A strange thing is currently happening to one of my all-time favourite genres. Wipeout is no more, there hasn’t been a F-Zero game in over a decade, and Rollcage II came out in 1996 – the future of the futuristic racer is now a race between new IPs. Redout is the game that’s taken an early lead, and although heavily influenced by the aforementioned titles, it also throws some compelling new ideas into the mix.
It’s 1990. Videogames are a $3 billion industry and Nintendo owns 90% of it. The other 10% is made up of wannabes that include SEGA, who in the next three years will transform themselves from obscurity into the market leader. This is the story of Console Wars, and Blake J Harris retells the greatest battle in videogame history in an exciting, detailed, and ever-so-slightly biased way.
When Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2004 it was certainly the biggest GTA ever made. But such a game taught us that bigger is not always better, and it would appear that Rockstar North has approached the challenge of every subsequent GTA with caution. It’s taken them five years to craft the sequel to one of the most iconic and well loved games of the generation, but is Grand Theft Auto V enough to satisfy those use to the ridiculously high standard set by the series? Honestly? Yeah.
Skyward Sword follows on Nintendo’s tradition of releasing an epic Zelda game in the twilight years of a console they appeared to have forgotten about. Two years on and I can say with certainty that this was the last great game for the Nintendo Wii, and it’s hopefully what the console will be remembered for, rather than the mass grave full of shovelware it had to climb out of to get here.
Killzone: Mercenary follows on from a long string of games that have unsuccessfully attempted to bring console quality gameplay to Sony’s PlayStation Vita. The first person shooter genre has become particularly notorious for failing to translate, and Nihilistic Software (who were responsible for a bad Resistance game and an even worse Call of Duty) are likely to have tainted the expectations of anyone who played either of these two titles. How does Killzone handle the downsize? In three words? Better than most.