Issuu on Google+

GM 257 Dec 2012 £3.99

GM 257 DECEMBER 2012

£3.99


SIDER INFO! NEWS! OPINIONS! IN

Contents

Wii U is on its way to a shop near you soon!

Are U Ready? 12 Wii U inally gets a launch date. Excited! Witch Is Back 13 The Nintendo have revealed shock news

R O F IS

about Bayonetta 2 – and it’s exclusive to Wii U!

Party Hardy 14 Julia reports from SummerSlam! Shots 16 Big The latest shots from the hottest games

– including Transformers and Skylanders.

5 alive! 18 What the iPhone 5 means for gaming.

computerandvideogames.com 08

DECEMBER 2012

For all the latest gaming news!

How excited are you about…?

GROUND ZEROES Tell us on Facebook and Twitter! www.facebook.com/ gamesmastermagazine and www.twitter.com/ gamesmaster.


Slim fast

Lightning strikes thrice!

New Slim PS3 alerts! Sony have made two new PlayStation 3 SKUs with a sleek, sliding lid covering the disc tray. A 500Gb model is out now, while a scaled back 12Gb Flash memory version (sure to cause many a mandatory install nightmare) will be released in a matter of days.

It’s the JRPG that keeps on giving. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is officially the third game in the JRPG sub-series, but this time original heroine Lightning is the only character. It’s set over 13 days and clocks continue to be a core component of the story.

New engine! New mysteries! New open- world gameplay! Metal Gear Solid is back and bigger than ever! linking back into the searchlights of gamers everywhere, Metal Gear Solid is set to bestow a final hurrah on current-gen consoles, thanks to an incredibly powerful, eye-wateringly impressive new engine, and with legendary Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima firmly back in the driving seat. At an event held in Tokyo to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, incredible footage of the latest MGS outing, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, stunned onlookers as Big Boss (or Naked Snake for MGS3: Snake Eater veterans) makes a return as the central protagonist. An awful lot of info was contained in the presentation for fans to speculate on, while it also shows off Big Boss’s new ability to drive vehicles found in the game, call in a support chopper and navigate an expansive open world. That’s right, Ground Zeroes is to be an open world game, with players capable of moving between massive mission locations, spread across a number of different countries.

S

Omega man

Info FORMAT 360, PS3 OUT TBC DEVELOPER Kojima Productions PUBLISHER Konami WHAT IS IT? The ninth (count ‘em) main entry in the Metal Gear franchise and a return for MGS3 and Peace Walker protagonist Big Boss.

The cinematic presentation kicks off as we pan past a sign for prison camp Omega. Three men walk by, one wearing a waterproof poncho that billows in the blustering wind. It’s immediately apparent that the new Fox Engine, which Kojima says he hopes will make it easier for Kojima Productions (and possibly Konami) to make high quality, multi-platform games quickly, is an impressive piece of kit. Camp searchlights make soaked surfaces glisten and the textures, from the waterlogged ground to the burnished slide of a submachine gun, look near indistinguishable from real life. Moving through the camp, the mystery men approach an iron cage, with a small boy hunched over inside. We later discover that this is Chico, imprisoned along with Paz from Peace Walker. The shady leader of the men chucks a cassette player in through the bars and Chico scrabbles to snatch it up, plugging in earphones from a jack imbedded in his chest. As the man stands and walks away we see that his face is heavily scarred, though we still can’t make out who he is. The familiar track of Here’s To You by Joan Baez (which was included in the MGS4 soundtrack) plays out in the background as the man joins a humvee convoy. Who is this scarred villain? Is he a totally new character? Or someone we already know in a state of ill repair? A quick shot of a reversed FOX insignia in a rear view mirror implies that he could be a member of the military unit founded by Zero and The Boss. Shortly after, our mystery man erases a reversed FOX logo from a military helicopter and lobs a fistful of FOX badges into the winds, implying some hefty double crossery is taking place before us.

AN OPEN WORLD GAME, WITH PLAYERS CAPABLE OF MOVING BETWEEN MASSIVE LOCATIONS DECEMBER 2012

09


Critical Mass A new Mass Effect is in development at BioWare. General manager Aaryn Flynn says they’re already thinking about: “another full game”. They’re also: “putting together their vision for an all new game set in a fictional universe, built from the bottom-up with all new gaming technology,” he teased. And now for the bad news…

“Just announced my retirement from videogames. Really looking forward to my next chapter; will miss my teams.” BioWare founder Dr Ray Muzyka – @RayMuzyka – says his goodbyes as both he and fellow-founder Dr Greg Zeschuk leave the Mass E fect developer

*Follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/gamesmaster – to discover nuggets of hot gaming news just like this

Naked Snake’s mission is to rescue Chico and Paz from Camp Omega. But what exactly are they being held for?

We especially like how individual rain drops slide down Snake’s face.

As this intriguing individual leaves in a chopper, the familiar form of Big Boss/ Naked Snake climbs up and over a beautifully rain sodden cliff face. ‘Kept you waiting, huh?’ he says, in true nudge-wink Kojima fashion. And then we’re into gameplay, as Snake kneels down and scouts out the massive Camp Omega before him. Avoiding searchlights, he slowly approaches a watch tower, takes out a guard with a single suppressed pistol shot, then clambers over some rocks and down into the base proper. Omega is huge and totally open. It’s easy to imagine players taking many different approaches to saving Chico and Paz. For now Snake jumps into a nearby abandoned jeep and starts her up. Before we can see too much of the game’s new driving mechanics though, Snake leaps out and tosses a flare down to call in a helicopter. Ride Of The Valkyries plays out as the chopper approaches, though apparently you can choose your own personal music to play during these moments.

Like a bawss And so, the cinematic and gameplay presentation comes to an end and we’re left with just one final mystery unpoked. What’s that title all about? Well there’s the blatant link to FOX unit commander Major Zero. The opposing philosophies that he and Big Boss developed after the death of The Boss in MGS3 may be the fulcrum of much of the Ground Zeroes plot, given that is the root cause of pretty much all the conflict in the chronologically preceding games. Telling also is the definition of the term ground zero which refers to the closest point of impact on Earth when an atomic bomb hits, the point from which the surrounding devastation spreads. One thing we do know is that this won’t be simply Metal Gear Solid 5 – instead Ground Zeroes will serve as a prologue for the next numerical entry in the series. ‘Everything has its beginning,” Big Boss himself says, at the end of MGS4, “but it doesn’t start as one.” “The world is born from Zero.”

010

DECEMBER 2012

Tell us this doesn’t look like live action and we’ll slap you in the face.

The theme of mirrored images pervades the whole trailer, like this reversed Fox logo. The meaning? Let the guesswork begin! Zero? Volgin? Psycho Mantis? Gray Fox? The speculation begins now, though this shady chap may be an entirely new character…

LIGHTS, CAMERA, (TACTICAL ESPIONAGE) ACTION! The prospect of a Metal Gear Hollywood movie rises once again… Hollywood producer Avi Arad is set to produce a Metal Gear Solid movie, after the adaptation rights were picked up by Colombia pictures. While video games might have had a checkered Hollywood past, Arad managed to make comic books a serious business in twinkle town, so we’re hopeful he can do the same for our beloved Snake and co.

SKIP TO THE 1964: MGS3 Snake Eater (PS2, 2005) The chronology all kicks off as Naked Snake sets out to untangle the mess left behind by the seeming defector (and his former mentor) The Boss. in a jungly Cold War era setting.

The first tiny gasps of a clue that there’s an imminent Metal Gear movie on the horizon.

PLAY IT NOW: 360, PS3, PS Vita (HD Collection) and 3DS

1970: MGS Portable Ops (PSP, 2007) The first canonical handheld entry in the series was a direct sequel to Snake Eater, starring the newly nicknamed Big Boss (otherwise known as Naked Snake). This title chronicled the founding of Foxhound as FOX goes renegade. PLAY IT NOW: Only on PSP


Ghost Station

Ones to watch

GameStation is no more. By the time you read this, stores nationwide will be in the process of rebranding as GAME. Part of the refurbishment process involves adding WiFi access to every store, a new loyalty card and introducing a Game Hunter service to let customers track down retro games and have them delivered to their doors.

Cinemagoers will be delighted (or should that be horrified?) to know more gaming films are on their way to the silver screen. MGM Studios have snagged the rights to Russian post-apocalyptic blaster Metro 2033, with Narnia producer Mark Johnson overseeing the project. Star Trek actor Michael Dorn, meanwhile, has revealed he’s playing a werewolf in a new Castlevania flick.

Ground Zeroes is assumed to be the title of the demo, not the full game.

WHAT IS PROJECT OGRE?

Mr Kojima is tight lipped about Ogre.

Kojima Productions’ other major title in the works…

Snake is technically a cyclops so those goggles make sense… kinda…

Ground Zeroes isn’t the only project underway over at Kojima Productions HQ. Another mystery game, codenamed Project Ogre is also under construction, again set to utilise the powerful Fox Engine. Nobody’s quite sure what Ogre will be as yet, though it’s significant that Kojima-san is taking such a hefty role in Ground Zeroes. This implies that Project Ogre, whatever it is, will be spearheaded by someone else at KP. Speculative fans point out Shuyo Murata, co-director of MGS4, whose name doesn’t appear on the credits at the end of the Ground Zeroes presentation.

Expect the technology of the Big Boss stories to start catching up with that of Solid Snake’s half of the MGS saga.

Wide open areas can be seen from aboard the helicopter. Everywhere you can see, Snake can go, we’re told.

END… 1974: MGS Peace Walker (PSP, 2010) It all started getting serious as Big Boss becomes an enemy of America and takes the first major footsteps towards founding Outer Heaven with the military organisation Militaires Sans Frontières (Soldiers Without Borders). PLAY IT NOW: 360, PS3

This young lad is almost certainly Chico from Peace Walker, though some fans initially thought that it could be a young Solid Snake or Raiden.

The lightning flashes make Big Boss’s hair look rather white, though Kojima took to Twitter to claim he’s not actually that much older.

A chronological recap of the MGS series, and Ground Zeroes’ predicted place within it…

????: MGS Ground Zeroes (360, PS3, 2012) We reckon we’ll finally get to see the epic moments that drew Big Boss into founding Outer Heaven in a Star Wars: Episode 3-esque finale. Chico is still fairly young in the cinematic, so it can’t be set too long after Peace Walker. PLAY IT SOON: 360, PS3

1995: Metal Gear (MSX, 1987) Solid Snake, a rookie of Foxhound, is sent into Outer Heaven to rescue captured agent Gray Fox, while taking down the titular battle tank. PLAY IT NOW: 360, PS3 (HD Collection)

1999: Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake (MSX2, 1990) This gem didn’t get a release in the west for 16 whole years, but tells of how Solid Snake took down former war buddy turned Big Boss lackey Gray Fox in Zanzibar. Big Boss ‘dies’. PLAY IT NOW: 360, PS3 (HD Collection)

2005: Metal Gear Solid (PS1, 1999) Solid Snake stormed into the modern 3D age, in this tale of the Shadow Moses Island incident. In taking down Metal Gear REX, Solid learns that he and naughty bro Liquid are actually clones of Big Boss. PLAY IT NOW: PSN

2007 & 2009: Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty (PS2, 2001) Lank haired hero Raiden takes centre stage as the Big Shell incident plays out. He cries mostly, while taking out Solidus, the third Big Boss clone. PLAY IT NOW: 360, PS3, PS Vita (HD Collections)

2014: MGS4 Guns of the Patriots (PS3, 2008) Solid Snake becomes Old Snake thanks to an accelerated ageing side effect and his chapter in the MGS saga comes to a climatic close, but not before we learn that Big Boss had been alive all this time! PLAY IT NOW: PS3

DECEMBER 2012

011


Insta paint

Our most wanted

The drive-through spraypaint booths from Burnout Paradise are back. If you don’t like the colour of your ride, simply burn through one to get a new hue. Olive, gross!

We can’t wait for… 1. Wii U We need a new console! I can’t wait to see how well it all works outside of test conditions in my front room. p12

2. Halo 4 Surely the last Halo we’ll see this gen and the Forerunner angle makes it the freshest one for years. p32

3. Assassin’s Creed III Just pips Hitman for me by squeezing pirates into what was already the coolest US history lesson imaginable. p20

1. Halo 4 It’s easy to forget just how significant this is. It’s a true Halo 3 sequel, and surely the 360’s last Halo hurrah. p32

2. F1 Race Stars

MATT

With this, LittleBigPlanet Karting and Sonic & Sega AllStars Racing Transformed, karting fans can rejoice! p36

3. Bayonetta 2 The first game was THE definite action game of this generation. I’m delighted to see the series live on. p12

1. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes I always did prefer Big Boss’ brand of cigar chomping Cold War stealth action. p8

2. The Last of Us

MATT’S

Naughty Dog’s latest makes Drake’s brilliant Uncharted jaunts look as intense as a trip to see your grandparents.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us The Tekken Tag Tournament 2 arcade cabinet we have in our office has infected me with a desire to bash.

GM Instant Reaction The standout features of the game – that could make it great – appear in this little green box.

Any low points, niggles and worries about the game will be highlighted here.

How excited are you about…?

NFS MOST WANTED Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!

THE PATENTED GM THRILL O METER Are we excited about this game? The Thrill-O Meter will tell you at a glance. The Thrill-O Meter reveals our current thinking on the game’s prospects, based on our most recent preview-stage access. A 1 2 means something is seriously amiss, 3 is average, and 4 5 mean this game could be a winner.

28

DECEMBER 2012

www.facebook.com/ gamesmastermagazine and www.twitter.com/ gamesmaster.


INCOMING! POTENTIALE HITS ON TH HORIZON

Forza: Horizon We check out this NFS competitor open-world racing game. p35

GTA V Wowsers! Huge game alert! The latest on Rockstar’s new GTA. p38

Five alive

There are ive carspeci ic challenges for every vehicle in NFS: Most Wanted, all designed to showcase that car’s unique abilities.

Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel The bromance continues as the shooter returns. p40

O ut 2 Nov

95% complete

Mobile

Need For Speed

Most Wanted

This car is a yellow one. Look, we’re not ‘car people’, okay?

The best bits of Need For Speed and Burnout Paradise collide! Info FORMAT 360/PS3/ PC/Vita OUT 2 November DEVELOPER Criterion Games PUBLISHER EA WE PLAYED Numerous multiplayer events at Gamescom. WHAT IS IT? Open world cops and robbers, with blindingly fast realworld supercars!

hile the premise of Need For Speed: Most Wanted echoes the 2005 EA Black Box title of the same name (win races to climb a Most Wanted leaderboard while evading the cops who are trying to muscle in on your fun), it is there the similarities end. Taking place in an open-world playground crammed full of challenges, collectables and sweeping races that span as wide as the city that hosts them, this reboot is in

W

fact Burnout Paradise 2 in pretty much everything but name. And we at GM couldn’t be happier about that. Burnout Paradise’s decision to go open world divided fans back in 2008, with many rightly noting that the ‘find your own route to the finish line’ dynamic diluted the purity of the actual racing. True perhaps, but if like us you took the game online with friends to attempt the team challenges, you’ll know that this was where the heart of the Burnout Paradise experience lay.

After taking a brief detour back into Linearsville with Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, we’re pleased to see Criterion getting firmly back on track with their vision of an open world racer – especially as they’ve taken criticisms of Paradise on-board for the ride.

Para, Para, Paradise In the years since Burnout Paradise’s release, Criterion has developed its own social media platform DECEMBER 2012

29


PR EV IE WS SPEED TRAP

Fair do’s

Fairhaven is a worthy successor to Paradise City. Primarily an urban sprawl, it inds time to open up into gloriously open parkways and copba ling woodlands.

Feeling testy Our favourite multiplayer events are the Speedtests. These give everyone 90 seconds to record the longest drift, highest jump or some similar accomplishment. Once you’ve recorded a good time, you can play the role of disrupter, banging into other players to prevent them eclipsing your score. And this one is a grey one. Yellow ones are better for, um, night visibility?

