Yeah, we know — it doesn't come out until September. And we don't really know that much about it, other than there were new screenshots released today, that you'll be able to switch between characters with a single button press, that you'll be able to do plenty of new side missions involving yoga, tennis, and golf, and that the game's city — Los Santos — is Rockstar's largest open world yet. But let's face it: you'd probably buy Grand Theft Auto V ($60) no matter what. So go ahead, get your pre-order in, and use the time before its release to go back and finally finish GTA IV.
What's better than a game based in an alternate universe where an underwater utopia turns into a deadly moral dilemma that's rife with special abilities and freaky, bunny mask-wearing psychos? Said game set in an overly nationalized city in the sky, that's what. Bioshock Infinite ($60), Irrational Games' next iteration in the Bioshock franchise, is set in Columbia, a cloud-dwelling city where capitalism, religion and racism are king. Infinite holds more of a mirror to the player than its predecessor, taking the American dream to its long, twisted, logical conclusion. If you expect a hunk of weighty, philosophical environments, with a side of solid first-person gameplay, then this is your jam.
Most special video game packages include trinkets, but Call of Duty isn't most video games. The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Care Package ($180) packs a working remote-controlled quadrotor drone and stand with the game, along with a two-sided SteelBook, the official soundtrack, props, challenge coins, and a host of bonus in-game content — including a zombie-filled map set in a 1960s nuclear neighborhood.
There are a lot of options vying for your gaming dollars this holiday season. You could pick up Black Ops 2, Halo 4, or even a Wii U. Or you could spend a fraction of the money and wind up with six complete games. Like the Jelly of the Month Club, Retro Game Crunch ($25 and up) is the gift that keeps on giving with six retro-licious games coming to your Mac or PC over six months. Backed by pixel wizards Shaun Inman, Rusty Moyher, and Matt Grimm, this unique pack includes all six games — one new title developed each month — plus the old-school opus Super Clew Land. Or you could just buy a giant tablet/controller thingy. Up to you. [Scouted by Trent]
Never mind the fact that a new version comes out each and every year — they somehow to make it better each time. What's that? No, we're not talking about the iPhone — we're talking about FIFA. FIFA Soccer 13 ($60) is the latest installment in the storied franchise, and brings with it all-new positioning intelligence, more precise dribbling and first touch controls, the second generation of the player impact engine, and two new passing options, among other improvements. And don't worry — it still packs one of the most impressive rosters in all of videogames, with over 500 officially licensed clubs and more than 15,000 players.
Never mind the horrible Amazon reviews — if you're that concerned about Franchise Mode, perhaps it's time you go outside anyway. As for the rest of us, Madden NFL 13 ($60) is ready to fill the gaps between Monday and Thursday nights with the best football gaming yet, thanks to improvements like the all-new Infinity Engine for more realistic impacts and momentum transfers, a new pass-ready system, an all-new defensive AI system, and a new, refined presentation that mimics CBS NFL broadcasts. Of course, if you just have to have your classic Franchise goodness, Madden NFL 12 is only $20 bucks these days.
We're giving away a PS3 copy of Madden 13 plus an EA Sports iPod Touch and a pair of EA Sports Beats Headphones. To enter, just make sure you're subscribed to our daily email. We'll choose one of you gents at random.
Side-scrolling mixed with zombies mixed with fantastic visuals equals a damn good time. Deadlight ($20) is set in mid-'80s Seattle, and has you playing as a man named Randall who has been separated from his family right as a virus has spread throughout the world, turning most folks into "shadows", which is really just another word for the undead. Using nothing more than an axe, revolver, pistol, shotgun, and your bare fists, it's a quest worthy of classic consoles — but with much better graphics.
Prepare for the upcoming college football season by starting one of your own in NCAA Football 13 ($45). This latest version offers a new passing system, a new read and react defensive AI system, improved presentation with mid-game updates from studio analysts, enhanced commentary from Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler, and new team run-outs, mascots, and pre-game traditions, a new Heisman Challenge that lets you add a former winner to your squad in an effort to win the trophy again, and an improved dynasty mode. Best get to it — the season kicks off in just 29 days.
Alright, we'll admit The Godfather series might not make the most sense for a Monopoly translation — Risk might be more appropriate? — but what the hell. Monopoly: The Godfather Edition ($40) brings the world of the Corleone family to the classic board game, with destinations such as Moe Greene's casino, Woltz Mansion, and the Corleone Lake Tahoe Estate serving as properties, Friends and Enemies taking the place of Chance and Community Chess, and iconic props such as cannoli, olive oil can, and horse head serving as game tokens. On second thought, maybe it does make sense — it takes about as long to finish a game as it does to finish all three films.
Do more with your Kinect than just race cars and kill Sith by picking up a copy of Nike+ Kinect Training ($TBA). Arriving this holiday season, this virtual personal trainer uses the Kinect's motion-sensing mojo to make sure that you're doing your exercises correctly and let you interact with on-screen obstacles to keep your workouts fresh. Here's to hoping it'll keep us interested longer than Wii Fit.
We see a lot of game pitches come through Uncrate HQ, but when a sports game arrives with an actual piece of sporting equipment — a racquet, in this case — we can't help but take notice. Gratuitous press pack aside, Grand Slam Tennis 2 ($45) has a lot to offer hardcore fans and casual gamers alike, including an all-new total racquet control system, Playstation Move support, the ability to play with or against more than 20 all-time greats — including McEnroe (!) — and a mode that lets you relive 25 legendary Grand Slam moments. Yes, we're serious.
Waving your limbs around wildly while virtually dancing to Justin Bieber: Embarrassing. Doing the same thing while virtually hacking away at a Sith Lord: Pretty damn cool. Such is the contradiction presented by Kinect Star Wars ($50; Dec. 2012). This motion-controlled adventure lets you live the life of a Jedi, crossing the galaxy to keep the Dark Side at bay. Is it wholly original? Probably not, but if you've ever tried to force choke anyone in real life only to come away disappointed, you probably won't care.