PlayStation Official Magazine - June 2016 UK



PlayStation Official Magazine - June 2016 UK
issue 123 june 2016 £5.99
world exclusive
unchArted 4
Has Nathan Drake
struck gold again?
Massive Catalyst
playtest, because you
gotta have Faith…
All-slime classic gets reinvented on PS4
TiTanFall 2 breaks cover aT lasT
e x T e n d e d p l aY !
FanTasY xv
New screens, new secrets, new movie
ISSUe 123 / JUne 2016
Future Publishing Ltd, Quay House, The Ambury,
Bath BA1 1UA, United Kingdom
tel +44 (0) 1225 442244 fax: +44 (0) 1225 732275
email [email protected] twitter @OPM_UK
es, you are staring at the ghost of
oPM past. yes, my doughy frame does
bear an uncanny resemblance to the
1984 manifestation of Gozer. Don’t, however,
go calling 555-2368. I’m merely filling in
while editor Matt takes a spring break,
and in doing so helping the team source
spook-tacular exclusives such as the first
hands-on with Ghostbusters on PS4.
Making an official tie-in is one of the
toughest challenges in all of gaming, and our
tale of new studio Fireforge’s efforts with
this one begins on p52. Additionally, we look
back at 36 years of PkE-tracing, Egonworshipping goodness in the complete
Ghostbusters chronology, from p58. All
without a “who you gonna…” joke in sight.
(Don’t say it. Don’t even think it.)
From uncharted territory to Uncharted
territory: we also have the first review of
Drake’s latest. Is it also his greatest? Flick
to p74 to see. Plus playtests of Mafia III,
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Final Fantasy XV and
more. It’s a privilege to be haunting these
pages once more. Enjoy the mag.
acting editor Ben Wilson @Benjiwilson
Managing art editor Milford Coppock @milfcoppock
production editor Andrew Westbrook @andy_westbrook
staff writer Jen Simpkins @itsJensim
staff writer Ben Tyrer @bentyrer
words Jenny Baker, Ben Borthwick, Matthew Clapham,
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Matt Elliott, Jordan Farley,
David Houghton, Leon Hurley, Daniella Lucas, Ben Maxwell,
Dave Meikleham, James Nouch, Louis Pattison, Matthew Pellett,
Rhiannon Rees, Sam Roberts, Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman,
Chris Schilling, Tom Sykes, Robin Valentine, Iain Wilson
design Rob Speed
commercial sales director Clare Dove
advertising director Andrew Church
account manager Steve Pyatt
advertising manager Michael Pyatt
for ad enquiries contact [email protected]
Group marketing manager Laura Driffield
Marketing manager Kristianne Stanton
production controller Vivienne Calvert
production manager Mark Constance
printed in the uK by
William Gibbons & Sons Ltd on behalf of Future
distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue,
London EC1A 9PT, Tel: 0207 429 4000
overseas distribution by Seymour International
game of the month
Ghostbusters PS3
ghoStBUSteRS faVe
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
trade marketing manager Juliette Winyard – 07551 150 984
uK reader order line & enquiries 0844 848 2852
overseas reader order line & enquiries +44 (0)1604 251045
online enquiries
email [email protected]
senior licensing & syndication manager Matt Ellis
[email protected]
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managing director Joe McEvoy
editorial director Matt Pierce
group art director Rodney Dive
Deputy group art director Mark Wynne
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oN PS4 – AND
Look BACk oN
Ben Wilson
actinG editor
THE CoMPLETE [email protected]
CHRoNoLoGy.” @Benjiwilson
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by 18 May
this month’s naught y stream-crossers…
Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne
Non-executive chairman Peter Allen
Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand
Tel +44 (0)207 042 4000 (London)
Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244 (Bath)
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Jen Simpkins
Ben tyrer
andy Westbrook
milford Coppock
game of the month
Dark Souls III
ghoStBUSteRS faVe
game of the month
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
ghoStBUSteRS faVe
Egon Spengler
game of the month
ghoStBUSteRS faVe
Librarian Ghost
game of the month
Tom Clancy’s The Division
ghoStBUSteRS faVe
Peter Venkman
staff writer
Spent month “hella salty”
over being “bodied” on “the
new hotness.” In English:
lost a couple of Street
Fighter V matches online.
staff writer
Barely slept for a full week
while playing Ghostbusters
PS4 and reviewing
Uncharted 4. The ultimate
first world problem.
production editor
Favourite birthday present
from the team? Not his
TMNT Funko Pop. Nor his
bottle of pricey plonk. His
Euro 2016 sticker album.
ManaGinG art editor
Finally graced us all with
his karaoke rendition of
Back In The USSR. Team
verdict: 7/10. Hey, it’s
still a good score.
The big 10
It’s GTA in New Orleans! Hop in the passenger
seat as we cruise through the Deep South.
032 FInAl FAntAsy XV
Digging up demo secrets ahead of the main
game’s release in September.
040 MIrror’s EdgE
Pain in the glass or miraculous return to form?
Find out as we playtest Faith’s latest.
052 ghostbustErs
One of the ‘80s most iconic film franchises
takes its PS4 bow – and we’ve gone hands-on.
074 unChArtEd 4:
A thIEF’s End
scouring our way through nate’s greatest
adventure yet, as he braces himself for
one final treasure hunt.
080 dArk souls III
Thought Ghostbusters’ library ghost was
terrifying? Now try the hellscape of Lothric.
088 rAtChEt & ClAnk
The luscious Lombax and his robot
chum return in glorious HD-o-vision.
Want something not-so-strange
delivered directly to your
neighbourhood on a monthly
basis – and two free pop!
Vinyls to boot? turn to p66…
s E c T i o n s aT a G l a n c E
biG 10
Latest info, screens
and playtests
All the hottest news
detailed analysis
In-depth verdicts on
every big new game
Max out your PS4,
online and off
Classics revisited
THE Games index
087 AdAM’s VEnturEs: orIgIns
064 bAtMAn
099 broForCE
080 dArk souls III
106 dEMon’s souls
098 dIrt rAlly
099 EA sports uFC 2
086 EntEr thE gungEon
100 FAllout 4
032 FInAl FAntAsy XV
042 FurI
052 ghostbustErs
045 god EAtEr: rEsurrECtIon
045 god EAtEr 2: rAgE burst
114 guItAr hEro 2
104 hItMAn
044 hypEr lIght drIFtEr
036 lEgo stAr WArs:
thE ForCE AWAkEns
046 loVEly plAnEt
109 MAd MAX
046 MEkAzoo
092 MInECrAFt story ModE:
EpIsodE 5
040 MIrror’s EdgE CAtAlyst
095 Mlb: thE shoW 16
087 MXgp 2
087 nItro+ blAstErz
088 rAtChEt & ClAnk
094 rÉpublIquE
046 sErAph
093 sEVErEd
043 shErloCk holMEs:
thE dEVIl’s dAughtEr
038 snIpEr ElItE 4
064 south pArk:
thE FrACturEd but WholE
094 stIkbold
068 strEEt FIghtEr V
046 sWord Art onlInE:
holloW rEAlIzAtIon
046 tAlEs oF bErsErIA
018 tItAnFAll 2
064 tMnt:
MutAnts In MAnhAttAn
105 toM ClAnCy’s thE dIVIsIon
085 trACkMAnIA turbo
074 unChArtEd 4: A thIEF’s End
084 uEFA Euro 2016
094 unEpIC
064 thE WAlkIng dEAd:
sEAson 3
010 WWE 2k17
012 zEro tIME dIlEMMA
This is what it’s all about – taking
down goons in the hazy southern
sun. Though cover-shooting is the
simplest of many approaches.
the late ’60s setting brings a lot
of heavy themes, and hangar 13 isn’t
shying away from any of them.
10 Taking cover
which wwe star gets the 2K17 glory?
14 Tick, Tick, boom!
guile joins the street fighter v roster.
16 french connecTion
oPm plays through the euros on Pes.
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
organised crime
goes open world
in mafia iii
new bordeaux hands-on confirms that
when it comes to story, you’re the boss
this could be
the year that
mafia finally
makes it big.
with a solid
in 2004’s
Ps2 original,
last-gen’s mafia ii blended sublime,
snappy combat with silky smooth
driving, while its fantastic period
soundtrack made its tremendously
evocative ‘50s world one in which to
truly wallow. it never quite nailed the
full open-world experience, however,
playing like a linear action game
(albeit a great one) with brilliant set
dressing. but that’s all changing for
this third instalment.
series fans need not worry. new
developer hangar 13 – taking over
from original creator 2K Czech,
while absorbing a fair few of that
studio’s staff – isn’t losing sight of
what has made these mob tales so
beloved. the thoughtful, grown-up
narrative remains, this time carried
into 1968 by new protagonist
lincoln Clay, a vietnam vet and exmember of the black mafia. acting
as a microcosm for america’s
late ’60s troubles, Clay brings a
clip-full of heavy themes with him,
and hangar 13 isn’t shying away
from any of them.
also unmistakable is mafia’s
trademark sense of a time and
place, this time brought to life
through the city of new bordeaux.
it’s okay, you can say new orleans
– to all intents and purposes, that’s
basically what it is. the locale teems
with startling atmosphere and
period detail, the iconic melodies of
the flower power era permeating
its every corner, flooding the actionadventure with discordant tones of
joy and upheaval.
Southern diScomfort
what has changed is the way you
navigate mafia’s dense, historical
storytelling. no longer does that
world speed by as background
detail while you race through a rigid
campaign structure. in mafia iii,
freedom, choice and possibility are
at the core of everything.
and don’t go thinking that hangar
13 has muddied new bordeaux
The Big10
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
with unrelated side-missions and
goofy, diversionary escapades.
everything you do is part of the
main story, and every action pushes
you forwards along lincoln’s path
of revenge against the italian mob
who betrayed his crew. it’s just
that every objective now has many
angles of attack, taking in a raft of
disparate, eclectic possibilities, wide
open to be tackled by any means
you can dream up. imagine hectic,
guerrilla-style street combat with a
dash of hitman’s strategic forward
planning, and you’re getting close.
Street fighter
to bring down the presiding power,
lincoln, aided by three lieutenants
– the gangland bosses of the
city’s smaller irish, haitian and
italian crews – has to steadily and
progressively snatch control of its
various rackets that are dotted
about the city. this means reducing
to zero the income that each
sideline brings in, via a rich array
of different methods. each target
hit cuts the mob’s profits by a set
amount, and you’re free to strike
any that take your fancy, as long
as you get the job done.
supply trucks can be destroyed
in madcap road battles. italian
enforcers can be hunted down at
their hideouts, and assassinated
in any way you wish. blaze through
their goons first; find a stealthier
route to your quarry; or enjoy
a freeform blend of the two. it
doesn’t matter, so long as they go
down. hell, you could even remotely
plant C4 in just the right spot, or
recon the block for a convenient
sniping spot and then walk away as
if a ghost. hangar 13’s motto for
mafia iii is “no failure but death,” and
the game’s robust, accommodating
combat systems live up to that
through every cover-based
shootout, explosive booby trap and
silent underworld takedown.
those three lieutenants of
yours add an extra layer of
possibility by way of the perks they
furnish in return for your favour.
handing out stolen territory to
your trusted heavies earns you
everything from noise-making lures
and on-demand delivery trucks full
of guns and ammo, to dial-a-goon
hit squads for heavy assaults,
plus plenty of health and armour
support. Just make sure you treat
them fairly. if any one of them ever
feels betrayed by favouritism,
events can turn very ugly. how
ugly, we haven’t yet seen, but a
every objecTive has
many angles, open To be
Tackled by any means
you can dream up.
Sim city
for all its arcadey handling, the
tech underpinning mafia iii’s smooth
driving is running a seriously powerful
simulation. it can even detect tyre
temperature and the weight of the
remaining gas in the tank.
threat of imminent violence from
a furious irishman implies there
might be major, game-changing
consequences down the road.
Self-made man
while waiting to discover what
those consequences might be,
however, there’s plenty to keep
lincoln busy, such as robbing italian
businesses for big financial scores;
or creeping past gangsters as they
beat up protesting hippies and lay
concrete foundations enhanced
with dead bodies; or tapping the
phone lines of mafia strongholds
to get information that might help
persuade opposing bosses to join
your burgeoning empire rather
than take a bullet to the skull.
even mafia iii’s more scripted,
set-piece-driven missions – which
cap off the take-down of each key
racket – offer plenty of scope for
authorship. do you infiltrate that
hotel penthouse by driving straight
into the underground car park
in a known mobster’s (recently
stolen) ride, and then nonchalantly
take the elevator up? or do you
make a statement in the lobby with
a machine gun and a handful of
grenades? there are many stories
to be told in mafia iii, but every
one of them will be your own.
sold on mafia’s mature sandbox action
or prefer it crazier? Tweet @opm_uk.
■ cars, lights, signposts: environmental
details deliver a brilliantly lived-in world.
The series has always
had a classy, period feel.
They’re like sumptuous
holiday destinations.
■ The nights are as moody as the days
are bright. just look at that lighting.
mafia iii’s combat is
always satisfying, but
the death animations
really make it sing.
■ We’re not sure exactly who this guy is, but anyone hanging around in an underground car park, smoking, wearing a hat, has to be a tad dodgy. right?
mafia iii might well have
the shiniest cars on ps4.
Well, until the bullets
start flying, at least.
wwe 2k16’s Community
Creations options give
a good sense of who’ll
be on 2k17’s roster.
Superstars fight for
WWE 2K17 glory
Cover campaigns begin as new roster additions emerge
In the world of
WWE, the end of
season is regarded
as the beginning of
a new year of
storylines. Here in the videogame
world, it means something else, too:
the countdown to the next WWE
game has begun.
Though official
announcement of
WWE 2K17 is still
yet to arrive, the
debate over who
should be the next
cover star has
already started in the locker room.
At WrestleMania, we met with more
than 20 superstars to find out who’s
the most deserving of the glory.
“I’ll say point blank that I’m the
hardest working man in the WWE,”
boasts Ryback, justifying himself –
one of many self-nominations in a list
that includes The Miz, the Dudley
Boyz, The New Day and Zack Ryder
(whose partner Emma suggested
that they appear together as the
“newest power couple of WWE”).
“NXT Champion Finn Balor,” smiles
Balor, following suit. What if he no
longer holds the NXT title at 2K17’s
launch? Balor
barely pauses.
“Maybe WWE
World Heavyweight
Champion Finn
Balor?” he says.
Not everybody’s
interested in selfglory, however. Presenter Renee
Young tips Dean Ambrose, Jake ‘The
Snake’ Roberts fancies Bray Wyatt
because he’s “unique,” Sami Zayn
picks Seth Rollins, for his “bang-up
job” as champ, and both Usos are
hoping for Roman Reigns (“he’s been
reigns has
been working
his ass off.
wwe talk
“brock Lesnar and
Paul heyman deserve
to be on the cover of
the next videogame
because there’s no
bigger box office
attraction in the
wwe. as the saying
goes: ‘Then, now and
forever.’ brock Lesnar
is the conquerer of
the Undertaker’s
undefeated streak.
why would you deprive
the gaming audience
of the privilege?”
Paul heyman
advocate for brock Lesnar
working his ass off all year, through
all the boos and the cheers”).
The biggest surprise? WWE’s top
heel Kevin Owens with a selfless
response: “The New Day. Those guys
took themselves from being an act
that could hardly get on the Kick-Off
show at one point, and now they’re
one of the biggest things in WWE
and one of the most entertaining
acts we have.” Kalisto, meanwhile,
wants a Hall Of Famer to grace the
front: “I would love to see Eddie
Guerrero; a great talent and legend.”
the new fray
Regardless of the superstar who
gets the cover glory (we expect
Brock Lesnar), the game itself
should feature many new roster
additions thanks to waves of popular
NXT signings and call-ups to Raw.
A near-total overhaul of the
women’s division is the best place to
Being drawn in
as well as the Cgi movie, ffXV is
getting a five-part anime series
called brotherhood, which acts
as a prequel to the game. You can
watch episode one right now for
free on YouTube.
The Big10
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
These guys look like
they don’t dilly-dally
shilly-shally about.
Final Fantasy film’s
Stark surprise
Sean Bean and Aaron Paul front Kingsglaive cast
Ever heard the
one about Jesse
from Breaking Bad
walking into a bar
with Ned Stark and
Cersei Lannister
from Game Of Thrones? It ends with
the punchline, “and then they filmed
a new Final Fantasy movie.” Except
here’s the curious thing: we’re not
joking. They’re all
due to star in
Kingsglaive – a CGI
movie set to run
alongside the
events of FFXV.
While the game
follows Noctis and
his band of merry
men after they
leave the crown city of Lucis, the film
will concentrate on King Regis (Sean
Bean), who remains in the city as it
comes under attack by the invading
Niflheim empire. As with most things
Final Fantasy, it’s all about gaining
the power of magical crystals. Nyx
Ulric (Aaron Paul) is the leader of the
Kingsglaive, which are basically fancy
knights, and is tasked with trying to
slow the empire’s advances. The only
start: Charlotte, Sasha Banks
and Becky Lynch emerged from
WrestleMania as three of WWE’s
biggest stars as they fought for the
new WWE Women’s Championship.
Their inclusion is a must, as is that
of NXT favourites Bayley and Asuka.
Then consider the hiring of AJ
Styles and Apollo Crews, the return
of the Dudley Boyz and Alberto Del
Rio, plus NXT talent such as Shinsuke
Nakamura, Austin Aries and
American Alpha – all sure to feature.
And since WWE 2K16’s DLC featured
the preceding Hall Of Fame class,
don’t bet against new inductees Big
Boss Man, The Godfather, The
Fabulous Freebirds, Jacqueline and
Stan Hansen being added too. Last
year’s record-breaking roster could
soon look positively tiny…
we’ll bring you the first look at wwe
2k17 and its new cover star this summer.
friends the good guys have are also
under occupation from the empire,
including the Oracle Lunafreya Nox
Fleuret (Lena Headey) – who is also
Noctis’ betrothed, and can speak
to the giant god-like Archaens.
It sounds even more complicated
than the plot of Thrones, and those
who’ve seen previous (mildly
bonkers) films Spirits Within and
Advent Children
can’t be blamed
for approaching
this with an air
of even deeper
cynicism. But with
such star power
attached, it
should at least
prove watchable.
Kingsglaive hits Japanese cinemas
in July, but there’s no word on a UK
release yet and sadly the actors
won’t be reprising their roles for
the game. Expect some mismatched
voices, then, but any additional
slices of that delicious FFXV world
can only be a good thing.
The PLoT
soUnds more
Than game
of Thrones.
for our extended playtest of the new
final fantasy XV demo, flick to page 32.
You need six passwords
to escape. to unlock one,
somebodY has to die…
The Big10
(Coin) Flipping out
“There really is a 50-50 chance,”
says director Kotaro Uchikoshi
of random outcomes for those
keen to 100% ZTD. “If you’re
really unlucky, you might have to
continuously replay some scenes.”
■ Every scene is fully voiced, so you
can “play without reading” if you want.
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
■ Junpei, Akane, Phi and Sigma all return
from previous Zero Escape games.
meet ps Vita’s
next best game
Zero time dilemma is a sight for saw eyes
phi is locked
inside an
sigma is
strapped to
a chair with
a revolver
to his head,
and you’re told that pulling the
trigger will release phi before she’s
flame-roasted. what do you do?
that’s just one conundrum you’ll face
in new ps Vita narrative adventure
Zero time dilemma, the sequel to
the excellent Virtue’s last reward.
like the previous games in the
series, Zero time dilemma locks nine
people inside a facility and asks you
to solve puzzles and make choices
to help them escape. and continuing
the trend established in Vlr and its
(sadly non-playstation) prequel nine
hours, nine persons, nine doors,
those choices you make are going
to mean certain characters will die.
chance chance revolution
Yet there’s a major twist in the
above scenario: chance. the
chamber of that revolver contains
three live rounds and three blanks,
and you don’t know which one you’ll
get. the outcome is completely
random, meaning that the series
famed for its split-path stories
(it took more than 30 hours to see
them all in Virtue’s last reward),
now has more branches than ever.
the addition of luck isn’t the only
major change to the formula. the
nine stars are assigned to one of
three teams, each trapped in a
different ward. to escape, they’ll
need to uncover six passwords – to
get one, someone must drop dead.
time to die
a memory-wiping serum injected
into the protagonists on a regular
basis means you won’t get to follow
these teams’ fates chronologically.
instead, you pick story fragments
from a floating menu, unravelling the
tale non-linearly and piecing together
the plot as you go – think memento
meets saw. it’s set to challenge the
very top of our ps Vita hall of Fame.
Aksys Games is bringing Zero Time
Dilemma to UK PS Vitas on 28 June.
the big shot
eagle-eyed analysis
Guile can walk forwards
while retaining his charged
specials (but he resembles
an arse-dragging dog).
SFV Guile comes with
sunglasses already on.
Bad news for fans of
the game’s best taunt.
Not pictured is his V-Skill:
a floaty yellow landmine,
perfect for controlling
space and wake-up.
Guile be back in
Street Fighter V
Gaming’s baddest flat-top returns
At last, the US’s
most super
soldier (don’t
argue) is back in
Street Fighter V.
Guile was one of
the original eight characters in
Street Fighter II, and he’s as
American as bald eagles, pepper
spray and putting mac and
cheese on everything. If you’re
not familiar with him, Guile’s
famous for his unshakeable love
of justice, immaculate hair and
defensive capabilities that make
Fort Knox look like a child’s
inflatable castle. Jump in on Guile?
You’re getting pwned.
Other contenders are inbound,
too. Balrog, Urien, Ibuki and Juri
are planned for 2016, with six
more characters coming in 2017.
If we don’t get Oro, we’ll be
flipping tables with our free arm.
Also – finally! – a proper rage
quit system will be implemented,
punishing players with high
disconnect rates. (You’re right to
look red-faced, World Combo…)
Guile formed (the best) part of
April’s update for Street Fighter V.
number game
we do the maths
Amount The Division generated on
release – fastest-selling new IP ever.
Aggregate FIFA Interactive World Cup
result, won by Denmark (away goals).
Countries expected to be represented
at this year’s E3 trade show.
The beefy file size, in gigabytes,
of baseball sim MLB The Show.
Number of copies of Final Fantasy XV
that Square Enix expect to sell.
The flash kick’s still deadly,
while Guile’s V-Trigger
chucks out a flurry of
Sonic Booms.
The aforementioned, much-desired
Final Fantasy XV releases on this date.
New max Light level in Destiny after
the spring update.
Best buddy Nash sacrificed
himself to save Guile,
so we can’t wait for
them to be reunited.
How much a Rocket League stressball
costs from the official Psyonix store.
If ps4 Croatia can win it,
surely real life england can
triumph this summer, right?
Croatia conquer
Euro 2016
Cacic’s lads crowned champs as we recreate the Euros in PES
What a year Slaven
Bilic is having. First
he guides West
Ham to their best
Premier League
finish in more than
a decade. And then his virtual
countrymen only go and lift the
silverware at the Euros in France…
well, in PES 2016’s
free DLC update,
at least.
bookmakers may
have them pegged
as a 25/1 shot
for this summer’s
Gallic soccer
extravaganza, but such trivial
numbers mean little to Mario
Mandžukic and his buddies, who
positively shine as we recreate Euro
2016 in Konami’s kickabout. God,
it seems, is a Croatia fan.
Upon firing up the recently added
tournament, we immediately select
Roy’s boys, mostly to make the poor
Scotsman writing this piece cry salty
tartan tears [not that former OPM
news ed Meiks is the bitter type
*cough*]. As PES 2016 automatically
sorts all 24 sides into their officially
drawn groups, setup is a breeze,
and it’s not long
before this young
England outfit
are fit and firing
into action.
Well, that’s as
soon as we get a
pesky 2-1 loss to
Russia out of the
way. Despite Jamie Vardy wasting no
time cashing in his goal tokens with
a deftly placed header, the Leicester
hitman’s efforts are in vain after
second half goals from Dzagoev
and Dzyuba give the Ruskies three
make the spIrIt
of roy keane’s
hobo beard
very proud.
team talk
“england’s default
lineup might be
outdated – Gibbs
at left-back?! – but
the strikers did the
business. roy’s boys
were sent packing
from the last 16,
but the lads up top
weren’t to blame.
between them, vardy
and kane scored
seven in three starts.
sorry, sturridge. also,
I totally started Jonjo
shelvey. blame me.”
dave meikleham
former news editor, opm
precious points. Chin up, Roy –
there’s a Battle of Britain to play!
Yes, Group B’s most eye-catching
tie is up next, with England nabbing
bragging rights over Wales in the
home nations derby, thanks to a
thrilling 4-3 win courtesy of braces
by Kane and Vardy. Get benched,
Wayne. Indeed, Rooney continues
to pluck splinters from his ample
derrière in a 0-0 snore draw with
Slovakia, as England finish third
in the group. Fortunately, thanks
to that oh-so-forgiving 24-team
format, Roy’s boys manage to
scrape through regardless. Phew.
Brit your teeth
With France, Germany, Spain, Italy
and Portugal all topping the other
groups, the last 16 is a more
daunting prospect than asking Luis
Suarez to rub suntan lotion on your
neck… with his teeth.
zlat traCk BullY
last time opm recreated
the euros, in 2012, Zlatan
Ibrahimovic was the Golden
boot winner. he did it again
this time, outshooting
everyone with six goals.
The Big10
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
info patches
update your brain
■ pes’ euro licensing is patchy,
but at least it gets the pot right.
despite the latter only having 39%
possession during their 3-1 win.
The current World Cup holders
aren’t the only goliath to crumble in
the quarters. The Swiss sink Spain
2-1, with that man Shaqiri netting
the winner. All these upsets lead to a
distinctly fresh looking set of semis,
as Sweden meet Switzerland and
Croatia battle Ireland. That not-sofab four is then quickly cut to two,
the Swiss sending the Swedes
packing 3-0 before Croatia crumple
Irish hearts by beating Martin
O’Neill’s side 4-1 on pens.
Still, the big boys don’t have it
entirely their own way, with an
unbeaten, Shaqiri-inspired
Switzerland impressing in Group A
– bask in that reflected glory Stoke.
Elsewhere, Ireland have made the
spirit of Roy Keane’s hobo beard
proud in Group E, edging over the
line in their final fixture with a
resounding 3-0 win over the Italians
thanks to a Jonathan Walters
hat-trick. Truly, this tourney belongs
to Potters fans everywhere.
Despite the seemingly strong
knock-out lineup, however, the last
16 springs some juicy shocks. Italy
fall to Croatia, Ireland end the host’s
dream in a ludicrously dominant 2-0
display over France, while England
are soundly beaten 3-1 by Germany.
That last one’s a total surprise,
right? Kindly old Roy can at least
take comfort when the Germans
crash out to Croatia in the quarters,
Final Fever
Ladies and germs, we give you the
Euro 2016 final: Switzerland versus
Croatia. Hooray for the least
glamorous decider ever (we’ve
blotted 2004 from our brains).
Despite the Swiss leading twice
and the Shaq attack laying on a
cracking assist, two late goals by
Marcelo Brozovic ultimately win it for
the Croats. While those parties rage
on in the streets of Zagreb, why not
slap all of your savings on the real
Croatia winning this summer’s
Euros? C’mon, Uncle OPM would
never steer you wrong…
Can Yuz Believe it?
you’ll be wallowing in the filth of Japan’s
underground come 2017, with prequel yakuza
0 hitting european consoles. While you’ll still
be able to take control of main protagonist
kazuma, for the first time in the main series,
you’ll also slip into the luxurious, unhinged
shoes of ‘mad dog’ Goro majima.
Move over, Mozart
While Classic fm isn’t our usual go-to station,
we’re happy to see that some of our favourite
gaming themes have made it into its hall of
fame. the delightful everybody’s Gone to
the rapture soundtrack by Jessica Curry
ascends to #268, while shenmue is the
highest new entry at #144.
for our definitive verdict on pes’ take
on euro 2016, nutmeg your way to p84.
Hoops, Here it is
■ despite being hacked to bits,
old ‘arry kane had a fine tourney.
We have carball, but now it’s time for rocket
league to add basketball into the mix. hoops
adds a new arena and mode to the multiplayer
classic, in which the goal is a giant hoop
rather than a net. We suspect it’ll be worth
putting in the hours practising flying to get
some slam (on the brakes) dunks.
Mech it a double:
Titanfall is back
Slaughterbots respawn for PS4 debut
PS4 has utterly
rocked this
generation. So
much so that
we’ve barely ever
looked over the
fence to enviously glance at what
might be growing in the garden
of green. A rare exception
came in 2014, with Respawn
Entertainment’s Titanfall, a frenetic
multiplayer blaster
that focused on
velvety smooth
parkour. That,
and giant sodding
mechs. The
sequel’s been
confirmed as
PS4-bound for a
while, but a new
teaser trailer means we now have
a vague idea of what to expect.
Shock horror – Titanfall 2
focuses on great big murder bots.
This time, though, they’re packing
swords. The ever-so-brief video
shows an exotic jungle crawling
with mysterious alien beasties –
a big departure from the war-torn
cities of the first game – before
cutting to a crashed drop pod and
a mech wielding one hell of a blade.
The presence of such a prominent,
pointy object suggests robot
combat now focuses more on
melee attacks than the gun-based
scuffles of the original.
don’t be a hero
Rumours also point to Titanfall
2 featuring a beefier, more
narrative-led single-player
component, something the trailer
backs up. “The
problem with being
a hero is you have
to be willing to
die for what you
believe in,” growls
a miffed South
African narrator.
“If I were you…
I wouldn’t try so
hard.” Yup, it certainly sounds
like there will be more plot (and
a clearer bad guy) to sink your
chompers into between all the
mech-on-mech destruction. With
an official unveiling set for the EA
Play event during next month’s
E3, these robots won’t be in
disguise much longer.
ThE muRdER
boTS ARE bAck,
And noW ThEY’RE
PAckIng gIAnT
drop pods look like
they’re back to deliver
AI and human fighters
to the battlefield.
A mcFarlane Toys tie-in press release
suggests Titanfall 2 is out this winter.
the rumour machine
our sources understand…
Norwegian midfielder
Andrine Stolsmo
Hegerberg’s “#fifa17”
Instagram post suggests
Norway’s national women’s
side is getting the call-up
from EA next season.
