New Tomb Raider Game To Be Revealed in 2018

The official Tomb Raider Twitter account shared the following message a few minutes ago.

Square Enix is excited to share some big news with you next year. Honestly, we wish we could share it with you right now, but we’re taking a new approach this time.

shadow_tomb_raider_logoRELATEDShadow of the Tomb Raider Teased for Possible Gamescom Reveal

A new Tomb Raider game is coming. Driven by our goal of putting our fans first, we want you to know that it won’t be very long between the official reveal and when you can play.

Our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018. We simply can’t wait to take you on Lara Croft’s defining adventure.

Square Enix has thus addressed speculation that the game would be revealed at tonight’s The Game Awards event organized by Geoff Keighley.

While the delayed reveal may be disappointing (it was originally rumored to be scheduled for Gamescom 2017), at least the message confirms that the release won’t be too far off, possibly hinting that it could happen within 2018. After all, next year will be huge for Tomb Raider thanks to the reboot of the movie series, due to hit theaters in March 2018.

Lara Croft will be played by rising star (and Oscar winner) Alicia Vikander, with Dominic West (The Affair) set to play his father, Lord Richard Croft. Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys, Ready Player One, Ant-man and the Wasp) and Walton Goggins (Justified, The Hateful Eight, Ant-man and the Wasp) will also feature in the movie, due to be directed by Roar Urthag.



If you’re an Assassin’s Creed Origins player then you may well like to know that today has seen a new piece of content arrive. Prepare to look to the sky and await the Horus DLC pack!

If you head to Ancient Egypt then worshipping deities is pretty much par for the course, and so when Ubisoft sent Assassin’s Creed Origins to Egypt, it was fairly obvious that we’d find ourselves stumbling upon some of the most worshipped of gods. And that is most definitely the case today as a new Horus content pack has arrived.

Priced at £5.99, the Assassin’s Creed Origins Horus Pack will allow you to kit your assassin out with a brand new, highly exclusive outfit, grab a new bow or two and go equipped with a new shield. Furthermore, you’ll get the chance to mount a unique camel – Apophis.

If you wish to add this latest content to your Origins experience, then head on over to the Microsoft Store right now. Don’t forget to have a read of our full review of Assassin’s Creed Origins too – Ubisoft are back with a rather big bang!

DLC Description:

Horus, the Egyptian God of the Sky, shows favor to your Assassin with this exclusive outfit. Mount Apophis, a unique camel named after the snake demon while wielding 2 bows and 1 shield worthy of the gods.


Call of Duty WWII Update 1.05 PS4/XO Offers Loading Optimizations, MP Weapon Nerfs and Buffs & More

Activision has released Call of Duty WWII update 1.05 for PS4 and Xbox One, which offers various improvements and optimizations alongside multiplayer weapon nerfs and buffs.

The update also fixes some exploits in the Nazi Zombies mode. “Welcome to our first Patch Note Update! We’ve heard the community loud and clear over social channels, and we’re working around the clock to ensure a better experience for all players”, Activision writes. “We’ve been tracking issues as they arise on our end and have pushed an update to address some of your top concerns.”

You’ll find the full patch notes for Call of Duty WWII Update 1.05 down below:


Connectivity improvements and optimizations

Fixed de-ranking issues

Addressed an issue where players encountered an infinite load screen

Leaderboard stability improvements and bug fixes

General UI improvements

Loading optimizations

Splitscreen functionality improvements

Added new unlock inventory stars to indicate when new items are added

Adjusted hit marker audio to be higher default level (note: can be adjusted in settings)

Fixed out of world exploits on Gustav Cannon and Sainte Marie du Mont

Espionage Basic Training – Reduced painted time from 10 to 6 seconds. Made it so only bullet damage paints you.

Weapon tuning to allow for one shot kills outside of hardcore mode, enabling challenge completion.

Fixed infinite flamethrower bug

XP Earn rate tuned in Operation Neptune

Fix issue of shotgun variants not appearing

Emblem Editor and visualization improvements

GameBattles Improvements

Fixed Gridiron Ball exploits



Walther Toggle Action Shotgun – Damage increased at extremely close range

Bren LMG – Increased damage per shot

LMG Bipod – Sped up ADS time when in Bipod stance


BAR Rifle – decreased fire rate and widened hip fire spread

STG44 Rifle – widened hip fire spread

FG42 Rifle – increased recoil and widened hip fire spread

Machine Pistol – decreased damage ranges

SNIPER CLASS – Fixed a bug with all Sniper Rifles zooming to exact center when aiming down the sights


  • Zombie Map Exploit Fix – clipping into a zombie spawn closet using revive mechanic in Laboratory
  • Fixed Klaus pathing
  • Fixed out of world exploit – The Final Reich

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the 15 best superhero games of all time!

You don’t have to look far these days to find a pack of crime-fighting superheroes out to make the world a safer, yet somehow more explosion-filled place. The Avengers have become Hollywood’s biggest darlings, and the Marvel movie train isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Superhero toys are moving millions of dollars a year, and even the comics themselves, which were ailing in the early 2000s, are back on the upswing. And yet, in video games, the one medium where you can actually be Captain America or Superman, it seems like there’s a dearth of good superhero titles.

That’s an injustice we can’t let stand. For those in desperate need of a superhero video game fix, we’ve gathered the best of the best here. Their mission: to make sure you have a super good time. Whether they use magic powers, technical gizmos, or just flat-out smash things to oblivion, the gang’s all here. Time to get to work.

15. Justice League Heroes: The Flash


It’s not surprising that there haven’t been many games featuring The Flash; when your name isn’t Sonic the Hedgehog, unlimited speed as a game’s central focus can be a hard sell. Plus, for a long time, consoles just didn’t have the processing power to let the world’s fastest man run free. But that didn’t stop WayForward from making Justice League Heroes: The Flash in 2006 for the Game Boy Advance, and making great use of the world’s fleetest feet in the process.

At face value, The Flash looks like a typical brawler, but having the power to dash between enemies using super speed completely flips the script. Activating Flash’s super speed slows the world down while allowing him to maintain velocity, so you can see what it looks like from his point of view when he goes full-blur and puts his enemies in the ground. Need I say any more?

Play it on: Game Boy Advance

14. Deadpool


It’s rare to find genuine laughs from attempted comedy in games, which makes High Moon Studios’ Deadpool quite the treasure indeed. This third-person hack-and-slash drops you into the boots of the Merc with a Mouth, and lets you loose on hordes of disposable, meat-filled enemies in a bloody action adventure that never misses the chance to crack a joke.

It’s a good thing, too, because while the combat starts to get stale by the time the credits roll, that stellar script and wonderful comedy more than make up for it. Deadpool’s meta, fourth-wall-breaking antics are enjoyable from beginning to end. Plus, there’s a scene where you’re able to slap an unconscious Wolverine for a solid three minutes, and who doesn’t want to do that?

Play it on: PC, PS3, and Xbox 360

13. Scribblenauts Unmasked


Scribblenauts started with the ambitious concept of conjuring any word you could imagine, and it has only grown from there. In 2013, the series massive dictionary got even larger with Scribblenauts Unmasked, which included every person and most of the items from DC Comics history in its lexicon (including Bloodwynd and Kryptonian, but sadly not League of Shadows). Scribbling protagonist Max can summon Batman to solve his problems, or a dozen different Batmen to deal with a new logic puzzle.

Unmasked has a massive DC-themed vocabulary, and in addition to letting you summon the entire Green Lantern Corps to help you solve a riddle, the encyclopedic collection of names doubles as a Wiki that gives you background on every single DC term included. So, hey, it’s educational! Its such a thorough celebration of DC’s past and present ,that it’s hard not to feel all the joy dancing across your screen at all times, like waves of transformative radiation.

Play it on: PC, Wii U, and Nintendo DS

12. DC Universe Online


An MMO based off on the DC universe doesn’t sound like a great idea on paper. If everyone’s a superhero, then are what’s so super about everyone? But, six years on from release, DC Universe Online is alive and kicking on PC and next-gen consoles, having successfully made the transition from the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2013. Players get to create their own superhero based on the traits of DC’s wide catalogue of canonical characters, before venturing fourth into the open world to join the fight against perpetual doomsday.

