Sunset Overdrive Review

If you had to boil Sunset Overdrive down to a sentence it’d probably sound something like “Sunset Overdrive is probably what would happen if Jet Set Radio had a one night stand with Crackdown and then the offspring fell into a vat of Mountain Dew and Doritos.” It’s both as wonderful and as cringe worthy as that sounds.

Video games by their very nature are (or bloody well should be) escapist nonsense. Wish fulfillment of the highest order, even if you didn’t know you wanted those particular wishes fulfilling, with the sole intention of wrenching you out of your miserable, humdrum existence into a world of fantasy. Even games supposedly grounded in reality are a means of partaking in an activity or sport or whatever that you normally couldn’t or wouldn’t have the means to do, and so often a lot of games try so very hard to play down their video gamey-ness, to try and convince you you’re not sat in your settee with a lump of plastic in your hands, slack-jawed and ignoring your other half’s screaming to get off your arse and mow the lawn. Or something. So it’s always wonderful when a game comes along, screaming blue murder in bright, day-glo primary colours, most likely on fire, and reveling in it’s inherent ridiculousness. Even if it sometimes tries too hard and misses the mark.

You take control of a fully customisable, yet nameless, avatar who has a long line in needlessly sarcastic retorts and scathing, over-reaching, video game trope mocking one liners. After escaping from the release party for super-corporation Fizzco’s new energy drink after it goes belly up (by turning most of the population of Sunset City into mutants the game calls OD) you’re dumped into a massive sandbox play area. It’s then up to you to complete the missions set by the people not turned into OD and try and escape the sun-drenched hellhole you’re trapped in before you get your face eaten off.

There’s a slightly contradictory nature to Sunset Overdrive. For example it’s structure is incredibly formulaic, with a repetitive mission structure which it tries to play down by making constant gags about how rubbish and predictable the quests are. It’s constantly riffing on the stereotypes you find in video games and pop culture, but doesn’t really push them far enough to lampoon them effectively. Also, the gags more often than not fall flat and come across as trying way too hard to be ‘whacky’ or cool. It’s a shame because there’s definitely some funny stuff in there, it just seems to miss more than hit.

That’s not to say the game is charmless though, because it isn’t. The structure and gags can be patted on the head for trying, but the style and gameplay itself is like a big sack of neon coloured Labrador puppies, all exuberance and irrepressible energy bounding along at 100 mph while weeing on the carpet.

If nothing else, the game traversal should be roundly applauded. Running around Sunset City is a general no-no, because running is boring. There’s no sprint button for a start. Instead you grind on telephone wires, bound off cars, wall run, air dash, pole swing and slide on water to get around the environment. At first this is a little clunky because your brain is trying to think in terms of simply running and climbing, but once you realise that a tap of the X button attaches you to much of the scenery and you’ve got a handle of where the camera needs to be pointed you start chaining leaps and grinds like nobody’s business. This is essential as this builds up your Style meter, which in turn powers your Amps and Overdrives to make you an OD slaughtering maniac.

Hero Amps enhance your character with special abilities. Weapon Amps power up your weapons and add effects, like freezing enemies or shocking them with lightning, and Overdrives add effects and powers like reduce damage from certain enemies, increase damage to enemies or reduce the moves needed to boost your Style meter. The various Amps only trigger when you’ve sufficiently filled the Style meter by performing traversal moves in a chain without hitting the ground. The more varied the moves, the more it fills and the higher your move combo which in turn fills the meter even faster.

It’s difficult to overstate how much fun and how satisfying it is to use pretty much any piece of scenery to bound off and grind on. You could grind on one wire to get about, but that doesn’t keep your combo up and so you start instinctively bounding of a car into a wall-run which you leap and air dash into a grind, then undergrind, then pole swing… it’s wonderful. It also sounds more complicated than it is, but because it’s a button to grind and wallrun, a button to jump and a button to dash it’s simple but not overly so.

Of course, all this combo-ing would be pointless if the combat and weapons were dull, and while the shooting is a little one note, the means of dispatching the various OD, Scabs (the human antagonist faction) and Fizzco robots is varied and shows off Insomniacs pedigree of inventing ridiculous weapons. You’ll have to switch between different weapons to eliminate the different enemy types, and playing with the different types of Amps you can plug into them makes for some ridiculous effects. The only problem with them is you might find 4 or 5 weapons you really like and are really effecting and not bother with the rest, although trying them all out is entertaining.

There’s a lot to like about Sunset Overdrive. It’s a ridiculously overblown and primary coloured slab of entertainment that refuses to take itself seriously and revels in being a video game, which seems to be a rare thing these days. It’s a game filled with character, collectables, pop culture references and amusing respawn animations. The down side to this is it tends to be a little boorish in its humour and intent to be whacky, off the wall and irreverent and that alone seems to have put some people off. That’s fair enough but it’s also a shame, because in many ways Sunset Overdrive is a game SEGA could have easily made had it not been obsessed with driving Sonic into the ground. Still, it’s a good 20 or so hours of blue-sky fun with enough distractions to keep you playing for a good while, even if the replayability is, sadly, almost zero.

 

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Review

Playing through The Master Chief Collection and there’s a feeling that 343 Industries may have bitten off more than they can chew. Four lengthy games, one of which is remastered, and multiple multiplayer iterations make this a hefty package. One that still has the brilliance of the Halo series at its core, but also contains a number of major issues that cannot be overlooked.

Most notably, matchmaking. At the time of writing (around five days after release) the matchmaking is still broken, making it near impossible to get a game. 343 being forced to cut some of the playlists in the hope of making it work, only this appears to have done absolutely nothing. There’s a chance by the time this review goes online that it has been fixed, however, this still does not excuse the fact a major selling point was broken. Gaming appears to be stuck in a ship now, patch later mentality that quite simply has to stop. See also: DriveClub and Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

So with multiplayer out of the window we delve straight into the single player campaigns. Chronicling the Master Chief’s war with The Convenant, it’s nice being able to play through his story in its entirety thus far. And is a perfect way for newcomers to get to grips with the story before Guardians release. Even if it does go off the rails a little with Halo 4.

It’s quite clear that Halo 2 is the darling of this collection. Newly remastered graphics, audio and phenomenal looking cut scenes are all present. And despite being the weakest of the campaigns, we just wanted to play it so we could see just how lovely it all looks. And being able to toggle between old and new graphics makes you realise how much effort has gone into recreating it. Not just the graphics, but the soundtrack is just so much more vibrant and energetic than it was in the original.

It’s understandable why 343 didn’t just choose to release Halo 2 on its own. It still has excellent combat, with some great new additions, but as was the issue when the game was first released, you never quite felt like Earth was under attack (with the exception of the impressive space battle at the beginning). The Earth levels seem incredibly barren, which is probably a restriction of the original Xbox hardware in fairness. So throwing it in with better single player games may have been a wise choice. But a more challenging one.

There are a number of bugs we encountered; most frequent appears to be issues with the audio. During the Silent Cartographer level one piece of music would play, abruptly stop, then start again. Reducing what should’ve been a heart pounding moment into an audio hell. Then as we first encountered everyone’s favourite villainous organism The Flood, our weapons audio cut out completely. Going one better was Halo 2 where all the audio stopped. The only way to fix it was to go to the Xbox Home menu and back again.

One specific bug that is most likely to drive people insane are checkpoints not saving. This has only been seen with Halo 2 thus far. Save the game midway through a level and you’d better cross your fingers, because half the time you may find yourself back at the start of the level. Something that will no doubt anger people attempting a Legendary playthrough. It’s something that seems so basic it’s amazing it passed through testing.

It’s such a shame that all these issues have made it through, because it’s still Halo, a fantastic series. Making your way through the open expanse of Assault on the Control Room, attacking the Scarab, being able to actually run in Halo 4! All great moments in a series made up of great moments. And in the ten years since Halo 2’s releases, combat has rarely been bettered. A good array of weapons and vehicles made every combat scenario different. You could be strategic, find a sniper and pick off the stronger enemies before mopping up the rest. Or just dual wield two SMG’s and go in all guns blazing. When everything is going smoothly, it’s superb.

The Master Chief Collection should’ve been a celebration of all things Halo. It may have that fantastic, core gameplay that made the series much loved, but shipping in such a buggy state is inexcusable. If you’re still on the fence about getting the game, then maybe wait till it’s actually fixed.

Forza Horizon 2 Review

Forza Horizon 2, the offshoot of Microsoft’s flagship racing IP evolves and sets the bar for the new generation of racers.

Forza Horizon is one of the best racing games from the ‘last’ generation of consoles in anyway you want to slice it. Bright colours, satisfyingly chunky arcade-style car handling, a good sized open world, and that all important XP system for those that need to see the numbers as a quantification of their time and skill invested in a game. All married in perfect tandem to create a superlative racing experience. Or some such cobblers, basically it was ace. Well, once you got past the appalling DUDE BRO presentation of it all. That bit was rubbish. Oh and the slightly wonky online bit of the game, but the rest? Golden.

So it’s no real surprise that Forza Horizon 2 doesn’t deviate far from the template set up by the first, and instead builds on what was good and alters what was bad. Relocated from Colorado to Southern Europe, you’re given an approximation of the south of France and northern Italy to charge about in a variety of cars ranging from old school to the very peak of modern vehicular technology.

First though, you have to sit through a short-but-really-way-too-long intro of beautiful 20 something hipsters (or maybe that’s how all young people look these days, Christ only knows) having the time of their live at raves while careening about gorgeous countryside in ridiculous cars and looking gorgeous while a willowy voice over spouts some rubbish about the summer of your life. Or something. It has to be said, attention tended to wander as it went on because you couldn’t skip the bloody thing.

To be perfectly frank, this is almost the only thing wrong with Forza Horizon 2. This and Sean Maguire and the woman that fixes your car that calls you ‘dude’ all the time. Fortunately the DUDE BRO nature has been dialled right back, and the game is much better for it.

Forza Horizon 2 has a lot in common with classic Xbox racer Project Gotham Racing 2, not only in handling style, but also with the (now overhauled) skill system resembling that games Kudos system. XP earned from driving like a professional lunatic and performing skill chains, such as drifting, drafting, smashing objects, overtaking, clean racing and generally hooning around without breaking the chain is put towards levelling up. Attaining a level awards skill points to put into the Perk grid, unlocking online and offline benefits for you, as well as Wheelspins which award credits or even a car if you’re lucky.

The game does a good job of keeping the races varied, with the conceit being you’re on a road trip around southern Europe, and you partake in a Championship when you reach one of 6 hub locations. You can choose from a group of Championships at each location, such as Supercar, Offroad, Hot Hatch and Classic Muscle to name a few. Each of these groups has 2 to 4 sub categories which breaks the car classes down even further, providing easy variety. All 28 Championships can be completed individually at each hub, but you need much less to hit the Final.

One of the games biggest added features is the near complete free roam of the map. Best exhibited in the Cross Country races, you’re encouraged to stick your foot to the floor and drive just to see what’s over the hill and beyond. This could have been crippled had Playground Games been daft enough to to limit this to 4 wheel drive, high clearance cars but nope, you can go off road in a Countach just as easy as a Bowler.

Aside from the actual racing it’s also chock full of other brilliant distractions, such as Barn Finds (barns hold rare cars where you’re given an approximate location to search), XP and Fast Travel discount boards to smash, speed cameras to find and break the limit on, the Bucket List, where you’re usually given a super bonkers car to perform specific task in a certain time limit, and even a Pokemon Snap style side mission to photograph every car in the game. The photo mode needs a special mention, simply because it showcases the games ridiculous good looks. There’s a big hoo hah about 30 frames per second these days, and to be honest it’s not getting touched with a barge pole here, but if the 30 frames sacrifice was to keep it rock solid and looking this good it was worth it. Maybe Horzion 3 will be 60 frames and people can let it go. We can hope.

The Online portion of Forza Horizon 2 is substantial and incredibly well integrated, moving you seamlessly from single player to multiplayer with a couple of button pushes but it’s pretty incredible and sets a very high bar for games to follow. You can free roam with access to every course in the game, do co-op Bucket Lists and join Road Trips.

Road Trips are 4 event mini tournaments consisting of races and more offbeat events like Infected and King, where you have to be the last person to not be touched by an infected player and you have to hold the King title longest to win respectively. After each event you’re awarded XP, then you’re hareing off to the next one. Whoever has the most XP amassed at the end of the tournament wins. It’s also ace how the XP counts toward your single player total as well. It’s an incredible amount of fun, but comes with the usual caveats of level really is no indication of the skill of someone, and beware of people playing the game like it’s Destruction Derby.

The antisocial so and so’s.

The Xbox One has had a rough start, and in some ways deservedly so. It was created by a company who completely misunderstood their target audience with an emphasis on TV and multitasking with a peripheral almost no-one wanted. As such a lot of people plumped for the PS4, with it’s proven greater performance on multiformat titles and general ethos of “For The Gamer”. However, Driveclub has been dismally let down by PSN’s awful reliability and some seemingly terrible design decisions, and even though one game is not enough for many to fork out another £300+ for a second console, Forza Horizon 2 makes a very good case for those looking for an amazing racing experience to taking the plunge.

An amazing example of online and offline racing built around an engaging, satisfying handling model with the looks to match. Very, very nearly worth buying an Xbox One for alone.

Castlestorm: Definitive Edition Review

After being released on most formats already in 2013, Castlestorm has arrived on Ps4 and Xbox One with the subtitle Definitive Edition, slightly upscaled visuals and DLC from the previous releases included as part and parcel.

Castlestorm follows the story of Sir Gareth, a noble (if slightly greedy) knight in his endeavours of commanding his troops and entering the battlefield to protect his king, kingdom and peoples formerly at peace for a century from the Viking menace that has turned up at the castle door hell bent on kicking it in and looting, pillaging and generally being unpleasant. To do this you must master seemingly disparate systems that, at first, seem completely incompatible.

The first is the ballista which is mounted on the front of your own castle. This is used to take down enemy troops (or your own if you’re not careful) and destroy the enemy’s base using a variety of projectile types. The second is sending the troops out themselves, such as footmen, archers, clerics <check this name?> and paladins who all perform various roles, such as healing, long range combat or just smashing things in the face. Third is using Sir Gareth himself to hack and slash through the enemy fray, usually to cull numbers when it gets a bit hairy, and also throwing some magic around.

The levels are won by fulfilling certain win conditions, such as destroy the enemy castle, or prevent the enemy from breaking through your defences. Secondary conditions aren’t essential but give you extra money which is spent upgrading your units or castle, which is totally customisable and can be arranged and altered to become your own personal impenetrable fortress.

The way the game throws you into the first level and tells you precisely nothign is bizarre. It’s only after you’ve done the first level that you’re given a series of tutorials explaining how the systems work and mesh, although it never really explains how the castle building and customisation works and how it affects your game, that’s only found out through trial and error.

Once into the game proper it starts to make sense, with you learning which troops to deploy and when best to get Sir Gareth out into the field, but while the systems do start to work in tandem there’s some clumsiness with the control methods that take some getting used to. The camera only pulls out so far and while this is a seemingly conscious decision to keep the sense of holding the battle together and instilling a sense of danger for your base and defense, in reality you just find yourself stringing curses together and frantically panning about the battlefield .

Also the ballista aiming is incredibly twitchy with no option to reduce the sensitivity. You can use the d-pad to tweak your aim, but with the game moving at the pace it does it’s an inadequate solution due to its glacial pace of movement.

This sounds overly negative, and maybe it is a little. There’s a lot to like about Castlestorm. The story is gentle hokum, and the game overall has a nice sense of humour which, while it’s not side splitting hilarity, is still worthy of a smile and chuckle. The art direction is reminiscent of Warcraft 3-era Blizzard with bold colours and chunky, distinct character design, and the variety given to you in the objectives, customisation, weapon, troop and spell loadout has to be commended. The castle customisation never feels forced but adds a depth to the strategy if you want to delve into it. There’s also a decent amount of replayability with each level having a 5 star rating to achieve based on difficulty, time, accuracy and objectives completed.

There are  decent amount of extra modes to grind money for the main game (such as a wve based Hero Survival mode), and multi-player is well represented.

