- Star Wars Battlefront 2
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
PES 2016, while not being perfect, feels true to its title - it's an evolution. Master League has been revamped and fine-tuned into an excellent mode that only suffers thanks to the lack of licenses, MyClub is growing well and differs enough from Ultimate Team, and the gameplay feels refined and balanced enough to make every game a challenge but not a chore. Thanks to all of these factors, PES 2016 currently feels like it's in a league of its own.
With perfectly weighted physics that feel nice on the thumbs, tactical combat that allows you to deal with any situation in a number of ways, and a soundtrack that's catchy and euphoric, Galak-Z is one helluva ride. Though the framerate can detract from the experience at times, it makes up for its one notable shortcoming with charm, nostalgia, and by bombarding you with joy.
In some ways it's a shame that Sapienza wasn't Hitman's first mission. With its excellent world-building, well-worked atmosphere, and beautiful setting, the sleepy coastal town is one of the best Hitman missions in recent memory, and it's quality – and quantity – of content should convince most to quit waiting and spaghett(i) this title already. Trust us, you don't want to look pasta this one.
It's a testament to the excellence of Headlander that it can only be faulted for its slight technical flaws. Everything about it is so finely tuned, from its gunplay to its platforming to its puzzles, and it doesn't just stay true to classic Metroidvanias – it also builds upon the foundations that they laid. The story is well told, the characters are entertaining, the environments are fleshed out, and the humour is as brilliant as always. Headlander's one of the best games that Double Fine has ever produced.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Gauntlet: Slayer Edition. While playing single player can be fun, this game shines at its brightest when played with friends at its hardest difficulty. Simply put, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition is a great lark about with buddies, and Arrowhead almost hit the bullseye with this one, if only the visuals and music were a bit more interesting.
With Cities: Skylines, developer Colossal Order has laid the foundations for the city-building genre to return to consoles. Simple controls, immeasurable details, and accessible gameplay all ensure that the urban planning sim is a fun yet challenging experience.
Ironcast is a surprisingly strategic and complex game, while will hold your interest for quite a while. There's enough randomisation for the title to feel fresh for a long time, and every battle is one of tension and risky moves, with each action really meaning something. Winning a skirmish feels very satisfying, with the rewards after feeling even better, and though the difficulty may put people off, those who can grin and bear the painful defeats will be treated like un prince.
Q.U.B.E Director's Cut does very, very well for a game in a genre perfected by Portal, and while it's not quite at that calibre, it's a polished, complex, and enjoyable puzzler that has replayability, too. The story is deep, the mechanics are well thought out, and the graphics are simple – the ending is the only real downer in this game of many high points. A must for any indie or puzzle game fan.
The sheer length of this review should tell you that Call of Duty: Black Ops III is filled to the brim with content. While there are some low points and pacing issues, the campaign's customisation, freedom, and verticality make it excellent to play with friends. Meanwhile, mutliplayer has more customisation and replayability than ever before, and Zombies is brilliant in its complexity and difficulty. While Ghosts may have bitten the bullet, Black Ops III reloads the franchise into a new, brighter era.
At the end of the day, Hitman's buzzword is freedom. There are so many things to do – and so many ways to do them – that you'll never have to persevere to find something fun to do. It's all in front of you: a bloody, disturbing playground rife with opportunity. The trial and error gameplay brings back memories of older Hitman titles, while new ideas such as the excellent Escalation mode keep things fresh. Simply put, the Intro Pack is a great buy for old fans and new blood alike – there aren't many stealth games of this calibre.