We’re a little over a week away from the end of this year’s recap; I wonder if you’re getting sick of it yet? Anyway, here’s another five games from our countdown, with some shooting, some ghosts and some snowboarding all making an appearance.
35 Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
First up is the latest entry in the Ghost Recon series, set, as you might expect, in the near future. The third person tactical shooter was released back in May, and didn’t just receive a review from us, but was also the subject of a WeView in July.
When I played through the game I found the single player quite enjoyable, but Peter wasn’t quite as pleased with it calling the narrative “…tired and overly familiar,” and saying that it’s “Capable of looking quite ugly.” Whilst I liked the game’s story, I do understand where Peter’s coming from; the writers were clearly drawing quite heavily from the Modern Warfare series. In fact if the game was first person rather than third person you could almost believe it was a Call of Duty title at points.
Ultimately Peter rated the game at 6/10, suggesting it’s probably not an automatic buy for most people. However, co-op may be the game’s saviour, so if you’ve got people you fancy playing with it might be worth a quick rent.
34 Luigi’s Mansion 2
Retitled Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, this 3DS sequel to 2001’s Luigi’s Mansion is due out in the EU sometime in 2013 now. Beyond the renaming at this year’s E3, we haven’t heard a huge amount about the game since its announcement at 2011’s E3.
It is, however, confirmed to feature multiple mansions, an expansion on the single mansion that featured in the original game. So far three mansions have been seen, Ghostly Manor, Secret Lab and Old Clockworks, and Luigi will move between the locations using a teleport system.
If any of you were puzzled by the slightly left-field nature of the game’s announcement, it turns out there’s a relatively simple answer. During development of the 3DS Miyamoto was using the original Luigi’s Mansion to test the 3DS’s hardware, and this sparked a desire in him to develop a sequel. When you’re Miyamoto you can do pretty much anything you want I assume.
33 Little Deviants
A Vita launch title, Little Deviants seems to exist largely to show off what the Vita’s capable of doing. The game features a wide variety of mini-games, tied together with a story about reconstructing the titular Deviants’ spaceship, which essentially serve to take you through a tour of the Vita’s features, all the way up to one mini-game that makes you sing into the portable’s microphone.
Fortunately I wasn’t near Dan to hear his singing voice when he reviewed the game. Whilst he enjoyed the game’s use of the Vita’s various inputs, and found some of the mini-games to be particularly addictive, he did complain that you saw everything far too quickly. Despite this, he still rated the game at 7/10, a good score for a mini-game collection.
Of course, the sad end to this story is the closure of developers Bigbig Studios back in January. Sony actually shut the studio down before the game was even out, a very depressing state of affairs.
32 Darksiders II
One of the most recent, if not the most recent, games on our list to be released, Darksiders II arrived in Europe less than a month ago, with our review going out almost exactly one month ago to the day. The game is a sequel to 2010’s Darksiders, this time following Death rather than War.
It’s not quite your traditional sequel, as Blair points out in our review, instead exploring things from a different perspective and trying to shed more light on the events surrounding the first game. The biggest change from the first game is, obviously, the change of main character, with Blair commenting that Death is far more agile than War ever was, although he’s just as powerful. This has a pretty significant effect on the game’s combat, leading to more free flowing combos and faster combat overall.
Whilst the game is pretty good, gaining a 7/10 from us, Blair did complain that the story “…becomes tired and drawn out,” and that despite having a large, open world, “…most of it feels wasted and empty.” He did have praise for it too though, highlighting the combat, art style and boss battles as being particularly enjoyable.
The only question now is whether THQ will manage to survive long enough to put out more sequels.
March’s revival of the SSX series, this was the first game since 2007’s Blur, seems to have gone down fairly well, with Peter scoring it at 8/10 in our review of the game. There’s been some big changes from the older games in the series though, most notably with SSX no longer standing for Snowboard Super Cross. It now stands for Snowboard, Surfing and Motocross, the three sports that the game’s characters are known for apparently.
The game’s back story essentially establishes that you’re touring the world’s craziest mountains as part of a vanity project established by stars of the aforementioned sports. Whilst that does make the game sound more realistic than its older siblings, although only slightly, Peter notes that the game still has a big old dollop of insanity dolloped in there. Whilst you may actually be ‘boarding on mountains this time, there’s still plenty of insane tricks to pull off and high scores to reach. It’s good to see that EA didn’t toss out the game’s pedigree with this newest title.