This week, NBA 2K17 bounces onto PS4, The BioShock Collection blasts onto Xbox One, and Dead Rising roars onto PS4.
Elsewhere Submerged: Miku And The Sunken City and Disco Dave look to do the business on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: NBA 2K17
Back on court to slam dunk the competition
The NBA 2K franchise returns for another true-to-life basketball experience, this time featuring some curve-ball additions, like the inclusion of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as a playable character. Gimmicks aside, though, it’s another jam-packed collection of awesome on-court action and the 2017 roster features another ream of improvements to game modes. MyGM and MyLeague introduce a number of new customisation modes, and the level of depth at which you can tinker during the dynamic playthrough of a regular season is astonishing. As you’d expect, the graphical polishing is incredibly detailed - from improvements in player hair and uniforms, to stunning shoe accuracy thanks to 3D-scanning technology during development. But does it play well? Of course it does! With the controller in your hands, you’ll unearth a wealth of ridiculous tricks at your disposal, as the series continues to power forward as the undisputed king of the court. Custom jump shots, an Adaptive Coaching Engine for those of you looking to build a b-ball empire, it’s all there, and it’s still the best simulation of the sport on any console.
Title: Bioshock: The Collection
Platform: Xbox One
Genre: Action / RPG
A powerful trio of adventure titles, now with extra Xbox One polish...
Wow. What a trio of titles to be remastered for Xbox One consumption. From the depths of Rapture in the original, to the dizzy heights of Columbia in Bioshock Infinite, plus Bioshock 2 in between, this truly is the ultimate experience of a franchise that bowled gamers over between 2007 and 2013. There’s no lame duck in this trilogy, and every title shows why Bioshock has secured a position as a firm favourite amongst sci-fi shooter fans. So much more than run and gun, the series provides a wonderful layer of moral questioning above the strikingly solid gameplay mechanics, with more stand-out moments than you’ll be able to recall in just one gaming bundle. There’s a narrative you’ll never forget, and the kind of gameplay that proves we should never think we’ve seen everything in the world of gaming. As an art form, as well as a base-level form of digital entertainment, the Bioshock collection, including all single player add-ons and downloadable content, shows just how good virtual gaming worlds can get.
Title: Dead Rising
ASIN: N/A PlayStation Store download
Rising to the occasion once again
You should be keen to get your undead pulse racing once again - after all, the next season of The Walking Dead is only a few weeks away. And you could do a lot worse than delve back into the archives to rediscover this remastered zombie-slaying romp through the shopping mall that acts as the backdrop for an incredible number of groaning bad guys and girls. As photojournalist Frank West, you’ll have plenty of action to capture on camera, if you weren’t so busy tearing around the this retail world to forge powerful weapons from all manner of everyday items. This still raises a chuckle and will provide some of the game’s finest scenarios. Frantic, apocalyptic scrambles will seamlessly merge with your more considered moments searching for the secret to survival, but either way, you’ll have an absolute blast, augmented by updated graphics and add-on costumes. It’s a twisted, outrageous experience that’s well worth a revisit, and if you’ve got a PC or Xbox One, it will serve as a mere starter ahead of the main course when Dead Rising 4 launches in December.
Title: Submerged: Miku And The Sunken City
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Genre: Action / Adventure
PC explorer seeks to make a splash on your smartphone
Water-logged exploration awaits in Submerged, as it dives headlong from its console and PC origins onto smartphone and iPad small screens. Taking a third-person perspective on this aquatic environment, as a young girl you must unearth the secrets of the city around you to keep yourself and your injured younger brother alive, while all the time being mindful of what lies beneath the surface of the water surrounding you. Mini-missions to scavenge supplies and first aid in a little boat make up the majority of the game, meaning the overall experience is one of repetition rather than constant discovery and wonder. Yes, the graphics are excellent, but this cannot erase the frustration you’ll feel from the fairly unwieldy viewing and moving controls. The story itself needs more oomph too, in order to compete with compelling narratives from other adventure apps out there right now. It’s a shame, because at first glance Submerged looks like it had triple-A potential, but unfortunately it’s a bit of a damp squib.
Title: Disco Dave
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Digital dancing, Seventies style
Disco Dave just can’t stop dancing, but there’s danger on the dancefloor in this new endless, grooving time-waster that’s sure to have high-score seekers glued to their smartphone and tablet screens. As you bounce in your bell-bottoms to the disco beat, the colour of the tiles beneath you will change as you’re in mid-air. You must swipe up, down, left and right to dodge the dead grey ones below you, ideally landing on a square that matches the colour surrounding the entire dancefloor. Little bonuses also appear on squares throughout your game, which act as score / in-game currency multipliers and these can be used to unlock any of the other 21 characters besides the eponymous Dave, though the benefits here are only cosmetic. The soundtrack is as hypnotic as the simple gameplay premise and you’ll find yourself racking up scores in the hundreds in no time at all, prompting you to then wonder where the last hour of your life went. And that’s pretty much the mark of success for a game of this kind. It sucks you in, sets you off spinning and shimmying, and then makes it extremely difficult to extract yourself to the bar for a breather.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
So the rumours were true, more or less, and Sony has announced a pair of alternatives to the original PS4, that will be sure to feature on gamers’ wish lists for Christmas if they don’t own one already. The PS4 Pro represents the top entry to the line-up, boasting improved performance that will support 4K visuals as well as new external styling to the console itself. The other system is the PS4 “Slim”, to be simply named PS4, which is a physically scaled down iteration of the current system. Both consoles will launch this side of Christmas, giving Santa plenty of heavy boxes to bundle into his sleigh during the festive season.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, Overwatch retained top spot for another week, as F1 2016 moved through the field to climb from four to two. Rocket League also enjoyed a positive week of sales, propelling itself from nine to six, while Doom climbed back into the top 10 at nine from last week’s 14.
2. F1 2016
3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
4. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Grand Theft Auto V
6. Rocket League
7. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
8. No Man’s Sky
10. Call Of Duty: Black Ops III
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd