This week, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst smashes onto PS4, Sherlock Holmes meets The Devil’s Daughter on Xbox One and Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator steps into the ring on PS4.
Elsewhere, Human Resource Machine and Pixel Cup Soccer 16 put gamers through their paces on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Heart-pumping parkour action
Originally an incredible first-person perspective action app, the Mirror’s Edge franchise has captured gaming imaginations to the point that it’s now mixing it with the big boys (and girls) on the top console systems - and has secured a prequel/reboot in the shape of Catalyst. Here, you can experience the emergence of Faith, a brave Runner who uncovers a hidden truth inside the walls of the city of Glass. Through her journey, you’ll explore every corner of the city, from the highest, most pristine skyscrapers to the dark and dingy tunnels that underlie the city. You must master this environment, using momentum and timing to effectively combat the oppressive ruling elite and uncover the dark secrets behind the city’s beautiful facade. With freedom to explore the city and discover new activities - like ‘Dash’ races from A to B and other environmental puzzles and story missions - Catalyst has taken a leap from linear gameplay into the more popular open world approach. It works superbly, retaining the series’ signature clean, sterile style and delivering an equally slick gameplay experience as you hurtle from one rooftop to the next. The prettiest console parkour playground you ever did see!
Title: Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter
Platform: Xbox One
Another engrossing, elementary adventure from Holmes and co
It’s hard to believe that Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter is actually the eighth game in the series, and yet another excellent adventure game with unique gameplay blending investigation, action and exploration. It’s a cracking super-sleuth experience that tests the limits of your nerves and intelligence as you assume the role of the great detective. You’ll have to track down evil in the darkest corners of London and the human spirit, turning several neighbourhoods in the city upside down in search of clues and suspects, all the while untangling a well-spun web of intrigue that leads to the final stunning revelation. Crimes and Punishments was a top title 18 months ago, and The Devil’s Daughter manages to trump it in pretty much every way, from the improved investigation and deduction system to the overall storyline that really brings characters to life in a way more befitting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original efforts. It’s a wonderfully immersive tour of Victorian London and keeps Holmes high on the hit-list of interactive heroes that should feature in your console collection.
Title: Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator
Fabulous fighter action? Guilty.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is the latest entry in the long-running fighting series, which prides itself on amazing 3D visuals, gorgeous animation, fast and intense battles, not to mention that all-important element of online competition. Here, a chunky crew of six new characters join the fray, bringing the total to 23, with 21 available right off the bat. There’s been a shift away from the complicated gameplay system of old and a return to a simpler system, with a focus on the Guilty Gear signature move, ‘Roman Cancel’, which unlocks an infinite number of strategies for gameplay, allowing you to creatively expand your combos for maximum pain. A rocking soundtrack accompanies the frenetic action, pushing the fully animated story mode on at pace, as you unravel events episodically like a true anime TV series. Easy access, deep and complex combat options and stunning visual style await in Revelator and, if you already own Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, you’ll know just what a top quality fighter we have on our hands here.
Title: Human Resource Machine
A coding lesson within the corporate chores
If you’re looking to pick up Human Resource Machine and drop it into an established genre, it would definitely be defined as a puzzle game. However, it also acts as a wonderful introduction to visual programming and coding in general. Don’t let that last sentence put you off if you’re not that way inclined, though. It still stands tall as a cracking test of your organisational and logic skills, as you try to guide a grey employee through the dozens of mundane tasks set for him by the corporate bosses, which ultimately involve moving boxes from an “in” conveyor belt to an “out” one. In the middle resides all manner of rules that you must adhere to, and this is where the planning and programming comes in. You must try to solve each puzzle with as few lines of “code” as possible to get top scores and it’s all played out with wonderfully atmospheric dark humour, epitomised by the cut scenes you’re treated to as you complete each chunk of challenges. It’s rare that games can also act as a genuine education tool, but Human Resource Machine confidently ticks both boxes, and even if you couldn’t give two hoots about how programming works, it’s still well worth jumping into this awkward office environment.
Title: Pixel Cup Soccer 16
Fab floating joystick football action
If you’re struggling for something to do between Euro 2016 matches over in France this summer, you could settle for a little bit of retro action on your smartphone, as Pixel Cup Soccer 16 kicks off the festival of football in style. It’s a slickly simple arcade football effort that drops all the tactics, flicks and tricks from the likes of FIFA in favour of some good old-fashioned two-buttoned brilliance. Pixel Cup employs the floating joystick we’re all familiar with on touchscreen games, with pass and shoot buttons when in attack and tackle and switch player when defending. It’s so easy to pick up and play, with a host of league and cups to strut your stuff, while the gameplay remains solid throughout. The absence of online multiplayer modes is deserving of at least a yellow card, but with everything else you could possibly want from quick-fire football action at your fingertips, Pixel Cup Soccer 16 gets our sporting summer off to a winning start.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
So, Euro 2016 is upon us and, if you’re looking for a statistical steer on who will lift the trophy in a few weeks’ time, the team behind mobile football management sim Champ Man 16 may be able to offer punters some guidance. They ran 100,000 simulations of the tournament using the game’s sophisticated engine with Spain emerging victorious 30% of the time. Germany claimed the crown in 20% of the sims, while England managed to win the final in just 7% of the scenarios. According to Champ Man, there’s a one in 10 chance of England being runners-up, with their most likely position being a quarter final exit, which occurred in 30% of the thousands of simulations.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, Overwatch, Uncharted 4 and Doom kept hold of the top three places, while FIFA 16 leapt three places from seven to four as Euro 2016 football fever sweeps across the nation. Elsewhere, Dead Island’s Definitive Edition was the only new entry to the top 10 this week at five.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
4. FIFA 16
5. Dead Island: Definitive Edition
6. Grand Theft Auto V
7. Ratchet & Clank
8. Tom Clancy’s The Division
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
10. Homefront: The Revolution
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd