New World (PC, £34.99)
Verdict: Aeternum forever
Explorers set out westwards from Europe for the New World in the 15th century.But what if they’d encountered a different New World instead?
Say, a shrouded island in the middle of the Atlantic where some eldritch power is raising the dead?
That is the premise of, well, New World, the latest game from a little, up-and-coming studio called Amazon Games.Yes, when they’re not taking trips into space, Jeff Bezos and his buddies are now getting into the world’s biggest form of mass entertainment.
New World is a risky release for Amazon because it’s an MMORPG. Which is to say, it’s like the long-established World of Warcraft: an entirely online realm occupied by thousands of players at the same time.These types of games are huge undertakings that are meant to hold our attention for years.
The good news is that New World might just pull it off. Part of the reason is its setting, that island of Aeternum, which shouldn’t be sold as anything more than a pretty standard fantasy world, Playstation 5 Restock but one that’s so confidently and beautifully drawn that just being there is a joy.
But the main reason is New World’s gameplay.This feels like a major refinement of the Warcraft template, with greater freedom to define your character; a much more engaging combat system; and — perhaps the most impressive feature — factional rivalries that cleverly affect the world around you.
The question, as with all MMORPGs, is how long it will last.Will Amazon keep on cultivating this New World? Or will Aeternum and its explorers be quickly abandoned? Here’s hoping it’s the former. I’ve got a whole second life to carve out.
New World (PC, £34.99)
Far Cry 6 (PlayStation, Xbox, PC, £49.99)
Verdict: Same old revolution
HAVE you played a Far Cry game before?If not, then this sixth instalment might be the best place to start. It is, in many respects, the perfection of the series, from its stunning graphics to its enjoyably chaotic violence.
But if you have played a Far Cry game before, then this might be one (or four) too many.
It’s yet another big map — this time, a Latin American island nation under the yoke of a dictatorship — with hundreds of markers representing things to see, shoot, collect, meet .. . whatever. I’m a far cry from wanting any more.
Risky release: playstation 5 Top, Amazon’s New World. Above, Far Cry 6