This week, F1’s 2016 Limited Edition hits pole position on Xbox One, Tropico 5’s Complete Collection is let loose on PS4 and Overcooked sizzles on Xbox One.
Elsewhere, Reigns and Midnight Star Renegade land on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: F1 2016 Limited Edition
Platform: Xbox One
Startlingly real racing action
Yet again, Lewis Hamilton is leading the way again in the F1 stakes this year, and now you can step onto the virtual circuits in F1 2016, putting you in control of his high-speed destiny or, indeed, any of the other drivers on this year’s racing roster. This annual racing release has been tweaked and tinkered with to pull further away from the competition, delivering an excellent racing experience that handles just as brilliantly as it looks. We’ve got the introduction of the safety car and virtual safety car this year, as well as the Baku circuit in Azerbaijan and the new Haas F1 team, while under the hood there’s the usual ultra-realistic career mode for players to tackle, as you, your agent, engineer and team search for the perfect recipe for success. It’s perhaps one for seasoned drivers, offering the most intense on-track action, and will no doubt lead to a few race-ending crashes, realised in superb 1080p high definition. F1 gaming continues to feel fresh, and this 2016 iteration will give you renewed vigour to step into the pits and find your own high-speed path to glory.
Title: Tropico 5 Complete Collection
An awesome island adventure
Packed with a host of new gameplay features and new artwork designed from scratch, Tropico 5 has taken the series in a new direction - dynasties! You, as El Presidente, must first take control of the infamous island of Tropico during early colonial times and then guide it through the centuries as the world changes and moves ever forward. You’ll need to tackle the changing needs of your people, as well as opposing governments and factions, all the while laying the foundations for your own dynasty. Can you survive both World Wars, prosper through the Great Depression, rule as an iron-fisted dictator through the Cold War and advance your country to modern times and beyond? From advanced trading mechanics and technology, to scientific research trees and island exploration, Tropico 5 is a fabulous tycoon experience, which sticks to the series’ well worn path with the addition of some excellent add-on packs in this PS4 Complete Collection. Whether you’re forging your own way in the ultra-liberating sandbox mode or tackling the challenges together with pals online, this is an island adventure you can’t refuse.
Platform: Xbox One
ASIN: N/A - Download from Xbox Store
You’ll be desperate for seconds
Overcooked is a chaotic co-op cooking game that charges you to work as a team as you and your fellow chefs prepare, cook and serve up a variety of tasty orders before the baying customers storm out in a huff. In single player mode, you’ll toggle between two chefs, carefully maximising your time for all the tasks you need to complete to get your dishes prepped. You have the option of controlling both with the two controller sticks, but this is pretty tough to wrap your head around. Your cooking environments don’t make it any easier, too, as you might be slinging ingredients from one fast moving truck to another or even slipping around in an icy arctic location. The co-op local multiplayer is where the action becomes totally crazy, and you’ll need well-planned teamwork to progress through each increasingly difficult scenario. The pursuit of culinary perfection and deep strategic elements complement the fun cartoon visuals perfectly, and this is a game that’ll keep you hungry for more.
A strategy card game that proves it’s tough at the top
Reigns is an interesting little app concept. Essentially a leadership simulator, in your position of power you are constantly approached by people “cards” from your kingdom and must take decisions for each differing request that maintain a balance of respect from the church, the community and the army, as well as keeping your bank balance healthy. You’ll generally find your finger swiping left to answer negatively to a request and right for positive. You can also hold your swipe to see more details about what you’re about to say. Random events and special cards will also throw some tasty challenges into the mix, and as you build harmony across the board, your score (or years in charge as ruler) increases. Get it wrong, and your castle will be stormed and you’ll be killed, only to start again from scratch as a brand new leader. It’s an interesting premise with slick, simple controls that will present all sorts of dilemmas for you to deal with before you get off the bus for work!
Title: Midnight Star Renegade
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
On-rails shooter star struggles to shine
The original Midnight Star has been crunched and compressed in Renegade to try to recreate the high-energy on-rails shooter experience that worked so well first time out. Alien annihilation is the name of the game as you move through each set-piece, tapping on the screen to shoot, pinching to zoom and using other buttons on-screen to shift your viewpoint or throw grenades. Renegade forces more control upon your character by making your swipe to move as well as all the above, and it does make the action overwhelming at times. Rather than becoming fantastically frenetic, it actually makes the whole experience of bit of frustrating mess. And, with stripped back game modes, repetitive level designs and similar enemies, the boiling down of Midnight Star results in a title that may be fun for an hour or two, but quickly loses its lustre.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
As gamers’ Pokemon Go creature collections have probably swelled significantly over the mobile app’s first few weeks of launch, the coffers of developers Niantic have become similarly stuffed. Estimates from Sensor Tower suggest that global revenues for the game have surpassed 200 million dollars in the app’s first month of availability. This commercial performance eclipses that of Clash Royale, another highly successful gaming app with in-app purchases, which registered 120 million dollars of revenue in the same time frame.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, No Man’s Sky stormed enjoyed intergalactic sales success, debuting at the number one and nudging GTA V down to second, while Uncharted 4 also toppled down from two to five.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. No Man’s Sky
2. Grand Theft Auto V
4. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
6. Rocket League
7. FIFA 16
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
10. Minecraft: Xbox Edition
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd