This week, inFAMOUS: Second Son blasts onto PS4, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes rocks up to Xbox 360 and Dark Souls II delivers on PS3. Meanwhile, Lost Light and Threes! throw up some interesting mathematical puzzling challenges on smartphone and tablet.
inFAMOUS: Second Son | PS4 | Action | £46.99
Anyone who had the pleasure of slipping into Cole McGrath’s super-powered shoes a couple of years ago in inFAMOUS 2 will know just what joy can be had from possessing a suite of extraordinary god-like powers. It was an absolute riot. Here, Second Son presents an excellent action adventure follow-up in which, surrounded by a society that fears them, these superhuman are now ruthlessly hunted down and caged by the Department of Unified Protection. You step into a locked-down Seattle as Delsin Rowe, who has recently discovered his phenomenal capabilities and is now fighting back against the oppressive DUP. What remains for you to do is revel in this power as you choose how to push your awesome abilities to the limit, and witness the consequences of your actions as they affect the city and people around you. It’s next-generation stuff taken to the next level, with incredible action sequences and a host of intelligent karma decision-making mechanics shaping the outcome of your individual game experience. In fact, the easiest decision you’ll need to make is to buy it now.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes | Xbox 360 | Action | £21.99
Any new MGS title should set the gaming senses humming, and Ground Zeroes promises a showcase of Kojima Productions’ next-generation FOX Engine, set to revolutionise the already super-Solid experience. In some respects it succeeds, as the first title in the franchise to offer open world gameplay, where the options for unrestricted stealth or full-blown gunplay are at the player’s discretion. But you must decide how to deploy your intelligence and cerebral strategy to sneak your way through the unfortunately short-lived missions, which range from tactical action to aerial assaults and ‘covert’ missions that will throw in a surprise or three. The lengthy cut-scenes and complex plot have been sacrificed for a repayable experience that promises so much more from the upcoming Phantom Pain. Silent stealth is still making a hell of a lot of noise on consoles these days, and nobody does it better than Metal Gear Solid.
Dark Souls II | PS3 | Action | £34.99
Prepare to die... again. After the awesomely difficult, but oh-so rewarding experience in the original Dark Souls, the question is, after a much-needed break, do you now dare yourself to engage again against ultra-intense gameplay, in a vast world, powered by an all-new game engine? If you accept this hardcore mission, you’ll be forced to immerse yourself into a host of mind-bending environments filled with new twisted monsters and even deadlier bosses. Threat preys on your senses (and phobias) at every opportunity - from auditory hallucinations to vertigo and acrophobia. It’s not a game to take lightly, but every death is not in vain in the world of Drangelic, merely better preparing you for your next attempt. Completion never feels unobtainable, but you’ll need to wholeheartedly commit to the challenge ahead. Dark Souls II is superbly designed, particularly from an enemy point of view, while multiplayer has also been satisfyingly tinkered with from the original. You’ll receive some tough love during your journey, but it’ll never be undeserved - and you’ll emerge a much better gamer for it.
Threes! | iPhone/iPad | Puzzle | £1.49
What are your basic multiplication skills like? Probably pretty sound but, in the pressure-cooker of a super-tight 4x4 grid where the matching of similarly numbered tiles only escalates the challenge, your brain could easily be blown off course. A first glance Threes! looks a super simple and also a short-lived affair, such is the speed with which a game board can fill up. But, with some tactical swiping to bring new tiles into more preferred positions, you might soon be generating numbers as high as 384, which is no mean feat when you start by combining a red number one and blue number two. After that it’s two threes, two sixes, and so on for as long as you can keep a spare space on the grid, which makes for an intoxicatingly addictive game atmosphere (alongside the terrific soundtrack and audio, plus slick minimalist but humorous design). If you’ve been hankering after a new puzzle challenge, Threes! could be just the ticket, sparking an everlasting hunt for a new high score, and figures floating in your mind while you try to sleep at night!
Lost Light | iPhone/iPad | Puzzle | £0.69
More maths puzzling, this time dished out by Disney, who swap cutesy characters for devilish digits in this illuminating offering for smartphones and tablets. In a set-up akin to the classic Tetris game board, you must connect a series of numbered tiles to create bigger, beefier numbers that then must be generated the equivalent number of times to remove them all from the board. If it sounds tricky, don’t worry - the first 25 of 100 levels are almost too pedestrian, guiding you through the basic principles. However, the latter stages introduce much more complicated concepts that really pick up the pace, alongside little side objectives that force you to think carefully and strategically about your next swipe. It’s an intriguing little title that’s well worth wading through the lacklustre first world - after that, the Disney magic starts to flow.