Review: This Year’s Gaming Stocking Fillers

enoloc

Xbox One and the Sony PS4 will battle it out again this Christmas. Pic:Enoloc

Christmas is only a few weeks away and the dulcet tones of Noddy Holder have begun to fill the air once again. The trees are up and decorated, and the stockings are hung on the edge of beds and above fireplaces everywhere. But what should Santa be putting in them now that Satsumas and Chestnuts just won’t suffice? And what about you? What should you spend your Christmas vouchers and money on?

Well, if you own a games console and love your games, then here is a run-down of the latest releases and why you should add them to your collection.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Andrzej Fink.1jpg

The gameplay has had a complete over-hall this year. Pic:Andrzej Fink

The second installment on the PS4 and Xbox one, and the eighth overall in the Assasin’s Creed franchise, sees a dramatic improvement in gameplay and graphics. The all new open world platform is set in a beautifully made reconstruction of French Revolution Paris in the 1700’s. Players can now take part in co-op missions, including anywhere between one and four comrades. These missions bring an added element to the game that has been lacking in previous versions. All in all a great addition to the franchise by Ubisoft, and a top contender for the game that should fill your stocking this year.

For gameplay footage click here.

Rating: 4/5

Available on: PS4 / Xbox One / PC

 

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

Joshua Livingston

In-game characters show off the new exo-skeleton in this year’s Call of Duty. Pic:Joshua Livingston (Flickr)

If you like fast-paced, in your face, first person shoot’em ups, then the chances are you will have played Call of Duty, or COD as it is known by its legions of fans. The latest offering from developers Treyarch and Infinity Ward includes more gameplay options, more weapons, and more attitude than ever before. Recruiting Kevin Spacey for the lead role in the campaign missions was a masterstroke. Spacey provides an excellent narrative for the futuristic action. The gameplay is similar to previous editions of the franchise, even though promoters toughted the new user interface as a revolutionary player experience. The only feature that really makes a difference is the futuristic exo-skeleton that allows players to reach new heights within the game – literally, it provides a boost in your jump and not a lot else.

Overall, a decent game but nothing groundbreaking. A fun first person shooter that will likely appeal to established fans of the franchise but unlikely to tempt newcomers. My advice, save your christmas money for Battlefield Hardline – out March, 2015.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating: 3.5/5

Available on: PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC

 

Destiny

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Players get a hugely immersive experience in this year’s PS4 blockbuster. Pic:Ghost Device (Flickr)

Possibly the game of the year. Destiny has been around a while now, having been released in mid September, but if you or your loved one haven’t had the pleasure then I would suggest you give it a go. The only downside being it is a PS4 title only, so Xbox owners, hard luck. With an option to choose from three distinct character types, who each have their own unique abilities and skills, this game really allows you to play the way you want to. Highly interactive, the game encourages you to play with friends, with each mission becoming easier the more of you that join the fray. Set in our solar system, the game features vast worlds to explore, including a post apocalyptic Earth, Mars and Venus, each hosting their own unique valuables to collect.

A free trial for users on Xbox and PS3 is currently in the pipeline, so there may yet be hope for Xbox owners who want to experience this unique game.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating: 4.5/5

Available on: PS4 only.

 

Drive Club

Drive Club

Graphics are the only real incentive to buy Drive Club. Pic:Gieson Gacho (Flickr)

If you aren’t into first person shooters or free roaming heroics and you love your cars, Evolution Studios have come up with their own racing car speed fest. Originally meant for release in conjunction with the PS4 and Xbox One, Drive Club was delayed until October. Unfortunately, the wait hasn’t proved to be worth waiting for. The game lacks basic driving mechanics that games like Need for Speed have perfected; little touches such as turning your car lights on and off, honking the horn and others. These small aspects help create immersive experiences for players that Drive Club just fails at. The driving experience isn’t much better, with cars seemingly drifting across the track at the slightest hint of a corner. The graphics dig the game out of a hole a little,  with superb rendering of exotic household names, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren, but as many of us have been told, looks aren’t everything. My advice, wait for The Crew due for release early next year.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating:2.5/5

Available on: PS4 Only

 

Far Cry 4

bago games

A huge landscape and an array of animals are part of the challenge in Far Cry 4. Pic:Bago Games (Flickr)

Possibly the prettiest game of 2014. The open world, set in the fictional Himalayan province of Kyrat, is vast and detailed, producing a hugely immersive and fun player experience. Missions range from all out warfare in the hills, to stealth assassinations in the valleys below, this game has everything. You will rarely get bored, as venturing from mission to mission keeps you on your toes, with honey badgers, tigers, wolves and rhinos to name a few all baying for your blood at any given moment.

All things considered, this is a great game that will keep you entertained well beyond the new year.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating – 4/5

Available on: PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC

Fifa 15

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Player facial recognition and responsive behaviour are key features in this edition of the FIFA franchise. Pic:PSM (Flickr)

EA have gone above and beyond with their newest edition of the footballing juggernaut that is FIFA. This year’s game features all new player mechanics that include real-time reactions and emotions, so if you go flying into a challenge and get yourself sent off your team mates will let you know about it. This edition also features all 20 premier league stadiums for the first time in the games’ history. EA have also developed face recognition technology and next generation visual effects mapping to create life-like recreations of your favourite players.

FIFA has established itself as the king of the sporting arena when it comes to gaming, and FIFA 15 only enhances its reputation, so if you fancy a kick about in your front room or you want to take your team all the way to the champions league final, you should buy this game.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating: 4/5

Available on: PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC

 

GTA 5

Ferino Design

The 2013 game of the year gets a face lift thanks to the power of the next generation consoles. Pic:Ferino Design (Flickr)

Rockstar entertainment have unleashed their record breaking hit title Grand Theft Auto 5. The game has had new features added and a makeover from head to toe thanks to the graphical power that the next generation consoles allow. If you were lucky enough to play it on PS3 or Xbox 360 then you get the added bonus of carrying your character over to your next gen console whether it be PS4 or Xbox One. If you buy it before Christmas it also comes with free in-game bonus cash to spend on guns, houses and anything else that tickles your fancy in this genre defining anarchy fest. The first person mode gives gamers a great alternative view and immerses you in the chaotic life of your chosen character like never before. A great game that will be around for a long time.

For gameplay footage click here

Rating: 4/5

Available on: PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC

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