Archive - Show of the Week
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Forza Horizon 3 refreshes its open-world racing with the diverse environments of a new Australian setting, the outback oomph of Australian utes ("utility vehicles", Mike tells me) and, by making you the new boss of the Horizon festival, the power to hire and fire your friends as on-staff racers. Show of the Week compares this solemn responsibility with other ways in which we have, given the opportunity, screwed over our friends in video games.
Mafia 3 ditches the Empire Bay setting of Mafia 2 and moves the action to New Bordeaux, a fictionalised version of New Orleans. But it's not the only time videogames have taken us to the Big Easy, as Show of the Week discovers.
Mafia 3's Lincoln Clay is a vengeful troublemaker gunning for powerful crime lords, a skilled Vietnam vet, and a black man in Louisiana in 1968 - so there are several places he is not warmly welcomed in New Bordeaux, the fictional version of New Orleans where Mafia 3 is set. Discover some of the places Lincoln Clay isn't welcome, but he's going anyway, they had best not try and stop him, in new Mafia 3 gameplay.
The main thing we look for in a robot companion is their willingness to not kill us, in spite of them being mighty constructs of metal and us being meatbags only skilled at making toasted sandwiches. This includes the faithful crew of Corebots in Recore, for instance: benevolent robot buddies who definitely won't ever decide we're the weak link, murder us, then form a robotic superteam on their own. Show of the Week inspects Recore in the following video and auditions further friendly bots.
Bioshock: The Collection does exactly what it says on the plastic Blu-ray case, collecting Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite and all their DLC into one, space-saving package. Show of the Week inspects the bundle then revisits Bioshock's soggy city of Rapture and other deeply impractical videogame settlements.
Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom arrives in Europe today, and in North America shortly. For the uninitiated, it's the game adaptation of a popular anime in which gigantic zombies smash the fortifications behind which all the humans live, then eat them. These 'titans' would be fully terrifying enough if they weren't also totally naked. What is it with games and conspicuously nude monsters?
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided continues the adventures of cyborg beard-haver Adam Jensen. It takes place in a world very different to that of Human Revolution, where the golden age of human augmentation has been replaced with fear and mistrust of 'augs'. Show of the Week ponders this un-brave new world and body mods not so practical as Jensen's taser fist.
In Scalebound you play as an all-American teen transported to a fantasy world called Draconis, where he ends up bonded to a colossal new fire-breathing friend called Thuban. Show of the Week puts questions to Scalebound's lauded creator Hideki Kamiya and salutes our best, trustiest, most monsterrific pals in games.
This first episode of Telltale's new Batman series starts as it means to go on, by emphasising your role as Batman's billionaire alter ego Bruce Wayne. When you're playing as Bruce you have to pick your way through typically nuanced Telltale conversations - or, if you are us, you choose the option that makes Bruce Wayne the biggest jerk. Show of the Week investigates just how far Telltale is willing to let us go.
Overcooked is a new co-operative cooking party game in which you cook food and serve it to guests in a variety of bizarre kitchens that include a frozen river with moving ice floes and a pair of trucks that move together and apart as they race down a mercifully straight highway. They still produce more appetising food than most of the stuff I've tried to cook in games, as we discover later in the show.
Indie survival game We Happy Few was a surprise offbeat hit at the E3 2016 Microsoft conference. This was thanks to its kooky Clockwork Orange-inspired premise, creepy masked characters, and how it included people smashing a rat to bits and eating the bits, in what is surely a press conference first.
This weekend is Star Wars Celebration: an annual celebration of all things Star Wars. It was during last year's celebration when publisher EA unveiled the first proper trailer for Star Wars Battlefront, and we can expect more news this year - about the upcoming Death Star DLC, for instance, which looks likely to feature Chewbacca as a playable hero. That's not the only Star Wars gaming treat heading our way soon, though, as we discover later in the show.
Show of the Week: Batman Return to Arkham and 5 Gotham Doctors Who Need To Be Struck Off Immediately
Batman: Return to Arkham is a collection of the first two Arkham games, Asylum and City, as well as all their DLC, available for the first time on Xbox One and PS4. It's also delayed indefinitely, because it looks awful. Show of the Week ponders Return to Arkham, as well as asking, Seinfeld-style, what is up with the terrible state of the medical professionals in Gotham. You'll have to imagine the slap bass sounds we're making right now.
Inside is a bleak, desaturated platformer specialising in physics puzzles and casually harrowing deaths. Show of the Week ponders this follow-up to Limbo from Danish developer Playdead, then other similarly harrowing experiences through which we gritted our teeth in other videogames.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is the previously stuffy militaristic series Ghost Recon letting its hair down, chucking you and three of your best spec ops buds into open-world Bolivia, a country torn apart by a corrupt government and the illegal drug trade. It's your job to take the whole thing apart via the medium of synchronised sniper shots.
Graphical remasters of last-gen games appear to be money for old rope, so it's hard to believe some of the best, top-selling Xbox 360 games haven't yet had a 1080p spit and polish. Based entirely on rumour and speculation, Show in the Week bets these five in particular will land on your current-gen hard drive one day.
The resort island of Banoi on which Dead Island takes place has sandy beaches, waterslides with no queues, and more mai tais than you can shake a cocktail umbrella at. It's just a shame about the zombie hordes trying to make a meal of your sun lotion-slathered carcass. They make Banoi a lot like these other videogame islands, which would all be great if not for some tiny, inconvenient detail.
Mirror's Edge fans who have been waiting over seven years for a follow-up to the original game can have a go on prequel-slash-reboot Mirror's Edge Catalyst a week early if they subscribe to EA Access. Maybe the head start will give Faith's crew of runners time to improve their delivery service, so they're no longer in the company of the rest of these catastrophic couriers.
Overwatch is a multiplayer shooter from Blizzard, the developer behind Diablo, Hearthstone, Starcraft and Warcraft. It features a London map that is just the latest in a long line of bleak representations of the city that Outside Xbox calls home. Join us for a blast of Overwatch and a trip to other terrible Londons in games.
Homefront: The Revolution posits a bleak, dystopian future in which North Korea has invaded and occupied mainland USA, crushing civilian uprisings with military might. But they're far from the only military power to try to conquer the US in videogames, as we discover in Show of the Week.
Grandaddy of first person shooters Doom returns with a reboot full of nasty monsters, massive guns and ultraviolence. Show of the Week has Doom in its sights, and demands modern-day remakes for five further retro shooters.
Show of the Week eyes up Battleborn, the multiplayer shooter from the makers of Borderlands that's out next week. Its roster of 25 heroes is more colourful than an explosion in a Skittles factory, but the question is how huggable are they? No, it is.
Swarm Mike and Swarm Andy wade into Gears of War 4's multiplayer beta for Show of the Week. There they sample Gears of War 4's new so-called Dodgeball mode, which is intense, violent and increasingly scary. Much like the sport itself, but with dismemberment.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst turns back time to tell us the origin story of parkouring protagonist Faith, fleshing out the lightly written fiction of the original game with a more substantial story. Fresh from a session with this prequel-reboot, Show of the Week gets to grips with Catalyst and what new things we have learned about Faith Connors.
Final Fantasy 15 arrives on 30 September to fulfil at last all our boyband road trip fantasies. That's plenty of time to purchase a matching leather jacket and some extreme hold styling clay, and to consider five hairdos even less plausible than those of protagonist Noctis and his bros.
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