For gamers all over the world, the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve is the ideal time to crack open that brand new console game and get lost in immersive stories, campaigns or multiplayer battles. From taking your local club into the Champions League final, to leading your squad to victory, there’s a game out there for everyone. But which game should you master? Here are five titles we suggest you check out this Christmas:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
This latest Call of Duty is gritty and realistic, where the decisions you make in the single-player campaign have an impact on the story. You’ll take part in covert missions both as a special forces operative and freedom fighter, in a conflict that stretches from Europe to the Middle East.
But, as this is CoD, it’s still about the multiplayer experience. This instalment sees the return of the much-loved Special Ops missions, where two players have to communicate and cooperate to make it through each mission. Plus, killstreaks are back! The more opponents you eliminate, the closer you are to reaching perks like care packages, sentry guns and other goodies.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Rebel Alliance or Galactic Empire? Whichever side you pick, this new release from the makers of Apex Legends and Titanfall is this year’s must-have for fans of the Star Wars franchise. Set between Episodes III and IV of the film series, this third-person adventure sees you playing as former Padawan Cal Kestis, one of the last Jedis battling for survival in the aftermath of the purge of the Jedi Order.
You’ll need to become a pro with a lightsaber and use the force if you’re going to survive, but this game is as much about defence as it is about devastating lightsaber attacks. Dodging, blocking and parrying are all crucial in defeating the enemies that stand in your way. Don’t get too comfortable, though. There will be moments when you’re fighting off long-range weapons and close-range melee attacks at the same time, so you’ll need to keep your wits about you.
Aside from the gameplay itself, the graphics are incredible and the environments you progress through combine natural and futuristic elements to great effect. Now, who’s got two thumbs and wants to take down an Imperial Walker? Buy Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield (Nintendo Switch)
Over 20 years later, and the Pokémon craze is still going strong. Ever since the release of Pokémon Red and Blue way back in 1996, new game editions of the franchise have always been released in twos and the latest instalment is no different. Take a Pikachu below…
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, you’ll choose between Grookey, Scorbunny or Sobble as your starter Pokémon and adventure through the Galar region. It’s not just about traditional battles though – in Galar, Pokémon battles are a little different. Each Pokémon has the ability to become a giant version of itself (or ‘Dynamax’), with all the added power to match. Think tactically though, as, after three turns, the Pokémon returns to normal.
We’re expecting each game to have new exclusive Pokémon, and you’ll need to trade with mates to catch ‘em all. There will also be gyms exclusive to both games, where you can train either fighting or ghost Pokémon for battle. We can’t wait!
FIFA 20 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
This year’s edition of FIFA is a little different from previous releases. FIFA 20 sees the introduction of the new VOLTA Football modes. You’ll create an avatar (basically you with lightning-fast feet), pick your team and take on other teams in 3v3, 4v4 or 5v5 games. Watch the defenders though. There are no rules in VOLTA, so that one friend who always slide tackles won’t pick up any red cards.
Elsewhere in the game, EA have gone back to the drawing board and completely overhauled set pieces, shooting and defending. Now, you won’t be cursing the players you’re not controlling for their poor positioning, as they’ll always be exactly where they need to be. It’s more realistic than ever too, with the motion of the ball directly affecting the quality of a first-time pass or shot. So, you’ll have to think like you’re on the pitch for real to pick up that win.
Borderlands 3 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Borderlands is back! The first two instalments of this FPS titan were loved by gamers everywhere, and the third game is bigger and better still.
Borderlands 3 sees you explore new worlds and take on new enemies. Looking like they’re straight from a graphic novel, The Borderlands consists of a group of planets that are being exploited by militarised corporations, and you’ll have to save the galaxy from the threat of The Children of the Vault. Choose between four Vault Hunters, each with their own unique skills, and develop a truly one-of-a-kind loadout from over a billion guns!
Either work your way through each battle solo, or team up with a buddy and play co-op with two-player split-screen. You can even gather a team of Vault Hunters online, but communication is key, as you’ll have to work together to combine your special abilities.
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