Above all, DC Universe Online excels as an example of perspicacious post-launch curation, as developers Daybreak Game Company has devoted itself to perpetually enhancing and expanding the game with new content, updates, fixes, and rewards for the past half decade. It’s starting to show its age in 2017 but, as a free-to-play action MMO that reveals a deep understanding of and admiration for its source material, you could do a lot worse than DC Universe Online.

Play it on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One

11. X-Men Origins: Wolverine


Not only is the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game infinitely better than the movie it’s loosely based off of, but it might well be one of the best movie tie-in games of all time. An R-rated experience which doesn’t shy away from Logan’s capacity to brutalize his enemies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine represents the first mature take on the character outside of the comics.

The game was more than just blood and guts, however, as the action-heavy combat is engaging in its simplicity, not to mention relentless during the impressively designed boss fights. The well-told story also features full voice acting from almost the entire cast of the film, with Hugh Jackman himself lending his suitably gruff tones to the proceedings. Unfortunately, the movie’s infamously awful interpretation of Deadpool turns up in the game, too, so it isn’t all plain sailing.

Play it on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii

10. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2


Through much of the 2000s, Activision found a real niche for itself publishing dungeon crawlers based around comic book super stars. After increasingly well-made adventures like X-Men: Legends and the first Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the series reached its loot collecting, team of four apex with Ultimate Alliance 2.

While in many ways Ultimate Alliance 2 re-purposed the formula from its predecessor almost note for note, the incremental adjustments establish it as the pinnacle of the franchise. It features a huge roster of stars from all over the Marvel Universe, has the best visuals in the series, and is built around the hero vs. hero Civil War story-line, making its plot a bigger draw than you might expect. It has its flaws, but if all you’re looking for is to sprint down dungeon corridors and punch Magneto in the face, you’ve found your game.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, and Nintendo Wii

9. The Wonderful 101


Platinum Games has superheroism in its blood. Bayonetta and the Transformers Devastation may be lacking in capes and Kryptonite, but they prove how skilled Platinum is at working with the sorts of giant explosions, eye-catching aesthetics, and giddy heart that make superheroes so beloved. So it’s not surprising that when Platinum tried its hand at a literal superhero game – The Wonderful 101 – it hit the nail on the head with a building-sized hammer.

In Wonderful 101, you control a 100-strong team of superheroes as they battle against a powerful alien force trying to take over the world. In proper Platinum form, you fight battles that both look and feel larger than life, but with a twist: the mass of superheroes under your control combine to create gigantic weapons that you use in battle, letting you feel just as big and powerful as the things you’re fighting. While the game does stumble in places (the Wii U GamePad is occasionally crowbarred in with painful results), its silly affection for everything superhero-y makes it difficult not to love.

Play it on: Wii U

8. Lego Marvel Super Heroes


From Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, the Lego games have proven that just about everything is better in brick form. That trend continues in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which comes at the Marvel universe with easy to grasp adventure gameplay and the sort of lighthearted humor that Lego games have long become famous for. Seriously, where else is Dr. Doom actually going to call his world-annihilation device a “Doom Ray of Doom”?

Playing Spiderman as he teams up with Black Widow to defeat Venom and make silly block puns is really all you need to have a good time here, and Lego Marvel doesn’t overcomplicate the mash-ups. Yet, in its own goofy way, it remains loyal to the Marvel universe, making each character feel essential to the cast and giving them abilities that uniquely fit them, like the Hulk being able to throw cars and make competent use of a computer. It doesn’t have much to offer players hoping for a challenge or a serious story, but it’s pure and simple fun, and that’s all it needs to be.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS Vita, and Nintendo 3DS

7. Saints Row 4


If you were to ride a time machine back to 2006 (or maybe just spin the world in the other direction, Superman-style), you’d probably get a lot of raised eyebrows over the idea that Saints Row would eventually include a superhero game. But my, how things change: Saints Row 4 stars humans with incredible powers like super speed and energy projection, out to save Earth from world-hopping evil, headquartered in a secret Saints-cave, and decked out in matching outfits. I’m gonna say that qualifies.

