Despite Calvin Harris’ summer time anthem, the aptly titled “Summer”, droning on about meeting that special someone during that particular time of the year most would associate with flat out beach parties, there’s still the temptation to pull up chair to a TV and console and boot up the latest copy of FIFA. Yup, summer time is here and try as we might to leave the laptop, smartphone and tablet at home, the temptation to use them is often too strong. So, if resistance is futile and you have to take your particular gadget down to the beach or with you on a long summer walk, what games are best to take with you?
I know of a friend of mine who would hunker down to try and bolster his paragon level in Diablo III. Others would rank action games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto as favourites while casino games, now mostly played online, have been growing in popularity with great advances in technology that uniquely recreate the casino experience without leaving your home. Summer time playing the virtual role of James Bond in Casino Royale, all you need is a martini, shaken, not stirred, next to your PC.
Sports games, like FIFA which I mentioned earlier, are really popular with every sport imaginable played online. The World Cup just ended and with the English Premier League kicking in this weekend, it’s only natural that soccer games are riding the crest of popularity this summer. Titles such as EA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup let players relive the World Cup at home with their favourite national teams while the upcoming FIFA 15 (which happens to be released right after summer in North America) promises the most authentic Barclays Premier League experience.
The American Football season is due to start in the USA lasting the whole way through late summer and autumn and onto the Superbowl in January 2015. The Seattle Seahawks are the defending champions and, if you want to recreate their 2014 triumph, Madden NFL 15 may be the game for you with, what is recognised as the best defensive gameplay control around. With great new camera angles and new features for pre-game and half-time, it should whet the appetite for the new NFL season.
Not to be confused with NFL 15, NHL is another game for devotees of USA sport, in this case ice hockey and, while the ice may not seem perfect for summer, it’s a great game to play in your “downtime. This new version of the game has several new features including minor changes such as improving the way the players jersey move over the pads to those more significant including an overhaul of the way the games are broadcast with real NBC commentary for the first time. With realistic crowd scenes and players, it may not be a summer sport but is a great game to play at any time of the year.
Top Spin has long been regarded as one of the best tennis games on the market and, in this period with the French Open and Wimbledon having finished and the US Open yet to begin, tennis is in the limelight and this game does justice to the speed, dynamism and skill of the game. The Top Spin series has great attention to detail; you can customise the particulars of your character, even to the extent of choosing the grunt they will use during a game! The latest version of the game tries, having excelled at getting the players right, to try and recreate the atmosphere of a grand slam event and cleverly goes behind the scenes in the locker room to capture the moments before the players comes out onto court.
If you’re away during the cricket season and missing out on live action, World Cricket Championship is a good way of reminding yourself of the wonders of bat on ball. It gives you plenty of options and puts you in control of all the elements necessary to occupy the crease, so your footwork, timing and shot selection are all dependant on your ability at the game. It also gets into the mind, by attempting to calculate your confidence levels, so the longer your innings, the more your belief in your batting will increase. It also gives you control over bowling and, with good graphics and animation, if you can’t get to a match over the holidays, this gives you the next best option.