Games: Space leaves room for improvement
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, (PS4/XO/PC), 4 Stars, Age: 18+
Published 20/11/2016 | 02:30
A war machine that's morphed into a cash machine, Call of Duty exists on another plane to most other games. What else could afford to cast megastars Kit Harington, Conor McGregor and Lewis Hamilton - only to throw them away in pointless cameos?
So well-oiled and well-funded is this machine, it can fit three games into one package (four if you pay €20 extra for the Legacy Edition with its remaster of the classic CoD: Modern Warfare).
The one thing Call of Duty cannot afford to do is rip up the template. So Infinite Warfare's leap into space marks less of a transition than might be hoped. Sure, the campaign features Star Wars-esque spacecraft dogfights and on-foot sequences in zero gravity. But despite a variety of new weapons and lethal gadgets, IW's story remains a familiar killing machine.
However, zombie horde mode returns with a stylish "Scooby Doo meets the undead" vibe. With a vibrant array of fairground tricks and stunts, it could sneakily become IW's strongest pillar of its three core elements.
But most buyers' focus lies on multiplayer, where the long-popular building blocks - great maps, variable loadouts and blinding pace - have been reassembled in notionally different shapes. Yes, IW rarely puts a foot wrong, but it takes no risks compared with other recent shooters such as Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
Infinite Warfare undoubtedly represents substantial value overall, but in this space there's room for improvement.
(PS4/XO/PC), 3 Stars, Age: 7+
Motorbike-racing fans lack for gaming options, so Ride 2 aims straight for the purists who know their gaskets from their pistons.
Gorgeous real-world locations and a broad range of bikes to suit most abilities confirm its authenticity. But irredeemably dim AI makes hard work of what is already a tricky sport to master.
(iOS), 5 Stars, Age: 12+
Stealth meets turn-based action in this superb futuristic infiltration sim. Two agents sneak and hack their way around the offices of mega-corporations to steal their secrets and assets. Part Deus Ex, part Mission Impossible, it's altogether brilliant.