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How do you like your NBA game prepared? If it's by the chef's at 2K Sports, then you'll want to pick up this feature-packed entry in the NBA 2K series. Arriving for PS4's launch day, and later for Xbox One's, the NBA 2K14 casts Miami Heat's LeBron James as the cover star and music curator for a game that seeks to improve upon the NBA 2K formula for next-gen followers.
From enhanced controls, crisper action, and (obviously) more whiz-bang visuals, NBA 2K14 is pulling out all the stops to make it the basketball game of choice for 2013. The LeBron-focused Path to Greatness mode and the popular (albeit untouched) My Player mode are just some of this year's gameplay highlights, alongside tighter controls, enhanced commentary, and upgraded visuals. True, we didn't find the Xbox 360 version to be a franchise revolution in our NLA 2K14 review, but it managed to carry the torch all the same. Will it perform better on PS4 and Xbox One? It better, given its renewed EA competition...
Light and shadow are your bread and butter in this innovative platformer from Compulsion Games. Evoking an old-timey cabaret vibe, Contrast will follow a young girl named Didi who allies with Dawn, a mysterious woman with the ability to shift into shadow form, thereby allowing her to reach previously unobtainable places by manipulating light sources and creating new paths from the shadows they create.
A puzzle game at its Core, Contrast promises to tie its light-and-shadow gameplay together with a compelling story that will see Didi working with Dawn to help her parents make it big as performers at the Ghost Cabernet. Naturally, this isn't as easy as it sounds, and there's plenty of drama going on behind the scenes to warrant direct intervention. Contrast has been fetching looks at every game expo is appears in. Read our own early impressions in our Contrast preview - Walking on shadows.
EU: November 29
System 3 Software's amorphous hero is back in this remake of SNES's 1994's Putty Squad. We're sure you've heard of it. Dropping as a download, the new and improved Putty Squad will once again find the titular character, Putty, rescuing fellow putties through a series of themed worlds. Thankfully, Putty comes well equipped for the task, possessing the ability to change his shape and stretch out to reach far off items, flatten himself to avoid obstacles, or even transform into a fist for a most straightforward approach.
Putty Squad will be playable on nearly every system, including on the PS4 and PS Vita which will add Cross Play support and touch controls to Putty's repertoire. The original Super Putty will follow at an unspecified time as a free DLC release.
EU: November 29
Resogun is set to ignite the PS4's indie scene with a side-scrolling shoot 'em up that will arrive free to PlayStation Plus members upon the PS4's launch. Created by developer Housemarque as a spiritual successor to Super Stardust, the lightening fast shooter will take its cues from classic 2D schmups while imbuing the environment with a sense of gravity that affects how objects react to the destruction around them.
Expect Resogun to honor its schmup roots while leaving its own unique mark on the next-gen indie wars with 60fps eye-candy and new gameplay tweaks.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One (Nov. 22)
EU: PS4 (November 29)
The Skylanders franchise makes its next-gen debut in this port for PS4 and Xbox One. Centering on the titular SWAP Force of Skylanders lore, the game will find players wielding interchangeable characters to save Skylands from dark and mysterious fiends.
As the story goes, the SWAP Force was caught in an eruption on Skylands that broke them into pieces and a granted them ability to switch the top and bottom half of their bodies to create new beings with varied abilities. As such, players will be given sixteen new characters who can be mixed and matched to create 256 combinations--some of which will be essential to solving environmental puzzles or besting special foes. So what's different on the new consoles? It looks fantastic for starters. Combined with new co-op gameplay, mini-games, and a compelling story, Skylanders: Swap Force is positioned to be a next-gen mega-seller. Read our Skylanders Swap Force preview for more on how the NFC-enabled toy game plans to shake up the series.
EU: November 29
Groove out to a world of style and sound in this port of Queasy Games' side-scrolling music platformer. Originally released for the PS3 and PS Vita, Sound Shapes has won accolades from the indie developer and music communities alike for its innovative blend of popular music and classic 2D gameplay that gives gamers the ability to “play” tracks from some of their favorite artists--if, of course, your favorites artists consist of Beck, DeadMau5, Jim Guthrie, and a bunch of '80s dude (to name a few).
A number of DLC packs have been added to Sound Shapes since its release, bulking up its playlist with tracks from genres across the last few decades. Don't worry if you missed Sounds Shapes the first time around. Just, you know, don't make the same mistake on this second pass.
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