630 Published Reviews
Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartPS5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart features a number of literal on-rails sections that are exactly that. That said, roller coasters are awesome and the more elaborate they look the more inviting they can be. As far as PlayStation 5 exclusives go, Rift Apart is a head turner. A milestone release in terms of visuals, making it one of the most impressive digital roller coasters we’ve seen to date.
That sums up Biomutant. An ambitious open-world action-RPG from a new studio that does a lot, but doesn’t do a lot very well. In the end it’s finding new weapons and gear, alongside using new mutations and abilities in combat, that resonates. With less filler and more Kung-Fu killer, this could have been so much more -- with less.
Subnautica: Below ZeroXbox One
Whether you’re in it for the story, the world, the resources, the crafting or all of the above, Subnautica: Below Zero is a rich vein of fun and engagement you won’t want to escape from anytime soon.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the DruidsXbox Series X
So what you’re left with is a stunning new place to explore, an excellent story and expansive deep-dive into Celtic mythology and some new systems. But this is mostly driven by familiarity and a lack of anything truly dynamic or emergent. If you loved the formula of Valhalla, this is a bit of a no-brainer, but if you were hoping for something completely different or new, you’ll largely only find that in this fae tale.
Resident Evil VillagePS5
I wasn’t wholly sold on werewolves and vampires and fairytale zombies initially, but as I progressed through the game, my inner cryptozoologist emerged and I just left all scepticism at the gate and enjoyed the game for what it is: more outlandish and out there, is more better.
If you’re a glutton for punishment, don’t mind a grind and will happily deal with unfathomable RNG forces at cosmic play, you will absolutely get something out of Returnal, but if like me, every time you die, a little piece of the part of you that wants to play more, dies too, then you might find yourself not return(al)ing to this in a hurry.
OutridersXbox Series X
All in all, Outriders falls short of Anthem in the launch-period stability stakes. Having to combat the game to be able to combat enemies and then combat the game to be able to combat enemies and then combat the… well, it’s just not worth it.
Lust from BeyondPC
But looking past those things, and into the vale reveals a game bucking trends and showcasing what's truly capable in our medium. A bigger budget, more player-agency and a more expansive world are all that's holding this back from being groundbreaking. And a lot of learnings will be taken from this latest outing.
In the end though it will most likely be Narita Boy’s visuals that grab you – and on that front Studio Koba has delivered and then some. Even though there’s a lot of lore and explaining going on it’s all met and even exceeded by the stunning backdrops, wonderful animation, and a consistent tone that strikes a balance between awe and familiar. Between analog and digital.
Monster Truck ChampionshipXbox Series X
Monster Truck Championship is fun and challenging, but frustration, a one-note near linear course masquerading as variety, and not nearly enough in terms of options and engagement leave this a bogged experience.
It Takes TwoXbox Series X
In the end though the story that revolves around the divorce of Cody and May feels, well, a little divorced from the vibrant co-op platformer that makes up the bulk of It Takes Two. Where new and exciting fantasy locations and interesting mechanics are introduced regularly with a story that fails to keep pace or even reach a satisfying conclusion. That said the co-op action here is memorable, ambitious, and quite unlike anything we’ve played in a while.
MONSTER HUNTER RISESwitch
Monster Hunter Rise is also lengthy, though getting to the credits only takes roughly a dozen or so hours. MHR is more than defeating the hero monster, it’s an experience that grows and expands and offers the sort of reward that can support a playtime anywhere in the 50-100 hour region or more
BRAVELY DEFAULT IISwitch
The hardcore JRPG lovers looking for meaty Switch representation will froth over this, but as a new entry in the field, Bravely Default II only displays acid rain level nostalgia. It’s the dinosaur they just added feathers to, to make it seem like something new, but really, it’s all the same skeletal system we’ve known and studied already for so long.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s FurySwitch
Bowser's Fury is one the best videogame remixes of all time. And that's a remix in the musical sense, where 3D World is stripped apart, tossed aside, new things brought in, and other bits of inspiration bubble to the surface.
Little Nightmares IIPC
Little Nightmares II is a rarity in the interactive horror space, an experience that can terrify and creep you out without spilling a single drop of digital blood.
The combat too and dashing about is a little imprecise (even when using a d-pad) which can lead to some frustrating boss encounters. In the end, through brevity, variety, and focus, Olija is a rewarding slice of action, contemplative fiction, with great action-adventure design.
The MediumXbox Series X
For a title devoid of action, outside of a couple of stealth sequences and a ‘run towards the screen from the giant monster bit’, The Medium might commune with the spirit world... but it fails to communicate all that well with the player.
Immersion that breaks whenever you come across a bug or you can see the seams due to missing AI or missing features. No doubt Cyberpunk 2077 will be a better game on all platforms in three months time, and then three months after that. For now, it’s breathtaking on PC - for all the right, and wrong, reasons.
Immortals: Fenyx RisingPC
As a newly unique offering from Ubisoft, Immortals Fenyx Rising is something to savour. Yeah, it’s the publisher's third massive open-world release in the space of three months but what you get here is charming and refreshing to a fault. A wonderfully realised journey into myth and legend where everything fits as neatly as a chest-plate forged in the fires of Hephaistos’s Great Forge.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles MoralesPS5
Sony fanpeeps will sing its praises from Manhattan rooftops and it fills a gap. There’s just a question of “is it enough?” and even as a massive comic book geek and lover of all things wall-crawling, I’d have waited another six months for a more fleshed-out experience, and one that doesn’t overly mimic the foundation of its origins. Miles might learn from Peter, and Peter might be the ‘A’ Spider-Man, but that doesn’t need to mean Miles lives exclusively in his design shadow.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of CalamitySwitch
In Age of Calamity you have more of these, both in quantity and in terms of high quality production values. To the point where you can’t wait to see what happens next. Going one step further, Age of Calamity doesn’t feel like just another spinoff. It feels like a third piece in the Breath of the Wild story, one that sits alongside the original and the inevitable sequel. A TriForce if you will.
But there's no question in my mind that some elements could have been improved upon without negatively impacting the overall experience, and the blind pursuit of flawless recreation comes at what I feel is a heavy cost. You will find no better looking or better running game than Demon's Souls with the launch of the new consoles. But I think you will find no worse (From designed) Souls game.
Despite that less than acceptable end game experience, I can still recognise the glimmer of potential in Godfall. For a first outing, Counterplay has achieved something that's undeniably striking in the visuals department, though that's marred by sameiness and the odd, isolated framerate hitch.
Sackboy: A Big AdventurePS5
As it turns it’s a solid little adventure that left us wanting for a more full-sized Astro game in the future. And with Sackboy’s subtle use of the DualSense controller – outside of the borderline horrific death screams of Sackboy when you fall off a ledge that come through the speaker – it feels more like a cross-gen title than something designed to take advantage of next-gen hardware.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold WarXbox Series X
Like Treyarch before them, it feels like Cold War is Raven’s break-free moment, and their “love letter” reads passionately and completely with this Black Ops entry. We’ve talked up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla maybe being the only real next-gen title this year, but with Cold War, Activision is making a cold case for Cold War to be considered in the same conversation. And so far, we’ve collected all the evidence we need to agree.