Greatest Games

The Evil Within
In much the same way that a dog isn’t just for Christmas, The Evil Within isn’t just for Halloween: even after you’ve completed it, Shinji Mikami’s gruelling experiment in terror remains car-crash compelling.

It’s so much more than the spiritual successor to resident Evil 4. It escapes from the narrative bear trap that hampered every resi game following Mikami’s departure, offering a nightmarish new world where meat splattering annihilation is only ever a step away. Instead of the creeping terror of PT or early resi games, you get a frantic action game which makes you truly fear death: you aren’t scared if you can cower on the floor without holding on. The Evil Within is a coiled, barbed wire spring,
primed to go off in your face.

works as a reactive, frantic experience. you end up dashing over walls, ducking under traps and disarming mines with just the right amount of thumb-fumbling shakiness. It’s not perfect some boss fights are horribly imbalanced and the wheels are beginning to squeak on survival horror’s rusty wheelchair but it still has the power to thrill.

This means you’ll keep playing even after all the narrative threads have unravelled. all that murderous fun outweighs any confusion.

Endless Legend
It’s hard to outright state that this turn-based behemoth is better than Civilization: Beyond Earth (like we did last issue) when you realise how much it owes to that game’s spiritual predecessor, Alpha Centauri. After all, it was that Sid Meier-created masterpiece that first took Civ into space all those moons ago.

But Endless Legend does something better than anyone could have anticipated: it tells a startling number of effective stories of its own making, alongside those crafted by the player.

The factions are so diverse, and so grounded in intriguing, gameplay-altering quirks that it’s impossible not to fall for them. Then there’s the constant flow of finely crafted art which accompanies every action, every quest and even every research tree node to drink in. We expected competency from the team behind Endless Space and the recently released roguelike Dungeon Of The Endless, but with this amplitude has staked a compelling claim to be best in class in the strategy genre.

NBA 2K15
If its servers had worked from the get-go, this would be up there in the nosebleeds with the 90%+ crowd. More than its fellow new-gen sports titles, its simulation is so rich and detailed that each match plays out like, y’know, a game of basketball. That might sound silly, but have you ever mistaken FIFA for the real thing?

Off the court, the extraordinary MyCareer mode lets you realise your dream of living life as a pro athlete like no other. When you're not balling, you're signing sponsorship deals and designing your signature shoe, talking with team-mates (correctly voiced by the NBA superstars themselves) in locker rooms and apartments, getting caught up in social media scandals and wondering how all this is possible in NBA 2K when no other sports franchise offers anything even faintly resembling it.

Win or lose, you always believe the simulation and buy into the world of basketball constructed around you. With the servers now rock-solid, it’s time to ball.

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