November 2014 Roundup

Big releases in November was to the whole of 2014 as the metaphorical bus is to the old analogy. We’ve waited practically a year for an influx of major titles to be released and here comes a whole shed load of them at once. And much like the state of the public transport system here in the UK, didn’t they arrive in a whole range of conditions? Here’s a rundown of some of the major ones, and our slightly biased opinions-

 

It would be madness not to start with Ubisoft. With two releases from two of the most popular recent franchises spaced tightly together, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 showed the fundamentals of how you should and should not release your game. We’ve made our thoughts on both of them clear here and here, but what it boils down to is Far Cry 4, by not pushing the boundaries further than needed, is a fantastically fun, extremely fluidly performing and excellent value title, while Assassin’s Creed Unity was not finished in time but still released. Ubisoft’s next published big game was The Crew, and so far it seems is fallen in between the two models. No game breaking bugs, but not exactly fun.

Unity has continued with a ugly facet of pre release hype which has to stop, and that is promising the World but delivering dust. Matty gave us a rant about this which you can watch below.

Another year another CoD, and this time Kevin Spacey’s lifeless, motion captured face is all over it. Always a chalk or cheese title, the recent prominence of Titanfall and Destiny has meant Sledgehammer have had to mix it up a little. While others have said “it’s like every other game, but you can jump higher”, we found it to be surprisingly better than expected. For one of the first times (World at War withstanding) the solo campaign is better than the multiplayer; each level takes place in a variety of different locations, tons of guns to kill hundreds of faceless enemies and plenty of things blow up. Just as a blockbuster should be. Read our review here.

 

Two dinosaurs of the past returned in November with fitting server problems in the forms of Halo: the Master Chief Collection, and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. The latter I cannot comment on, but 10 million people played it and apart from grumblings at server issues, no one is going mental. The consensus is “It’s pretty good”. Halo on the other hand is being ripped to shreds. Unfortunately due to matchmaking plain and simply not working, people have entirely skipped over the fact that four remastered and very good solo campaigns are on the disc. If you’re one of those fossils like us who still enjoy couch co-op and have forked out for a second controller, this should be a mandatory purchase.The official news is that matchmaking is now fixed, but damage has been done to what should have been a marvellous release.

 

After the rushed and tangled mess of Dragon Age 2, EA had to get it right with Inquisition. And it looks like they’ve hit it out the park! It’s going to take months if not longer to clock this title, but initial hands-on are extremely positive. While Ubisoft have given EA a slight reprieve from being the worlds most hated gaming company, EA’s ambition and polish they’ve shown here means for the time being they are not getting that accolade back.

For those of you not swayed by the graphical blustering of the other two home consoles and the single handheld, Nintendo gave you a hell of a month in the form of Super smash Bros and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. These games will be amazingly popular both now and in the far future and initial reactions are they were worth the wait. GameCube adapters have been in short supply which is always a good sign, and monthly sales of the console have remained high after the bump given from Mario Kart 8. Watchdogs also finally came out for the Ninty, but nobody bought it so it doesn’t really matter. And so here lies the end of Ubisofts Triple-A support for the Nintendo Wii U. RIP, you didnt stand a chance.

 

Other honourable mentions,

  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue, which unfortunately no one will play, as it looks to be a solid title.
  • GTA V; more of the same but better, shinier, and in First Person. (We’re waiting on the PC release)
  • Minecraft on the Xbox One and PS Vita; You know what Minecraft is!