Infinity Ward, the creator of the Call of Duty series and the blockbuster Modern Warfare sequence of games is treating a new generation of consoles as a new opportunity. It doesn't matter what machine you're playing on, though, you're getting a brand new Call of Duty experience with Ghosts. Set in a new game universe, the events of Ghosts take place in a near future in which the US has been ravaged by a catastrophic attack and the West is on its knees. A new superpower has emerged south of the equator and is laying seige to the States. The once-mighty America now relies on an elite squad of soldiers, modeled on SEAL Team 6, to defend it. This new storyline effectively turns many of the Call of Duty series' tropes on their head. You're no longer top dog with an endless supply of state of the art weaponry behind you. You're the underdog, up against enemies with superior firepower, technology and numbers. You, however, do have a dog on your side... Multiplayer, of course, has been overhauled. The biggest addition set to shake up the more tradional multiplayer modes is the inclusion of dynamic events such as collapsing buildings. Some of these can be triggered by players, some will occur naturally. All of them will shake up the field and keep things interesting. Another notable inclusion is female soldiers, who will be playable for the first time in a Call of Duty game. Perhaps the most interesting addition to Ghosts' multiplayer offering is Squads. In it, players can design and customise their own squad and take them into combat against either other players or AI. The idea is to give you the thrills and gameplay style of multiplayer combat, but with the oversight and tactical vantagepoint of a squad commander. You don't even have to be online for your guys to get in on the action - players' squads can be challenged while they're not available. Even better, all the XP you earn can be brought back into the regular multiplayer experience with you. Infinty Ward is set to deliver yet another first-person blockbuster. £4.99Buy NowCall of Duty: Ghosts
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is the most ambitious LEGO game starring the Caped Crusader yet. While it does, of course, have Batman and Robin front and centre, it could almost have been called 'LEGO DC Superheroes', such is the size of the cast and the scope of the adventure. The 'Beyond Gotham' part of the title is certainly justified. This time out, the Dark Knight is out in space on a cosmic adventure. Braniac, who's more often known for bothering Superman, has been stealing entire cities, shrinking them down using the power of Lantern rings to add them to his sinister collection. So, right off the bat (pun slightly intended) you can see that the scale of the game has been expanded since previous entries to the series, drawing on the mythos of both Green Lantern and Superman. There's a cast to match this newfound scale, with more than 150 characters ranging from icons like Wonder Woman to the lesser-known (but no less important) figures like... well, Bat-cow. Expect The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Zatanna, Lex Luthor, The Joker and Swamp Thing to name just a tiny handful. Players can unlock different versions of characters, too, like the 1960s TV Batman (voiced by Adam West!) who lifts his cape to sneak past foes, or Arctic Batman, with a freeze gun. Gameplay is, as series fans will expect, along the usual LEGO lines. There's a dash of combat, a spot of platforming, a fair amount of environmental puzzle-solving and drop-in/drop-out cooperative play. As ever, it's all delivered with a light touch and a healthy dose of humour. That's not to say there's nothing new here, however. In one level, for example, our heroes encounter a battleship belonging to the Reach and the encounter plays out as a 2D shooter, much like Resogun. Let's be honest, though, most players will come for the sense of fun and the chance to play with that HUGE cast of characters. £39.99Buy NowLEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Demon's Souls really established FromSoftware's reputation as a developer that wants to take your sense of hope and gnaw on it using the jaws of zombified rats. Dark Souls, the game's spiritual successor, took that and ran with it. Now the developer is back once again with a sequel in both name and spirit. The game features a new world, new storyline and an unfamiliar world steeped in death and despair. Expect the same uncompromising difficulty, the same epic boss battles and the same incredible sense of empowerment that comes with triumphing against the odds as the first game. Don't, however, expect something quite so straightforward as a re-skinned version of Dark Souls. The game's online has been made a little more approachable this time out. Voice chat is now supported and by aligning yourself with certain in-game gods you'll be able to summon friends to help you lay waste to whatever particular beast is challenging your will to live. You can also now travel between bonfires right from the outset of the game and the health system is a little more forgiving, with life gems complementing the flasks of the last game. Don't despair that FromSoftware has gone soft, however, as you'll lose a little more of your life bar every time you die. The world is perhaps not quite so bleak as those of past games, but it does offer up its own sights to bear witness to. An eerie village sits at the sea shore, with desperate locals trying to pedal their wares, while a tangled, ruined castle lurks at the heart of the forest. So, Dark Souls II is not quite the same beast as the first game. Did anyone want that, though? It's still a fiendishly difficult game set in a rich, brutal fantasy world. And there's still plenty of dying to be done. £12.99Buy NowDark Souls II