Saints Row 4 transformed the post-modern sandbox into a profane riff on The Matrix, and it’s an absolute blast to explore and destroy as you see fit. You’re faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive, exploring the virtual city of Steelport just like Superman would – were he a sociopathic, deposed President that loves Biz Markie. That alone makes the game worthwhile, turning the simple act of moving from one place to another into a high-speed adventure. But toss in progressively more intense powers you unlock as you go and ridiculous slapstick comedy, and it’s a game that’s hard not to love, no matter how many dick jokes it tells.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360

6. inFamous Second Son



InFamous: Second Son isn’t based on a comic book or a movie, and it doesn’t feature a beloved protagonist with roots in 1940’s Americana. Instead, Delsin Rowe is a hero for the modern age: a charming delinquent who discovers he can absorb other superheroes’ powers a la Rogue from X-Men, and struggles with the choice between using them for good or whatever he damn well pleases. While the first two games have their charms, Second Son is a fuller package, with tons of side content and visual flourishes that make the heroes and the city they’re trying to save feel alive. Plus, it gives you access to the sort of raw power you always want to get your hands on, but so rarely do.

Playing as Delsin gives you the feeling of truly controlling a superhero. His powers grow to near-absurd levels by the end of the game, and with all the different abilities he can acquire over the course of his journey, it’s not long before your cup runneth over with superpowered possibilities. Using neon to speed through the streets and straight up buildings, levitating enemies or anchoring them with concrete, shooting into orbit and coming back down for an Earth-shaking entrance – it’s the stuff of superhero dreams, and it’s all at your glowing fingertips.

Play it on: PS4

5. Spider-Man 2


Of the many dozens of titles inspired by New York’s most famous wall-crawler, it’s still Spider-Man 2 which conjures up the fondest memories. Treyarch nails the power fantasy of web-slinging through the urban jungle of Manhattan to a tee, while the city itself feels bustling and alive, riddled with crime for players to put a stop to.

Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Alfred Molina also reprise their roles from the movie to impart their vocal talent, ensuring that the story remains consistent to its cinematic counterpart, but Treyarch still takes some welcome deviations by jam-packing the game with a diverse cast of heroes and villains from the comics. The best moment of it all? A hilariously subversive and anti-climactic boss fight with Mysterio.

Play it on: PC, PS2, Xbox, PSP, and Nintendo GameCube

4. Injustice 2


NetherRealm’s studios first attempt at a superhero based fighting game, 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, was a sound and solid foundation for a franchise in the making, but greater things were to follow. This year finally saw the release of its sequel, Injustice 2, which ups the ante in almost every way you could hope for, not least with the addition of sorely missing characters from the first game like Supergirl and Gorilla Grod.

Injustice 2 is a prestigious and meaty fighting game, which really does play as good as it looks. All the depth and nuances of the fighting genre are here, buried deep within the game’s layered mechanics, but the visual pizzazz of it all is what elevates into something really special. Even if you’re not a fighting fan, you can appreciate NetherRealm’s dedication to premium presentation, especially when someone unleashes their Super Move upon an unsuspecting foe.

Play it on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One

3. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction


The Incredible Hulk is one of the most popular heroes in the world, and an Avengers headliner, but his record with games has been pretty spotty (including a game where you exclusively play as Bruce Banner, because who likes smashing things anyway). It almost felt like nobody really understood the Hulk and what makes him so great, until Ultimate Destruction came along and got him doing what he does best: breaking everything.

Here the Hulk beats the crap out of anything he can get his gargantuan hands on, embracing the ridiculousness of a Not-So-Jolly Green Giant by making boxing gloves out of cars and surfing on buses. Plus, it creates a means of movement that would make Assassin’s Creed green with envy, allowing the Hulk to dig his fingers right into building walls and leap across the city with the greatest of ease. Pseudo-sequel series Prototype would eventually build on this same concept, but in terms of straight-up Hulk games, no game has captured the destructive force and unbridled entertainment of the big guy like this one.

Play it on: PS2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube

2. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3


Marvel vs Capcom 2 might have more superheroes in its roster, but nothing comes close to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 in terms of sheer fan service. Working closely with advisors at Marvel, Capcom crafted each hero (and villain) with care, making sure to include instantly-recognizable moves and ridiculously obscure references alike. When Rocket Raccoon gets a spot on the Marvel squad, you know you’re dealing with bonafide experts.

Each comic book character plays just as youd imagine they would: Spider-Man nimbly dashes around the screen, Phoenix transforms into her Dark incarnation upon death, and Storm is the queen of controlling airspace. UMC3 is an impressive fighting game even if you have no love for Marvel, with balanced combat that allows for a variety of fighting styles and smooth handling that feels grand whether you’re playing as Deadpool or Frank West. If you’re a purist looking for a game that bleeds Marvel, or simply a fighting game-lover looking for a fun time, this really is the ultimate.

Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita

1. Batman: Arkham Knight


Rocksteady has long been a rockstar of the superhero genre, from the day Arkham Asylum swooped quietly onto the scene and changed the face of super games forever. Arkham Knight is thus the pinnacle of the pinnacle, the swan song of the Arkham series that takes all of its best parts and condenses them into one 25-hour experience. It has its issues (namely the feeling that the game is running you over with the Batmobile by the end), but just like with the Caped Crusader himself, its greatness isn’t undone by them.

Batman’s powers are at their most carefully honed in Arkham Knight, with combat feeling fluid and natural, and his batty gliding ability makes traversal so fun that I’m pretty sure I saw him crack a midair smile. Plus, this time around those powers include the power of friendship, which lets a partner like Batgirl or Robin join in the fray for brilliantly executed combos that are a joy to partake in. Nestle all that in a huge open world full of great content (that isn’t entirely Riddler trophies, I swear), and this feels like the perfect way to send the best iteration of Batman off as he vanishes into the night.

Play it on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One

Call of Duty WWII Retail Copies Finally Playable After New Update, Major Info Leaked

Call of Duty WWII was locked behind an update on the PS4. This update seems to have been in response to the leaks that plagued the game thanks to store breaking the official release date. However, it appears that Sledgehammer Games has now pushed an update on the PS4 that has finally let users play the game before it officially launches on November 3rd. This is to assume that you own a legit retail copy of the PS4 version of the game. It is not currently possible to play the game on the Xbox One while the PC version is locked behind Steam.

Following the update, a whole host of information has leaked online for the game ranging from its zombie mode, confirmation of a second map for the Call of Duty zombies mode, and additional leaks for the killstreaks that are available in the game. All of this leaked info has been compiled by the Call of Duty WWII reddit and if you want to check it out, give them a visit here. Call of Duty WWII is the next mainline game from developer Sledgehammer Games who have previously worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The game attempts to take the series back to its roots with a return to the World War 2 era and an old school and more ground approach to the combat and weapons.

Assassin’s Creed Origins PC And Steam Details: Release Date, Specs, And Requirements Revealed

“The range of supported machines is wider than ever.”

Assassin’s Creed Origins’ release is drawing near, and developer Ubisoft has revealed the minimum PC specs and system requirements you’ll need to play. The company says that optimizing the game for PC play has been very important, as has making the game accessible to players on a wide variety of systems.

“The PC version was developed in parallel with all the other versions by the main team in Montreal, in collaboration with our PC-dedicated team in Ubisoft Kiev,” said Jose Araiza, the coordinating producer on Assassin’s Creed Origins. “This approach was adopted while the game features were being designed, making PC and mouse-and-keyboard controls a full part of the equation from the get-go.”

Araiza said the minimum system requirements will be the same as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which released two years ago. “This means that the range of supported machines is wider than ever,” he said.

Origins is available through Steam, although purchasing it there will still require the use of Ubisoft’s Uplay service. However, unlike other Uplay games, it does support Steam achievements and trading cards.

Assassin’s Creed Origins comes out on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on October 27. It’s the latest instalment in a series that has been around for a decade, and if you need help catching up on the story, check out our look back at every Assassin’s Creed game. You can also get an idea of what to expect in our Assassin’s Creed Origins review or review roundup. In the meantime, here are the minimum and recommended system requirements.

