This week, Adam’s Venture Origins storms onto PS4, WRC 5’s eSports Edition hits Xbox One and Nights of Azure rises on PS4.
Elsewhere, Super Arc Light and King Rabbit supply shooter and puzzle pleasures on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: WRC 5: eSports Edition
Platform: Xbox One
A royal rallying riot
WRC 5 perfectly balances the boundaries of simulation racing alongside the arcadey feel that comes so naturally to the rallying discipline. In a densely populated genre, the rally sub-group is still well catered for, but WRC 5 does a great job of providing the most comprehensive suite of options and official licensing bells and whistles to make it an essential purchase for petrol-heads. You’ll tinker under the bonnet and tank it around 13 different tracks in equal measure, across a range of surfaces from the mud of Wales to the arid plains of Mexico. Your car handles superbly, responding appreciably to the changes in track conditions mid-run and, with no other cars on track with you at the same time, it’s a straight battle between you and the environmental elements to post the fastest time possible. A solid career mode will build your experience steadily, before you feel ready to take the action online and go bumper to bumper with the best around the world. All in all, WRC 5 is a fab racer that confidently steps onto the podium when it comes to great handling, presentation and the overall challenge on offer.
Title: Adam’s Venture Origins
Fisticuff-free adventuring, 1920s-style
Set in the 1920s, Adam’s Venture Origins represents an extensive remake of the originally announced game, reimagining the franchise as a fully formed non-violent adventure game. There’s an Indiana Jones flavour that runs throughout, never getting out of control and into more run and gun Nathan Drake territory, which is very much to its moral credit. In fact, fisticuffs aside, Origins more than manages to forge an engaging narrative that plays out across a single game experience, featuring enhanced next-gen visuals, new gameplay, and new animation work to deliver a much improved experience. So we’re not shooting hordes of enemies - what do we do in the game? Well, as a routine excavation of a French church leads to the discovery of a strange scroll bearing Templar symbols, you’ll embark on a race to uncover the location of the four rivers mentioned in the Book of Genesis and unpick what this could mean. Combined with challenging puzzles, there are several stand-out action sequences, one involving a runaway mine train scene that could have been straight out of the Temple of Doom, and the time will fly by in this violence-free world that still packs a satisfying adventure punch.
Title: Nights Of Azure
Night falls and the action RPG fun starts
Nights Of Azure is a tragic tale of two friends faced with impossible decisions that will test their loyalty to their quest and to each other. Set on an uncharted island that floats in the North Sea, this action-RPG paints a picture of a land where nights are tormented by azure-blooded demons and in this kingdom of Ruswal, very few people leave their homes after dark, let alone have the strength and skill to take on these powerful monsters. So that’s where you come in! As Arnice, one of the best among these brave few, and a knight of great skill and power, you’ll set off on a quest to rid the land of demons, accompanied by pal Princess Lilysse. A well-structured story unfurls, interspersed with fast-paced combat throughout, and the Anime-style will appeal to JRPG fans immediately. An epic soundtrack adds further fervour to your fantasy activities, and all in all, Nights Of Azure succeeds in creating a world of intrigue and enjoyable action.
Title: Super Arc Light
An old-school shooter that’ll have you in a spin
Super Arc Light harks back to the arcade machines of yesteryear, now shrinking onto your smartphone for a high-speed, spinning shooter experience that will make you dizzy and desperate for one more go all at the same time. As a tiny little ship in the centre of a series of concentric circles, you must fend off wave after wave of enemy attacks from other ships by swinging your craft around and letting them have merry hell. As your ship is constantly spinning around the centre circle, you need to press down on the screen to stop it and shoot. And when you lift your digit, it’ll dart off in the other direction. This quick-fire control method will take some time for you to get the hang of, but once you get into the groove you’ll revel in the additional weapon bonuses on offer. However, there’s no doubt this will give way to frustration as you get picked off by pesky craft that manage to make it to your central position, and this irritation unfortunately just tips the balance between brilliance and app anger.
Title: King Rabbit - Find Gold, Rescue Bunnies
Fluffy bunny puzzling pushes all the right buttons
Easter may now be behind us, but there’s still time for a bit of bunny fun, as King Rabbit invites you into his weird and wonderful world. This furry fella is on a mission to free his friends from rabbit captivity, which you’ll achieve by swiping and bouncing through each level, undertaking all manner of touchscreen puzzles along the way. These range from block pushing to switch pulling, as well as wearing a number of different crowns that release different abilities. It’s super-cute to look at, with a whiff of the early Zelda games about it and the difficulty increases at a gentle pace, gradually breaking you in to the game mechanics before revealing some seriously tricky situations for your big-eared hero to think upon in later levels. It’s a stylish little app for an equally attractive price, with oodles of character and no small challenge packed into one pretty awesome post-Easter present!
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
It’s going to be hard enough to get hold of Sony’s VR headset this autumn, after pre-order allocations on Amazon sold out within 45 minutes, but what about laying your hands on the rumoured PlayStation mid-life console that the entertainment giant is working on, dubbed PlayStation 4K. That’s right, a number of reputable online gaming sources have reported that an enhanced version of the PS4 is in development, which it has been suggested will support 4K video and perhaps also include heftier processors to ramp up gaming performance. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground, because if it hit the shelves, you’ll blink and then miss it!
Meanwhile in the charts this week, Tom Clancy’s The Division kept up the pace at the top of the tree, as did EA Sports UFC 2, which held firm in second spot. Star Wars Battlefront was the week’s best performer, using the force to leap 11 places from 18 to seven.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Tom Clancy’s The Division
2. EA Sports UFC 2
3. Far Cry Primal
4. FIFA 16
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
6. Grand Theft Auto V
7. Star Wars Battlefront
8. LEGO Marvel Avengers
9. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Siege
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2015 UKIE Ltd