Outdated sports games are a common sight in charity shops, but one is found more commonly than others – EA’s FIFA 13. This instalment not only featured some much-needed improvements, resulting in a 90% Metacritic – a franchise all-time high – but it also launched during the peak of that generation’s popularity.
We have a feeling FIFA 19 will be the next FIFA 13; it offers some long overdue improvements – as well the return of the Champions League – and it’s arriving during this generation’s peak. The Switch version, in particular, has the potential to sell exceptionally well. The system’s user-base has grown exponentially since last year’s edition, and word has it that EA has put a noteworthy degree of effort into this year’s outing. According to early reviews, weak visuals in docked mode are the only major downer.
Scores for the PS4/Xbox One versions are mostly positive so far. God is a Geek opted for a lofty 9.5 while calling it potentially the greatest football game of all time – a statement which prompted a small amount of backlash. GameInformer, EGM, US Gamer, VideoGamer, GameSpot and The Metro all dished out a slightly more modest 8/10, meanwhile.
Forza Horizon 4 – available this week via the £79.99 Ultimate Edition – has been referred to as the greatest racing game of all-time, too. The visually sumptuous racer – set in the great British countryside – currently has an impressive 92% Metacritic, making it one of the highest rated games of 2018.
Sticking with gushing reviews, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is another franchise high note. Scores for SEGA’s lavish JRPG are clocking in as high as 9.5/10, exceeding all expectations along the way. It isn’t the only JPRG out this week either – Metal Max Xeno offers scrappy tank battling in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s part of a long-running series dating back to 1991. Amazingly, this is only the second instalment to make it to the west. We’ve rounded up scores below.
Despite Telltale Games’ sudden closure, the second part of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is apparently still on track to launch this week. There’s a chance this season will never reach a conclusion, so bear this in mind before purchasing. The Council also gains its fourth episode, while Life is Strange 2 is about to get underway. Big and brilliant things are expected.
Also of note this week: story-driven cop shop management sim This is the Police 2, oddball co-op parenting sim Think of the Children, rampaging robot smash’em up Pizza Titan Ultra, the intergalactic Overcooked alike Catastronauts, and the long-awaited return of Fire Pro Wrestling.
New release showcase:
Forza Horizon 4
10/10 – GameSpew: “It is, without a doubt, the best racing game available right now. In fact, it might be the best racing game of all time. If you own an Xbox One, you need Forza Horizon 4. It’s as simple as that”
9.6 – IGN: “Forza Horizon 4 is a gorgeous, rewarding, and self-renewing racing experience that I can’t tear myself away from”
9/10 – VideoGamer: “A beautiful Britain, an exuberant driving engine, and generosity of spirit make Forza Horizon 4 a masterclass”
9.5 – God is a Geek: “This is without a doubt the best football game of the year – potentially of all time. With great improvements to how you play, additional modes in FUT, the addition of the Champion’s League, and visual enhancements in every mode, you’ll find it hard to put the controller down”
4.5/5 – Games Radar: “The Champions League expands FIFA’s exhaustive selection of licences – but thanks to lessons learned last year there’s plenty to love out on the pitch, too”
8.0 – GameInformer: “FIFA 19 sits relatively still this transfer window. We may want a shiny, new multi-million acquisition to come in and transform everything, but that hasn’t happened. Instead, developer EA Vancouver has added just enough to keep things ticking along. The gameplay cuts down on predictability, providing a layer of freshness to the familiar and producing a squad that can compete – but is also in danger of missing a Champions League spot”
Metal Max Xeno
8.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “There’s lots of menu-fiddling, number-crunching, and ingredient-gathering, but at the end of that grind is comeuppance for evil, jerk murder-bots as your painstakingly-curated ordnance tears them to shreds, and it’s hard to get more satisfying than that”
7.5 – Dual Shockers: “In a year filled to the brim with triple-A game releases, there’s no doubt some of the smaller games will be lost in the fray. I hope that Metal Max Xeno isn’t one of those games. While it may seem like I had a lot more to complain about than praise, I actually did really enjoy my time with the title, and it was a nice surprise considering how unfamiliar I am with the series”
6/10 – RPG Site: “While some of the tank building and character class systems in Metal Max Xeno are moderately interesting, nothing else in this RPG is remarkable enough to stand out, which makes this a difficult game to recommend”
Valkyria Chronicles 4
9.5 – ZTGD: As a title that carries the heavy burden of expectations following the original’s pedigree of excellence as well as having to make up for a string of lackluster sequels that followed, Squad E carries on with its head held high, exceeding lofty expectations as it improves on nearly every aspect of the original, proving with utmost certainty that this is one of the finest series the genre has to offer.
8/10 – The Metro: “As a game in its own right Valkyria Chronicles 4 is highly engaging and just as good as the original, but as a sequel there’s no pretending this isn’t a disappointment”
8/10 – Destructoid: “Ultimately, despite being the fourth game in its series, Valkyria Chronicles 4 really is the sequel Valkyria Chronicles needed, and I have to say that I’m pleased that war has never looked more pleasant”
This Is The Police 2
7/10 – Push Square: “Fans of the original will find what they’re looking for – an engaging story and crime dealing management – but they’ll also have to put up with alarming difficulty spikes that can seriously hinder the experience if managed incorrectly”
6/10 – Nintendo Life: “There’s a lot to do, and a fair amount of that is fun, but it feels like the game’s many systems and demands are competing both for scarce virtual resources and your strained attention. In that sense, you’ll come to relate to Sharpwood’s put-upon new Sheriff all too well”
6/10 – PlayStation Country: “This Is the Police 2 takes the first game and develops certain aspects whilst adding tactical battles to break up the daily routine. The story and presentation are strong but it falls into a similar gameplay loop to the first game, for better or worse”
New digital multi-format releases:
Life is Strange 2
The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 2
Think of the Children
Jack N Jill
Dakar 18 Day One Edition
Atari Flashback Classics Volume 3
The Council – Episode 4: Burning Bridges
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
New on PSN:
Fire Pro Wrestling World
RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride
Timespinner Cross Buy Bundle
The Grand Museum VR
Air Missions: Hind
Desert Racing GST
Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story
New on Xbox One store:
Pizza Titan Ultra
Pillar by Michael Hicks and Gonçalo Antunes
New Nintendo retail releases:
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Namco Museum Arcade Pac
Little Dragons Cafe
This Is the Police 2
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dream – Owltimate Edition
The Banner Saga Trilogy
Next week: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, Mega Man 11, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, WWE 2K19, The Midnight Sanctuary, and The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented.