
have a greater emphasis on relationships
than any other Bioware game to date.
Between missions, you’re free to roam
the halls of your ship, unimpeded
by loading screens, to find
opportunities for friendship
and flirtation, and these
scenes are bolstered by
a dramatic increase in the
complete
quantity of dialogue for
each crew member.
But unlike during previous
Whether you’re playing as
instalments in the series, the new
scott or sara ryder, you’ll have
relationships in andromeda won’t
greater freedom to express yourself
necessarily progress towards a raunchy
with allies and enemies this time around,
rendezvous in the captain’s quarters.
since Bioware is binning the Paragon and
sure, some characters might want
renegade meter completely. instead
nothing more than a bit of cosmic coitus,
of presenting you with simply good
but others might crave a relationship of a
and bad dialogue options, then, the
different kind. it all feels a bit more grown
developer is aiming for something a little
up this time around – acknowledging not
more nuanced and naturalistic, allowing

more varied backgrounds. a human
companion, Liam, is a former police
officer, and rather than military discipline
he displays an easy wit in the face of
danger. meanwhile, it turns out that
Peebee, the face-painted asari seen in
early andromeda trailers, is in fact a
spirited oddball whose intelligence is
matched only by her eccentricity.
all of which is to say that
these are not the disciplined
servicemen and women of
before – instead, they’re
rootin’-tootin’ pioneers.

85%

Get talking

“andromeda will allow you to
disagree with an nPC without
kiCking them out of a window”
only that different people want different
things out of relationships, but also that
on-screen sex isn’t always the most
effective way to illustrate a burgeoning
bond between two complex characters.
the return of loyalty missions, which
featured prominently in mass Effect 2,
also shows Bioware’s determination to
place relationships at the forefront of the
experience. But this time around they’re
entirely optional, and you won’t be
punished for refusing to join a whiny
crew mate on a planet-side sojourn.
While Bioware previously made party
loyalty a key component of success in
a challenging endgame, andromeda
deploys loyalty missions as optional
chunks of toothsome narrative meat.
although the developer remains
coy about story specifics, we do
know that the andromeda galaxy’s
native life forms don’t all take kindly
to the arrival of your inter-species
alliance. One such alien race is the

The driving sections from the original Mass Effect return here, but the cumbersome
all-terrain vehicle Mako has been ditched in favour of the nippy Nomad.

30

Christmas 2016

www.twitter.com/gamesmaster

the ryder name could soon eclipse the shepard legend. – Early footage shows actionpacked heroism and kinetic combat.Instant reaction It may look like the Mako. but his children are relative greenhorns in this game. more mobile brand of combat. to a greater or lesser extent. the thrill of a faster. You may well find yourself trading fire with the Kett during the course of andromeda’s campaign. and a gripping storyline to pull the player through this brand new galaxy. Note the lack of a gun turret. Ryder’s jet-assisted jump paves the way for more mobile and dextrous combat encounters in which you’re constantly moving to outflank your foes. but we want to see a good old Mass Effect natter in action. It looks like you’ll once again join up into three-person fire teams for each mission. n James Nouch Brave new worlds the tentative unveiling of the Kett (we still haven’t had a look at one up close yet) may be exciting.gamesradar. before returning to your ship afterwards for a relaxing natter. of course. that humanity and its allies are the interlopers here. and one especially sinister individual from their ranks looks like a shoo-in for the role of antagonist. but don’t expect simple moustache- twirling villainy from mass Effect’s newest alien species. here the studio is attempting something appropriately bold with a game that offers the wide-eyed wonder of exploring + Bioware has proven it isn’t afraid to mess with success. it’s worth noting. Kett. www. Alec Ryder earned that elite status. however. There’s no N7 armour to be seen in this shot.com/gamesmaster Christmas 2016 31 . uncharted worlds. but andromeda is shot through with a sense of newness. then. if that joy of discovery remains strong in the final game. but it’s Bioware’s determination to shake up this franchise that has us giddy with anticipation. and Bioware’s writers seem keen to pursue a more morally grey narrative than previous games in the series have offered. the satisfying embrace of carefully crafted characters. but this is actually the Nomad – a faster and more manoeuvrable brand of rover. these are all familiar mass Effect ingredients. tHrILL-o-MEtEr 1 2 3 4 5 Everything old is new again as Bioware shakes up the series. and Andromeda feels like the refresh the series needed. too.

Number 7’s take on heart monitor. Jack is one of the key bad guys so it’s unlikely he’s going down for good the first time you plug him. Sometimes too many secrets aren’t a great thing. finally. there’s a clue in the title there. but not large watch that features a both at once. instead. mechanics dictated that you the main character wears a could shoot. Finally. You shoot the bad things. THRILL-o-meTeR 1 2 3 4 5 The series’ glorious return to true survival horror. www.com/gamesmaster . with ‘death’ only really slowing him down. it gets worse by the way. replaced by old tape players to the general direction of the horrible and record your progress on C90 cassettes. hoping for the best. Resi 7 strips away the screen-cluttering HUD and puts crucial info such as health on a watch. we’ve seen how the gun. and. But it wouldn’t be a resi game if it was that easy.Preview Future Hits Played Now! Format PS4. Great. so you’re always immersed without a break. we’re getting a Nemesis style vibe from this. n Leon Hurley A tape to victory 85% Hints suggest psycho patriarch Jack Baker has some stubborn ideas when it comes to not staying dead. – Locations do look a bit cramped and samey so far. Instant Reaction + Looks a little more terrifying every time we see something new – a fitting reboot for the series. resi 4’s avoid breaking immersion. No. you don’t have precision aiming or a save system works – typewriters are reticule. or move. the series has always had a We’ve also found out healing still knack for adding a layer of uses herbs. 32 Christmas 2016 Typewriters are gone and saves are now made via old cassette players. obviously. PC Publisher Capcom Developer Capcom ETA 24 January 2017 ResIdenT evIL 7: BIoHazaRd the series’ new combat system finally takes (shaky) aim P ossibly the first question that springs to mind when you find yourself in a remote murder shack with horrible scratching noises coming from the walls is ‘how do I kill whatever that is?’ It’s a question Resi 7 has been very slow to answer. One video showing the player fighting Jack Baker is called ‘immortal’. Oh. Your level of access to them is determined by which difficulty level you choose to play on. it restrictive camera created also looks like there will be a clumsy claustrophobia as a minimal hUD – perfect to complete the dead closed in. it’s a perfect solution Just be careful not to copy over your for gun combat in first-person horror favourite album. which can be vulnerability – the first combined with ‘chem fluid’ game’s tank controls and to make a healing liquid. without allowing the player to feel like a combat powerhouse.twitter. he’ll keep coming. it has. you’re just pointing in gone. XO. the classic resi life these ideas is that while you might have a indicator.

and their mission is to save people from the evil intentions in their hearts.com/gamesmaster What’s so good about it. that number puts it in the same league as Uncharted 4. but Europe has to wait until February to gets its hands on the game. and a Link to the Past – basically. Format PS4. more of what made Persona 4 so excellent. high-def Personas. the fun battles. more intricate combat. So what do players over there think? Is the game we’ve been looking forward to for years worth the wait? Yes.gamesradar. The game is inspired by stories of rogues. then? according to the translated review. www. – The turn-based combat looks like it could be even more complex than the already fiddly scraps of Persona 4. Hopefully she’s 1000% less annoying. When not attending school.It’s entirely the player’s prerogative whether to sacrifice Personas no longer wanted or needed in exchange for a rare item – but it does feel a bit heartless. making it the highest-scoring game in the series so far. Get ready for a treat next Valentine’s day. rascals and bands of thieves. and the beautifully animated cinematic cutscenes “set the game apart from other Japanese rPGs” in terms of quality and visuals. cast are masked vigilantes called the Phantom thieves Of hearts. it’s the high production quality. No Teddie this time round. Like its predecessor. and a new cast of characters populate this game. but there is cat-thing Morgana. charming world – basically. animal Crossing: New Leaf. players can explore areas such as Shinjuku and Shibuya. if you loved the social Links. THRILL-o-meTeR 1 2 3 4 5 A JRPG with slick style that looks to build brilliantly on its predecessor. who have given it 39/40 already. it’s possible to take a part-time job in the city. Instant Reaction + Rogues! Teen drama! A new cast of people to flirt with! This is everything we’ve wanted since finishing Persona 4. you’ll be pleased to know Persona 5 does it all bigger and better. and a colourful. says Japanese gaming mag Famitsu. it sounds like a classic. it takes place in a high school – the new main Christmas 2016 33 . n Kate Gray Drama class Set in modern-day Tokyo. an impressive volume of content. PS3 Publisher Deep Silver Developer Atlus ETA 14 February 2017 PeRsona 5 honour among thieves A tlus’ social sim RPG has been out for almost three months in Japan. the Personas and the general school/other realm dichotomy in Persona 4.

signs actually point to red Dead redemption 2 being a prequel. string-covered detective board is the game’s name. and then. or Revengeance. could this be a straight sequel? not necessarily.com/gamesmaster . so who exactly do we play as? in what time 34 christmas 2016 period is this set? Will there be bears in it? can we tie-up the bears and place them on railroad tracks and record them getting run over and then upload the footage to youtube for loads of views? Well.twitter. XO Publisher Take-Two Developer Rockstar ETA Autumn 2017 Red dead RedemPtion 2 rockstar returns to a West wilder than ever M illions of excited gaming fans across the world are shooting their figurative guns in the air and also figuratively yelling “Yeeehaw!” at Rockstar Games’ recent reveal of this long-awaited sequel.Preview Eyes-on With Future Hits! Format PS4. the fact that it doesn’t indicates strong ties to the previous entry. you’d assume the third game would come with a subtitle like resolution. or returns. but is located in the bottom left www. at the cobweb centre of our manic. it occupies the top right easternmost area of the map in that game. they’re wondering to themselves. everyone can stop their fretting – we’ve got all the answers right here. a leak earlier this year of what was reported to be the game’s map shows the same Great Plains territory that players were introduced to in the previous red Dead. when they’ve calmed down a bit. With 2004’s red Dead revolver followed by 2010’s red Dead redemption.

gamesradar. Although vast.The American West is captured in all its natural splendour. it teems with life. and diversity. “RockstaR can ciRcumvent tRicky naRRative issues by confining legacy chaRacteRs to online play” www.com/gamesmaster christmas 2016 35 . colour.

for instance. our cowboy protagonist will be blessed with the ability to swim and will perhaps be able to doggy paddle to treasures on isolated land masses. cruel. And what’s a Red Dead game without bounty hunting? The name implies continuity and the leaked map suggests we’ll be able to revisit the Blackwater region. tellingly. Of course. giving him native american vibes. after release. the town of Blackwater appears to have been replaced by an assortment of scattered caravans because. also published by take-two interactive. Oh. 36 christmas 2016 “the absence of RailRoad’s that weRe pResent in Redemption points to this being a pRequel” and there’s still more fuel for the Dead redemption main man. and resemblance to revolver’s square-jawed the further through the story you got. john prequel fire. Let’s not forget. maybe it’s not been built yet. big city gentlemen flocked in suits and the bloke front and centre bears a motor cars to tame the savage land. his one visible eye and what of the is looking straight at the silhouettes in the official youthful centre man – complete artwork (see previous could he be about to page)? the one furthest left backstab him. but we’re expecting it to be expanded in some way.the long and winding rodeo What features will rockstar continue? Red Dead Revolver Red Dead Redemption Grand Theft Auto V The landscape may hit new levels of authenticity. the guy next to him shares the white mouth brow and lanky frame of redemption’s Landon ricketts. Will the two overlap? a saloon run-in with Vito scaletta’s grand pappy. The crime series’ ludicrously popular and profitable online multiplayer component will likely prove a massive inspiration. suggesting the action shifts north-east. with his distinctive hat and overarching theme of red Dead facial fuzz. it’s already registered redDeadOnline as a domain. the hero red harlow. entirely more lawless. this shot of a character hauling a deer carcass on his horse indicates hunting will return. what with his thick days’ of the frontier – beard. takes place. who dates back to revolver and made an online cameo in redemption. this is all speculation. Likewise. but with legacy characters seemingly forming the first wave of promotion. and the www. shadow Wolf from revolver? and finally.twitter. this has to be a prequel. or even years. Cover-snapping and slo-mo ‘Dead Eye’ targeting will probably remain. A prominent activity in the previous game. and largely more prominent their presence became. While there are undeniable parallels to draw. Landon met marston for the first time during the events of red Dead redemption. and hat barbarous. so again. well. perhaps? at the very least we’ll likely get to see a swampy bayou area. the dude furthest right looks to have a closely cropped mohawk. Although it was never really in doubt. there are potential holes in all this guesswork. but don’t expect Redemption 2 to ditch Revolver’s more arcadey aspects. he seems youngest. like he did looks an awful lot like red marston in redemption? 65% the man second from left has the bowler hat and bushy crumb catcher of classy jack swift. and the inclusion of islands on the map has us hoping that. which promises to be a substantial component. so a prequel with them together would be a retcon. as dies. and brim folded on one side. this time around.com/gamesmaster . Of course – spoilers! – marston redemption was ‘death of the West’. redemption 2’s (alleged) map features an area called new Bordeaux. West world curiously. wrinkle-free. players could kill animals for various rewards. here. the apparent absence on the map of the railroad in areas where it was present in red Dead redemption also points to this being earlier in the timeline. Rockstar looks set to continue – or at least nod to – story beats from its 2011 game. the it’s looking like red Dead redemption 2 one to his right is a dead ringer for Bill will harken back to the ‘glory Williamson. Regularly updated activities to do as a posse are a sure-fire way to maintain a solid player base months. an eight-player posse played a major part of the last game. the marston. rockstar can circumvent tricky narrative issues by confining legacy characters to online play. trench coat. the fictional new Orleans-ish region in which mafia iii.

instant Reaction concept of joining online factions and embarking on endless chaotic escapades reached new heights with Grand theft auto V’s multiplayer. Don’t be surprised to slip into the saddle for a herding mission or two. Our hands are shaking at the prospect of saddling-up for another six-shooter showdown. so it would be brilliant if this was rockstar’s take on a town seeking help from greedy industrialists by employing an assortment of hired guns – i.e. we want a rich story mode. single-player is a must. it might be about scouring the plains to recruit your own band of rogues before engaging in an epic. tellingly. a number steeped in significance thanks to classic western the magnificent seven. at the very least. Lazy towns where old women smoke pipes in rocking chairs. and we’re betting you do too. www. ticking each box of iconic american west geography with aplomb. mountain-flanked gorges filled with swaying grass. demonstrated by vultures feasting on a boar carcass and a dog barking at them aggressively. but upon seeing multiplayer’s popularity (and its lucrative rewards) instead supported it with smaller and more frequent online updates. A cowboy without cows is just a boy. Free amigos rockstar did plan to introduce a sizeable campaign expansion for Gta V. we know from the in-game footage that scenery will be absolutely stunning. you. climactic shootout.com/gamesmaster christmas 2016 37 . n Ben Griffin + It’s Rockstar. tHRiLL-o-meteR 1 2 3 4 5 Promises to be another moody and majestic Wild West masterpiece. Why spend years crafting a single-player experience when the majority of people will bypass it in favour of ganging up together to rob merchants. there will probably be a bear or two. all life forms exquisitely aware of each other. there are seven riders in the promo art. Even if there’s greater focus on multiplayer. there are also hints of an advanced ecosystem. hijack carriages and hunt animals? Of course. as for the release date? autumn 2017 on Ps4 and Xbox One. there’s a chance – albeit a small one – that red Dead redemption 2 will be online-only. so the presence of bovines is absolutely essential. but there’s no word on if/when PC players will get to join the rootin’ tootin’ fun. sun-dappled forests in which.gamesradar. – PS4 and Xbox One versions are confirmed. It’s Red Dead. yes.

if your ai buddies dramatic entrance as lightning are in range and with a clear line of sight. but sundown demands excellent vantage point. set at night. now muddy rural expanse. because hitting Bolivia to take down the world’s most dangerous drug barons requires a special kind of crazy streak. 38 Christmas 2016 the parachute and glide over the formally El Pozolero’s camp is the destination. ai buddies Nomad. and the it grants easy access. dusty. Base jumping makes for a targets with rB and. as the pounding rain makes for a three other Ghosts use the decent footstep muffler. this mission? you land determines your tactics. shot – a feature returning from 2012’s and Weaver are on hand here. and some the Us government appoints. some you’ll scavenge. both to mark reassessment. so stealing complete for starters. some you’ll steal. shade of shrubbery to crawl although you can play with up to closer. see. holt. one of over 60 vehicles. the messy sprawl of rooftops below are slick with the rain of a relentless thunderstorm. guys. simply tag incursion.twitter. XO. there your opening bullet signals them to take are shades of Just Cause as he unfurls out the rest simultaneously. and they Ghost recon: Future soldier to allow know a thing or two about creative coordinated takedowns. illuminates our hero’s silhouette. the differences enemies for teammates and to between night and day. well. confrontation’s interesting. the front gates.com/gamesmaster . PC Publisher Ubisoft Developer Ubisoft Paris ETA 7 March Ghost Recon Wildlands how do the Ghosts handle a full stealth playthrough? I t’s little wonder removing the ‘n’ from the title of Ubisoft’s ambitious open-world squad shooter gives you ‘WildLads’.Preview Future Hits Played Now! It’s up to you when you take on a base – wait until night falls and you’ll find the stealthy approach easier. we join the WildLads – sorry. the cover distance. Capture him alive and deliver him to a rally point. thanks. engage them from a safe night and day. Easier said than done when he’s more guarded than a politician on Question time. We’re told the complexion: there’s the cartel often drive it through obvious low-light bonus. Format PS4. This latest build demonstrates a more softly-softly approach. a van sits outside a of night changes the battered metal barn. the mountain man sets up a sync three friends. We’ve covered this Choose a mountain and you’ve got an mission before. soon the basin town falls away and we’re at its rim. We went hands-on earlier this year and rained absolute havoc down on the Santa Blanca cartel. Where Pozolero himself the target. Throwing shade 70% www. ‘Ghosts’ – in a chopper.

and you’ve less cat-like mastery over the environment. some walk around in groups chatting. the lack of enemies blocking the Ghost’s retreat this time is refreshingly anti-climactic. customise kits. for instance. but otherwise they’ll stay out of your way. the forests – may suggest Wildlands isn’t as far along in development as its early 2017 release indicates. – We’ve cleared enemy camps before. and thermal vision to pick out the heat signatures of tangos. ready for a pistol butt to the face. Compared to our messy last mission. at one point a Ghost shoots the light to an outhouse and rushes in with night vision goggles. Wildlands needs an ace card.gamesradar. animation lacks splinter Cell’s grace. well. Plan your assault at night and you’ll catch some dozing on bunks. and others mill about staring through windows and shuffling their feet. and enter civilian areas to win local hearts and minds. However. dispatching the inhabitant and taking the ViP hostage in one near-silent movement.When you need to be super stealthy silent. ideal for disabling the power and cutting off alarms. the excited blips on a steady heart monitor. too. packing noisemakers to distract foes and high explosives to. for moments when you want to cover ground quickly. Ubisoft claims the 50+ customizable weapons accurately model bullet piercing. By this point in our last hands-on we’d have already shot a dozen men. drop. there are over 60 vehicles in the game. however. the perfect heist. and the action holds up whether you choose to go in quiet or with a bit more bang. indeed. Opting to show the same mission twice rather than revealing encounters across Bolivia’s other biomes – the salt flats. We’re told you can scavenge gear. there are degrees to Wildlands. thRill-o-meteR 1 2 3 4 5 Tense sandbox stealth threaded with cathartic mayhem. stealth doesn’t necessarily equal slowness. they have agendas depending on the time of day. it’s highly modifiable. aren’t distributed equally throughout the settlement like robotic sentries. upgrade weapons. but holding off lets you appreciate unseen intricacies. Christmas 2016 39 .com/gamesmaster in a truck and brought to a waiting chopper. there’s also an EmP blast. it’s also testament to the range of approaches available in just one patch of a massive playground. n Ben Griffin instant Reaction + Players are free to plan their approach. after that. this needs to be more than Far Cry’s outpost-clearing multiplied by four. the jungles. highly explode them. Pozolero is stuffed “easier said than done when the target’s more guarded than a politician on question time” www. and in the process wage a very different type of warfare. Weaver now deploys his drone for an aerial view of the battlefield. but these are similarly thrilling bursts of action. the swamps. from helicopters to motorbikes to buggies to boats. Guards. Lights out the Ghosts are deep behind enemy lines now. You can issue your AI squad simple movement commands. moving on foot is certainly the best option. and dispersion. from tropical islands to near-future cities. We’ve witnessed the level of freedom and choice Wildlands offers inside its camps – now let’s see if it holds true outside of them.

this oddball mii JRPG tickles every inch of our fancy.com/gamesmaster . The Outsiders has high hopes for Project Wight. more slo-mo ballistics. avoid confrontations with savage. more exploding internal organs. the creature is weak and must. PC Pub Rebellion Dev Rebellion ETA 14 February 2017 sniper eliTe 4 ThaTnexTGame Feels like we’ve been waiting forever for this Ps4 exclusive slice of Oriental thug life to arrive – it’s been out in Japan since early 2015. it looks more brainstabbingly brutal than ever before. n here’s a seriously mysterious proposition. And. miitopia tasks players with assembling a party of mii buddies. such as Demelza’s pet goose. the most important thing we know about this curious morsel is that it’s being made by Thatgamecompany. We know it will be multiplayer. an early look at the game. Billed as a ‘co-op adventure about childhood’ (which can also be played solo). believing it will be enough of a success to sustain the studio as a single-IP operation. while the welly-wearing Demelza can excitedly splash about in puddles to defeat them with wetness. and then heading out to do some turn-based battling against the minions of a big baddie who has been stealing the faces of miis. As a youngster. Gm instant reaction Thrill-o-meTer 1 2 3 4 5 Promises all the best bits of being a kid. but it’s the next game from the Journey people. We’re allowed to be dancing-in-our-pants excited. It’s got a wonderful hand-painted art style. reveals that the beast moves about on all fours and will undergo some fairly dramatic changes through the course of the adventure. The talent behind it has worked on Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet. captain honkers. instead relying on the tactic of scuttling away and hiding in dank holes to survive. perhaps best of all. On the other hand. Journey. Release date is Valentine’s Day – the perfect gift for a loved one. however. Oh. combat looks delightfully on-point – Nessa can take down the bads with frisbees. As it matures. basking in the mediterranean sun of its new Italian setting. We know Thatnextgame is just a working title. more stabby-stab-stab. stopping to loot the odd stash of treasure and battle possessed creatures. the newest entry in the deadeye shooter series looks absolutely lovely. and we recently got to see more of Goro majima.preview Eyes-on With Future Hits! Format PC Pub Double Fine Dev Foam Sword ETA Spring 2017 kniGhTs and bikes Pedal-powered adventure looks pretty as a picture here sure is a lot to like about this Kickstarter funded project.twitter. And there are plenty of friends to meet and team-up with along the way. one of the game’s two playable protagonists (the other being Kazuma Kiryu) in action. it’s inspired by The Goonies and Earthbound. n Matt Cundy Although the final design of the protagonist creature hasn’t been disclosed. The heroines explore the isle on-foot and on their – upgradeable – bikes. We know it will be multiplatform. XO. We’re not so sure about that. and players who pre-order will again be able to make a hole in der Führer (aka hitler). and each has his own seperate story. therefore. yes. 25% Format PC Publisher The Outsiders Developer The Outsiders ETA Winter 2017 projecT wiGhT complete Be the beast in this viking RPG from ex-Battlefield devs T he Outsiders is an indie studio co-founded in 2015 by former Battlefield devs David Goldfarb (lead designer) and Ben Cousins (executive producer). however. n On the one hand. but if we all hold hands and wish hard enough we’re sure it will arrive here eventually. it grows into a formidable murderer of men. But the final touches of localisation are almost done. with new killcams and takedowns kicking things up several gratuitous notches. n Probably best described as a bonkers mash-up between streetPass Quest and Tomodachi Life. the studio responsible for one of the most perfect gaming experiences of forever – the 2012 masterpiece. capable of snapping necks with brutal efficiency. It’s currently only confirmed for release in Japan. although sega say the plots intertwine along the way. so. wielding his trademark weapon – a tanto knife. n yakuza 0 40 chRIsTmAs 2016 Gm instant reaction Thrill-o-meTer 1 2 3 4 5 Ambitious animal vs viking showdown. An adorable-looking curio. which is currently called Project Wight. n enemies like a perma-roided ape. The studio’s debut game is an RPG set in ye olde viking times and casts the player as a cave-dwelling creature from an intelligent species hunted almost to extinction by man. The monster’s moveset is further expanded with the ability to charge at Format PS4 Pub Sega Dev Sega ETA 24 January 2017 Format 3DS Pub Nintendo Dev Nintendo ETA Summer 2017 miiTopia Format PS4. but with the strong industry pedigree that’s behind it. however. T The main objective of this RPG appears to be ‘kill all humans’. Knights And Bikes follows best pals Nessa and Demelza on a quest to discover the truth about the legends of fictional cornish island Penfurzy. we’re certainly intrigued to see how this one turns out. and glide through the air with the grace of a frenzied flying squirrel killing machine. Format TBC Pub Thatgamecompany Dev Thatgamecompany ETA Winter 2017 www. horn-helmeted humans at all costs. Now that we can get behind. info is thin on the ground. assigning them with traits and abilities. Players swap between majima and Kiryu every couple of chapters.

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if there was any indie game from the past few years that we wanted a follow-up to. Beautifully minimalist in its execution. “there’s this one little skeleton guy in a level and you can just see two bars and one skeleton arm hanging out [in the background].” she says. there was one arcade game that i played that had fencing. which didn’t really exist before. Who is. Messhof is a tiny indie game studio focused on arcade games with a serious sense of humour.. Nidhogg. however. Plus you won’t get in quite so much trouble.ly/gmnidhogg2 #1 NIdhogg 2 there’s no wurming your way out of this one Founded by Mark Essen and Kristy Norindr in LA in 2013. For some. plus she loves the little visual details this time around. all the level stuff. blew the world’s collective mind with its beautiful. is equally excited by the change.” messhof co-founder and music director on the game. and rip out spines – have now been transformed into technicolour cartoons. Nidhogg would be top of the list. if you can fight off your constantly respawning couch mate. it’s sort of a silly game about stabbing each other over and over and getting eaten by a worm. Swords with friends “it’s a fencing combat game. having an artist onboard means that she and Essen have more time to work on other aspects of the game (unlike last time. then run in one direction until you can’t run any more and get eaten by the giant mythical Norwegian serpent Nidhogg. then you see this one flickering pixel that’s his “It’s a sIlly game about stabbIng each other over and over and gettIng eaten by a wurm” www. there’ll be a single-player mode featuring “special challenge rounds”. I ndie games aren’t known for having too many sequels. that is.IndieMaster The Best Of The Indie Scene! In addition to local and online multiplayer. and he has a pretty strange style. 54 Christmas 2016 Essen says. Kristy Norindr. it was feeling really dead and then toby spearheaded the new look. just because we were trying out a different way of drawing the characters with different technology. Format PC. We went for a serious look to begin with.” grins co-founder and game and art director mark Essen. stab them. consoles TBA Developer Messhof ETA 2017 Web http://bit. “so we now have [lead artist and animator] toby Dixon.” Fancy throwing an axe or a dagger at the back of your friend’s head? It’ll be safer if you do it in this game instead. where they did everything themselves). and such fine detail.. Others. throw swords. brutal simplicity as two stick figures battled it out for supremacy before running off to be eaten by a giant worm. “in the backgrounds. it perhaps feels anti-indie to follow in the footsteps of triple-A developers. which is more playing to his strengths of gross humour. Its first game. it took a lot of iterating before we got to where we are now. such as Stardew Valley or Don’t Starve. “We were looking for an artist who could capture the weirdness that we felt was always in Nidhogg. the aim of the game is simple: fence with your foe.com/gamesmaster . enjoy regular updates and expansions in lieu of a true standalone new entry. the first thing that hits you in the eyes before you’ve even seen a single sword parry is the change in visual style from the first game.twitter. the simplistic stick figures of before – who somehow make things more comedic as you stab. there are really beautiful subtleties that toby throws in there.

. We’ve Bow down Try this! www. weapons could intersect in interesting “i think we’re just trying to keep that ways.” n Mark Essen and Kristy Norindr cut to the chase It’s time for the dramatic announcement that’s sure to make everyone faint. Fulfil your bloodrite and deposit your corpse into the bowels of the flying worm known as Nidhogg. Neither of us noticed. more levels… and more fun. we’ll be learning more than ever about the titular serpent. it still stays trying to take that you should probably get true to the Nidhogg mindset to new involved with the slick. The first game’s castle level is back. and things are going to get seriously gross. and more. You on Steam and PS4. Doseone. stabby you know and love. It’s the same fast-paced hilarious stabby action you’re used to from the first Nidhogg.” On top of the bow and arrow. so there’s going to be a poo room. your game is cool. Plus. “i’m If you haven’t tried it already. adding the fencing sword But this is still a game about ending from the beginning was like ‘Oh this the opponent – or. Enjoy new monstrous visuals by artist Toby Dixon and banging beats from Daedelus. Hurl your weapon at them or even try to run away! Choose from ten different multiscreen fields of play – battle in the castle. “there’s a giant tree sort of like the Deku tree from Zelda. “i’m super excited about the next level we’re going to show. i think variety. Little details like that are just so awesome.” Essen that.The 60 Second Pitch There will be ten full arenas to battle across in the final game. i tried to see where a different experience. or disarm them through a parry. but it’s looking rather more detailed. more music. You can throw your version.’ but it’s kind of Nidhogg with bow. stomp in the swamp. and don’t enthuses. Messhof is proudly promising an ultra-gross version of the serpent. worry.” feel different.” interjects Norindr. messhof is promising we’ll see multiple giant wurms in all stages of life.” Yep. Nidhogg is available Consider it an bow and arrow.’ sometimes it’s cool to make games.gamesradar. Plus.” says Essen. that this one flickering pixel was this skeleton eye. which is in a swamp. a couple of months while it was in the background.” ponders Essen. slaughter by the water… the world of Nidhogg beckons you.” that’s right – eye. It’s the return of the wurm! The next instalment of the epic award-winning duelling tug-of-war is coming! Push your coloured sack of flesh past your opponent using weapons ranging from swords to bows and arrows. We’re excited “i’m really excited to add weapons that about the art. and it’s all coming in 2017. for i think new weapons. battle axes. strategy because of that. more likely.com/gamesmaster got some good ones in the pipe. or even hit people with your bow if lots of little tweaks that i think make it you’re out of arrows. Oh. and you so there’s a bit of ‘Oh this is the ultimate can pick up arrows. Poo worship. and there’s more weapon we have at the moment. but a little bit more twisted. then you get pooped out the back into a poo room. Players have a variety of acrobatic moves at their disposal – divekick your opponent. and even more. we’ve got poo worship in the game. and the level’s all about going in and out of spaces so at one point you go inside of a rotting Nidhogg corpse and you fight inside there.’ because no-one had made swearing friend a sword game with sitting next to you the three levels on the sofa – and where you can there are all kinds do parries and of new ways to do disarms. “We were just having a meeting with a musician that may do the music for this particular level. “We’re can shoot arrows http://bit. there’s some more combinations the bow is probably the most exciting of weapons and worlds. weapons revealed so far include an axe and a tiny throwing knife that enables you to attack low. aspect. a poo worship room… so yeah. Mux Mool. complete with swinging chandelier.ly/gmnidhogg using a lot of ideas but there’s a whole that got cut out of charge and release the original game. i’m so excited about the art in this level. each with interesting little details in the backgrounds that the team loves. weapons like the original. upgrade. “it was the first time that we had talked to him and this is how we launched into the conversation: ‘alright. with more weapons. you read that right. and to build those interactions in same feeling of the game but add more and make them more interesting.

The fencing in Nidhogg is a joy as you parry back and forth. however. but perhaps not great for showing the family at Christmas. don’t you? It’s almost as if real sports are just ridiculously poorly implemented mechanics that are so much better when transformed into pixels and structured properly. to the sheer scale of the world you explore.” explains Dube. you’re in luck. and don’t forget the procedural generation… “a lot of people feel that a procedural metroidvania is impossible. “in sundered. This is definitely one for late nights with friends. Here’s another sport you love when it means throwing a sword into someone’s back before hot footing it off to be eaten by a giant mythical serpent. Sure there’s a ball.” explains art director Jo-annie Gauthier. similar to a game like Diablo. “as you progress throughout the game. this might not be something you want to watch while eating a hot dog. before forgetting about swords and pummelling your foe into a squelchy floor mess. to fix what is wrong. cover to cover. it evokes a lot of nostalgia for us. sub-sections. though. with the way it ties in the feelings of the eerie and the uncomfortable with the desire to do great things.com/gamesmaster . #2 100ft robot Golf #3 rocket leaGue #4 nIdhoGG #5 Mount Your frIendS At least we get to choose whether we go insane or not.” Where do we sign up for corruption? n Christmas 2016 Just because your sport-loving friends haven’t heard of a game where you wrestle a doubleended snake-human for control of a ball.” teases creative director Will Dube. six times. but isn’t done as often. We want the suspense to be tangible in everything from the background to the enemies. manhood by making it to the top of the human tower without crying with laughter at the animated male anatomy physics. Homoerotic stacking is a sport. “i think the idea of taking a style that people tend to offhandedly dismiss as being kids-only and making it into a grittier.” Madhouse rules and what about those visuals? Every screen that you roll. That’s more generous than Darkest Dungeon. in many ways. The developers of the gorgeous Norse actioner Jotun – which stomped onto consoles this year – are back with another feast for the eyeballs. In a giant arena. sprinkle in some elements of rogue Legacy. reassuringly. we don’t shy from going down a creepier and darker road. and upon death. we like to go for an animated movies look. darker story isn’t new. “Nausicaä Of the Valley Of the Wind was inspirational to me during the development of the look. “sundered’s tagline is ‘resist or Embrace’. at least. this is what makes sundered a unique game. But with all the creaking and squeaking of naked flesh. and make huge destructive mechs play instead of humans. Football with cars. PC Developer Thunder Lotus Games ETA 2017 Web http://bit.twitter. Eshe is transported back to a hub to spend the currency she has accumulated on upgrades. With the beauty and wonder you get from strange landscapes and beautiful animation. are procedurally assembled from hand-crafted levels to keep things fresh. “i’m of the belief that animated movies can be enjoyed by all ages and used for all purposes and intents.” But those upgrades you desperately desire will come at a high price: your state of mind. “as per usual. err. Three words. but you won’t mind nearly as much when you’re smashing up buildings on the way to your next putt. and less so in games. you don’t have to lose your sanity if you don’t want to. and the odd word like ‘par’ thrown in. www.” she says. Look how little they’re wearing! Show your. a hole. Your sanity might not fare quite as well though. doesn’t mean it’s not a legitimate pastime. sundered is a unique mash-up of genres. With goals big enough to fit balls kicked by cars in. think metroidvania with a difference. we’ve just got something in our eye. having the choice is core to the game’s promise. so Eshe’s (or your) madness isn’t inevitable. you do like this whole list. you unlock new abilities that are either helpful in combat or in exploration. Sorry. Doing so has gameplay and story consequences and will influence which ending you get.ly/gmsundered #2 Sundered time to scratch that Eldritch H ow do you like your Lovecraftian nightmares? Hand-drawn and utterly beautiful? Well. You can corrupt these abilities at the cost of your sanity.IndieMaster The Best Of The Indie Scene! Format PS4.” Gauthier approves of cartoons taking a much scarier approach than what we’d expect. the structure of the world does not change. wall jump and shoot through so far looks as though a classic Disney animator Small… But Perfectly Formed sports indies for people who absolutely hate sports #1 Art director Jo-Annie Gauthier cites Watership Down as a dark animated influence. 56 PuSh Me Pull You How do you make more people enjoy golf? Put it in space or underwater. dash. suffered from a bout of insomnia and read at the mountains Of madness. See.

Described as a stealth horror game. Your object is simple: sneak into the neighbour’s basement. you’ll wake up back in your bed and ready to try again. But the ai is out to stop you. and a bear trap is hidden behind the door that you managed to stealthily open two tries ago. you’ll be free to try again as soon as you please. Celeste is the latest pixelated work from the developer of towerFall. Be very afraid. but so can he. Why haven’t you heard him in a while? Where’s he hiding as you creep from room to room trying desperately to find the key to the padlocked basement door? it looks like we’ll find out in 2017. n We’re used to getting better at playing a game over time. Get caught trying to sneak in. but every appearance of the neighbour is accompanied by terrifying strings and the game of cat and mouse is horrifically tense. and also perform a mid-air dash to grab items or reach new areas. you’ll fit right in to Hello Neighbor. While collectable strawberries are easy to reach initially. What do you do? Perhaps avoid leaving the house at the same time? Or do you repeatedly attempt to break into his house to find out what kind of guilty secret he’s got in his basement? If it’s the latter. and after a crescendo of violins (and probably some violence). You’ve moved into a new house and glimpse a suspiciouslooking fellow across the road. less familiar is the feeling of the game getting better at playing us. you’ll quickly realise why it’s horrific. the visuals might look like a Pixar movie. Space invader Because no-one sensible has called the police.gamesradar.ly/gmhelloneighbour #3 hello neIGhbor Breaking and entertaining P icture the scene. including tiny snowflake pixels that float past our heroine on her journey. You need a hammer to remove the planks boarded across the window that you sneaked through once before. Like maybe one without blades and stuff Christmas 2016 57 . Yep. It turns out he’s your neighbour. the problem is that the neighbour is waiting and he hasn’t forgotten what happened last time. and it’s a side-scrolling. interestingly. then be afraid. You can use everything in the world to aid you. spinning blades and spikes soon put paid to your dreams of 100% completion of the mountain. thorson and his co-developer Noel Berry actually created a version of the new game last year in four days.w Format PC Dev Dynamic Pixels ETA Summer 2017 Web http://bit. and we can’t wait. and what we’ve seen so far has beautiful visuals. Echo. Just like last month’s indiemaster. Once you’re inside the house.ly/gmceleste towerFall at her feet I f the name Matt Thorson conjures up disturbing memories of sleepless nights spent firing arrows with equally rest-deprived flatmates. n “Think Super MeaT Boy and you will geT The level of pain here” Our poor heroine probably should’ve just stayed at home. already threatening some terrifying platforming challenges. single-player platformer that looks like it’s got all of the fiendish sensibilities of the brilliant couch multiplayer game. or gone for a walk up a different mountain. the young female lead isn’t actually called Celeste. which they’ve now called Celeste Classic and have made available to play for free online. things get even scarier and you’ll quickly forget to breathe.com/gamesmaster #4 celeSte Format PC Developer Matt Makes Games ETA 2017 Web http://bit. but she’s on a quest to climb a mountain. this is a game that’s constantly learning from you. www. hope you’ve got your hiking boots on. you can hang momentarily on walls before jumping. think super meat Boy and you’ll get the level of pain that Celeste will deliver. Snow problem Next year’s game is an ultra-polished and improved version of that. as a little taster. this is going to be tough.

Emily was a mere child – forced to inherit the throne of Dunwall at a cruelly young age after her mother’s “whether you play as Corvo or emily. so backstabbing hijinx are quickly afoot. you get it… Not awarded based simply on score. most of the game’s nine missions start with you setting sail from a large fishing vessel. Once docked at your destination. it does. 80-89 Excellent Buy it. 60-69 Decent A mixed bag filled with sweets and sharp stones. Of course. DishonoReD 2 Format PS4 (reviewed). The wonderful Void Timepiece has ’em all beat. this may be the shooter you’ve been looking for. this in most games. Before you know it. The best game gadget since Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun. but still a very enjoyable experience. Emily’s throne is usurped by her wicked aunt. move on. dishonored remains rooted in violent espionage” 58 Christmas 2016 murder. silly. love it. flick between them. Yet in the 15 years since Dishonored. The Final Verdict! how we scoRe 0-39 Awful Avoid it as you would a bullet with your name on. 70 -79 Good Some flaws. Gleefully toying with your prey – flummoxed goons baffled at how an assassin just wiped out their pals before vanishing into thin (time-distorting) air – is akin to holding a murderous. if Back to the Future was a horror film. or Saints Row’s Manapult. you Did you kow a Dishonored comic mini-series exists? Well. The small print: We rate games in comparison to what else is available on the same system. the Void timepiece would be the central mechanic.com/gamesmaster . love with the show-stealing Void trinket we couldn’t wait six paragraphs to start gushing about it. It shows Arkane’s stealth sequel at its very best. and possess rats as Corvo attano: the mask-wearing royal guard/master assassin. see through walls. you can teleport. 90-100 Outstanding A rare and essential piece of brilliance. Not here. and cements the series as one of the most effortlessly clever around. hey. the city thriving under her rule. and our expectations. PC Publisher Bethesda Developer Arkane Studios ETA Out now Players 1 F orget Metal Gear’s kidnappy Fulton balloons. how do you go about reclaiming your sovereignty? Why. 40-59 Poor Major issues here that won’t be solved with a hug. that’s not a typo). so this year’s FiFa might score less than a FiFa from three years ago. Because time. mini DeLorean in your palm. Kald case Last time out. Emily Kaldwin.Reviews 62 Battlefield 1 if you like your guns to be old and made of wood. and the four-part run is in stores now! arkane’s sneaky sequel shines. yes? Like the original Dishonored. Whether you choose to play as Corvo or Emily. Empress Kaldwin has developed into a confident. by stabbing loads of bad folk in the neck with a sword. the concealed blades of Assassin’s Creed. there’s a lot more to Dishonored 2 than a brilliant time-travelling interlude. For instant classics that you won’t regret owning. Naturally. XO. you flee to the neighbouring city of Karnaca. you can’t build a murdery sneak ’em up around the story of peaceful industrial progression. ditching Dunwall for chaos in Karnaca www. “Great scott!” indeed. if you wish. and for the same format at the time of release.twitter. you’re smart. and Doc Brown its serial killer star. in the same genre. and the watch-like doodad never outstays its welcome during an exhilarating hour-long cameo. but rather given to games that possess a special blend of qualities. the Dreadful Wale (no. then creep up and slit enemy throats in such seamless fashion. Dishonored remains rooted in exceptionally violent espionage. Perhaps we should rewind the clock a bit. but still be a better game. We’re just so in devilishly inventive gizmo lets you view two time periods simultaneously. there’s also a major new wrinkle that shakes proceedings up big style… you can. you’ll be back in the present before the corpses hit the ground in the past. choose to play as his daughter. arkane is a master of taut pacing. worn out as setpiece after setpiece diminish its charms. and the setup for a revenge tale – one peppered with professional hits – is swiftly complete. the timepiece would be his deadly dream invention. thank us when you’re done. diligent leader.

64 call of Duty: infinite warfare if you like your guns to be in outer space. www. Where are the guns? Where are the guns! Abort! Abort! Abort! Christmas 2016 59 .gamesradar. this may be the shooter you’ve been looking for. if you like your guns to be… wait. hang on.com/gamesmaster 66 Titanfall 2 78 Pokémon sun And Moon if you like your guns to be strapped to a giant robot. this may be the shooter you’ve been looking for.

Yet. Fancy possessing fish so you can sneak into heavily guarded buildings via a drain pipe? Corvo’s your man. you’d rather set Corvo’s rat swarms on its patrolling. Albeit a mostly dead one. The Final Verdict! must hunt down a high-ranking official. Some dole out more HP when you’re eating fruit. While missions play out identically regardless of whether you opt for mr attano or the eviscerating apple of his eye. while the more measured approach that comes with embracing your inner solid snake rarely fails to satisfy. Powers play many skill tree powers are so absurdly badass. Dishonored 2 wants you to play it however stabbily or stealthily as you see fit. creeping shadow entity is totally the same as fretting over which of your kids you love more. and by extension which of the game’s multiple endings you arrive at – kill loads of folk and a less optimistic conclusion awaits. father and daughter handle quite differently. more violent acts admittedly affect your Chaos rating. make a return. there’s perhaps no other game where the joy of getting from a to B is this pronounced. while others carry double-edged qualities. Deciding between an upgrade that reduces corpses to dust or one which transforms your imperial assassin into a near invisible.twitter. But c’mon. Dishonored loves empowering its players with game-changing agency. kill the heck out of them – helping bring down aunt Delilah’s evil regime in the process – before making a swift retreat to the strangely spelled boat.Review Dishonored’s weird whales. there’s real incentive to play through Dishonored 2 twice. right? the game constantly revels in the experimental playfulness its powers grant. and viciously vigilant. admit it. Whichever way you choose to proceed. say. swiftly teleporting to ledges and lookout towers is every bit as invigorating as it was in the original. there’s rarely a preconceived ‘right’ way to complete any mission. such as a variant that increases your movement speed but sees you take more damage during fights. ultimately. pincer-armed bots. decapitating whim. Perhaps you’d rather magically link several enemies with Domino. and it only takes one misstep to alert a RoAD To Rune tracking down powers with a heartfelt tool L ike last time. with the returning modifiers again affecting your abilities. You can also opt for a non-lethal way to eliminate targets. sure.com/gamesmaster . to shake things up on a constant. swordplay offers immediate thrills. they’re rarely as easy to manipulate as the guards of mGsV. by locking them in a vault. though. Lopping the heads off the Grand serkonan Guard is just as rewarding as prowling around rooftops. arkane wants you to improvise. Be it Corvo’s Blink ability or Emily’s Far reach. Outside of the simple pleasures of moving mario about in the plumber’s recent 3D outings. www. picking between branches provokes a perpetual sophie’s Choice. you upgrade abilities with Runes. Whether hunting Runes or Bone Charms. you could sneak into a clockwork mansion “parasitiC Creepy Crawlies stand between you and many of KarnaCa’s juiCiest shortCuts” 60 Christmas 2016 where rooms reassemble themselves. or distract them with Emily’s Doppleganger duplicates. which can be located with the Heart – the returning Void ticker is still as disgustingly squelchy and useful for finding hidden goodies as ever. where’s the fun in that? the end goal may always revolve around assassination. Enemies are sharp sighted. all strange fins and jutting teeth. caution is still your best pal in a pinch. The Heart can also be whipped out to detect Bone Charms. collectibles are often guarded by enemies or bloodflies. thanks to each of their distinctly divergent skill trees. constantly evading sightlines. yet the real heart of Dishonored 2 lies in its magnificently fluid movement. then down the whole lot of them with a single sleeping dart? Emily has you covered.

we just hope its conductor composes a slightly fresher chorus if Corvo and Emily get a third act. disgustingly moist nests to avoid being swarmed requires a calm head and strong stomach. While it never feels quite as evocatively etched as Dunwall. it feels a little safe. and super-sampling kicks in – improving anti-aliasing to create a smoother image than the standard PlayStation 4 can muster. it’s a good showcase for Sony’s new box. though.gamesradar. the next rolling waves of soot and ash blindside you in the The incredible Void Timepiece is taken from you so swiftly. class struggles. that’s why it’s always wise to seek alternate paths… um. Overall. Dishonored is hardly a twitch shooter. the sequel comes across as a little safe. it’s also less bold than the original. Yet it’s hard to shake the perception it’s also a bit unambitious. a Gothic adventure where your style of play is limited only by the depth of your imagination and appetite for chaos. and huge fun. the (admittedly. As for performance. but Corvo and Emily’s chilling sneaker is tonnes more fun to control. Needless to say. We could Blink all day long. in comparison. judgement % 87 a bloody clever sneak ‘em up that empowers through player-driven choice. for loud but pacifistic playthroughs. Admittedly. super clever. its neighbouring domain has more of a European flavour. so lightning quick input times aren’t essential. Play at this resolution on PS4 Pro. Dave Meikleham Christmas 2016 61 . worse than… Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Kojima’s Snake swansong is probably the best stealth game ever made. Dilly-dally too long and death is swiftly dished out. When Corvo first skulked onto the scene. ‘the Jewel Of the south at the Edge Of the World’ is like an otherworldly italian city by the sea. and the results are suitably sharp. Follow-up folly mechanically. insect-evading actions. Few of Karnaca’s assassinations are as alive with possibility as Lady Boyle’s masquerade ball. With metal Gear now Kojima-less. Karnaca is a mightily memorable place. it’s a town of striking contrasts. One minute you’re staring at a partially gutted whale in the fisheries of Campo seta Dockyards. Pull back a little. these parasitic creepy crawlies stand between you and many of Karnaca’s juiciest shortcuts. and the sense of familiarity is a tad deflating. performance dips are infrequent enough they rarely prove distracting. Dishonored 2 may be the strongest stealth game we see for years. Opting between keenly patrolled streets or sneaking past paranormal mozzies adds a welcome tactical layer to route-planning. or that sociopathically subversive bath house hit from attano’s Dunwall debut. it’s not nearly the night-and-day improvement 4K mode offers. Deciding who to side with in a faction war between petty street thieves and an order of knightly religious zealots hammers home Dishonored’s core obsession with choice-driven play. blade-brandishing posse. and dread dominate. Karnaca is still drawn with enough memorably lurid brushstrokes to make it one hell of an intoxicating place to inhabit for the ten or so hours it takes to polish off the story. Five minutes after that? You’ll probably be craning your neck to admire the luxuriant canopies of Cyria Gardens – the game’s elite may be occult-worshipping snobs. regardless of whether the game is actually running at a native 4K or not. and that mechanical mansion we mentioned earlier? it’s one of the most twistedly ingenious environments you’ll see this generation – a flip-flopping labyrinth brought to life through arkane’s painterly art style. Dishonored 2 can’t match its scope. hates… Only a couple of segments match the original’s best bits. in 2012. Many PC players have complained about framerate dips in the more open areas of Karnaca. he laid down a riveting template that riffed on the likes of hitman to compose its own murderous melody. a steampunk Naples where a melting pot of science. it’s just as empowering and joyful to control as its predecessor. as a base for your vengeful. Even if you don’t have an Ultra HD telly to take advantage of the resolution boost. even when those routes happen to be infested with plasma-sucking bloodflies. is Dishonored 2 still a homicidal hoot? absolutely. It’s here you chat to key allies. though it’s something we struggle to notice on the PS4 Pro version. that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of highlights. n Assassin’s Creed Syndicate The two may share a Victorian vibe. i need to Know Playing on PS4 and gunning for Dishonored 2’s platinum trophy? You’ll have to finish the game playing as both Corvo and Emily.dishonored 2 loves… Character abilities are varied. but at least super-sampling at Full HD helps eliminate any ugly jaggies. While 60fps would have been nice. You can now use non-lethal takedowns during swordfights. but they have some skilled green fingers. slum-like Dust District. aside from the wonderful time-travelling mission. while also earning a High and Low Chaos ending. Dishonored 2 aims for 30fps. and tiptoeing past their goopy. only rarely sneaking out of its predecessor’s long shadow. Dishonored 2 is granite strong. Dishonored 2 certainly hits the same high notes. it’s mostly solid. On a minute-to-minute level. and while it doesn’t maintain that target all the time. The clever chequerboard rendering effect seen in Rise Of The Tomb Raider is again deployed. It’s a genuine joy to control.com/gamesmaster better than… D ishonored 2 is one of the first triple-A new releases to get a PS4 Pro patch. this is a game oozing with ideas. Where Dunwall was inspired by Victorian era London and Edinburgh. Corvo’s adventure felt like a wonderfully fresh hodgepodge of killer ideas. So how does it handle on Sony’s up-spuffed PlayStation? The good news is it scales up nicely. excellent) action never quite surprises as regularly as it perhaps should. mind. there are definitely still gains to be had for those gaming on 1080p sets. Go BiG oR PRo hoMe The Dreaded Wale acts as a sort of mission hub between levels. how does Corvo’s latest run on sony’s brand new and beefed-up Ps4? www.

It’s a haunting sight. The Final Verdict! theatRes of waR Where you’ll be fighting Give your peepers an eyeful of the many maps of Battlefield 1. quietly dispatching soldiers. the italian arditi who strapped on armour and braved the alps. invulnerable and clearly defined. as you might expect.twitter. mortars. The Engineer is gone. lime-green chlorine gas sends soldiers into throat-clutching convulsions. and bombed-out villages. each level tells a different story. mind gone. it’s the blackened heart of Battlefield 1. along with the crew of Black Bess. a grizzled sharpshooter representing australia in “while lacking the campaign’s emotional centre. You are not expected to survive. and thick sludge coating your treads. trench scopes. halfway through rampaging down crater-ridden French frontlines in a tank. PC Publisher EA Developer DICE ETA Out now Players 1-64 Battlefield 1 the past holds the future of first-person shooters T here’s a quiet early moment in DICE’s deafening WWI shooter where. gun lowered. It doesn’t. the six-mission. You’re no one-man army. you know. which destroys vehicles. real. “this is frontline combat. self-contained and playable in any order. across trenches. Bickering British drivers of the temperamental mark V tank. recoil counters. and occasionally switching to foot to creep around foggy forest encampments. Unlike previous series villains. and Medic. XO. a young soldier vomits at the sight of the incomprehensible carnage. train yards. tripwires) and attachments (scopes. the Flame Trooper roasts foes with a hefty flamethrower. this one casting you as a charismatic chancer who joyrides a biplane fighter and finds himself embroiled in the royal Flying corps’ Pick-uP and mix meet the new Elite classes L ocate and collect special kits on maps to turn the tide with Elite Classes. Levelling-up earns you war bonds to unlock equipment (limpet charges. you spot a lone German walking in a daze. multi-perspective campaign is filled with powerful imagery. You play a chauffeur turned tank operator who. With shells sending up sprays of soil. it results in brilliant variety encompassing vehicular skirmishes. unwashed and unromantic.” the game warns during the desperate first mission. under-barrels). Format PS4 (reviewed).Review Airships can turn the tide of a Conquest or Operations match. there is no good or bad here: only victims. the fierce harlem hellfighters in France. The Tank Hunter carries a massive 1918 Tankgewehr capable of destroying armoured vehicles. Flyboys who defended skies above London and Vosges. Muddy hell mud and Blood is among the boldest. guerrilla warfare. Picture Star Wars Battlefront’s Heroes and Villains but. taut stealth. its traits given to Assault. which repairs them. multiplayer feels more like warfare” 62 christmas 2016 the Dardanelles. when the inevitable happens.com/gamesmaster . a hardy Bedouin woman riding alongside Lawrence Of arabia. ‘Jerome Johnson: 1899-1918’ appears on our screen before we’re switched to the next pending casualty. Support suppresses and resupplies. sure enough. They can also crash and burn rather spectacularly. drain the game’s spirit so much as suffuse it with savage energy. Scouts provide reconnaissance and engage from distance. this is a meat grinder. On the blood-red beaches of Gallipoli. and air combat. Friends in high Places is another cracker. which encompass everything from towns to trenches to beaches to ballrooms. it’s about breaking line of sight with enemy tanks. There are also four regular classes. www. in the trenches of ribecourt. and the sturdy Sentry dons metal plates for a defence boost. must smash the German deadlock at cambrai.

Operations.Battlefield 1 Extra seconds spent reloading the WWI weaponry inspire a degree of ammo conservation without actually negatively affecting the pace. it’s forgettable. bombers.” Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman. and tone unlocks a new dimension. but if the invaders run out of spawn tickets before they manage it. horses. it’s the game’s showstopper. balancing out multiplayer’s more frustrating aspects (i. fighters. blimps. tanks rattle past. Massive maps and player counts lead to frequent online death. You only ever seem to be facing a handful of foes at any one time. rush sees one team defend telegraph posts from attackers. secure. it’s convincingly chaotic. Germans in suburbs and villages.e. although lacking the campaign’s emotional centre. Better than… The abundant melee devices do more than kill. BF1 makes up for the limited tinkering scope of its guns by making every shot feel like a physical punch of lead. and there are small moments. 2nd opinion “The WWI setting had me a bit concerned. The campaign features a diverse array of stories and scenarios. heavy tanks. mainly as I love sorting through loadouts and tweaking the smallest details. Don’t do it. much www. austro-hungarians vs. War Pigeons is new – players must locate. Battlefield 1’s wholesale change of setting. which gives the action a smaller scale than intended. even if magnetic performances make you want to stay longer with characters. Battlefield 1 delivers respect and spectacle in equal measure. such as manning a blimp’s turret and tearing up the Venetian alps. Nothing is Written features a pantomime heel who snarls lines like “You will all be free to die!”. Doing so drives the defenders back a sector. arsenal. Brits vs. planes soar overhead. you defend a church against an encroaching wave of Ottomans who strangely appear in twos like they’re desperately competing for places on Noah’s ark. Later on in that mission. smart and uproariously entertaining. Pitched dogfights are nervy and nicely chunky – you can conk out engines and chip apart an enemy plane’s wooden wings to send them spiralling in dark plumes of smoke – and an unreliable narrator is a smart way of justifying the taller tales. attackers must hold two concurrent points to capture a sector. technology hamstrings other scenarios. and piped-in crowd sound effects aren’t fooling anybody. team Deathmatch is what you’d expect. hates… Single-player is lacking in places and leaves you wanting more. it feels more like war. for example. although single-player ends too soon. er. after all. trains. with winning sound design and top visual feedback. some destroy wooden barricades. in fairness. taking place on multiple fronts. there are big moments. An absolutely epic multiplayer experience on a humbling scale. high player counts also mean you’re always in someone’s sights. italians in rugged mountains. and if you’re not? You’re probably about to be stabbed. scores of men collide. americans vs. the first Battlefield going toe to toe with Call Of Duty and offering a dynamic. Being constantly killed by unseen forces is less frequent on man-made terrain. vehicle roster. Ben Griffin christmas 2016 63 . and theming each around a historical clash complete with cutscenes. and Brits vs. the so-called ‘largest naval force hitherto assembled’ for the invasion at Gallipoli is roughly a dozen men strong. and explosions rock the earth. never normalising events. blimp. Remember to spot enemies using RB/R1. and their brevity contributes a frightening rawness. however. featuring the maximum 64 player count. like palaces and trenches. worse than… What’s one war-related Google search you definitely will regret? ‘trench foot’. gunfire rings the ears. DicE casts its net admirably wide and regrettably shallow. Battlefield Hardline Hardline felt little more than a series reskin. jeeps. and some even damage vehicles. and online pandemonium can feel somewhat loose. huge teams diminish the individual’s presence – you’ll lose battles you felt you were winning and vice versa. on the other hand. and then release a carrier pigeon to summon an artillery strike. is not.com/gamesmaster of the single-player’s draw is jumping constantly between places and time periods. elegantly capturing the brutality of war and skillfully channelling it into a landmark shooting experience. gunships. the necessary drawback of exploring multiple perspectives means only going ankle deep in all of them. or battleship to the losing side. This slaps a red icon above their heads that teammates can see as long as you keep them in view. but in the disorderly throes of nature it’s incredibly prevalent. this size can. which feels misplaced among otherwise fair-handed depictions of enemy forces who are just as doomed as you are. wars are not just one story. and. conquest and Domination are about holding positions on the map. Playing with friends definitely helps alleviate this issue. but millions of stories. such as bayonet-charging a lone soldier in the Forest of argonne. OXM Judgement % 90 set in the past but still a defining modern day shooter. like crash-landing on a burning blimp. Baptism of fire multiplayer drops this tension in pursuit of breezy fun across six modes. large scale alternative. camouflaged snipers killing you constantly) by deploying an armoured tank. they lose. count against it. there are four Operations. loves… Expect light tanks. some scenarios miss the mark.gamesradar. Battlefield 3 tumultuous aerial conflict. Some cut barbed wire. n Dice’s 2011 stab had more of an intense impact. Ottomans in the inhospitable middle East. Editor. Germans in cities and forests. motorcycles with sidecars.

the people of Earth are forced to mine the solar system for resources. the interwebs may have overreacted in trademark inflammatory style. Throw in a spruced-up take on COD 4’s beloved multiplayer. trouble is. no one can hear Activision execs scream. despite a more open approach to mission design and a sprinkling of spaceship dogfighting. then go back to cowering behind crates. maybe ever. while first week sales were only half that of Black Ops III. In space. it’s left this planet behind. stretched out over seven hours. But let’s backtrack. space-faring backdrop leads to the most open cOD in years. in many ways. this is largely the same game you’ve been playing since modern Warfare. combat is actually a weird. PC Publisher Activision Developer Infinity Ward ETA Out now Players 1-12 call Of Duty: infinite Warfare megaton shooter stumbles as it gets lost in space T he biggest FPS franchise on the planet is having a bad year. he goes boots-on-theground with the grunts for every mission. too. huh? commendably. sure. kickstarting a system-wide war. Unlike Black Ops ii’s weird. and this is a package that easily outguns Infinite Warfare. even nine years on. Reactions to Infinite Warfare’s largely space-based setting have been dramatic.review Zero-g gunfights provide the campaign’s best moments thanks to their head-spinning. shooty spectacle. Sure. Reyes of hope Obviously that nonsense isn’t going to stand with iW’s protagonist. slightly neutered beast – balls-to-the-wall empowering one moment. take a few potshots. who open the game by bombing the hell out of a parade in Geneva. totally rote the next. it’s a shame the main story beats often shoot wide of their target. this “an uneven campaign and intimidating multiplayer leaves zombies to pick up the slack” 64 christmas 2016 cheesy. main story levels are still drip fed to you at certain junctures. Enter the mean old settlement Defense Front.twitter. explosions every 14 seconds. hell. the decision to take the fight to space results in some stupendous scenery. partly because… well. yet aside from a mission on a meteor where reyes and pals flee skin-flaying sunrays. but the real meat on this campaign’s bones comes in optional side missions that can be tackled in whatever order you fancy. still pining for cOD 4’s legendary all Ghillied Up? a stealthy sniping duel set among the pirouetting chunks of an asteroid field is as close as you’ll ever get to a sci-fi take on modern Warfare’s most famous mission. The good news? Captain Price’s magnificently moustached shooter still holds up. leading to the formation of off-planet colonies who resent those still inhabiting our spinning rock. the decision to blast cOD into the stratosphere is a by-product of infinite Warfare’s distant future setting. it’s uninspired intergalactic whack-a-mole. and popping in and out of cover to shoot nasty men. Now let’s hope Activision sees sense and puts it on general release. XO. Nick reyes. while those snappily paced levels have rarely been topped. thanks to overpopulation. The Final Verdict! Format PS4 (reviewed). Its debut trailer is one of the most downvoted videos in recent YouTube history. anti-aliasing is poor – the game looks rather jagged – but the crunching weapons still thrill. infinite Warfare is an unsatisfying halfway house between Price is right modern Warfare remaster shows how it’s done T he decision to wall off Modern Warfare Remastered behind Infinite Warfare’s expensive premium edition has gone down about as poorly as a WWF rally serving up panda burgers. Guards pop their heads above cover.com/gamesmaster . these levels are actually worthwhile. infinite Warfare’s campaign still follows the old cOD formula of super noisy set-piece spectacle. we’re struggling to recall many standout moments. quasi-rts strike Force asides. but that’s not to say their concerns aren’t merited. this brave captain doesn’t just lead the crew of colossal UNsa warship retribution. only with flabbier levels and an embarrassingly sombre tone. What a guy. www.

Yes. though fun to control. and really only differ when it comes to payloads – chargeable power-ups that include dual smGs or a crossbow-shaped gun with a wide spread of fire. they all handle similarly. but ultimately feels too indebted to a waning template. tense. and this call Of Duty enters a space race that it can’t quite keep up with. and a righteously silly hoot to play. a series of zero-g gunfights add sizzle to cOD’s shooty steak. infinite Warfare hardly reaches for the stars. The story’s reverence for ‘noble’ wartime sacrifice is unsettling. such as a shotgun that deafens nearby players. n Respawn’s silky sci-fi FPS has way more cool ideas in its campaign. just the most popular online multiplayer in the world. Enemies are surprisingly varied. spaceland is a superbly surreal 80s throwback. the underlying combat simply isn’t as tactically varied or satisfying as. jock. For newcomers. and the speedy. In Zombies mode. though. You get a satisfyingly floaty boost jump. You go into each game of Spaceland with a load-out of perk cards – like a longer bleed-out time. Let the dust settle. hates… Despite being super polished. Campaign load times are hidden behind seamless cutscene transitions as Reyes boards his warship. it’s dizzying. you play as one of four brilliantly clichéd archetypes. including a cheerleader. Bonnie Tyler wannabes. but COD is far more polished than this choppy sandbox. still. that said. of course. as cOD struggles to find its footing away from Earth. and Frankenstein zombs are all out to kill you. samey dogfights. base-battling hardline. you earn salvage by completing objectives – say. and feels like cOD’s attempt to tap into the long-term grind that has kept Destiny players coming back to the cosmodrome. and spaceland is an undoubted undead treat. salvage is a cute addition. base-hacking action. the frantic online arenas are terrifyingly competitive. and sassy rapper. Black Ops iii’s bombastic superpowers and the more measured cOD firefights of old. buttery smooth 60fps punch. online There are eight main competitive modes. better than… Homefront: The Revolution Both are maudlin shooters boasting futuristic toys. heavy weapons www. not all of these space excursions work. Death is dished out so regularly. this new resource can then be saved and spent on ultra fancy firearms. the campaign has a few fresh ideas. oh. loves… The more open campaign can throw up ace side missions. bespectacled nerd. spanning the likes of the all-round Warfighter. it’s here infinity Ward’s work feels most assured – probably because the game’s competitive component is damn similar to BLOPs iii. yet next to the Exo suit sexiness of 2014’s advanced Warfare. and the tone of tub-thumping jingoism feels all sorts of unpalatable in today’s political climate. it looks superb. spinning the undead slaughter in intriguing new directions courtesy of a wonderfully gaudy fairground. such is the speed of player movement and the potency of bullets. Dave Meikleham christmas 2016 65 . earning X amount of kills with a certain weapon. there’s just no time to react. he’s done a lot of games. say. and just wait until Nick dons ass-kicking astronaut clobber and takes part in floating firefights. but cOD’s multiplayer remains savagely unwelcoming. outstay their welcome outrageously. Judgement % 74 space fails to energise this FPs juggernaut. the biggest successes come when infinity Ward doubles down on embracing space warfare. the combination of uneven campaign and intimidating multiplayer leaves it to this year’s co-op Zombies to pick up the shambling slack. Granted. the dogtag-collecting Kill Confirmed. the campaign isn’t the whole package. Unfriendly fire a new weapons crafting system also makes the cut. and there are brief wall-running interludes. while its mech-on-mech multiplayer feels far fresher than Infinite Warfare’s. Destiny’s crucible. Last year’s cartoony. The Game Of Thrones thesp sounds constantly bored. UNSA Retribution. reyes is the weedy robin to Jack mitchell’s bionic Batman.Call Of DUty: InfInIte WaRfaRe The park shows an ace eye for incidental detail. By joining various factions (called mission teams).com/gamesmaster Kit Harington’s Salen Kotch is a dud villain. These can be swapped out with cash. Whether dealing with out of control dodgems or an icy ghost train. Decomposing breakdancers. multiplayer is oh so intimidating. merc. Exploding zombie clowns! Earning respawns by shooting hoops in afterlife arcade’s basketball minigame! Killing coffin-dodging cheerleaders on a ghost train! it’s daft. even if you can net a respectable K/D. as a package. new modes like Frontline – where spawn areas award extra health – are a little friendlier than the likes of the established. multiplayer will continue to enrapture the esports crowd. melee-loving synaptic droid. and Search And Destroy’s single life. Shooting packs a devastating. including old faves like area grab Hardpoint. Worse than… Titanfall 2 Nick reyes’ voice may sound familiar… check out VO man Brian Bloom on Wiki.gamesradar. superhero specialists are jettisoned for combat rigs: a series of six Exo suit classes. there’s also the small matter of.

it felt like the first baby steps (albeit gigantic robot ones) towards something special. We’ll avoid spoilers. never lingers on samey shootouts. thanks to clever pacing. Cooper and Bt’s journey introduces invigorating ideas at regular intervals. and constantly keeps you guessing at what deliciously subversive treats lie ahead. Pleasingly varied levels? Check. iT’s good… shockingly so” 66 Christmas 2016 and modern Warfare’s DNa seeps into the game’s robotic pores. Once you step inside Coliseum’s claustrophobic energy dome. charming slice of story-based blasting into its previously multiplayer-only franchise. Jack Cooper. but rest assured this is a game with a lot of cool tricks up its massive metal sleeve. Respawn has finally tapped the potential of its bot-battling IP. Respawn’s titanic online blaster won over critics with its supreme control scheme and mech-on-mech mayhem. that respawn’s heritage is plain to see. www. you’ll wonder why you even need your mech sidekick.review The Final Verdict! The campaign is explosive and. the budding botmance between Bt and his parkour-loving human pal is reasonably well written. superman-strong feats of daring – your pilot breaking out a set of incredibly athletic manoeuvres that immediately recall Capcom’s exquisitely mobile Vanquish and. though. This bizarre. military-grade moustaches? sorry. ditches them before they ever grow stale. We’ll fess up: titanfall 2’s campaign totally blindsides us. awesome.com/gamesmaster . mouldy sprout on titanfall 2’s delicious single-player plate. double-jumping. and rarely anything less than bloody exciting. are at once hugely bespoke. they’re immaculate. the adventures of Frontier rifleman turned pilot. that the ensuing plot rarely manages to make a lick of sense is the lone. one-on-one mode pits two pilots to a best of three death duel. 40 tonne titan chum. clumsy Coliseum T he strangest new addition to Titanfall 2’s multiplayer has to be Coliseum. it’s good… shockingly so. “TiTanfall 2’s campaign ToTally blindsides us. The best way to avoid these blasts? Jump around like a heavily armoured hare on heat. Going in.twitter. yet no amount of cute banter can salvage a story that Beyond Blunderdome all hail titanfall’s cute. and can only be accessed by purchasing tickets with in-game credits – earned from playing the other online modes. XO. Format PS4 (reviewed). effortlessly empowering single-player experience towers above many of its peers like… well. Bt-7274. Battles are transformed into wall-running. none that would worry Captain Price. PC Publisher EA Developer Respawn Entertainment ETA Out now Players 1-16 TiTanfall 2 shooter sequel finds its mojo in a clash fit for the gods T wo years ago. as you punch men 30ft through the air. its predecessor didn’t even bother to pack in a single-player component. By expanding on those sturdy online foundations and throwing a deft single-player experience into the mix. it’s here. But here respawn has inserted an assured. Good news: Titanfall 2 is pretty dang special. many of this team worked on Call Of Duty 4. Effortlessly punchy combat? Check. titanfall 2’s tightly orchestrated. and his stoic. our expectations are low – after all. a sodding great robot. When you consider how generic first-person shooter campaigns can be. Party Cooper is it the new half-Life 2? Not quite. yet it was also needlessly stripped down. With too few multiplayer modes and total lack of a campaign. utterly focused. so much of titanfall’s success lies with those supremely fluid controls. in a tightly focused six hours of smartly paced shooting. it’s your job to blow your rival to smithereens with well placed shots from an explosive laser rifle.

a significant portion of infinity Ward staff resigned. The new Ronin class gets a ruddy great sword. regardless of the mode. the idea of a developer of respawn’s technical prowess working on Disney’s iconic sci-fi universe has our lightsabers quivering. Last titan standing also returns and remains the series’ answer to a multi-man WWE match – 12 massive robots all slamming together. the studio has expanded. the maguffin-heavy narrative bemuses us. if people could marry videogame 12 gauges. which fills areas with thermite-ignitable gas. they’re great cannon fodder. respawn’s elegant FPs isn’t without its issues – we’d like a more coherent plot with our single-player – but as a total package the one-two punch of exhilarating multiplayer and a finely crafted campaign provides a knockout combo. who are champs at getting shot. sweet lord are they empowering. Nice. Melee a doomed enemy Titan for a stabby finisher. titanfall 2 is an absolutely lovely surprise. the Northstar brings death from above with a long-range railgun and VtOL hover. modes-wise. they left the activision-owned developer after falling out with the publisher. the latter is especially interesting. breathless qualities. wall-running infantry skirmishes. We can tell you there’s a nasty group of mercs called the apex Predators. far away galaxy. and the heavy-hitting Ogre. as part of Ea’s sweeping star Wars deal. With the subsequent success of its mech shooter. Not only can this brute deflect incoming fire with a sizeable mech katana. Respawn has decided not to go down the season pass route. and a quick word on the shotguns. Whether unleashing the rat-a-tat terror of the ferocious spitfire light machine gun. n Titanfall The original may have laid down a solid template. we’d walk titanfall 2’s EVa-8 auto down the aisle in a second. Pilots vs. and a lot of mechs to beat up. but other than that. the scorch heats proceedings up with its Wildfire Launcher and incendiary trap. but with its increased scope and ace campaign this sequel easily trumps it in every single area. add this to Doom. the lightly armoured stryder. and there’s little evidence of melee blades or other fresh titan tricks providing an unfair battlefield advantage. in protest to their firings. modern Warfare in particular would go on to redefine console shooters. the undisputed badass of the bunch. and quickly received funding for their first project by partnering with Ea. Worse than… Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Still the FPS daddy. the devastating impact of your arsenal is further emphasised by enemies. Despite a decent script the plot repeatedly trips over itself. that we’ve taken this long to get to the game’s online offering is both testament to the strength of the campaign and the fact this series already has a granite-strong multiplayer foundation. or the unerringly accurate Dmr semi-auto sniper. Dave Meikleham Christmas 2016 67 . you were limited to the vanilla atlas class. Under their stewardship. the pair had been two of the most crucial minds behind Call Of Duty’s success while at infinity Ward. Wisely. they hurl themselves backwards like a cyclone is under their feet. Now. Combat is never anything short of a punchy delight. and is setting its sights on new properties. Last time. Each class feels deftly balanced. the biggest change comes with the introduction of six new titan loadouts. every firearm elevates the campaign’s action. the selection of behemoths at your disposal is far more nuanced – each of the bots offering distinctly flavoured bionic slaughter. Looking back at how the key figures behind Call Of Duty formed titanfall’s studio www. cleverly crafted. with both forms of combat continuing to complement each other. COD has never been able to match its modern Warfare heyday when Zampella and West were steering the ship. respawn has merely added to the original’s formula. Despite going on to amass sensational sales figures. and cannily paced. forming the studio back in 2002. but you won’t care when your trigger finger is being treated to a series of guns that are an absolute pleasure to fire. the bread-and-butter attrition (where you race to hit a set kill tally) is again joined by Capture the Flag and the base-holding action of hardpoint. Its recent remaster proves nothing can quite beat COD4’s immaculately paced campaign. JudgemenT % 90 ace online action combines with a truly rollicking campaign in one of the year’s shootiest surprises. better than… R espawn Entertainment was formed by Vince Zampella and Jason West in the spring of 2010. and crunching titan standoffs. the story may fail to thrill. though. is the sword-wielding ronin. Pilots (no titans allowed) and Bounty hunt are welcome new additions. and 2016 really has been quite the year for delivering games that have overshot expectations spectacularly. all future DLC will be free. action seamlessly seesaws between buttery. with its well measured splitter rifle. Like stumbling across 50 quid in the street. dlc Generously. it teleports like a King Kong-sized Corvo attano. their employers citing “breaches of contract and insubordination” for their dismissal. frequently baffles with exposition overloads. arms and legs flailing as they pirouette through the air. haTes… relive respawn’s origins BT and Cooper’s partnership is strengthened by some deftly written. Oh.titanfall 2 loves… The campaign is tight.com/gamesmaster how many times has Dave run the tutorial Gauntlet course? None of your beeswax… though the number ain’t small. with a large portion of them joining respawn for its debut project: an ambitious multiplayer shooter called titanfall. though concrete details are thin on the ground. optional dialogue exchanges. after parting ways with activision. Heavy metal the ion is suitable for most situations.gamesradar. meaning you won’t have to stump up for any additional map packs or the like. leaving you with a refined blend of competitive shooting that retains all the same frenetic. sadly. as it offers up risk versus reward gunplay where you try and cash money into a quasi-bank after felling opponents. respawn is making an as yet unannounced third-person adventure set in a certain far. It’s one of the most technically robust shooters around. the pair formed their own independent studio.

