Six of the best for gamers

ANGUS DEACON
Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012
LittleBigPlanet Karting

BIG UPS: LittleBigPlanet goes Karting.

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Got a gamer to buy for this Christmas?Here's some suggestions for under the tree.

HALO 4
Released:
this week
RRP: $99.99
Xbox 360 only
Rated: R13

One of the most anticipated games of the year - and Halo 4 will not disappoint. Created by a new team of developers, this game kicks off a whole new chapter for the beloved franchise and introduces a never-seen-before alien threat. Reviewers around the globe are raving that this is the best Halo game to date, which is saying something for a franchise that has already sold 42 million copies. A must-have for Halo fans, but even those new to the series should check this out. Ask your local game retailer about the limited-edition Halo 4 Xbox 360 console with two controllers (RRP: $529.99)

FAR-CRY 3
Released:
November 29
RRP: $99.99
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Rated: R16

In this action-packed first-person shooter, players step into the unfortunate shoes of a tourist stranded on an island occupied by psychotic terrorists. The visuals of lush jungles, sandy beaches and sparkling lagoons are worth the price of admission alone. But Far-Cry 3 offers a rich gameplay experience, combining free-roaming "sandbox" exploration, intense combat and a brilliant script that will keep players hooked. On top of a thrilling 10-hour-plus single-player campaign, the game features online competitive multiplayer and a new four-player co-operative experience as well. A warning: the game can be violent so it's best left to more mature players.

NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED
Released:
Out now
RRP: $109.99
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Rated: PG

The Need for Speed franchise has amassed a whopping 19 titles to date, but this latest addition goes back to its roots. Harnessing the rubber-burning action of high-speed pursuits, Most Wanted pits drivers on either side of the law in a race to the finish - using whatever means necessary, including taking shortcuts down narrow alleyways, laying down road spikes, calling in reinforcements and pimping your ride with nitrous oxide and re-inflatable tyres. Expect eye-watering high-octane action and as much carnage as a destruction derby.

SKYLANDERS: GIANTS
Released:
Out now
RRP: from $89.99
Most platforms
Rated: G

The first Skylanders burst on to the scene nearly a year ago and has already amassed US$500 million in sales. Its success is partly due to the fun, accessible platform-adventure gameplay, where players navigate a series of obstacles and fight creatures that all ages will enjoy. The genius marketing trick (parents might call it a con) behind Skylanders is that it requires collectable toys sold separately to unlock different experiences within the game. The sequel also has the add-on toys - this time giant-sized - but is more than just a cash-grabbing exercise. It includes much larger areas to explore and has more variation in the gameplay. The game comes with three figurines to get you started and extra ones are sold separately for about $19.99. Be warned: your kids will be after them this Christmas.

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HITMAN: ABSOLUTION
Released:
November 20
RRP: $109.99; PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Rated: R18

It's been a long time since we last saw a Hitman title (six years, in fact) but this third-person stealth/action shooter is worth the wait.

Agent 47, the mysterious antagonist of the series, is back but this time finds himself betrayed by his employers and hunted by the law. By using extreme force and various disguises, players will explore a criminally corrupt underworld and unravel a conspiracy. Absolution is also the first Hitman title to feature a synchronous multiplayer, where online players take turns creating their own assassination scenarios and challenge other players to beat their time and score. Recommended for fans of Splinter Cell or Assassin's Creed, but this game is definitely R18 for a reason.

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2
Released:
November 13
RRP:
from $89.99
PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Rated:
R16

Call of Duty needs no introduction among gamers but for the uninitiated it's a first- and third-person shooter series that has traversed World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Fans will be eager to get their hands on the latest modern warfare shooter from Activision. Rather than settling on an already established gameplay engine where the storyline is already determined, Black Ops 2 introduces a strategic mode known as Strike Force that allows players to oversee an entire squad of units and take control of any of them in combat. On top of a popular multiplayer community, Black Ops 2 delivers a rollercoaster single-player campaign that weaves between the 1970s Cold War through to a war scenario in 2025.

LITTLEBIGPLANET KARTING
Released:
This week
RRP: from $99.99
PS3 only
Rated: G

This is what happens when you combine the imaginative platform game LittleBigPlanet with the mad racing antics of Mario Kart.

Just like the award-winning game it takes its name from, players are able to fully customise nearly every facet of the game. There are hours of fun here, from building unique vehicles, designing tracks and even creating hilarious characters. It's cute and highly addictive and is best enjoyed on a split screen or online with friends. This will be a great holiday game for any young gamers with a PlayStation 3.

- The Dominion Post

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