544 Published Reviews
Darksiders Genesis is a fantastic new direction for the series, and while I love the third-person 3D entries, I’d be fine with the Genesis blueprint running the show moving forwards. This is one of my favourite games I’ve played this year. Put it on your Festivus wishlist, if you haven’t picked it up yet.
That said Shenmue III is still surprisingly charming, and an earnestly emotional journey for fans of the series. Ryo’s lack of interest in the opposite sex and his unwavering need to go to bed early and practise his martial arts training diligently each day, make him pure in a way we rarely see. It doesn’t leave much room for excitement, but it ensures that Shenmue III is every bit the sequel it set out to be.
Everreach: Project EdenPC
It’s also worth highlighting one of the more inconsequential elements of Everreach: Project Eden because it speaks to the experience. And that is how it fails to understand the concept of the hacking mini-game. The contrived elements in games like Mass Effect that add some flair to the act of unlocking containers by creating puzzles that are meant to represent the inner working of locking mechanisms in some way. In Everreach, one of these involves dodging falling blocks for no good reason.
Red Dead Redemption 2PC
It’s been nine years since the MOTU race has had to read, listen to or watch the couch warriors carry on about this “amazing Western gaming experience”, but now, finally, it’s here and you can strap yourself into your desk chair and uncover the world of New Hanover and beyond. Just… take your time. It’s honestly still worth it, even over 1000 hours in single-player on.
Asterix & Obelix XXL 3 - The Crystal MenhirXbox One
And in co-op, it’s twice the fun (especially given the single-player buddy AI isn’t as aggressive or proactive as it should be), particularly on the couch. This Holiday season you honestly couldn’t get a better family-fun game to play, and there’s a lot to sink into here. There’s no flash-in-the-pan design around this; it’s full of longevity, replayability and life -- everything you want in a game for everyone. Highly recommended.
Bee SimulatorXbox One
That’s the best part of Bee Simulator, it is an educational game even adults can get behind. It champions the situation bees -- across the globe -- are in, and how important they are to all life on Earth. It has its pitfalls, and definitely serves up it’s fair share of frustration, but the point of the game is admirable, and with refinement in the control and camera departments, a beequel would be a very welcome addition to this hive.
Need for Speed HeatXbox One
It might be time to park NFS in its old garage and let it accrue some patina, and just age a little bit again. Meanwhile, a fixerupperer in the classic Burnout series is sitting there waiting to have its engine turned over again, so that we might once more relish in its actual over-the-top arcade sensibilities at the hand of a studio that truly rewrote the car gaming manual. Maybe we just need to open the glovebox and have a flick through it, EA.
Moons of MadnessPC
Moons of Madness has frame-rate issues on PC, where even playing on a more than capable it would tank for no good reason. Technical issues aside, Moons of Madness is an experience that we felt compelled to stick with until the end credits rolled â on the strength of the mood alone. Something it has in spades. And it nails the pacing, striking the right balance between moments of quiet, tension, and revelation.
Even if it ultimately means we might only look at certain aspects of its design or specific puzzles versus the story and setting to remember and recall as time goes on, Superliminal is still an experience worth seeking out.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen OrderXbox One
The game’s numerous biomes are also gorgeous and the acting throughout, alongside the writing, is just excellent. It just feels a bit incomplete where some extra time in QA and then development would have served it much better. The product offered here is good, but not quite as brilliant as it could have been.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion KingXbox One
Of course, there are millions who grew up playing and loving the Mega Drive and Super Nintendo originals, so this point (which has factored into the score) might seem a little moot or harsh, and for those this 16-bit trip to the past will feel like going home. But, knowing that the best versions of Aladdin and The Lion King are not here and were also de-listed from sites like GOG.com by Disney earlier in the year – it’s like Disney Classic Games by the way of Classic Disney Games. That is, jacking up prices and releasing things in limited quantities to create a false sense of scarcity.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HDXbox One
Perhaps if SEGA chose to remaster and re-release the first two GameCube titles, which defined and perfected the core Super Monkey Ball formula - before it’s slow dive into obscurity thanks to Banana Blitz and other titles - we’d be hailing this as a minor masterpiece. Instead what we’ve got here is a HD misfire of a motion-control misfire from over a decade ago.
It's such a shame, too. The production values here are off the scale – both visually and aurally, Death Stranding is an almost flawless tour de force. That said, all the ethereal music and hyper-realistic Reedus arse in the world cannot deliver if the total consignment doesn't also bundle in tightly-packed gameplay lashed with a strong yarn. In the end, all I can really say is this: handle Death Stranding with care.
Luigi's Mansion 3Switch
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is marred only by its ease-of-play and its controls (or lack of variant control options), but is still more-than-playable. It is easily the most progressively designed game Nintendo has made from a tech perspective, while its visual design, comedic writing and overall charm scream “classic Nintendo”. Multiplayer and co-op add value, but the true goo here is in the game’s ever-enjoyable single-player campaign that will keep you checking, checking and checking again under that bed, for that hidden ghost, or that hidden treasure.
Call of Duty: Modern WarfarePS4
Its biggest downfall is the broken state of Special Ops in its current iteration, while the move back to kill streaks in multiplayer is a strange change of direction. The return of a campaign is welcomed for players like me who look forward to playing them every year. It’s brilliantly executed and is by far one of the best in a very long time. Overall Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is another terrific multiplayer experience with a fresh take on the campaign that is greatly satisfying.
There's always an argument to be made for keeping an old game's “quirks” intact to preserve nostalgia, but there's still a line where useless things ought to killed off for good. That said, I have to acknowledge that only the die-hard fans of the hard-dyin' Dan Fortesque will enjoy this. The timeless Tim Burton-esque charm and the fine Lazarus job done on the visuals can only go so far. In the end, these old bones just creak too much.
The Outer WorldsXbox One
The Outer Worlds, as per this very review, will be compared to Fallout by many who play it. And really, it’s the sort of comparison that will probably benefit Obsidian’s latest RPG in the long run. Because in the end, Halcyon and its many denizens, corporations, and quirks feel like an original creation worthy of this style of RPG. And much like with the original Fallout, a place well worth visiting again in a larger and more expansive experience. Like, say, in The Outer Worlds 2.
Bus SimulatorXbox One
It’s a drinking game in and of itself. But beyond the silliness of it all, repetition, precision and ogling at so many sets of twins while they pine about cats somehow makes Bus Simulator a joyous ride; a fareing good time. At least, something worth the ticket price.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game RemasteredPS4
That being said, so much of Terminal Reality's love shines through, even though this isn't a mind-blowing remastered effort. Don't eye this in the store and zip into your Ghostbusters overalls expecting a super sexy visual transformation – like bookish Dana Barrett to the siren-like Gatekeeper. You instead should power on your pack with the knowledge that this game is just oozing authenticity like an open New York City sewer does “bad mood slime”.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible LairXbox One
If there’s one gripe to be had, which could be said of the original Yooka-Laylee from 2017 is that some of the stages feel overly large to traverse – which can adversely affect the pacing. That said, that’s only a minor gripe as Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair succeeds in delivering a fun, challenging, and rewarding old-school romp. By incorporating some of the classic 2D design of previous generations this once N64 throwback has matured and grown into its own slice of platforming gold.
Borderlands 3Xbox One
The core feel of classic Borderlands action is enough to carry you through at least one play-through of Borderlands 3. One more round of a specific style of over-the-top game shooter loved playing years ago. But in 2019, it’s hard to feel as excited as we once were with the more-of-the-same approach taken here. Especially when it fails to capture the charm of the original two outings or innovate beyond the guns you wield.
The Surge 2PC
In the end though it’s the improved combat, minus a few camera issues and frustratingly difficult boss encounters, the progression and build possibilities, and the wonderful level design that go a long way to make up for the lack of narrative drive. Or interest in what happens to the world. In this regard The Surge 2 is an improvement, but an experience that still feels like it’s a few more brutal dismemberment finishers away from finding the right plan to research and build its full potential.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningSwitch
In the end, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remade and rebuilt for the Nintendo Switch is downright delightful. A memorable return to the stunning Koholint Island, and for newcomers to experience a journey they’ll savour for years to come. The Switch just got its second must-play Zelda.
Daemon X MachinaSwitch
This side of the game is wonderful, and the ability to salvage parts from fallen mechs and use those to augment your own robotic symbiotic counterpart is a brilliant touch. As is the ability to purchase new weapons or research upgrades. Like your avatar’s customisation, changing the look of your mech is time well spent – especially when paired with the stylised and excellent visuals put to full use throughout the many real-time cut-scenes and the countless action-packed encounters. The only problem being that missions and mechanics only rarely rise up to this level.
With fascinating lore you’ll want to discover more about any given situation and the history of both Teer Fradee and the various factions. Ultimately, how the world itself becomes the focal point of Greedfall’s narrative - in a way we rarely see - leads to a truly stunning finale full of heart, optimism, criticism, tragedy, and warmth. An RPG to savour, Greedfall’s tale verges on the profound.