Castlestorm is a decent enough game that’s a little unsure about what it wants to be. It’s not exceptional enough to demand your time or money above the billion other games vying for your attention, but nowhere near being awful as to want  to stomp into paste and fire into the sun, never to darken your door again. If you’d like Angry Birds married to a pseudo RTS with  healthy dollop of hack and slash then it’d be right up your street.

The Walking Dead – Pinball FX2 Review

More bumper bashing, flipper hammering and ramp shooting score chasing from the only name in console digital pinball that matters.

2 new tables in as many weeks? We are spoiled, Zen Studios.  Taking its theme and appearance from Telltale Games’ excellent adventure series rather than the comic or TV show (and thankfully not from the God-awful FPS) The Walking Dead is the newest table for Pinball FX2/Zen Pinball.

After the relative generosity of the Guardians of the Galaxy table in terms of activating modes and acquiring score (see the review HERE) , The Walking Dead is not unlike being kicked in the knackers by a large navvy wearing hobnails.

It has to be said at this point reviewing pinball tables is quite difficult. There’s no real story or characterisation to comment on, the base mechanics are largely the same from table to table and the visual and audio fidelity tends to be consistent across them all because they all run on the same engine and aren’t particularly resource hungry hogs. It largely comes down to the design of the table and the mode activation, which is highly dependent on the skill of the person playing it. If that person seems to be a potato fisted idiot then it’s difficult to get a handle of how well designed a table is or isn’t.

The main problem is the ramps seem to be difficult to hit, especially the skill shot ramp on the right which seems to require almost pixel perfect timing (there’s a phrase from the 90s for you). The name implied by ‘Skill Shot’ means that it should be difficult to hit, but this is erring on the side of ridiculous with almost every attempt ending in Lee wondering “Did I miss something?”

The modes are triggered by hitting a walker (zombie to you and me) in the face until he drops back in his hole, then hitting the socket revealed by him. Then you’re asked to use the flippers to choose a mode, all of which are named after the 5 episodes in the first season of the adventure game, and after being asked to make a decision by the dot matrix display, for example ‘Save Shawn or Duck?’ or ‘Look for help or wait for night?’ you’re into the mode. It’s not actually clear what these decisions actually do should you complete the mode, so it feels like they had to crowbar the notorious decision making from the Telltale games in somewhere.

The modes are generally varied instead of just being of the “hit these ramps” variety, with you knocking down walkers that appear on the table, hitting the pop up zombie and then targets and then zombie again and even going into the Sniper mini game where you use the flippers to aim left and right and the launch button to shoot them down.

There are the usual ramp hitting modes, though, which are triggered by shooting for orbits and ramps, which have marvelously relevant  themes like searching for ammo and food, playing football with the kids to keep their spirits up (and the ball skin changing from silver to a football) and searching for paths around walkers.

All the modes seem incredibly difficult, with very tight countdowns and will only reward the most accurate of players. The Scout Ahead mode especially, as you have to hit specific ramps which are guarded by a walker-ball. If you hit it your main ball is reset and relaunched, losing seconds while it gets round the orbit and back to the flippers, which can be infuriating. Thinking about it though, all this is in keeping with the down-to-the-knuckle theme of the Walking Dead universe, where life, decisions and surviving are all difficult.

Zen can’t be knocked for keeping true to the Telltale games on which the table is based. The music, the vocal cues and the look of the table are all atmospheric and pretty unique, and, as played out as the genre is, it’s pretty great to have a zombie themed table that’s based on a decent franchise instead of something generic they could have churned out or, God forbid, based around Dead Island.

If you’re a Zen fanatic, chances are you’ve bought the table as soon as it was available and this review is a bit moot. Still, it’s a decent table, it’s just one of the crotch punchingly hard ones.

Pinball FX2: Guardians of the Galaxy Table Review

For those not familiar with the crack-like glory that is Pinball FX 2 (also known as Zen Pinball on some formats) maybe a little background is needed. It is a pinball game (yes, really) that has been released on practically every format currently available and has an expansive library of tables, some of which are themed around licensed properties such as Marvel titles, Star Wars, Plants Vs Zombies and Street Fighter, as well as some that are original concepts.

If you’re a person who is predisposed to Pokemon-esque mindsets of catching ‘em all, buying all the tables available can be a bit costly, but the creativity broadly displayed in the tables makes it worthwhile. With Pinball FX 2 being a digital pinball game it gives Zen Studios license to be a bit off the wall with the ramps, table scenery, mini games and the like that they couldn’t create if it was a metal and glass physical table.

As movie tie ins go, to say the Guardians of the Galaxy table is low key is something of an understatement. Still, it beats a crappy, rushed 3rd person shooter any day of the week, and it’s also nicely timed with the release of the aforementioned Pinball FX 2 on Xbox One. After some soul searching (or more likely after an avalanche of displeased screaming from the people who already own the game on Xbox 360) it turns out Zen Studios have decided to go back on their initial stance of not allowing you to import purchases from the previous generation so you don’t have to fork out all over again! Fabulous! Seeing as Sony’s Cross Buy purchasing system has allowed PS3 owners to download their purchases on the Ps4 version, it’d make Microsoft look a little bit stingy.

Before the table could be downloaded and played though, the old tables needed (as dictated by that Pokemon mindset mentioned up the page) to be imported to the Xbox One version. The first reaction was “It desperately needs an import all feature”, but it could be that the way the Xbox store works doesn’t allow that, so each table has to be ‘purchased’ individually. It checks whether you have the tables in your Xbox transaction history and then adjusts the cost to £0.00 accordingly. It’s cumbersome, but relatively painless. Unfortunately not all tables are available at launch (the first Marvel table bundle and original table Earth Defense, for example) and some aren’t coming at all (Ms Splosionman and Pinball FX 1 tables). Hopefully all the missing tables confirmed as being ported across will be available in short order.

For now, though, the newest addition of The Guardians of the Galaxy table continues Zens trend of producing solid, fun tables while handling the license with as much care and fan service as possible. The decision to use the the recently released movie as inspiration for the tables theme rather than the Abnett/Lanning comics is probably very sensible, though there are no licensed music tracks or and the snippets of dialogue has been re-recorded to the usual standard fans of the game can expect (I.E. terrible).

The table starts with a multiball, where the display records how many inmates you’ve defeated and credits you’ve earned, but it’s unclear as to what either of these things mean. Fortunately, the rest of the table is more transparent in how to unlock the modes and features, usually by the tried and tested method of hitting ramps to light up letters, thereby triggering modes. The two long ramps that are easiest to access have the longest names, both of which start multiball modes, the other ramps having names of characters from the movie like Yondu, Gamora, Rocket and Drax which you need to light up to trigger the 6 modes needed to start the Wizard mode. You don’t have to complete the modes to make them count towards Wizard mode, but if you do complete them you get an Orb Bonus mode which awards large amounts of points for shots, and the more you complete the higher the multiplier when you trigger later versions of the Orb Bonus as well as the bonus for if you complete the Wizard mode.

Guardians of the Galaxy is great fun to play, and it’s one of the clearer tables to get to grips with as the field is relatively uncluttered. It’s a little drab to look at, what with the aesthetic being pulled from the movie so it lacks the brash, primary coloured bombast of other Marvel tables. There are character balls for each mode like in the Avengers table, but you can only swap them out in certain modes.

If you’re a fan of the movie you’ll appreciate the little touches, like the skill shot out of the initial Kyln mode at the beginning of each game, the ball lock for multiball being The Collector (because he collects stuff *cough*), and the extra mini table in the Gamora Vs Nebula mode, but these things might be lost on those just buying the table because they want another one to play. Also, the frantic multiball at the beginning, though impossible to fail on because of ball save, feels a little like delaying getting to the meat of the table for no good reason. Of course, it could have some impact on something else in the game but it’s unclear as to what.

There are other tiny niggles like Quill’s incessant, repetitive quips which lack the charm of Pratt’s delivery, and there’s a piece of scenery dressing that obscures the third flipper a little in certain views. Also, the music is incredibly repetitive so chances are you’ll be muting that once you’ve played the table a few times. Still, they are only tiny things, and for the price of less than a coffee (or cup of tea, or a pint, or something else that costs more than £2.50) Guardians of the Galaxy is a great addition to the Pinball FX library.

Call Of Duty: Ghosts Next Gen Comparison

Next Gen is here and is now current gen, with the 360 and PS3 being old gen… Or something to that effect anyway. 

When a new generation enters the scene, there will always be some crossover games. In this case there is Need For Speed Rivals, Battlefield 4, a bunch of sports games, Assassin’s Creed IV and of course Call Of Duty Ghosts.

We have already reviewed Call Of Duty Ghosts on the XBOX 360 and you can read what we thought here.

Gamestyle were lucky enough to get their hands on both the PS4 and XBOX ONE versions of the game though and decided it would be the ideal title to assess the early impact of the new consoles. The truth is though, that with many of these titles, it will be the difference of turning up the graphic settings on a PC, after doing an upgrade.

On the whole there is nothing new to add to the experience, with one exception, which we’ll come to a little later. It is pretty much a jump in the visuals. Between the two consoles though, there is a difference, but how much that matters depends entirely on how much the graphics really mean to you.

The PS4 version runs at 1080p with the XBOX ONE version running at 720p and upscaling. You only really notice things in the finer details, with the PS4 version looking that much sharper than the XBOX ONE version. The XBOX version does add many of the same filters as on the PS4, but with the PS4 doing this natively you do notice a difference.

Now as we said this may or may not matter to you and as far as we could tell, both versions looked and played really well for the most part. The PS4 version ran at a strong 60fps but there were a few moment of slowdown during some really intense battle sequences. It was the same for the XBOX ONE version but the slowdowns seemed to happen that little bit more often, or were a little more noticeable.

It does seem apparent that this was a game developed primarily for the previous generation of consoles and ported up to the new arrivals. That isn’t a bad thing though, as it means that all four consoles get a solid enough effort and it lays down some solid foundations for the next iteration of the series.

So whether you are a owner of a XBOX ONE or a PS4, you aren’t really losing anything, neither console is suddenly getting screwed over for the other, it is only when you take the time to compare both almost side by side that you spot the little differences, if you are a fan of the game, then you’ll be happy with your upgrade.

The question is though, what if you own both consoles (you lucky person)? What version should you buy? Well this comes down to a single scenario. Do you own a PS Vita? If the answer is yes, then get the PS4 version, it becomes a no brainer purely for the remote play features offered up by Sony.

Here Infinity Ward have done a good job to make sure the controls are suited to the Vita when you do access remote play. For all games the option is there to use the rear touch pad to replace the L2, R2, L3 and R3 buttons, but rather than simply use all four sections of the rear touch, the developers have put a single action here and changed the control scheme specifically for when you are playing on the Vita.

When you load of the control options while in remote play, you are given only the Vita control options which is a nice touch, rather than being lazy and just having basic mapping. There are plenty of options too, based on how you would prefer the layout, you can have rear touch as sprint, or change it to melee, or one of the other options. All the legacy and southpaw options are also included.

There does seem to be a bit of scaling down with the graphics and during online multiplayer, it felt as though you were at a disadvantage compared to those playing on the PS4 itself with the DualShock4. Yet in the campaign mode, it was more than serviceable.

What is great, is that you no longer need to worry about losing the TV when someone else in the family wants to watch something, or play on one of the other consoles. Simply switching on the Vita, accessing the PS4 link and carrying on where you left off is wonderful. Not cross-save, not having to reboot the game, literally turning on remote play and carrying on. It is an amazing experience the first time you do this, when you sit back and realise what you have actually done, the next gen really does hit home.

A word of warning though, as great as this is directly linking to the PS4 in your home, taking the same game outside and using a 3G connection will give varying results. This works well for games like Knack and other slower paced games, but with Call Of Duty Ghosts, where you need quick reactions and fractions of a second can mean life or death, it can be a frustrating experience. However this may improve a little when 4G rolls out across the UK.

Overall there is a definite step up from the last gen in terms of visuals, but it doesn’t really make a difference to the overall game, it is still the same game as it was, just a little nice looking. What we would say though, is that it may well be worthwhile using the £10 upgrade voucher if you have the new consoles and get the best of both worlds.