After two games submerged in the watery ruins of Rapture, BioShock Infinite takes the series skyward into the gravity-defying world of Columbia. As disgraced private eye Booker DeWitt, you are tasked with liberating the mysterious Elizabeth from a city in the sky in exchange for having your slate wiped clean. Unsurprisingly, events in the heavens turn hellish rather quickly. Thrust into the middle of a civil war, relentlessly pursued by a giant mechanical bird, all the while trying to deal with fissures in the space-time continuum – vertigo is very much the least of your troubles here.
Nintendo has just announced that Pokémon X and Y, the first releases in the massively successful franchise’s sixth generation, will arrive in October 2013. This proclamation was accompanied by the launch of a teaser trailer revealing to fans the first details of the new games.
Thanks to all the hype, rumours and trailer build up to Assassin’s Creed 3, the only way this game could have surpassed my ridiculously high expectations is if it jumped out of the box and put itself into the console. But it didn’t.
Patience is required because the opening hours are very drawn-out and feel fairly pointless. You actually start the game as Haytham Kenway, who, disappointingly, is far more likeable than the protagonist Connor. When you do finally take control of him, Connor is difficult to connect with, although this may be intentional as the game insists ‘there’s no one path through life that is right or fair,’ forcing you to question Connor’s actions in a way you never did with Altair or Ezio. There just aren’t enough moral crises in games anymore. This instalment also has some of the most bugs and glitches of the series. I found many a guard with a bayonet up his arse, and was often stuck between two trees, irritatingly forcing me to reset the sequence.
Yet, I have two words for you: Pirate Assassin. Yeah, now you want to play. The new naval battles are some of the most exciting parts of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the sailing controls are almost seamless. The free-running element has also improved, becoming so simple and streamlined you’ll find yourself shouting ‘PARKOUR!’ victoriously as you land a tree branch. Visually, the game is stunning with astonishing attention to historical detail and lots of little things that make you want to stop and just observe the bustling cities.
Assassin’s Creed 3, being so ambitious, was bound to miss the mark sometimes but overall, it has an involving narrative, with some incredible visuals and well-expanded gameplay. If you’re already a fan of the series it’s a must-own.
Halo is one of those game series which splits opinion. Some gamers froth madly at the mouth, queue up for midnight release, and generally fangasm all over the walls. Others show monstrous amounts of dismay, like every new Halo release heralds the gaming apocalypse.
These spats aside, it’s also one of the biggest, most successful game franchises out there. However, Halo 4 is the first game in the series not developed by Bungie Studios, who have abandoned the Halo series for pastures new.
343 Studios, the new creator, had a tough task ahead of them living up to Bungie’s legendary reputation, and all in all, they’ve done remarkably well. The single player campaign introduces a number of new enemies, and a whole new back story, heavily featuring the Forerunners. The story is more important than in previous games, but at times hard to follow, even for a fairly dedicated Halo fan like myself. The game does make a fair show of getting the plot across though, even if it does have to deploy more blatantly expositional dialogue than The Last Airbender to do so. (Don’t see that film. Please. As a personal favour to me, if for no other reason.)
The gameplay itself is…well, it’s a Halo game. If you’ve played any of them, you get the idea. You get some shiny new toys, the old toys are shinier, etc. Online play is, as ever, a highlight of the series, although 343 have adapted some of the better elements of Call of Duty’s online play, making it feel less original, but kind of annoyingly, better.
If you’re a Halo fan, you’ll love it. If you’re not, it’s still worth a buy, although it’s never a good idea to jump into a franchise four installations in. If you don’t like Halo, well, there’s a new Skyrim expansion out soon. That should keep you happy for another billion years or so.
Cia Jackson talks about the new WoW expansion. Does it devalue the Warcraft brand by bringing kung-fu pandas to the Azeroth or does it make the whole experience better?
In this issue’s links we look at the shortcomings of blue hedgehogs, the alcoholism of owls, the headgear of hounds and a musical, booze-drenched finale.
* Twit Twoo My Head – When you’re feeling hungover after Cheesy, check this out.
* PASS THE KIBBLE – While these pictures are adorable, the captions are dynamite. Big love for the vegan penguins.
* Ello Roadkill - Do you get sick of hearing the same joke again and again?
Like getting up before 4pm on a Saturday, emptying a bin or refusing a free drink when it’s offered, watching live television is something a lot of students don’t do anymore. While home students have parents who can waste money on things like regular meals or a TV license, as a future scrounging academic living on his own I can’t be wasting perfectly good beer money on such things as the ability to watch television whatsoever.
Except for online, that is. Thanks to the internet, we can watch a whole array of television programmes, films and radio shows on catch-up services for free at our convenience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 3am or in the middle of a lecture you can catch up on everything from Downton Abbey to The Only Way Is Essex.