Is Skyrim PS4-bound?
A supposedly leaked
photo shows it in
the PS Now store.
God Of War PS4 A Polish gaming
website suggests
hints abound,
The Witcher
as one
3’s Blood And
Wine DLC
may release
a Nordic
on 7 June.
Mirror’s Edge
Hopefully that
screenshot of
an Amazon UK
listing was legit.
One MOre encOre
Are traditional peripherals dead?
Ranyard says no: “One thing that
VR lacks is tactile feedback – you
do get that with peripherals.”
Don’t smash those placcy Guitar
axes just yet, then.
the month in
mouthing off
Former SingStar
boss Raynard is a
big convert to PS
VR’s hymn sheet.
How Wonderbook
inspired PS VR
Ex-Sony director talks tech’s surprising origins
Excited about
PlayStation VR?
Course you are.
Yet you may be
surprised to learn
that its origins,
at least in part, stem from an
interactive PS3 tome brought to life
with flicks of the Move controller.
“In terms of stepping stones, the
tracking required for Wonderbook
is not that different from tracking
a VR headset,” reveals Dr Dave
■ Who’da thunk this would be the inspiration
behind PS VR? Dr Dave, that’s who. Genius.
Ranyard, former Sony London
director and Wonderbook’s
executive producer. “We used Move
for dancing games, too. Put all
those things together – cameras,
microphones, Move controllers
and tracking – that’s VR.”
And it’s not just Book Of Spells.
Ranyard explains how older phases
of tech all play their part in the
VR future: “One of the things I
often get asked about is whether
‘VR is going to be another thing
that’ll fizzle out, like 3D TV’. I think
we’ll look back and see all these
technologies as stepping stones,
because I think VR is a fundamental
promise that’s really exciting.”
Having left Sony after 17 years
in January, Ranyard has plans for
what he wants to do next, but none
of our spells could loosen his lips on
exactly what. “If I told you, I’d have
to kill you!”
What VR game are you desperate to
immerse yourself in? Tweet @OPM_UK.
“Mass Effect
was like my
teens. Didn’t
realise you
could have sex
with the other
Sick selfburn,
“I’m the hand
behind all of
Brian’s writing. I
have the scrawl
of a 13-year-old
child.” Firewatch
designer Olly
Moss reveals a
scribbly secret.
“Guile looks
like he’d get
his ass beat by
Nash. LMAO.”
Street Fightin’
pro ricki
fear the
Check out the Lara and
Drake cake figurines.
Hang on, we’re getting
an idea for a game…
strong vs
Evolving Door
A happy end for the
team at Evolution, who
are being taken on by
Codemasters. The Dirt
Rally and Driveclub devs
together? Get revvy
for some top racing.
can you fEar it?
Doom’s open Beta
had us rushing
through levels
while sucking super
shotgun bullets.
Bring on 13 May.
Alex’s arrival is great
news, but Street
Fighter V’s April update
still stings. There’s
nothing wrong
with Challenge
mode, but it’s still
no substitute for
an arcade mode.
Donut Pass go
Uncharted 4 has its
first confirmed casualty
in Donut Drake. While
we understand the
reasons behind his
untimely passing –
probably heart disease
– we’ll still miss him.
Crash (Bandicoot)
the wedding
Game on! PlayStation fans tie the knot, Sony-style
Other than Vanilla
Coke and dreams
of helping to shave
Nathan Drake’s
perfect jawline
– overshare? –
nothing makes Team OPM happier
than its readers. We’re therefore
delighted to report that longtime
PlayStation fans Alex Duhig and
Laura Varley – who met through our
Facebook group – have tied the knot.
Best of all, they did so via a
PlayStation-themed wedding.
The happy
couple’s story
began eight years
ago, when they
started gaming
together after
meeting through
iT wAS A
TribuTe TO wHAT
gAMing HAS
DOne fOr uS.
out of PrimE
Far Cry Primal Survivor
mode sounds great,
making the game more
like a prehistoric sim
than simply a Far Cry
re-skin. So why is it
coming out so late?
the Rocket Minions community. (Our
own Iain ‘Mr Trophy’ Wilson was also
a member.) While Unreal Tournament
3 and Metal Gear Online were faves,
Laura says they bonded over Resi 5
co-op. “We loved that game and kept
playing until we earned the platinum
– together!” From there, the
relationship levelled-up, and Alex
proposed. “I honestly thought he
was just being odd,” says Laura.
“Then I saw he was on one knee!”
They knew there could only be
one theme for the big day in West
Sussex. “We wanted
something that
screamed ‘us’,
and to pay tribute
to all gaming has
done for us. It was
nice to show our
families that
videogames can be so much more
than just entertainment.”
Better yet, when Sony heard
about the festivities, it kindly supplied
the ultimate wedding present: two
PS4 consoles, two extra controllers
and six games. As Laura says, they
can now go back to their early days.
“We get to play online-only games
together, which is awesome!”
■ As wedding presents go, you’re
unlikely to top this PlayStation haul.
Huge congratulations to Alex and
Laura from everyone at OPM Towers.
© Laura Brown Photography
Fear Effect is such a
cult game that the FBI
is probably monitoring
it. Fortunately, it’s
Kickstarting a revival,
so you’ll be able to drink
its Kool-Aid once more.
The Big10
Gimme Shelter
Doom pub Bethesda is hosting its
own E3 press conference again
this year. Considering 2015’s
bombshells of Fallout 4 and
Dishonored 2, we’re buzzing to
see what’s up its power armour.
STorieS everyone’S Talking aBouT
just one more question…
the team debate this month’s burning issue
What would be your dream reveal
at this June’s e3 mega-show?
Ben Tyrer
Staff Writer
andrew wesTBrook
production editor
Ben wilson
acting editor
Jen simpkins
Staff Writer
ps4.5 is on my
Wishlist. all i need
noW is for it to
beCome a reality.
i dream of KoJ
roCKing the stage
With a little taste
of What’s to Come.
i really hope
Cliff bleszinsKi’s
right about
bulletstorm 2.
all i Want is for
taKe-tWo to bring
the ‘shoCK faCtor.
We’ve had the messy
divorce. and we’ve had
the dastardly ex making
petty public digs while
doing a runner with the
kids (well, somebody’s got
to feed the snake). but
now it’s time for a new
beginning. yep, the e3 of
my dreams has the one
and only hideo Kojima
rocking the la stage,
perhaps with a hot new
partner on his arm –
a hot new partner
answering to the name
guillermo del toro, obvs.
by e3 time, the mgs
creator would’ve had
over half a year with his
newly independent studio.
and it’ll be almost as long
since news broke that
he’s working on a sony
console exclusive. time
for a taster? hells yeah. n
in november, the gears
of War creator (don’t
boo, he’s doing other
stuff now) claimed a
bunch of the shooter’s
devs bought the
abandoned ip and “are
working on a sequel.” i’ve
since spent every evening
praying this rumour is
real, despite being as
religious as nesquik.
bulletstorm was ps3’s
punchiest shooter, with
kaleidoscopic levels that
blended laugh-out-loud
kills with an old-school
points-per-death dynamic
(rear entry? 50 big
ones!). it would translate
beautifully to ps4. plus its
decent story was left on
a massive cliffhanger.
rhyming memo to
Cliffyb’s pals: please make
it be, at this year’s e3. n
no, we still don’t know
if ps4.5 (or ps4K?) is
definitely happening.
but i really, really want
it to. sony has a habit
of releasing slimline
versions of its fun boxes
throughout the console
cycle and, with both
playstation Vr and
4K heading for the
mainstream, the idea of
a slightly more powerful
console, catering to those
taking the leap, makes a
whole lot of sense. With it
being easier than ever to
transfer saves between
machines, upgrading
should also be hasslefree. okay, i also like
getting new consoles
from santa – this would
scratch that entitlement
itch oh-so-well. n
a new bioshock? as a
superfan, the thought
leaves me as torn as a
wormhole in time and
space. on the one hand,
the trilogy is perfection,
as is. infinite tied the
narratives of all three
games together in one
big, mind-blowing bow. on
the other hand… bioshock
4. if publisher take-two
announced a return to
the plasmid-slinging,
story-driven shooting,
i’d be on the convention
centre floor in an
insta-puddle of energy
drinks, grateful tears…
and maybe some excited
widdle. it’s a pipe-dream,
perhaps, but more info
on bioshock creator Ken
levine’s new small-scale,
open-world fps might
otherwise satiate the
splicer in me. n
F t @OPM_UK W e [email protected]
Whole Lara love
Why is there such a delay
to the release of Rise Of
The Tomb Raider on PS4?
I feel it gets a bit of a raw
deal from you guys. I love
OPM and agree mostly
with your reviews and
opinions, but you are preoccupied with your love
affair with Uncharted. And
whilst they are all damn
fine games, I think the
last Tomb Raider release
was just as good, if not
better, and doesn’t get
anywhere near the credit
it deserves.
John allen via email
Rise isn’t expected
to hit PS4 until about
november due to an
exclusivity deal, though
pre-orders are now
available – expect plenty
of coverage in OPM as
that time draws nearer.
Dark fears
Am I the only one worried
about the depiction of
mental illness as part
of Darkest Dungeon?
It would be easy for the
depictions of the various
forms of illness to fall
into parody, re-enforcing
standard tropes about
the mentally ill.
Roger Morris via email
tS: In Darkest Dungeon,
we’ve tried hard to
emphasise that it is not
a game about mental
illness. Instead, it’s
a game about human
response to stress.
the afflictions are
temporary conditions
that reflect how that
character responds to
a condition of extremely
high stress brought on
by environmental stimuli.
Often these are negative
responses (Irrationality,
Selfishness) but
sometimes they are
quite positive (e.g.
Powerful, courageous
etc.). the activities in
turn are themed around
Star letter Block star
I’d just like to share a little life story. It was 1993 when
my six-year-old life became complete – my dad took
me to see Jurassic Park. Twenty-three years later
(wow!), I relived that excitement as I loaded up Lego
Jurassic World. My VHS may have worn out years ago,
but I still know every word and beamed as little Lego
actors re-enacted my favourite film. Now, at 1am on
a Sunday, having dedicated 33 hours to gathering 18
BILLION virtual Lego studs, I’ve scooped the platinum.
I’m not usually a trophy hunter, but it was for the
legacy of John Hammond. Keep up the good work OPM.
hegx (grown-up name Helen culver) via email
an impressive achievement, Helen, and we’re sure
the Doc would approve. to reward your dino levels
of dedication, have a year’s free OPM subscription.
ways to reduce stress,
and thereby return the
hero to their respective
base-line. We have
sought to avoid tackling
actual mental illness,
which we interpret
as more permanent
conditions that are not
related to conditions
of high stress. a good
example is that the
“Hopeless” affliction is
not at all supposed to be
interpreted as clinical
depression, but rather
a temporary onslaught
of despair brought on
by dire circumstances.
can I get a Rt?
Tweet gold (and one troll) from
this month’s @OPM_UK timeline
Literally anything I see
on mirrors edge catalyst
makes me cry. I’ve waited
for SO LONG.
I cannot overstate the
pleasure of waking up and
having a new Ratchet and
Clank game ready to play.
Just Super’d some guy
in Street Fighter V so
hard that it blew the
PS4 offline.
Thanks for the code
in the last issue. I’m
now addicted to world
of tanks.
troll of the month
#122 Uncharted
special, Ps Vr, Hitman,
The Division, Dirt rally.
that’s a serious
question worthy of
a serious response,
Roger, so we forwarded
it to the man best
qualified to provide a
proper answer – tyler
Sigman, co-president
of Darkest Dungeon
developer Red Hook
Studios. Here’s what
he had to say…
#Firewatch was fantastic!
The type of storytelling I
love. And how about that
voice talent? Perfect.
FFXV demo question: is
magic consumable? We
know how swimmingly
that turned out in FFVIII.
Disappointed to find issue
122 being an Uncharted
mag instead of Playstation.
Getting Repetitive.
Day was made easier by
TWO @OPM_UK podcasts!
It’s the new hotness with
lots of banter.
Now that Shenmue 3
actually exists, I need a
new game to joke about
being at E3.
And that’s my PS VR preordered. I wasn’t going
to, but...I mean...Rez.
best comments from
“Hell Yessss! But please don’t concentrate
on online play or DlC. Just make an epic
and amazing game like the first one.”
“i’ve been in love with
this game since it
first came up on Ps2.”
Aaran Metcalfe hopes the last of us 2 rumours are true.
Alvin Flores on ratchet & clank.
ReaDeRS’ MOSt WanteD
Which games are bleeping loudest on your radar?
no Man’s Sky
In your first Most Wanted poll in
the post-Uncharted 4 world, it’s
perhaps unsurprising that hello
Games’ procedurally generated
space behemoth won the vote by
a landslide. It’s now less than two
months until the interplanetary
explorer lands, so let’s just
hope it really is the giant
leap for gaming that
we’re all expecting.
hands up who’s missing
David Cage? Some of you
certainly are, judging by
the shock debut entry
of Quantic Dream’s Kara
demo-inspired android
saga. There have been
no new details since last
October’s Paris Games
Week trailer reveal…
but yes, it does look cool.
FORMat Ps4
eta 24 JUN
FORMat Ps4
eta 2017
Zero Dawn
Creeping up the table
to its highest position
yet, details on the lushlooking PlayStationexclusive remain
frustratingly scant.
Fingers crossed E3 will
deliver an update on
Guerrilla’s futuristic
open-world adventure.
Tell us the five games
you can’t wait to play at
[email protected]
FORMat Ps4
eta 2016
Mass effect
News of its release
being delayed no doubt
helped knock Bioware’s
spacefaring adventure
down two places in your
chart, but there’s still no
shortage of fans intrigued
about what a post-Shep
universe could deliver.
Final Fantasy xv
Back in your Most Wanted after a four-month
break, something tells us the RPG adventures
of Noctis could become a regular podium fixture
in the months ahead. head to p32 to read about
our extended playtest of the latest demo.
FORMat Ps4
eta 30 seP
Our Facebook
fans answer a
final question
Become Human
FORMat Ps4
eta Q1 2017
Where or when
would you like
the next Call Of
Duty to be set?
12% Have a leap
back in history
within their sights,
ideally to the
American Civil War.
24% Crave
a more drastic
switch, such as
to Trump Tower,
a monster’s belly,
the Nostromo or a
white Transit van.
8% Want the
Wish the series
would hit rewind
and return to its
WW2 roots.
sun on their backs
with some iraqi
shooty action.
8% Hope to show
Jong-un that
he’s a wrong ‘un,
in North Korea.
8% Think the
Vietnam War is a
conflict ripe for
the current-gen
Gaming’s biggest
show storms into
los Angeles in
June, so we want
to know: what are
you most excited
to see at e3?
Jen Simpkins
Get lost, mini-maps.
well-desiGned videoGame
environments should lead
the way, and let us keep
the fizz of discovery.
Talk to the hand, HUD. Immersive gaming is off-grid
et me level with you: I’m
a bit dizzy. I have no sense
of direction, and could get
lost in a neon-lit, brailleencrusted, circular corridor.
You’d think I’d be grateful
for mini-maps, right? Wrong. I’m
sick of the things. They’re either
a bewildering muddle of markers
(looking at you, Final Fantasy XIV)
or bland, utilitarian tools that
distract from my experience.
Star Wars Battlefront’s mini-map
is as functional and sterile as a Cillit
Banged Stormtrooper. It does its job
admirably, but keeping a constant eye
on those ominous, uninspired red
sectors dilutes the magic of really
feeling like you’re actually in Star
Wars. Destiny, despite excellent map
design, is the same (though Ghosts are
a decent way of integrating accessing
objectives into the world). And it’s not
just shooters dragging us
around by the hand.
Nothing shatters the
RPG illusion like following
mini-map paths to
objectives like a good
little puppy, stepping over
chances to organically
discover things. Seeing a
breathtaking landmark
for the first time via
a marker on that
odious little circle?
Yes, you can
often turn
mini-maps off:
a welcome option
in exploration-rich
games such as The
Witcher 3, but it’s no real
Jen Simpkins opted out of GCSE Geography,
and thought London was smack-dab in the
centre of the UK until she was 14. She still
feels a terrifying stab of panic when she
loses sight of her mum in Tesco. Who’s her
fave band? One Direction, obvs.
solution. Some direction in massive,
interconnected worlds is essential.
Enter Saints Row: The Third (through
the wall with an octopus cannon,
probably). Dotted paths be damned:
markers were integrated into the
environment. The city felt
recognisable; certain gang vehicles
indicated different turf; arrows lit
up the roads of Steelport as you
drove. The open-world title let
you take in and navigate the
neon madness instead of
keeping you surgically
attached to the mini-map.
But there was still a
mini-map, wasn’t there?
And it’s too easy to fall
back on the coquettish,
miniature mission icons
giving you that “Come
hither” wink. If we
want well-designed
environments, to feel that addictive
fizz of discovery in videogames,
we’ve got to go cold turkey. No HUD.
No mini-maps. Nothing.
Up for it? Then the rarest, frostiest
bird you’ll find right now is Jonathan
Blow’s maze-based mind-boggler,
The Witness. It’s ironic – and utterly
brilliant – that in a game about
labyrinths, I’ve not felt lost once.
It’s the lack of anything resembling
a HUD that makes unpicking the
island so absorbing. I know exactly
where to go and what to do, if I just
pay attention to my surroundings.
From the get-go, I learn that following
the island’s many wires leads to panels
to solve. Once I complete enough,
lasers indicate a far-off goal, in both
a geographical and gameplay-related
sense. And when I’m wandering
through the island looking for more,
clearly colour-delineated regions help
me navigate easily without shoving a
floating “YOU ARE HERE” prompt in
my face. I can focus.
A mini-map would cause me to be
hasty, linear and overlook secrets.
That’s why I was bricking it about
upcoming indie space exploration sim,
No Man’s Sky: it was set to include a
mini-map. Fortunately, a recent trip to
Hello Games’ studio revealed it had
been replaced by more subtle cues and
markers laid over the environment,
toggled by pressing r. Having the
navigation skills of a mentally
deficient Roomba, I’ll still need those
little prods in the right direction.
But if future games don’t similarly
recalibrate their approach to minimaps, I’ll direct them to the bin.
Ben Tyrer
Tom Sykes
taminG a sabretoothed tiGer with a wavy
hand is ridiculous, so why
not have fun with it?
there’s a vast swathe
of Games for which
‘finished’ has become
a meaninGless term.
Far Cry Primal has all the ingredients for
a comedy, but gets the recipe wrong
Epic’s Paragon is a good start, but PS4
sorely needs an Early Access system
alfway through Far
Cry Primal, you meet
Urki The Thinker,
a caveman with one
purpose – to push Homo
sapiens into the future,
through methods such as
mastering the power of
human flight. His first
experiment sees him taking
two feathers, jumping off a
cliff and… plummeting into
a stack of hay. Still, he’s the
only character who seems
to know that Primal should
be a comedy.
Let’s look at the evidence.
You’re a beastmaster with
a tame honey badger that
attacks on command; another
Ubi game – yes, the one
with the stabbin’ and jumpin’
– is overtly and repeatedly
referenced; plus Urki’s accent
is… well, not of its time.
Yet Primal takes itself far too
seriously, mixing intentional
laughs with a straight story
about fighting a cannibalistic
tribe. It’s hard to know what
to feel when you find a
mangled, half-eaten body
next to the cavemen you’ve
murdered with an owl.
It really doesn’t need its
po-face. There’s nothing to
get emotionally invested
in. The cast and story is
dull – it’s certainly making
no attempt to mix up the
narrative structure, with every
major plot beat taken from an
older Far Cry. But this lack of
surprise could still work if it
pointed out the flaws in its
structure, like a much hairier
Deadpool. Sacrificing the
seriousness certainly wouldn’t
have any impact on the
gameplay – every addition
and tweak that Primal makes
would work just as well if
it played itself for laughs.
Taming a sabre-toothed tiger
with nothing but a bit of meat
and a wavy hand is ridiculous,
so why not have fun with it?
After all, the series has
form. Blood Dragon takes a
gloriously silly premise, rams
it full of even sillier jokes and
gets a spirited Michael Biehn
to add some clout to the
one-liners. It knows it’s
stupid, but it gives (what’s
become) the standard Far Cry
formula a different tone.
The endless recycling
of missions, outposts and
takedowns is made bearable
by the punchlines. Primal is
much closer to this level of
parody than it wants to
admit, but it never commits
to seeing the funny side,
leaving us with a stony face.
here’s a certain type
of game that’s
curiously absent from
PlayStation. No, not
truck simulators – though
that’s a sore point, too – but
survival games such as DayZ
and The Long Dark. These
games can be brilliant.
Broken and unbalanced, yes.
But brilliant with it. Every
other week there’s some
amazing new YouTube video
of Rust – the PC’s premier
naked caveman theft and
murder sim – and, frankly,
I want in on the action.
Something like the
Xbox One Game Preview
programme would do just fine,
thanks – a tailored selection
of in-development titles, the
wheat having already been
thoroughly separated from the
chaff by folks buying these
unfinished games on Steam.
They can find the gems among
the muck – games such as
Subnautica, Slime Rancher,
and Secrets Of Grindea – and
we can enjoy them just that
little bit later, though not late
enough for them to become
dated, irrelevant and tame.
There’s something magical
about playing an unfinished
game, one that hasn’t yet
settled into its final form. You
can see the walls taking shape,
the world evolving into
something greater before your
eyes. Not all games benefit
from being in Early Access,
but there’s a real Wild West
feeling about survival titles,
crafting games and roguelikes.
Playing them is like stepping
out into uncharted territory,
territory that may be very
different – less interesting
and more nailed down –
once the unwashed masses
get their hands on version 1.0.
AlphA pApA
There’s something to be
said, of course, for waiting
for games to be labelled as
finished before throwing cash
at them. They’re more likely
to work, for a start – nobody
likes shelling out for a game
that runs like a bag of rotting
offal. But there’s a vast swathe
of games for which ‘finished’
has become a meaningless
term. Minecraft may never
be finished, in the traditional
sense, and I fear we’ve already
missed out on DayZ’s heyday,
which kicked off the whole
survival thing years ago.
The PC can keep the dodgy
DayZ and Minecraft clones,
but if we could just get Ark:
Survival Evolved, Rust, GRIP
and Scrap Mechanic before
too long, I’ll be a happy man.
Far Cry 3 remains one of Ben Tyrer’s favourite games, believing the definition
of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a
different result. He only has himself to blame for sticking with the series.
Tom Sykes has been gaming since the Amstrad, and he’s still waiting for that
gritty reboot of Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. A big RPG fan, he’s already bagsied
the Vagrant Story 2 review… Square Enix just has to make it now. Hint hint.
The binned games that died in teasing,
tantalising, sometimes super-sad style
Street Fighter meets Super
Smash Bros… if Ryu and
Mario had both been AA’ed
through tables. That was
the basic premise for this
bicep-heavy grappler. A
hybrid, it centred around
Cena and co. trying to stop
Vince McMahon’s schemes.
Despite its quirky art style,
Brawl was canned in 2012,
not long before publisher
THQ went under.
Killing Day
Or ‘The One With The Really
Sexy Marble Textures’.
Another failed child of
(whisper it) E3 ‘05, this
Ubi shooter rocked sultry
destructible scenery. Very
little was ever mentioned of
K-Day after this and, in the
fullness of time, it looks like
it was merely a briefly
impressive slice of target
footage to hype folk for PS3.
Faith anD a .45
A Bonnie And Clyde-inspired
co-op shooter, set during the
Great Depression, starring
outlaw lovers Luke and Ruby.
It was slated for PS3, but
when dev Deadline Games’
episodic Watchmen series
tanked, the duo were taken
out back. And here we were
thinking Bonnie And Clyde
had a happy ending.
Bloody vampires. They come
here, they take our jobs,
suck our arteries dry, then
don’t even have the decency
to nail down a release date.
Harker was a vamp-hunter
dreamt up by The Collective,
a studio that cut its fangs on
PS2’s Buffy titles. Luckily for
Drac, Harker was cancelled
after The Collective merged
with Shiny Entertainment.
100 BullEts
Screw ammo. Want to deal a
game a real deathblow? Just
have its publisher go belly
up. PS2’s take on Brian
Azzarello’s comic may have
sported an inventive
shooting system built around
a rage meter and using
hostages as shields, but it
couldn’t survive the financial
woes that saw Acclaim die
back in 2004.
this is VEgas
This debauched PS3 open
world was set to let you
build an empire… not through
gambling, but by fighting
and partying, naturally. Once
owned by Midway, it was sold
to Warner Bros in ‘09, then
canned due to spiralling
losses that saw both
publishers lose a combined
$50m. Whatever happened
in this Sin City sandbox,
it’ll have to stay there.
star Wars 1313
God, this one still hurts more
than watching a night of Jar
Jar-funded amateur theatre.
Influenced by Uncharted and
running on Unreal Engine 3,
1313 looked like it could be
the Star Wars game. Then
LucasArts got bought by
Disney and the latter decided
it would rather focus on
making mobile games.
Sith truly does happen.
thE gEtaWay 3
Are you mugging me off,
sunshine? After wowing
the world with its Piccadilly
Circus demo at 2005’s
E3 – a showing meant to
highlight PS3’s potential
power – The Getaway 3 went
into hiding. SCE London later
confirmed it had shelved
the game to work on EyePet,
and the Cockney caper
was ditched for good when
Shuhei Yoshida took over
at worldwide studios.
Eight Days
Poor SCE London. First The
Getaway 3 died, then Eight
Days went the same way.
Another darling of E3 2005,
this actioner impressed
with a tech demo set at
a gorgeous petrol station,
and promises of a map that
spanned eight states. It was
pulled in 2008, with Yoshida
citing its lack of online play.
Honourable mentions
turok 2
This follow-up to Disney’s
2008 dino reboot was
quickly ditched, despite
some alluring T-rex footage.
It was never officially cancelled,
but Rockstar’s ‘70s spy thriller
looks doomed after spending
nine years deep undercover.
star Wars Battlefront 3
Before DICE became at-one
with the Force, LucasArts
developed a sequel that
very nearly got finished.
Did we miss your favourite canned game? Got an In The Mood For idea? Show and tell at
“surely you should be sending Me a
Prize for coMPleTing ThaT challenge.”
“More words
Than i can handle.”
“You’ve been cheating on Your
vita with an older model.”
“ThaT’s a real healTh and safeTy siTuaTion.”
“i’M noT saT here in oPM
Towers in a croP ToP.
for once.”
“the uncharted Forecast
is a great pun.”
“everyThing was off
for The hoff.”
get it from iTunes or at today
40 mirror’s
faith’s back on the run,
and she’s got a new
open world to explore…
final fantasy XV 32 | lego star wars: the force awakens 36 | sniper elite 4 38
furi 42 | sherlock holmes: the deVil’s daughter 43 | hyper light drifter 44
god eater 2: rage Burst / resurrection 45 | loVely planet 46 | mekazoo 46
That rain sure looks realistic,
but we look forward to the
day when videogame hair
looks as soggy as ours.
“craShing into
the huge iron
giant iS a SPecial
kind of joy.”
Format PS4 / eta 30 SePtember
pub Square enix / deV Square enix
Fantasy XV
After the hype, the hands-on…
and it’s everything you ever dreamed
Break out the victory fanfare.
It’s finally, definitely, happening.
Final Fantasy XV is coming out
this year and we’ve been handson with the longed-for demo to
glean every scrap of info possible.
It’s short, at roughly 15-20 minutes long, but
there are loads of hints at what to expect from the
upcoming game – if you only know where to look.
Unlike the Duscae demo – which came free with
Final Fantasy: Type-0 last year, and follows a full
party of four as well as one large area to run around
in – this Platinum demo strings together several
smaller sections. It also follows a young version
of hero Noctis as he’s led by cuddly fox-god-thing
Carbuncle through a surreal dreamscape that gives an
incredible flavour of what to expect from XV, even
though it won’t appear in the finished adventure.
sword prey
If you’ve never played a Final Fantasy title before,
or are a lapsed fan, the collectible crystals and
squeaky hammer found within might be offputting.
But once you’ve got your head around the Alice In
Wonderland vibe, you’re treated to a sneak peek
at the menacing face of a 100-foot muscled titan,
some hands-on time with the new fighting system,
and glimpses of just how huge this open-world take
on Final Fantasy will be.
left Lunafreya might be
FFXv’s heroine, but she
won’t be joining the party.
it’s just you and the boys.
right it’s all about
brotherhood – your squad
are also your best friends.
They’ve got your back.
Summon ifrit hasn’t been
seen yet, but these burnt
trees and fiery crystals
suggest he’s nearby.
world tour
It’s not all monsters and backstabbing, there’s also some sightseeing to do
Okay, so it’s not exactly good
news to see enemy airships
cruising overhead, but
Niflheim tech is as worthy of awe
as it is of fear.
Smelly Chocobos aren’t
always befitting of a prince.
Thankfully, there are plenty
of luxury yachts around to help
you take in that view.
You get to roam around a
small area of Altissia in the
demo. As well as waterways
inspired by venice, it’s also home
to the gigantic Leviathan.
To get that real city
experience, you need to speak
to the locals. who knows,
maybe you’ll even squeeze a few
quests out of them.
The most notable change since the Duscae demo
is the combat. It’s far simpler now, with individual
weapons and spells mapped to the D-pad rather
than tangled together and tied to each blade. It’s now
incredibly easy to string together combos – open up
with a few swings of a light sword before switching
to a two-handed beast to finish the job. All of your
attacks are tied to e, which makes it quick to learn,
but it does take an oddly long time to master. It feels
like a weird mix of Kingdom Hearts and Assassin’s
Creed when you switch your tools up, but it works.
warp speed
above Just like us Brits, Noctis and friends love little more than chatting
about the weather. “So, that was summer, eh? How about this rain?”
“you Shrink to the
Size of a mouSe and
have to navigate a
huge Stately room
– it’S Surreal.”
As well as conjuring his fighting utensils from thin
air, Noctis can also phase into nothingness to dodge
attacks – something bound to become a key part of
your strategy. After a bit of practice, you find there’s
natural rhythm as you weave dodges between strikes.
The combat opens up further when you learn the
powerful warp ability, which sees you teleporting
to safe recovery areas, or careening straight into
whatever nasty-type is bothering you. Crashing into
the huge Iron Giant by warping from the other side
of the arena at the end of the demo is a special kind
of joy. As tactical and involving as the turn-based
combat of previous FF games can be, nothing quite
compares to getting all personal and smashing stuff
up yourself.
With the series usually having a huge
range of weapons and spells, however,
1 . c h a n g i n g F a c e s a mere four D-pad slots seems limiting.
Several of the plates placed As ever, you can swap things out to better
throughout the demo let
suit certain areas, but who wants to be
you turn into monsters,
or even a toy car.
constantly diving into menus? And while
selecting a spell to use is easy, aiming is
2. prize Fighter
a faff – by the time you’ve targeted onto
there’s a secret weapon
hiding at the top of the
something, it’s often moved out of range.
stately building during the
Fine-tuning, to keep combat fun for the
iron giant boss fight.
full 40 to 50-hour story, is clearly still
3 . ta k e a r i g h t
needed before September.
in the first zone, there’s
What we’ve seen of the world so far,
a hidden path that lets
though, looks absolutely gorgeous. In one
you see just how huge
leviathan is going to be.
area, you shrink to the size of a mouse and
have to navigate a huge stately room. It’s
surreal, but it lets you get close enough to inspect
magazine covers and biscuit tins. So much attention
has been lavished on even the smallest of details
– the world has a realistic, human touch.
princely pleasures
above Pinball effort Justice Monsters Five is the mini-game
of choice for this Final Fantasy outing. Screw Blitzball.
above Your car, the regalia, can turn into an airship to make
exploration easier, but only near the end of FFXv.
FFXV is taking a lot of cues from the likes of The
Witcher 3 with its open-world approach. The demo
may stop you wandering off too far, but we keep
glimpsing snippets of vast plains, lush forests and
huge cities cut into floating cliffsides just waiting
to be explored. If several 100ft-tall gods can happily
stroll around with plenty of space, then there should
be loads of room for our gang to go on day trips.
One slight fear is that, right now, those huge fields
look pretty empty. There are monsters to hunt, but
we haven’t yet heard anything about any side-quests
– the backbone of any good open-worlder. All that
space is nice and all, but there’s a risk of it feeling
soulless if they’re just empty zones in which to ferry
yourself between plot points.
After ten years in development, a changing of
hands and a switching of title, there’s a lot of
expectation on Final Fantasy XV’s shoulders. There’s
still a lot we don’t know, but if it lives up to its lofty
goals, it could be the highlight of this generation.
Flight sections come in both linear and open arena varieties – the latter is a surprisingly competent attempt at proper Star Wars dogfighting action.
“We’ll get to hunt
rathtars With
han and CheWie
before the film.”
Remember Rey sliding
down the dune in the film?
It’s inspired an SSX-style
sandboarding section.
Above BB-8’s even cuter in Lego form than he is in
the movie. And yes, during an early cutscene, he
does indeed give Finn a flamethrower ‘thumbs up’.
formAt Ps4/Ps3/Ps Vita / etA 28 June / Pub Warner bros / dev tt games
lego stAr WArs:
the force AWAkens
The tie-in that’s a Force to be reckoned with
Whatever you do, don’t call it
‘just another Lego game’. Sure,
over the last 11 years, you’ve
become accustomed to that story
playing out across tie-ins to the
Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Harry
Potter, The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The
Caribbean sagas. The most recent release, Lego
Marvel’s Avengers, suggests it’s a pattern that’s
offering diminishing returns, too. But if this game
is ‘another’ anything, it’s another reminder of why
you fell in love with TT Games’ unique take on
the legendary Lucasfilm universe in the first place.
As we pick our way through a trio of levels, it
becomes clear that the next Lego outing is delivering
something very special. On a surface level, it offers
familiar mechanics with a couple of new
features thrown in. Yet the combination
of the setting, the puzzles, the visual gags
1. clAss Act
and John Williams’ peerless score combines
to elevate The Force Awakens’ plastic
some of the film’s stars,
such as daisy ridley,
incarnation far above the tie-in crowd.
recorded extra dialogue
lines for the game.
2. ePisode 6.5
the fArce unleAshed
Rey and BB-8 have just met on Jakku.
After a brief sandboarding session that, at
a glance, could be mistaken for a rebooted
SSX, the duo is confronted with a massive,
3 . t h e b r i c k o f i t hollowed-out Star Destroyer. Don’t
expect five different hub
remember things happening this way round
levels, too: Jakku, takodana,
in the film? That’s because they didn’t.
starkiller base, d’Qar and
the millennium falcon.
“We wanted to make something of Rey
meeting BB-8 and forging that relationship,”
says lead story designer Graham Goring. “We
thought it was important to do that in a level
rather than a cutscene, but obviously if it’s just in a
featureless desert and she tells one Teedo to go away,
that doth not a level make! Luckily, we were given
the freedom to build that up into something else.”
With the license to create a custom adventure, TT
Games decided to take us back to that ship carcass
where we first meet Rey in the film. Inside, we find
puzzles galore, and an opportunity to test out new
mechanics – most notably the Multi-Build ability.
Like the 3-in-1 Lego Creator sets lining shelves
of toy shops, it’s a way to piece together different
there are 18 levels in all –
11 taken from the film, and
seven brand new tales set
between episodes Vi and Vii.
objects with the same pile of bricks.
By holding the left stick in certain
directions, we’re able to choose what
items to build. So begins a door puzzle
in which we unlock three mechanisms
by making specific items and ports,
then dismantle them to create others.
TT Games was given license to do
far more than just tweak some scenes
from the film – it’s added its own Star
Wars stories to fill in blanks between
Episodes VI and VII. Long before
setting foot on the Eravana smuggling
freighter, we’ll get to go hunt rathtars
with Han and Chewie. “I got to name
a character in the Star Wars universe,”
laughs Gorin, pinching himself.
AttAck the blocks
Upgraded combat shines (maxing out
a combo meter lets Rey unleash onehit KOs); robust platforming elements
stand out (‘moments of jeapordy’
have us rapidly tapping r to regain
our grip if a handhold works its way
loose); Blaster Battles impress (the
camera snaps in close as we pop in
and out of cover, taking pot shots at
crowds of Stormtroopers); and sandbox
flying sections are fully formed
slices of filmic dogfights (who needs
Battlefront?). But above all else, it’s the
little touches that make a difference.
It’s the sight of minifigs sliding
down dunes in the background of
scenes, and the way BB-8 scuffs games
of tic-tac-toe into the sand. It’s the
slapstick cutscenes and the ability to
play Holochess. It’s the sight of Kylo
Ren having a teenage tantrum in a
bedroom plastered with posters. And
it’s the sensation that this has been
made with the kind of love not seen
since the first Lego games. Much like
the film itself, this perfectly recaptures
the original’s mood, and it’s destined
to thrive because of it.
“The SeRieS’ killcam now ShowS
kniveS RiPPing
ThRough muScle
and oRganS.”
A flythrough of the Regilino
Viaduct level reveals
hundreds of enemies
and miles of pathways.
Format PS4 / eta 2016 / pub Rebellion / Dev Rebellion
Sniper elite 4
The World War II shooter goes full Metal Gear
Italy, 1943. Or could it be Afghanistan,
1984? There’s good reason for the
confusion – Sniper Elite 4 bears more
than a passing resemblance to Metal
Gear Solid V. Rebellion’s PS4 blaster might not
technically be set in an open world, but when its
smallest level is three times bigger than Sniper
Elite III’s largest, and its chapters can take hours
to finish, the word ‘sandbox’ really begins to apply.
can see the blade rip through muscle
and organs as you slide it home) and
can booby trap bodies in order to take
out others. With AI that aggressively
investigates your last known position,
the tools are there to really monkey
with enemies and gleefully lead them
into ambushes. You monster.
Having shot his way through northern Africa in
Sniper Elite III, American marksman Karl Fairburne
is now creeping through the coastal fishing villages,
shadowy forests and holey monasteries (geddit?) of
Italy. Plugging enemies from range still forms a big
part of the action, but with Nazis able to triangulate
your location from just two or three shots, and the
sprawling levels home to hundreds of foes, you need
to do much more than find a solitary sniper’s nest
and unload your bullets in order to progress.
As a result, close-quarters stealthing has been
brought to the fore. Whistling at enemies to distract
them before jumping out of windows and shimmying
across ledges, Big Boss-style, is commonplace. Karl’s
also a dab hand with a knife (the series’ gory X-ray
Kill Cam now triggers for melee kills, too, so you
Again, just like in Metal Gear Solid,
missions are packed with optional
secondary objectives and collectibles.
Identifying and executing key Nazis
and Italian fascists can prevent backup from being called if you’re spotted,
and if you do mess up, it’s not all over
– you get the same, pulse-pounding
thrill in trying to escape a meltdown
situation. It’s far closer to Kojima’s
epic than it has any right to be.
Keen to make amends for the
disappointment of Sniper Elite III,
Rebellion has really upped its game. In
the war against Sniper Ghost Warrior
3, this has the early advantage.
carry on camping
above The infamous X-ray
cam will also trigger if you
shoot barrels. Seeing a body
ravaged by an explosion in
slo-mo is rather horrible.
ForMat PS4 / eta 9 JUN / Pub EA / dev DICE
Mirror’s edge Catalyst
Speedrunning towards Game Of The Year contention
No guns. Yes, they’ve gone.
Catalyst, it seems, is a Mirror’s
Edge follow-up that’s well aware
of its predecessor’s problems, and
getting rid of the maligned gunplay
is just one of the ways that DICE
has revised its free-running first-person cult hit.
While Faith’s story has been rebooted, though,
and the action has moved to an open world, you
can breathe easy – this is faithful (look, allow us
the one pun) to the original in all the right ways.
The team, for example, knew the platforming didn’t
need fixing. Instead of making the wonderfully
complex wall-running, leaping and sliding any
simpler, they’re instead reintroducing some of those
ideas through an upgrade tree, meaning it’s all a little
easier to learn. In the first game, Faith started with
the ability to instantly spin 180 degrees on the spot,
using u, and avoid a painful landing, by
rolling with p at the last second. These
are now moves you have to unlock, the
1 . F i g h t i n g F o r C e idea being that throwing less at the player
right at the start will make these things
Faith’s combat has been
revamped. You can knock
easier to incorporate as you go. Once
foes out on the move, or kick
you’ve got these upgrades within an hour’s
them into each other.
play, running around feels as intricate and
2. hard reset
thrilling as it ever did.
The story here is pretty
much rebooted, but while it
looks nicer, it still feels like
a generic dystopian tale.
on the run
“The platforming in particular, and
that fluid first-person movement, was
You can set your own time
something that was so right that we had
trials around the open world
to look at it, preserve it, but also see
then list them publicly on
PSN, or just with friends.
where we could improve it,” says producer
Amo Mostofi. We can play Catalyst on
muscle memory alone, but there are tweaks to the
free-running that players might miss. “There were
certain elements in terms of the movement that
we could improve. Perhaps they might not even be
recognisable to the player, you may not even notice
it, but we’ve had game designers look at that, we’ve
had our engineers building into that. They’re very
proud of it.”
Perfecting the platforming makes sense when you
consider that one of the biggest additions to Catalyst
is user-generated time trial challenges. These can be
found dotted around the open world, and each has
its own leaderboard, with an algorithm behind the
3. soCial CliMber
scenes to sort out the best and most
popular ones. You can set your own
runs by placing the checkpoints
where you want.
You can share these publicly, or
just with friends if you don’t want
speedrunners coming along and
beating you at your own race. Topping
the leaderboard for someone else’s
time trial is like discovering a new
way to hurt somebody’s feelings.
Considering you can place these
anywhere in the open world, they’ll be
fundamental to the extended lifespan
of Catalyst – with the right set of
friends either tremendous fun, or
detrimental to a happy existence.
high rise
Another user-generated element is
the BE Emitter – you can climb to
a particularly high part of the world,
drop this noise-emitting device, then
challenge another player to reach it
via a companion app. This gives you a
better incentive to explore the world,
find secret areas and max out the
possibilities of Faith’s skillset. It also
means that Catalyst isn’t just about
running around at high speed.
This ensures there’s a puzzle
element to getting around, which
offers a change in pace, similar to
some of the slower, trickier levels in
the original. The map throws in plenty
of DICE’s own fetch quests and trial
runs to ensure you’re never short of
things to do in this gorgeous city.
It feels like DICE looked at the first
game and retained everything that
players liked about it, then layered
a bunch of more modern, onlinefocused touches on top. Everything
that needed fixing seems to have
been addressed in some capacity with
Catalyst, while, with the new social
challenges and a whole open world
in tow, it’s determined to keep you
playing a lot longer this time.
Sections of the city glow red like an integrated route planner to show you where to go, but you can turn it off with the right stick if you’d rather just explore.
Faith’s story is presented
in fancy cutscenes, but
this dystopian rebellion
yarn has yet to grab us.
above Faith’s hand-to-hand combat abilities have
been expanded this time around – she can even
shove her enemies off the top of buildings.
“Think Frank
From Donnie
Darko, buT sTyleD
by ‘90s ravers.”
judged only by
their covers
DeaD islanD
DeFinitive eDition
Afro Samurai creator
Takashi Okazaki’s
talented fingerprints
are all over your foes.
Format Ps4 / eta summer / Pub The Game bakers / Dev The Game bakers
Co-op is key in this survival
horror with a difference.
Inspired by Spice Girls hit 2
Become 1, you are half of a
sliced-up zombie. Find the
other half, while feeding on
killer humans who want to
make you more dead.
Format Ps4 eta 31 may
Going down the rabbit hole with this boss fight slasher
The reward for hacking through crowds
of fodder in most action games is the
juicy boss fight that’s waiting to test
your abilities at the end of a level.
The Game Baker’s ingenious twist on the ageold formula, however, is that the boss fight is the
level, with your enigmatic swordsman going toeto-toe with just the one challenging foe per stage.
Should be a cake walk, right? Nope. Prepare for
meticulous punishment.
Context is brief before we dive into the fight. Our
nameless futuristic samurai is being held prisoner,
his guard mocking him as “a bringer of death”
and gleefully promising to kill him over and over
again. There’s bad news for that fool, however, as a
fluorescent bunny – think Frank from Donnie Darko,
but styled by ’90s ravers – frees us. It’s time to
make him eat his words, with Hotline Miami-esque
synth music pounding in the background.
anger management
Furi’s opening fight is split between two distinct
phases. To begin with, it’s pretty much a bullet hell,
as our hero squares off against his jailer in a large,
perfectly circular arena. Using classic twin-stick
controls, we frantically chip away at his health while
dashing with q to dodge the bullets he’s sending
our way. Once he’s down, we whisk in and go into
the second phase.
Close up and confined to a much smaller area of
the map, this is a tense, calculated duel rather than a
sloppy button-hammering slog fest. You can tap r
to slash, or hold it to deliver a more devastating blow
– but those who live by the ‘attack
is the best form of defence’ mantra
quickly end up swallowing their own
teeth. Instead, there’s an emphasis on
waiting for an enemy to strike first
before timing your parry with e,
providing a window in which to secure
a few hits. Not that this villain is a
one-trick pony, mind. If you notice
the area you’re standing in is glowing
red, it’s time to get out of Dodge.
Otherwise, you can expect a sword
in your sternum.
This brief introduction to Furi’s
unusual world has a ferocious pace,
but its stop/start nature transforms
fights into cerebral chess matches that
reward brains over braggadocio. Don’t
worry though, there’s still a pleasing
arcade rush to pulling off combos.
As long as it keeps you on your toes
throughout every scrap, this should be
a memorably stylish odyssey.
one Piece
burning blooD
Calling all older siblings,
wind-up merchants and lowlevel bullies! This rhythmaction teaser is for you.
Titter, poke and prance until
your enraged opponent’s
blood literally boils.
Format Ps4 eta 3 jun
max Damage
above This guy frees us from jail. Considering
the beating we get, we kinda wish he hadn’t.
You’re Dave, a typical,
happy-go-lucky kinda guy.
Until you find the skull
earring, that is. Now you’re
Demonic Dave, with the
power to control all cars
to satisfy your every whim.
Format Ps4 eta summer
“it’S claSSic
HolMeS, But witH
a daSH oF downey
and a SPrinkle
oF cuMBerBatcH.”
There’s an immediate sense of
familiarity if you played Crimes
And Punishments. Didn’t enjoy
that? This likely isn’t for you.
FormaT PS4 / eTa 27 May / PuB BigBen interactive / Dev FrogwareS
Sherlock holmeS: The Devil’S DaughTer
True to Sir Arthur, but with a touch more laughter
This eighth outing of Frogwares’
crime-solving series contains many
parts one might consider elementary:
Batman-style detective mode, character
exposition via QTE, and an over-arching storyline
in which your deductions and conclusions
ultimately shape the 20-hour tale’s climax.
Happily, it also adds something lacking from
earlier instalments: humour.
Previous game Crimes And Punishment’s Sherlock
was staid and stuffy. Devil’s Daughter Sherlock
might look the same – at least until you get to work
reshaping his facial hair into something thoroughly
Brick Lane 2016 – but he’s been given a more
contemporary voice, literally and figuratively.
Baker TreaT
New actor Alex Jordan’s delivery weds exuberance
with experience, this revised interpretation of the
Baker Street detective still resolutely his own man,
yet imbuing a sprinkle of Cumberbatch and a dash
of Downey Jr. Take a scene in which he performs an
exorcism with Shakespearian theatrics: marching to a
mantlepiece and exclaiming, “Fire and flames! Better
for crumpets than foul-toothed demons!”
“For me, the humour is a way [for
Devil’s Daughter] to be more modern,”
says producer Aurelie Ludot. “The
Victorian era is quite stiff, and humour
enables us to distort these serious
situations.” It’s extended to Sherlock’s
pet mutt, too – playable here as he
was in Crimes And Punishments. “You
can play as Toby again – it’s the same,
except the trail you follow is a bit
more interesting,” says Ludot. “We play
it for comedy with the music and the
fact that he’s intelligent but looks like
a very old guy with big ears.”
The laughs don’t always work.
Returning American character Orson
Wilde is a one-man band of cringe,
spitting out gags about having tea at
five to prove his Englishness, and not
wanting to hang for a crime because
“the gallows will mess up my hair.”
Even so, it’s refreshing to see a series
with such a starchy collar finally undo
its top shirt-button. If the puzzles
match the laughs, this may yet elicit
cries of “excellent.”
above Sensibly, there are
no mini-maps in Devil’s
Daughter – after all, sat
navs didn’t exist at the turn
of the twentieth century.
“aS Dark SoulS
veteranS know,
intenSe Difficulty
leaDS to a wave
of SatiSfaction.”
You’re followed around by a
little door opening doo-dad,
much like your Ghost in Destiny,
minus the Nolan North.
format PS4 / eta Summer / pub machine heart GameS / Dev machine heart GameS
Hyper LigHt Drifter
Futuristic Lassie proves completely barking
There’s a thin line between being
abstract and utterly unfathomable and
this indie hopeful doesn’t so much
walk this line as mainline off it. Hyper
Light Drifter is bonkers. But it’s mad in a weirdly
earnest way, rather than a fun way – depending
on your threshold for pretension, it might just
turn you away. That would be a huge shame, as
behind the square-headed dog leading you across
a bubblegum-coloured pixel-verse (we think
that’s what the story is about) lies a devious and
maddeningly satisfying top-down action RPG.
Yes, we really did say square-headed dog.
The titular Drifter is a cape-wearing type with
an initially easy-to-grasp moveset. You’ve got a
burst dodge, a laser sword triple-swipe combo and
rudimentary healing skills. On top of this, you also
have a laser pistol (and, later, other ranged options),
which recharges as you deal out melee damage.
It’s a neat trick that incentivises mixing up attacks,
forcing you to actively move around each arena.
Combat can get very intense as a result. As more
varieties of enemies get introduced, from shurikentossing frogs to ground-pounding crystal ice golems,
you find that death is only ever one mistake away.
This is a difficult game, and while
death will only ever put you back
outside the room you were just in,
it can be incredibly frustrating. As
Dark Souls veterans know all too
well, however, such intense difficulty
leads to an eventual wave of all
encompassing satisfaction.
rainbow bite
For all its difficulty, it’s easy to feel
cool while playing it, dodging slomo bullets and darting about like
a rainbow dervish, all in the sultry
shade of your new favourite gaming
soundtrack (by Disasterpeace, the
chap responsible for Fez’s music).
We curse the lack of invincibility
frames, with a slight drop in rate
rearing up every so often. Plus the fact
we can’t quite figure out what it’s all
about. But we still reel away from each
enemy encounter on a luxuriant high.
For those missing a new DmC thrill
ride, or burnt out by the Souls series,
this could be your next big thing.
above You can choose your
route through the levels
from the start, though some
will be easier than others.
(Hint: definitely go east.)
Resurrection sequel Rage
Burst adds three new
weapon modes and normalattack-buffing Blood Arts.
“a gaPing tentacle
maw exPlodeS from
our gun to Suckle
the loot. yummy.”
Format PS4/PS Vita / Eta 30 aug
PuB Bandai namco / dEv Bandai namco
God EatEr 2:
raGE Burst/
Become the Aragami killer
Who eats to forget their problems?
A cookie here, seven cheeseburgers
there… How about the corpses of giant
monsters? You’re in luck. Action-JRPG
series God Eater is coming west with double
helpings of deific deliciousness. Buy God Eater 2:
Rage Burst, and you’ll get God Eater Resurrection
(the remaster of the first game) for free.
Dashing around a winged Aragami beast under
Resurrection’s burnt-orange sky, we deal deft sword
slices – until a charge flattens us. Luckily, our God
Arc weapon can shapeshift from Sword to Gun to
Shield Mode. One tap of u and our blade folds
back into a meaty minigun. Now that’s more like it.
Once we’ve pumped some lethal lead into the
scaly scary, we hungrily hold w over its carcass –
and a gaping tentacle maw explodes from our gun
to suckle weapon-crafting materials. Yummy.
Thank God Eater there’s loot to go around:
working with friends in four-player full story co-op
and online multiplayer is essential. Producer Yusuke
Tomizawa warns us: “Other games make things
easier. God Eater is challenging. You’ll be surprised
how difficult it is to defeat the first boss.”
above Freebie Resurrection lays the groundwork for the
series’ saga of plagues and conspiracy. Also, bearded dragon!
It’s JRPG o’clock,
as we discover how
Tales Of Berseria is
reinventing itself and
watch Sword Art
Online continuing to
put the murder into
MMO. If anime isn’t
your jam, why not
sample the retro
stylings of Mekazoo…
ForMat PS4
eta Summer
pub Good mood CreatorS
dev Good mood CreatorS
this 2.5d platformer wastes
no time in hitting all of our
favourite nostalgia buttons,
with music that apes SNeSera donkey Kong and an art
style that would fit in with
the golden era of Crash
and rayman. unfortunately,
our playthrough on co-op
leaves us with a minor
headache. each player
controls a specific animal,
each of which is better
suited to certain situations.
only one player, however,
is allowed on screen, with
the other one stabbing
w when they want to sub
themselves in. It’s just too
convoluted for the type
of speedrunning itch that
mekazoo tries to scratch.
Sword art
ForMat PS4/PS VIta
eta autumN
pub BaNdaI NamCo
dev aqurIa
of the many possibilities
for PS Vr, we’re hoping
‘death games’ aren’t one of
them. Based on an anime
about a Vr mmo, in which
snuffing it in-game also
means real-world byebyes, this JrPG series puts
you in a mercifully less
mortal situation. tactical
approaches to protagonist
Kirito’s sword-swinging
pay dividends – direct your
clan of three aI mates to
make efficient mincemeat of
mobs. at least you’re safe
in the knowledge you won’t
die for real. Probably.
taleS oF berSeria
ForMat PS4 / eta 2017 / pub BaNdaI NamCo
dev BaNdaI NamCo
We’ve now had 20 years of gorgeous,
character-driven JrPGs from the
tales series – so how do you keep
things fresh? try a series first: hot-headed
Velvet is tales’ first ever solo female
protagonist, and she’s pretty angry about
the whole betrayal/dead parents/infected
daemon-fist thing. Vengeance it is, then.
enemy-squishing’s been overhauled and a
new Soul Gauge system has you stun foes
to steal their souls. But it’s not all doom and
daemons. With charming new characters
as well, we can’t wait to see more of tales.
ForMat PS4 / eta tBa
pub dreadBIt GameS
dev dreadBIt GameS
aiming is for schmucks.
Why worry about lining up
those dual pistols when you
could be concentrating on
cartwheeling around ancient
ruins and destroying your
sci-fi shins with a badass
knee-slide? that certainly
seems to be dreadbit’s
attitude in this interesting,
platform-heavy shooter
that adopts an always on
auto-aim to ensure players
focus on evasion and flashy
movement. You may not
have to worry about being a
crackshot, but that doesn’t
mean Seraph is a cakewalk.
a dynamically scaling
difficulty level means you
have to keep on your toes
to help the title character
evade all types of beastie.
ForMat PS4 / eta SPrING
pub tINY BuIld
dev tINY BuIld
You know what PS4 needs?
more trippy first-person
shooter gun ballets. tiny
Build’s take on gunplay
rocks one of the most
unique visual aesthetics
we’ve seen in ages, and that
imaginative flare extends
well beyond combat. You
shoot enemies who take
the form of cubes with
unbearably sad faces…
with a gun that looks like
a snooker cue. It’s kinda
like Katamari damacy
descended on the Crucible.
With more than 100 bitesized levels, the action
focuses on conquering
online leaderboards through
speedruns. this could be
adorably addictive.
the OPM INtervIew Q
a new
OPM sits down with Sony
Computer Entertainment Europe
CEO Jim Ryan to get the skinny
on PS VR and PS4’s future
rom the moment we again
donned the headset and dove
into the kaleidoscopic magic
of PlayStation VR, at this
year’s GDC event in San
Francisco, we knew it would
set the games industry aflame.
Unparalleled wonder unfolds
– high-octane shootouts,
mind-bending puzzle
chambers, rhythm-violence beetle-riding
– all with us at the heart of the experience.
But despite enjoying that instant immersion,
we still have plenty of questions about the new
tech. How in the name of Kratos will Sony
manage to sell it at the low price of just £349?
Can we expect PlayStation VR to branch out
beyond games? And are we going to fling that
fancy headset straight off our bonces when
heading virtual footballs in The Headmaster?
Fortunately, we found ourselves in a small
room with a man able to answer all of those
questions and more – the one and only Jim
Ryan, European boss of Sony Computer
Entertainment. In our exclusive interview,
he reveals how the company
learnt from the “mistakes”
of the PS3 era; how vital
it is to correctly
market PS VR
for the masses;
oh, and we may
just have
pressed him
on a certain
lovable scamp
called Crash…
the PlayStation europe boss
has his noggin firmly in place,
having mastered upcoming PS
vr footy sim the headmaster.
the OPM INtervIew
expertise and
heritage allows
us to put
playstation Vr
to sell at £349
and still
make money.
OPM: First of all, congratulations on 36
million PS4s being sold – that’s quite the
achievement. Did you ever imagine you’d
be hitting that big a number so soon?
Jim Ryan: Um… (Laughs). That’s an interesting
experiencing vr is key to
understanding its potential,
so Sony could be taking
trial events on the road.
question to start! I think probably the honest
answer is no. I think we were confident in the
proposition that we had; we obviously made
a number of – I shouldn’t hesitate to use the
word “mistake” – mistakes with PS3, and we
were very single-minded and very determined
to try and address each of those mistakes.
We engaged in a lot of soul-searching –
I think we got most of the boxes that had a
cross against them in the PS3 era ending up
with a tick against them this time around. So
we were confident, but I don’t think… I doubt
that anybody expected us to be this successful.
OPM: We’re obviously keen to talk about
PlayStation VR. Since the big announcements
at March’s GDC event in San Francisco,
the reaction from our readers has been
extremely encouraging, very positive.
How have you been able to come in at such
an amazing price, relative to what the
competition is doing?
JR: I think the answer to that lies in Sony’s
heritage. Obviously, and increasingly, Sony is an
entertainment company. It is also a very proud
consumer electronics business with a very
long and illustrious career of making great
consumer electronics hardware.
Whether it’s designing in an elegant or
effective manner; whether it’s sourcing
componentry from all around the world in
a cost-effective manner; or whether it’s
putting the thing together, this is
what Sony does.
This is a big part of Sony’s
DNA. It’s sometimes easy to
take this for granted in this
wonderful, networked world
that we live in these days,
Middle exclusives like Uncharted probably helped shift a few of those 36 million PS4s.
Left Bloodborne, another PS4 exclusive. Right Cross-Play with PC is already a thing.
but it’s actually something that allows us to bring all that knowledge and
expertise and heritage to bear. It has allowed us to put this thing together
in a manner that enables us to sell it at £349 and still make money.
OPM: It’s great to see it’s not being rushed to market. October
seems to give you a good amount of breathing space to make
sure you’ve got the software support in place. Was that a
big factor when deciding the release date?
JR: It was a combination of that and also having what we
considered to be the right amount of hardware to put into
the OPM INtervIew Q & A
n e e d
t o
k n o w
the eUrO laUNCheS
leadINg tO PS vr
n The motion-sensing
controller, or wand, is
introduced to support PS3
(and later PS4). Receiving
widespread critical and
popular acclaim, it shifts
more than 15 million units
within two years, before PS
VR creates a fresh surge.
n Sony launches its
powerful new handheld as
the successor to 2004’s
PlayStation Portable. With
its name being taken from
the Latin for “life,” PS Vita
hits the market with day
one games such as
Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
n Current-gen arrives and
PS4 never looks back. Being
the most powerful, socially
connected console to have
ever existed, and with an
abundance of boundarysmashing games, it’s little
surprise that it’s a huge
global success.
the market as well, so it was a combination
of software support and the timelines on the
hardware side of things.
OPM: Your job must be to convert as many
PS4 owners to PS VR as possible. How
do you do that, considering it’s such a
transformative experience that only really
comes across when you test it?
JR: Yeah, it’s a very good question, and
essentially that’s the job of marketing. And
it’s quite a challenge. We certainly have great
knowledge about how to market traditional
gaming consoles – we’ve done it for over 20
years now. I think we’re quite good at it and
we know what to do.
But this is different. As you say, it’s really
only when you try [PlayStation VR] that you
actually understand. So the marketing mix of
activities that we engage in to evangelise virtual
reality will be very different from the marketing
mix that we use when we took, for example,
PS4 to market. There’s going to be a much
greater emphasis on experiential, on trial,
to try and achieve exactly what you spoke of.
OPM: We were impressed by the scope of
demos available at GDC. Is there a big chance
to branch out and make PS4 more than just
a predominantly gaming platform?
JR: I think your use of the verb “branch out”
is absolutely correct because it is, after all, a
PlayStation product, and PlayStation stands for
gaming – that’s what we do, that’s what we’re
about and that will be the principal area of
focus at the beginning.
But I think, as you yourself experienced –
looking at some of these other things – they’re
interesting and they’re fun and some of this
stuff is very relevant and very appealing to
gamers, so why wouldn’t you offer those
sorts of experiences, and we will. But we’re
pretty clear-minded that gaming will be the
principle area of focus.
OPM: With the exception of multiplayer mini-games collection The
Playroom VR, what’s your personal PlayStation VR highlight so far?
JR: [Football heading sim] The Headmaster.
OPM: For what reason?
JR: Because I’m good at it! (Laughs)
OPM: Fair enough! When we saw the pitch for that game,
we were worried the headset might keep flying off?
JR: Yeah, well I was a bit worried my head would fall off!
But no – those balls were bulleting into the top righthand corner of the goal every time. It was great!
OPM: Moving onto the wider spectrum of PlayStation,
PS4 was very much a console designed to evolve. How
has that gone so far? Where do you see the current PS4 in
the grand scheme of things? Is there still a long way to go?
JR: Yeah, obviously when you have a connected device like
PlayStation 4, the possibilities to significantly enhance the
capabilities of the device through firmware upgrades are considerable
– we’ve already seen that over the life of PS4 with features such
as Share Play and a raft of other individually less significant, but
cumulatively actually very meaningful, functional enhancements to the
device. That will definitely continue – we
have a roadmap. Much of this stuff is still
under wraps but we’re definitely, certainly not
standing still with PS4. There’s more to come!
OPM: This might infringe on some of those
things under wraps, but Early Access
programmes are something we’ve seen quite
a lot of on PC – is that an area that you think
PlayStation can explore or wants to explore?
JR: I think it’s certainly something that we’re
open to. It’s really a balance between offering
a proper experience and making all sorts
of things available. There’s a certain quality
threshold that we have to be sure to meet, or
at the very least to position the thing properly.
But we’re open to that.
OPM: We chuckled when Microsoft made
its announcement about cross-platform play,
as we thought, “Well, we’ve been doing that
for a long time on PlayStation.” But the
suggestion of possible cross-platform play
with other consoles is interesting. From
Sony’s point of view, is PlayStation open
to that possibility?
JR: Well, you know, I couldn’t really work out
what all the fuss was about in that Microsoft
announcement because it’s something – as you
say – we’ve been doing. We’ve done it with
PC, we’ve done it with Xbox consoles. We’re
completely open to any developer or publisher
who wants to have the conversation; we always
have been and we remain so.
OPM: Last year’s E3 was incredible. Looking
ahead to the next E3 show, in June, how
do you begin to piece together something
mindful of what you did last year, while not
staying in its shadow?
JR: Uh… (Laughs) You know, one of the great
things about working in the entertainment
business is that things evolve and new
things start to get worked on. As one
game comes out, the development team
starts work on the next thing, and it’s
a kind of endless cycle.
You’re right, matching last year’s E3
will be quite some challenge, but I’m
pretty relaxed and quite confident that
we will rise to that challenge.
OPM: One last question. This one’s from
one of our readers...
JR: They’re usually the most dangerous!
OPM: At last December’s PlayStation
Experience, SCE America CEO Shawn
Layden walked out on stage wearing
a Crash Bandicoot T-shirt. Is Sony
aware of how much fans want Crash
Bandicoot? Is there anything that can
be done to get him back on PlayStation?
JR: Um… we’re certainly aware of the
considerable affection – even reverence – in
which the mighty Crash is held. But nothing
to update at this stage in that area.
New studio Fireforge ain’t afraid of no tie-in. as part of a secret first
play, Ben tyrer meets the team behind Ghostbusters’ ps4 rebirth
oes any genre
inspire more
undeserved apathy
than the licensed
tie-in? There’s
a towering
scrapheap of
games only out
to capitalise on
stratospheric opening
weekend numbers, sure, but there
are also those that soar past that
low benchmark. They don’t merely
capture what makes their universe
special, but – like a hug from the
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
– engulf you in everything you hold
dear about the IP. It’s a special skill,
one that can elude even the very
best of developers. So inheriting
one of the most beloved series of
all time for your studio’s debut?
That sounds harder than crossing
the streams without ending the
world. Step forward, Fireforge.
CapturinG the Spirit(S)
Chris Tremmel is project director
and, with a CV encompassing names
such as Insomniac, EA and Crystal
Dynamics, aware of the monumental
task his team faces. “Licensed
games come with their own set of
“the team worked with
original ghostbusters
director ivan reitman.”
challenges,” explains Tremmel. “The
big thing I learned on the Lord Of
The Rings games was to stay true
to the franchise as best as possible,
while trying to figure out what fans
of the property were going to enjoy.”
The first thing that jumps out
about Fireforge’s debut is the striking
art style. Moving away from the films’
realism means it’s easy to dismiss
this as being for kids, but the dev
insists this is a game for every
’busters fan. “The industry has gone
back to this style of game. Just
because it looks like that no longer
means it’s a kiddie game. I mean, that
kind of used to be the thing, right? If
a game looked a certain way, it was
assumed it was made for kids, but as
the industry has matured, we’re at a
place where that art style doesn’t
dictate the target audience anymore.”
In fact, when the studio came to
designing Ghostbusters, they went
to the father of the franchise, Ivan
Reitman, as well as the makers of
this year’s movie reboot. “Just from a
validation point, it was important for
the team to be able to get our concept
in front of Ivan and hear his feedback
and hear what he had to say.
“Along with him, we also worked
with [the new film’s director] Paul
Feig a little bit and with Amy Pascal,
who’s the producer of the film. We
didn’t get to work with the original
cast, but Ivan seemed to be the
spokesperson from that group. The
interactions we’ve had with him have
been really good – it’s been all the
way from the look of the game to the
music to the voiceovers, the locations,
the ghosts… those sorts of things.”
New York is also a huge part of
Ghostbusters’ charm – seeing the
more glamorous areas of the city, not
just the grimier parts, covered in all
sorts of spectral slosh – and Tremmel
didn’t want to lose any of that appeal,
with the levels staying true to the
original aesthetic. “We have locations
that are pretty standard to the
Ghostbusters world, like mausoleums
and haunted hotels and a sanatorium,
but we tried to take different spins
to it. Our hotel this time is actually
aboard a historic cruise ship, while
our cemetery deals with a lot more
above-ground crypts and
mausoleums. So while we took some
standard approaches to locations, we
also tried to add a slightly new twist
to some of them.”
Slime of the Century
The debut developer has been
working on this latest ‘bustin’ entry
for over a year and Tremmel tells
us that, from the start, couchplay
multiplayer has been the bedrock for
this tie-in. “There are a lot of online
games out and a lot of PvP-style
games out, but we always thought
that the Ghostbusters franchise lent
itself really well to allowing a group
of friends to play together.”
Surprisingly, this means there
will be no online multiplayer for
Fireforge’s Ghostbusters. Producer
Dino Verano, from publisher
Activision, explains: “We want people
to be able to be playing together and
interacting with each other and we
want it to be friendlier, [to suit] a
wide variety of audiences.”
hang on a sec, shouldn’t bodies
the cad on the right, holding
the PKe meter, is described
by Activision as “bill Murrayish.” them’s big shoes to fill.
in the morgue be lying down? Gulp. All of Fireforge’s levels have been designed with the original Ghostbusters aesthetic in mind, only with a little added twist.
Getting good at playing
with your proton-packing
buddies is vital – it’s the
fastest way to level-up.
Before we get onto the streets, it’s
time to meet the new guys and gals.
You and up to three mates take on
a wet-behind-the-ears crew of NY’s
finest paranormal protectors, whose
names are blank at the start, meaning
it’s left to you to decide what they
answer to. Do you go for the classic
Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and
Zeddemore lineup? Or take the Xcom
approach and achieve some goals with
your real-life squad?
Fireforge gives them distinct
personalities, but the idea is that
you’re a member of the team. “You
can relate to these characters just
through their different personalities,
but it’s not about these new
characters and where they come from,”
says Tremmel. “It’s really about you
“we have 16 upgrades
for each character,
each with five stages.”
putting yourself into the position of
being a Ghostbuster and choosing the
character you feel you relate to most.”
total BrotoniC reverSal
Taking place after the events of the
new film, we jump into The Aldridge
Mansion. Using a Diablo-esque
top-down view to keep the whole
team on-screen, we sneak through the
deserted house, scanning the room
with our PKE meters until we stumble
upon floating skulls.
Proton pistols at the ready, we blast
them away using the right stick to
aim, and i to shoot. As we attempt
to keep the bookshelves ectoplasmfree, we need to retire this level’s
boss by firing up the proton pack,
frantically wrestling and slamming
her into the ground, then finishing
her off by dumping her into the ghost
trap. This boss battle does a great job
of forcing you to experiment with
weapons and combinations, as you
and your partners probe the ghost’s
weaknesses with grenades and proton
wands. Seeing the co-op award come
up for taking down ghosts together
always results in a mini high-five.
Like any strong team, each
Ghostbuster brings a little something
different to the party, such as having a
unique grenade and individual weapon
that only they can use. But don’t
worry – all four are equipped with
the classic proton wand, PKE meter
and ghost trap. Combining the
distinct advantages of each class gives
the game depth and adds bonus
points via the synergy system.
One character, for example, is
referred to by Tremmel as ‘The
Heavy’, courtesy of the minigun he
lugs around. If he chucks his slime
grenade, it slows down any ghoul that
gets hit by its gunk, giving the rest of
the team a chance to earn a little extra
XP. The dev explains, “They receive a
synergy bonus or co-op bonus for
co-operating and you get a score
multiplier based on that. It increases
the scores for eliminating different
ghosts and allows the characters to
level-up a little bit quicker.”
The top-down view and twin-stick
controls imply arcadey thrills, but
Tremmel insists that all upgrades help
build the ultimate wraith warrior.
“Sixteen different upgrades for each
character can be purchased. Each of
those has five stages to it. You can
make a weapon stronger, make an area
effect larger, increase your movement
speed, increase a point bonus on the
trap mini-game, make the weapon
overheat last longer. It’s a whole range
of things that you can really upgrade.”
Like in any good panto,
there comes a time when
our heroes should have a
look at what lurks behind.
GhoSt of the paSt
Despite multiplayer co-op being
on the other end of the spectrum
to 2009’s PS3 Ghostbusters effort,
Tremmel is open about how much it
influenced Fireforge’s project. “We’re
big fans of the third-person Atari
game. It nailed the feel of using the
proton wand and proton beam to
capture and wrangle ghosts, and get
them into the traps. We thought that
type of mechanic would be really
fun if brought into a team-based
environment where four people
could do that at the same time.”
This might not have the huge
spectacle and original cast likenesses
of PS3’s Ghostbusters, but instead
of lazily adopting the look of the
films, Fireforge is mixing distinctive
style with admirably old school
ambitions. There’s nothing you’d
call revolutionary, but if PS4 ’busters
achieves its aim of gearing us up with
the latest protonic weaponry and
making us feel like the new recruits at
110 N Moore Street, we’ll be as happy
as Ray Stantz sliding down a fireman’s
pole come 15 July.
Don’t cross the streams!
hey, GooD
project director
Chris tremmel
on ‘forging firsts
opm: how will the single-player
campaign work?
Ct: You always have four Ghostbusters
on-screen at the same time. If I’m
playing by myself then three characters
are AI-controlled, with two people, two
of them are AI-controlled, and so on.
the difference in the game is we
dynamically adjust the encounters
dependent upon the number of human
players. If you’ve got four players
together, the encounters are going
to be a little bit tougher.
opm: Does the multiplayer have a drop
in, drop out option?
Ct: For us, that was one of the very
first requirements. Making this kind of
game, there are a few anchor points
you have to hit, and that was one. It has
to be drop in and drop out, because the
levels are about 30 minutes each. It was
really important to make sure that if
somebody wanted to drop in while
halfway through, they could. or if
somebody needed to take a break and
jump out, they could. that comes from
us being fans of this kind of genre, and
running into games that didn’t have that
type of thing. We felt we had to provide
that ability.
opm: how specifically will the
multiplayer mechanics tie into the
levelling-up system?
Ct: throughout a level, every character
maintains their own score. At the end
of each there’s a little scoring segment
that adds up how many ghosts you’ve
eliminated, how many co-op assists you
got, how many hidden items you may
have found, etc. Characters then level
up through that process, and every time
a character levels up they’re given a
number of skill points that they can then
use to spend on the skill tree to enhance
their character. there’s a whole range
of things you can upgrade, and if you’re
playing with multiple people, each
character will level up independently
at the end of each level.
Fireforge’s art style does
a great job of combining
both cartoon and classic
visual effects.
the devs consulted both the original and reboot movie directors when designing the top-down style.
Decisions, decisions.
Do you switch out your
pack for the dual-pistols,
assault rifle or minigun?
opm: What’s it been like working on a
debut game after spending your career
with established studios?
Ct: It’s inspiring to see people get really
excited, every day, about, say, a new
ghost that’s in the game, or a new game
mechanic that’s working. or even –
when we’re at the stage we’re at right
now, where we’re doing a lot of tuning
and final tweaks on the game – still
seeing people really excited about
playing it. that’s the thing that always
gets me towards the end.
opm: finally, who is your favourite
Ghostbuster of all time?
Ct: I actually really love the new
holtzman character from the new film.
People will be pleasantly surprised –
she’s an awesome character.
Films! Games! Toys! Ben Wilson charts
36 incredible years of an all-slime classic
Good friends Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi costar in musical crime caper The Blues Brothers,
the second of the pair’s three movies together
(the others being 1941 and Neighbors). After
its success, Aykroyd begins mapping a concept
called Ghost Smashers, in which the duo cross
time and space battling spirits with wands.
Aykroyd begins work on the script for
Ghost Smashers, many excerpts from
which will leak over the years. In this
version, The Stay Puft Marshmallow
Man is one of multiple Gozer
manifestations, Winston is instead
called Ramsey and a “gluttonous
yellow mist” known
as Onionhead
haunts the
House. That
will go on to
become Slimer.
On 5 March, John Belushi passes away,
after being injected with a deadly mix
of cocaine and heroin. “I was, in fact,
writing one of his lines when he died,”
reveals Aykroyd years later. Following
Belushi’s death, Aykroyd sends a
half-finished script to Bill Murray. He,
in turn, recommends the project to
Animal House producer Ivan Reitman,
who has also already directed Murray
in comedies Stripes and Meatballs.
Reitman likes the comic elements,
but criticises the characterisation and
budget required to bring it to life.
After 15 weeks of
filming in New
York and LA,
the movie wraps
in February.
It’s released in the States on 8 June,
grossing $13.6 million in its opening
weekend, and staying at number one
for five weeks. (Thirty years later, its
gross is estimated at an astonishing
$290 million.) In addition to the film,
the first Ghostbusters game is released
on Atari 2600. It’s coded within six
weeks and sees you driving around
New York in Ecto-1.
The film is
released on
Betamax and
VHS with a
curious error:
the stereo soundtrack for the latter
version is accidentally reversed
from right to left during transfer.
It’s corrected in future releases.
Don Shay’s ‘Making Ghostbusters’
book, featuring Bernie Wrightson
illustrations of monsters that didn’t
make the film, is an instant hit and
goes on to be considered the film’s
bible. (In 2016, acquiring a copy will
set you back around £80.)
Season one of cartoon The Real
Ghostbusters emerges. The characters
share the names of their film
counterparts, but aren’t based on
the actors – although Ernie Hudson
auditions to reprise his role of
Winston, Arsenio Hall gets the part.
In the ’toon,
Slimer lives with
the ’busters as
a mascot-style
ally. It spawns
an official toy
line that grows
more bizarre with
each passing year.
Granny Gross
Ghost, anyone?
In January, Aykroyd
submits a revised
180-page script for
Ghostbusters, which
Reitman this time
likes, after making
some tweaks – such
as setting the film in a
modern American city,
and bringing aboard
Harold Ramis. Columbia
Pictures chairman Frank
Price agrees to finance
the film, as long as it
doesn’t cost more than
$25m. By October, as
preliminary second unit
photography begins in
New York, its budget is
already nearing the $30
million mark. Oops.
© Philip Ritz/Wikipedia
the ‘busters hQ remains in use as a real-life
firehouse in NYC’s tribeca neighbourhood.
New videogame alert:
Burgertime developer Data East
releases top-down shooter The
Real Ghostbusters in arcades.
(It’s later ported to Amiga and
Atari ST.) On the ’toon front
– and in an incredibly bold
move for a kids’ TV show – a
season two episode of The Real
Ghostbusters takes horror king
HP Lovecraft as inspiration.
The ’busters have to defeat the
Elder Gods after a cult uses
Necronomicon to unleash a
nefarious spirit. The ep’s title:
The Collect Call Of Cathulhu.
As well as the two official the real Ghostbusters games,
there was also the unlicensed Meikyuu hunter G in Japan.
Filming of a movie sequel begins. “We’ll
burn in hell if we call it Ghostbusters II,”
insists Bill Murray. The first Ghostbusters
comic series emerges, published by Marvel
UK on these shores and NOW in the US.
On the cartoon front, writer J Michael
Straczynski walks away ahead of season
three. “They proposed really offensive
things,” he later tells
SFX. “They wanted to
make Janine a mommy
character, instead of the
strong female character
she’d been. They wanted
to make Winston, the
only black character, just
a driver, which I thought
was profoundly racist.”
II – sorry, Bill
– is released on
16 June. It plays at
2,410 cinemas, taking more than $29
million in its first three days. It’s the
biggest opening weekend in cinema
history… for one week, until Batman
takes $40 million. Cast members
include Bill Murray’s brother, Brian
Doyle Murray, as a psychiatric doctor,
Dan Aykroyd’s niece, Karen Humber,
as a school child, and Ivan Reitman’s
son Jason (now an Oscar-nominated
director himself), who insults the
Ghostbusters at a birthday party.
On 5 October, after seven seasons, the
curtain falls on The Real Ghostbusters
cartoon. Pandering later series are
unrecognisable from its earlier tales
– such as that Lovecraft
episode – with Slimer (now
the focus of the show)
imagining himself in Jack &
The Beanstalk and entering
a dog show. Kenner’s toy
line also comes to an end
– its final five figures are
glow-in-the-dark versions
of the Ghostbusters and
Louis Tully, known as
Ecto-Glow Heroes.
A big-ish year on
the videogame front.
Ghostbusters II emerges
on various formats,
with the DOS version
standing out – at one
point, you get to stomp
around New York as the
Statue Of Liberty. Sidescrolling platformer
Ghostbusters is also
released on Mega Drive.
Many fans consider
it non-canon as it
doesn’t acknowledge
events of the sequel,
and only features three
playable Ghostbusters –
Winston finds himself
completely excluded.
It’s been a tough three decades for ‘busters
games, but 1990 delivered ghostly treats.
Another farewell, this time to The
Real Ghostbusters comic books. In
the UK, it’s
amassed 193
issues in
four years,
plus four
annuals and
ten specials.
The NOWpublished US
comics also
call time, after
32 issues, two
annuals and
one special.
Aykroyd dismisses rumours of
Ghostbusters III in an interview with
Playboy. “The one [film] I don’t think
we’ll necessarily further exploit is
Ghostbusters. It looks like that’s about
had its run. It opened and Batman
opened the next weekend and wiped
us out that summer. Although we
made a good movie, it just wasn't as
commercially successful as everybody
thought it would be.”
In a TV interview, Aykroyd
suggests Ghostbusters III could
well be a possibility after all.
“Ah, it might
happen,” he
tells WWOR
9 News.
“I’ve got
a story
in mind
that I’m
about. So
we’ll see. It’s
certainly something I always wanted
to do. It’s just getting the other
players together.”
III talk. It’s
rumoured that neither Reitman nor
Murray are interested, while Aykroyd
tells AOL: “Have script, will travel, but
not with all of the original players.”
Singer Huey Lewis, meanwhile,
reaches a settlement with Ray Parker
Jr over a dispute concerning the
Ghostbusters theme. Lewis had sued
for copyright infringement, claiming
the now-legendary riff was borrowed
from his 1983 hit I Want A New Drug.
(Listening today, both rhythm and
melody are near-identical.)
Ghostbusters Spooktacular – a special
effects show opened at Universal
Studios Florida in 1990 – is closed.
Its original guise featured an actress
in the role of Gozer performing
acrobatics, while being fired at by a
cast of ’busters. Relaunched in 1993,
its second incarnation saw ‘Louis
Tully’ (not played by Rick Moranis)
select three volunteers to help set
up equipment, before a lights-andsound experience leading to the
Marshmallow Man’s on-stage demise.
Twister… Ride It Out took its place.
Lots more chatter
surrounding a third
film. “The concept is
still strong and I think
that Harold and I can
pull it off,” Aykroyd
tells Hollywood Online.
“We're going to do a
Hades version of New
York. You look down
at the river and there's
a ferry of Wall Street
commuters, except
they're being shoved
off with pitchforks into
the river which is now
boiling blood.” Hudson
(Winston) says he’d
like to be involved.
“Assuming there's gonna
be a third one, and
assuming I'll be asked,
I'd like to be a part of
it – if the script is good,
as it should be.”
Animated hauntings return via
Extreme Ghostbusters, a spiritual
sequel to The Real Ghostbusters.
While his three contemporaries have
moved on, Egon Spengler remains
in the firehouse to look after Slimer
and train four successors: goth Kylie,
slacker Eduardo, paraplegic Garrett,
and brainiac Roland. Action figures
of all them – except Garrett – are
inevitably released, as well as Time
Crisis-aping PS1 shooter Extreme
Ghostbusters: The
Ultimate Invasion.
Unimpressed? So
are audiences, and
it lasts just one
40-episode season.
The films debut on
DVD as Aykroyd
completes the
first draft of
Ghostbusters III:
Hellbent. It would see the devil
sending spirits back to the real world
to roam Manhattan. Ray and Egon
are still ’busters at the head of a huge
franchise, but Winston is a doctor and
Peter has moved on to a new life with
Dana and Oscar. There’s a new car,
too: a 1989 converted Cadillac, Ecto12. “If we were to go ahead with the
project, I would probably produce the
film, not direct it,” admits Reitman.
“It’s dead,” says Aykroyd of
Ghostbusters III, in a press conference
for new movie Stardom. Why?
“A combination of not getting the
right story, and the business side
of things.” Specifically, Bill Murray’s
reluctance to be involved, and Sony
Pictures’ lack of interest in financing
the project, for which Aykroyd is
seeking $120 million. “They’re trying
to get bargains, they're trying to get
the next Blair Witch. But, you know,
sometimes you have to seed for the
big harvest to come in.”
Remember the Parker Jr versus Huey
Lewis rumble? It’s on again after
Lewis is accused of breaching the
confidentiality agreement pertaining
to the 1995 settlement, on VH1’s
Behind The Music. "I suppose it
was for sale,
basically, they
bought it,” says
Lewis. Parker
sues and,
according to a
recent Reddit
AMA: “Got a
lot of money.”
IGN acquires the 1999 draft of the
Hellbent script, and drops swathes
of further detail. Fresh ’bustin meat
includes New Jersey punk Franky,
the dreadlocked
Lovell, child
genius Nat,
science graduate
Moira and Latino
beauty Carla.
Aykroyd declares,
however, the
film “will never
happen” with
Murray still
dead against it.
Same old story, regarding film
three. “Never. That will never
happen. Unless Bill Murray agrees.
Everyone else would love to do it,
Columbia, Harold Ramis, myself,
director Ivan Reitman,” says
Aykroyd. “It’s a five-way rights
situation and Bill is locking up his
piece of the rights because he feels
that was work that he just wants
preserved and he doesn’t want
it diluted. And as an artist, I can
respect that.”
Legion, from
house 88MPH
Studios, sees the
original characters return in comic
form – albeit with events of the film
retconned so that everything takes
place in 2004. As such, references
to mobile phones, Starbucks and
Cameron Diaz all feature. Licensing
and financial issues plague the series,
and it’s curtailed after just four issues.
Presuming it
a non-starter,
Ramis divulges
even more details on
the canned third film –
including the actors he and Aykroyd
had in mind for a new crew. “We were
thinking Chris Rock, Chris Farley and
Ben Stiller taking over. That would
have worked,” he tells Ain’t It Cool
News. Perhaps surprisingly, he shows
no regrets about the idea being killed
off. “I can’t say my heart was really in
it, you know... making the third one.”
A Ghostbusters mobile game emerges,
and elicits universal mirth for its utter
hopelessness. The story sees you
ridding a millionaire’s home of ghosts,
but is absurdly long (with more than
100 rooms), features cookie-cutter
puzzles, and references none of the
original characters or movies. It’s the
laziest of half-arsed cash-ins.
Slovenian developer Zootfly
sends fans into a frenzy
when it drops Youtube
videos of a new, acelooking Ghostbusters PS3
game. They’re taken down for
copyright reasons, but it’s clear
that the audience who grew up with
the films is desperate for a fully fledged,
quality videogame starring the old crew. Elsewhere,
Aykroyd announces “it lives!” regarding Ghostbusters III
– as a CGI animated project, which will feature Murray
on vocal duties after all.
“Well, I think
the wounds from
Ghostbusters II
have healed,” says
Murray regarding
the possibility of
a third film, adding – in a somewhat
prescient manner, as it turns out –
“there's some funny girls I'd love to
see be Ghostbusters.” A pencil-based
comeback occurs as IDW secures
comic book rights. Its first edition
sees the ’busters trying to resolve a
ghost war between Japanese Yakuza
and a US crime syndicate, and is
widely praised.
Developer Terminal Reality delivers
the ’bustin videogame so hoped for
in the wake of those Zootfly vids.
“This is essentially the third movie,”
says Dan Aykroyd of the blaster, set
two years after Ghostbusters II and
casting you as an unnamed fifth crew
member. All of the original actors lend
their voices to the game, and it scores
8/10 in issue #33 of OPM.
Still no Bill. “He will
not do the movie,” says
Aykroyd. “He’s got six
kids, houses all over
America. He golfs in
these tournaments where
they pay him to turn up
and have a laugh. He’s
into this life and living
it… but I can’t be mad at
him. He’s a friend first,
a colleague second.”
‘Extreme Ghostbuster’ Kylie resurfaces
in the popular IDW comics, while
’busters toys are officially in fashion
again, too. The new Mattel range,
launched the year before, even
includes EPA
blowhard – and
’buster hater –
Walter Peck. In
much sadder news,
Ramis contracts
vasculitis, taking
away his ability
to walk.
In a trade show programme,
it becomes clear that a third
film is coming, with a planned
release date two years later. “Sony
Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has a
licensing programme targeting the
Ghostbusters core fan base for the
relaunch of the movie franchise in
2013,” it reads.
“Yes, we will be
doing the movie,
hopefully with Mr
Murray,” confirms
Aykroyd. Also,
Sanctum Of
Slime hits PS3.
It’s terrible.
In December, Sony announces a raft
of big licensees who’ve signed on to
help celebrate the original film’s 30th
anniversary throughout the following
year. Among the most exciting are
Funko, the super-revered creators of
the POP! collectible figure range. They
don’t disappoint, either,: the
four main ’busters, Slimer,
Marshmallow Man and
Ecto-1 are all
in vinyl
over the
A colossal blow.
On 24 February,
aged 69, Harold
Ramis passes away,
surrounded by his family.
The news is a devastating blow to his
contemporaries, and leads Reitman
to step away from the purported
threequel for good. “With Harold
no longer with us, I couldn’t see it,”
he says. In October – after so many
false starts – a new flick is finally
confirmed, with Paul ‘Bridesmaids’
Feig taking on Reitman’s mantle.
Kristen Wiig, Melissa
McCarthy, Kate McKinnon
and Leslie Jones are confirmed
as the main, all-female cast
for the new Ghostbusters,
while the Funko range grows
again to include Domo
versions of Slimer and Stay
Puft. In February, US company
Cryptozoic launches a
Kickstarter for a Ghostbusters
board game – and with more
than $1.5 million pledged, it’s
available worldwide less than a
year later. Ghostbusters Lego,
the all-new Ghostbusters crew. Left to right: Leslie Jones,
amazingly, is also now a thing. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.
A 15 July release date is locked in
for the new Ghostbusters movie,
with Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson
and Sigourney Weaver among
those confirmed for cameos.
Cryptozoic launches another board
game Kickstarter – this time for
Ghostbusters II – while a very wellknown UK
named Official
unveils the first
for PS4.
the year of the tie-in
More licensed treats set to brighten up 2016
01 TMNT: MuTaNTs iN MaNhaTTaN
02 baTMaN
All shell breaks loose in Platinum’s new brawler
Bats the Wayne to do it
Pub Activision dev PlatinumGames eTa Summer
It feels like we’ve been waiting since the days of
gloomy seaside arcades for a not-terrible Turtles
title, but Mutants In Manhattan glows with mutagenic
promise. It’s being developed by Platinum, a studio so
talented at making action games that even its
Transformers one didn’t stink. A Turtles game plays to
its strengths even more – expect crisp third-person
action and immaculate hack ‘n’ slash combat.
Just like the source material, each turtle has their
own ‘thing’ – Raph can enter stealth mode, Leo
focuses to slow down time, Mikey can refresh his
teammates’ abilities and Donnie can get wedgied in
the school toilets for being a nerdlinger (okay, that one
might be a lie). You can also shift between Turtles in
the single-player game, though we don’t know why
you’d want to play as anyone except Raphael.