– Autolog – and Most Wanted is powered by version 2.0 of the software. Even when you’re playing on your own you’re up against the entire world, as the new and improved Autolog tracks everything you do as you burn around the city of Fairhaven. Each street, for example, has a Speedwall attached to it, and as you burn past it it’ll broadcast your time to your other friends and invite either you or them to do better. You can customise

your newsfeed to some extent, allowing you to concentrate on beating the times of your best friend and drowning out the impossi-times set by that guy who smashed you on Top Spin 4 that one time and friended you for no reason. Jump distances are also recorded among friends, and in a neat touch they physically manifest themselves in your world in the form of a billboard with their mugshot on it. Smash through it while beating their distance and their

ugly gurn will be replaced with your beautiful visage. Ha! As such, the meaning of the Most Wanted list has also changed with the times. While in Black Box’s games it referred to a CPU-controlled cast of failed Guy Ritchie gangsters who had to be toppled one by one, now it means scaling your friend’s leaderboards. A new feature called CloudCompete allows you to track the progress of your friends across multiple formats, making the

Mod talk 360 owners with Kinect can equip mods on the fly by barking out your commands at the TV screen. This could give the quick of tongue a huge advantage; if you’re shifting from off-road to an asphalt surface in the middle of a race, you can quickly swap tyres without even once looking in your rear view mirror.

It took a year for day/night cycles to come to Burnout Paradise. NFS: MW has them on day one.

30

DECEMBER 2012

Custom culture

Intriguingly, we’re hearing rumblings that Criteron will allow players to set up custom races and events, which you can share with friends online. Ace!! If true, that is!!


This car’s rubbish because it doesn’t have a roof. You’ll regret it when Winter sets in.

Ahh, now big muthas like this are good for Burnout 3-style Takedowns. Finesse? Not so much.

These captions were brought to you by the Journalists Against Screenshots of Cars Guild.

competition more inclusive – and even more fierce – than ever. The race-ruining cops from the original Most Wanted have also got with the times; in their attempts to bring you to justice they now deploy spike tracks, like their NFS: Hot Pursuit counterparts, and bring in the heavy artillery if you refuse to pull over nicely. Despite this, they’re easier to evade now than they’ve been in the past, thanks in part to your car’s nippier handling, which enables you to turn even the heftiest car on a sixpence and make a detour either off-road or down an inviting back alley towards one of the cooldown spots.

Carrera Criminal That’s a change consistent with a game that’s been rebalanced to make everything faster and more accessible. Practically every single car in the game is now available for you to drive from the word go – if you can find them. The 50-strong cache of licensed dreamcars – including Aston Martins, Lamborghini Aventadors and Porsche Carreras – can be spotted minding their own business in numerous jack spots scattered around

THE COPS ARE EASIER TO EVADE NOW THAN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST

Driving with a faulty rear brake light has dire consequences in Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

the city. To hop in and add it to your collection, all you have to do is pull over and take it. Needless to say, many will be well-hidden by Criterion’s designgremlins so it pays to explore. You might not unlock cars the traditional way, but there is still an XP system of sorts – entitled Speed Points – that lets you purchase mods for your fav vehicle, which you can equip on the move thanks to a streamlined menu system accessed via the d-pad. Once selected, they’ll affix themselves to your auto instantaneously without even a hint of a brake light. Again, it’s all designed to minimise menu screen clutter and ensure that you’re always hurtling full speed towards your next objective. This ethos also extends to the multiplayer challenges. Pre-race pecking orders are now decided on the fly as players jostle for position on the grid, and the moment you cross the finish line you’re encouraged to pivot on the spot and drive back into the fray and take out stragglers for additional points. Factor in instant restarts and the ability to warp straight to events and you’ve got a slicker, punchier version of Burnout Paradise that succeeds in eliminating all of its dead zones, and makes a better fist at encouraging you to explore its world. The only outstanding question is whether Most Wanted can succeed where Paradise crashed, by offering a single player experience that’s every bit the equal of purpose built racers such as Blur and Hot Pursuit. Fenders crossed… ALEX DALE

Here’s a nice shot of us (centre) making plenty of new friends in Fairhaven.

Aargh, roadblocks! There’s always a handy car-shaped gap for you to sneak through, mind.

GM Instant Reaction Fantastic world, with plenty of variety, challenges and secrets hidden within.

No more endless, frustrating cop chases like there were in the original Most Wanted.

Superior handling – the heaviness of Hot Pursuit’s cars has been given the heave-ho.

If you don’t have an internet connection, you’re missing out on much it has to offer.

DECEMBER 2012

31


PR EV IE WS

O ut Mar 20

CARTEL WHAT IT IS YET?

7 5% complete

Male bonding at its most destructive.

Mobile

Army of Two

The Devil’s Cartel

Notice the crumbling textures of the wall plaster? The devil’s in the details, hur-hur.

Have sympathy for the devilish cartels of Mexico when Frostbite 2 comes to town… Info FORMAT 360, PS3 OUT March 2012 DEVELOPER Visceral Games PUBLISHER EA WE PLAYED 40 minutes of apartment buildingbased mayhem, showcasing the Frostbite 2 engine and its destructible environments. WHAT IS IT? An action-packed buddy movie in bullet spraying thirdperson co-op shooter form.

40

he Army of Two series has long been a great reason to break out in high fives, and this third full blown outing is no exception. Put together by a new Visceral Games team, The Devil’s Cartel threatens to best anything that the third person coverbased shooter series has done before, thanks to the stonking great gas tankerful of power provided by Battlefield 3’s Frostbite 2 engine. Before you move your beer fridge to within arm’s reach of your sofa, however, let’s take stock. You and your co-op companion take control of Alpha and Bravo, the former a

T

DECEMBER 2012

military veteran, the latter an army drop-out with a talent for slaughter. This time out you’ll shoot through Mexico, with Frostbite 2 capable of pumping out both sun-bleached plaster walls being decimated by combined gunfire and post-gunfight dust motes settling through heat haze.

Two story In our early level playthrough, we quickly encounter the gameplay effects that the destructible world bestows upon AoT:TDC, as our hastily chosen wooden banister is chundered to splinters. As we tear

How excited are you about…?

ARMY OF TWO

Tell us on Facebook and Twitter! www.facebook.com/ o icialgamesmaster and www.twitter.com/ gamesmaster.

13


PREVIEWS

Part-time cover

Cover based shooters are a dime a dozen, so it’s easy to jump straight into The Devil’s Cartel. Destructible cover and a heavy focus on communicating with your partner aim to set it apart from the crowd.

Moments of calm will presumably give you a chance to recap/high-five/man-slap your fellow player accordingly.

Heart-break Cartel

The narrative of The Devil’s Cartel pits Mexican criminals against a moralistic Mayor intent on cleaning up the streets. We’d hardly call Alpha and Bravo tidy, but they intend to help get the job done.

Bullets have a palpable audio quality, zinging off metal cover, thwacking wetly into unarmoured cartel-ites and thunking into concrete.

through an apartment building lobby we notice a bar filling at the top of our screen. This aptly-dubbed Overkill meter slowly fills whenever you work together with your partner. Help your pal to escape from under heavy fire, actively flank your foe, or simply both communicate and take aim at the same enemy and the meter will fill with Overkill juice, nicely incentivising Alpha and Bravo and teamwork and co-operation. Once full, Chris Moyles don’t get on. unleashing Overkill empowers you with über destructive bulletry, capable of smashing walls to debris and crunching through cartel members limbs in a cacophony of concentrated destruction. At one point a simple step lift over a precariously placed wooden obstacle ends up with our two mercs on different floors of the lobby. With each player’s line of sight being different, there’s a heavy reliance on communication. The playthrough culminates in a Activate Overkill mode colossal set-piece wherein one player at same time as your partner the to takes out rocket launcher toting gentry on double your destructive powers. a rooftop, while the other blasts a radio tower with a helicopter. A few explosions later and we’re dangling precariously off the edge of the roof, in an action set piece that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bad Frostbite 2 works Boys 3 movie (if they ever make one). destructive wonders. Our playthrough is peppered with the We also love the developers indicating how they’d like to cinematic style. increase the difficulty a touch and to introduce even more moments of We shot a lot of explosive tactical thinking. We reckon the people – but why? Hopefully we'll have controls will also need oiling, as they felt more idea come launch. slightly rigid. That said, we’ve already loaded up on snacks and beverages ahead of an all night high-five marathon. MATTHEW SAKURAOKA-GILMAN

GM Instant Reaction The level design informs co-op more than ever. You’ll need to work together. Aiming felt slightly sticky, but fortunately there's plenty of time to tweak before release.

