It’s strange and exciting to think that, in just over a month’s time, PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones will be cropping up in living rooms around the world. It’s a tantalising prospect but if 2013 has proven anything it’s that current-gen hardware still has some fight left.
Helming this final hurrah is a smattering of titles, many of which are set to deploy before the year draws to end with Sony’s Beyond: Two Souls at the forefront. Also on the schedule this week is the return of a handheld powerhouse; a series which has gone unmatched for well over a decade and is likely to give 3DS sales another crucial surge..
Beyond: Two Souls | PS3 | Friday
Easily one of PS3’s most anticipated exclusives, this week we’ll finally be able to get our hands on Quantic Dream’s latest. Like the developer’s last game, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls treads the line between video games and cinema with its unique mechanic, Hollywood cast, and personal narrative.
Players will follow the life of Jodie Holmes, an unfortunate yet gifted young woman who has a connection with a supernatural entity known only as Aiden. This bond weighs on the gameplay experience with players switching between Jodie and her silent companion to navigate environments and solve puzzle-like objectives.
It’s a strange combo yet one powered by a level of detail and attention few studios can attain. Not only does the game look fantastic, it also stars actors Ellen Page and Willem Defoe throughout, a bold approach though one that speaks to the role video games now play in the world of modern entertainment.
Our review of the title will go live at 4pm today.
Borderlands 2: GOTY Edition | PC, PS3, 360 | Friday
Aside from its zany, loot-based shooting, Borderlands is perhaps best known for its brilliant post-launch support. With four major expansions, two bonus characters, a horde of weapons, and several other DLC outings, a Game of the Year Edition for Borderlands 2 was always a likely prospect.
Dragon’s Crown | PS3, Vita | Friday
Controversial, side-scrolling RPG Dragon’s Crown is finally out this week having launched in the US back in August. Straight from the Vanillaware forges, the game certainly has pedigree, succeeding PlayStation cult classics such as Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
Earlier this year Dragon’s Crown copped a fair bit of flack following trailers of the game’s cast. Now, as we already know, the female form is often exaggerated from time to time in the world of video games though some felt that Dragon’s Crown took the biscuit. We don’t really need to explain this one, just check out the trailer above.
Turbo Super Stunt Squad | Xbox 360 , PS3 , Wii , DS , 3DS , Wii U | Friday
Based on the upcoming DreamWorks flick, Turbo Super Stunt Squad gives players a unique insight into the world of snail racing. In short, it looks fun and copies the animated style of the movie well, appearing on every platform bar the PC and Vita.
Tie-ins have only recently come out of a dark patch, though developers Monkey Bar Games and Torus aren’t exactly the sort of talent that can turn a movie-based title into a stellar, AAA masterpiece. It’s definitely one for the kids yet has quiet potential.
Pokémon X & Y | 3DS | Saturday
Now here’s something we don’t see everyday. Weekend launches may be common in other parts of the world but here they’re pretty much unheard of, most publishers usually opting for Tuesdays or Fridays. Though unconventional, the release date isn’t likely to hinder the long-await return of Pokémon. Not one bit.
It’s fundamentally the same, turn-based RPG, yet this time around GameFreak has sped up the formula whilst also working in some new mechanics. Being a 3DS exclusive, the game will also feature enhanced visuals; it’s not the fully three-dimensional Pokémon game fans have been clamouring for but it’s the next best thing.
A new Pokémon type and updated roster also come into play in X & Y as well as the somewhat divisive Mega Evolutions. Other little touches include refined character movement, customisable avatars and a number of improvements to the series’ multiplayer infrastructure.