If you’re thinking of getting a PlayStation 4 or on Xbox One this holiday season, this week will be the prime time to do it. The Black Friday Specials will be at their best this week and this coming weekend, and there are some bundles out this year that have some pretty top notch games.
The retailers selling each console may differ where you live, but I’ve checked through Best Buy, Toys R’ Us, Shoppers, Wal-Mart, Costco, London Drugs, and GameStop. I’ve found the best offers being dealt by GamesStop or Shoppers. Shoppers is selling their PlayStation 4’s and Xbox Ones at the same sales price as Wal-Mart or London Drugs, but they are also giving an in-store gift card for $100 on top of it. This easily makes this the best deal. Other than that, GameStop has the best base sales price, and advertises the best selection of different bundles including the Limited Edition Final Fantasy XV PlayStation 4 bundle. That’s as of now, but most of the retailers haven’t released their Black Friday prices yet, so keep on the look out!
The game included in the bundle is as important as the price. If you don’t pick the right one, you’ll end up with a game that is never played and collects dust, and will later buy a game for $60 that you could have gotten in the first place. Here is a break down of your main choices for this year:
Gears of War 4
A sci-fi shooter exclusive to the Xbox One, Gears of War has a campaign mode and multiplayer mode that are both excellent. In campaign, characters return from the other games in the series, but a new generation of heroes are also introduced. The game-play is visually stunning, with brutal warfare combat with both humans and monsters. As the story progresses, various game-play styles are explored so the game doesn’t get boring. Weather is a large factor in adding to the visuals and adding another element to the game-play. The multiplayer reintroduces the game modes from the previous games and adds a couple new ones to the mix, although the five player horde mode itself is worth the price of admission.
This new game in the series, plays much like the rest with a few elements that really helps it stand well on its own. This game is set in the era of World War 1 and does a good job of embracing everything about war in an industrial age. The campaign is a tragic and theatrical experience. The attention to detail in the historically styled guns give you a sense of affinity to whichever firearm you use. Other things that extend the game-play are the usage of vehicles like tanks and planes. There are also dynamically destructible landscapes that creates more natural combat scenarios. One last thing; there is a gun in the game that is the size of your thumb – so tiny.
The console edition of Minecraft is the same game it was seven years ago, plus the many updates to date that has brought with it extensive content. This game has, and will continue to evolve, some of the recent additions to the game include banners and new mini-boss caliber enemies or ‘mobs’. To those who haven’t tried it yet, Minecraft is a sandbox style game that looks very unique and feeds off ones appetite for exploration and creation. there is a debatable typical goal, where you gather resources in a survival mode game and eventually travel to the nest of the Ender Dragon to defeat it. There is an infinite variation of directions for every play-through. Some people have built massive cities or kingdoms, other people have constructed complex fully-functioning computers. Anyone who already has Minecraft for an earlier console will find the capabilities of the Xbox One to be capable of housing much larger worlds to explore, and be a lot more stable as your world becomes more and more complex.
An exclusive for the PlayStation 4, Uncharted 4 is the final chapter in the story that has progressed throughout the series. It’s a first person shooter with an emphasis on espionage and scaling walls. A unique feature is the quality AI of the different characters. Progressing through the game will have you trusting and working with your team instead of lone-wolfing through all the enemies and obstacles hoping they don’t get in your way. The visuals in this game are gorgeous, and the characters in the story are refined, mature personalities. If you play the multiplayer, a large aspect is again, geared toward teamwork. There are many game modes to really test your abilities in these well paced set of challenges.
If you’re a sports games connoisseur, or just all about the hockey games, this is an easy pick. The rosters and the graphics gave been updated since 16 and there are many tweaks to the game-play and AI. Noticeably the goal tending has had an overhaul.
Final Fantasy XV
This is the latest installment of the series of RPG games. The game has a separate story from any other game in the Final Fantasy series, although it does already has quite an anthology to supplement the game. This includes a movie, 2 mobile games, and a YouTube miniseries. This game has an epic story from the point of view of a prince named Noctis. You will explore a wide open fantasy / modern hybryd world. You speak to the locals, take on monsters using real time combat with melee weapons like swords and spears. There’s a unique twist in the ability to warp to where ever you throw your weapon speeding up your ability to attack head on and quickly retreat. This is a vast adventure that has a huge story, but also rewards you for taking your time getting engrossed in the world.
That is the bulk of what you’ll see on the shelves. Keep in mind some retailers will have leftover stock of bundles from previous years like the “Uncharted collection” and the “Last of Us” bundles for PlayStation 4 and the “Gears of War” collection for Xbox One. Whatever you’re looking for, this is the time to track it down and snatch it up.