It’s been a very, very slow summer in terms of new releases. A fitting season in what’s already been a frankly disappointing year. The next-gen consoles have so far managed to expertly avoid any really great new IP’s or stellar sequels. Thankfully, however, winter is coming, and with it some promising big-name releases.
Top of the list is Far Cry 4. Ubisoft’s latest open world first-person shooter looks very promising indeed. Hot off the heels of the universally acclaimed Far Cry 3, the French developer’s latest offering follows Ajay Ghale, an English-speaking Nepalese man, caught up in a civil war to overthrow self-appointed King Pagan Min.
The game, set in fictional Himalayan region called Kyrat: “…a mountainous paradise steeped in tradition and violence”, looks stunning. If it can build on the sandbox thrills of its predecessor the title will be a solid bet for this year’s best game.
Either way, Far Cry 4 seems destined to make headlines, having already been attacked for its controversial front cover. The sleeve, emblazoned with a white dictator towering over a Nepalese prisoner, has been smeared with (rather unsubstantiated) allegations of racism.
The game’s likely success, combined with the November release of the new Assassins Creed game, means that Ubisoft employees will have no problem paying the oncoming Christmas present bill.
Assassins Creed Unity will be the seventh instalment in the franchise and is the first to be developed exclusively for next generation consoles as well as PC. Unity follows Arno Dorian’s blade filled quest to expose the shady forces behind the French revolution.
Apart from improved graphics and slight gameplay tweaks, the titles biggest feature is its new cooperative gameplay mode. Here players can tackle missions and jump into hay barrels with friends and randomers alike.
Perhaps more exciting is Dragon Age: Inquisition. The role-playing game is the latest project by Mass Effect developer BioWare. Expect morally grey choices, a massive open wold, and awkward CG sex scenes.
On the other side of the console divide, Nintendo fans will have no doubt already penned Hyrule Warriors’ September 19th release date into their diaries. A joint project between Koei Tecmo (the developers of the long-running Dynasty Warriors series) and Nintendo, the title will combine hack and slash gameplay mechanics within the much-loved Zelda universe.
Also on their radars should be Bayonetta 2. The sequel to 2009’s insane Bayonetta is a Wii U exclusive, and promises both sure-fire absurdity and fun in droves. This is besides its new co-op mode and single-player campaign.
In news that stunned literally no-one, gamers will be able to enjoy a new Call of Duty (CoD) this festive season. Set in 2054, CoD: Advanced Warfare’s most riveting new feature is its villain, Jonathan Irons, played by the president himself: Kevin Spacey.
Equally ‘revolutionary’ will be FIFA 15, which hits shelves September 26th. Nevertheless the game’s new emotional intelligence and pitch degradation features, as well as its updated squads, will be enough to sell it to countless punters, myself included.
If none of these new titles appeal to you, fear not, one of the best games of last year, Grand Theft Auto V, (and, arguably, of the best games of all time) has a next-gen remake in the works, heavily rumoured for a November release.