With the holidays sneaking up on us, stores are once again being flooded with a bunch of new games of all types. But with so many new titles hitting the shelves, it can be hard to know what to focus on. This week, I’m going to highlight both titles already on store shelves that are almost certainly deserve your attention.
Destiny (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4) – It’s been over a decade since PlayStation fans have been able to play a title from Bungie, the creators of the Halo series, on their console of choice. With the release of Destiny, that all changed.
Set 700 years in the future, Destiny has traversing space shortly after the collapse of almost every human colony. Only one city survives on Earth, defended by The Guardians. Players control one of these Guardians and look to prevent the extinction of all human life by numerous alien threats.
In essence, the game is a mix of Massively Multiplayer Online games like World of Warcraft, Shooters like Halo (surprise, surprise!) and loot-driven games like Diablo. Although some say it doesn’t do any of the three as well as it could have, it’s still a unique experience that is worth a play if the concept intrigues you.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC) – This one snuck under the radar of many people. At its core, it mixes the free-running parkour traversal of Assassin’s Creed with the combat mechanics of the Batman Arkham games and layers it with Tolkien mythology.
The game is set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You take the role of Talion, a ranger of Gondor who was serving on The Black Gate – the barrier separating Mordor from the rest of Middle-earth – before one of Sauron’s captains killed him and his family. However, the ranger was reborn via a connection with a mysterious wraith and now must exact revenge upon the Dark Lord’s forces.
The game’s combat is fluid, its story is engaging (although it features mostly stereotypical fantasy characters), and it has excellent visuals and sound. Heck, I could watch Talion’s cap whip in the wind for days.
Well worth a look.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (3DS) – Despite the odd naming of this title – yes, it literally has “for Nintendo 3DS” in its title – this is easily one of the most anticipated titles of the year. The fourth title in the Smash Bros. series, the 3DS entry pits 49 classic characters against each other in a battle for mascot domination. While most of the roster is comprised of classic Nintendo characters like Mario, Link, Samus, Kirby and Pikachu, the game also has a few guest fighters from other game companies – namely Mega Man, Pac Man and Sonic the Hedgehog.
The game runs very smoothly and each character feels different, although Nintendo is guilty of a few ‘clone’ characters that are somewhat similar to one another. It also has a fantastic soundtrack full of classic tunes that will have you humming for hours after you’ve put down your 3DS
While this Smash Bros. entry lacks the in-depth story mode of the last game in the series, it still has a ton of content that should keep players busy and battling each other online for years to come.
It should also be noted that there is a new Smash Bros. game set to come out for the Wii U early next year, titled (yup, you guessed it) Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Despite the silly naming, the game is set to feature the same roster as its 3DS younger brother but will have different stages and a story mode missing from the portable title.
That does it for this week’s column. Next week, I’ll look at some titles hitting the shelves in the next two months that players (and potential gift buyers) will be wise to keep an eye on this holiday season.
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