As we wind down the year of 2014, there are finally a large amount of games you can choose from when it comes to your PS4 and Xbox One. PC has always had a large library of games to choose from, and 2K Games has added nicely to each of these platforms.
The WWE franchise is one we have seen for years now. This year’s iteration was more unique than others though. WWE 2K15 marked the first time the series was available on the PS4 and Xbox One. There are many positive things to say about this game, but perhaps more of all is it marks a nice step forward for the franchise.
Moving from the canvas to the hardwood floor, NBA 2K15 continued what the series had already established. Last year’s iteration was a landmark for the franchise, and 2K15 does nothing to step down from that. This is by far one of the best sports series you can find on consoles and developer Visual Concepts has gone to great lengths to ensure this.
Taking a step away from the new-generation of gaming, 2K Games still released what is yet another stellar iteration in the Civilization series. Civilization: Beyond Earth sends players on a new journey and introduces some entertaining, new gameplay elements that fans of the series will certainly appreciate.
Last, but absolutely not least, we have Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Borderlands is one of those series that just feels right. There’s not a whole lot that this game didn’t get right and for just about all Borderlands fans, getting to see Jack in a new light was nothing short of a thrill. The incorporation of new characters, new enemies and a new world all helped make this game an unforgettable experience.
When you look at the offerings 2K Games has this holiday season, it’s hard to say no, unless your wallet makes you. Allow us to tell you more about four outstanding games you should consider for you gaming library this holiday season.
This year was a huge year for the WWE 2K franchise for many reasons. It marked a time when a lot of changes happened with the game, when visuals were taken to all new heights and when the series finally made the new-generation leap to PS4 and Xbox One.
2K Sports did a fine job bringing this year’s iteration along, even with the short amount of time they had to develop the game. Sure, there are improvements to be made here and there, but WWE 2K15 marked a step forward for the series, possibly setting itself up for great things next year.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable upgrades WWE 2K15 received was the change in pace. As we typically see on WWE programming, finishers and signature moves are not executed until far later in a match. This year’s game mimicked that exceptionally well, bringing a new sense of reality and pace that has been absent in every game before. You will not be executing a finisher within the first few minutes of a match, as that time will be more about deciding what weakness you want to expose, with finishers coming later in a match.
With this year marking the first time the franchise has made its way onto the PS4 and Xbox One, a major upgrade in visuals was expected. While the game doesn’t set industry records for graphics, wrestlers like Goldust look absolutely breath-taking. Visual Concepts was brought on to help work on the game and you can tell the difference in characters like Goldust. Visuals as a whole are dramatically improved and can still get better.
When we look at this game, it does plenty of things in a stronger way than previous iterations ever have. WWE 2K15 has taken the franchise forward and sets itself up for what could be the definitive installment in 2015.
NBA 2K15 is the pinnacle of what a sports game can and should be. Developer, Visual Concepts has established itself and its franchise in a powerful manner. While 2013’s iteration was an impressive installment, NBA 2K15 takes things even further in 2014.
The excellent presentation we have come to expect from the NBA 2K series is back once again. Things like player introductions are as real as ever before with fantastic lighting effects and authentic crowd noise. The in-game announcing is exceptional as well. Commentary feels organic and never seems like a programmed, forced aspect. Some sports games struggle with this mightily, but NBA 2K15 nails it.
Gameplay is outstandingly smooth and fluid. It’s remarkably easy to become immersed in the flow of the game because of the uncanny feeling you have in the middle of a game. Physics, coupled with outstanding visuals, both make gameplay a joy to partake in.
My Career mode is a fun, interesting part of NBA 2K15. The cinematics are engaging, but are nothing major to write home about. Carrying out your own story helps embellish upon the experience. Making this mode more personal is always a great strategy and Visual Concepts has created a thoroughly enjoyable mode.
Finally, MyGM mode is another aspect that makes this game special. Managing an NBA team is by far a dream for every NBA fan, so it’s important to have strong features. There are enough features for players to control so it makes you feel like you’re building up a team step by step. The deeper the mode goes, the better the experience, and NBA 2K15 goes into exceptional depth.
When you look at the total package of NBA 2K15, this is yet another complete, incredible installment. Visual Concepts has nailed this game once more and progresses forward what is already an outstanding franchise.
‘Civilization: Beyond Earth’
Civilization is one of the longest running PC franchises in the gaming industry today. This year, we were given the latest iteration in the series and carried with it were changes of interstellar proportions.
Civilization: Beyond Earth takes players outside of this world because of certain events that have taken place. Players are taken into unique, vast lands to rebuild a brand-new world. This is absolutely one of the best twists we’ve seen from the Civilization series in years.
Unique lands, creatures and more await players as they journey to different parts of the galaxy. One of the more interesting facets of Beyond Earth has got to be the enemy types as they are both intriguing and unique. What makes them more fascinating is they are quite difficult to go up against, especially when you are just getting started in the game.
Difficulty and challenge are fine elements in Civilization: Beyond Earth, but so is the unlocking players can do for various tech upgrades. Depending on your technology, you can upgrade your forces quickly and freely, which is a wonderful benefit that enhances combat tremendously.
Another aspect of upgrading that I found wonderful were the bonuses that become available when you upgrade a unit. There are two options that you have to choose from and this really adds a new level of addictiveness to the gameplay. Being rewarded for progression is always a favorite feature in a game and Beyond Earth does just that.
Being thoughtful with your decisions and choices have always been at the heart of Civilization. That sentiment is still true in Beyond Earth. Firaxis did a good job of implementing some new elements to an already stellar formula. As far as PC exclusive games go, this is one of the best series you can own and no gaming PC library is complete without it.
‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’
For gamers who might not have picked up a new-gen console yet, 2K Games’ latest installment of the Borderlands franchise could be a perfect fit since the popular co-op shooter only appears on last-gen platforms. Built on the same engine as the previous title in the series, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel gives fans of the loot-based series a familiar experience that can only be found on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
Even those who already own an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 can find an enjoyable experience with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel making it worthwhile to turn on a last-gen platform one more time. After all, one of the reason Borderlands is such a popular franchise is because there aren’t many games that offer players a chance to play cooperatively with their friends in the search for loot within a first-person shooter setting. The Pre-Sequel successfully continues their formula and might even be a gamer’s last chance to enjoy the series for a while since there aren’t any current plans annouced for Borderlands 3.
Just because Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel appears only on last-gen systems and is built on the same engine as its predecessor doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t bring anything fresh to the series. The third installment does manage to successfully earn its spot as a recognizable and full-fledged game in its own right.
This year’s newest Borderlands game takes place between the events of the first two games in the series and fills in story gaps that transpired during that time. Much more than a DLC or a simple expansion, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel offers fans plenty of content worthy of a new release. Players are given access to four new playable characters in The Pre-Sequel. While each of the new vault hunters have been previously introduced as NPCs in the past, fans have never been able to control these characters until now. The game also adds new weaponry such as laser guns and a new cyro elemental status effect that is capable of freezing enemies in a block of ice.
Set on the moon of Elpis, The Pre-Sequel marks the first time that gamers are taken off the surface of Pandora. This new setting provided the opportunity to bring one of the biggest changes to the series’ gameplay to date. Taking place in a low-atmosphere environment, players can enjoy the thrills of low gravity as the bounce their way across Elpis. Gamers can even use their O2 kits to create powered boosts that add a welcome vertical element to the game’s combat.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is now available on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Fans can also pick up a season pass for the game that will give them access to four DLC add-ons as the release.