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-6350 @ 3.9 GHz or equivalent
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD R9 270 (2048 MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Resolution: 720p
  • Video Preset: Lowest

Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7- 3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or AMD R9 280X (3GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Video Preset: High

Destiny 2 Is Already the Best-Selling Game of 2017


According to analysts at The NPD Group, September’s best selling game was Destiny 2, followed by NBA2K18.

In only one month of sales, Destiny 2 is now the “best-selling game of 2017 year to date.” NBA 2K18 is the best-selling sports game.

Interestingly, the top selling hardware unit for September wasn’t the Nintendo Switch, but rather the Super NES Classic.

Switch was the top selling console for September 2017, beating out PS4 and Xbox One, but Sony led the pack in overall consumer spending tied to the PS4 platform.

Nintendo issued a statement last week ahead of the public release of NPD’s sales data championing its hybrid console. Two-thirds of all hardware sales in September belonged to Nintendo.

Last month’s top-selling game, Madden NFL 18, moved down two places to number 3

Here are the top 10 best selling games in the US for September according to the NPD Group:

  • Destiny 2
  • NBA 2K18
  • Madden NFL 18
  • FIFA 18
  • Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • NHL 18
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

According to NPD, hardware spending “grew 34 percent versus year ago.” That growth was largely driven by “Nintendo Switch, SNES Classic, and the Sony PlayStation 4.”

Need for Speed Payback Install Size Revealed, And It’s Surprisingly Small

These days we’re all used to the fact that most major games are huge hard drive hogs. This is particularly true for racing games – the recently-released Gran Turismo Sport requires over 50 GB, and the PC version Forza Motorsport 7 gobbles up nearly 100 GB. Given that precedent, upcoming racer Need for Speed Payback must require a pretty hefty download, right? Not so fast.

According to its Microsoft Store listing, the Xbox One version of Need for Speed Payback has a relatively-reasonable install size of 17.8 GB. Given Payback is an HD open-world racer with a full story mode featuring voice-acted cutscenes, that’s remarkably low. Is Payback perhaps a smaller game than EA is letting on? Then again, the game takes place in and around Las Vegas, which means a lot of desert backdrops – sand textures can’t take up too much space.

We don’t know how much space Payback will consume on PC or PS4 yet, but it will likely be similar. The game’s PC specs indicated 30 GB of free disk space was required, but that was probably a placeholder. Speaking of the PC specs, here they are again:

WWE 2K18: 7 Biggest Disappointments

2K desperately needed WWE 2K18 to be a raging success that carried the series forward. The developers can boast all the gameplay tweaks or customisation options they want (and those are plentiful), but long-time fans want to see something fresh and inventive. For years, WWE video games have coasted on the same game engine without genuine change.

So it’s disappointing to learn that 2K18 still suffers from familiar, age-old problems that have held the series back for well over a decade. Even some of the newer features feel like they need some work if WWE games are ever going to sparkle again. Remember how you felt when playing SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth for the first time? Fans deserve to feel that way again.

2K18 doesn’t have that immediate freshness. This is 2017 and the games are still plagued by many of the same problems visible on PS2 releases. Nobody wants to believe the developers are just churning out their annual slice of digital wrestling goodness and going through the motions, but that’s sadly how 2K18 comes across…

11 cool things we discovered in 8 hours of Assassin’s Creed Origins

There’s only a matter of weeks until we’re let loose in the enormous Ancient Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins with brand new hooded hero, Bayek. October 27 can’t come soon enough for everyone who has twiddled their thumb sticks for a bonus extra year waiting for a new Creed game. But the question is, was it worth it? So far, the answer is very much yes with Origins offering an incredible RPG unlike anything Assassin’s Creed has ever done before. We got hands on with just a small portion of the map and managed to cause complete chaos in a matter of minutes. Here are 11 cool things we discovered in 8 hours of Assassin’s Creed Origins.

1. You can control time


Ok, easy, Prince of Persia, not that kind of time control. While Assassin’s Creed has always had a day night cycle as you spend endless hours adventuring across rooftops, Origins lets you speed time along at the press of a button once you’ve unlocked the Dusk and Dawn skill. We are in the Animus after all and Ancient Egypt has a full 24 hour cycle, meaning the world is constantly changing. Night time means guards sleep (making it a perfect time to sneak up on them with a certain mechanical blade), nocturnal animals come out to, errr, ‘play,’ and merchants and traders wander from the marketplaces they’ve been frequenting all day. Whether a quest requires you to follow someone home after a long shift, or you just want the perfect light for yet another pyramid screenshot, this new function adds another layer to an already dangerously compelling world.

2. Everything wants to kill you


And we mean everything. Lions, hyenas, crocodiles, hippos… Origins’ Egypt is beautifully deadly. The natural predators of land and sea aren’t just eager to eat each other for breakfast, but are more than happy to take a bite or six out of you. While quests are scattered across the world, insta missions pop up when animals get too close to the inhabitants of Egypt so you might find yourself rescuing a poor farmer from a hippo that’s got a little too close for comfort or a fisherman plagued by crocs. Alternatively, you could always ride in the other direction with their screams echoing guiltily in your ears. It’s worth noting that lions in particular are utterly relentless when it comes to the chase, and it’s best to clamber onto your steed for a quick getaway or at least as a good position for firing arrows into Simba’s roaring, tooth-filled mouth. Speaking of, if you want to fire arrows five at a time…

3. Loot is Destiny levels of addictive


Unlike previous Creed games where you bought weaponry, armed yourself with the most deadly version and stuck to it for the next forty hours, Origins has an incredible selection of deadly tools for the job. This might be the earliest Creed to date in 49BCE but there are more weapons here than you can shake a very pointy stick at. Spears, maces, knives, and dual wielded short swords await. There’s even a selection of bows that would turn Lara Croft green-eyed.

Found in chests or bought from a vendor, each weapon has its own unique attributes. While these perks aren’t changeable, you might find a spear to increase bleed time or a poison tipped blade. Throw in the fact that some loot is Legendary, clearly identified in glowing purple on the gear screen, and every chest opening is another prayer to RNG-sus. There’s also the nice bonus of blacksmith upgrades if you find a weapon you like early on in the game, where you can pay Drachmas to bring your favourite toy up to level. Just like Destiny 2though, you’re going to spend a serious amount of time in the gear screen comparing stats. Even if you don’t normally like numbers, Origins gives everything a damage per second stat that’s going to make you want to open every chest in the game.

4. There are Far Cry-style camps


Think puzzles but the moving parts are people that fire arrows at you and you know exactly what Origins’ enemy encampments have in store. One of the highlights of the Far Cry games have always been the outposts that you have to take over with stealth or brute force, and Origins has made the most of the Ubisoft family connection and added it’s own forts and buildings that you can infiltrate to score treasure. Almost all of them will have a way to sneak in or sabotage the occupying enemy, even if you might not find it until you’ve gone in all blades blazing and set the place on fire. It’s like crashing a wedding, but with way more death.

5. Egypt is full of brilliant chaos


Origins loves chaos. It bathes in it. Factions roam across the sands, hippos and lions battle it out, rebels invade camps, regular Egyptians try to exist without being mauled by hyenas,  and that’s all before Bayek comes in. This feels like a world that exists quite happily without the Medjay but throw in our first Assassin and things get even more chaotic. You can of course join in the fight, or unleash wild animals from cages to add some teeth to the equation, or you could just set things on fire. Every arrow Bayek fires can be sent as a flaming version. Just stand next to a fire source as you draw your bow and things will get distinctly more exciting. There’s even a neat trick where you can bring out your pyramid-raiding torch and drop it on the ground. Hello, portable fire source. Bring in the shotgun bow and five flaming arrows will do serious damage.

6. Sailing is amazing


Luckily for us, the massive Nile (the river is 4,258 miles long, fact fans) gives the development team a chance to repeat the sailing success of Black Flag, minus the sea shanties. Sailing small, intricately detailed boats across the sun-speckled Nile feels so smooth it’s enough to make you give up the Assassin life and become a water taxi. (That DLC idea is a freebie, Ubisoft). The river has its own ecosystem of snapping crocodiles, lurking hippos and traffic, and you’ll meet impressive convoys of soldiers and innocent merchants as you travel around. Our preview confined us to a specific area, but a few side missions hinted at the chance to hunt targets down on the water, and your bow makes it easy to use a commandeered boat as a floating assassin’s perch.

