COGconnected

@cocconnected

3464 Published Reviews

The Riftbreaker

PS5
7.50
James PaleyOct 14, 2021
This isn’t for everyone, to be sure. Less of a sprint and more of a marathon, the challenge of The Riftbreaker is both sustained and intense. This means things like pacing hiccups feel a lot more potent. Even if the prospect of an extended campaign like this seems daunting, the game’s lush visuals are a soothing balm. If you want something more out of the RTS genre, The Riftbreaker will have what you’re looking for.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - Hinokami Keppuutan

PS5
7.00
James PaleyOct 13, 2021
The exploration sections are somewhat dull, the fighters are interchangeable, and the story is told in a separate menu, but the parts that need to work, do. Combat is crazy, fast, and deeply satisfying. Whether this is your first 3D arena fighter or your fifteenth, The Hinokami Chronicles are a lot of fun.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Switch
6.00
Alex EverattOct 13, 2021
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a passable Smash Bros. clone. While it lacks the depth and polish of a game like Smash Bros, it’s not without its charm. Being able to brawl it out with beloved Nickelodeon characters such as Ren & Stimpy, TMNT’s Michelangelo, and Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants is a lot of fun at first. Unfortunately, the lack of depth really starts to take notice when you realize the 20 playable characters is all that’s included – no unlockable characters or stages.

Back 4 Blood

PS5
7.90
Rhett WaselenchukOct 12, 2021
Back 4 Blood is one that I’ll be playing for a long time to come. Turtle Rock Studios has committed to improving the game, both through new content and patches. And I trust that they’ll right most of the wrongs with their latest zombie-slaying simulator. It may feel light on content, and you’ll need a team of people if you want to make any actual progress, but hop on board now, and you still be pleasantly surprised at just how fun Back 4 Blood can be.

World War Z: Aftermath

PC
7.60
Mark SteighnerOct 11, 2021
Like the base game, Aftermath sans human players might not be a hard pass, but it isn’t the experience the developers intended. With some friends, or at least competent random homo sapiens, World War Z Aftermath provides a unique take on a familiar enemy and does a great job of translating the terror-inducing swarm of zombies mechanic from film to videogame.

Death's Gambit: Afterlife

PC
8.20
Nicola KapronOct 09, 2021
All in all, Death’s Gambit: Afterlife is a tough but rewarding exploration of a grim fantasy world populated by ruthless immortals, mindless constructs, and weary civilians whose lives have been horrifically twisted by forces beyond their control. The revamped movement options made traversing the expanded world a treat, though I would’ve liked a fast travel system that didn’t clash with my hoarding instincts.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

PS4
7.80
Mario BrashOct 08, 2021
While it may seem like Insurgency: Sandstorm has built-in anchors, it might be the best type of FPS for how it creatively builds on top of hurdles. There are no shortcuts to the objective, but scores of players would prefer it that way. To survive, you must be adept at the FPS genre. To thrive, you must be studious at the briefing and in the field.

Alan Wake Remastered

PS5
7.50
Rhett WaselenchukOct 06, 2021
As a big fan of the original, the announcement of Alan Wake Remastered was a pleasant surprise. And while I enjoyed my time with it, I can’t help but feel like this is merely a tiny taste of what’s to come. Veterans of the franchise won’t find any reason to go back, and if they do, they may even find that the memory of playing Alan Wake is better than the game itself. Newcomers will find a lot to love; however, granted, they can grind through its annoyances.

Metroid Dread

Switch
8.80
James PaleyOct 06, 2021
Metroid games have always had trace elements of sci-fi horror in them, and Metroid Dread is no different. Rather than inject the series with new levels of fear and tension, Dread seeks to highlight the latent spookiness already present. To that end, it works! That familiar sense of powerlessness and fear is given new life in this game.

Far Cry 6

PS5
8.50
Mark SteighnerOct 06, 2021
At its core, Far Cry 6 both shines and suffers from many of the same strengths and weaknesses that have characterized the last few entries in the franchise. On one hand, it has incredibly engaging action and an open world begging to be used creatively. On the other, it has repetitive and sometimes rote mission design, with disconcerting tonal shifts that seat inconceivable brutality and violence at the same table with silly, absurd humor that feels at best disrespectful, and at worst, wildly inappropriate.

Young Souls

Google Stadia
8.50
Michael ChowOct 06, 2021
Overall, Young Souls feels like a more mature cartoon in video game form, in a good way. It features two strong gameplay loops with satisfying elements and feedback. While there were some gameplay decisions that I wish were different, Young Souls is a solid package. Also as a note, it ran smoothly via Stadia, which was actually my first experience with the platform. All in all, Young Souls is a video game experience that is more than it first appears, and should not be overlooked.

The Eternal Cylinder

PC
9.00
Ricky KnightOct 05, 2021
It’s a boon that the gameplay holds up as well and if you ever find it too challenging, it’s easy to turn down various settings to let you sit back and immerse yourself in something you won’t be able to easily describe to your friends. And the longer you play you’ll wonder why more games aren’t this creative in all aspects. I really enjoyed my time guiding my flock of Trebhum from danger to salvation. And I hope you will too. Just remember to roll like you didn’t know you could.

Jett: The Far Shore

PS5
6.20
Jaz SagooOct 04, 2021
JETT: The Far Shore is an ambitious game that is unrelenting in its vision. Placing peaceful exploration at the forefront, missions lack direction and purpose. Although great when flying long distances, the Jett encounters many issues in compact areas. With stiff movement, dull missions and frustrating enemies, JETT: The Far Shore falls short of its ambitious goal.

Rogue Lords

PC
7.80
Mark SteighnerOct 04, 2021
Rogue Lords’ approach to turn-based combat — with or without cards — isn’t radically different, but the Devil Mode and ability to “cheat your way to victory” offers a new mechanic that will have you rethinking your usual strategies. Some issues with bugs, balancing, and its overlong, weariness-inducing campaigns are made less egregious thanks to its amusing writing, great music and fantastic gothic horror art direction.

Unsighted

PC
9.00
Tony BaeOct 04, 2021
Don’t let that discourage you from getting the game. With couch co-op and the addition of Steam’s Remote Play Together, you can play with another person with just a single copy, provided you have a solid internet connection. Unsighted is an utterly amazing title for a debuting indie team that is well worth your money and attention.

New World

PC
8.20
Mark SteighnerOct 02, 2021
All MMORPGs are major time commitments by definition, so whether New World can hold your attention long term is probably a function of your expectations, and whether you connect with what the game has to offer. New World probably won’t ever surprise you, but it won’t disappoint you either.

Aragami 2

PS5
7.20
Stephanie SungSep 29, 2021
Aragami 2 is an adventure that can be enjoyed by stealth fans and anyone who wants to try infiltrating an enemy base with satisfying results. Even if you’re bad at stealth games, Aragami 2 encourages you to create your own path and explore different ways to tackle a challenge. Sometimes close combat is my jam, and other times I just want to avoid confrontation.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

PS5
8.00
Jaz SagooSep 29, 2021
After many failed outings, the Super Monkey Ball franchise is back. Bubbling with content, there’s plenty to do whether you want to play solo or multiplayer. Whilst the nature of the game can cause frustration, the removal of the lives system has helped to improve the experience. The infectious presentation combined with the lovely gameplay makes this an absolute joy and an essential purchase for fans of the series.

Steel Assault

Switch
8.00
Nicola KapronSep 28, 2021
All in all, I had a great time with Steel Assault and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes action platformers, especially retro ones. However, it is modeled directly off of old-school arcade games, with all the difficulty and strategic planning that entails. If you don’t enjoy replaying levels over and over trying to get everything just right, or games that challenge you relentlessly, Steel Assault probably isn’t for you. You’re supposed to struggle. That’s the point of the game.

In Sound Mind

PC
6.80
James PaleySep 28, 2021
The narrative is interrupted by the mechanics, but the writing is well-honed. These worlds aren’t scary per se, but they do suck you in, rewarding patient exploration with fascinating reveals. All told, In Sound Mind wasn’t the game I was expecting. But I still found myself pushing forward, eager to uncover a little bit more. If you’ve got any appetite for cerebral horror and puzzle solving, In Sound Mind might be just what you’re looking for.

HOT WHEELS UNLEASHED

PS5
7.80
Jaz SagooSep 27, 2021
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a fast-paced racer that captures the frantic action of the miniature, diecast toys. The momentum-based gameplay helps to create intense races where anyone can win or lose. Even though the tracks are exciting and varied, the lack of environments is disappointing. Vehicles look incredible, making you want to collect each of them, however, the grindy blind box system may halt your progress. Overall, this is a solid racer that will knock you over with a nitro-boost of nostalgia. With a roadmap packed with content, I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon.

Astria Ascending

PC
8.50
Ricky KnightSep 27, 2021
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Astria Ascending. While parts of it felt long and grindy, the English cast is abysmal, and the dungeons design themselves left more to be desired, Astria Ascending is still a solid entry in the JRPG genre. It does what it sets out to do and at its price point it does it pretty well.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

PS5
7.70
Paul SullivanSep 27, 2021
Where Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart took an old formula and brought it into the modern era, Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ approach was more adherent to the old ways. The technical aspects are phenomenal and thoroughly current, but the game itself relies heavily on the old way of doing things. Limited paths. Contrived situational limitations. Collectables galore. You likely already know if that’s something you’re interested in playing, and I personally believe they’ve done an admirable job here. Especially for a first crack.

FIFA 22

PS5
8.40
Jaz SagooSep 27, 2021
FIFA 22 is the improvement that many fans have been waiting for. Shifting the focus away from pace, the game has managed to achieve a new level of realism. Due to HyperMotion Technology, players act and move intelligently, increasing strategic possibilities in offensive and defensive scenarios. With a litany of tweaks and refinements, FIFA 22 is the best iteration of the sport in the franchise.

Diablo II: Resurrected

PC
8.30
Mark SteighnerSep 24, 2021
In those areas where Diablo II: Resurrected attempts to improve on the original, it absolutely succeeds. It looks infinitely better, it’s more accessible to a wider range of gamers, and it mostly feels like it deserves to live on current-gen systems. At the same time, some of the changes seem arbitrary when looked at through the lens of what could have, and should have, been updated. Part of Diablo II: Resurrected feels wonderfully nostalgic and timeless, but another part feels mired in outdated mechanics from decades past, and pretty graphics alone can’t fix that.