To go boldly


Given that big-bud­get se­quels are where the se­ri­ous money lies, it’s es­pe­cially heart­en­ing to see a Hype sec­tion stuffed so full of bold ideas this close to Christ­mas. Even the big-name se­quel among this month’s lineup,

Res­i­dent Evil 7 (p56), has cho­sen to veer away from its roots by switch­ing to a first­per­son per­spec­tive. It’s a long-over­due re­fresh that’s as dar­ing as it is wel­come – even if many of Resi’s more fa­mil­iar el­e­ments re­main.

Tar­sier Stu­dios’ strik­ing Lit­tle Night­mares (p42) is also steeped in fa­mil­iar­ity – the­matic com­par­isons to Limbo and In­side are un­avoid­able – but its blend of Lit­tleBigPlanet- style plat­form­ing tac­til­ity and night­mare-fu­elled stealth game­play feels both fresh and pleas­antly mu­ta­ble. Prey (p50) reimag­ines an al­ready un­usual game as a freeform first­per­son shooter in which you gain alien pow­ers by in­ject­ing Neu­ro­mods into your eye­ball – one of which al­lows you to trans­form into a cof­fee cup and toss your­self into an of­fice. You don’t get that in Bat­tle­field now, do you?

Bossa Stu­dios’ Worlds Adrift (p42), mean­while, con­tin­ues to as­ton­ish with its sheer am­bi­tion. But while the game’s sprawl­ing, per­sis­tent world is a ground­break­ing tech­ni­cal marvel, its fo­cus on physics and cre­ative con­struc­tion, to­gether with a re­fresh­ing ab­sence of grind­ing, threaten to up­end our no­tion of what con­sti­tutes chal­lenge in a mod­ern MMOG. Not ev­ery in­no­va­tion is so ap­peal­ing, of course. Metal

Gear Sur­vive rep­re­sents the first post-Ko­jima en­try in the fic­tion, and de­spite this still man­ages to some­how be the most bizarre yet. A four­player co-op sur­vival game set in an al­ter­nate uni­verse pop­u­lated by sham­bling, crys­talised en­e­mies, Sur­vive ap­pears to aban­don every­thing, bar unchecked whimsy, upon which the se­ries is built. We’ve only had the briefest of glimpses, but it’s clear Sur­vive is not ex­actly the game Metal Gear fans had in mind. You’d ex­pect Kon­ami to want a clean break with Ko­jima gone, but maybe a change isn’t al­ways as good as a rest.

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