The releases have picked up a bit this week, with another entry into the GTA series already. No, not really, but the online component of GTA V is finally launching, as well as Rain, a “new” Zelda game, Just Dance and Formula 1. A variety this week, then.
Grand Theft Auto Online | PS3, 360 | Tuesday
Rockstar’s latest crime game has been on the lips of every casual gamer and enthusiast for the past fortnight. Sadly, if you’re one of the minority who couldn’t care less, the buzz surrounding Grand Theft Auto V is about let up any time soon.
This is partly thanks to the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, which developer Rockstar has described as a game-changer. Though there are deathmatches and races on-hand, GTA Online’s biggest asset is the sense of freedom it affords players. At launch, 16 wanabee thugs will be free to roam Los Santos taking on a variety of missions (over 500, in fact) or just cause havoc.
Rockstar has also promised a slew of updates to support what it calls a persistent online experience. Updates will include improved player housing, co-op bank heists, and perhaps even a higher player cap.
Rain | PS3 | Wednesday
If GTA is a little rambunctious for your taste, then Japan Studios’ Rain might be well up your street. Revealed in tandem with the developer’s quirky platformer, Puppeteer, Rain is slightly more atmospheric and sobering.
Available exclusively via the PlayStation Network, Rain is a puzzle-action game in which players lead a young boy through waterlogged alleys and soaking streets in search of a mysterious girl. What’s immediately interesting about the game is how the boy remains invisible unless you’re stood directly beneath the downpour.
Visibility is a key part to puzzle-solving in Rain. Though it’s tempting to call it out as another artsy title trying to send a message, there’s something about Rain that is undeniably original and alluring. We’ll have a review later today.
Just Dance 2014 | PS3, Wii U, Wii, 360 | Friday
It’s time to get your groove on yet again with the latest in Ubisoft’s flagship dancing series. Releasing on a variety of platforms, Just Dance 2014 will also be coming to both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.
Don’t let the name fool you. Just Dance may have dropped its usual numbering pattern but the game is more or less identical to previous iterations. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, however. Ubisoft has worked in a number of revisions as well as new tracklist including current hits by Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj as well as classics by George Michael and even Bob Marley.
There’s also an interesting focus on progressive multiplayer, one option allowing players from all over the world to compete on particular tracks for rewards.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD | Wii U | Friday
It isn’t often that we see Nintendo digging into the archives for games to be loaded onto the “HD remaaster” bandwagon. However, as highlighted in Blair’s review, The Wind Waker HD is perhaps one of the best hi-def ports to re-emerge from the realms of nostalgia.
Refined mechanics, enhanced visuals, and Wii U gamepad support combine to complement what many would consider the Nintendo GameCube’s swan song. Just ogling a handful of screenshots in passing is enough to make me envy any Wii U gamers out there. The Wind Waker HD paints a masterful scene with every frame, a symphony of vibrant colour and character that could only come from the talented folks at Nintendo.
F1 2013 | PC, PS3, 360 | Friday
Codies are at it again, serving up another slice of annualised F1 action. This year’s instalment, as the name suggests, follows the 2013 season with twenty four playable racers and nineteen circuits.
Players will also be able to mix and match, racing older cars on newer tracks and vice versa. 2013 will also be the first game in the series to utilise Codemaster’s EGO v3.0 engine which was also used in GRID 2.
Anything for you this week, or does GTA Online have you covered?