With a cover this colourful you just know Borderlands had to be involved. Or, to be more specific, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spin-off of the looter shooter series that takes things in a more magical direction as you enter Tina’s imagination via her tabletop RPG. It leads the Christmas issue, where we also bring you gift suggestions aplenty, a variety of verdicts, and a hefty Grand Theft Auto III ‘making of’.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
The Bunker Master is back. Riffing off the celebrated Borderlands 2 DLC, Assault On Dragon Keep, this standalone adventure dives even deeper into the fantasy RPG flavour. We talk with senior producer Kayla Belmore and creative director Matt Cox about evolving the genre in a new way, while building off Borderland staples. For instance, the likes of spellbooks and melee weapons can also get randomised effects so your gear feels like your own.
Grand Theft Auto 3
20 years. That’s a long time. Yet it feels like only yesterday we were secretly playing this one without our parents knowing. It wasn’t about the violence and guns, though. We knew that GTA III was a landmark moment for game design in the way it evolved open worlds into the third dimension. Aaron Garbut, co-studio head of Rockstar North, knew it better than anyone, as he was working on the damn thing. We ask him all about it in this 10-page mega dive. You’ll probably enjoy it even if you don’t like GTA - that’s how good it is (if we do say so ourselves).
Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Hey, we all like to joke about the whole “Chaos” thing, and yes there was some hilarious nu-metal in the last trailer. But listen here, Stranger Of Paradise is going to be good. Team Ninja knows how to make ‘em, and this takes all the right Soulslike cues from Nioh and puts in a package even slicker to play, and in a way that nods to Final Fantasy mechanics. We’ve played it, and get into why it’s good here. Trust me on this one. But… only trust me after reading the preview, of course.
Christmas Gift Guide
Hey, we’ve all been there. Trying to get a gift for someone who enjoys games can be tough. But we’ve got your back with these highlights, covering the likes of curios, clothing, vinyl, and beyond. Whether it’s a cheaper fun gift, or something more must-have like headsets (for 3D audio) or internal PS5 storage upgrades (and how to install it), we’ve got it.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League & Gotham Knights
With Marvel dominating gaming headlines lately (just thinking about Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine is enough to make us dizzy), it’s about time DC and Warner Bros hit back. Arkham Knight was in 2015, after all. We pick apart the latest on both Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and Gotham Knights to try to work out whether these are the successors the Batman games need (or at least from what we can tell at the moment).
Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
Speaking of Marvel, Guardians Of The Galaxy leads our review section with a story that’s perhaps just as good as (and in some ways better) than the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper. Even if the gameplay is a bit dull. Swings and roundabouts. (And read our review before you argue with us, please). Also on the verdict-block: Back 4 Blood, Project Zero, Riders Republic, Demon Turf, The Dark Pictures Anthology: House Of Ashes, and more. And, if GTA III wasn’t retro enough for you, join us for a lookback at Tomb Raider 2 which kicks off this issue’s RetroStation!
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