Sports fans can enjoy the World Cup, the Tour de France and the British Grand Prix, film fans can look forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy, music lovers have festivals to flock to, but what will gamers play this summer? At first glance, it looks as though they'll have to wait until September to start picking up big new games such as The Sims 4 and Destiny, but look a bit harder and you’ll see that there are plenty of good, new games to play.
Take this week, for example. Pokémon Art Academy looks like the biggest new release of the week but with the likes of MotoGP 14 DLC, World of Tanks: Blitz and Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC, it doesn’t even make our list. What with Transformers Universe entering open beta and GTA celebrating Independence Day, there’s so much to play this weekend.
MotoGP 14 DLC (PS3, PS4)
What is it? Missing the Laguna Seca Grand Prix? The California course was dropped for the 2014 MotoGP season as Austin's Circuit of the Americas and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway host the two Red Bull Grand Prix events. However, you can still race on the Laguna Seca Red Bull US Grand Prix track in MotoGP 14 if you download it this week on PlayStation Network. The track costs £3.29 but you can also download Moto2 and Moto3 content for free.
Call of Duty: Ghosts - Invasion DLC (PS3, PS4)
What is it? Released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One last month, Invasion is the best DLC pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts so far. As the third DLC pack it features Extinction episode 3 as well as four more multiplayer maps which take you on a world tour.
You can have a shootout during the Day of the Dead on the Mexican Departed map before heading to an abandoned archaeological site in Egypt to have a blast on multi-level map Pharoah. The Caribbean hosts Mutiny, a map set in a pirate hideout, and finally there’s the Favela map set in Brazil, which is is an update of a stage from Modern Warfare 2.
What the critics say: The best map pack so far for Ghosts, and one of the most interesting selections for any Call of Duty download – as Infinity Ward wander even further from the game’s pseudo-realistic roots. (Metro)
Extinction mode is as strong as ever, but the real star of Invasion is the collective of welcome maps. Infinity Ward has finally learned that in order to charge $15 for five levels, it has to put forth more than a minimal effort. I'd go so far as to say that this is one of the strongest map packs in Call of Duty history, and that the Season Pass has cemented its worth already. (Destructoid)
World of Tanks: Blitz (iPad, iPhone)
What is it? You know World of Tanks? The hugely popular military multiplayer online game which has attracted over 75 million registered players? Well, it’s rolled onto iPad and iPhone this week, meaning players can get behind the controls of over 90 historical Russian, American or German tanks and get stuck into online battles in European towns, American industrial cities, huge deserts and mountainous regions.
It's simple stuff really – start with a slow tank, steer, shoot other tanks, capture bases, upgrade – but with millions of players competing all over the world, it has been a big hit on PC and Blitz brings all the fun to mobiles.
What the critics say: World of Tanks: Blitz offers up tank battles that are brisk, action-packed, well-connected, and decently balanced. It’s good stuff. (148apps)
From the reliable and weighty physics to the impressive visuals, everything in World of Tanks: Blitz feels polished and solid. Throw in the sense of ownership each tank brings, the compulsive upgrade cycle, and the tactical nuance required at higher levels, and you're left with a tank battler that's hard to resist. (Pocket Gamer)
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (iPad, iPhone)
What is it? Originally released for PSP in 2008, Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite came out before Capcom started making games in its epic beast battling series for Nintendo. Since then we’ve had Monster Hunter Tri for Wii , Ultimate for Wii U and 3DS and later on this year, Monster Hunter 4 will be released exclusively for 3DS.
While fans wait for that, they can get stuck into more monster fights on iPad or iPhone, three years after Monster Hunter: Dynamic Hunting came out on mobiles.
Monster Hunter fans will know what to expect from Freedom Unite; more breathtaking battles with giant, screen-filling beasts in beautiful environments. Tap or swipe the screen to take down the monsters in a battle that will make a morning commute so much more enjoyable. Or team up with friends online to maul the monsters together.
What the critics say: There's a rich blend of action, exploration and teamwork here, and it works so wonderfully well on iOS that you really have to see it to believe it. Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite might be a port, but the extra polish lavished on this mobile version makes it shine a little brighter than the game it stems from, and the sheer pleasure of being able to play on your phone and tablet is hard to deny. (Pocket Gamer)
Getting completely into Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite requires patience, but once you understand the game, it's basically a bottomless pit of enjoyment. You could spend literal hundreds of hours playing through all of the content it has to offer. This is a flawless version of an incredible game. (Touch Arcade)
Transformers Universe (PC, Mac)
What is it? The open beta of Transformers Universe not only gives you the opportunity to play this MMO before it’s released but it also presents players with the chance to win a share of $75,000. Set for a full release this summer on Mac and PC, Transformers Universe is a tactical online game set in the world of Autobots and Decepticons.
Free to play, players will have to recruit and manage a squad of robots before battling others, earning medals with victories. You can customise your bots, repairing and upgrading them after battle in the deserted cities and islands of Cybertron.
As for the cash, there are skill prizes for players up for grabs with the winner bagging a top prize of $3,000. You can also win prizes for recruiting friends. Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend if you’re not too busy watching Wimbledon, Neymar in the World Cup or the British Grand Prix.
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