Missed a big release? Don’t worry, I have you covered with the release roundup from the week – the big ones to the little ones!
Well folks, this week saw the release of one of the most hyped AAA title in recently memory, Watch Dogs. Yes its been quite some time since that amazing presentation at Ubisofts E3 presentation 2 years ago, and countless open world titles have come and gone, including the land mark that was GTA V. So does Watch Dogs really re invent the genre? can you really teach a old dog new tricks? Sadly not, as the popular opinion on Watch Dogs is that it is a highly competent open world title with a lackluster plot, terrible protagonist and some interesting hacking mechanics, that while fun, don’t exactly bring a huge amount to the table.
In Watch Dogs you play Aiden Pearce,possibly the dullest protagonist Ubisoft have ever produced, being a amalgamation of every tired stereotype there is featuring a revenge driven plot, a gruff batman voice and no personality, heck he has his coat up so high you rarely see his face. After a spoilerific opening sequence, you are plopped into a open world new future depiction of Chicago, were the entire city is controlled by a large corporation using the CtOS to run over every aspect of life in the city, from smart phones to traffic lights, and Aiden Pearce has the power to mess with all of it.The main draw of the game is the hacking and luckily it works well, if not as ground breaking as it seemed in demos. You can cause traffic accidents, spy on civilians, hack bank accounts, cause pipes to explode and more. Everything works well together and through this hacking is where much of the emergent game play comes from. The plot on the other hand is the usual tale of a generic male lead trying to seek revenge, and while the supporting cast all do a great job, Aiden Pearce couldn’t be more unlikable. Where Watch Dogs excels is in the surprisingly well crafted stealth combat, the emergent stories made through hacking and its general near future cyber punkish aesthetic. If you wanted a game that changed the face of the industry for years, then this isn’t it, but if you want a decent open world game with sloppy car physics, a dull plot and hours of interesting hacking water cooler stories, then this is the game for you. Its gameplay is solid and its a interesting new IP, but sadly the story just isn’t there.
Sticking with the theme of not breaking any boundary’s, this week also saw the release of the latest entry in the Mario Kart series and the only thing you will be playing on your Wii U this summer, Mario Kart 8. No I kid, but of course this is a Nintendo game, and while they do like to make iterative titles, they are damn good at it. Mario Kart 8 brings one huge change to the series and that is defying gravity. Certain parts of the tracks feature ramps that turn your wheel side ways and your good to go, driving upside down across amazingly Topsy turvy visuals. New items to the series include a piranha plant which eats enemies if they get too close, a boomerang which can be thrown 3 times and can knock out multiple enemies and quite possibly the biggest addition, the boombox, which can shatter the dreaded blue shell. A new replay system has been added, allowing you to go back and see the best parts of the match in glorious slow motion. The game runs at a constant 60 frames per second with one or two players, but tanks with more then 2. Sadly the battle mode has been stripped of its own arenas as now players will just be racing for coins or blowing each other up on the standard courses. Also the roaster in my opinion is possibly the worst yet, as all 8 of the Koopa Kids are playable character, no not all of them in one kart, all of them as individual racers. Its a easy way to fill space in the roaster and could have been used for more interesting characters, like seriously bring King Boo back from Double Dash. Overall if you have been itching for a Mario Kart console title, then its obvious your picking this up, and even with a limited roaster and lack of battle arenas, its hard not to be in awe of the sheer amount of polish and detail went into this latest entry.
Watch Dogs–Xbox One/Xbox
A Story About My Uncle–PC-28th May
Ace Combat Infinity–PS3-28th May
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King–Android/iPad/iPhone-29th May
Mario Kart 8–Wii U-30th May