Pac-Man is back, and these days he's up to more than just munching away on dots. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is inspired by the computer-animated TV show of the same name and, rather than just offering up a series of haunted mazes, provides the player with a whole rich world to explore. The game revolves around Pac-World, a vibrant and colourful place that has fallen under the sway of dark forces. You see, the Pacworlders were living in peace until the tricksy Netherworld ghosts, emerged from their dark domain under the leadership of Betrayus to take over Pac-World. Now there's only one Pacworlder left to fend off the invaders, the ever-hungry Pac-Man. The game is a 3D platformer in which players have to munch their way through hordes of ghosts. For the first time in a Pac-Man game, players can make use of power-ups. They might, for example, take on the powers of a chameleon in order to blend into the background or use their long tongue to swing around the environment. Also included is a four-way multiplayer mode so that players can test their skills against their friends. It's Pac-Man, but not as you've ever seen him before! £9.99Buy NowPac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
While Assassin's Credd: Unity moves the blockbuster series onto next-gen platforms, Rogue has those on older systems (or just those who fancy a double AC dose this year) covered. It's a canny blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The game builds on the assets and mechanics established in AC3 and Black Flag, but gives them a serious twist. It's set, once again, during the Seven Years War for control of the colonies. The difference is that this time you're not playing on the side of the assassins - you're a templar. Our (anti)hero is Shay Cormac, an assassin who's an assassin either turning bad or finally picking the right side, depending on where in Rogue's many shades of grey you fall. While much of the game will feel faintly familiar to longtime fans, the developers at Ubisoft Sofia have been able to focus squarely on content thanks to the groundwork laid in previous games. Alabama and Quebec are now part of the picture, providing a change of scenery. Perhaps the biggest change comes from playing as a templar, though. Missions that would previously have been assassination attempts become assassination prevention attempts, with the aim being to keep a target alive. The sailing mechanics that were so popular in Black Flag make a reappearence, with players getting the Morrigan, a slimmer, more manouvrable vessel than the Jackdaw. New bits and pieces have been brought in too. Most notable is the air rifle, which allows players to take out enemies with a fresh range of ammo types. Rogue offers up plenty of the good stuff that Assassin's Creed fans love, with a big enough dash of the new to add spice to proceedings. £19.99Buy NowAssassin's Creed: Rogue
The X-COM series of strategy games has gone through a number of versions, mainly on PC, since its 1994 origins on Amiga, Playstation and PC - but it's now more than 10 years since the last one; X-COM: Alliance. X-COM: Enemy Unknown began life as a remake of Julian Gollop's classic 1994: UFO: Enemy Unknown, which was released on Sid Meier's now defunct MicroProse label. But the guys at Meier's new company, Firaxis put so much into it that it evolved into a re-imagining. For the first time since that early iteration, console versions are available: for PS3 and Xbox 360. The game is powered by the Unreal 3 game engine. Enemy Unknown takes place on a modern Earth, under attack from an alien invasion. Facing an unseen enemy of clearly superior technical capabilities, Earth's governments combine to create X-COM. Playing the commander of this global force, your mission is to create an operational base, research alien technologies, organise combat missions, and control your soldiers in battle. You'll dispatch aircraft to intercept and destroy or capture UFOs, and manage ground forces in their battles with alien invaders. All of this is controlled from your XCOM base. Yes, that's base in the singular, unlike the 1994 original, only a single base can be constructed and managed: this adds a strategic element to the game, because your base has to be defended at all costs. The forces you command are not your own, but like the United Nations, you act a liaison between many disparate governments, and this adds to the tactical aspects of the game. The Ant Farm view gives you an overview of the XCOM headquarters: you can then zoom in to individual departments to direct specific activities such as research and weapons construction. Battle strategy takes pace on the Geoscape global view of the world, and you can be directing battle in many theatres of combat simultaneously. Ground combat is turn-based on an isometric-3D playfield. You directly control a squad of four-six soldiers or robots. As you would expect from a modern game, the user interface has been updated considerably from the original game, and gameplay has been tweaked to make it faster and more engaging. Players can make use of suppressive fire and active camouflage during combat. One-on-one on-line combat missions enable players to control a squad each, and have a points budget to assemble and equip them before leading them into battle against your human opponent. Console players will be happy to hear that they are not being offered a dumbed down version of the game. Apart from the mouse-based control method, which is exclusive to the PC version, the console owners are getting the same game as PC-gamers. £7.99Buy NowXCOM: Enemy Unknown
Infinity Ward, the creator of the Call of Duty series and the blockbuster Modern Warfare sequence of games is treating a new generation of consoles as a new opportunity. It doesn't matter what machine you're playing on, though, you're getting a brand new Call of Duty experience with Ghosts. Set in a new game universe, the events of Ghosts take place in a near future in which the US has been ravaged by a catastrophic attack and the West is on its knees. A new superpower has emerged south of the equator and is laying seige to the States. The once-mighty America now relies on an elite squad of soldiers, modeled on SEAL Team 6, to defend it. This new storyline effectively turns many of the Call of Duty series' tropes on their head. You're no longer top dog with an endless supply of state of the art weaponry behind you. You're the underdog, up against enemies with superior firepower, technology and numbers. You, however, do have a dog on your side... Multiplayer, of course, has been overhauled. The biggest addition set to shake up the more tradional multiplayer modes is the inclusion of dynamic events such as collapsing buildings. Some of these can be triggered by players, some will occur naturally. All of them will shake up the field and keep things interesting. Another notable inclusion is female soldiers, who will be playable for the first time in a Call of Duty game. Perhaps the most interesting addition to Ghosts' multiplayer offering is Squads. In it, players can design and customise their own squad and take them into combat against either other players or AI. The idea is to give you the thrills and gameplay style of multiplayer combat, but with the oversight and tactical vantagepoint of a squad commander. You don't even have to be online for your guys to get in on the action - players' squads can be challenged while they're not available. Even better, all the XP you earn can be brought back into the regular multiplayer experience with you. Infinty Ward is set to deliver yet another first-person blockbuster. £14.99Buy NowCall of Duty: Ghosts: Hardened Edition
The beautiful game is back, and with the 2014/2015 football season now well underway, Electronic Arts has another FIFA game for fans to dig their studs into. This year, the latest iteration of the game isn't about big, flashy updates attempting to overhaul the game. Rather, it's about focusing on the series' core gameplay and making the tweaks and refinements that might not seem huge to the casual observer, but to the hardcore fan will be hugely evident. EA has really doubled down on maintaining the pedigree that has made FIFA the dominant soccer game over the last few years. The new bells and whistles EA is touting include (as ever) improved graphics, with pitches that show wear and tear over the course of the match and improved player visuals. There's also the inclusion of the Turkish league and 'emotional intelligence' that delivers greater authenticity in how players react to the on-pitch action. On the pitch, though, players will notice other changes that might not be as obvious on the game's surface, but run a lot deeper. Defenders now turn with greater deliberateness and are more likely to catch attackers rather than standing around and looking nonplussed. Similarly, AI is better on the attack. Your players will burst into space on the overlap for a return ball without your prompting. You can also pick up control of the reciever of a goal kick, corner, throw-in or free kick, meaning you don't have to just hoof the ball in and hope your team makes the best of it. It's these new tweaks - tweaks that will keep on surprising you hours after you've fired up the game - that will make all the difference for FIFA fans, building on what's already gaming's premier football series. £9.99Buy NowFIFA 15
War stories can only be told so many times, right? When you come to recounting the history of World War II a sixteenth time, chances are you're going to be telling the exact same tale. But what about the soldiers that are never mentioned? The operatives that, officially, don't exist - their actions never documented and their accomplishments never commended? Treyarch is telling the story of the Cold War in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but from a very different point of view. You get to play as an elite soldier - the best of the best - as you tackle these questionable and top-secret missions. Sabotage and stealth are your weapons here as you fight enemies in the Soviet Union, Vietnam and many other warzones that were present during the time of the Cold War. As a member of an elite force, inspired by the real-life Studies and Observations Group, your word on the battlefield is final. Whether it's in the snowy peaks of Russia or in the burning landscape of Hue City, your actions help drive fellow units to victory. Leaping from one soldier's personal experience to another, crossing time periods and countries along the way, allows for a branching storyline that intertwines with all of these soldier's lives. And just like many Call of Duty games before it, Black Ops will feature an extensive multiplayer mode, offering intense warfare with friends and strangers alike over the internet. £9.99Buy NowCall of Duty: Black Ops
Welcome back to Pandora. Gearbox has been expecting you. The studio is not blind to the hype and expectation that has built up around Borderlands 2 - Randy Pitchford and friends have spent a lot of time ensuring that this is every bit the sequel that it should be, while maintaining everything that made the 2009 predecessor stand out from the crowd of FPS games.
So, what's new? For starters, Gearbox has added a number of gameplay features that can help you out in a pinch - the most direct one being a special perk that can be activated by hitting the trigger buttons.
When you’re not pumping lead, your ammo is replenished over time too, allowing you to go on a proper killing frenzy when you’re nearly down and out. Insta-Health vials will only go so far this time around.
What could potentially change the game - in a good way - is the introduction of Badass ranks. While characters still have a level cap of 50, Badass ranks don’t have such a limit. When you level up in this manner, you earn a Badass token, which can be used to spend on increasing a number of base statistics. The genius here is that tokens spent to increase stats are applied to every single character you have on your profile. Add the mystery of golden chests, and the secret golden keys that require special actions to obtain, and you have a sequel that puts a lot of emphasis on the RPG side of things.
Gearbox have obviously put a lot of extra care and attention in Borderlands 2. On the surface, it’s business as usual - familiar graphical style, familiar locations, familiar storylines. But players get to be involved with the inhabitants of Pandora in a way that’s not seen in the original game. The amount of improvements in Badass points and golden keys also shows that Borderlands 2 will be a much deeper and rewarding RPG experience to complement to intense FPS action.
£9.99Buy NowBorderlands 2
Codemasters is back to give players the fastest of the fast in F1 2013. You can, of course, play as any team of this season and drive like one of the legends like Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel. But, there's also a new Classics mode that delivers nostalgia for those who are old enough to remember the 80s, or a history lesson for those who aren't. F1 Classics is basically 80s mode. In this mode you have access to a load of vehicles and tracks from the 80s and the entire colour palette goes a bit toward the sepia end of the scale to give it a retro feel. In the Classics section you can play Grand Prix, time trial, time attack or scenario mode. Classics can certainly be as challenging as the 2013 stuff but in different ways. The cars don't hug the track like modern ones, making it harder to corner and easier to crash, for one. At the same time they don't go quite as fast so it's easier to stay in control. The Scenario mode has made a welcome return in which there are many scenarios (obviously) that each pose an unusual challenge for you to overcome. Each one of these is really just a story that masks a simple goal like "overtake everyone and finish 10 seconds ahead of the leader". For the more dedicated F1 fan, there's the option to turn off all the things put in to make life easier such as braking assists and customise your car to the nth degree. It's this kind of fine attention to detail that will really set fans' hearts a-flutter. Of course, online and multiplayer functionality make a return. As well as online and split-screen multiplayer, gamers will be able to make use of Codies' RaceNet community hub, which offers connected players in-game challenges to better their friends and community-wide challenges to pit them against the wider world. £14.99Buy NowF1 2013
Colonial Marines acts as a true sequel to James Cameron's 1986 epic, Aliens. You return to the cursed human colony Hadley's Hope as the member of an unfortunate space squad - from the opening sequence your character is awakened from cryosleep to find that your ship is losing control. With no way to regain command of the exploding vessel, your team crash lands onto Archeron - also known as planet LV-426, where the events of the Aliens movie transpired several months before. As you explore a dilapidated research centre on the destroyed colony, you discover Xenos trapped in jars, along with evidence of some foul play. Your squad knows nothing of the real horror that took place at Hadley's Hope, but torn-open security doors and scurrying sounds give something of a harrowing clue. And you know, just KNOW, that sooner rather than later you're going to have a lot of shooting to do... Developer Gearbox has placed a lot of emphasis on the building of tension. There's an atmosphere you could cut with a barbed xenomorph tail, crafted from carefully orchestrated sound effects and eerie lighting. When the xenomorphs come for you, though, they come fast and hard. In true Gearbox style, there are lots of collectibles to be had and lots of tools at your disposal, from weapons to turrets to... yes, the power loader. Gearbox has had a little fun with the license elsewhere, too - look for new types of Alien species. The first one you encounter is known as the Crusher - it looks like a giant version of your typical Xenomorph, but with a huge flat head that acts as both battering ram and heavy-duty armour. With no way to truly kill it, your only option is to run away to an abandoned armour facility and lock down the doors. In addition to the single-player mode, there's co-op for up to four players and a competitive multiplayer mode in which you can even play as one of the xenomorphs. £4.99Buy NowAliens: Colonial Marines Limited Edition
