Games Central: The Elder Scrolls Online Gold Edition open-ended, online and right on the money
This week, The Elder Scrolls Online Gold Edition sets out on PS4, DOGOS takes flight on the same system, while The Tale Of Doris And The Dragon: Episode 1 unfolds on iPad.
Elsewhere, Samorost 3 and Lumines: Puzzle And Magic bring brilliant adventuring and puzzling to smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: The Elder Scrolls Online Gold Edition
Open-ended, online and right on the money
RPG explorers who’ve had their feet up since exhausting every inch of Skyrim’s vast virtual world and the domains of Dragon Age or The Witcher 3 might well want to pull their leather-strapped boots on again and tackle the next benchmark in The Elder Scrolls’ evolution. Stepping back a century in game time, you’re now given the chance to experience this epic adventure on your own or together with friends, guild mates, and thousands of alliance members. As always, there’s a near-limitless array of quests to embark upon, from exploring dangerous caves and dungeons, to engaging in massive player versus player battles, where the victors reap the spoils of war. Your own style of play will become intuitively honed through the class customisation system, while crafting is also a joy to get to grips with. Here you’ll find a one-stop-shop for the world of Tamriel, including the base game, plus the first four downloadable content packs offering dozens more hours of gameplay. Whether you’re fishing, crafting, stealing or hack’n’slashing, the Elder Scrolls lets you role-play your way.
ASIN: N/A PS Store download
Old-school arcade shooter action gets a 3D makeover
Inspired by classical Shmups (or shoot ‘em ups!) DOGOS draws on the latest console tech to take that all-out arcade assault on the senses to the next level. Putting you in the shoes of Desmond Phoenix, a skilled pilot in command of sophisticated ships equipped with various types of powerful weapons, you’re invited to explore 14 original open-world levels created completely in 3D. This attractive graphical approach gives you the opportunity to meet your shooter goals from any angle you can imagine and, as a result, there’s an insane amount of shooting and explosions on screen, all accompanied by a very catchy soundtrack. Hardcore gamers will revel in the absolute madness that unfolds in front of them, particularly those who can recall the parallax scrolling iterations of the genre that were so popular back in the 1990s. However, button mashing and minimal game features may not be to everyone’s taste in 2016, but if you’re looking for a blast from the past with a well-executed modern and motion-sickness-inducing twist, DOGOS could be well worth a download.
Title: The Tale Of Doris And The Dragon: Episode 1
Old-school adventuring with an old lady and her trolley!
There’s a fine line to be struck between lovingly recreated retro gaming and digital memories from the past that should, quite frankly, be kept there. Doris And The Dragon feels like it has one foot on either side of this line, at times offering up a charming and bizarre text driven adventure featuring an old lady and her shopping trolley stuck in limbo with only a dragon that appears to be in a call centre to help her out. The dragon will provide helpful hints throughout your journey of object interactions and inventory management, and primitive crafting through item combinations. It’s all quite random, deliberately so, and that’s what brings the left-field storyline to life. Coupled with the equally deliberate clunky approach to the visuals and you have a “Marmite” adventuring app that many of today’s younger gamers will discard as junk from another era. A little more time spent with Doris, though, will uncover a warm, enjoyable romp through this retro space environment. It’s certainly a narrative you’ll never have experienced before, although this being Episode 1 strongly suggests that if you’re keen to step out again with the senior central character, you may not have to wait too long.
Title: Samorost 3
An enchanting and eye-poppingly pretty point and click adventure
The original Samorost and its sequel were released over a decade ago, so it’ll be no surprise if this third outing represents your first encounter with the series. But it’ll no doubt ensure a dip into the flash gaming archives, as you discover an unbelievably detailed point and click adventure that gently pushes players to unravel the puzzling intricacies of each of the nine planets your gnome in a nightcap must explore in order to reunite a flute that has fallen from the skies with its owners. Smarts 3 capably fulfils the ambitions of developers Amanita Design in presenting a cryptic and creative bundle of challenges for you to solve, while also delivering one of the most beautiful looking app experiences to date. It’s hugely ambitious, and the lack of dialogue and text advice certainly leaves you in the lurch when you’re stuck, but this should prompt further exploration and tinkering with your environment, which will eventually offer up that eureka moment. The flora and fauna you find is the stuff of sheer fantasy, and every second of the five or so hours you spend with Samorost 3 will convince you to revisit the two equally enchanting adventures that went before.
Title: Lumines: Puzzle And Magic
Tetris to music? Lumines offers a puzzling match made in heaven
We all know what Tetris did for the Gameboy, and Lumines will no doubt do the same for your smartphone, resurrected from its sizzling success on Sony’s PSP handheld console. The game brings a unique puzzle experience, offering gameplay reminiscent of the famous Russian block-builder, while including enhancements in smartphone technology that fuse music, puzzles and luminescence. You must delete blocks from the game screen while grooving to evolving musical scores of rock, techno and pop tunes. Throw in bonus modes, plus the ability to unlock changeable skins and collectible characters and you’ve got one big bundle of pure puzzling addiction. It may not be the most innovative experience in touchscreen gaming, but there’s a depth of gameplay and solidity to this mesmeric game mechanic that will keep you toe tapping and block tumbling for months.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
Pokemon Go is officially a world record breaker, according to Guinness World Records, in conjunction with research from SuperData. The augmented reality app holds the title for the most revenue generated by a mobile game in its first month - 206 billion dollars - as well as the most downloaded mobile game in its first month - 130 million. It also managed to top the most charts internationally, hitting the highest number of downloads in 70 different countries at the same time. Not bad going for the virtual creature catcher!
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, Overwatch jumped three places back into the number one spot, knocking Deus Ex: Mankind Divided down to two. World Of Warcraft: Legion debuted strongly at three, while Rocket League squeezed its way back into the top 10 at nine.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
2. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
3. World Of Warcraft: Legion
4. F1 2016
5. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
6. Grand Theft Auto V
7. No Man’s Sky
8. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
9. Rocket League
10. Madden NFL 17
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd