The Year That Was: October 2013Platforms: All
October 2013 was an interesting month, it featured as some bizarre limbo between the current generation and the next with the new console behemoth’s release dates so close that we could almost touch the extra frames per second. With this overlap getting ever closer gamers had to make some decisions about which versions of which games they would buy, first up for that dilemma was Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag or to call it but its gangsta rap name, AC4.
James looked after all of the swashbuckling when he reviewed the latest instalment of Ubisoft’s sail-around stab ‘em-up and it was met with a solid 8/10. It was a vast improvement over Assassin’s Creed 3, an iteration that failed to excite us. Thankfully AC4 made steps forward for the series and James pointed out that, “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag doesn’t reinvent the franchise, nor does it move the story on. Instead, it refines the best bits of III and wisely sacrifices some of the po-faced historical accuracy for an adventure with pirates.”
It wasn’t the only time Ubisoft graced our digital pages in October, as with new consoles inbound and arguably the most anticipated game for the launch window coming from Ubisoft, they then delayed the futuristic new IP Watch_Dogs. It was a bitter pill for gamers to swallow, some having pre-ordered launch bundles with mere weeks to go, Ubisoft issued a statement saying, “Our ambition from the start with Watch_Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014. The absence of Watch_Dogs left the console launch line-ups looking seriously lacking and there were murmurs throughout of Ubisoft delaying the game so that it would do better business with AC4. Whatever the problem or the motivation the release date is getting closer and Ubisoft seem confident in what lies in wait for us, “We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next Spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”
From a game not yet released to a game that was being re-released now as October saw the return of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. With the Wii-U living on scraps it was a welcome sight for those hungry gamers who now got to feast on the bountiful story of The Wind Waker. It had been a long time since the game was originally released on Gamecube all of those years ago but for those visiting the game for the first time or for those weathered seafarers returning for the HD sheen there was a real treat in store, our reviewer Ryan concluded, “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is the definitive version of the GameCube classic. It’s largely faithful to the original whilst managing to make some improvements to the pacing in the latter stages of Link’s seafaring adventure. For new players the game is well worth investing in, especially those who have enjoyed more recent entries in the series.”
October was also a month for one of those most bizarre announcements in the next-gen battle with Microsoft announcing that Jonathan Ross, yes you read that right, was joining the Xbox team. His company Hotsauce Interactive will be involved with Microsoft in a way that we are yet to fully understand, however Wossy was ecstatic, saying, “I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft Studios. The explosion in cross-media opportunities and the chance to create and develop entertainment ideas that make the most of both the traditional and the very latest platforms is tremendously exciting. My love of games, movies and TV made this partnership a no-brainer. And they said they’d give me an Xbox One for free, so how could I possibly refuse?” Fair enough Jonathan, fair enough.
So that was October, a strange mix of treats but merely a prelude to November, the month that launched the new console war. Hold on to your hats.