Another week, another batch of highly-anticipated gaming sequels. Where last week was a nice little taster, this week’s menu is marked by three major returning franchises, one of which is throwing down the FPS gauntlet before the launch of rival, CoD: Ghosts. Did we mention there is also an overpriced avian catapult sim?
Angry Birds Star Wars | PS3, 360, Vita, Wii, Wii U, 3DS | Tuesday
Despite boasting 20 new-and-exclusive levels, re-mastered visuals, and at least 25 hours of content, Angry Birds Star Wars is a bit of a hard sell.
Considering how cheap the game is on mobile devices (currently £0.69), many will feel a tad mugged off in buying what is essentially the same product, but at least thirty times the price.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag | PS3, 360 | Tuesday
Ubisoft’s saga is back for yet another instalment with a next-gen port in the pipeline. Thankfully the publisher and its network of united studios didn’t decide to linger in revolutionary America. Though an interesting era, it proved underwhelming in places and, in terms of narrative, fell flat on its face far too often.
For the first time the power-selling series is stepping back rather forward, at least in terms of its expansive timeline. Players will be catapulted back half a century, landing in the waterlogged boots of pirate/assassin/charming rogue, Edward Kenway.
He’s immediately more likeable than Connor and will hopefully be the main driving force behind Black Flag’s narrative. Where Assassin’s Creed III felt like a history textbook with a wrist-blade strapped to it, Black Flag is much more exotic, though it’s not yet clear how much refinement the gameplay has witnessed since 2012. We’ll have a full review of the title soon.
Battlefield 4 | PS3, 360, PC | Friday
DICE is back with yet another of its digital illusions. The campaign may still be poised around warring global superpowers and terrorist/authoritarian regimes, yet there have been a few changes.
First and foremost is “Levolution”, an awkwardly-named web of progressive environmental changes that happen in-game. You remember that toppling skyscraper back at E3? Levolution. That beached tanker? Levolution.
In truth, as Stefan pointed out in his recent preview, “Levolution” isn’t as well-integrated as it was first made out to be. Still, it’s an interesting concept and one that goes hand-in-hand with the new multiplayer modes being wheeled out by DICE.
If you’re looking for the real next Battlefield epic, we’d suggest holding out a month for the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version. With that said plenty of places are offering a fair deal for those wanting to upgrade to next-gen, heavily discounting the games you’ve already purchased.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection | PS3, 360 | Thursday
While we wait for MercurySteam’s follow-up to Lords of Shadow, Konami is releasing a bundle. The pack contains the original 2010 hack n’ slash along with a suite of DLC. On top of that, players can look forward to a re-mastered port of 3DS exclusive, Castlevania: Mirror of Fate.
Aside from these two spruced-up titles, we also have a demo for Lords of Shadow 2.
WWE 2K14 | PS3, 360 | Friday
With THQ out of the picture, 2K Games is now sitting on the acclaimed sporting IP. Its first change was to replace the long-running numbering sequence with it own trademark, WWE 2K14 being the first in a hopefully successful run for the publisher.
Developer Yukes is still at the helm, ushering in a number of revisions and updated visuals. At the core of the 2K14 experience is the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode which, as the name suggests, allows players to relive their favourite event matches.
2K14 also boasts an even bigger suite of customisation options and other game modes, one of which is dubbed “Streak Mode”. Don’t worry, it’s not what you’re probably thinking.