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The 25 best games coming before Christmas 2012 - 360, PS3, PC, Wii U

Shooters! Online worlds! Zombies! Football! Cars!

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6. FIFA 13

Play it on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Out: September 28, November 30 on Wii U

When Celtic win the Scottish Premier League in April, it'll only be slightly less surprising than this year's FIFA 13 scoring big in next week's review. The game's Vancouver development team know exactly what they're doing now, and in this year's outing, they've added a bunch of subtle additions as well as refined the existing mechanics. One, unforced errors, sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but within the context of a match, it provides an extra layer of realism, while better interceptions, tweaked AI and new animations all help to delicately improve the game. There are bigger changes online, where - alongside a revamped Manager Mode, you'll find Match Day, which let's you recreate that week's real world fixtures, and Football Club, which gives you the chance to play out important stages of classic matches. Plus there's Skill Games too. In fact, this year's biggest downside is that Geoff Shreeves' bore-o-voice now stinks up the touchline. TW


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7. RESIDENT EVIL 6

Play it on: Xbox 360, PS3 Out: October 2

The J'avo in Resident Evil 6 are the long-running series' latest breed of zombie, and they're the smartest yet. They can work in teams and use guns. Yes, really. Luckily, you're now able to move and shoot at the same time. In truth, Resident Evil's survival horror roots shrivelled up and died a long time ago, so the emphasis on loud, explosion-filled action shouldn't surprise. What's interesting is that there are four types of 'scenario' now, each with their own playable characters. Jake Muller is one of the new heroes, and is the son of iconic series antagonist Albert Wesker. He teams up with Sherry Birkin (the little girl from Resident Evil 2) and the pair find themselves battling through the zombie-infested streets of Edonia, a fictional Eastern European city. Other returning characters include Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield. Want to know more? CVG's Ben Griffin played through the first 15 hours of the game recently, and offers an opinion on how it's shaping up. Or you can see 18 minutes of Leon's campaign for yourself. AK


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8. XCOM: ENEMY UNKOWN

Play it on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Out: October 12

While 2K Marin's XCOM spin-off is a tactical first-person shooter, XCOM: Enemy Unknown from Firaxis - creators and long-time developers of the Civilization series - is more in line with MicroProse's beloved 1994 original. It's a dense, turn-based strategy game where you build an underground base and train a squad of soldiers to battle a global alien invasion. Your base, dubbed the 'ant farm', also doubles as the game's interface. Here you'll be able to research new technology, train (and name) soldiers, and capture aliens for study. Above ground, combat is turn-based and uses a cover and line of sight system. Fears that it would be 'dumbed down' for consoles are unfounded: from what we've played of it, this is very much classic XCOM. AK


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9. DISHONORED

Play it on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Out: October 12

In Dishonored you play as Corvo Atano, a masked assassin who uses supernatural powers to take out his targets. He can teleport, possess people, and see through walls. But you you don't have to kill anyone at all. The game's design promotes freedom and creativity, and you can solve problems without resorting to violence. Maps are huge, and filled with secrets and side-missions. It's not an open world game, but the spaces are big enough that you can take multiple routes to objectives. We sneaked into a mansion by teleporting across rooftops, but we could have also possessed a rat and crawled up a drainpipe. Some of the Dishonored team worked on Deus Ex, and it feels almost like its spiritual successor. AK


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10. DOOM 3: BFG EDITION

Play it on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Out: October 19

This HD version of Doom 3, id Software's eight-year-old horror FPS, comes complete with the Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil expansion pack, plus a new set of missions. The visuals have been given a modern overhaul, and you're now able to use your gun and flashlight at the same time. It's a worthy upgrade of a game that was unfairly panned by critics when it was first released in 2004. The dev team also added a checkpoint save system to make things easier, as well as support for 3D TVs. Unlike the original games, Doom 3 is story-driven. It's slower and more atmospheric, with voice acted NPCs and computer logs that fill in the backstory. Of course, there's still plenty of hellspawn to fry with your plasma rifle and carve up with your chainsaw. AK

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