Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Another Ubisoft open world title. Yeah, we know, but the Caribbean paradise of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is so fast and teeming with life that this play space manages to stand out where others have faded into obscurity. As we said in our Xbox 360 review, this game proved that the studio is capable of listening to its critics, making up for all the glaring shortcomings of the third game.
There’s fun in even just listlessly exploring the vast blue oceans in search of new desert islands filled with treasure, proving that you don’t need to be gutting land-lubbers with your cutlass for this game to work. The real appeal comes from Black Flag’s freedom of exploration, the less-bullshit plot and the interesting (and a little nuts) modern day sections. This time, Ubisoft got it right.
Stop throwing things at your screen. We’re not exactly big sports people either round these parts, but it’s no secret that FIFA 14 had been in the UK top ten gaming chart for almost a year when this list began, and that millions of people around the world play this game. Why have we picked the Xbox One edition? Well, that’s largely due to the exclusive Ultimate Teams Legend content, but that aside, this is an incredibly deep, expertly-crafted game.
This is a format that will never die or get old, and part of FIFA 14’s appeal comes from its competitive play, as the micro-second tactical decision making required to win a match at top level is astounding. It makes chess look like Ludo. All of the mechanics helping this intricate framework of skills and parameters run fluidly may run beneath the skin, but take time to look closer and actually play this game and you’ll unearth something much deeper than a simple knock-about.
Microsoft’s ace in the hole might not be console-exclusive (hello PC players!) but if you’re playing on an Xbox, the new-gen edition of Titanfall is the way to fly. Respawn Entertainment’s fast-paced shooter is more than ‘just Call of Duty with mechs,’ as it’s often called by lazy people. The way Pilots move through each vertically-minded map throws in a whole new approach to run and gun play, and well yeah, the robots are important too we suppose.
Those Titans shake up territorial play in such a significant way, causing Pilots to run and flee, or devise new strategies on the hoof, entering each match into a constant tug of war between flesh and metal, robots and humans, skill and resolve. As we said in our Titanfall Xbox One review, it may lack narrative depth or reason due to the absence of a ‘proper’ story campaign, but who cares when blowing up 30-foot metallic monsters is this much fun?