The other bit of good news is this is based on the
excellent IDW comic run – the story is by the same
author, Tom Waltz – rather than the goofy, Michael
Bay-produced cinematic dog’s egg. Our only minor
grumble is the lack of local co-op, but at least you can
play with four half-shelled heroes online. Yes, it’s okay
to allow yourselves a cheeky, “Cowabunga!” Go wild.
Pub Warner dev Telltale Games eTa 2016
Telltale’s games are all about choice, so Batman isn’t
the most obvious fit. His decisions rarely get more
complex than ‘how shall I break this criminal’s knees?’
or ‘which gargoyle should I brood on tonight?’
Thankfully, this promises something more cerebral.
The focus is on the complex mind of Bruce Wayne
himself, rather than the Bat – a subject that’s never
been explored to any level of satisfaction in movies or
games. We often get images of ol’ Brucie staring at
the pale moonlight – and the flashbacks in the Arkham
games were superb – but Telltale promises to take us
deeper. It’ll apparently look at the duality of his identity
– ooh, deep – and the struggle of saving a Gotham City
overrun with corruption and violence.
You can expect the usual Telltale blend of decision
and consequence – a fascinating prospect for the
often-authoritarian world of Batman. Best of all, you’ll
have to switch between Bruce and Bats, depending on
the situation. Going to a gala ball? Your armour is a
tuxedo. This could be the ultimate examination of
Wayne’s complex psyche. Our only request? Please,
please don’t call it Bruce Wayne: Beneath The Kevlar
Cowl, or something equally guff.
03 souTh Park: The
FracTured buT Whole
04 The WalkiNg dead
seasoN 3
05 lego sTar Wars:
The Force aWakeNs
everybody, if you can do
the Cartman
new game is only a matter
of corpse
BB-8 brick rolls onto Ps4
Pub Ubisoft dev Ubisoft San
Francisco eTa 2016
Pub Telltale Games dev Telltale
Games eTa 2016
The Stick Of Truth is one of the
best tie-in games. Ever. We’d be
happy with more of the same
– assuming there were any fantasy
tropes left to mock – yet The
Fractured But Whole is giving us
something different. Instead of
a Tolkien-esque trawl through
sphincters, the next South Park
title riffs off the undying popularity
of superhero movies.
You’ll still be in control of the
no-longer-really-new New Kid,
this time teaming up with a cast
of wonderfully crap superheroes.
Cartman is The Coon – half man,
half raccoon – and Stan is
Toolshed, a hero with the power to
control, well, tools. The last game
worked because it was an
unapologetic turn-based RPG,
and the formula remains the
same here. The one area of
concern is the removal of
RPG-specialist Obsidian from
development, with Ubisoft San
Francisco stepping into the gap.
Telltale dabbles in everything from
Minecraft to Game Of Thrones, but
The Walking Dead remains its big
series. Season Two gave us
closure on many story elements,
but there’s more to be said in
Telltale’s more-about-the-peoplethan-the-zombies narrative.
Season Three promises the
same branching stories, tough
choices and staggering selection
of endings, but Telltale CEO Kevin
Bruner promises it won’t feel too
familiar – fans can expect things
they’ve never seen before. In fact,
it’s being refreshed to bring it to a
wider audience. This is partly to
tease in viewers of the TV show
who are unfamiliar with the game’s
belligerent mix of tough choices
and tougher consequences.
Apart from that, details are still
scarce. We’re hoping Season
Three can return The Walking Dead
to the gruelling heights it reached
before the disappointing Michonne
spin-off. Rotting fingers crossed.
Pub Warner Bros
dev Traveller's Tales eTa 28 June
Star Wars remembered its sense
of humour for The Force Awakens,
so it’s the perfect fit for the
inevitable Lego spinoff. The brilliant
trailer, complete with a ‘BB-8 on
board’ joke, was evidence enough.
The game expands on the
established Lego formula, including
tweaked building options that let
you construct different creations
with the same bricks, just like you
would in real life. Combat has also
been rejigged to include specific
blaster sections, which feature
cover shooting for the first time in
a Lego game. As ever, you can
expect the usual, whopping great
cast of Star Wars favourites,
including so-nice-we-wish-he-wasreal Poe Dameron and angsty
chinchilla Kylo Ren.
Best of all, the game covers the
period between Return Of The Jedi
and The Force Awakens, allowing
us to explore each character’s
backstory and, more importantly,
finally discover what haircare
products Chewie’s been using.
When your squad is looking
fierce and ready to head
to the club, but you gotta
take out shredder first.
it’s a double delight from
TeaM Picks
The tie-ins we’d love to see on Ps4
Ben Wilson
We’ve had transformers.
We’re getting turtles.
now it’s time for Platinum
to complete the ‘80s ‘toon
hat-trick, and deliver us a thundercats
actioner. imagine the sword-swinging,
nunchaku-cracking four-way battles
against Hammerhand, Mumm-Ra and –
greatest episode ever – the inflamer.
or, if Platinum doesn’t see gold, enter
telltale; there’s loads of storylines to
tap into. the lion-o/Cheetara/tygra
love triangle. Jaga and Grune’s on-off
bromance. Ma-Mutt’s daddy issues.
like Monkian, it’s a no-brainer.
Jen siMPkins
As oPM’s resident
Japanophile, i’m hankering
after an obscure anime
tie-in. Here are five words
to get my engine revving for a racer
based on 2009 animated movie Redline
– nsFW Wacky Races in space. All the
elements are there for a no-holdsbarred Ps4 wheel-spinner. the zany
tale of the Redline drag race; the neon
pulse of the art style; a soundtrack
making sexy jelly of your eardrums. And
imagine the power-ups. Racers turning
into robo-cars, firing boob-projectiles?
Move the hell over, Rocket league.
Ben tyReR
telltale, which has highly anticipated tie-ins of Batman and the Walking Dead season 3 hitting Ps4s in 2016.
oh this? Just the Millennium
Falcon in lego, screeching over
Jakku’s deserts in lego star
Wars: the Force Awakens.
yes, the Wire videogame
would probably fly against
everything the series is
about. it’s tricky to
condense the systemic failings of the
war on drugs into something to literally
blast through in a weekend. But take
telltale’s narrative skills and let me fill
the shoes of Mcnulty and Bunk – solving
crimes, trading thoughts and having a
dialogue wheel with only one word on it.
We’ll let you guess what it is. the two
po-lice are the most natural entry point
to avoid coming across as crass,
or duller than the Baltimore docks.
Ratchet? not for me. the
true furry platformer king
should be ‘80s cartoon
superhero Danger Mouse. He’s the
world’s greatest spy, a consummate
englishman and he wears an eyepatch.
He also packs a hilarious sidekick, an
inventive extended cast and brilliantly
diverse settings. His last proper tie-in
was on spectrum – surely now, with the
recent tV reboot, it’s his time again? in
the words of the gushing singer on the
sublime soundtrack: “He’s the greatest,
he’s fantastic, he’s the best.” ‘nuff said.
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Fighter V
tips you definitely*
haven’t tried yet
ou may, if you’ve been playing
Street Fighter V, have met the
Wall of Bronze. Don’t worry
if you’ve never heard of it
– it’s the name we’ve just made
up for the point at which
specials and solid combos
no longer work online. The
basics can only take you so
far. Eventually, you’ll face an
imperious, scrub-killing M
Bison or a contemptible Vega
who’ll use the very framework
of the game against you. That’s
when these tips come in handy.
Some of them are straightforward,
others will require practice and
research. All of them, however, will
make you become a more competitive
player. Learn well, young padawan,
and tell M Bison we sent you.
Matt Elliott fell in love with Street Fighter II in a
sticky Cromer arcade. He’s since resolved all
conflicts in his life by asking ‘what would Guile
do?’ (The answer is almost always ‘flash kick’.)
c. – Crouching
s. – Standing
f. – Forward
b. – Back
(e.g. f.MP =
forward medium
LP – Light punch
MP – Medium punch
HP – Heavy punch
LK – Light kick
MK – Medium kick
HK – Heavy kick
Harnessing Alex
New boy Alex is a spritely, energetic
grappler – part Hulk Hogan, part
Macho Man Randy Savage. He’s got
great pokes – his s.MK especially
so – and his s.HK is a rangy Crush
Counter. His specials are a mixed
bag. His slash is a decent combo
finisher, but his jumping stomp is
pretty useless – it’s unsafe on block,
and it doesn’t cross-up. His stun gun
headbutt, however, is wonderful. You
can jump across the entire screen, it
can’t be blocked and it does massive
amounts of stun. Alex has also got
the best dash of any Street Fighter V
grappler. Force your opponent to play
defensively using your pokes, then
nip in for your damaging command
throw. Finally, his Critical Art is
amazing – it has a tidy, five-frame
start-up, and surprisingly good range.
Use it to counter-attack scrubby
Ryus who spam fireballs, and bury
their heads in the concrete. Lovely.
StrEEt FigHtEr V tipS
Mastering mix-ups
Okay, this is the bit in the training montage
when the music swells and it all starts making
sense. Mix-ups are about making your
opponent think you’re going to do one thing,
then doing something different. It forces your
enemy to guess how you’ll attack, and lets you
play all sorts of devious mind games. Let’s
use the meaty as an example. Hit it once or twice, and a smart
opponent will learn that they have to block on wake-up, not jab.
Move in after you knock them down and they’ll be expecting the
same again. But you throw them. Knock them down again and
they’ll be expecting another throw. So go back to the meaty. It’s a
fundamental element of Street Fighter that can be applied across
your entire game. Fake your foe into guessing your next move,
and punish them. Congratulations: you’re a cerebral assassin.
We’ve got
you recovered
Now for some fundamentals. Street Fighter
V has three recovery options when you’re
knocked down, and you need to know how
and when to use all of them. Hit down when
you land to perform a quick recovery, which
will have you quickly return to your feet, or
press back to hop backwards and put some
space between you and your opponent. The
third option is doing nothing, which will
perform a standard, slow recovery. Use them
all, and try to understand how your opponent
will pressure you.
Avoid stun using
If you’re taking heavy damage and
your stun gauge is filling up, use your
V-Reversal. It sounds obvious,
but few players use
it effectively. Many
have lengthy animations that
give you time to completely
recover. It’s the perfect opportunity
to get back in, but more importantly,
it doesn’t leave you stunned and open
to a combo that could remove a
third of your health.
Serve up some meaties
Meaties are what will change your game the
quickest. We explain in tip #10 exactly how
frame data works, but what’s important
for now is knowing that with meaties,
all that matters are the final active frames.
The plan is to attack your enemy as they get
up – shhh, it’s not dishonourable – timing
the active frames so they connect as late as
possible. It’s best to use a medium attack
that opens a combo, or even better, a Crush
Counter. If they try to throw a jab on wakeup, your attack will connect at the same time
and beat it. Timing is crucial.
StrEEt FigHtEr V tipS
Hone your reactions
All of this stuff can be practised in Training
mode. You can set the dummy to attack with
a jab on wake-up, allowing you to nail the
timing for your Crush Counters. You can also
set guard recovery actions. Set up the dummy
so that it throws out a jab after blocking,
then hit it with a move that leaves you at an
advantage on block, before striking with a
medium attack. This is an excellent way of
learning how your frame traps work. Best of
all, you can mix your options, and practise
reacting to different scenarios. If you see a
human opponent repeatedly spamming the
same move effectively, use Training mode
to learn how to punish it.
Learn attack priorities
People often talk about Street Fighter
being the rock-paper-scissors of fists
– a lazy way of describing it, perhaps,
but fundamentally correct. If two attacks
connect at the same time, Street Fighter V
has a system for deciding which one ‘wins’.
Generally, the more powerful the attack,
the better. So, if you’re hit with a light
punch and you connect with a medium
kick, only the kick will cause damage. Likewise, heavy attacks
beat medium ones. The tradeoff is that weaker attacks are
usually quicker, and will connect before stronger ones. The
system only works when you’re trading blows, so it’s all about
gaming that system, something we’ll come back to in tip #10.
Crush candy
Again, this might seem like an obvious one,
but landing Crush Counters should be oh-sohigh on your list of offensive priorities. Every
character has at least two moves that act as
Crush Counters. Make sure that you learn
’em. Yep, all of ’em. Most importantly, also
practise how to follow them up to really take
full advantage. Mika, for example, has to dash
in after landing her dropkick. It’s unintuitive,
but the massive rewards make it well worth
practising. Also, learn to land Crush Counters
with your meaty attacks – remember what
we said in point #4? – and punish whiffed
moves such as Dragon Punches.
Owning wake-up
A word of caution about the meaties
mentioned earlier: these are risky against
characters with invincible attacks such
as Dragon Punches. Yet you can spin this
knowledge to your advantage. Use mix-ups
and pressure to bait out Dragon Punches on
wake-up, block instead of attacking, then
punish. If your opponent doesn’t have any
decent wake-up specials, even better news:
R Mika, Karin, M Bison, Laura, Zangief and
Nash are super-easy to punish on wake-up.
Keep on them, forcing them to waste meter
on EX versions of their specials.
Study the frame
data… no, really
Having established
how Street Fighter V’s
roshambo-fu works (#8),
you need to start using it.
Frame data is essentially
what happens when
maths meets martial
arts… wait, no, come back!
It’s less terrible than it
sounds. Every move has a
number of start-up frames.
This is how long it takes
you to chuck out an attack.
There’s also specific data for what
happens when a move is blocked, and
when it connects. So, if a move has a seven-frame
advantage on hit, you can link it to any other move
that has a start-up of seven frames or less. Make
sense? That info alone won’t change your game, but
frame traps will. Find out which attacks leave you at
an advantage on block, then follow them with moves
that beat your rival’s counter-attack. For example,
Chunners’ s.MP leaves her at a +3 frame advantage
on block. Follow it up with her five-frame b.HP and
you’ll frame trap (and Crush Counter) anyone who
tries to counter-attack with a three-frame jab. You
can get all the frame data in the excellent (and free)
V-Frames app for Android and iPhone.
“When we said ‘no guns’, we knew that
we wanted to make Faith a projectile.
She needed to be the weapon.”
Interactive iPad edition also available
Discover the story behind the new
Mirror’s Edge in issue 293, on sale now.
Try two free issues of the iPad edition
today – search “Edge” in the App Store
You will receive two free issues (the current issue and the next issue) when you
start a no-obligation trial subscription to Edge’s iPad edition. Available to new
subscribers only. iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc, registered in the US
and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
OPM scOres
gOld award
awarded to a game that’s
brilliantly executed on every
level, combining significant
innovation, near-flawless
gameplay, great graphics
and lasting appeal.
editOr’s award
not at the very highest
echelon, but this is a game
that deserves recognition
and special praise based on
its ambition, innovation or
other notable achievement.
the kind of phenomenal
experience rarely seen in
a console generation.
unreservedly brilliant – this
should be in every collection.
Very gOOd
a truly excellent game, marred
by just a few minor issues.
a great concept unfulfilled or
the familiar done well, but still
well worth playing.
fun in parts, flawed in others,
but more right than wrong.
80 dark
sOuls iii
it’s series finale time for from’s
patience-sapping rpg, but is it
any good? we show no mercy…
what you expect and little
more, this is for devotees only.
belOw aVerage
any bright ideas are drowning
in a sea of bugs or mediocrity.
a seriously flawed game with
little merit on any level.
disgraceful: the disc would be
more beneficial as a coaster.
own this and you’ll be swiftly,
justifiably, exiled from society.
uncharted 4: a thief’s end 74 | uefa euro 2016 84 | trackmania turbo 85
enter the gungeon 86 | ratchet & clank 88 | minecraft story mode 92
severed 93 | rÉpublique 94 | stikbold 94 | unepic 94 | mlb: the show 16 95
glory huNtEr
4: a thiEF’s
PS4’s new gold standard
Format PS4
Eta Out NOw
DEv Naughty DOg
ou’ve worked this out already
by glancing at that score, but
here’s written confirmation.
The wait has been more than
worth it. Nathan Drake’s final
journey is the one that Sony’s
greatest action hero deserves.
Uncharted 4 has sections,
and set-pieces, that need to be played to be
believed. It looks phenomenal. It delivers you
back into a world, and storyline, that you never
want to leave. It is, without question, the best
game in the series – and PlayStation 4’s finest
hour so far.
Drake rocking it cosmetically in his bonafide
current-gen debut is hardly a surprise, but it
merits praise, regardless. Screen-grabbers will
mash the Share button relentlessly, as a feast
of incredible vistas and obscenely well-crafted
details makes Uncharted 4 the best-looking
game on any console. Character models and facial
animations are pretty much flawless, sailing over
the uncanny valley as a whole host of smirks,
eyebrow raises and furrowed brows translate to
the most natural looking of performances.
NEvEr too NatE
I’ll try not to drop spoilers, but the story requires
discussion at least. With Nate happy(ish) in
his new – very legal – job of hauling marine
wreckage, he gets a visit from the ghost of older
brother past. Sam Drake, who shares the same
“a feaSt Of iNcreDible viStaS
makeS uNcharteD 4 the beStlOOkiNg game ON aNy cONSOle.”
Don’t look so confused
Drake, that’s definitely
a 10 we’re slapping on
your series finale.
above Henry Avery’s a pirate king, is it any
surprise he’s left behind some wreckage?
Drake’s new job as a
clock repairman doesn’t
seem to be going to plan.
above left
Remember the E3
car chase demo?
It’s astonishing.
above right Good
news: your AI
buddies are handy
with a piece.
left There’s
still nothing as
satisfying as a
one-punch finish.
right Sam Drake
is charmingly
headstrong and
just as likeable
as his l’il brother.
roguish glint in the eye, but is sporting some
intriguing tats and appears a little more wizened
from wasted years, comes back to ask his little
brother for help. From there, the Brothers Drake
resume their lifelong race for the vast reams
of treasure that belonged to Pirate King Henry
Avery against the smarmy Rafe Adler.
raFE to thE FiNish
That’s purposefully as vague as possible. Not
only due to my spoilers caveat, but also because
A Thief’s End adds enough elements to its story
formula to bubble in a different way. Gone is
the rat-a-tat-tat pacing of Among Thieves and
Drake’s Deception, in which the story scarcely
lets you breathe. This entry is more self-assured
in the ebb and flow of quiet exploration, allowing
its leads to make their impression before building
to those standout set-pieces. Following The Last
Of Us, Naughty Dog is clearly high on confidence,
and does a superb job of
enhancing Uncharted’s charm.
Not that you’re chucked
in at the deep end. There’s a
deft touch to the opening few
chapters that keeps the action
light, the scope tight, and
uses its linearity to build to
what’s coming later. One such
chapter merely explores where
Drake and Elena are in their lives – it’s not only
vital to A Thief’s End, but joyously mundane in
a way that previous entries didn’t dare try to be.
The opening hour eases you through the small
beginnings until you meet that long lost brother.
Sam is certainly cut from the same cloth as his
sibling – when they’re together, there’s an easy
rapport between the two as they trade quips and
chuckle their way through scrapes and scraps
that perfectly demonstrate why Nate is so willing
to join him for one final adventure.
Too often in games, a previously unheard-of
family member is introduced to a story, with an
expectation that you’ll automatically care about
them. That’s not the case with Sam, who is just
as important to this adventure as Nate, without
being a carbon copy. This adds a fascinating
dynamic to the family unit Nate’s made in
the years he thought his older brother had
shuffled off the mortal coil. It also shouldn’t
come as any great shock, but Nolan
North and Troy Baker turn in career-best
performances, riffing off each other as if
real-life siblings.
Similarly, Uncharted 4 also boasts the
series’ most fascinating villains. While Rafe’s
rich-boy-gone-wrong hits all the moustachetwirling beats, it’s partner Nadine who impresses
the most, with her love of smacking both Drakes
around, and cold disdain for anything that isn’t
money or ageing heartthrob Victor Sullivan.
Even the Shoreline cannon fodder she
commands are fun company, sporting the best
South African accents since Lethal Weapon 2’s
“diplomatic immunity.” You never tire of ’em.
The reason, however, that this is the best
Uncharted story is that while the franchise’s
charm and light touch remains, it also veers
into what makes Nate tick in a way previous
entries didn’t. For the first time, this is a Drake
with real, ugly flaws, and A Thief’s End doesn’t
let him off with a shrug and wink. This isn’t
glib moodiness for the sake of
it. There’s an uncomfortable
familiarity to some of his
interactions later on that
speak to Naughty Dog’s evermaturing writing style. In
short, he’s occasionally an
arsehole – and all the more
human (and therefore richer
as a character) because of it.
That evolving style can also
be seen in a different way with
the expansive approach to level
design. As you progress, the
game seems to get bigger and
bigger, each level branching
off in different paths that
always guide you to the same
place. This time you really feel
like an explorer, probing the
frosty caves
or tropical
islands, each
level boasting
a sense
of scale
that never
but feels grander than what’s
come before. As a result, little
secrets feel that much more
rewarding – most come by
tearing yourself off the beaten
track, rather than stumbling
across them.
Exploring and clambering
has never been more enjoyable,
either. While the driving
sections are essentially a way
to make the larger levels easier
to get across and provide the
basis for one of Uncharted
4’s standout moments, they
are also decent in their own
right, with a strong amount of
skidding potential from tapping
the handbrake, and a welcome
inability to wreck vehicles.
“bOth NOlaN NOrth
aND trOy baker
turN iN career-beSt
Below Sexy,
Nate is back
in full force.
In another life,
he would be a
perfume model.
graPPlE hookED
Most fun of all in terms of
traversal mechanics is the
grappling hook. As vital to this
Uncharted as crafting is to The
Last Of Us, the metal claw of
awesome adds an extra layer
of butt-clenching terror as you
line up jumps, then prepare to
smash o to chuck it out.
It mixes up the climbing
by affording you more control
of Drake, and injects an extra
touch of pace into scaling
cliff faces. Even in the actionheavier sequences, there’s a
special joy in using it as ‘get
out of jail free’ card, allowing
you to stay one step ahead of
the messes you create while
firing off your gun.
Thankfully, Nate hasn’t
become a pacifist between
entries, and Naughty Dog
doesn’t tinker with the bulletplay too significantly. Aiming
is a tad quicker than in past
outings – you can always mess
around with the sensitivity as
well – and guns pack more of
a visual punch, with enemies
staggering and cover crumbling
much more frequently.
Fisticuffs remain similar,
but deliver more contextual
actions with your gang or the
environment – our favourite
being when Drake grabs an
ally and swings them into a
Shoreline fool. It amounts to
a sweet blend of the familiar
and the fresh with regards to
slinging your knuckles about.
While shooting and
scrapping is similar, the
architecture of fights has
undergone a quietly radical
rehaul between Drake’s
Deception and A Thief’s End.
Each conflict starts with Drake
in stealth mode, from where he
can tag enemies to keep track
of them wandering around
using alert phases. White
means they’re looking at you,
yellow that they’re investigating
and orange is, er, not good,
as they’re going to start firing.
While stealth is a constant
in the series, this refocusing
enables more freedom than
past entries’ cover-based antics.
shorE thiNgs
An early firefight in the ruins
of a graveyard quickly shows
how this approach improves
the combat. After using more
dynamite than is advisable,
a squad of Shoreline mercs
decides to check out the
explosion. As Drake crouches
in the long grass, you can/
should tag enemies to follow
their movements, but are left to
tackle them however you like.
Cracking a few necks quietly
is always the best option,
with going loud usually being
a last resort, as enemies are
quite happy to suck up more
ammo this time if you miss
their faces. I take one out who
wanders near my crouching
position, before moving over
to some ruins to get a height
advantage and tagging the
remaining suckers.
Hang on, maybe I shouldn’t
be peeking out so much, as a
guard is now investigating. Not
to fret. I inch along the wall
Drake is clinging to, and drop
right There’s
a return to the
lush greens
of Drake’s
Fortune, but
it’s even more
gorgeous now.
left Hope
you’ve got some
Daz back at the
hotel, Drake.
Those stains
are as stubborn
as your brother.
on him, Drake’s flying punch my new favourite
finisher. With only a handful of mercs left, I
unholster the Para. 45 and get ready to dish out
some delicious lead suppers. It’s by no means
the most sophisticated stealth system, but a
satisfyingly meaty upgrade on the smaller-scale
shootouts of its past. Plus it makes sense for
Drake’s scrappier style as a fighter, its simplicity
combining well with the multi-level arenas to
create more natural shootouts.
Unfortunately, this openness sometimes works
against you. Plan A can disappear out of the
window pretty quickly, at which point going back
into stealth requires you to climb up or down a
structure, while avoiding the gang of goons who
are pumping death at you. It’s not uncommon to
get caught out by a flanking enemy – fair play
to the AI this time, as it’s much more intelligent,
quickly trying to surround you – creating an
unmanageable, chaotic mess. These sections
sing when you control the fights, swinging
and sneaking through waves, or engineering a
situation where you rain death and destruction
“thOSe SPecial Set-PieceS
are NOw SurrOuNDeD by
aN aDveNture aS StrONg.”
with a squeeze of the trigger
– just wait until you discover
the thunderous ARX-120. But
it can all become unwieldy a
little too quickly, and getting
caught in a maelstrom of pain
frustrates. Mercifully, it’s not
a regular occurence.
sEt-PiEcE oF DrakE
Where you’re all too happy to
be caught in the eye of a bodyshattering storm is within
the game-defining, and now
series-defining, moments –
set-pieces in which the camera
swirls around Drake as he finds
himself falling into and/or
sprinting away from engulfing
danger. While Uncharted 2 and
3 defined themselves on these
spectacular scenes, A Thief’s
End doesn’t rely on them as
liberally, instead utilising them
where absolutely necessary –
and, therefore, to astonishing
effect. Such scarcity makes
them all the more special.
There are elements of these
grandiose game-stoppers that
pay homage to the past in
subtle (and not so subtle) ways.
But Naughty Dog remains
the master of ensuring you
have enough control to feel
like you’re not just a passive
spectator. You’re guiding his
tumble back to the ground,
clawing and gripping on
anything that comes to hand,
or improvising a way to
stupidly swing back into the
fray. That amazing disbelief you
had when hanging off the plane
in Drake’s Deception or fleeing
a helicopter in Uncharted 2 is
here. It’s just that now, those
scenes are surrounded by an
adventure that’s just as strong.
While A Thief’s End gets
so much right, it’s also not
without nitpicks. The optional
conversation prompts are
bizarrely rare and hardly
crop up later in the story.
They’re inoffensive and
add a little personality to
some interactions, but just
have minimal impact on the
experience overall – kinda
the opm breakdown
w h at y o u d o i n… u n c h a r t e d 4
24% checking
amazon for
real-life grapple
hook prices.
9% flicking
through the
journal to find
all the jokes.
1% Okay, you’ll
know what is
when you see it,
but i won’t spoil
the surprise.
above Here’s an
aerial takedown
in its full glory.
Even the
punch-ee looks
14% Staring
slavishly at the
clouds of smoke
that plume away
from explosions.
Pausing the
game to catch
your breath after
16% bellowing
as much as Nate
when you miss
the pesky merc
who flanks and
ends you.
m u lt i p l ay e r
we’ll have a full review
once we’re on the
servers, but recent
beta play offers hope.
fantastic level design
and pacey action keeps
deathmatches fresh,
while goofy power-ups
are surprisingly
well-balanced. lots to
look forward to, then.
right Seriously,
Uncharted 4 is
a screenshot
treasure trove.
s tat pa c k
13 23 36 48
PErFEct trEasurE
The niggles and frustrations
matter little when Nate’s
fourth outing has you rocking
on the sofa without even
realising it. Uncharted 4 may
PS4’s last visual
champion is blown
away by Drake’s
stubbled chops
and curled grin.
Sure, you get three
uncharteds in the
collection, but none
of them reach
these heights.
Super close, but it’s a
touch more enjoyable
spending time with
the cast of a thief’s
end than Joel and ellie.
a Bl
ivE Dis
u Ns t
trophy cabinet
r at
Naughty Dog’s victory lap
is a celebration of its past,
present and future, with clever
pacing and thrilling set-pieces
surpassing expectations in its
most exhilarating uncharted to
date. No PS4 should be without
this. buy. it. Now. Ben tyrer
is it better than?
shh s
be an epilogue in comparison
to the PS3 trilogy, but it will
be remembered as the series’
definitive game. Everything
the series does well, A Thief’s
End improves on. Everything
it introduces, it does so
comfortably and confidently.
While it’s the adventure’s
quietest and most surprising
moments that you’ll rush to
talk about once the screen
fades, it shouldn’t detract
from the peerless set-pieces,
fantastic writing and propulsive
action that it conjures up.
“Alright, I’m not going to lie,
this is pretty awesome,” Drake
grins to himself, early on in A
Thief’s End. He’s not wrong.
Total number
of journal notes
and journal
entries that
are waiting
to be found.
like speed dating. Similarly
the Piton, the climbing spike
that allows Drake to make his
own hand-holds on some cliff
faces, arrives late in the day
and doesn’t change the feel
of climbing in the way the
grappling hook does.
Also, as the final chapter
of the overall series – and
again, I’m writing this while
trying to give away as little as
possible – it’s a slight shame
that it ends fairly unevenly. The
last in-game chapter rushes
itself, leaving a slight deflation
to what is otherwise a near
flawless story. It pulls itself
back, however, with a coda
that sums up what makes this
series so special. Ultimately, it’s
possibly my favourite ending to
any Naughty Dog game.
Fancy a natter?
You’ll find this
many optional
the story.
you’re a regular Solid
Snate, stealth taking
down at least 30
enemies. Don’t
forget to tag ‘em.
forget the treasure
hunting, you’re also a
killing machine, taking
out 100 enemies in a
row without dying.
lu Do
above The Brothers Drake, who love their bikes almost as much as each other.
Number of hours Chapters that
you can expect
you’ll need to
to be spending
shoot and
with Nate before stealth through
to see how this
his final fate.
thief ends.
everyone’s favourite
uncharted criticism
gets its own shout
out, if you manage
to off 1,000 foes.
Combat demands careful
attention to attack
patterns and your
character’s limitations.
“EvEn a low-lEvEl foE can bE
your doom, thanks to a hugE
array of tricks and tactics.”
DIe harDer
Merciless climax to gaming’s
greatest action-RPG series
Format Ps4
eta out now
PuB bandai namco
Dev from
fter the filth of Irithyll jail,
the radiance and space of
Archdragon Peak can be
overwhelming, like being
shown an aeroplane window
after having your head
shoved down the cabin
toilet. The prison is a place
of stealth and terror. It’s patrolled by cowled
women clutching red-hot brands, twisted
exiles from the Profaned Capital who can
sear away your health bar with a stare.
