Breathtaking environments and superb graphics feature heavily on Xbox Live this week so lets dive on in:
Hydrophobia â€“ 1200MP
I have always been rubbish at any level involving water in any game. I always struggle to navigate my way through it and usually end up dying countless times as I run out of air so a game entirely based on water sends a wet shiver down my spine. Here how the water not only looks but also behaves is as realistic as it gets. It powerfully splashes and gushes down corridors, against walls and doors, not to mention the female lead Kate Wilson. Sadly, despite the incredible water effects, this third person shooter isnâ€™t that good. Kate is trapped in the bowls of a gigantic ship after some bad guys try to blow it up during a party. She can save herself by using her one and only weapon to either shoot the terrorists or alternatively shoot electricity boxes (which when combined with the water is impressive but soon becomes a bit monotonous). Using her MAVI x-ray machine to track down invisible clues left by the bad guys also wears a bit thin as does the constant swimming but lets not forget, the star of this game is the water itself. Waiting as rooms steadily fill with water is unnerving, being swept away in forceful currents is tense and thrilling and the watery graphics are fabulous. Worth checking out as itâ€™s the first part of a trilogy and you get a lot of game for your money here and is helping to raise the quality of games available to download on XBL, which can only ever be a good thing.
Elsewhere to buy:
Assassinâ€™s Creed II – Â£24.99
Get excited! One of my favourite games of all time finally makes it to XBL. Following directly on from where Assassinâ€™s Creed left off, this sequel sees Desmond and Lucy going underground and once again using the Animus (think high tech bed) to visit his Assassin ancestors of the past via genetic memories. This time weâ€™re in 15th Century Italy in all itâ€™s magnificently realistic glory and you play Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. A brilliant free-running system allows you explore every inch of any surface in any world at great speed and with great finesse whilst the combat issues from the first game have not only been smoothed out but improved 100%. You have swords, daggers and smoke bombs but there are some new and exciting surprises in store. There are special combat moves (throwing sand in the face of a guard is very satisfying) and whilst you can get by on basic moves, trying out different killing combinations makes this engrossing fun plus requires skill. You can purchase weapons, armour, medicine and art that will have the completionists out there going for hours. As well as the main missions that follow the main storyline, there are plenty sub-missions and you can accept or decline a mission at any time. Templar conspiracy theories, awesome action, incredible graphics and attention to detail make this an absolute must for any gamer. Donâ€™t think, just buy right now and enjoy. Wholeheartedly, my recommendation of the week â€“ perhaps even the month. Donâ€™t forget to check out the huge range of Assassinâ€™s Creed Avatar Items on offer this week for your ultimate fix.
Add-Ons next and itâ€™s your usual mixture of war maps, racing cars, snazzy suits and psychedelic Egyptian art:
Invasion! â€“ 400MP
Grab your pointy Kaiser helmet and lead the German Army against a hostile host of new toys including flying saucers, knights and the big bad bomber WWII Mustang Fighter Plane. Using two new multiplayer maps, a new mini-campaign, defend Germany against invasions from the skies and beyond!
Castlevania Harmony of Despair
Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire Map Pack â€“ 400MP
There canâ€™t be many of you out there still playing this devilishly frustrating game without bashing your head against a wall or howling at the screen. If youâ€™re up for further punishment, hereâ€™s a whole new map inspired by psychedelic Egyptian Art for you to explore and battle in. Donâ€™t say I didnâ€™t warn you.
The Greaser Pack â€“ 240MP
Lookinâ€™ good in either a leather jacket and heavy boots or a leather racing suit isnâ€™t going to help win crime family boss Vito Scaletta any pink slips. Quite handy then that this pack also comes with two new hot-rod speedsters.
Vegas Pack â€“ 240MP
Two more snazzy suits for Vito and two more equally smooth and timeless vehicles to cruise around Empire Bay in.
Renegade Pack â€“ 240MP
With an ever growing wardrobe, Vito gets two new suits including a lettermenâ€™s jacket in this pack, plus two more cars, one of which is a small sports coupe and the other with a 50s hot-rod engine. Vroom!
War Hero Pack â€“ 240MP
Forget sleek little sports cars or big bad engine hot rods, with this pack, Vito gets behind the wheel of two military vehicles and gets two new uniforms to match. Watch out Empire Bay, itâ€™s a war zone out there.
Finally, Indie Games and this week itâ€™s all about blasting.
Break the Invaders â€“ 80MP
I know I can sometimes be a bit harsh on lazy Indie game developers that mash two well loved games together in an attempt to â€˜revolutioniseâ€™ old formats under the pretence of it being â€˜funâ€™ and robbing you of 80MP but thankfully, Cantstraferight have got it right. A wonderful blend of Space Invaders and Break Out, you use your bat/paddle at the bottom of the screen to bounce your ball up and destroy on the oncoming aliens. It looks good and reminds you how addictive and brilliant the two old games were without jarring or being too clever. Like a lot.
Tank Battles â€“ 400MP
classic gun-and-run Bomberman style fun with over 50 levels in which to go bullet crazy. Jump into your WWII tank and challenge your friends in this superb looking strategy battle game. Collect power ups (speed boosts, flamethrowers, you know the sort of thing) or drop stinky mines though take care or youâ€™ll end up blowing yourself up. Even your projectiles can bounce back and kill you, which just all adds to the frenzy.
Raid â€“ 80MP
From the developers who brought us â€œso Many Girls, So Little Timeâ€ and the recently successful â€œTry Not To Fartâ€ comes this new title which sees you play a SWAT team member, raiding druggies houses, blasting away and collecting the illegal narcotics. There is something quite addictive about this well presented title and it doesnâ€™t come anywhere near being as repulsive as some of their other work. As you blast open the doors in the house, the lights flash on and instantly you have to respond to which button command is needed to blow the evil drug takers away. Swearing loudly, sweeping through the dens is actually quite thrilling and the message is a good one â€“ winners donâ€™t use drugs.
GGUK are heading off to the Eurogamer Expo this weekend and will make sure you get all the latest Xbox gossip â€“ maybe weâ€™ll see you there if you can tear yourselves away from XBL. Remember to follow @girlgamersuk on Twitter and tell us what you love on XBL each week.