It simulates a huge variety of different farming techniques. in comparison.or third-person. so there’s something inherently fascinating about its simulation of something so mundane. relaxing experience at first. but this is a genuinely brilliant and strangely addictive simulator. and it’s decisions like this that determine how well your business will operate. and the physics occasionally freak out. you have to constantly create your own objectives. there’s a general lack of polish. how you run your farm is left up to you. but there’s a button that will automatically teleport you into every available vehicle on the map. it starts to feel like a list of chores. n Euro Truck Simulator 2 Driving heavy goods vehicles around European motorways might sound dull. You can wander around your farm in first-person. Presented with a field of golden wheat. but this agricultural approximation is one of the first to make the jump to consoles. there are “you can spiral into deBt if you like. which is a nice green alternative if you’re conscientious about such things. they’re far from exhaustive. there are over 250 vehicles. it’s quite hypnotic. The open-ended structure can make it feel a bit aimless. there aren’t many games like it. lest boredom set in. But once the tutorials are over. balancing the books.Review loves… The Final Verdict! There’s something relaxing about working in the fields. but cutting corners to save money and staying in profit is where the game’s only real challenge lies. the vehicles feel weightless to drive. sometimes trapping you in scenery. this can take ages. cold experience that ultimately feels too much like hard work. Farming simulator 17 is a pretty charmless. easy pace is strangely relaxing. from muck-spreading to using expensive fertiliser. you can totally do that. Feeding pigs isn’t as exciting as slaying dragons. selling produce at the market – you also have to get your hands dirty. ranging from regular pick-up trucks to advanced all-in-one farming mega-machines. Better than… Street Cleaning Simulator Of all the weird simulator games out there (and there are a lot). Plant them just before a proper crop and they’ll fertilise the soil for you. It might seem like a bizarre idea for a game. if you’ve never played a Farming simulator game before. Andy Kelly www. your first port of call should be the tutorials. Furthermore. PC (reviewed) Publisher Focus Home Interactive Developer Giants Software ETA Out now Players 1-16 FaRming SimulatoR 17 the weirdest simulator game andy’s encountered? that’d be Garbage truck simulator. which only adds to the feeling of busywork. Worse than… Format PS4. you’re left with a game that’s basically a long. But earning more money allows you to unlock increasingly exotic and high-tech machinery. The many accurately-modelled heavy duty farming machines can be driven in first.com/gamesmaster . so it’s worth trying to turn at least some profit. it’s nice that you have the choice. the visuals are quite basic. XO. Get your hands dirty and run your own farm W eird simulators like this used to only be found on PC. You can happily spiral into debt if you like. the fun begins to slip. But when that wears off. As the bluntly descriptive title suggests. but they do a good job of teaching the basics. the structure becomes completely free-form. and looking back at an empty field is pretty satisfying.twitter. Farming simulator 17 is an enjoyable novelty at first. if you just want to drive tractors and plough fields. and while it’s fairly dull. Dirty work the sheer variety of things the game simulates is impressive. but as the debt rises and the work piles up. but the slow. i need to knoW Oilseed radishes are a new addition to the series. the enthusiastic tone of the tutorial text is quite charming. as well as being in charge of the business side of things – taking out loans. hates… When the novelty wears off. you have to climb into a combine and slowly harvest every hectare. Street Cleaning Simulator is one of the worst. tilling the soil. giving you the sense that the developers are trying to gently ease you in. buying new equipment. and it can be quite daunting. it’s about running a farm. much of your time will be spent toiling in the fields. and driving a variety of lovingly recreated heavy machinery. But staying in profit is Where the only challenge lies” 68 Christmas 2016 multiple ways to prepare your fields. but it’s really just another form of escapism. Judgement % 65 a pleasant. the likes of harvest moon and stardew Valley accompany their grind with a light-hearted tone and charming characters. endless list of chores. You can guess what that involved.

but also the setting. but also for how safe it feels. with artorias Of the abyss and the Lost crowns trilogy coming before it with a much higher level of quality. or Brawl (2-6 free for all) – in a dedicated arena. Furthermore. there’s another as-yet-unannounced piece of DLc to come for Dark souls iii. relying on familiar ground and themes instead of truly new ideas. this being the Dark souls series. We know From software is capable of so much more. bosses and all (and there are only two to be vanquished). which is growing more and more complex as the series goes on. PC Publisher Bandai Namco Developer From Software ETA Out now Players 1-6 Dark SoulS III: aSheS of arIanDel there are no flames raging from this bonfire Which of the 14 new weapons is sayem’s favourite? the hefty and very brutal millwood Battle axe. it’s still better than Deck13’s middling attempt to muscle in on Dark Souls’ patch. Better than… Lords Of The Fallen Despite From Software’s failings with this helping of DLC. Judgement % 50 it feels like From software phoned this one in.gamesradar. you’ll have to come into the DLc with a strong. Team battles with six players are streamlined and dynamic. Sayem Ahmed christmas 2016 69 . the new snowy area which provides the backdrop for ashes Of ariandel echoes other locations previously explored in the series. levelled-up character if you’re going to stand any chance of surviving the demanding trials and tribulations that await. Yet despite the challenge. There are far too few original ideas on show here. and everything we discovered during our time with the DLc’s painted world begs for deeper exploration on how it ties into the overarching story. Burnt out however. With a fully-upgraded character at soul Level 130. such as the frost-bitten walls of Frozen Elysium Loyce. this is a disappointment. F ans of From Software’s gothic RPG series might come to realise that there’s more than meets the eye to not only the title of the first of two planned DLC offerings for the latest instalment. as opposed to just invasions. and we hope it’ll be more imaginative than ashes Of ariandel. and. not just for its brevity. grotesque. and you’ll have to jump through a few hoops before being transported to ariandel’s own painted world. hates… A disappointing lack of content means it’s over all too quickly. Despite its coating of snow. it took us around five hours to see everything” www. which require one of the expansion’s bosses to be successfully slain before access is allowed. and accept his mission – he’ll teleport you to the Painted World.Dark SoulS III: aSheS of arIanDel loves… The new bosses are challenging. is rather light on content. co-op (2v2 or 3v3). XO. it took us around five hours to see everything. We’d actually go so far as to say ashes Of ariandel is a fairly forgettable and unoriginal experience – uncharacteristic qualities indeed for a series which has provided us with some truly outstanding moments over the course of the last six years. one of the new additions to ashes Of ariandel is the ability to unlock new PvP modes. as DLc for the souls series goes. it’s fair to say ashes Of ariandel. “With a character at soul level 130. and fun to fight. and the similarly wintry looking Painted World Of ariamis before it. you’ll be able to face-off against other players in three game types – Duel (1v1). this is simply the weakest piece of souls DLc we’ve encountered. Once unlocked. the destination for Dark souls ii’s crown Of the ivory King DLc. even figuring out how to gain access to the DLc is a challenge in itself. n Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Even the weakest entry in the Souls series is far better than Ashes Of Ariandel’s short and familiar trip. i need to knoW To start your quest. speak twice to the new NPC near the Cleansing Chapel bonfire in the Cathedral Of The Deep. the new zone feels disappointingly similar to areas that we’ve been to before. true to form. Worse than… Format PS4 (reviewed).com/gamesmaster ashes Of ariandel also serves up a healthy offering of lore for each of the areas. it’s hard to shake the feeling that ashes Of ariandel is over a little too quickly. But From software isn’t exactly pushing the envelope here.

making it costly to try and make one city a master of all the game’s resources. woods generate more production. this is a turn-based. Firaxis has radically changed a few key areas of its strategy sandbox that ripple out to impact every part of the game. respectively. University campuses and industrial zones do the same for science and production. Firaxis changed the art style. it also encourages you to build your cities more closely together. making one a centre of industry and another a science powerhouse. added new features. still a world in progress Expansions can improve the experience C ivilization V didn’t have the strongest release. and tweaked a lot of the core systems. economically. Fans went from hailing Civ IV as the pinnacle of the series to largely moving over to the sequel. each taking many turns to build. Each hex within your cities’ borders has different natural resources. Format PC Publisher 2K Games Developer Firaxis Games ETA Out now Players 1–12 CiViliZation Vi an intelligent sequel. take civic policies. but it didn’t quite spark with life… Sound familiar? However. as you construct more of them. the city sprawl places a much greater emphasis on building placement. but it may take an intelligent expansion to tease it out and make it accessible to players. the resource you use to build things.twitter. all giving a serious boost to your gold gain. however. speeding up the growth of your population. with the release of the Gods & Kings expansion. many hours of play to master. as your cities amass culture. “you’re pressing every button to see what happens. while wheat fields give you more food. and later Brave New World. and will take many. each building and wonder contained inside. instead of using it with purpose” 70 Christmas 2016 Districts are a serious investment. many of the numbers are hidden from you when they would be most useful. You can zoom in and admire the details of your cities – rotating water wheels. there are a lot of things Firaxis could have done to make learning these complicated systems easier. so you can both economically specialise a city and reap the benefits of clustering districts together. but where to build it. Careful planning and placement of your wonders. Firaxis turned it around. you unlock a tech tree of concepts like feudalism. it’s a canny move by Firaxis to force you to specialise your cities. using their own themed buildings. unseen. in Civilization Vi. these changes make for a Civilization game filled with more nuanced decisions. these specialised buildings are focused around buffing a single resource. state workforce. or culturally. www. We may see that pattern repeat with Civilization VI – it has an interesting core. horses circling paddocks. each claiming their own hex on the map or adding to one that’s already there. diplomatically. scientifically. and stock exchanges within a city. they spill onto the world. Not only are you choosing when to build something. as the bonuses of placing one district next to another cross over city boundaries. Commercial districts will let you construct markets. For instance. the time it takes to build others increases.com/gamesmaster . and. and mine carts racing along looping rails. Placing the right building on a tile will boost its bonuses. districts and farms lets you maximise your resources. but not one that welcomes new players L ike the games in the series that came before it. but the wrong one will wipe out its resources. numbers-heavy strategy game about building a nation that outstrips its neighbours militarily. Sprawl of duty tying into unstacked cities is one of Civilization Vi’s big new features: districts. banks.review The Final Verdict! As you get further into a campaign. in earlier Civ games your cities would occupy a single tile on the world map. each of your cities becomes a delightfully colourful sprawl of buildings. for example. While it will be immediately familiar to its fans.

but has also obscured vital information. there is something in the simulation that is upsetting them. the saving on maintenance may pale in comparison to the gains you’d make in culture. able to absorb an entire evening with its temptation to play just one more turn. or hill. Firaxis has tried to make each enemy nation behave uniquely. better than… Each tile naturally produces different resources depending on if it’s a rainforest. It takes ages to build cities and soldiers in the late game. this should make for a friendly neighbour. providing the ai with different triggers and agendas. the ai players are forever denouncing you or starting surprise wars without a clear motive. marsh.civilizatioN vi Firaxis was criticised for making its soldiers too cutesy. for example. i need to know Sean Bean. Julian Benson Christmas 2016 71 . but on the default setting it can lead to frustrating periods where you’re waiting on a load of long countdowns because nothing is near built. When it comes to research. Frustratingly. unlocking a new technology or civic every few turns. exciting changes. so when you can’t access those numbers it can leave you unable to make an informed decision. but in action they genuinely look great. there are some real oddities in the tech tree: you can build rockets and send satellites into space before you’ve researched electricity. hates… AI behaviour is frustratingly erratic and unpredictable. Firaxis has shown how charming it can be: areas you’ve visited (but can’t actively see) become cel-shaded. except that. maybe your nation launched a guy into low orbit www. ranging from the wise to the absurd. which can lead to weird moments where they’ll come out of the barracks already needing to be upgraded because you’ve researched a more advanced technology. Driving Civilization Vi is a complicated. n Amplitude’s story-driven fantasy 4X game always gives you the information you need. using a giant rubber band. sumerian leader Gilgamesh supposedly likes nations that want long-term alliances and dislikes nations that publicly denounce other leaders. He reads a selection of quotes.com/gamesmaster If only all government was like playing a card game: ‘You played the Brexit card: lose all your money and allies’. instead of using it with purpose. but it feels like one significant tune-up away from being brilliant. where your production numbers are increased. it is still a deeply compelling game. building and policy boils down to adding numbers to one resource’s production or taking them away from another. The key is learning how to best exploit them. but whatever it may be is hidden from you. this makes the diplomacy systems in Civ Vi much less useful. which progress significantly slower. Directionless. but it feels more like an oversight on Firaxis’ part. like constructing buildings and recruiting units. he starts wars and denounces other players as much as any other nation. you just build and research the thing that takes the fewest turns. plain.gamesradar. Judgement % 74 Firaxis has made some significant. locking off a big part of the series. and its different factions have far more variety. Numbers drive everything in Civ. Game Of Thrones actor and Sheffield’s most famous son. Every decision is supported by tonnes of substantial choices. loves… After decades of dull fog of war. it makes it nearly impossible to keep them appeased because they can break a long-term alliance at any moment without obvious motive or warning. and fascism. as though they belonged to a mobile game. the game does nothing to tell you what that card’s actual impact will be when scaled to your empire: if you’ve three units in your army. this feels at odds with the more tangible parts of the game. For instance. it’s not just the order but also the speed of research that feels off. these concepts award you policy cards that are collected in a deck which you can insert into a limited number of policy slots on your government screen. The strategic map makes Civ VI look like a charming boardgame. but until they are made visible you’re pressing every button just to see what happens. The cartoony new art style is instantly charming. making it incredibly difficult to factor into your play. Neighbours from hell Equally inaccessible are the machinations of the ai. with every building replaced by a cartoon. cities go from simple stone huts to towering skyscrapers – though units won’t upgrade alongside them. lends his delicious Yorkshire tones as Civ VI’s tech narrator. As you move through the ages. it isn’t rare to find a unit would take 15 turns to recruit. Cards award useful buffs. Every technology. mechanically. intelligent engine of interlocking systems. worse than… Endless Legend how many times did peace-loving pacifist Gandhi nuke Julian? Every damn opportunity he had. in practice. this disparity is less obvious when you play on a faster game mode. such as reducing the maintenance cost of every unit in your army or boosting the culture gain from your theatre district. You positively race through Civilization’s tech and civics trees. Master Of Orion The recent reboot of the classic sci-fi 4x lacks the complexity under the hood that lets you make such nuanced decisions in Civilization VI.

they fit right in in Dragon Ball. you normally end-up jumping into a famous 1v1 battle only for it to change into a rather unfair 2v1 brawl. it’s not that the combat system is overly simple – there’s a good variety of moves and systems at work – but the most efficient strategy is to find a combo that works well and use it repeatedly. Shame the combat is a bit pants. JrPG that’s heavy on the fan service. acrobatic duels of the anime. Format PS4 (reviewed).Review The Final Verdict! loves… We tried styling our hair like this chap to get into character. unless you’re a fan of repetition. natch). though. Needless to say. W ho doesn’t love a good character customisation screen? There’s a lot of joy to be had in carefully tweaking eyebrow density or fitting your in-game self with improbably large muscles. And if there’s one thing that improves character creation. Considering how much time is spent in combat. Cutscenes really are beautiful slices of animated joy. as well as some less than stellar graphics and ropey gameplay. these duels are between cosmic. playing in long stints isn’t recommended” 72 Christmas 2016 Drake Of The 99 Dragons Shares a dragon-themed title with Xenoverse 2. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 has the added advantage of being able to draw from a rich heritage of oddball designs. using the power of flight. hates… 3D combat with an extra vertical plane still doesn’t work properly. but four gallons of hairspray later and it still wouldn’t hold. XO. as it is. the camera occasionally struggles to keep up. Better than… Hoo boy. but some weak sound work and canned animations make it seem like two kids re-enacting it in the playground. players are able to not only move across the battlefield. PC Publisher Bandai Namco Developer Dimps ETA Out now Players 1 DRagon Ball XenoveRse 2 middling fighter. when you do. Xenoverse 2 morphs into a solid. Judgement % 50 Weightless. it’s not a looker. Environments are big. allowing you to interact with other players while in the hub world and partake in some co-op questing thrills. it’s really great though. as well as some less than stellar graphics and ropey gameplay. Not that it matters hugely when you’re kicking seven shades out of an evil alien. dome-headed alien with a daft hairdo. something about that feels distinctly unheroic… there’s also a sizeable hub world to explore. In spite of that. we really hope you like repetitive kicking (and punching too!). n Shares a dragon-themed title with Xenoverse 2. At least DBX2 isn’t broken though. anyone who isn’t already invested in Dragon Ball is likely to find themselves baffled by the plot and underwhelmed by the combat. it doesn’t do anything to fix the janky combat. and while it’s perfectly serviceable there’s no great nuance or depth. in an ongoing attempt to recreate the intense. because there’s a whole lot of that in here.twitter. there’s nothing particularly new or exciting about the rPG elements. the time-travelling plot has you interjecting in key moments of Dragon Ball canon – oddly. Worse than… Dragon’s Dogma incomparable power. in general. shops. Disappointingly. although a lock-on system mitigates the issue somewhat. Alex Jones www. but as an escape for die-hard fans. but they’re implemented competently. with a bevy of generally quite irritating quest givers. backing off occasionally to replenish stamina and the special-move meter. You won’t spend an enormous amount of time out of combat but. cel-shaded world. that’s perhaps the most fun we had with DBX2. hidden dragon What do elephants and Dragon Ball have in common? they both have trunks. Xenoverse 2 could be much worse. if unremarkable. attacking involves chaining together basic combos and special moves (limited by a meter. and there’s just about enough depth to sustain your attention for the duration. The character creator allows for some absolutely ridiculous looking fighters. high up in the sky. apocalypse-inducing beings with “unless you’re a fan of repetition. Attacks feel limp when they should feel insanely powerful. In other words. it makes things rather unwieldy and difficult to read. playing in long stints isn’t recommended. i online DBX2 does have an online element which functions in a similar way to an MMO. and the other usual trappings. more variety would have been appreciated. While creating a daft character makes cutscenes more entertaining. it’s the ability to concoct a hot-pink. Dragon Ball enthusiasts will find it packed with fan-service. repetitive combat makes progress through this strange fan-service story a slog. but also vertically.com/gamesmaster . empty and kinda ugly. and Whatchu Saiyan? Compounding the problem is the lack of weight afforded to your attacks – you’d be hard-pressed to know if you were actually dealing any damage to your opponent if it weren’t for the combo meter. and the lack of polish really shows when switching from the gorgeous animated cutscenes to the in-game.

and other stuff to an already ludicrously content-packed game is a great addition. Skyrim remains a much richer role-playing experience. Judgement % 80 Not a dramatic remaster. You can do whatever you want. You are the Dragonborn. the special Edition also brings mods to consoles. and that’s every bit as fun as it was the first time around. characters. hates… Bugs. though. it’s just skyrim again. But it also gives you a chance to revisit what made it great too. you don’t have to fulfil this destiny at all. It should automatically appear like magic in your Steam library. the new lighting gives distant scenery a natural. a legendary hero destined to save the world from an evil dragon. But apart from that it’s pretty much the same game you remember: a vast. the special Edition also comes bundled with all the DLC. depth of field effects. but it’s still obvious that this is a five-year-old game wearing a slightly nicer hat. I f your only experience of Skyrim is playing it at 720p on a 360 or PS3. the open-ended structure is still exhilarating. using an intuitive in-game browser to install them. robotic ai. brilliantly. The original PC version with graphics mods looks better. You’re constantly being drawn into quests. he can still walk vertically up the side of a mountain. but being able to easily add new quests. Fallout 4 Bethesda drifted even further away from its RPG roots in the fourth Fallout game. the autumnal forests of the rift. the changes in this remaster may not be dramatic enough to justify spending another £60 on it. and that includes the bugs. and the impressive variety of terrain on offer makes the world feel much larger than it actually is. if you’ve never played skyrim before. and Dragonborn takes you to the island of solstheim. it’s magic. n Worse than… The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt In terms of writing. the bubbling hot springs of Eastmarch.com/gamesmaster you battle another Dragonborn. PC (reviewed) Publisher Bethesda Developer Bethesda ETA Out now Players 1 The elder ScrollS V: Skyrim Special ediTion Bethesda’s epic rPG gets a fresh coat of paint Does your horse still defy gravity? Yes. dumb AI. quest design. beautiful RPG worlds. XO. and you can choose which side to fight for. Geralt’s final adventure has Skyrim comfortably beat. But. having all the additional content included is an obvious benefit. companions. so it’s not worth the upgrade. hazy look.The elder scrolls V: skyrim special ediTion loves… Still one of the most varied. and other issues from the original still persist. and the frozen coast along the sea Of Ghosts still look spectacular. but now you can see shafts of light pouring through the trees. Format PS4. and the added trees. hearthfire adds the ability to build houses and adopt children. i need to knoW If you own the PC version of Skyrim and all of the released DLC. and grass make your surroundings feel more alive. bushes. Watching clouds swirling around the distant peak of the colossal throat Of the World mountain is still a thrilling sight. the textures are sharper. there isn’t as much variety as on PC. more trees. in 1080p at a mostly steady 30fps on Xbox One and Ps4. Better than… The city of Solitude. but a good excuse to revisit Bethesda’s best rPG on modern consoles.gamesradar. and all the other problems that plagued the original. and encountering oddballs in the wilds. the Special Edition is a chance to enjoy it at 1080p with new lighting. and other visual tweaks. with a setting that feels wildly different from skyrim and an entertaining questline in which “It’s stIll oBvIous that thIs Is a fIve-year-old game WearIng a slIghtly nIcer hat” www. especially so if you’re a PC gamer – the original version with graphics mods installed still looks better. Dawnguard involves a bitter war between vampires and vampire hunters. if you’ve already played skyrim to death. you’ll get the Special Edition absolutely free. Some of the new volumetric lighting effects are great. and almost everything else. Andy Kelly Christmas 2016 73 . Familiar territory But for returning players. And the freedom is intoxicating. open-ended fantasy RPG set in a wintry world inspired by Norse mythology. is still an impressive sight. capital of Skyrim. it’s when the prologue ends and you’re finally set free that you remember just how stunning this world is. weapons. You get a taste of the new polish almost immediately. the latter is the highlight of the three. the cart ride into skyrim at the beginning of the game is still painfully slow. clunky combat. stumbling upon dungeons. go wherever you want.

a more likeable protagonist. The Final Verdict! Format PS4 (reviewed). Yep. the handling feels a little skittish. Watch Dogs 2’s story is still a revenge mission after a fashion. Sure. he decides to join up with self-styled activist group DedSec to get his own back. but all the same it’s still identifiably human. the creator of ctOS 2. and that extends to marcus himself. rich in ideas but stymied by duff design and a bland lead. with the input of Ubisoft reflections more clearly apparent. and a much happier marriage of story and systems. but a series of side missions none too subtly titled Driver: San Francisco (which essentially see you providing a high-speed taxi service) could easily have been ripped from the game of the same name. It then returns with a significantly improved follow-up offering a lighter tone. www.0. the californian sun helping establish a cheerier disposition that ultimately proves infectious. having tapped into San Francisco’s new city-wide operating system (an upgraded version of chicago’s ctOS) to find he’s been 74 march 2014 wrongly accused of a crime. It keeps things light. from the self-critical asperger’s sufferer Josh. like a mini-somersault when dropping from high platforms. calm in a crisis and frequently supportive towards his friends. PC Publisher Ubisoft Developer Ubisoft Montreal ETA Out now Players 1-4 Watch Dogs 2 Superior San Fran sequel puts the ‘ha!’ in hacking S top us if this sounds familiar: Ubisoft starts a new series with an ambitious but heavily flawed original. who’s a much more agile lead than aiden. at times. but Ubisoft Montreal’s San Francisco certainly has a lived-in feel.com/gamesmaster . from monstrous cEOs to obnoxious rivals to online trolls – as such. Happy Holloway It helps that DedSec is easy to root for. XO. but marcus holloway’s motivations are a much better fit for the hacking theme.Review It can’t match Rockstar’s level of fine detail. This small band of likeably dysfunctional nerds is looking to amass a large enough following to take on Blume. car controls have been refined. to the creepy tech fetishist Wrench. and the group’s admirably no-nonsense artist Sitara. missions often conclude with a delightfully cathartic pay-off. It’s a world away from the original game’s gloomy chicago and the dour aiden Pearce. in other words. marcus is a very personable lead. it’s Assassin’s Creed all over again. and the easy-going marcus is just the man to help raise their numbers. and DedSec’s targets are generally pretty worthy too. characters are prone to launching into on-the-nose monologues about the evils of corporations that tell us little we didn’t already know. pulling off simple parkour moves with speed and the occasional showboating flourish.twitter. The tonal shift is immediately apparent.

Two more are due in spring. but this time you have more options at your fingertips. But not everyone is your enemy. The pay-off is as inevitable as it is gratifying. an rc car that can plug into devices to bypass closed circuits. and while you can still tap into camera feeds to plan your next move. which change according to your current context. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for the inevitable threequel to make us think. For now. or you might just fancy stopping for a beer or a coffee. Watch Dogs 2’s consequence-light hacking offers enough free-form fun to more than compensate for its occasionally shallow storytelling. What a shame. and yet they’re painted as heroes. on our return a rather worked up citizen is yelling abuse at us for blocking the road. Why there’s plenty to keep you busy in Watch Dogs 2 I t’s incredibly easy to get distracted from the task at hand. if you fancy showing off your mankles. sometimes petty triumphs. as long as you’ve got enough Botnets – the energy source required to power these hacks – you’ve got much more room to experiment. who you can subsequently electrocute. Later. if you’re still worried about being spotted. but now you can combine it with the face buttons to. hates… 1 Become an insufferable hipster by grabbing an outfit at Stache & Vine. brake suddenly. you can buzz their phone with a signal as a distraction. Better than… 2 Some valuables and research points seem out of reach – but not if you have a truck with a hydraulic lift. When you’re infiltrating a well-guarded facility. rather than retaliating with violence. n Assassin’s Creed II Ezio’s first outing represented a much bigger leap forward over its predecessor than Watch Dogs 2. Worse than… 4 One side-quest has you hacking an odious exec’s gym treadmill. but there’s also one glaring disadvantage – two hackers means double the chance of raising the alarm. we encounter an innocent couple being intimidated by an aggressive thug. too. things to Do in FRisco loves… Marcus is much easier to warm to than Aiden Pearce. silly-con Valley how long did it take chris to realise that ‘hack tales of San Francisco’ is not a very good pun? Far. a very pleasant surprise. Watch Dogs 2 is full of these small. as before. We watch with delight as the police arrive to arrest him. you can turn out the lights. the first of which is set to arrive imminently. If you’re on the streets. make vehicles lurch forward. Take a snap in front of a landmark and you’ll earn DedSec new followers.watcH dogs 2 as before. you can set them up so they’ll zap anyone unfortunate enough to wander within close proximity. If a guard is blocking a door. as you progress – DedSec’s follower count equates to experience points that can be spent on a skill tree with many branches – your hacks grow more powerful. this time as part of a rival hacking group. or produce some shrieking feedback in their headsets to have them frantically clutching their ears. a bland anti-hero. and a flying drone that can give you a useful tactical overview before you go in. for example. it’s not only much easier but more fun (and more thematically appropriate) to play non-lethally. it’s a pity the game never really makes any effort to address the blatant hypocrisy that lives at its heart. The twitchy handling make these surprisingly tricky. and It sometimes struggles to maintain a consistent tone. we park in a slightly inconvenient spot. but all they’re doing is using the tools of their enemy in similarly invasive ways. Watch Dogs A handful of decent ideas weren’t enough to compensate for a dreary tone. either with friends or any strangers who have reached the same stage. you have www. who soon finds himself the target of a local gang. space invaDeRs Online co-op hacking O ther online players can invade your game. they do say that with great power comes great irresponsibility. Just to rub it in. and with marcus’ weapon of choice being a pool ball attached to a rope rather than an SmG or pistol. Chris Schilling chrISTmaS 2016 75 . we then hop into his vehicle and drive away as he kneels on the tarmac. dlC The Watch Dogs 2 season pass includes three separate DLC packs. we opt instead to hack his personal data and flag him up as a wanted criminal. You now have the option to tackle missions cooperatively. There’s plenty of room to use non-lethal options. they’ll even be able to carry shock grenades or frags to thin out enemy numbers. There are more signs of life on the streets of San Francisco too. Later. 5 In drone races you fly your copter through neon rings. You can temporarily switch off all electronic signals within a localised area to leave everyone disorientated – and. hands behind his head.com/gamesmaster The AI veers between easily distracted and hyper aware. alternatively. On one occasion. 3 Selfies aren’t just for narcissists. attracting the attention of one or two security goons. hacking objects requires nothing more demanding of you than a single button press. Judgement % 85 a brighter.gamesradar. While exploring the city your eye might be drawn by a hacking opportunity that opens up a bonus mission. breezier sequel that rewards experimentation and improvisation. hey. Teaming up has its obvious benefits. you can create carnage at junctions by causing multiple cars to simultaneously lose control. DedSec might (mostly) mean well. but they’re both vast improvements. Jabbing the left shoulder button is enough for a quick hack. and some thoroughly dull mission design. letting you open security doors with ease. with emergent incidents occasionally popping up and proving impossible to resist interfering with. “you Can temporarily sWitCh off all eleCtroniC signals to leave everyone disorientated” two more versatile hacking toys at your disposal: namely. Here’s just a small sample of what to expect. but while it undeniably feels good to deliver justice at the swipe of a smartphone. or turn left or right in an instant – all the better for parting traffic in front of you during high-speed pursuits. you can cause objects to spark and fizzle. far too long. or even trigger certain hacks from the air (and it’s less likely to be spotted than the car). offering extra stories and a new co-op mode.

PS3. as it is. things immediately take a bizarre turn.com/gamesmaster . hates… The story quickly loses all coherence after episode one… …and puzzles become contrived. restricted to a few cramped environments. if only what followed could meet the bar the first chapter sets. and far more linear than the free-roaming adventuring that comes before it. Worse than… Format PS4. we hailed it as the new king of point and click adventure games. it perhaps expects you to laugh at the cheekiness. as a taster for the rest of the series. muddy visuals. you should receive a bonus Epilogue chapter before the end of the year. the only reaction we’re able to summon is a moan of despair. at one particularly galling point. if only we could agree. and cliffhanger ending. XO. the game dumps you into an unappealing and barely explained ice palace to complete “the game dumps you into an unappealing iCe palaCe to Complete tedious puzzles” 76 Christmas 2016 Tales From The Borderlands a tedious series of sliding block puzzles. after such a strong start. colourful kingdom is replaced by dingy. bestowing on it a regal 90% score. unforgiving. one after the other. however. With fantastic performances from Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd and the Princess Bride’s Wallace shawn backing up its inventive puzzles. perfectly evoking the best of classic adventure games while jettisoning their more frustrating aspects. almost dating sim-like framework as you work to find our hero’s true love. thanks to an awkward series of story contrivances. PC (reviewed). while the protagonist jabbers about how much fun he’s having. Judgement % 55 the opening promises something seriously special – but the series as a whole fails to follow through. best of all. in episode two. that the resources simply aren’t there to create something on the scale of chapter one – it’s brief. people ride giant guinea pigs. inserting fun new characters into a novel. it stands as a now-disheartening monument to the wonderful point and click saga this series could have been. the result of this is a completely jumbled.twitter. loves… The first episode is simply fantastic – and available for free! Despite a failing script. adorable! hen this episodic series’ first chapter launched back in the summer of 2015. unfocused finale constructed almost entirely out of reused assets and tired logic puzzles. it’s a joy throughout its four to six-hour running time. it’s clear by this point. this first entry can be played in its entirety for free. and an ill-conceived meta-puzzle that sees you punished with the deaths of your favourite characters if you fail to complete the chapter’s tasks in the correct order. made all the more grating by unnecessarily frequent back-tracking. and that’s it – you simply solve them. the expansive. Episode three regains some of the series’ initial charms. that first episode introduces you to the fantastical kingdom of Daventry with effortless charm.Review The Final Verdict! The visuals have a beautiful. n No real puzzles. it’s impossible not to conclude that the studio simply didn’t have the time or funding to finish the series as it wanted. we wonder if the developer would have been better off just expanding a little on that and releasing it as a self-contained adventure game. all we can do is lament what could have been. Better than… Game Of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series This dreary mess shook our faith in Telltale with its meaningless choices. the game literally calls out its own repurposing of cut sections from past episodes (essentially ‘deleted scenes’). By episode five. dlC There’s been little word on it since the first announcement. there are great performances throughout. but upon being inexplicably dumped back into the ice palace for one more dreadful puzzle. fairytale quality – though they’re sometimes let down by awkward animation. Was the episodic structure simply too ambitious? Considering the first chapter’s significant length. and tedious. Royal fail But it’s in the fourth episode that we really lose hope. with all five instalments finally released. Now. 360 Publisher Sierra Entertainment Developer The Odd Gentlemen ETA Out now Players 1 King’s Quest a king’s entrance for a dog’s dinner W Our favourite thing about Daventry? instead of horses. it’s incredibly disappointing to see King’s Quest so quickly and completely lose momentum. with a jarringly dark tone suffusing the story. but this series’ sharp script and cinematic sensibilities make it perhaps Telltale’s strongest work yet. Robin Valentine www. but if you purchased King’s Quest: The Complete Collection. and. winding goblin tunnels.

gamesradar. Worse than… Format PS4. as for value? 30-minute levels are good for two goes: one suicide run to learn layouts. a marked improvement on absolution. dlC Each episode costs £6. Keep ’em peeled for Kane & Lynch references. this disrupts tension and flow. buying them separately or together amounts to roughly the same £40 proposition. an oldie. clarifying the rules and letting you play within them. with just one duff level in an otherwise choice selection. Combat is abysmal. in which you tackle rolling objectives. another to leverage that knowledge like a murderous Groundhog Day. that’s why the episodic shift is a missed opportunity – because more numerous bite-sized environments would have worked better. also. Bangkok’s honeycomb hotel. Hitman is at its peak when it has Agent 47 infiltrating worlds of the elite. which you should. but at the best: sapienza. strutting about in linen and shades is alluring enough even before you blast your target with a cannonball. In completed levels you can choose your starting disguise. perhaps intentionally so to maintain a stealthy focus.99 for the Prologue and Episode 1. then slinking away unseen like a hairless ghost. however. The Complete First Season bundle arrives on disc in January for £44. a militia training camp on high alert. Returning to levels always reveals something new. Separately they total £46. Provided you skip bland Marrakech. like the mate of a roadie you’ve just whacked. Bear in mind this is walking-speed sneakery requiring time and patience. Colorado is another cracker. Ben Griffin Christmas 2016 77 .hitman Each location is lovingly detailed and contains a fair share of Easter eggs. it certainly doesn’t benefit a story you can experience out of order. one revolving around a shadowy cabal whose members look the same. and you can contain mistakes by silencing witnesses. a minute-long cutscene with each monthly instalment probably isn’t the best narrative model. with £10. PC (reviewed) Publisher Square Enix Developer IO Interactive ETA Out now Players 1 Hitman From Paris to Japan. in Bangkok we select the man machine challenge and follow our handler’s instructions: impersonate the drummer. none of these extra activities really make it worth returning to a stage once its signature slaughters have been completed. For instance. and the verticality of a Parisian palace. Suit and die incidentally. saving frequently is a must in case roaming guards catch you mid camera hack. XO. but a real classic. Largely skippable online components don’t add much. it’s best to reload your save. you’ll only stoke the suspicions of people “saving frequently is a must in Case roaming guards CatCh you mid Camera haCk” www. Hitman’s real killer touch is letting you play them in any order you choose. that’s not to say stealth is imprecise. n Metal Gear Solid V Kojima and co found a way to insert precise stealth into huge open areas without having to suffer the repetitive strain of too much trial and error. with too many variables. we rate the complete package I What’s the game’s best kill? the ejector seat. but hitman is about keeping things quiet. O Interactive’s episodic experiment closes with Agent 47’s sixth and final contract in a Hokkaido retreat for the mega rich. Better than… Hitman Absolution 2012’s linear jaunt restricted 47’s freewheeling style.99. and you can also designate targets and parameters for online players to try. there’s also Escalation mode. loves… Tons of lethal freedom within intricately designed sandboxes. or the level enters lockdown because someone found the pile of clothes you left an hour ago. While vital. Because give or take its cautious pace. although there’s little you can’t do with a sharp suit and a distracting coin. its flat expanse and clearly defined barbed-wire boundaries contrast well with sapienza’s winding streets. His latest set of contracts only set the targets – you decide how they go. those inclined to spot you occupy white dots on the mini-map. Let’s begin not at the beginning.99. then.com/gamesmaster within reason. When the bullets start flying. staff bow their heads in respect as you walk past. and sometimes nebulous rules. some stealth titles support robust back-up combat. that’s an issue with hitman’s huge scale – surplus space makes stealth feel lax. Judgement % 80 Classy stealth mix of savage and slapstick. class. Together it’s £40. there are few moments more satisfying than making someone explode themselves with a golf ball bomb. iO’s own regularly updated contracts. push the singer to his death. In Hokkaido. 47’s yacht and hangar-based practice runs strike a perfect size. and a posh jerk due for stylish dispatch. thereby proving big doesn’t always mean clever. hates… Stages are a little too big. listed Opportunities eliminate aimless wandering. it’s everything great about hitman – culture.