But Archdragon Peak? It’s all hazy blue skies
and serene marble cliffs. What could possibly
go wrong here? Stepping away from a bonfire
checkpoint, we take a moment to drink in the
beauty of a tumbledown fortress wall. Then,
a dinosaur in a dressing gown drops off a
platform and flattens us with an enormous axe.
knIght watch
The Souls games are built around such hilarious,
maddening reversals, and few things are as
satisfying as clocking an ambush and working
out how to thwart it. But after four instalments,
the old bait-and-switch routine is becoming
a little too predictable. Spotted a knight facing
the other way? Check the rafters for archers
before moving in. Glowing trinket down the hall?
Keep an eye peeled for corpses gripping weapons.
The air of over-familiarity applies to more
than just enemy distribution. Dark Souls III
is, as expected, a brilliant and sophisticated
epic, combining the best melee combat in the
business with decadent, tortuous environments
and expertly crafted bosses. But it’s a work of
consolidation rather than change, marshalling
systems and lore from across the series into
what is, at times, the definitive Dark Souls,
while adding little that feels genuinely fresh.
The setting is another kingdom whose rulers
have been corrupted by power and forbidden
Fast travel between bonfire
checkpoints is now available
from the off. But you still
have to activate them first…
right Top
tip for tough
bosses: roll
towards them.
left Even the
books want a
piece of you.
Take care not
to get cursed.
knowledge. Your task, as a resurrected but cursed
warrior, is to bring them to heel by straight-up
murdering everybody and offering their remnants
at this game’s Firelink Shrine. The latter is more
of a distinct customisation hub than in the
original Dark Souls. It’s home to a Firekeeper
who boosts your stats in return for harvested
souls, a blacksmith who takes care of weapon
upgrades, and a selection of oddball personalities
who must first be rescued from the world. All
these characters are on personal journeys, and
you need to pay close attention to the dialogue
if you want to explore their stories to the end.
ShaDow Play
Structurally, Dark Souls III falls between the
entwined geography of Dark Souls – essentially
a colossal tower with routes woven around and
through it – and the looser, less engaging layout
of Dark Souls II. Having fast-travel between
bonfire checkpoints available straight away
threatens to make progress feel choppy, but you
still have to reach those bonfires to activate them.
“wEaPons rangE from
thundEring grEatswords
to barbEd gauntlEts.”
You can also, as in the first
game, see most major locations
clearly from a distance – a
forest lurking beneath a ruined
bridge, or a frosty citadel
rearing against the Moon –
which creates a sense of global
coherence even Bethesda could
learn from. Individual areas
can be quite linear, but there’s
always plenty to discover
– illusory walls, smashable
objects that mask shortcuts or
discreetly jutting beams that
offer hidden routes to items.
Covering ground is tough,
so stumbling upon, say, an
elevator that links a building’s
threshold to its highest tower
is often as elating as beating a
boss. Just don’t get too carried
away. Even a low-level foe can
be your doom, thanks to a huge
array of tricks and tactics per
enemy type, and death bites
harder than in most games,
with all your accumulated souls
dropped in a puddle by your
corpse. Fail to reclaim them,
and they’re gone forever.
Combat is faster and angrier,
a mixture of Bloodborne’s
cat-footed manoeuvring and
classic Souls defensive play.
It revolves, as ever, around
a stamina bar that’s drained
by attacking, blocking and
dodging. Exhaust it and the
next hit sends you reeling.
Weapons – which range from
thundering greatswords and
poisoned spears to whips and
barbed gauntlets – now have
category-specific skills such as
fiery groundpounds or guardbreakers that can turn a losing
fight in your favour.
tough love
The skills system isn’t a
dramatic alteration, but it’s
another welcome layer of
complexity, particularly when
it comes to competitive
multiplayer, which once again
sees you invading another
player’s session using certain
items. You can also form
“covenants” with NPCs. These
shape the multiplayer options
the opm breakdown
w h at y o u d o i n… d a r k S o u l S i i i
10% creeping
around corners
or through doors,
shield firmly up.
16% failing
to roll under
an enormous
blade or blast of
malignant sorcery.
Sadly contemplating
something ghastly
that is about
to absolutely
destroy you.
14% clapping
your hands as you
discover a secret
or shortcut.
above There
are dozens of
weapons and
spells, some
familiar from
the original.
16% deciding
which weapon to
reinforce, which
stat to raise or
spell to buy.
19% scraping
by way of
surgical blocks
and dodges.
Second opinion SoulS Survivor
Utterly magnetic, the series finale fuses the
first Souls’ labyrinthine environments and
defensive play with the melee savagery of
Bloodborne to all-consuming effect. I’m playing other
games in a daze, visions of boss fights dancing in my
head. Innovation is lacking, but does it matter? I’d trade
actual souls for just one... more... try... Jen Simpkins
right The
and backdrops
are stupefying.
So, at times, is
the framerate.
the firSt five hourS…
above Pure magic users may struggle, but adding a sword works wonders.
available – followers of Farron,
for example, are automatically
summoned to assail players
who enter his domain, while
Blue Sentinels are conjured
to help those under attack by
pesky Red Phantoms. Where
previous games required you
to recover your character’s
Humanity, the online here is
governed by access to Embers
– rare items you can crush for
a health boost and in order to
match-make, but which also
expose you to invasion. It’s a
streamlining of the Humanity
system that asks the same
overall question – is having
a friend to hand worth the
hostility you might attract?
Bosses are where you need
your friends most. Dark Souls
III musters some incredible
specimens – a collective of
undead hunters who are as
happy to kill each other as the
player; a forlorn demon king
waiting on the shores of a
volcanic lake; a possessed tree
in the process of giving birth to
something worse. All represent
a formidable challenge, though
none are a match for the best
bosses of the original game.
Still, coming second to the
first Dark Souls is nothing
to be ashamed of, and Dark
Souls III hardly puts a foot
wrong otherwise. The only
significant scratch in the
polish is the performance, with
framerates sagging noticeably
during crowded skirmishes,
and texture pop-in a factor
throughout. But the lure of
those dizzying encounters
and vistas amply exceeds any
annoyance about the engine.
This isn’t quite a stunning
rebirth for the series on
PS4, but it’s undoubtedly
a magnificent end.
1 cobble together a vaguely human-looking Pyromancer. from’s face
editor would make a wrestling game feel ill. 2 Pull a sword out of a
dude who immediately murders us. samaritans die hardest. 3 we’re
in lothric castle. here be dragons. handily, you can trick them into
blasting other enemies. 4 time for another boss. this one likes to
vomit glaciers. 5 below the castle, an undead village festers.
compel-o-gr aph
Hey, halberds
Oh no, archers.
secret area?
To me, white
60 hours
iS it better than?
dark souls iii rarely innovates,
but it experiments within the
souls parameters to grotesque
and glorious effect. another
game of the year contender,
then. edwin evans-thirlwell
the world of lothric
isn’t as cunningly
woven or enigmatic as
lordran and feels
slightly over-familiar.
dsiii restores that
sense of organically
unfolding geography
that was lost in
dsii’s drangleic.
from’s first Ps4
game offers more
glamour, more balletic
combat and some
series-best locations.
Squads feel outdated.
The Ox as a starter?
Really, PES? Really?!
Woy zoNE
uEFa Euro 2016
Fab footy outscores lamentable licensing… just
Format PS4
aLSo oN PS3
Eta Out NOw
Pub KONami
eath. Taxes. England screwing up
any chance of international glory
via penalty spot misery. These are
the unequivocal certainties of our
existence on this spinning rock. Oh, and
while we’re sharing an existential moment
together, you better pop ‘PES Productions
making great football games with dreadfully
drab presentation’ onto that list. No matter
how good the on-field action, the developer
can never quite cook up that special sauce to
slather onto its juicy soccer steak.
And that’s the case here. Euro 2016’s take on the
rapidly approaching French footy spectacle lacks
va-va-voom, while its patchy licensing makes
it feel like FIFA’s unloved twin. That’s a damn
shame, because when PES and its new tourney
step onto the field, they’re a lethal front two.
First, let’s clear up some details. Konami has
released both digital and PlayStation-exclusive
boxed editions of Euro 2016, with each version
also containing full-fat PES 2016. So far, so
generous. Even better, existing PES owners get
it added free through March’s Data Pack 3.00
update. Said gratis DLC also sprinkles in 199 new
“Patchy licENSiNg mEaNS
ONly 15 Of thE 24 SidES arE
trEatEd tO PrOPEr KitS.”
player faces, fresh transfers,
new boots (woo!) and Euros
final venue the Stade de France.
The business model may be
commendable, but Euro 2016
is sadly every inch the quickly
trotted out expansion. I hope
you’re hungry, because it’s time
to open wide for some no-frills
football. EA’s full price Euro and
World Cup games may have
been cynical, but at least they
always felt like a celebration
of their tournaments. Here,
competing for the Delaunay
Cup is accompanied by all the
fanfare of dropping a Bovril
into your lap.
Forget about licensed managers
prowling their technical areas;
Euro 2016 doesn’t even include
all 24 of the finals’ licensed
sides. Only 15 teams are treated
to their proper kits, meaning
nine nations – including
Ireland, Belgium, Sweden
and Switzerland – all draw
that unlucky chamber in PES’
continued game of Russian
roulette. Oh, and the Ruskies
don’t get their strip either.
Though nine teams must put
up with generic clobber, at least
they all get real player names,
with the majority sporting
the series’ always spot-on
likenesses. Yet with only one
licensed stadium, dreary menus
and low quality FMV intros,
the tournament can come
across as an afterthought.
There is a saving grace,
and it’s a big one – this is a
fundamentally brilliant football
game. Add the Euros to PES
2016’s already title-winning
squad and the overall package is
a bonafide winner. Its passing
matches FIFA blow for blow,
while sharper slide tackles and
crisper shooting mean games
are punchier than EA’s soccer
juggernaut. A sublime on-pitch
effort then, but next time,
Konami really needs to learn
how to season that steak.
the quality of the footy secures
Euro 2016 a big score, but
presentation and licensing
issues see Konami very nearly
make a hash of an open goal.
Dave meikleham
Par times are represented
as ghost drivers, which
offer a glimpse of the
quickest racing lines.
manic strEEt scrEEchErs
trackmania turbo
Highway to the danger zone
Format PS4
Eta Out nOw
Pub ubiSOft
DEv nadeO
eed For Speed’s plenty fast, Burnout’s
pretty nippy and Driveclub moves
at a fair old clip, but Nadeo’s latest
leaves these motoring celebs looking
positively pedestrian. Here, you might start a
level suspended from a crane, freefalling 200m
for a running start, before drifting into a tight
hairpin bend. You’ve barely straightened up
before you hit a boost, sending you careening
off a ramp at 500km per hour…
Trackmania is essentially a crazed, colourful and
terrifically quick rollercoaster – a celebration
of unbridled speed that’s festooned with barmy
loop-the-loops and stupefying stunt jumps.
To that end, its single-player campaign boasts
an impressive assortment of impossible track
designs, charting insane corkscrews and longdistance leaps in a Trials-style time-attack
against a variety of spectacular backdrops.
The main campaign mode hosts a generous
200 stages, but that’s not all. It’s accompanied
by a host of multiplayer modes, playable in a
variety of online, split-screen and pass-the-pad
configurations. And then there’s the powerful
course creation toolkit, which even empowers
“crazed and cOlOurful,
it’S feStOOned with
StuPefying Stunt jumPS.”
unimaginative dullards like
us to whip up some swiveleyed nuttiness, thanks to an
interface that emphasises
user-friendly automation
over esoteric tinkering.
racE against timE
But there’s also a serious
side, a side that’s all precision
stopwatches and strict
accounting – the goal of each
single-player stage is to beat
the dev’s punishing par times,
often while avoiding any
number of trackside obstacles
that could torpedo your
promising run. This exacting
edge creates moments of holdyour-breath tension as bracing
as any horror scare. When
you’re pushing your vehicle to
the edge in pursuit of a licketysplit lap-time, you exist in the
exhilaratingly narrow space
between triumph and disaster.
Successfully thread your way
through all of these perilous
impediments and you’re
awarded with a shiny medal. A
bronze, naturally, is the digital
equivalent of a humiliating
slap in the face – a bitter
booby prize for a race hard
run. But a gold, meanwhile, is
a precious testament to your
racing panache, and the sense
of accomplishment evoked is
only heightened by the stiff
challenge on offer in some of
Trackmania’s trickiest tracks.
There’s a fine line between a
stiff challenge and a punishing
slog, however, and Trackmania’s
courses do, at times, present
one cruel twist too many.
At its worst, it can feel as
though Nadeo’s designers are
personally trolling you, placing
mean-spirited hurdles in the
perfect place to scupper your
efforts. But even the odd
spiteful stage can’t dull the
boisterous appeal, and for every
frustrated ragequit it inspires,
there’s an hour or more of big
dumb grins in this flamboyant
bundle of unabashed fun.
a princely suite of tracks,
modes and features all wrapped
up in a colourfully boisterous
package. it’s fast, frenetic and
occasionally just a bit bloody
frustrating. James nouch
There’s lots of delightful
detail in the art, adding
to the pleasure of
making a big old mess.
ShotS FirED
EntEr thE GunGEon
Another arsenal that doesn’t quite stay the distance
Format PS4
Eta Out nOw
Pub DevOlver
DEv DODge rOll
here’s been quite a bit of hand
wringing about the games industry’s
preoccupation with ordnance lately,
to the point where many games often
invite us to question our fondness for digital
destruction. So it makes a refreshing change
to see a developer unashamedly embracing the
way of the gun. Dodge Roll’s sparky twin-stick
dungeon crawler is the kind of game in which
even the bullets shoot bullets.
Just about everything you face is either gun
or ammo-shaped. If not, it’s usually holding
an unfeasibly large weapon or spitting out
projectiles. With the randomly generated floors
throwing out narrow walkways, disappearing
platforms, spike pits and more, staying out of
harm’s way is no easy task. Happily, you’ve
got two secret weapons to call upon: there’s an
evasive roll that gives you a brief window of
invincibility, and blank rounds that act as smart
bombs, destroying every projectile on screen.
The controls can feel lethargic, though you
quickly realise they suit the tempo of the combat.
As busy and frantic as it looks, it’s unwise to
charge into the fray all guns blazing, not least
“the gunS fire bOuncing
SawblaDeS, tentacleS
anD hOming SkullS.”
since whichever dungeoneer
you pick, your starter gun is
a piffling pea-shooter. With
death taking you back to the
entrance and heart pieces
proving scarce, health is an
even more precious resource
than ammo. You need to find
cover wherever possible, which
can involve upending tables
for short-lived protection. A
collectible that leaves enemies
stunned by your furniture
flipping prowess is a godsend.
bullEt ballEt
You expect a challenge from a
game like this, and Enter The
Gungeon doesn’t disappoint.
From a musclebound bird
toting a minigun, to a Gorgon
wielding twin-SMGs, the
bosses are a real highlight,
falling just on the right side
of the fun/frustrating divide.
You might face them a few
times before weaving through
their bullet patterns without
taking a hit, but patient play
is rewarded. The arenas also
give you more room, with
regular enemies killing me
more frequently than bosses.
For a while, you discover
something new on every
descent. A shopkeeper doubles
his prices if you refuse to
stop shooting inside his store.
Release two prisoners and,
for a small fee, they leave a
wider range of weaponry in the
dungeon’s unlockable chests
on subsequent runs. But minor
irritations start to rack up.
While it’s fun to move
from derringers and magnums
to guns that fire bouncing
sawblades, tentacles and
homing skulls, there’s not
enough meaningful variety.
The randomness can grate,
leaving you facing a boss with
your starter weapon, or having
an enemy at the entrance of
a room taking your last sliver
of health. That’s the risk with
guns, we guess – eventually,
you shoot yourself in the foot.
if not quite the diamond
bullet through the forehead it
threatens to be, this enjoyably
challenging shooter roguelike
is a reminder that run and gun
equals fun. Chris Schilling
Format PS4 Eta Out nOw
Pub PQube DEv MileStOne
Format PS4 Eta Out nOw
Nitro+ blaStErz
this motocrosses the line
Hope you’ve got breakdown cover
etting a chase cam right is a fine art.
every dev should look to Driveclub
as an example: an implementation
so good we even occasionally abandon the
in-car view to enjoy it. but if evolution’s take
is a high-water mark, Milestone’s is the
cracked riverbed below. Rigidly locked to the
back of the bike, it emphasises both MXGP’s
jittery handling and shaky framerate. Any
nuance afforded by an admirably detailed
control scheme is lost in a mess of juddering
camera shifts and misjudged corners.
there’s a first-person option, too, but
that comes at the cost of placing you closer
to the ugly brown textures that carpet
MXGP2’s rather lifeless looking world.1
there are some impressive draw distances
to take in across the 18 officially licensed
tracks, admittedly, but this remains an
astonishingly ugly game considering it has
no PS3 albatross version to blame things on.
exactly what is on the screen to justify its
agonisingly long loading times is beyond us.
the custom career and free-ride options
on offer are flanked by a variety of official
events, not to mention a full 2015 rider
roster and broad selection of 250cc and
450cc bikes,2 but despite the confusingly
busy list of options, there’s little to
distinguish the various events other than
their titles. the same is true of the three
physics models on offer, which all inspire a
similar level of indifference as bikes fail to do
what you expect or communicate anything of
their heft or the different track surfaces.
Given the obvious effort that has gone into
providing a generous package
for fans of the sport, it’s a
minor tragedy that there are
so many false starts within.
ben maxwell
FootNotES 1 this introduces realistic starts, with lights replaced
by a badly rendered woman holding a sign. 2 the selection of bikes
and riders on offer is vast, with myriad customisation options.
n first glance at this 2D anime
fanservice fighter, you’d be forgiven
for seeing nothing but niche – there’s
a particularly cavernous one between the
prominent breasts of box-art bombshell
Super Sonico. if you’re into a little titillation
with your brawlers, it’s cute. if you’ve got
niggles about jiggles, it’s offputting.1 but
beyond all the heaving cleavage is accessible
arse-kicking – and hidden depth, too.
Sonico is a zoning character, calling upon
her J-pop bandmates to beat up opponents
while her anti-socially extensive collection
of cats cavorts about her person. Grapplehappy Muramasa’s more technical and, er,
technically a spider-demon. And Saya? well,
she’s just a regular girl in a pretty nightie.
Just kidding – flesh tentacles!
Obstacles between you and smacking
your friends across the jaw with your big
meaty appendage are few.2 everything is
designed to accommodate: quarter-circleheavy inputs, quickly refilling Super bars; the
ability to call in support characters to attack.
there’s even a button to dodge trouble, and
a triggerable variable Rush state that lets
you auto-combo by mashing buttons. why
hello there, breakdown. (i’m fine. it’s what
blasterz calls KOs.)
Yet there’s zero explanation of these
mechanics. You get a barebones Story mode,
Score Attack, versus and Online, but no
tutorial or even Challenge mode for combo
drills. Fighting enthusiasts will uncover
competitive complexity for themselves in
blasterz’ lightning-fast aerial footsies and
intricate parrying options. At
least superficial scraps rule, too:
in all seriousness, this booby
fighter’s got a great personality.
Jen Simpkins
FootNotES 1 You’ll adore or abhor the bikini costume DlC.
Personally, i remain unconvinced of the bullet-resistant properties
of swimwear. 2 that sounded less wrong in my head.
Format PS4 Eta Out nOw
aDam’S vENturE:
You won’t Adam and eve it
here’s nothing quite like the sensation
of solving a satisfyingly tricky puzzle
– the feeling of working through all a
conundrum’s possible answers to reach that
one, incontrovertible solution. Alternatively,
if you prefer to bash out a couple of guesses
before fluking your way onto the right
answer, here’s a bargain bin adventure
that’ll allow you to do just that, such is the
simplicity of its all-too-basic brainteasers.
Adam’s venture isn’t merely puzzles,
and its globetrotting narrative follows a
cocksure indiana Jones-type as he traverses
crumbling temples, evades nefarious
corporate goons, and even confronts an
ancient evil. Yet while that might make for
a compelling back-of-the-box summary,
in practice, it’s an excuse for unresponsive
platforming, instant-fail stealth sections,
and a bit of gentle Christian sermonising.1
what’s more, the lead character just
isn’t likeable. Adam tosses out one-liners
with gleeful abandon, but his witticisms
simply never land. Sometimes they’re
marred by ropey voice acting. Occasionally
they’re faintly sexist.2 Above all, they’re
just consistently unfunny, like playing as a
concussed nathan Drake.
On a technical level, the game is simply a
shambles, with amateurish animation and
obtrusive texture pop-in accompanying your
every step. Couple those troubles with some
truly dated visuals, and the overall effect
is to completely rob Adam’s venture of any
sense of spectacle. Yet while there’s little to
recommend this Christian caper,
it’s too breezily straightforward
to be truly hateful either. Just
don’t go in expecting a religious
experience. James Nouch
FootNotES 1 One crummy conundrum has you rearranging bible
verses. 2 Adam’s attempts at flirtation are especially bizarre, and
include unprompted compliments on a woman’s smell.
“SerieS callbackS are
beautifully crafted – grinding
along railS never felt So Slick.”
This fuzzy dude is the
galaxy’s main star – but
plenty of smart-mouthed
NPCs dazzle, too.
ShEEP ShootEr
Riveting reboot proves retro’s
got a brand new Blarg
Format PS4
Eta out now
PuB Sony
DEv inSomniac
ou never forget your first KISS
– and Insomniac’s PS2 actionplatformer lived and breathed
that ‘keep it simple, stupid’
principle. It was pure Lombaxhopping, glitterball-blasting,
crate-smashing joy. And the
reboot? Well, pucker up, as the
essential brilliance of Ratchet & Clank is back,
and here’s the tutorial for newcomers: jump,
shoot, smile until you can’t feel your face.
Or at least it would be that simple, were the
expanded Solana Galaxy not freshly stuffed with
distractingly delicious detail. Flinging Day-Glo
space ferret Ratchet (plus metal backpack buddy
Clank) across bustling Metropolis and through
tropical Pokitaru, you admire a glistening,
unfortunate-looking alien here, a spaceshipstudded vista there… aaand oops. Er, you didn’t
need that health bar, did you?
It’s easy to forget about small things like not
getting shot to fuzzy ribbons when the world’s
been polished to a cinematic gloss. This is a
movie tie-in, but movement feels so fluid it’s like
playing the flick itself. The controls are hyperprecise: each nostalgia-powered bounce around
Captain Qwark’s revamped fitness course an
elegant operetta starring your thumbs singing the
praises of 3D platforming. Light, instantaneous,
effortless – how it was always meant to be.
The screws have also been tightened on Ratchet’s
unique arsenal. Each weapon fires its bonkers
load with individual authority – the Combuster
peppers foes with flaming quickfire; the
Pixelizer’s scattershot acid-green ray deploys with
a Space Invaders-esque bloop; the Sheepinator
requires a steady hand with the rangey beam to
get Ratchet up to his elbows in enemy DNA.
Combat is perfectly pitched, with limited
ammo forcing you to switch it up – w pauses
Yep, planet Pokitaru
looks this incredible.
Go ahead and pop
your eyeballs back in.
right New
blaster the
Pixelizer even
works on
mobs – and that
includes bosses.
Left Levels
are bigger than
ever, and sliding
about Batalia on
rails is certainly
no grind (sorry).
the chaos as you nonchalantly, hilariously
consider your weaponry options as if deciding
between types of marmalade at your local Tesco.
Select one, time unfreezes, and a giant tank
bobbing its head to ’70s disco is treated to a
turret-full of flamethrower.
And there are myriad ways to turn up the heat
you’re packing. Bolts – that soar out of smashed
crates in a jingling, sparkling flurry – can be used
to purchase weapons, while hidden Raritanium
shards buy you upgrades. And what’s better than
one homicidal robo-bodyguard? Two homicidal
robo-bodyguards, obviously. Liberal use of your
weapons automatically levels them up – Mr
Zurkon births a Zurkon Jr sidekick at level five
while the Warmonger rocket launcher cheekily
rebrands itself Peacemaker.
And it’s not just the pea-shooters reinventing
themselves. Series callbacks are beautifully
crafted rejuvenations – grinding along rails has
never felt so slick, and Clank’s reprogrammable
Gadgebot puzzle sections offer more to get your
head around than ever.
“one cheat letS you give
ratchet a t-rex head
(but Sadly not tiny armS).”
Completely new additions
are some of the most creative
content in the series, with two
boss battles being highlights –
one’s a round of jetpack-aided
aerial chicken with a returning
star; the other sees a foe using
Ratchet’s arsenal against him.
That Groovitron’s not such a
giggle now, is it? Inevitably,
though, there are downsides to
such extensive tinkering. Is it
a quality tune-up of a classic?
Undoubtedly. Does it bolt
on some cracking new parts?
Absolutely. But have the devs
been overly eager with the
OmniWrench? Perhaps. PS4’s
Ratchet & Clank is so sleek
that its weaker components
almost audibly rattle.
A once-simple story
– plucky Galactic Ranger
wannabe and diddy defect
Warbot fight planetobliterating Chairman Drek –
is now a muddled pastiche. Is
it following the original game’s
plot? Or the new movie’s? And
then there’s the new game’s
Qwark-narrated perspective…
it’s all too much. Movie
characters such as sassy ladyranger Cora and cyborg baddie
Victor Von Ion are jammed in
with little explanation. And
the formerly complex central
friendship? Robbed of screen
time, it falls flat – and in the
critical final hours, questionable
detours, padded-out sections
and a movie-mandated Lombax
strop scramble the pacing.
The sheer amount of tacked-on
stuff extends to the collectibles.
Holocards, excluding the
well-hidden set that earns
you the legendary RYNO, feel
unnecessary – a set might get
you a 5% extra bolts buff or
upped damage on your already
well-upgraded weapons.
It doesn’t help that the
raspberry-blue floozies
practically throw themselves
at you if you so much as
look at an enemy funny.
The cards contain series trivia,
the opm breakdown
w h at y o u d o i n… r at c h e t & c l a n k
3% getting briefly
distracted from
quality gaming by
annoying bugs.
Son of a glitch!
7% Scampering
around puzzle
sections and
away from
danger as the
adorable clank.
Planet and
through the
gorgeous galaxy.
10% chuckling
at the many retro
references and mr
Zurkon’s patter.
15% bashing
every crate,
toolbox and
piece of public
property for
those sweet,
sweet bolts.
20% would you
like your enemies
toasted, pixelised
or sheepified?
above Time to
play as Clank in
a game of jumprope – only with
more lasers
and more death.
s tat pa c k
‘02 11 3 28
right New
sections are a
rush. And yes,
there’s a Star
Fox reference.
The year the
frachise was
born with the
PS2 release of
the original.
Ah, memories.
Planets that
you can bounce,
blast and boogie races to master
your way through – Bronze, Silver
in 2016’s
and Gold
PS4 reboot.
cups await.
Gold Bolts to
find. Getting
them all will
bag you
friends & enemies
above You’ll replay just to see every enemy’s unique Groovitron boogie.
the new ranger seems
lovely. Shame we don’t
really get to know her.
the up your arsenal foe
pops up. where’s your
medical degree, eh?
second opinion clank commander
Remakes are just that – the same old game
updated. But Ratchet & Clank is the first one
I’ve played to actually feel like an entirely new
experience. It’s completely at home in 2016 thanks to
wonderfully expressive visuals and a boredom-staving
pace that transitions between hoverboard races, aerial
dogfights and jetpacking explorations with the graceful
timing of a ballroom dancer. Albeit one with a gun that
turns foes into pixels. Ben Griffin
trophy cabinet
a mP
the final boss fight. Combat
and platforming certainly don’t
offer endless complex depths
to explore, either.
But it’s hard to argue the
nitty-gritty with a game that’s
the best-looking thing on PS4
right now, handles as smoothly
as a buttered dream, and lets
you turn giant flying brainsquids into 8-bit sprites and/
or sheep and/or disco divas.
It’s also difficult to scrutinise
flaws when you’ve a smile
so wide it’s obstructing your
vision. Despite some overcomplications with narrative
and mechanical components,
and a couple of loose technical
screws, Ratchet & Clank’s
return is – quite simply –
glorious fun.
I ha
and make weapons available in
the unlockable Challenge Mode
– it’s a case of little challenge,
little reward. Little point, then.
The new functionality for
the series’ coveted Gold Bolts,
however, more than makes
up for that wasted potential.
They encapsulate the retro,
yet utterly revivified, feelgood spirit of the reboot.
In an inspired twist, the
items are now spent not on
superweapons, but on cheats.
Hunt down the shinies and
you can transform bolts into
Sonic’s rings or Legend Of
Zelda rupees. There’s also a
hipstermatic in-game filter
to unlock (I’ve dubbed it
Clankstagram). One cheat even
lets you give Ratchet a T-rex
head (comically tiny arms are
sadly not included).
I do, unfortunately,
experience a handful of
technical issues – crates pop
in and out of existence, there’s
missing dialogue audio, and I
even glitch into an enemy on
has a penchant for
tailored suits. oh, and
blowing up planets.
hold onto your puny human
eyeballs. despite stumbles, it’s
a gleeful party with old friends
and otherworldly levels of
gorgeous, all at a piffling price
point. Jen Simpkins
become the evil lombax upgrade every weapon
twin of anchorman’s
to maximum level.
brick tamland by
the drunk-on-power
breaking every lamp
cackling is an
in aleero city.
optional step.
holocard trading
might be a bit boring,
but you’ll have to
complete every set if
you want this trophy.
The finale ends on a
cliffhanger as second
season episodes 6, 7 and
8 come later this year.
DiG it
minEcraFt Story
moDE: EPiSoDE 5
Sift through the dirt for a hint of unexpected gold
Format PS4
Eta Out NOw
Pub telltale
DEv telltale GameS
ome of you cannier ’crafters may have
noticed that, after the first episode,
my reviews of Telltale’s interactive
adventure Minecraft Story Mode
disappeared. Full disclosure: I buried ’em.
