TA Team Picks (November 19th)

Microsoft has slashed the prices of almost 1,000 games in its annual Black Friday Xbox sale, offering Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC games at a discount. Here’s what the TA news team thinks are great gets.

The Black Friday sale on the Xbox Store has returned for 2022, and it’s offering up almost 1,000 discounts on games across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. As we try to do every week, we’ve braved the depths of the sale to uncover a selection of games we feel are worthy of your collection. Take a peek below to find out what kinds of things we enjoy playing in our spare time, and would readily recommend it to you fine folks.We invite you on a mission of great importance this week. A mission that will see us sail to distant shores — or planets, in one case — with the blessings of the thunder god, tear into enemies with blades to the sounds of energizing beats, and risk it all on a fight, that if failed, will see us return to the point we started, destined to attempt it once again. This adventure hangs on the balance of a single deck of cards.

Bargains from the latest Xbox sales

Heidi — Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Ok, so, this seems a pretty good time to pick up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It’s on sale for 67% off, and despite Kassandra and Bayek happily setting up camp on Xbox Game Pass, Ubisoft isn’t yet up for sharing Eivor and has confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla isn’t coming to Xbox Game Pass. What’s more, Valhalla is set to end Eivor’s story with the free Last Chapter DLC later this year, so it’s not clear when the game might be on sale next, or at this much of a discount. It’s been over two years since Valhalla launched, so if you’ve been waiting for a sale you’ll have dodged a good number of the game’s worst bugs and can set out on your Viking adventure with confidence. While Valhalla follows in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s footsteps with a giant open world, the settlement feature in Valhalla does a good job of giving you a hub to return to, centering Eivor instead of leaving him to wander aimlessly around an almost endless map. Valhalla dives deep into the details of Viking life and culture, and there’s a lot for Eivor to attend to on behalf of the rapidly-growing settlement of Ravensthorpe. This is another Assassin’s Creed game where stealth isn’t actually necessary, so if you missed that in Odyssey, you might be better off waiting for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which goes back to basics. However, if you loved Odyssey or are interested in Viking lore — or are looking forward to another open-world RPG with Assassin’s Creed’s foray into feudal Japan — you might want to snap up Valhalla while it’s on sale; the sheer amount of content you get with Valhalla might even tide you over until it’s time to head to feudal Japan.

Assassin's Creed® Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla

This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and the Xbox Series X|S title

Build your own Viking legend at 60 FPS and in 4K resolution on Xbox Series X.

Become Eivor, a legendary Viking warrior raised on tales of battle and glory. Explore a dynamic and beautiful open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Raid your enemies, grow your clan’s settlement, and build your political power in the quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla.

luke

Luke — Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

In a sale this big, there are stacks of other things I could have picked out, but in the end it has to be this way. Everyone needs to experience Platinum’s top-tier hack-and-slash game — Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is comfortably one of the studio’s best games, and it’s so far removed from Metal Gear in pretty much every way that you need zero series knowledge to appreciate its all-out action. A simple yet satisfying parry system lets you shrug off blows with ease once you master it, responding with an arsenal of crazy weapons and moves that tear your enemies to shreds — activate Blade Mode and you can slice and dice with fine precision in slow motion to really turn those chumps into chunks.

At the heart of this wild ride is a series of sensational boss battles, elaborate multi-phase showdowns with an amazing rogues’ gallery and where no two fights are alike. Crank the volume for these and let the superb soundtrack fuel your very soul, each track layering on more and more in an intense crescendo that perfectly reflects and accents the escalation of the battle, and sends hype levels soaring off the charts. Also, the two story DLC packs, Blade Wolf and Jetstream, have now been made free, so you’re getting even more game from this splendid deal than it first appears. Both have achievements too, although you’ll still need to pick up the VR Missions DLC as well for the full 1,310G completion… good thing it’s dirt cheap. Revengeance is an all-timer, and it’s worth way more than the current asking price of a few bucks for the memes and the music alone. Do it.

METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE

METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE

METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE takes the renowned METAL GEAR franchise into exciting new territory by focusing on delivering an all-new action experience unlike anything that has come before.

Sean

Sean — Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

If you want something that will keep you occupied for hours on end, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the game for you. The Skywalker Saga allows you to play through all nine Star Wars films and features over 300 playable characters from the franchise in blocky Lego form. I have spent around 40 hours playing through the first six films (and parts of Disney’s trilogy) and have enjoyed every second. From dueling Darth Maul as Qui-Gon Jinn to blowing up TIE fighters in an X-Wing in space as Luke Skywalker, there is so much awesome Lego Star Wars stuff to do here. Sure, the gameplay is straightforward, but just being able to explore some of the most iconic Star Wars locations that developer TT Games has wonderfully recreated with such incredible attention to detail is a real joy. The real fun comes after completing a level with the characters used in the film. Once a level is completed, you can replay it with some of the 300+ Star Wars characters you’ve unlocked, giving you access to hidden areas to find collectables and other secrets. Along with Jedi: Fallen Order, The Skywalker Saga is easily one of the best recent Star Wars games to grace our screens, and for just $29.99/£24.99/€29.99, the lowest price the game has ever been, it’s quite the bargain. As for the achievements, well, it will take you between 80 and 100 hours to complete the Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga achievement list, mainly down to the sheer number of Kyber Bricks you’ll need to collect.

LEGO® Star Wars™: The Skywalker Saga

LEGO® Star Wars™: The Skywalker Saga

Play through all nine Skywalker saga films in a game unlike any other. With over 300 playable characters, over 100 vehicles, and 23 planets to explore, a galaxy far, far away has never been more fun!

*Includes classic Obi-Wan Kenobi playable character

Tone

Tom — Roguebook

Prior to 2022, you would never have seen me play any form of roguelike or roguelite game, much less recommend it like you would a fine cheese, but I’m a changed man. My new way of thinking is all because of this card-collecting treat, Roguebook. Its basic premise is simple: Pick two heroes to adventure with, build out your deck with randomly generated cards specific to each hero, and clear all three acts by destroying the three bosses blocking your way. Bosh, in and out, job’s a good’un. Of course, it’s not entirely that simple, as between you and each boss is an area filled with random enemy encounters, mini-bosses, unfortunate card pick-ups, unfortunate card draws, and death. Fail your run, and it’s back to the menu for you, good fellow!

For me, the most alluring part of the gameplay is the cards, which I know is practically all of the gameplay, but it’s alluring nonetheless. The reason being: Roguebook was designed by Magic the Gathering creator Richard Garfield. The card system is really easy to learn and some deck combinations can lead to an extremely satisfying experience, making this game a perfect entry point for anyone considering dipping their toes into the waters of roguelike games. Right now, it’s got 40% of its price knocked off, which is a fantastic deal for this highly compelling, yet challenging game. Check out my Roguebook impressions from earlier this year for a more detailed explanation of how the game works, if you’re interested…

Roguebook Xbox One

Roguebook Xbox One

Embrace the challenge of a roguelike deckbuilder with unique mechanics from the developers of Faeria and Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering™. Build a team of two heroes, unleash powerful combos and defeat the legends of the Roguebook!

Will you be adding any of these titles to your collection? Or do you have something to suggest? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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