It might not feel like it, but Codemasters has held the Formula One license for five years now. That's not mentioned here because F1 2014 is being treated as some sort of anniversary, but because you know that between that and titles like GRID and DiRT, Codies is bringing a real pedigree to the development of F1 2014. The game is aimed squarely at fans of the sport. You won't get to fling cars round corners a la Forza Horizon, nor will you be likely to drift round corners, but a tight corner taken with precision offers its own particular reward. Codemasters has really striven for authenticity, here. Visually, the game has clean edges and minimal presentation and all the detail of the officially licensed cars and drivers. The biggest change comes not from the development team, but from the sport itself. F1 2014 incorporates the huge rule changes - the biggest in Formula One's history - including new aerodynamic regulations and turbo-charged power units. That means, of course, significant changes in how the cars handle from last year's game. All the changes to driver line-ups have been incorporated, of course, and new tracks have been included. There are changes to the game itself too, though. A new driver evaluation system fine tunes the game to reflect their ability, and the difficulty goes up incrementally as the player progresses. For the hardcore F1 aficionados, though, there's always the option to customise their settings and really make the game their own. £39.99Buy NowF1 2014
The next generation of WWE games has landed on our screens with WWE 2K15. The biggest change is noticable right from the first bell. The frantic pace that wrestling fans have seen on the last few WWE games across the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 has been dialled back a bit. This brings a more technical element to the game. Blows feel like they carry more impact thanks to really precise collision detection, while strikes are easier to counter. That means that button mashers are less likely to get their hits through and might want to re-think their strategy. The game has been given a visual overhaul, too, with new motion capture technology brought in from the NBA 2K series and improved animations. The effect, combined with the more technical fighting mechanics means that the game is pitched more as a simulation than other recent entries to the WWE franchise. The audio's been worked on too, with more than five times the amount of commentary being a particularly notable addition. The 2K Showcase mode brings emotional intensity to the game by comprehensively spotlighting two major feuds. One is the Triple H/Shawn Michaels rivalry from the early 2000s, and the other brings things closer to the present with the CM Punk/John Cena feud that ushered in the 'Reality Era' in 2011. You'll almost be able to inhale the smell of sweat on canvas... £14.99
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare takes the stellar blockbuster franchise and shifts it in a new direction. The biggest change for fans of the Call of Duty series will be the fact that for the first time, development isn't led by series veterans Infinity Ward or Treyarch, but by relative newcomer Sledgehammer Games. With a new team comes a somewhat new direction. While Call of Duty: Black Ops II pushed things into the near future of 2025, Advanced Warfare takes things further. The game puts players in the futuristic gear of Jack Mitchell. It's a future where the world has been devastated by a global attack and Atlas, a Private Military Corporation, is effectively a superpower for hire. Activision has gone to pains to state that this is a carefully researched future, so don't expect black hole guns or laser blasters. The most immediate impact of this premise, then, is the exoskeleton players wear. This piece of kit enhances the player's movement with bigger leaps, dashes and dodges. The exoskeleton, along with the futuristic weaponry on offer, changes the way gamers will play Call of Duty, and of course that extends to the game's multiplayer. All of this is polished off with a revamped Create-a-Class feature, offering the deepest customisation options in a Call of Duty game yet. £24.99Buy NowCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Take to the skies and return to the fantastical Viking Isle of Berk! How to Train Your Dragon 2 the video game lets players embark on a heroic adventure on their way to becoming a formidable dragon rider alongside the beloved characters from the film. Hiccup, Astrid, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Tuffnut & Ruffnut and their Dragons are now competing in fierce tournaments to determine the ultimate Dragon Rider. Choose your Dragon Racer, soar through clouds, and explore new unmapped territories. Discover hidden locations, unlock mysterious Dragon Riders, and join in epic races across the beautiful yet treacherous Island of Berk. Choose your Rider and Dragon to train and compete in races and tournaments. You can also challenge a friend to claim the title of best Dragon Rider in multiplayer mode. To take the game even further, collect tokens and complete challenges to unlock new Dragon traits and abilities, and discover two unlockable secret characters. £9.99
Just Dance, Ubisoft's smash hit rhythm game, is back to get you moving again, however uncoordinated you might be. For those new to the series, it's dead simple: against a backdrop of some of the year's biggest hits, the game shows you a series of dance moves on screen and then, using motion-tracking technology, rates you based on how well you can follow them. The biggest new feature in this year's outing is Community Remix. This enables players to record themselves dancing to their favourite tracks, then upload it for the community to look at. The community then votes for their favourites, and the developers at Ubisoft will turn the best routines into a playable part of the game. Old favourites also make a return, with the massive multiplayer mode World Dancefloor, sing-along karaoke mode and the video-creating Autodance. The meat of any dancing game, however, is the track list. So, without any further ado, here's what's on offer: - "Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj - "She Looks So Perfect" - 5 Seconds of Summer - "Problem" - Ariana Grande Ft. Iggy Azalea and Big Sean - "4x4" - Miley Cyrus - "Best Song Ever" - One Direction - "Happy" - Pharrell Williams - "Addicted To You" - Avicii - "Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea Ft. Rita Ora - "Maps" - Maroon 5 - "Papaoutai" - Stromae - "Birthday" - Katy Perry - "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga - "Built For This" - Becky G - "Holding Out For A Hero" - Bonnie Tyler - "Summer" - Calvin Harris - "Tetris" - Dancing Bros. - "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" - Dead Or Alive - "Let It Go" - Disney's Frozen - "Burn" - Ellie Goulding - "Bailando" - Enrique Iglesias Ft. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona - "Mahna Mahna" - Frankie Bostello - "Never Can Say Goodbye" - Gloria Gaynor - "I Love It" - Icona Pop Ft. Charli XCX - "You're On My Mind" - Imposs Ft. J. Perry - "Love Me Again" - John Newman - "Only You (And You Alone)" - Love Letter - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - "Get Low" - Dillon Francis & DJ Snake - "Diamonds" - Rihanna - "Me And My Broken Heart" - Rixton - "Walk This Way" - Run-DMC & Aerosmith - "Don't Worry Be Happy" - The Bench Men - "Epic Sirtaki" - The Bouzouki's - "Speedy Gonzalez" - Los Pimientos Locos - "Macarena" (Official Choreography by Mia Frye)- The Girly Team - "Love Is All" - The Sunlight Shakers - "It's My Birthday" - will.i.am Ft. Cody Wise - "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" - Ylvis - "XMas Tree" - Bollywood Santa - "Fatima" - Cheb Salama £29.99Buy NowJust Dance 2015
Sacred 3 might be the first entry in the series to be developed by newcomer Keen Games, but the developer looks set to show it understands the guts of the franchise with a back to basics approach. Favourite characters such as Seraphim, Ancarian, Khukuhru and the Safiri return, doing battle against anarchic green-skins in this action role-playing game. The floating camera returns to give players a birds-eye view of environments swarming with enemies, giving the game a feel that puts it right in sync with previous entries. One crucial difference, however, is that the game has been developed with more focus on the gamepad. This means that the click-click combat of previous Sacred games is less prevalent and there's more of a focus on action. The game's physics are more realistic meaning that, for instance, a powerful blow will result in an enemy flying across the screen with a satisfying oomph. Sacred 3 has a very strong focus on co-op play. Even if you're not playing with friends online (and you don't need to be connected at all times to play) you'll have three AI companions on-screen with you at all times. This pays off with move-sets that combine the abilities of all four on-screen characters for devastating attacks. A drop-in/drop-out co-op mechanic really seals the deal to make Sacred 3 a full-blooded co-op game, rather than an RPG with multiplayer as an afterthought. £37.99
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is, as the name suggests, a direct sequel to Square's 2009 outing. Things kick off in the futuristic world of Valhalla - a somewhat post-apocalyptic city that seems to be the Final Fantasy equivalent of an urban limbo. Lightning, thought to be dead by her sister Serah, is in constant battle with Caius - a nasty-looking chap who's fancy-boy looks and visual kei fashion is lifted right out of the A-Z of Final Fantasy supervillain design. The game makes use of the Paradigm Shift system and Quick Time Events called "Cinematic Actions". And after an early shock, Lightning is left to make a last stand for the sake of humanity, the world and everything else. Serah, who is left in another time and dimension rebuilding civilisation with Cocoon survivors, is apparently the only hope for Lightning and the safety of the universe. However, the gamer also encounters Noel Kreiss, a mysterious kid who teams up with Serah to help get reunited with her sister. Time is of the essence as a former resistance group NORA witness a strange meteorite that's impacted near Cocoon, which Noel and Serah discover is causing timelines between hundreds of years to bleed into one another. This means that Noel and Serah having to hop between historical moments and dimensions via Stargate-esque portals to reach the Historia Crux. Battling enemies in XIII-2 is a very similar affair to its predecessor, using the Paradigm Shift system which allows for the same automatic battling that you could achieve in past Final Fantasy games by hammering the X button, but maintains a strategy in Paradigms that allow you to get creative with team attacks. Square Enix hasn't changed too much to the combat here in that regard. What it has done is add some new features to shake things up a bit. Monsters fought on the field can be captured automatically and added to your own team. Each creature has its own set Paradigm style that you can use to cover any cracks in your strategy. Cait Siths are Medics, for example, while Zwerg Scandroids are Ravagers that can cast spells in your stead. There's plenty here for anyone who enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII to sink their teeth into. £14.99Buy NowFinal Fantasy XIII-2
Not another iteration of FIFA, eh? No less than the ninth on this generation of consoles. After all, what more can they possibly do with it on Xbox 360 and PS3, right? Apparently quite a bit as it turns out... The most apparent change is the improvement to player animation. Referred to by EA as 'locomotion reinvented', this system, two years in development, adheres more accurately then previous FIFAs to real world considerations such as weight and momentum to give a greater sense of physicality. From a gameplay perspective, expect players to have more apparent individuality than before as agility and athleticism plays more of a role in every on-field confrontation. In the heat of a match these are considerations that may not be immediately apparent, but which embellish the overall look and feel of the game for the better. For example, for the first time in the series you can properly - and gleefully - 'do' a defender, leaving him off balance and several yards in your player's wake. Fortunately for the wronged fullback, it is also now possible to burst into a sprint from standing to make up lost yards and earn the chance to heroically dispossess his humiliator. Things have improved on the offence, too. For all of the excellence of FIFAs 9 and up, it's true to say that not every goal felt right, or earned. 'Pure Shot', as it has been dubbed, seeks to address this shortcoming. Strikers now seek to adjust their angle and stride pattern, where possible, to hit the ball as cleanly as they can. In additions to enhancements to gameplay mechanics, EA Sports has brought a whole new dimension to Career Mode. New to the game is the Global Scouting Network, which gives players the chance to develop and refine a scouting network to bring them new talent from across the world the whole year round. There have, of course, been tweaks and changes to the online offering, too, including changes to Ultimate Team, a new online mode and new features for Football Club. And don't forget the 500 officially licensed clubs! £9.99Buy NowFIFA 14