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Game of the Year 2014: Best Last-Gen Exclusive

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Our Game of the Year awards for 2014 continue. Next up, we reveal our pick for Best Last-Gen Exclusive.

There were plenty of contenders – South Park: The Stick of Truth and Dark Souls II among them – but there could be only one winner.

And the winner is…

Luftrausers

The impact of Luftrausers’ silhouetted aircraft, vivid clouds, and sepia skyline is certainly immediate.

But Luftrausers isn’t a game that makes a choice between style and substance. As striking as its visuals are, it’s the depth and variety of the game’s combat and control that make it one of 2014’s most memorable releases.

There’s interchangeable plane parts, affecting turning speed, impact damage, health, rate of fire, and bullet-type among other things; and it’s not as if Luftrausers numerous combinations of plane-type is a perfunctory selection of inconsequential changes.

The game asks you simply to steer, boost and shoot, but such is the intricacy of weaving through enemies and dancing out of danger, that each tweak you make to your plane feels significant. Even Luftrausers’, ahem, rousing military march changes subtly as you alter the makeup of your craft.

Forays into the sky can sometimes last seconds, but Luftrausers controls so well – and offers such a never-ending stream of objectives to achieve – that it never grows frustrating.

This trailer should give you the idea:

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