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RED DEAD REDEMPTION (X360/PC) Out now
UFC: UNDISPUTED 2010
PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE FORGOTTEN SANDS
This MMA game still delivers a knockout blow – despite not quite delivering on its early promise.
(X360/PS3/WII/ DS/PSP/PC) Out now
(X360/PS3/PSP) Out now
If you ever wanted to play Grand Theft Auto IV on horseback – now’s your chance with one of the standout games of the year. Next-gen consoles have been crying out for a decent western-based game, and now we’ve got it within this expansive world which sees former outlaw John Marston trying to bury his bloodstained past. Despite poor saving points, this is nigh on flawless, with great combat intertwined within a compelling story – that makes this the Clint Eastwood of its ilk. #####
(X360/PS3/PC) Out now
Brock Lesnar, Rampage Jackson and co. initially seemed to have dramatically bettered last year’s first entry – improved graphics and more fighters – but with a repetitive career mode and complicated controls, it’s still only a strong contender and not yet champion.
Utilise an arsenal of power-ups – like nitro speed boosts – with more than fifty photo-realistic licensed cars at your disposal within intense racing environments.
You could argue it has taken a slight step back after the more artistic direction of the last effort – particularly with more simplistic controls – but with beautiful settings and hoardes of enemies this ticks all the right boxes.
Still the best at what it does – and comes hugely recommended – but falls just short, much like Jackson’s loss to Rashad Evans.
It may not be king with the overall design looking a tad stale – but this still has princely qualities.
Despite this self sub-titled espionage role player offering originality – sadly the end result is distinctly last-gen.
What do you get if you cross LittleBigPlanet with Mario Kart? This little gem of a game.
(X360/PS3/PC) Out now
No, not the official video game of the hit indie band – but an exhilarating Mario Kart-esque take on racing.
Fans of the franchise before the recent 2008 incarnation should lap-up this game.
(PS3/PSP) Out now
It does provide a noteworthy Mass Effect-style power of choice and a very decent script, but sub-standard graphics, unexciting combat and tedious glitches make this instantly forgettable – even though there are a few decent ideas.
It would’ve been easy for Sony to take Sega’s blatantly unoriginal route on kart racing with their recent Sonic effort, but this humorously customisable take is refreshingly fun and hugely playable.
Let’s hope the same developers don’t mess up Fallout: New Vegas – as this is one protocol you won’t want to stick to.
Innovative twists – like a Burnout-style boost meter – and great online features, means this game has plenty of gas left in the tank well after the chequered flag.
GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND
ALL STAR KARATE
Let’s be fair, there’s been some ‘rip off’ band spin-offs in both the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises – but fortunately this is one of the best.
If you ever wanted to have a bash at karate but couldn’t be bothered to get off your backside – here’s the best alternative.
It owes a lot to Project Gotham, and even though it can’t better the all-round experience of Forza 3, this sits nicely towards the top of the genre’s second tier – and boasts the all important ingredient of fun.
CRICKET 2010 (X360/PS3) Out now
(X360/PS3/Wii) Out now
If you want to imitate England’s recent T20 World Cup, this is the most enjoyable effort yet to replicate the notoriously nonconsole friendly sport. Publisher Codemasters build on solid grounding made with last year’s The Ashes, by enhancing batting – with closer camera perspective and 360 degree power stick controls – to a Kevin Pietersen ‘hitting a six’ level. Sadly bowling has been made slightly more tedious, but that’s one minor gripe in this ECB-endorsed game which is arguably the best cricket game ever. #####
(Wii) Out now
Some prior packages have simply been glorified DLC, but with more than 45 songs – and for once it includes the band’s very best – this is a polished product.
Utilising the Wii remote and nunchuk, this linear jaunt is karate-lite as you’re guided by an old-time sensei to gain all the coloured belts – right through to black.
Sadly the lyrics are understandably censored, but you definitely won’t feel like an American Idiot riffing to one of the most popular bands of this generation.
This will generally appeal to novices of the sport, but with the obvious fitness benefits thrown in, it’s hard not to recommend a game that gets you on your feet.
Thanks to Ian Hilling for playtesting some of this month’s titles.
THE LOVELY BONES (12)
CLASH OF THE TITANS (12)
Released: June 28 (also on Blu-ray)
Released: July 26 (also on Blu-ray)
Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings) returns to the director’s chair with his pet project – which is a mixed bag – as a murdered girl (Saoirse Ronan), living in an in-between world, helps her father (Mark Wahlberg) to try and catch her killer.
In-demand front man Sam Worthington (Avatar) stars as Godborn human Perseus, who aims to bring down Hades (Ralph Fiennes) before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson) and unleash hell on earth, in this functional sword-and-sandals epic.
GREEN ZONE (Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear) Released: July 12. REMEMBER ME (Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin) Released: July 26.
www.espmag.co.u k ( July )
Published on Jul 1, 2010