Along with the memories of clunky combat,
offensively lazy dialogue and the last of any
hoots I gave about the tedious plot. But at the
conclusion of my grind through second-rate
storytelling, I unearthed a gem.
But with the discovery of
an enchanted set of flint and
steel, sparks fly. It’s off through
a portal to Sky City to reach
the mystical Eversource before
rivals the Blaze Rods. Along the
way, we’re treated to – and you
might want to sit down for this
one, Story Mode war vets –
genuinely funny dialogue.
Not that there wasn’t a crunchy layer of the
series’ typical faults to scrape off first. Pickaxedeep in a jungle temple, with puzzles that either
merrily defy all logic or are insultingly simple,
protagonist Jesse and his/her band of blockbusting buddies reminisce. Remember when we
defeated that giant boss? A couple of critically
important characters snuffed it? And everything
felt generally finale-ish? Ah, mediocre times.
Wait, why does this episode exist again?
To have Jesse and friends join the civil
service, presumably. Our heroes, now covered
in glory and the body odour of adoring fans,
inexplicably become town planners. This involves
telling series baddie-turned-lovable slimeball
Ivor, through classic Telltale dialogue options
of varying sensitivity, that his massive,
lava-spewing skull fortress should have had
planning permission. Thrilling.
SKy D’ivor
Fortress enthusiast Ivor is
a riot, fangirling over the
Eversource like a Japanese
schoolgirl and insisting his
“weight is proportionate to his
height!” after he’s hauled from
a cliff edge.
The quality continues, an
intriguing tale of friendship,
jealousy and even politics
weaves through storm-lashed,
monster-beseiged, skydiving
QTE set-pieces somehow as
cinematic as they are cuboid.
And the true nature of the
Eversource? A stroke of comic,
distinctly Minecraftian genius.
By the time the final episode
is cleverly making kid-friendly
quips about the importance
of gender neutrality, I’m as
impressed as I am baffled. This,
from the series that just one
episode ago has your character
study prismarine shards and,
after much contemplation,
announce, “Prismarine is a cool
word. Priiiismarine.”
Sadly, the reality is that
Episode 5 isn’t reason enough
to shovel through this utterly
middling series. Plus the finale
is still hampered by fudgey
combat, limp pseudo-puzzles
and the odd audio bug. Lacking
Telltale’s signature flair for
engaging storytelling, the first
season of Story Mode remains
a potential diamond stuck
firmly in the rough.
a familiarly average start, but
with sharp writing and dramatic
set-pieces, the finale builds to
excellence. Promise in spades,
but I’m glad Season One’s kicked
the bucket. Jen Simpkins
We’re sure an island
full of crazed crows
makes for a wonderful
summer getaway.
armlESS FuN
Slicing through all expectations
Format PS Vita
Eta Out NOw
Pub DriNkbOx
DEv DriNkbOx
rinkbox’s follow-up to Guacamelee
takes about seven seconds to destroy
any expectations you may have. If
you’re awaiting another playful trip
through the underworld, think again. Instead,
this is a brutal journey, one that replaces
the pithiness of Guacamelee with sincerity
and melancholy. Don’t let that put you off,
though, as this mature journey is a fascinating
experiment that fits PS Vita superbly.
Dropping into the boots of the one-armed Sasha,
who awakes in a world in which she doesn’t
belong, you receive a sword and must find her
family across three sprawling areas. Surprisingly,
this is a first-person crawler – like ancient maze
games in which you can look around on the spot,
but only move forwards one room or step at a
time. Initially disorientating, the deliberate speed
suits the contemplative story, as you shuffle and
ponder through Severed’s labyrinths.
Once you adjust to the slower pace, Severed
puts the sumptuous art design front and centre.
It feels like you’re wandering through your own
graphic novel, especially when you first come
face to dripping maw with the monsters you’ll
“NOthiNg SayS jOb well
DONe like StealiNg aN
eyeball Or fiVe.”
be fighting. Putting PS Vita’s
features to the fore, combat is
exclusively flicks of the finger
on the touchscreen.
SwiPE right
To begin with, it almost feels a
little Fruit Ninja-y. But Severed
quickly develops a considered
take on duelling. You fight one
monster at a time, but must
swiftly flick between the group
that surrounds you. Strikes can
be parried by dragging in the
direction of their attack and,
with plenty of different enemy
types, distinct strategies are
required to take on each group.
Plus, in a gorily satisfying twist,
you upgrade your character
by chopping off bits from the
creatures you defeat. Nothing
says job well done like stealing
an eyeball or five.
Unfortunately, it’s not the
most comfortable way to play.
Holding your PS Vita in one
hand and slashing with your
other leads to inaccuracy –
certain encounters trip into
frustration as you need to
manage groups of monsters as
well as a ticking clock. At its
best, there’s a lovely flow to
taking down beasts, but
at its worst, it’s consoleflinging worthy.
On top of that, the
adventuring can lean a little too
much on backtracking. While
there’s nothing wrong with
the Metroidvania abilities that
open up secrets in previously
ticked-off areas – and make
for some effective puzzles
later on – there are so many
secrets buried within each area
that it sometimes feels less
empowering and more of a slog.
But these niggles are
brief and barely matter by
the credits. Severed is an
unusual game that remains
compulsively fascinating,
making full use of PS Vita’s
strengths – feeling like it
couldn’t exist anywhere else –
to craft a quietly moving tale.
beguiling and unique,
Severed’s flaws don’t distract
from an engrossing adventure
that mixes old-school and
contemporary game design.
ben tyrer
Format PS4 Eta Out NOw
Pub GuNGHO ONliNe DEv CamOuflaj
Format PS4 Eta Out NOw
Pub CuRve DiGital DEv Game SwiNG
Format PS4 alSo oN PS vita Eta Out NOw
Pub & DEv a CROwD Of mONSteRS
the art of keeping Hope alive
Don’t dodge this couchplay classic
it’s an accurate name
his dystopian saga was originally a
mobile game – but always seemed
destined for something greater,
hence the leap to PS4. it challenges – both
emotionally, and in gaming terms – from
early on: staring into the panicked face of
a girl named Hope, you learn she’s going
to be ‘erased’ for having a book that
supposedly infects young minds.
Hope is whisked away for a rough
inquisition, observed from the lens of a
nearby security camera. that leaves you
with numerous questions, and République’s
measured pacing throughout five episodes
– as well as subtle narrative clues in the
form of posters, voicemails and newspaper
cuttings – makes for some excellent storytelling throughout.1
the main idea is to bust Hope out of
the building, eluding Prizrak patrols. But
there’s no real sense of urgency when you
realise that getting caught simply means
being tossed in a holding cell you can easily
escape.2 the fun, however, clearly lies in
not getting caught at all.
what’s more, sneaking around is made
interesting by switching between Hope
and the cameras lining the corridors.
this creates an unlikely synergy between
man and machine in a ‘big brother’ state,
especially when you can seal off doors and
override locks to aid our escapee. the fixed
camera angles also present a surprising
sense of realism, though the sudden change
of perspective when entering a new location
can be jarring.
Despite its awkwardness
and repetitive scenarios,
République has heart and a rich,
slow burn plot that keeps you
guessing. rhiannon rees
n instant way to tell whether a
couchplay game is any cop is by the
inability to control your volume while
playing. Stikbold – a reimagining of dodgeball
with a heavy dose of ‘70s style – is a corker
in this regard. Get a group of people playing
and, within minutes, there’s screaming,
air punching and a whirlwind of chortles.
it’s ingeniously simple, with up to six
players (four human, two bots) taking part
in either a free-for-all or team match, the
winner being the last one standing. Games
take place across five wildly different
arenas, all with various environmental
hazards to navigate,1 as well as the ball
you’re dodging. utilising twin-stick controls,
with p for diving and catching, and i for
throwing, it’s supremely easy to pick up and
play from the off, while little touches add
a ton of depth, meaning there’s plenty to
master if you want to get ultra-competitive.
there are even ways for knocked-out
players to keep enjoying the action.2
then there’s the fleshed-out campaign
as well, which you can tackle on your own
or with a mate. the charmingly silly story is
funny, but it’s the boss fights that are the
highlight. they keep the game’s goofiness
– such as using washed-up jellyfish to beat
back waves of lifeguards – while providing
a challenge you don’t get in multiplayer.
Short and sharp, it’s well worth exploring.
Stikbold isn’t without its flaws. it can be
a little too chaotic, with some stages having
too many distractions, while the campaign
can be unbearably tough, especially if you’re
relying on an inconsistent
ai partner. But don’t let that
distract from what this is –
the best couchplay game
since towerfall. ben tyrer
here’s almost a decent little dungeoncrawling RPG lurking somewhere
within unepic. almost. But not quite.
the basic exploration through boxy caverns
is certainly entertaining, as is the gradual
empowerment of your character as you
drop points into various weapon disciplines
and skills. it’s also simple but functional.
for the price, there are definitely plenty of
worse ways to spend some time walloping
worms and orcs with an axe.1
mechanically, however, it’s nowhere near
ambitious enough. Hit monsters to get XP
and get better things to hit them with. then
do it again. and again. it also suffers from
poor art and terrible writing. visually, it’s as
appealing of one of those pop-up ads that
asks you to shoot the target. there’s an
almost childlike level of drawing that looks
terrible when zoomed in, and tiny when not –
reading text is a real squint-fest too.2
it’s also poorly written: various references
are made to Star wars, metal Gear, the
matrix and so on, but with little skill or
charm. there’s a version of Yoda called
Yoghurt, for example. it’s pretty base, too.
the first time you meet a woman, the only
conversation is an excruciating series
of euphemisms for “i want to sex you.”
there’s also a mission in which you have
to rescue ‘females’ that have been
imprisoned next to beds.
it’s a real shame. with some slightly
higher production values, this could have
been easier to recommend. However, that
schoolboy level of… everything – whether
it’s visuals, tone or humour –
drags the whole project down to
a point where it just feels like it
was made by children. and not
in a cute way. leon Hurley
FootNotES 1 Quirky collectibles alert! Hope can pick up indie
game cartridges, echoing République’s origins. 2 Seriously, you’d
think the guards would know what’s up after the fifth breakout.
FootNotES 1 a windy oil rig allows you to push opponents off the
edge or get squashed by a giant whale. 2 Get revenge by taking out
the remaining players with traps and attacks from outside the ring.
FootNotES 1 Combat involves mashing r. Stats rule so high
attack values are more important than skill. 2 the on-screen HuD
is functional but not pretty – info comes at the expense of legibility.
format PS4 also on PS3 eta Out nOw
puB SOnY Dev SOnY San DiegO
this month
on ps plus
There must’ve been something in the
PlayStation water this month – the
April Instant Game Collection looked
distinctly peaky. Giddy space shooting,
zombie-tainted survival horror, cyberdiseases and mutated goldfish all
brought their own infectious strains of
fun. We were more than happy to get
down with the sickness – freebies are
freebies. Even contagious ones.
Base playa
mlB: the shoW 16
Bat slams vs super hands
here was a time when
Sony’s big bopper
scored a run of OPM
10/10s that looked to
be seemingly endless – but
the switch to PS4 last season
saw it come to an end. It’s
not that MLB 15 was in any
way poor, but the removal
of features such as Sounds
Of The Show (in which you
could assign individual walkup or home run music to
any team or player) made the
generational leap feel more
like playground hopscotch.
No such issue this year.
Sounds Of The Show is back,
and PS4’s biggest sports
exclusive finally rekindles the
form that made it so essential
for the first half of this
decade. Its on-field brilliance
comes down to nailing the
fundamentals of baseball in
a way that’s accessible yet
unfathomably deep.
So, in essence, pitching
comes down to three button
presses on a golf-game-style
swing-o-meter, yet there are
endless nuances once you’ve
nailed the basics: different
pitches assigned to different
face buttons, strategies in terms
of aiming at a batter’s hot and
cold zones, and so forth.
Similarly, batting can be
done on timing alone, but the
real skill – and achievement
– comes from using those hot
zones to wait for the batter’s
ideal pitch, before steering it
over the fence. Things naturally
get way, way more strategic
and complex than that as you
play, but the excellently honed
dynamic difficulty mechanic
offers just the right amount
of patronisation-free handholding for new players. Within
mere weeks, you’ll be the
virtual answer to 2016 real-life
super-rook Trevor Story.
life’s a pitch
Presentation-wise, MLB steals
back the ‘just like on TV!’
crown worn by NBA 2K over
the last two years. The Show
looks and sounds like an ESPN
broadcast, but feels like one,
too. That’s thanks to the tiny
details you rarely see in other
sports games – fans grinning
inanely after catching home
runs, commentator discussions
on the umpires’ strengths and
weaknesses, late-game replays
of critical events from earlier
in the same match, and so
on. Throw in three massive
long-term modes – Diamond
Dynasty, Road To The Show
and the always-outstanding
Franchise – and the scope for
bat-swinging, curveball-slinging
happiness here is as vast as
it ever was.
You need to know the sport to
master it – hence no 10/10
this year – but PS3’s greatest
sports series is on the verge
of once more dominating all
contemporaries. Ben Wilson
we all knew DeaD
star was winging its
way to PS Plus after
someone tried to
throw money at it too soon and Sony’s
polite refusal revealed all. But we hadn’t
expected the competitive brilliance of
the PS4 space MOBa-like. ten-player
team skirmishes were as much about
capturing outposts and defensive play
in procedurally generated zones as
they were about firing your ship’s lasers
into anyone who looked at you funny.
antagonising the
undead in survival
horror ZomBi (PS4)
fared less well. a
cricket bat was key to fiendish fights,
but wonky controls and bugs meant it
was occasionally a swing and a miss.
no post-post-apocalypse from actionadventure i am alive on PS3 – the
suffering continued in a decaying city
with murky morality. when sacrificing
lives got heavy, PS3 space strategy
savaGe moon swooped in. Ore-mining
and bug-blasting earned credits for
upgrades, prompting tactical decisions.
Should we buy canny traps, or invest
everything in big nasty machine guns?
and the PS Vita lot was especially
virulent this month. a virus nameD
tom had us inhabit the vengeful digidisease bent on… er, puzzling its way
through more than 50 levels. if the
frustrating difficulty didn’t leave you
queasy, ten-second-level randomised
shoot-’em-up shutshimi had you
covered with a scatterbrained goldfish
with disconcertingly muscular, humanoid
arms. Oof. Pass the bucket.
Your 148-page guide to the world of Minecraft
On sale now!
In print. On iPad. On iPhone.
Find it on the GamesMaster Magazine App
Or visit
this month
how to
on the store
100 Fallout 4 – Far Harbor
It’s back to the Wasteland, as the
first story-based DLC has landed.
Steady your sea legs as there are
plenty of feral nasties awaiting you.
on your xmb
102 Star Wars:
The Force Awakens
Rip out your ’sabers and Force-dim
the lights, BB-8’s made it to Blu-ray.
103 This month’s hottest tunes
online tests
Dirt Rally
How does the punishingly superb new rallying
champion fare on the hazardous online track?
how to…
104 Master Hitman’s Paris
105 Tom
The Division
online tests
what we’re
playing now
multiplayer modes put
through their paces
by our team of experts
andrew Westbrook
learns that playing for
rank simply ain’t fun
My four-wheeled footy
prowess has come on
in jumps and slides. My
poaching days are behind
me (well, almost) and I’ve
actually crafted goals. But
that all means nothing when I foolishly
agree to join a mate in some ranked
co-op play. This buddy lives for Rocket
League. He’s immensely proud of his
hard-earned rank. The barking of
positional orders and the expletiverich questioning of my defensive
“skills” sure make that clear. But it
teaches me just one thing – playing for
points turns you into a right ranker.
tom clancy’s
the Division
it’s a good day for
Ben tyrer to get shot
in the Dark Zone
Finally joining a mate in
Ubi’s post-Black Friday
hellscape means it’s time
to take a first wander into
the lawless Dark Zone.
What a dumb idea. Within
seconds of trying to loot some sweet
beanies, a group of Level 22 NPCs
descend. My chum is a Level 12,
I’m a seven. Slaughter is too mild a
description for what happens and
we’re both immediately tasting
pavement. The Division, sensing we’re
not ready, boots us back outside.
Destiny: the
taken king
Jen simpkins’ one-shot
bird-face does not fly
in the crucible
I just can’t quit this online
shooter. There’s so much
left for me to see and do.
I triple-hop into Crucible’s
PvP carnage for the first
time, proudly rocking
my Celestial Nighthawk helmet. Eat
sextuple the damage, suckers! Except
they don’t. My fiery load misses its
mark, and I’m left impotent. Er,
this never usually happens, I swear.
Switching out my headgear helps my
Golden Gun’s premature problem.
Some loadout-tinkering here, some
heavy ammo there, and I’m thundering
through Venus on a five-kill streak
with a resurrected ego.
Format PS4
revieW ISSuE #122, 9/10
Dirt Rally
The cars aren’t the only things playing dirty
ne of the finest racing games
Codemasters has ever
produced, Dirt Rally is
certainly the dev’s best rally
game to date. But while
rallying is a motorsport that favours
isolated concentration and split times
over bumper-to-bumper action, the
British studio has included a suite of
multiplayer options to help take the
sting off that mud-caked loneliness.
The first of these comprises Daily,
Weekly, Monthly and Special challenges,
in which you can earn chunky wads
of in-game currency (assuming you
perform well). You only get one shot
at posting your time, which serves to
heighten the sense of pressure as
you aim to balance pushing as hard as
possible through every bump and turn
with not stacking your car into the
robust stack of logs lurking on the
inside of that upcoming corner. “Don’t
cut,” our co-driver warns, before we
decide we know best and
add some impromptu
wood effect trim to
what’s left of the bonnet.
Leagues are custom
series that can be set up
online (an option exists
to do so in-game, but
using PS4’s browser
for this can be more
challenging than some of
the rally stages, so we
recommend doing this
via a laptop instead) and
tweaked according to
your particular taste.
Events take the form of
multi-stage seasons
that can be geared
towards the particularly
competitive, the
just-for-fun contingent
and any blend of the two.
In both Leagues and
regular events, you have
to make repairs along
the way, ensuring you
still benefit from time
spent managing your
crew in the single-player
The final piece of the
multiplayer puzzle is
Rallycross, which drops
To TakE US oN FaIRLy.
track recorD
Head-to-head racing is kept
simple by sticking to three
classes of car: Classic, 1600
and Super. There are three
tracks (Hell, Höljes and Lydden
Hill), with eight variations.
Wallets ready: ultimate
Team hits the octagon
Format PS4
PuB Ea
Dev Ea CanaDa
revieW ISSuE #122, 7/10
a solid offering that ties in well with
the main game. Penalties for poor
sportsmanship would improve things,
but what’s here will keep you Scandi
flicking for a while yet. Ben maxwell
While the small amount of online
modes reward commitment
rather than casual play, the
fights are just as chinshatteringly intense. Ben tyrer
With just one shot at
posting times, nailing
a corner’s sweet spot
becomes all-important.
timed runs in favour of simultaneous
four-player clashes. On track, the result
is fantastic, making us hanker for a
TOCa (or at least Grid) reboot, but don’t
expect to find too many honourable
drivers – we’re regularly rammed
mid-corner by cowardly competitors
too afraid to take us on fairly.
When you do find yourself with
the right group, however, it’s a huge
amount of fun, even if the events are
too short-lived to truly compensate for
the amount of time you spend waiting
in the lobby. Compounding the issue is
the absence of a spectator mode while
you’re waiting to join a game (though
you can do so while already in an event).
These are small niggles in an
otherwise solid package, however, and
while new Dirt’s multiplayer options are
slimmer than those found within its
excellent single-player, it’s – ahem –
rally anything less than thrilling.
ood news, big spenders.
uFC 2 takes the ultimate
Team template and makes it
work. The main difference is you
chase moves – say, the Superman
punch – rather than players. The
slow burn, gradual improvement
addiction remains the same and,
once you’re invested, it’s hard not
to want to power through packs.
Elsewhere, Ranked Championships
mode has you moving up divisions,
FIFa Seasons-style. While a few
time-outs looking for games
occur, once you’re in, they run
with minimal fuss, though you’re
left screaming after getting laid
out by a lucky punch. again. There
are also unranked matches for
knockabouts. Sadly, the game’s
best mode – Knockout – doesn’t
feature online. a glaring omission
in an otherwise sturdy offering.
an online wasteland of
bugs and broliness
Format PS4
revieW ISSuE #122, 7/10
e’re desperate to brodown
with four randos in this
spectacular shrine to
muscles ‘n’ guns. Making it happen,
however, is harder than the
love child of Snake Plissken and
John Rambo. For every game we
manage to actually play with online
strangers, there are at least three
in which our character just doesn’t
spawn in, leaving us ruefully
watching other people having fun.
Or worse, a static character doing
nothing. If that wasn’t enough,
there’s a game-breaking bug that
freezes the entire game when
you enter the lobby, forcing you to
close and re-open the application.
There’s just too much hassle. If you
must have the company of others,
you can host games for people
to join – but the reality is you’re
better off broing it alone.
What should have been an
explosion of testosterone-filled
joy is in fact a crumbling mess.
It’s basically Hans Gruber’s plan
at the end of Die Hard. Ben tyrer
on the store
empty your wallets
now with the latest
downloadable diversions
Call Of Duty:
BlaCk Ops 3 –
The second round of
Blops 3 DLC contains
fresh zombies in feudal
Japan and four new
maps. There’s a remake
of Bonsai from World
At War, a space airport,
a volcanic military
complex and a Shaolin
temple on an island.
Fallout 4 – Far Harbor
Bye-bye, Boston. We’re off to solve mysteries in Maine
ored of using the Automatron
DLC to bolt sexy gams onto
loyal robo-butler Codsworth?
We know you aren’t, you
brilliant maniac. But just in
case you fancied something a little
more substantial from your Fallout 4
expansions, story-based Far Harbor
has sailed onto PS4, with plenty of
whodunnit intrigue and higher-level kit.
Located off Maine’s coast, the titular
irradiated island is even bigger than
Oblivion’s Shivering Isles DLC, Bethesda
calling it the “largest landmass for an
add-on we’ve ever created.” But don’t
expect sun-soaked jollies. Higher levels
of radiation mean Far Harbor is
overrun with new, feral nasties.
What’s even more horrifying than
a ravenous new species of lethal
creatures? That’s right,
politics. In your search
for a missing woman,
you’re caught up in the
conflict between the
locals – the Children of
Atom – and the synths.
Hope you’re feeling
Charismatic, as you must
try to restore peace to
the town, whatever that
might cost you. We’re
betting limbs or sons.
What wouldn’t we
sacrifice for more
time with dishy synth
gumshoe Nick Valentine?
Fortunately, you’re
working the case under
Valentine’s Detective
Agency. And as for
investigative tools, well,
there’s nothing better
for subtle sleuthing than
brand new high-level
armour and weapons.
Remember that gorgeous
Drake’s Fortune scene
where Nate finds a U-boat
atop a waterfall? Well,
now you can plonk it on
your PS4 menu screen.
The first of two free
updates includes four
extra-tough multiplayer
Incursions, four new
sets of gear, Dark Zone
supply drops and Loot
trading. The first,
Falcon Lost, is set in an
underground watertreatment facility. Don’t
expect any checkpoints.
far Cry primal –
WEnja paCk
also on Psn
Uncharted dynamic
tOm ClanCy’s
thE DivisiOn –
ant-man Pack
Exclusive to PS3 and
PS4, the Lego Marvel’s
Avengers add-on has you
play shrinking superhero
Scott Lang (and ten other
characters) in a Pym
Technologies level.
SqUarePantS kit
The LBP3 level kit
features 117 stickers, 54
decorations and Sackboy
using SpongeBob’s
excavated body as one of
200 premium costumes.
gaara’S tale
Scenario Pack PS1
Sneak back into Naruto
Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja
Storm 4 with adventure
story scenario “Bonds Of
The Sandy Sea” and three
new secret techniques.
eSPortS Wrc Pack 2
Rally round, race fans,
the WRC 5 DLC adds
six new special stages
in which to compete.
What else do you win?
A new car – the exclusive
Concept Car E2.
Grab the trio of Legend
Of The Mammoth
missions – Hunt The
Hunters, The Trapped
Elder and Duel Of
Beasts. You play as a
mammoth trying to
defend your herd. Or
square off against a
glowing rhino, wielding
your fancy new Blood
Shasti Club and enjoying
extra skins and perks.
We’ve played Platinum Games’
tantalising TMNT title! + Interviews!
Previews of huge console exclusives:
Uncharted 4 and Gears Of War 4
Shenmue III, Mass Effect, Final
Fantasy XV – all the big games!
Join Cloud, Squall and the gang for
a Final Fantasy retro road trip!
... and much more!
On sale now!
In print. On iOS. On Android
Find it in the GamesMaster magazine app
on your XMB
coming soon
16 May
Brie Larson
scooped the best actress
Oscar for her performance
in this drama about a
mother and son imprisoned
in a squalid room.
i Am wrAth
16 May
John Travolta
does his best Liam Neeson
impression in this geriaction
movie about a man out
for revenge following the
murder of his wife.
childhood’S 16 May
Mini-series adaptation of
Arthur C Clarke’s sci-fi
classic about a seemingly
peaceful alien invasion by
a mysterious race.
hired to kill 16 May
Daft, high concept
’90s action movie about
a soldier of fortune who
infiltrates a South American
fortress by posing as a
fashion photographer.
Scott of the 16 May
Ealing Studios’ classic
chronicles the true story
of British explorer Robert
Falcon Scott and his ill-fated
expedition to the South Pole.
Star Wars: The
Force Awakens
Striking back on Blu-Rey
Keep an eye out for Daniel
Craig, who cameos as a
Stormtrooper guarding Rey.
orget navigating an asteroid
field with Darth Vader on your
tail: if you want impossible
odds, try making a follow-up
to the most beloved film trilogy
of all time. Miraculously, The Force
Awakens obliterates any lingering ill-will
after the prequel trilogy left everyone
with a nasty case of the Jar Jars.
Picking up 30 years after the
destruction of the Empire, at a time
when the evil First Order has risen
to fill the power vacuum and the Jedi
are considered myths, it’s difficult
to imagine anyone crafting a more
satisfying Episode VII than The Force
Awakens. As a piece of storytelling,
it’s superb – passing the torch from
the old guard to the new without doing
a disservice to either. Harrison Ford
is wonderful as grizzled smuggler Han
Solo, John Boyega consistently hilarious
as jaded Stormtrooper
Finn and Daisy Ridley the
hidden strength at the
heart of the heroics as
scavenger Rey. Scenestealing ball droid BB-8,
meanwhile, has more
character than the entire
cast of the prequels.
There are niggles:
John Williams’ score is
more a grower than an
insta-classic, while the
plot’s mirroring of A New
Hope can leave it feeling
derivative. But it feels
churlish to criticise given
the magnitude of the
achievement – Star Wars
is back in the most
thrilling way imaginable.
Jordan Farley
16 May
orAnge iS
the new
BlAck: SeASon 3
The third season of the top
Netflix comedy about female
inmates makes its way to
shiny disc this month.
the Big Short 23 May
Star-studded black
comedy directed by
Anchorman’s Adam McKay
that wittily exposes the
amoral chaos in the run-up
to 2007’s financial crisis.
23 May
Powerful true-life
tale about the Boston Globe
journalists who exposed
widespread child abuse
by the Catholic Church. A
worthy Best Picture winner.
the complete 23 May
Star Trek wannabe based
on a Gene Roddenberry idea
that inexplicably made it to
five seasons. Stars former
Hercules Kevin Sorbo.
gooSeBumpS 30 May
Jack Black plays
Goosebumps writer RL Stine
in this meta adaptation of
the cherished children’s
horror series that sees his
creations escape the page.
The set was chilled
to -1°C for parts
of the shoot.
Weezer WEEzER
formAt ALBuM etA OuT NOW price £7.99
In true Weezer fashion, this – their fourth self-titled
album – is known as “The White album.” It’s a goodie,
too: a sun-kissed tribute to California that melds
fuzz-happy guitars and Beach Boys-style vocals into
something both wistful and hella rocking.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino gets cabin fever
ew filmmakers build a sense of
event around their movies like
Quentin Tarantino. That’s why
his latest, a bum-numbing
three-hour Western set almost
entirely in a claustrophobic cabin
shortly after the American Civil War,
comes not only with an overture, but
was shot on 70mm film – a format
scarcely used since the biblical epics
of the ’50s and ’60s. Lest you think this
is grandstanding, Tarantino has also
crafted a tale worthy of this
extravagant cinematic vision.
Caught in a blizzard on the road to
Red Rock, John “The Hangman” Ruth
(Kurt Russell) and his bounty Daisy
Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are
forced to seek shelter in a creaky log
cabin alongside a gaggle of gunslinging
guests. Naturally, “playing nice” isn’t
in anyone’s vocabulary.
Few people write dialogue like
Tarantino and it’s testament to his
abilities that, despite the unwieldy
runtime and theatrical structure, The
Hateful Eight never fails to hold your
attention. Every breath, step and
utterance is loaded with
meaning as wartime
rivalries, intrinsic racism
and the lingering threat
that someone may try
to snatch away Ruth’s
payday keep tensions
on a hair-trigger.
The performances
are superb (particularly
Jason Leigh’s cackling
criminal), the snowswept cinematography
is gorgeous and Ennio
Morricone’s fabulously
foreboding soundtrack
powers the film like a
steam engine.
The undisciplined
runtime, explosions
of stomach-churning
violence and deliberately
dislikeable characters
may prove too much for
some, but otherwise, this
is Tarantino’s best work
since his ’90s heyday.
Jordan Farley
Jessy lanza
formAt ALBuM etA 13 MAY
price £7.99
Like Katy B or
alunaGeorge, Canada’s
Jessy Lanza makes a
modern R&B music that’s
catchy, but smart with it.
Oh No is more upbeat than
her debut, the flicking
rhythms drawing on a
modern club sound, while
being pop music to the
eagulls uLLAGES
formAt ALBuM etA 13 MAY price £7.99
There was always a dark undercurrent running
through the music of Leeds post-punks Eagulls,
but for second album Ullages they go full-on stadium
goth. Echo-soaked drums and shrieking, strangulated
guitars are the order of the day.
zayn BEFOuR
formAt TRACK etA OuT NOW
price £0.99
you’ve got to hand it to exOne Directioner Zayn Malik,
he’s managed to pull off the
often-so-elusive “bloke leaves
boy band, gets a bit good”
manoeuvre with aplomb.
It’s a firm goodbye to
squeaky-clean harmony
pop, and a hello to moody
The Weeknd-style R&B with
lots of smouldering looks
and snogging in the videos.
how to…
Our console medic
fixes your tech woes
with actual science
Master Hitman’s Paris
Killing two birds with one stone cold killer
1 2 3
STEp 1
Let them
eat Lead
STEp 2
room with
a pew,
pew, pew
STEp 3
Let gravity
do the work
the problem
You’ve killed and
killed and killed
some more, but
still can’t secure a
master rank. You
can get there quick
by hitting your two
targets at the same
time, if only they
were together…
Medical school taught me
to do no harm. But it also
taught me to never say no to
freelance games writing. And
to look very, very closely at
contracts. As such, I know that
sniping your way through Paris’
gruesome twosome is all about
getting the setup just right.
You’ll need a mastery level of
five to hide the Jaeger 7 rifle in
the ‘Shed’. You’ll also want to
equip a lockpick and spawn
undercover in the AV Centre.
Steal the fireworks detonator
where you first appear and follow
the rifle icon to the shed in the
north-west garden. Pick the lock
down the nearby stairs to reach
the barge. Activate the fireworks
from the top of the ladder and
Victor and Dahlia emerge to
observe, on the patio and balcony,
respectively. Aim for clean
headshots, as torsos take two
bullets. I know, I’m a doctor.
Option two is to shepherd
your targets into their panic
room, setting up easy kills. Start
the level undercover in the
Kitchen, then run east to the
security centre and read the
evacuation plans. Now head to the
upstairs kitchen, where you pick
up rat poison and put it on the
sushi (look for the tray with an
interaction symbol). The Doc can
vouch for this working a treat on
those patients who seem to think
they don’t really need medicine.
Sure enough, Victor’s
bodyguard scoffs it. Follow him to
the bathroom, subdue him and
steal his outfit. Use his phone to
call in a fake threat that sends
your hosts to the south-east
room on level two. Now, either
wait in the room and use the
winch to drop a chandelier on
them, or plant a remote mine –
find one in the attic by the
security consoles – and detonate.
They say man’s greatest
enemy is man, but then
they also say you shouldn’t
operate blindfolded, so what
do they know? In this case,
man is used as a weapon.
For option three, repeat the
fireworks detonator-swiping trick
from step one. You now need to
transport it to the balcony behind
the auction – the Doc suggests
subduing the bodyguard behind
the garden shed by the northwest barge and stealing his outfit.
Now, shimmy up the nearby
drainpipe to the third floor.
Activate the detonator on the
auction balcony and Dahlia
eventually appears to gawp at
the show. When she steps to the
central balcony, it means Victor
is directly beneath her – press
q to push her onto his head.
City of love? City of shove, more
like. (And they say Patch Adams
is the only funny doctor.)
the verdict
next month
Six bodies in 30 minutes,
an efficiency rate that would
impress any government
inspector. Some might call
for an inquest, but I’d call
room service for a bottle
of bubbly. Très bien!
The Doc gets to grips
with some
new science
– playing
your PS4
on a PC
or Mac.
Mr trophy
When taking on Level 30
enemies, stick to cover
and use blindfire to
minimise your exposure.
Iain Wilson’s PSN ID is
Wilbossman, and his
trophy cabinet is
bigger than yours.
Platinum x 69
Gold x 399
Silver x 1,461
Bronze x 6,097
Platinum Club
Mr Trophy activates his Agent in Tom Clancy’s The Division
s you head out into
what remains of
Manhattan, focus on
getting your Agent
On the Level by
completing story and
side-missions to build them up to
Level 30. However, there are a
number of trophies you can work
towards on this journey,
to reduce the amount
of grinding required
once at the endgame.
For Skill Kill, you
need to finish off 50
enemies using Skills,
so equip an offensive
item, such as the
turret, and use it regularly in
combat. Whenever you fight
alongside others, heal or buff
your teammates 100 times and
they’ll be able to Lean On Me – the
Support Station unlocked in the
Medical Wing is the easiest Skill
to use for this.
In order to show off Those
Signature Moves, you
must activate any of the
Signature Skills 100
times, but these are
only unlocked by
purchasing at least
one of the 1,000
supplies in the Base of
Operations, so pick one
and complete enough related
Encounters to purchase the big
upgrade. Signature Skills have a
cooldown of around 15 minutes
per use, which is why you want to
start racking up uses of them as
soon as possible.
Once you’ve hit that Level 30
cap, you get the chance to show
you Know No Fear by… completing
you’ve cleared out by purchasing
the Canine Unit upgrade in the
Security Wing. Some of these
have been known to glitch, so if
a piece of Intel fails to register,
you should join the game of
someone who hasn’t collected it
and pick it up again from there.
The final pieces of silverware
can be tracked down in the Dark
Zone, including
completing a Mass
Extraction, once
you’ve successfully
helicoptered an item
away from all eight
Extraction Zones.
You must also kill
20 Rogue Agents in order to claim
I am the LAW!. Thankfully, there’s
an easy, sneaky way to boost this
with a friend – simply team up
and enter the Dark Zone together,
then split your group and take
turns blasting each other until
you’ve dished out justice the
required number of times.
If you’ve managed to complete
all of these steps, then you’ve
earned your status as a Platinum
Agent – congratulations on
keeping those streets safe!
all of the missions again on Hard
difficulty. Great. It’s potentially
easier to do this solo, as the
number and level of enemies scale
up when with a group, though it’s
still quite a slog.
Conversely, you’ll need at least
one partner to earn United We
Stand by starting and completing
a Level 30 co-op mission without
anyone being downed or dying,
and setting the difficulty to Easy
can help with this one.
There are six different
awards relating to the 293
Intel collectibles, which you can
either find using a guide (
Divisionguide) or reveal in areas
NExT ISSUE Our man Trophy faces the
fight of his life as he goes in search of
Dark Souls III’s shiny pots.
join the
Hey! What’s
the hardest
trophy you’ve
snagged? Tell
us at [email protected]
The game isn’t tough
just for the hell of it,
but because Miyazaki
wanted you to feel
pub namCo BanDai
Dev From soFtware
releaseD 2009, Ps3
get it now amazon,
neeD to know
miyazaki admits
it was partly
inspired by ico.
the Us deluxe
edition contained
a 150-page guide.
Ps Home got
Ds armour sets,
but only in Japan.
F r o m’s h e l l
■ Ah, the Vanguard – conquerer of many lives. Git.
■ If you get overwhelmed by a group, you’re done.
IT’s A GlorIously
rewArdING ANd
TouGh AdVeNTure.
while miyazaki and his team were
building one of Ps3’s most finely
crafted combat models, the director
decided something was needed to
pierce the game’s persistent sense of
loneliness; a way for players to link up
without relying too heavily on traditional
communication. the end product was
a system in which you could briefly see
other players’ ghosts by touching their
bloodstains, while also letting you leave
messages to warn of impending danger.
it’s a graceful, elegant way of letting
players guide each other without the
need for words; a silent handshake for
souls’ adventurers to impart advice.
and really, that’s the point of Demon’s
souls – learning through failure and
repetition. the game’s exquisitely
chunky swordplay is demanding, but it’s
never unfair. Get that shield up, plan
your attacks with surgical precision
and never let your guard down. it’s
an intoxicating blend that keeps you
constantly vigilant and never anything
less than resolutely engrossed.
ost modern games
must make Hidetaka
miyazaki sick.
ample checkpoints.
Patronising tutorials.
regenerating health.
it’s almost like
they’re not designed to make you
suffer. thankfully, as long as we all
reside on the same watery planet as
From software’s acclaimed director,
Playstation will always be home to a
special breed of savage challenge.
enter Demon’s souls. Back in 2009,
gamers had yet to truly taste real
pain. sure, the likes of Devil may Cry 3
could kick you squarely in the ass, but
rarely had the Playstation nation seen
anything quite so barbarically tough as
From’s wonderfully designed, hugely
disciplined and gloriously rewarding
fantasy adventure.
set in the lonely, often perversely
beautiful kingdom of Boletaria, Demon’s
souls took many of its cues from King’s
Field, another From series that revelled
in dark dungeons and granite-hard
beasties. Despite their quality, those
titles had minimal impact outside of
Japan, and certainly can’t lay claim to
kickstarting the same calibre of dynasty
as the souls series. of course, they
didn’t have an ingenious online system
in their corner…
Demon’s Souls
Each month we celebrate the most important,
innovative or just plain great games from
PlayStation’s past. This time, we get ready to suffer
like never before, as we take a loving look back at
the devilishly difficult delights of a modern classic
this hyper-focused approach to
fights is further bolstered by a terrific
risk-versus-reward system. when
your mute slayer of Demons perishes,
they leave behind a bloodstain with all
of their previously amassed souls (the
game’s currency for levelling-up). on
your next go, return to where your
corpse dropped and you can greedily
suck those precious resources back up.
Fall again before you make it back, and
those souls are gone forever. rarely
has the price of failure been balanced
on such a precarious knife edge.
publishing purgatory
Unlike Bloodborne’s Yharnam or
Dark souls’ lordran, Boletaria feels
cloyingly claustrophobic. this is not an
open world, but a series of battered
caverns, castle ramparts and dungeons
disparately knitted together by the
nexus – a dank, boxy hub that acts
as the player’s temporary safe haven.
while it may lack the cohesive scale of
its spiritual successors, Demon’s souls
still creates a world where intrigue and
danger lurk around every deadly corner.
Considering From’s masterpiece
remains one of Ps3’s most cherished
exclusives, it’s amazing to think it
almost never got a european release.
sony helped launch the game in Japan,
but elected not to publish it elsewhere.
mercifully, a spate of glowing reviews
and word-of-mouth praise eventually
saw namco Bandai publish a Pal
version, some 18 months after its initial
release. the Playstation landscape
would look decidedly different (and
nowhere near as deliciously punishing)
if namco hadn’t made that call.
■ The Nexus is a soothing (if depressing) safe zone.
that game
Guess the four games,
and their scores, from
these review quotes
opm timE machiNE
5 yEars aGo
Deus Ex marked the spot in OPM #58
– though one review in particular proved
to be anything but god-like…
Like a 60-yardfieLd goaL into
a hurricane
headwind, it comes
up just short
of greatness.
for every
singLe thing you
can think of –
hammers, fondue,
teLetext – there’s
someone out there
who finds it wiLdLy
Above Deputy editor Leon spent ten hours playing
Deus Ex: Human Revolution, excitedly switching
from “Terminator to cat burglar, assassin to hacker.”
He was right to feel pumped – Eidos’ action stealther
went on to score a tidy 8/10 later in the year.
Below left We Dare got blasted in an all-time classic
OPM review. “Contraceptive, delivered by PS3.”
Below right Bioshock’s Ken Levine promised and
delivered great things from Infinite. Big daddy indeed.
it’s exactLy
Like the princess
bride, except it’s
about tennis. and
andre the giant
is sadLy absent.
(for shame.)
1. madden nfL 13, issue #76, 8/10
2. resident evil hero hd, issue #120,
3. we dare, issue #58, 2/10
4. everybody’s tennis, issue #48, 8/10
yes, oLd
aLbert’s shadow
dash makes him
Look Like an
uroborosfueLLed road
runner, but it’s
a fun addition.
Far left An
Uncharted 3
preview saw us
tip it for Game Of
The Year honours.
Bold, we know.
Left We outlined
20 essential PSN
downloads for
under £50. If
you’ve still not
played Stacking,
just leave. Now.
don’t Make Me play!
Mad Max
don’t like it. never tried it. every month we force
one of our team to play their most feared game
pub WArnEr BrOS
Dev AvAlAnchE
releaseD 2015
get it now rAKuTEn,
Critically divisive but
disarmingly pretty
sandbox starring
the unhinged Aussie
petrolhead. Fisticuffs
are borrowed from
Batman, while spot
welded on top is car
customisation and a
tanker full of dusty
vehicle combat.
Arkham’s Batmobile
failed to convince
Matt Clapham that
what his beloved
combat formula
needs is more
Formula One. Can a
game that borrows
its mechanics really
change his mind?
ike anything else, games go
through fashions. The one in
vogue when I was a rookie
journo was the canned drama
of the tacked-on driving
section. I can’t even count the number
of helter-skelter ‘narrow escapes’ that
action-adventures have pretended I’ve
had behind the wheel. So, when Mad
Max takes the bolt-on driving bit and
makes it the game, all I can see is a
sort of distorted genius.
Even before I put pedal to metal,
it’s worse than I feared. Some bright
spark plug has decided to make Max
control more like a car than a human.
This works in that the right trigger
makes both go a bit faster, and then
falls apart lemon-quick. So Max acts like
a madman, slurring his way through
the opening as fingers attuned to the
Dark Knight are dragged into the harsh
sOMe BrIght
spArk DeCIDeD tO
MAke MAx COntrOL
MOre LIke A CAr.
■ Dev Avalanche sure can wring magnificence out of decay. If scrap-rich locations weren’t just
another icon screaming for focus, I’d probably enjoy poking around the map’s pockets of beauty.
wasteland glare. But that bleaches into
insignificance when I accept the keys to
the Magnum Opus. In mere minutes, I’m
wrestling a junker that handles like an
eel in a bath of KY Jelly through another
faux-high-stakes escape.
Thing is, I can see why others like it.
But it’s the kind of game that slips on
a polarising filter the second it boots.
Where I experience an achingly slow
grind to get a half-decent car, others
see hard-won empowerment. Where
I find busywork – icons to smash,
scarecrows to topple, a whole lot of
pressing q near things – a mirror self
would see plenty to do.
Both of us would agree that toppling
camps is awesome, but I ate a lot of
dust in the mid-noughties, and after
hours of entertainment-parched q
pressing, I slip out a long-loved copy
of Burnout, and find all the best bits of
Avalanche’s adventure condensed into
four exhilarating minutes. Sorry, Max,
but I still prefer fast and furious to your
wending fury road.
THE dEfiniTivE guidE To CuRREnT-gEn’s gREaTEsT gamEs
ps4 Hall of famE
MeTal gear solid V:
The PhanToM Pain
Konami might try and scrub Hideo Kojima’s name from the ultimate in tactical
espionage action, but it’ll never remove his fingerprints. While retaining
that distinct storytelling and sense of wonder that defines an MGS
title, MGS V offers a level of freedom and creativity unheard of in any
sandbox. Grand, majestic and bittersweet, this is an instant classic.
grand ThefT auTo V
sTreeT fighTer V
Laughing in the face of other cross-gen ports, GTA V
on PS4 is more than just a mere HD remaster. Upped
to a glorious 1080p, it weaves everything that made
the PS3 original great, with new music, more dynamic
weather and a game-changing FPS mode.
The wiTness
The ultimate puzzle game? Thekla, Inc’s behemoth
boasts one of PS4’s most stylishly inviting, and
resolve-testing, worlds to explore. It then crams it
so full of secrets that even the platinum isn’t the end
of the adventure. It’s a true original.
alien: isolaTion
desTiny: The Taken king
Towerfall ascension
The lasT of us reMasTered
baTMan: arkhaM knighT
fallouT 4
uncharTed: The naThan
drake collecTion
With the finest third-person melee combat in gaming,
drool-worthy art design and the most twisted
monsters imaginable, this is a gorgeously Gothic
must-have. The Old Hunters expansion adds enough
nightmare fuel to make a Yharnam return essential.
Mechanically, this is as close to perfection as any
fighter on console – everyone from hardcore fans
to first timers can grab a pad/fightstick and have
serious fun. The launch game’s lean, but with free
add-ons coming all the time, it keeps getting better.
The Taken King expansion means there’s never been
a better time to be a Destiny player – for veterans
it’s a giant vat of new content that’ll keep you playing
for months; for newcomers it offers the smoothest,
most complete shooter a PS4 owner could wish for.
This modern masterpiece just gets stronger with age,
like a full-bodied stilton. A starkly brutal, emotionally
honest take on the end of the world, Naughty Dog’s
stealth shooter is quite simply one of the best games
ever, even if this PS4 port doesn’t add much to it.
Hitting PS4 with the atomic force of a Fat Boy,
Fallout’s excellent gunplay and crafting systems
can trigger a nasty case of RPG-itis. It’s not without
its faults (or vaults), but the scale of Bethesda’s
wasteland will keep you bunkered down for weeks.
The wiTcher 3: wild hunT
The White Wolf himself finally rides onto PS4
and brings with him one of the most diverse and
challenging RPG worlds ever seen. Mesmerising to
look at and utterly engrossing to play, CD Projekt
RED’s farewell to Geralt is a current-gen essential.
The premier current-gen racer leaves its rivals
for dust due to gorgeous graphics, strong social
features and great handling. Major add-on Driveclub
Bikes is also the greatest bike racing game on PS4,
thanks to making driving on two wheels fun again.
Explore Ridley Scott’s original vision of a horrortinged future in startling fidelity with an attention
to detail that borders on the obsessive. It’s time to
remember what made the xenomorph so scary in
the first place… and then get killed by it.
You haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed a four-player
free-for-all in this instant couchplay classic. The solo
campaign is fine by itself, but almost nothing beats
the arrow-grabbing, death-defying last-second kills
of local multiplayer’s mayhem.
Rocksteady sends the Bat out with a bang. A
compelling, cathartic story adds new layers to the
Dark Knight, while PS4 allows Gotham to blossom
with a truly amazing engine. The stealth still sings,
the fisticuffs are fab and the Batmobile is brill.
If you somehow missed the trilogy on PS3 then this
excellent remaster should be your next purchase.
Nathan Drake is PlayStation’s biggest hero, and no
PS4 owner should skip his collection.
life is sTrange
The sublime writing and pacing of this episodic
narrative will have you agonising over choices,
and then marvelling at their flawless integration. To
quote heroine Max’s BFF Chloe, it’s “hella” good. You’ll
wish you could play it all over again for the first time.
dirT rally
Codies drifts its rallying masterclass onto PS4,
offering the first real competition for Driveclub’s
current-gen crown. This purist racer is less gaudy
than previous Dirts, and can be brutal – making
steel-nerved victories all the more exhilarating.
Bigger, better and blockier than ever before on
PlayStation, this iconic build-’em-up benefits
massively from PS4’s additional power and gives you
a creative playground 36 times the size of that on
PS3 in which to build. Or lob TNT around, if you want.
We dive into ps4’s library for gold.
This month: Rpgs
Jen simpkins thinks the watercolour blend
of gun-toting and emoting is rPgenius
Its handheld original is rightfully riding high in the
PS Vita Hall Of Fame as its PS4 remake-of-sorts
swoops onto the current-gen roster on a raft of new
features. Media Molecule makes the most of all that
extra power and strikes gold yet again.
You might not expect elegance when a game’s
snowy-haired hero faceplants into every level,
but this is a stained-glass masterpiece. Stepping
stones float up beneath your feet – much like
the utterly moving mystery. The Narrator purrs
caramel; The Kid sinks a plethora of weapons
into tough enemies; gameplay-customising idols
unlock for entirely new experiences. Exquisite.
Capturing everything that made the shoot-’em ups of
old so compelling and combining it with a sumptuous
voxel-based visual presentation, Resogun should
come with a health warning that reads: “This game
will consume your every waking moment.”
wasTeland 2:
direcTor’s cuT
ben Tyrer believes fallout could learn
a thing or two from its godfather
In a gaming landscape dominated by mindless
violence and blabbering idiots, this wordless
walkabout stands tall in red robes. It’s about joining
an online stranger and going for a wander, exploring
a beautiful sandy world together in quiet awe.
unTil dawn
gone hoMe
Once destined to live its life as a PS Move curio on
PS3, Supermassive Games’ ode to the teen slasher
movie has emerged on PS4 with a rusty, bloody
axe in one hand and a rather nasty looking set of
consequence-based choices in the other.
A perfect port from PC, Gone Home is tensionbuilding masterpiece that has you slowly peeling back
layers from the game’s central mystery. It’s short,
but there’s zero padding to the exploration, making
every key discovery feel like a powerful gut punch.
sTar wars baTTlefronT
Perfectly capturing the spirit of Star Wars, this is
a complete triumph in making you feel like you’re in
amongst the Empire’s assault on Hoth, or bringing
about its demise on Endor. Accessible and immediate,
you won’t want to put your DualShock 4(orce) down.
dragon age: inquisiTion
salT & sancTuary
alternative picks
Tearaway unfolded
bubbling undER
Wasteland 2 features zero easy choices. At no
point are you faced with an obvious solution, or
even an agreeable one. Just as it should be. The
turn-based combat is unflinchingly difficult, while
the journey across an irradiated America offers
a fuller world than spiritual successor Fallout.
Plus, you can write your own bio. We approve.
FullEr World ThAN SPiriTuAl
SuccESSor FAllouT.
diViniTy: original sin
rPg expert robin Valentine summons
up a storm of old-school strategy
Electrified blood, flaming oil, explosive toxic gas,
wanton teleportation – this isometric gem’s turnbased combats are an exercise in ordered chaos,
and like nothing else on PS4. Bring a co-op buddy
along for the ride and engage in in-game verbal
sparring matches while the expansive and mindbogglingly interactive world quite literally burns
down around you. Now that’s magic.
Following closely on the action-RPG heels of Geralt
of Rivia, Bioware’s third trip to Thedas conjures
something truly special. Improved combat; an
ace cast of characters; a semi-open world full of
emergent gameplay; an epic story. The list goes on.
You’ll lose seasons to this 2D Hard-PG, which takes
the Dark Souls template and twists it to create
something equally addictive. With its peppering of
grotesque monsters, broad skill tree and gothic
art style, you’ll find no safe haven here.
■ divinity: original Sin is as reverent of glorious rPGs past as
it is devoted to creating something completely new.
The essenTial collecTion of lasT-gen classics
ps3 hall of fame
tHe laSt Of uS
PS3’s premier developer proves a misbehaving pooch can learn new
tricks in this extraordinary adventure. In true Naughty Dog fashion,
the Californian studio subverts everything from zombie and postapocalyptic tropes to the gameplay beats of its own back catalogue.
effortlessly blending stealth, horror and action with a script destined
to break your heart, TLOU is interactive storytelling at its finest.
GranD tHeft autO v
unCHarteD 2:
aMOnG tHIeveS
reD DeaD reDeMptIOn
BatMan: arKHaM CIty
MaSS effeCt 2
tHe WalKInG DeaD:
SeaSOn One
The largest entry in the series is also one of the
most ambitious games ever, but its fusion of thrilling
missions, entertaining characters and scathing satire
looks effortless. There can be no better way to bring a
generation to a close than this.
A near-perfect open-world fusion of engaging
storytelling, truly compelling characters and a living
environment ripe for experimentation. No sandbox
since has got us quite so invested, and the bold
ending still resonates to this day.
This charming two-hour voyage crafts an incredible,
immersive narrative and a genuine emotional
connection using little more than near-silent figures,
marvellous sand physics and floating pieces of cloth.
A remarkable and unique experience.
While Bioware’s trilogy-ender sends Shepard out in
fine style, it’s the middle slice of the delicious sci-fi
sandwich that remains its best. A brilliantly scripted
action-RPG, the closing ‘suicide mission’ provides an
incredible finale.
Only Valve could turn advanced physics, impossipuzzles and a voice cast comprised of a disembodied
AI and Stephen Merchant into such a unique and
undeniable work of genius. Hands down the funniest
first-person experience on console.
Metal Gear SOlID 4:
GunS Of tHe patrIOtS
The most gleefully playful and imaginative
stealth game on PS3. Whether you’re watching a
monkey slurp soda or revisiting the site of the PS1
original, no game honours its past so poignantly.
The game that sparked a million mancrushes, with
a perfectly pitched script, crunchy combat and setpieces like no other. In three words: unprecedented,
unequalled, Uncharted.
pOrtal 2
Perhaps the best narrative team of the entire
generation brings one of its finest series to a
staggering climax. The original game would be
well deserving of a place, but the mind-boggling
revelations here run a whole lot deeper.
The most compelling bit of Bats action money can
buy… that doesn’t involve Heath Ledger’s Joker.
Thanks to an acutely detailed open-world chunk
of Gotham, Rocksteady’s classic just pips Arkham
Asylum to this spot by the thinnest of bat-whiskers.
Telltale has crafted some amazing stories, but the
first season of The Walking Dead stands among the
best downloadable games ever with emotional ties
and tangible consequences for your actions.
DarK SOulS
Heavy raIn
Call Of Duty 4:
MODern Warfare
lIttleBIGplanet 2
Akin to nothing else you’ve ever played (unless
you’ve already played Demon’s Souls). It may be as
impenetrable as a vault in Fort Knox, but persevere
and there’s a brutal and beautiful challenge within
that you will never, ever forget.
Simply the finest COD ever made. From that nuke
to Captain Price’s mesmerising ghillie suit stealth
mission, few games can match Modern Warfare’s
thrilling scripted spectacle.
From controversial purveyor of interactive cinema,
David Cage, comes this psychological thriller that
plays like no other game on the system (apart from
Beyond: Two Souls, natch). A real masterpiece of
twists, turns, cinematography and, uh: “JASON!”
Media Molecule’s second swing at the usergenerated puzzle-platformer is even more essential
than its predecessor, offering a raft of options so
deep and rewarding the only thing holding you back
are the limits of your imagination.
pS VItA hAll OF FAmE
Peerless crafty platforming from Media Molecule,
this time using PS Vita’s raft of touchscreen/
touchpad controls to surprise and delight you in
new ways for hours on end. Full of whimsy, charm
and enough personality to put most games to shame,
Tearaway’s papercraft world remains Vita’s most vibrant title.
peRsona 4: GolDen
This thoughtful and unique JRPG epic
gives you another stab at high school
– only this time with intrigue and
superpowers instead of nerves, acne
and an unpredictable vocal register.
Rayman leGenDs
Rather than losing its lustre on the
move to PS Vita, Ray’s second slice of
sumptuous side-scrolling is even better
on handheld. Touchscreen gestures make
this fine platformer all the sweeter.
metal GeaR soliD
HD collection
Two of PlayStation’s finest adventures
scale down beautifully, with enough
cutscenes to fill a transatlantic flight.
Even less excuse not to play, then.
With more than a subtle nod of its fedora
to a certain whip-wielding Dr Jones,
Spelunky’s procedurally generated
dungeons and platformer/roguelike
mashup shines brightest on PS Vita.
velocity 2X
Hotline miami
supeR meat boy!
cRypt oF tHe
A ludicrously enjoyable puzzle/platformer
hybrid that should come with a health
warning. So joyous is the side-scroller’s
twin-stick teleporting, there’s a danger
you’ll smile your face clean off the bone.
Sackboy’s back, smaller but just as
lovable as ever. His platforming antics
work perfectly on Vita, and the new
control inputs complement the level
creator brilliantly. Also: d’awwww.
The new music doesn’t match up to the
classic tunes, but Meat Boy’s longawaited PlayStation debut is the finest,
fleshiest twitch platformer of all. An
essential, thumb-destroying masterpiece.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
GRavity RusH
Use a gravity-defying cat to break the
laws of physics and zoom across the
skies of a floating steampunk city. With
stylish comic-book looks and a sassy
heroine, this is a rush to remember.
Part puzzler, part top-down
murder-‘em-up that’s as brutal as almost
anything else on PlayStation. It’s hard but
never frustrating, with instant restarts
and lightning-fast gameplay.
Take Guitar Hero and Spelunky, then
whack them in a blender. You’ll get this
gem, with its addictive soundtrack and
moreish rhythm-action monster-slaying.
Two examples of JRPG royalty, lovingly
restored to their former glory for your
portable pleasure. Their new touch
controls are – gasp! – a welcome addition.
This mind-bending, tongue-in-cheek
visual novel takes something as simple
as a mobile phone and turns it into a timetravelling extravaganza that’s fit to
bursting with comedy and drama.
GolDen abyss
Drake proves he’s just as adept at
adventuring on the go. A prequel story
plump with classic jungle action, and
crammed full of typical Uncharted charm.
GRim FanDanGo
An example of genuinely timeless
storytelling finally arrives on PlayStation.
Double Fine’s deft touch-up retains
the old-school adventuring for a new
generation to savour and enjoy.
Parting sh t
Celebrating PlayStation’s finest moments
Grounding the Free Bird
Guitar Hero 2 asks you to shred the unshreddable
how Ridley
Format PS2 / Pub REd OCTANE / Dev HARmONIx / releaseD 2006 / score 8/10
hey don’t really want you to
play Free Bird. They’re just
heckling you.” So it goes in
the original Guitar Hero, in
which, as you wait to strum some
blistering riffs, the loading screen
jokes about this twangy classic
that remains conspicuously absent
from the playlist. However, we’re
all familiar with the sequel mantra
by now – bigger means better.
And rarely do guitar solos come
mightier than the monster found
in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird.
You need to complete the career
mode on Normal, Hard or Expert to
unlock it, but when you do, prepare
for your fingers to reach speeds
they’ll never come near again.
To begin with, the tune is
deceptively steady, a Calpol-sweet
mixture of long notes and simple
hammer-ons. You might even call
it sedate, as the cover version’s
surprisingly adept singer builds up
to the moment you learn to fear,
when he croons, “Lord knows,
I cannot change.” All of a sudden,
a torrent of notes come flooding
down the screen.
Red, yellow and blue gems might
as well be one as your fingers
rapidly crash into buttons, the
track resembling a hospital heart
monitor with notes screaming past
at RSI-inducing speeds. As this
frenzy escalates, you then have
to contend with power chords
zooming at you. Frayed fingers
dance across the guitar like a
spider throwing shapes to Skrillex,
the song challenging you with
every type of pattern, just in case
you’re not getting tired. (You are.)
Thankfully, with one final power
chord and wrists throbbing from
the most intense workout you’ll
ever give them (stop it), the song
reaches its final climax. *cough*
You’ve definitely proven those
(non-existent) hecklers wrong. ■
metal Gear
solid 3:
snake eater
The best boss
fight of all time.
Naked Snake
takes on The
Father Of
o n
S a l e
7 Jun
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Behind-the-scenes look at Banjo-Kazooie’s sky-soaring,
tongue-whipping, fart-bubbling (really) successor

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