7. There’s one hell of a skill tree


Assassin’s Creed has never really given you much of a choice of how to play, handing over gradual upgrades as you progress. Syndicate was the beginning of giving you an actual skill tree, but Origins serves up a veritable breakfast buffet of ways to murder your way across Ancient Egypt. Animal taming and booby trapping bodies with poison are just the beginning of what you can spend ability points on. Choose to level up your Hunter or Warrior skills and you can regenerate health while you fight, or even start combat with a half full adrenaline bar for a faster way to reach your overpower skill. If you want to swim more, you can spend points on holding your breath longer, or if you’re savvy with a bow, you can upgrade to get a slow motion bonus when you pull back an arrow. The skill tree screen is an astonishing array of new ways to play that means even though you’ll hit the level cap of 40, there will be plenty of reasons to keep unlocking those precious points.

8. Praise Ra, it’s pretty


Assassin’s Creed has always been proud of its vistas. Those synch points have been spinning 360 degrees for ten years for very good reason. Whether it’s cities or the Caribbean, the Creed has always been screenshot material. Step in the Xbox One X on processing duties and Ancient Egypt is beautiful on whole new levels.

Remember that feeling you got when Edward took to the sea in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag? As you zoomed out at top speed as your pirates sang sea shanties and the tail of a whale crashed through the waves? Now imagine that feeling with the lush riverbanks of the Nile with the pyramids waiting tantalisingly on the horizon.

Whether you’re on a boat or a camel, every swivel of the camera is screenshot material which is why it’s a good thing you can just take a grab with a press of both sticks. Better clear some space on that hard drive.

9. Combat is fast and furious


Let’s face it, Assassin’s Creed combat has never really changed. There’s been more satisfying counters – especially with Syndicate’s sword cane, mmmm, head golf – but everyone has always patiently waited around you in a circle until it’s their turn to die. Well, no more queuing. Like a self service machine of death, Origins’ combat is fast, frenetic and dangerous. Archers hang back and aim with murderous accuracy, brutes with shields require a charged attack to destroy their barricade, and, all the while, other foes charge in with swords.

What was once an exercise in QTEs has become a juggling act as you raise your shield with your left bumper, and flick between locked enemies with a press of the right stick. And you’ll constantly change your style too. Depending on your chosen weapons, you’ll have to keep your distance or get up close and personal. Throw in the aforementioned fire arrows and Origins combat is a delightful dance of death. Be warned though, too many enemies of a higher level and you’ll be canopic jar material in no time so keep an eye on the kind of foes you’re up against before charging in.

10. Arts and crafts (and hyenas)


A few hours in Origins will turn even the biggest PETA supporter into a one person abattoir, hunting down wildlife to craft upgrades for your gear. It starts out small, you just shoot a couple vultures for the feathers, do a hunting side quest for a sad looking tanner, and then boom – you’re like that dentist that went viral for killing lions. It’s Black Flag’s guilt whaling all over again, only now your eagle can act as a kind of animal kingdom double agent, letting you mark your next target on the map to make the killing all the more efficient. It’s almost a relief when you take on something, a charging hippo for instance, that grinds you into the dirt like the scumlord poacher that you are. At least you can justify that you need it all though. Everything requires leather and skins to upgrade. Want a new hidden blade? You know what you have to do. Maybe singing ‘The Circle of Life’ at the same time might help?

11. Hood news, Assassins


And just as a bonus, and settling the hood up, hood down debate for good, you can choose to have your iconic headwear on or off. A simple setting in the gear menu lets you toggle between looking like a traditional Assassin or a little less conspicuous. While covering your head would be better to avoid sunstroke in the deadly Egyptian heat, Ubi is letting you select whether you want to feel like being stealthy or not. This is clearly a response to the long debates – and even petitions – where fans asked to be able to have Jacob and Evie’s hoods up while they were just wandering the streets and not specifically in stealth mode. Well this time, it turns out that everything is permitted after all.