DECEMBER 2012

41


Mobile

Info FORMAT 360, PS3 OUT Now DEVELOPER EA Canada PUBLISHER EA PLAYERS 1-4 PRICE £39.99 RATING 12+ WHAT IS IT? Field hockey, on ice. With fighting. And musical interludes fresh from the year 1998.

NHL 13 The champagne’s on ice… uuugggh! You just spat your coffee all over us! It’s leaked everywhere! It’s in our staples, ferchrissake! We forgive you though, because we know what you were thinking. “90%? For a hockey game? Has GM gone pucking crazy?” Nope! Thanks to some brave gameplay adjustments, NHL 13 is a smarter, faster and more realistic hockey sim than ever before, and a legit contender for sports game of the year in its own right.

A

Veterans will notice the changes within seconds. A brand new skating physics engine has been introduced to address one of the main shortcomings of the series until now – that all the players feel the same to control. Now skating acceleration is a variable stat, so fleet-footed playmakers are quicker off the mark than plodding fourth-liners with clogs for skates. Conversely, burly players take a while to get going but when they hit top speed they’re like a tank, their extra bulk allowing them to easily bulldoze any dozy twerps who get in their way. Line changes matter more here, and if you have a nippy forward line on the ice, dumping and chasing is now a legitimate, successful tactic.

Backskating plays a more prominent role this year. In real life we can’t even skate forwards.

The changes have been implemented for the hardcore crowd, and if you’re a non-fan who doesn’t know their five-hole from their bumhole there’s a steep learning curve that will put many casual sports gamers off. But we heartily recommend this to anyone who has the patience to put the hours in – for it is, effectively, a modern-day Speedball on ice. ALEX DALE

Skaters gonna skate

NHL Moments takes real-life events and puts ’em in the game...

It’s a similar story at the other end of the rink, where defenders have to concentrate on positional awareness rather than going for the big hit into the boards, as they’ll never be able to recover in time if they’re off-cue.

The Walking Dead: The Game. Episode 3: Long Road Ahead

Madden NFL 13

JUDGEMENT %

90

Fast, furious and packs staggering depth into its streamlined controls.

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

FORMAT 360, PS3, PC (reviewed), mobile OUT Now PRICE £3.99

FORMAT 360, PS3, PC (reviewed) OUT Now PRICE £29.99

adden 13‘s main attraction is its new physics engine. But despite offering a greater variety of tackle animations, it didn‘t quite get our pom-poms in the air with the same enthusiasm. The tangible benefits of the Infinity Engine, like an increased range of throwing trajectories, will really only be appreciated by the hardcore fans. That notwithstanding, the stunning presentation – flashy, loud and very, very American – gives Madden 13 a big game presence the likes of FIFA and NHL lack, and a thoughtful array of preset plays means it’s instantly accessible, even to those who only manage to catch the one game at Wembley a year. A good pick-up for sports fans who like a side-order of tactics with % their neck-snapping violence.

alfway through this latest episode of Telltale’s zombie fest we were thinking: “yup, this is still brill, but probably the weakest entry so far.” Then something unexpected and plain horrific happened, and we backpedalled… extremely quickly. Then something else happened, and it pretty much broke our minds. With these revelations, the game suddenly transcended its humble adventure origins and became something so much more vital. Our love for Clem. Our rage and frustration with Kenny. Man, these are levels of emotion that we genuinely haven’t experienced in games so far. This is better – so much better – than the AMC series, and it’s quickly become some of the most essential gaming of % this, or indeed any other, year.

ALEX DALE

ROB TAYLOR

ark Souls’ lengthy pilgrimage from consoles to PC is as bare bones as the skeletons that populate the game – but what a game it is. The RPG only fully reveals itself with time and sweat and toil, yet when it does, it proves to be one of the most rewarding and astonishingly epic experiences of this entire generation. Although the additional PvP mode fails to hold a candle to the regular game-invasion mechanics, the new areas and NPCs pile more greatness on top of an already-stellar experience. In the months since launch we’ve peeled back the layers to discover more enchanting, enthralling mechanisms with every step, and the Prepare to Die version – available as DLC on consoles – is the % brutal pinnacle of that near-perfect RPG. MATT P

FORMAT 360, PS3 OUT Now PRICE £39.99

M

90

81

DECEMBER 2012

H

92

D

93


GamesMaster Sampler