PS4

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RedLynx’ hit series, Trials, began as a web release way back in 2000. It was a simple, mindless distraction, but one many couldn’t stop playing. It wasn’t long before the formula begun taking new form, shifting from a basic (albeit addictive) little game into something much larger. Trials Fusion, the latest in this series, features a new, futuristic coat of paint, but maintains everything that made it noteworthy to begin with.

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When examining many recent indie releases, it can be easy to pinpoint their influences, especially since so many proudly focus on them. The same is true of Strike Suit Zero, the first title from Born Ready Games. Following in the footsteps of classics such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Strike Suit Zero is the studio’s attempt to revitalize (and redefine) the space combat genre. It’s a refreshing take on a well-worn formula, although it tends to ignore variety in favor of its particular brand of combat.

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Throughout Dynasty Warriors history, one constant has been in place: do not, under any circumstances, pursue Lu Bu. He’ll kill you, probably. But, after so many years of not pursuing him, one must wonder what Lu Bu’s side is. As he lays waste to the battlefield, is his ferocity a reflection of his inner demons? Maybe he’s just misunderstood; he wants to be pursued by that special someone, but doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Luckily for us, Tecmo Koei and Omega Force finally address these burning questions and more in the spiffy PS4 (and other platforms) update, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. READ MORE

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Aren’t superpowers the best? Being able to travel at insane speeds, jump higher than even the tallest buildings and take down your foes with a flurry of different abilities is something that will never get old. The inFamous series is one of the best examples of imbuing you with powers and letting you run wild with them, providing a thrill ride that few games can rival. The newest title in the series, inFamous: Second Son, presents you with a new setting, protagonist and plenty of new powers to play with, yet it all feels oddly familiar.

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One of the grandfathers of stealth, Metal Gear Solid, has seen a lot of changes over the years. You can almost track the slow evolution of the genre with each iteration, going from traditional stealth with the original title to a more streamlined, varied approach with Metal Gear Solid 4. The prologue to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, titled Ground Zeroes, pushes the series even more away from its roots, making it the most modern adaptation of the classic formula.

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The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.

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Capcom’s Strider series began its life as an arcade action-platformer before slowly making its way to home consoles. Soon enough, however, Strider simply disappeared, relegating its lead character, Hiryu, to guest appearances in crossover titles such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Rumors of the return of this iconic franchise circled for years before a new game, developed by Double Helix, was announced. While this new Strider may not be a perfect recreation of the earlier titles, it differentiates itself by adding a new twist to a well-worn formula.

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Some games rely on compelling stories to drive your way through challenges and adventures. Others let you make interesting decisions, be them strategic or narrative, and let that process shape the surrounding elements. There’s a third group, though: games that pile all their hopes and dreams onto one fresh element, one mechanical hook. Games that live and die by the assumption that you’ll like that one thing as much as the developers thought you would.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch may be the most distilled version of that third type of game, and that’s okay, because it’s the best kind of silly. READ MORE

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Gaming trends have fluctuated rapidly throughout the history of the medium, but some tend to stick around longer than others. Thanks to the continued success of Minecraft, we have seen a dramatic increase in survival games over the past few years, and it hasn’t let up. Some are directly inspired by Minecraft, but there have been a fair few games that buck the trend. Klei Entertainment’s take on the survival game, Don’t Starve, is one of those games, combining the basics of the genre with some exciting changes. READ MORE

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Contrast is an interesting game. I wish it were a better game, because the setting is great, the characters are interesting and the soundtrack did something that few others do: it caused me to stop playing, so that I could better appreciate the music. It’s held down, though, by what all games need to be successful: gameplay. READ MORE