Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.
SUNDAY REVIEW Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag > With its swashbuckling cast, sprawling open world and tremendous gameplay variety, Black Flag is the perfect game to lure lapsed assassins back into the fold. The ship-to-ship combat trialled in last year’s Assassin’s Creed III is now a central component of the game and Black Flag is all the better for it. Prepare to set sail! READ MORE
MONDAY NEWS EA Exec downplays role of free-to-play > Killer Instinct is one of the headline acts of Microsoft’s Xbox One launch line-up. This long awaited franchise revival allows players to dive into the action for nada, with additional characters to come at a cost. Is this the future? Not necessarily, at least according to EA Studios Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund. READ MORE
TUESDAY REVIEW nanoBITES > Norse themed strategy RPG The Banner Saga has a release date. The good news is that we won’t have long to wait for this Kickstarter success story, with Stoic Studio’s debut project poised to launch on 14 January 2014. This is just one of the stories in the latest instalment of nanoBITES, our regular column devoted to small but important new items. READ MORE
WEDNESDAY NEWS The Novelist has a release date > Kent Hudson, previously known for his work on AAA titles, has decided to go it alone and create his own game, The Novelist, which is due for release on 10 December 2013. More geared towards a Beyond: Two Souls audience, then Hudson’s previous titles such as Deus Ex: Invisible War and BioShock 2, The Novelist sees you take part in an interactive narrative. READ MORE
THURSDAY REVIEW Call of Duty: Ghosts > There is every chance that people will look back at Call of Duty: Ghosts and say “Damn, that sure did kill the franchise.” Infinity Ward has really dialled it in with this lacklustre instalment in the annual series. A stupid story, uninspired locations and dated graphics (even on next-gen) make this a bore. Worse yet, the multiplayer has been ruined with unbalanced maps and slow unlocks. Even the most diehard fan will have issues with this cookie cutter sequel. READ MORE
FRIDAY NEWS First batch of Xbox One self-publishers > Microsoft has revealed some of the developers accepted into its ID@Xbox self-publishing program. The service will eventually host games from The Odd Gentlemen (best known for The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom) Drinkbox Studios (Guacamelee), Double Fine Productions (Stacking) and Australian developer Half-Brick Studios (Raskulls). READ MORE