from sandy beaches to grand resorts” 78 Christmas 2016 although lacking creative leeway. www. The destination? Alola. isle be back Because one trip to Poké Pelago isn’t enough. as with gyms. Essentially. Game Freak’s historic JRPG has earned a holiday.Review Not all Z-Moves are offensive. trials span the Pokémon spectrum and ensure your team maintains a balanced spread. they force you to think critically and fight smart without being too punishing. take trials. and unlocked the next route. Sweet little Eevee’s Extreme Evoboost. Isle Abeens attracts wild (and mostly rubbish) Pokémon. say. Isle Avue is for Pokémon recuperation. you’ll face a totem Pokémon. revitalise tired bones. three moon Like previous games. these larger versions of existing Pokémon come pre-buffed with stat boosts and summon help during the fight. it is. some trials culminate in a battle against the trial Captain. Isle Aplenny lets you plant and grow berries. and introduce us to new experiences like. Its effects on Sun and Moon are far-reaching. but with islands only unlocking when you’ve boxed a set amount of Pokémon. and ever-present voice of a rotom-possessed Pokédex ensuring you never get lost. Easy difficulty aside. Tropic wonder these mini quests are merely the first leg of a trial. a set of four gorgeous tropical islands heavily inspired by Hawaii. beat its gym leader. Here’s a selection that don’t cross the border. abundant tutorials. while later a fiery salazzle/marowak duo makes short work of grass-types. this is still a game in which you capture monsters in balls then send them into turn-based battles against other monsters. Now. obtained a technique that let your Pokémon shift boulders and smash rocks. Isle Aphun contains a cave for them to fetch items from. a handful of trials on each island shake up that tired predictability. they make a decent change from successive fights set in a stuffy dojo.twitter. a bright and healthy setting shaking up series complacency and buzzing with undiscovered sights and sounds. in the second. for example. you’ll navigate a mossy cave rooting out cave-dwelling Yungoos. with its bold visuals. those who choose water-type starter Popplio will want to have a fire-type backup for the forest-dwelling tag-team of Lurantis and Castform. again. And a stay on Isle Evelup slightly raises their stats. you’ll find it populated with the captured creatures currently residing in your PC. for example. a donkey in Tijuana wearing sunglasses. But there’s plenty of modernity mixed in with the vintage. The Final Verdict! six veRsion exclusive Pokémon three sun. On melemele. After 20 years. it’s still a game heavily skewed towards kids. an origin story of a youngster who wants to learn about Pokémon and become the land’s best trainer. buffs all its stats. there’s even more incentive to catch ‘em all. you typically ventured into a new town. such as volcano boss Kiawe (you can probably guess which Pokémon type he favours). not all Pokémon appear across both versions. it’s a set of base-building minigames about harvesting beans which can be spent on developing the Poké Pelago islands. Before. Format 3DS Publisher The Pokémon Company Developer Game Freak ETA Out now Players 1-4 Pokémon sun and moon more animal magic than the really Wild show H olidays offer fresh perspective. A fter accessing Poké Pelago – a charming Pokémon getaway – from the menu.com/gamesmaster . snapping Gastlys in an abandoned supermarket is a vast improvement on solving a gym’s block puzzle. “there’s a clear effort to make each area distinct. Rewards are minor. while on Ula’ula you’ll attempt to identify Pokémon cries in a quick-fire quiz.

while Quick Link lets you battle anyone nearby. making Primarina hold a Waterium Z. a scripted camera smartly pivots to frame places you’ve been. Which version did Ben choose to play? sun. Gotta Packham All items in particular are in need of streamlining. better than… Pokémon X and Y Despite being the first to dispense with sprites. and Z-moves enliven battles. in reality. Higher tier trainers occupy routes to challenge you once you’ve beaten everyone else there. how to catch Pokémon. X and Y can’t match Sun and Moon’s grid-free movement. however. whether it’s two Machamp squaring up to each other. Tap his face and he’ll tell you what’s next on the docket. that’s absolutely necessary with 18 elemental types. from secluded black sand beaches. the series’ best setting yet. and bright open spaces. to merchant-flanked avenues inspired by feudal Japan. these Dragon Ball Z-esque techniques for each elemental type are emphatic endings to battles you would’ve won anyway. and Pokémon from an expansive back catalogue waiting to spring out of a ball. Worse than… the unique appeal of trials is in taking you to sun and moon’s great outdoors. therefore stopping them holding another item.Pokémon sun And moon Pokémon spend more time outside their balls here. from icy rocks (extend the duration of hail) to Big roots (boost hP-stealing moves). or places you’re going. in the same way you’re never bored. hundreds of moves and abilities. Every system gathered over a 20-year history is explained. it’s too much. hates… A slow starter holding your hand every step of the way. but still a neat feature all the same. explanations are generally elegant. island Guardians and Ultra Beasts differ from Legendaries (we won’t spoil them for you). starting with. Charizards. Not quite Pokémon Snap. however. in fairness. and burrowing Diglett instigate battles by bursting out beneath your feet. a day/night cycle. it’s difficult to break with the old when Pokémon’s appeal is undeniably drenched in nostalgia. especially when you see the high standard of new Pokémon designs ranging from the cute (panda cub Pancham and sleepy bear Komala) to the fearsome (poison lizard salazzle and men in Black cockroach alien-lookalike Golisopod). you’re never let off the leash either. You’ll round-up a lady’s lost stufful for cash. You’ll acquire tonnes over the course of your adventure. arduously. you’re after something both pleasantly familiar and refreshingly modern – a bold transformation that doesn’t lose sight of tradition – then sun and moon is it. New forms of old friends are a great compromise. match-ups were furious encounters in which angry creatures traded magical attacks. a wonderfully warm and refreshing summer holiday. to mountain observatories under starry skies. in battle. Do we really need a moon Ball that ‘makes it easier to catch Pokémon that evolve using a moon stone’? it turns you into a magpie of sorts.com/gamesmaster mysterious green fragments scattered around the world. Ben Griffin Christmas 2016 79 . Alola is the perfect setting for Pokémon’s sunny optimism. With sun and moon. the action skews closer than ever to the scenes in your head. the shadowy shapes of angry Fearow sometimes dart at you from coconut trees. rather than easy-win buttons. and keep tabs on ongoing stat changes. You’re never at a loose end when your Pokédex is possessed by ghost Pokémon Rotom. loves… At set views you can take pictures in first-person with the Poké Finder. Festival Plaza is your main multiplayer hub. dialogue boxes remind you how effective a move will be. rideable Pokémon are brilliant. seeing you beam down mudbrays. the greater presence of Pokémon in the world basically means less heavy lifting for your brain. means removing her Quick Claw and sacrificing the speed bonus. n Pokémon Gold and Silver The first sequels had more impact. for instance. Because it complements his cheery disposition. to grand resorts. it’s rarely more than five steps to the next novelty. there’s a clear effort to make each area distinct. Island Trials are refreshing without being too radical. Judgement % 90 the hours you spend in alola absolutely fly by. and sharpedos to navigate environmental hazards – the days of having to teach Cut to your Oddish to bypass a small bush are over. and the Kanto region as a bonus. sit down for a meal and receive complimentary heart scales with the bill. sun and moon are best when breaking with convention. online While we weren’t able to test it in time for this review.gamesradar. limited by a one-use system and the fact you have to give your chosen Pokémon the relevant Z-Crystal to hold. Previous instalments required imagination: in our minds. chunky 3D models. it was two drawings making occasional beeping sounds. Who doesn’t love a surfing raichu? if you’re waiting for an ambitious reinvention for the Pokémon series… keep waiting. Zubat and Caterpie). if. Those expecting a bold reinvention will be disappointed. sometimes you can hear Pokémon cries on the wind. bringing breeding. giving each little portion of your journey a nice arc. constantly searching for all manner of trinkets. and embark on a running quest about filling your Zygarde Cube with www. or a Pikachu sunbathing on a deck chair. filled with minigames and modes. and it’s a place in which you want to talk to everyone and probe every corner. Older generations do take up a few too many spots on the roster though (looking at you. and it creates a marvellous sense of place.

and lets you decide how she conquered the region. there are no good/evil choices here.com/gamesmaster . Acting Editor 1 PC 3BATTlEfiEld Ahhh! I’m charging a man with a bayonet! Wooo! I’m barrel-rolling a biplane over a mountain! Crash! I just got run over by a horse! It’s all very respectful of war though. Senior Staff Writer 1 XO 5BATTlEfiEld I’m told this game looks gorgeous. or modern takes on the genre such as Pillars or Divinity: Original sin. Art Editor hORizOn 3 PC 6 fORzA It’s been frustratingly difficult getting this to run properly on my PC. While modern rPGs such as the Witcher streamline the role-playing experience. The campaign is stunning. n Andy Kelly 77 www. Rob Crossland. there’s no Your choice of stats can open up. and like that game it’s an homage to the rich. Senior Staff Writer 4 TiTAnfAll 2 PS4 Going from Battlefield 1 to Titanfall 2 has been a nightmare. just pages of evocative text. it helps that you can hover over key names and phrases in dialogue for a quick lore refresher. this game harks back to the days when stats and dice rolls were king. of course. since I’ve been far too busy rushing around capturing flags and hitting people over the head with spades to notice… Rob Crossland. this presents you with a boardgame-style map of the last remaining part of the world that’s yet to be taken over by Kyros. For example. this ambitious galactic strategy gem is even more expansive and interesting now than it was at launch. 80 Christmas 2016 Format PC Publisher Paradox Interactive Developer Obsidian Entertainment ETA Out now Players 1 TyRanny Being bad feels pretty good I magine Frodo never destroyed the One Ring and Sauron succeeded in conquering Middle-earth. story-heavy infinity Engine rPGs of the late ’90s. tyranny uses the same engine as Pillars Of Eternity. The Final Verdict! now playing this month’s biggest time sinks on team Gm 2 PS4 1TiTAnfAll It’s been a long time since I last enjoyed a first-person shooter quite as much as this one. the combat is real-time. and multiplayer has already got its hooks into me deep. certain dialogue options.Review You’re able to command each party member individually.twitter. the game itself will be familiar to anyone who’s played an infinity Engine rPG. voice acting. Everything is painted in shades of grey. Ben Griffin. and with the spell creator. this both determines what powers you start the game with. giving you the choice to be the merciful. but not as compelling or well-realised as Pillars’ Dyrwood. It’s so fast. or just plain evil. one character knocks an enemy to the ground. Robin Valentine. and has a dramatic impact on the storyline. you can choose a base property. but I wouldn’t know. a Fatebinder charged with enforcing her will and crushing her enemies. dark fantasy world finds itself in. and some of the decisions you’re forced to make are genuinely difficult. then modify how the spell behaves when cast. Acting Editor PC 2 STEllARiS Thanks to regular free updates and some brilliant downloadable content. People will mention your choices ten. weakening them for a follow-up strike. Art Editor OffiCE lunChTimE GAmE Of ThE mOnTh: OVERCOOkEd PS4 It’s getting hard to convince Ben to keep playing this co-op cook up. lawful evil type. tyranny’s greatest strength is letting you play as the bad guy. That’s the situation Tyranny’s grim. Driving a WW1 tank wasn’t adequate preparation for commanding a Titan. but with the ability to manually or automatically pause after each attack to plan your next move. But luckily you’re on evil overlord Kyros’ side. it looks better than ever and runs like a dream. each session is slowly becoming more traumatising than the last. Ben Griffin. or you can just let the AI take over in combat. but learning the cultures and customs of this world can be bewildering. such as fire or ice. after you’ve created a character you enter Conquest mode. Robin Valentine. tyranny’s world and story are richer than most rPGs. and what role you played in it. A strange new world But unique to tyranny is the ability to perform combo attacks with your party. but now that I’ve cracked it. even 20 hours down the line. for example by making it an area-of-effect attack. With Robin as head chef. or even block off.

the richly immersive ambience of this dinosaur planet might be worth the prohibitive cost of entry. and shelter to curl up in. medicine.REViEW ROunduP HoT downloads Unlike its predecessor. suggesting he’s coming along too. like dismantling a pterosaur nest to make one fly closer to the ground. and Canyon Grand Drift). each of the 300+ puzzles begins as a mass of small cubes. then having Laika roar until it drops the gadget in its beak. you’ll also need to colour the blocks either blue or orange. left alone on a distant planet with just a floating spherical robot (hiGs) for company. drink. You’ll also climb down ropes and across fungal handholds to reach new areas. Unsure whether or not your guts can take it? There’s a free four-track demo to try out. there’s evidence of the shapeshifting blob Ditto’s signature Transform move. the scarcity of life-saving supplies makes both modes competitive. the perfect ‘second game’ to play alongside something more intense. it can feel as though you’re applying a series of techniques you already know. though the controls leave a little to be desired – it’s baffling that move controllers aren’t used – it’s nerve-wracking to find yourself looking down from a vertiginous rock face or seeing a snarling raptor waiting. Oculus. which standard Picross always managed to avoid. full of those “aha!” moments that define great puzzlers. While you can play PvP or PvE with up to 23 others. But we’re glad it’s here. the rules of how you do that are a little complex to go into – though the game does an excellent job of introducing the concepts and logical techniques required – but it’s essentially sudoku-esque. at around four hours. though an early Jurassic Park-style reveal is fudged slightly. this involves solving simple environmental puzzles. and Vive. with the help of astromech droid R3-Z3. Escape From Starkiller Base. There are 40 VR-exclusive tracks set in four different environments (International Stadium. before a thrilling finale. Thirst. as long stints do begin to see tedium creep in. A similar statement could also be made about Robinson: The Journey itself. the beasts are robinson’s trump card. it’s wonderfully soothing (helped no end by the soft jazz soundtrack). but they’re quite majestic to behold. rather than doing any real cerebral aerobics. also out this month is LEGO Star Wars’ last slice of DLC. That’s easier said than done when the crash leaves you with nothing but a pistol and low-level green items. which you slowly chip away at to reveal the shape within. much as you can with a crossword or sudoku. Christmas 2016 81 . n Alex Jones 79 There’s something of the Threepios about HIGS. that’s the best way to play. with an extended sequence in a darkened planetarium featuring one smartly engineered jolt. Here. must escape the First Order before everything explodes. after an intense blizzard brings down your chopper and scatters you near the city’s perimeter. And signs point to a new questing system that will award points for completing tasks – likely walking a certain distance or catching a specific set of Pokémon. Format PS4 Publisher Sony Developer Crytek Frankfurt ETA Out now Players 1 Robinson: THe JouRney Dazzling Vr beasts at a dino-sore price O ne striking set-piece in the second half of Crytek’s short but evocative VR adventure puts you within touching distance of a whole stampede of brachiosaurs. It casts you as two resistance pilots stranded on the titular base who. with numbers on the cubes indicating the number of blocks that should exist in that row. it’s deeply satisfying. rex. hunger and heat will all decide whether you make it through the roughly two-hour-long Survival expansion. Your job is to recover more hiGs units. Valley Down & Dirty. you must make it to the centre to pick up a cache of antiviral drugs before you perish.com/gamesmaster You’re a young boy. which eventually reveal what caused your ship to crash-land. and its bite-sized nature means you can dip in for a short mental workout. www. but if you’re feeling flush.gamesradar. the latest DLC and expansions explored Format 3DS Publisher Nintendo Developer HAL Laboratory ETA Out now Players 1 picRoss 3d Round 2 Chip off the old block T his sequel to the 3D spin-off of niche grid-based puzzler Picross isn’t something we expected to see in 2016. Trackmania Turbo developer Nadeo has updated its ultra-customisable racer with virtual reality support for PlayStation VR. These creatures are a little ungainly and slow in their movement. For Picross 3D newbies. From one crash-landing to another. data miners digging into the code have uncovered traces of Gold and Silver’s entire roster – that’s Chikorita (#152) to Celebi (#251) – ready and waiting to spill into the wild through a free update. together the three of you explore the world. Lastly. Rollercoaster Lagoon. and things can get a little fiddly. in fact. who frets over you like a fussy parent. then an egg hatches into a cute t. Nonetheless.5 patch that brings fresh gear and weapons. and to scan the local fauna. it’s over far too soon. You’ll scavenge for food. Meanwhile in The Division’s now heavily snowed-under New York there’s a whole new threat to contend with: the elements. n Chris Schilling 75 With the impending release of 100 new Pokémon into Pokémon GO. The paid-for DLC rolls out alongside the free 1. which the boy names Laika. painkillers. because more people will get to enjoy the gentle thrill of chipping away at a cube to create a crude approximation of a cucumber (or other mundane object). mostly. using a handheld gadget to lift and throw objects. in later stages. Along with these.

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ly/2eAoGKX .Celebrate Star Wars through the eyes of the world’s finest artists TED UPDA W ART NE WITH e McBridn n o r a A N i e lse Terese Seeley Dave oster J on F ON SALE NOW! Buy your copy here: http://bit.

bit. available every two weeks on iTunes or at www.“The only podcast ever made about videogames” “Does he make you drink your own wee?” “I don’t think there’s ever been a game that’s understood the power of music better than this” “It’s a racing game. That’s a genre of game where you… play around… in cars?” “I want to live the life of one footballer. not the life of 11 footballers concurrently.” “My unique selling point is my appreciation of games” Join Team GM for a podcast full of the very best in gaming chat.ly/gmmastercast .

have aged beautifully though. and the thrill of unlocking the inverted castle is still undeniably potent. so. shape-shifting castle. Earlier castlevania games.RetroMaster ❤ Old Games! of gaming • L Eg E Legend • ng End of gam ing LEg #47 of Gaming ing • LEgE nd gam of of • LEgEnd of ga m i Castlevania: syMphony of the night nd gE LE nd • Alucard’s androgynous appearance is the result of Ayami Kojima’s iconic artwork. instead. and while the series is now synonymous with the open-ended exploration of labyrinthine castle halls. this pretty protagonist was nowhere to be seen at the franchise’s inception. responsible for that reinvention. and it was Koji igarashi who was. but expressly prevented the kind of environmental investigation and repeated backtracking the series would later come to be known for. Previous castlevanias only ramped up the difficulty as you progressed through Drac’s palatial home. challenging players to whipcrack beasties while skillfully hopping around tightly directed castle corridors towards a level exit. 1988’s castlevania placed the spotlight squarely on simon Belmont. and Frankenstein’s monsters. The legend all of which is to say that symphony Of the Night marked a significant departure for the series. the children of the night. levelling. bats. acting out of a desire to bring new players to a franchise that was already a venerable gaming institution by 1997. symphony Of the Night wasn’t all daring novelty though. and its artful 2D visuals looked positively quaint to Playstation gamers exploring tomb raider for the first time. The origins But while alucard’s androgynous visage is now the face of castlevania for many. And even when he is around. it was ultimately accessibility that drove castlevania’s reinvention. 86 christmas 2016 the first game in the franchise was a pure action platformer. ng mi ga We Listen to them. symphony Of the Night transformed the castlevania series for good. were designed to test veteran Developer Konami Publisher Konami Released 1997 Format PlayStation Get it Xbox Store. What music they make! V ideogames are lousy with bad dads. and equippable items – was also a concerted lunge towards mainstream acceptance. urgent platforming remained the soul of the series across a dozen or so of the franchise instalments that followed. then. castlevania began as an utterly linear affair. The legacy Firstly. PSN vampire slayers rather than welcome hapless newcomers. The game marked her first work in the industry. igarashi felt that a larger. Alucard gets a pretty bum deal. After all. the introduction of role-playing elements – such as experience points. and while castlevania: rondo Of Blood had already experimented with ditching time limits. and its legendary status emerged from inspired reinvention rather than years of careful refinement. Dracula didn’t just head out for smokes and never come back – he disappears for a century at a time inside a magical. whip in hand. you’d snap your way through 18 levels packed to the spooky rafters with ghosts. mummies. but even by the shabby standards of our medium. correcting the course of “IGARASHI FELT THAT A LARGER. but igarashi hoped that the steady accumulation of levels would carry even clumsy adventurers through the game. in large part. Filling in the castle’s expansive map remains a compulsive cartographic pleasure. so while metroid and super metroid were undoubtedly reference points.twitter. with their exacting platforming and rigorous time limits. and Dracula’s castle remains a lavish abode almost 20 years on. he’s way more interested in destroying the world than tossing a pigskin around with his son. and most obviously.com/gamesmaster . MORE OPEN GAME WORLD WOULD PROVE MORE ENTICING” www. and while the second game in the series flirted with a more open-ended style of gameplay. more open game world would prove more enticing than punishing platforming gauntlets. But it’s the design and layout of this memorable game world that cemented symphony Of the Night as a classic. as well as its terrific score. time limits added a real sense of urgency to proceedings. the visuals.

christmas 2016 87 . combat. the man who made castlevania the series it is today. it looks like there’s still an appetite for igarashi’s welcoming blend of exploration. It was visually impressive in its day. As such. axiom Verge. 1 Castlevania (NES – 1988) While the series would eventually come to be defined by open-ended exploration. The new features of Castlevania II were stripped out here. Daisuke amaya’s cave story. followed more recently by the likes of Guacamelee. 5 Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss (SNES – 1995) Symphony Of The Night is a direct sequel to this oft-forgotten branch of the Castlevania family tree. it saw the return of protagonist Simon Belmont. too. 18 stages to make your way through. Alucard would enter into his coffin for a nice little nap. as well as the non-linear exploration on show in Metroid. and given that the campaign went on to generate more than $5. rather than imposing a strict platforming time limit. too. It breaks with tradition by allowing players to explore levels at their own pace. and a whole host of preternatural predators out for your blood. the series has never managed to convincingly make the tricky transition to the third dimension.5 million in pledges (with $1 million of that being raised in the first day). this was the game that most directly sowed the seeds for Symphony Of The Night. pitting the righteous Belmont clan against Dracula and his forces of evil. who battled his way through linear levels with whip in hand. making use of the SNES hardware’s Mode 7 capabilities to render impressively detailed background art. n www. has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. Later entries would render this lore rather more complex… 2 Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest 3 Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse Konami drew inspiration from Nintendo’s flagship franchises for its gothic follow-up. introducing light role-playing elements of the kind seen in the Legend Of Zelda series. But while a brace of terrific 2D castlevanias followed and capably iterated on igarashi’s winning formula. You had three lives. and role-playing action. (SNES – 1992) an entire franchise with a blend of determined accessibility and sheer craft.com/gamesmaster It may have been the fourth numbered instalment in the franchise. having taken to Kickstarter last year to fund Bloodstained: ritual Of the Night. is mounting his own return to the genre. released in 2004.series spotlight For whom the Belmont tolls Every time you saved. led the charge. and Ori and the Blind Forest to name just a few exceptional examples. But Koji igarashi. Castlevania’s debut was a surprisingly straightforward linear action platformer. (NES – 1990) (NES – 1992) 4 Super Castlevania IV New powers and abilities granted access to new areas of the castle. It also established the Castlevania mythology.gamesradar. propelled by the efforts of a slew of independent developers. but there was a nod to non-linearity in the form of mid-game branching paths and multiple endings. but the series’ SNES debut was actually a reimagining of the very first Castlevania. however. the metroidvania genre as a whole. and it introduces many of the same baddies and beasties that would later feature in its famous follow-up. Castlevania reverted to a purer brand of platforming for its third instalment. which was originally released under the title Rondo Of Blood in Japan. causing many contemporary critics to hail Dracula’s Curse as a return to form for the franchise. After experimenting with action-RPG gameplay. as Castlevania quickly returned to its more straightforward roots for the third instalment. In a sense.

and people in bloodstained houses shouldn’t throw stones. So. Yharnamites Bloodborne (PS4 – 2015) It’s hard to imagine Yharnam as a thriving holiday hotspot even before its inhabitants turned to blood ministration. the virtual world remains a paradise of acceptance. Gary makes a home in LA’s sprawling sewer system. but the city’s predilection for drinking and infusing the red stuff is so extreme that the wider world views Yharnamites as dangerous loons. But even if our real life is a brutal world filled with judgemental fusspots. and celebrate gaming’s greatest bloodsuckers. let’s put our judgemental impulses to one side on this occasion. Hollywood’s most handsome leading man. n raziel Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver (PC. this undead upstart was only cast down in the first place because Kain was jealous of his fabulous wings. it seems as though you can barely sink an espresso at breakfast or savour a bottle of potcheen over dinner without catching the ire of some clean-living devotee. let’s face facts: everybody enjoys a nice black pudding with their full English every now and then. 88 christmas 2016 www.com/gamesmaster .twitter. After all. PS1 – 1999) Kain may be the vampiric headliner of this bloodsucking series. And while blood might seem like an unusual or even unwholesome predilection.RetroMaster We ❤ Old Games! Six Of The BeST… BloodsuckeRs clearing the stage for the finest in hematophagy T hese days. offering a veritable safe haven for characters with nontraditional lifestyles and unorthodox appetites. Just don’t get too close to them. These days. GarY Golden Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (PC – 2004) This wizened Nosferatu was once known across the nation as Gorgeous Gary Golden. but Raziel is undoubtedly top banana. mind. but he’s still good for the occasional movie quote if you hunt him down. Dreamcast. however.

S.com/gamesmaster star Wars Knights of the old republic ii: the sith lords Format PC. Xbox Developer Obsidian Released 2005 Obsidian managed to produce a work that more than lived up to the storytelling legacy of its predecessor. so it should come as no surprise that a batch infected with t-Virus would be especially thirsty for that sweet.T. And once ADAM stocks ran low. so he stars as both a local band’s frontman and the resistance movement’s head honcho. David Cage is best known for QTE sex scenes and ham-fisted dialogue. PS3.A. this monstrous hardware never made it to market. harvesting ADAM from Rapture’s dead. Classic Moment! ADAM isn’t just magical sea-slug juice – it’s also the currency that powers Rapture’s economy.gamesradar. Arcade Developer Namco Released 1996 little sisters BioShock (PC. sticky vein juice. Little Sisters were put to work as blood-drinking recycling plants. so naturally it’s your job to punch him into unconsciousness in a featureless black void. and its Kickstarter was pulled after only a few days. mucous covered form – perfect for bashing S. Remake Request! Blood sport: the Ultimate in immersive GaminG (Kickstarter – 2014) The Blood Sport hardware was designed to drain a measure of claret from the player every time they took a hit in any given game. but Bowie wanted a part in the narrative as well.R. this second outing concludes with a bust-up against the actual devil. this periwinkle demon is actually Kazuya Mishima. Cage approached the singer to provide music for the game. proving far more precious to the city’s gene-splicing inhabitants than money or gold. but he’s been possessed by the archfiend. omikron: the nomad soul Format PC. Tragically. it was rushed out to meet deadlines and was incomplete at launch. Tragically. www. 360 – 2007) While the first King Of Iron First Tournament saw finalists face off against the fearsome Heihachi Mishima. Dreamcast Developer Quantic Dream Released 1999 These days.Grab Bag leeches Resident Evil Zero (GameCube – 2003) retro gems from every era Leeches are already widely feted for their bloodsucking abilities. Awesome Boss! tekken 2 Format PS1. These slimy swarms can even glom together to make a vaguely human. Technically. agents. Imagine a top-to-bottom remake with the shiny sci-fi visuals of Mass Effect! christmas 2016 89 . but he once provided gamers the opportunity to have a virtual natter with David Bowie.

Henwood ‘sculpts’ the yarn to get just the right shape and effect. “i’ve always loved soft toys. Sew far. and. and picking out the main identifying details. a manatee. colouring in pixels and. Pokémon.” she explains. “I haven’t found anythIng yet that I can’t make Into an amIgurumI versIon” www. so i could examine the character myself. plus rayman characters. paper dioramas. every step is added to a notebook. Henwood is a pixel artist for indie devs Sock Thuggery and loves RPGs and roguelikes. in game. But how did she get into it and how does she make ’em so gosh darned kawaii? “my mum taught me to crochet when i was very young. “this was even easier for Bruce as i have a copy of animal Crossing on my 3Ds. i find many screenshots of the character i plan to make. like her other work since getting confident. she made entirely from scratch with no pattern – it’s all about getting the little details right. i can make those!’ i thought. Dangerous business! shapes where necessary with crochet in mind.” Plus. then i realised that they were made using crochet. about her videogame character crochet creations W e’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of videogame crafts. around the same time i saw some pictures online of these cute Japanese things called amigurumi. i figured that if i couldn’t buy more soft toys. ‘i can 90 Christmas 2016 crochet. sew good For a character like Bruce from animal Crossing – who. “Firstly. We’ve seen Perler beads. then i make several sketches of them. nothing has been as cute as the work of Liz Henwood.twitter. but while she’s kept it as evidence of her first ultra-cute piece of work. especially less common subjects (i have an octopus. and animal Crossing villagers. just in case henwood wants to make another one.” henwood explains.” she warns. it’s really a case of practice – learning to identify which features are key to a character being recognisable and which are less important and can be abstracted or omitted. a long time ago. aka The Yarn Mouse. her eight pet mice. of course. but i didn’t really start making things until i was about 11 or 12. However. she’s sailed onto making dozens of ultra-adorable custom creations including cute versions of everyday objects such as tea bags. so i dug out some old yarn and started searching for patterns. a lobster…). about ten years ago my partner semi-jokingly banned me from buying any more as we didn’t have enough room. “Crochet stitches don’t line up neatly under each other like knitting stitches (or pixels) do. simplifying Henwood once worked so hard that she developed tennis elbow in her right arm. from as many angles as i can.CultureMaster The Outer Regions Of Gaming! While she’s crocheting. i would make them!” henwood’s first ever amigurumi was a brain slug from Futurama.com/gamesmaster . crochet. which makes adding patterning challenging unless it’s horizontal stripes. henwood works out all of the necessary materials to make the character look just right. Hooked on tHe CHaraCters Can real life things actually be this adorable? We catch up with Liz Henwood. “i haven’t found anything yet that i can’t make an amigurumi version of – i seem to have a natural gift for making things look cute!” she says. an entire Plants vs. Also known as The Yarn Mouse.” after she’s got the plans in place. Once i have a set of shapes designed i can choose the yarn. Zombies-themed garden. when my patience developed. “they are slightly off-set.

more Pokémon. Ten sensors across your palm and fingers deliver all of the info you need to know. though. and an amazing favourite.” making Pokémon – they are so cute! i will confess to We believe in you.” to her belt. at a whopping 30 hours over one week.gamesradar. henwood is currently working i tried a number of different ways To see even more pictures of her beautifully crafted on crochet Kickstarter rewards for to make the skull on her belt before videogame characters. It might be a bit bright. of course. Glove what you do Controllers? Pah! Where we’re going. Bulbasaur. The VRGO chair solves all of that by letting you steer with your rear. “a full set of minecraft animals and what could be more adorable would be brilliant too – they are so cute. but as he is made from simple shapes. Charmander. from GO Pokéstops and Gyms for lucky the fur on her wrists and ankles fans to find. Can we request Silent Hill for cuddly scares? FiGment to be www. and my personal Viking warrior princess. and a friend’s successful game project.ly/gmyarnmouse work including making a sonic to look right. head to plans for plenty more game craft the character so it absolutely had Henwood’s Facebook page. it’s sickness central. Ultimately i’d love to make ’em all. “the teensy Wizard was relatively easy squirtle squad). especially the than this lot? Pokémon.com/gamesmaster SEE THIS! SEE THIS! SEE THIS! S SEE THIS! SEE THIS! SEE THIS! IS! String theory See this! IS! SEE THIS! SEE THIS! SEE TH TH she says. Barbara. we don’t need controllers. a glove and use vibrations to feel physical features and the shape and weight of in-game items. i settled on the felt and white glass for her latest news and sales City Of the shroud. The Gloveone enables you to pop on. i love the first Generation set. it would be interesting to work out how to keep the on ultra-adorable Charmanders and squirtles. her helmet and her axe. All of Henwood’s yarn is from charity and secondhand shops. Welcome to the future. well. the most time-consuming EE hand-made Pokémon at Pokémon parts were her accessories. Lean in the direction you want to go and boom: nausea free! Christmas 2016 91 . These Rayman crafts are Henwood’s favourites. as there’s no foam or headset… Chair today VR has a problem when it comes to controls. She has an enormous collection to work from. n Louise Blain being a bit old-school. he took about ten i fear that may be impossible! i am also hours.” Why pay for an expensive VR headset when you can just transform your phone into one? The Figment VR is a phone case with flip out goggles to let you experience portable virtual reality. and a Big Daddy and Little sister from Bioshock. henwood has worked pigs. But she’s got beads – it was a distinctive part of information. with all their evolutions (and a teensy Wizard.” the hedgehog. “i love parts square despite being made from soft crochet. but she has big plans for Sonic. but the minute our in-game bodies start moving and we don’t. We feel fine when we’re static.GLoBaL Master the craziest virtual reality innovations Rayman’s Barbara has so far taken the longest to craft. squirtle. Yarn mouse. http://bit. Barbara was more complex and keen to get involved in the global took about 30 hours spread over THIS! SEE THIS! SEE THIS! SEE group of crafters who love leaving a week. “i really want to make a full set of traditional her favourite creations so far have been rayman’s starters – Pikachu. and even Bioshock.

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mature.com/gamesmaster . 2015’s surprise hit combines football and motors to create an amazingly universal multiplayer experience. Engaging. if even one of the 50 games on here has passed you by. Gm is here to ensure you’re clued in on the top exclusives 96 christmas 2016 1 THE LAST OF uS REMASTERED 2 3 4 JOuRNEY 2 uNcHARTED 4 TOWERFALL AScENSION 5 HALO 5: guARDIANS 1 BLOODBORNE 5 1 KALIMBA 3 FORzA HORIzON 3 4 QuANTuM BREAK ORI & THE BLIND FOREST 2 MARIO KART 8 SuPER MARIO MAKER 3 4 5 SPLATOON BAYONETTA 2 SuPER MARIO 3D WORLD www. full of wonderful distractions and typical Rockstar humour. PS4 / PC / PS Vita Wii U 23 HOTLINE MIAMI 35 STREET FIgHTER V BATTLEFIELD 4 PS4 / PC PS4 / XO / PC PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 / Mobile PS4 / XO / PC / 360 34 FAR cRY PRIMAL TALES FROM THE BORDERLANDS RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 33 PS Vita 25 DISHONORED PS4 TEARAWAY PS4 / XO / PC 24 BLOODBORNE 43 44 INSIDE DOTA 2 42 NIDHOgg 15 SuPER MARIO MAKER PC / Mobile 32 MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 14 HER STORY PS4 / XO / PS3 / 360 PS4 / PC / PS3 / PS Vita / Mobile 31 Wii U DESTINY: THE TAKEN KINg 22 PC PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 45 HALO 5: guARDIANS PC PS4 / XO / PC XO FORMAT BuYER’S guIDE Just bought a spanking new console? configured a new rig? or perhaps you’ve a new handheld ready to go? Whichever machine you’ve got. 21 13 guILD WARS 2: HEART OF THORNS 41 ROcKET LEAguE One year and three chunks of DLC later and Bungie has finally made Destiny the shooter-RPG it was meant to be. but this is Souls – and gaming – at its current-gen finest. An epic proposition that truly lives up to its promise. Naughty Dog brings all of its strengths to the fore. and nowhere is that more apparent than in this joyous karter reborn. dripping with Nintendo’s slick signature style.gAME guIDE Welcome to Gm’s carefully collated list of the most essential gaming experiences you can undertake right now. Utterly. get a shift on post-haste 1 2 3 4 5 DARK SOuLS III THE LAST OF uS THE WITcHER 3: WILD HuNT gRAND THEFT AuTO V MARIO KART 8 The first game might be closer to fans’ hearts. fusing engaging gameplay with stunning storytelling. An engrossing mystery that makes us believe in FMV again. The most comprehensive sandbox going. PS4 / XO / PC 11 PS4 / PS3 PS4 / XO / PC 12 METAL gEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 Hideo’s last hurrah brings open-world action to the revered series. Reinvention is what Ninty does best. and unbelievably vast.twitter. wonderfully unique. The most brilliantly accessible level creation game around.

with a series of inspired scenes that see you scrubbing through and altering people’s memories in a way strikingly similar to Max’s time travel.This month. Robin dusts off a long forgotten bottle of Remember Me This maligned gem never got a fair shake. 8 uNcHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END An incredible end to one of the most spectacular series in games. full of unique visual touches. eh? PS4 / XO / PC PS4 16 9 PS4 / PC / PS Vita 18 PS4 / XO / PC 19 20 FALLOuT 4 SPLATOON STARBOuND THE WALKINg DEAD PORTAL 2 A hundred little improvements over its predecessor make this trip to the wasteland one worth booking. Side-on crafting at its best. Still nothing on current-gen has come close to matching the multiplayer thrills found in this twitchy battler. to my mind.gamesradar. PS4 / XO / PC Wii U 26 PC 27 ROcK BAND 4 28 FIRE EMBLEM FATES PS4 / XO ELITE DANgEROuS 3DS 47 46 SALT & SANcTuARY PC XcOM 2 HER STORY 1 2 3 4 SuPERHOT 2 STARBOuND 3 MONSTER HuNTER gENERATIONS LuIgI’S MANSION 2: DARK MOON www.com/gamesmaster 80 DAYS 3DS 1 POKéMON X AND Y 5 50 MONSTER HuNTER gENERATIONS 2 3 4 PC / Mobile TEARAWAY 1 PERSONA 4 gOLDEN ANIMAL cROSSINg: NEW LEAF DOTA 2 5 PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 49 PC guILD WARS 2 ALIEN ISOLATION Wii U STELLARIS 4 40 SuPER MARIO 3D WORLD PC / XO FIRE EMBLEM FATES 1 3DS 39 48 TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER PS4 / PC POKéMON X & Y PS4 / XO / PC 38 ANIMAL cROSSINg: NEW LEAF XO / PC 30 DOOM Wii U 37 PC / PS3 / 360 29 BAYONETTA 2 3DS 36 PS4 / XO / PC / PS3 / 360 / PS Vita / Mobile gRAVITY RuSH 3 4 80 DAYS FTL: FASTER THAN LIgHT VELOcITY 2X zERO EScAPE: VIRTuE’S LAST REWARD 5 2 SORcERY HEARTHSTONE: HEROES OF WARcRAFT 5 PAPERS PLEASE christmas 2016 97 . and bizarre characters. Try not to get too attached to your soldiers. and gameplay concepts that would go on to define its recent hit Life Is Strange. ideas. A wonderous world filled with planets to explore and furniture to plunder. Both seasons display some of the finest storytelling in videogames. evocative music. 17 10 OVERWATcH TOWERFALL AScENSION XcOM 2 A wonderous foray into first-person shooting from the World Of Warcraft dev – essential for team players. It’s here that developer Dontnod first begin to play with the themes. 6 7 JOuRNEY PS4 / PS3 This intensely emotional trip through a strange. Injects more fun and colour into the online shooter genre than we ever thought possible. Effortlessly combines pitch-perfect puzzling with perhaps gaming’s best ever comedy writing. beautiful world is a truly spellbinding display of games as art. Its vision of a dystopian future Paris obsessed with transferable memories is one of the most striking settings in games. Turn-based strategy gold that doesn’t pull its punches.

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