Den of Geek
57 Published Reviews
Sword and Shield don't fully reinvent the wheel, then, but they have enough new ideas - and some imaginative twists on old favorites - to prove that Pokémon franchise still has legs and is heading in the right direction.
What’s so sad about Shenmue III is that, in staying faithful to its roots, it highlights how the series’ time has truly come and gone. Whereas in 1999, Shenmue felt like a revelation, in 2019, Shenmue III feels like an inferior product. Some of the core concepts still hold up, but most feel antiquated, like the nonsensical stamina/health/hunger bar and the oversimplified investigation mechanics.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen OrderPS4
Although it may be an inessential chapter in the wider Star Wars narrative, the team at Respawn endowed Jedi: Fallen Order with likeable characters whose stories you want to know more about, and the cast brought them to life with loads of charisma and depth. By the end of it, you'll feel like you've made a whole ship's worth of new friends, and you'll be hoping that EA commissions a bunch more games in a similar style. Hopefully, we won't have to wait quite so many years for the next brilliant single-player Star Wars game.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020Switch
This game exists to be brought out at parties or family gatherings, perhaps over the holiday season, so that gamers of various skill kevels can have a laugh and play something together for a while. There is fun to be had when you all jump into a new minigame and try to master it quickly, but once you've all worked it out, you'll just want to forget about it and move onto the next one. There's not much depth beyond that basic gameplay loop. This is a reliable time sink if you've got people coming over, and you might have a good time if you play it online.
Call of Duty: Modern WarfareXbox One
Infinity Ward set a high bar for itself when rebooting the most beloved of the Call Of Duty sub-series, even referring to this year’s title as simply Modern Warfare - especially given the way fans still flocked to the remaster of the 2007 original just three years ago. It was justified though - Modern Warfare is the best Call Of Duty title in years, offering a rollercoaster campaign, tactical multiplayer, and a fun, if short-lived, spec-ops mode.
All things considered, though, FIFA 20 isn't the easiest game to love. The graphics are still great and the core experience remains an enjoyable simulation of soccer, but there are just too many little wrinkles to make the full-whack price tag feel worthwhile. The Volta mode makes a strong case for the game on the whole, especially with its gorgeous new locations, but even this shiny new way to play comes with its foibles. All in all, this entry feels like a bit of a miskick, but it'll still do the trick for those nights on the sofa with your mates.
Yes, Code Vein is heavily inspired by Dark Souls. But that’s perfectly okay. It brings enough new ideas to the table to set itself apart and carve out its own niche. It’s got top-notch presentation, polished gameplay, and more narrative depth than your typical action RPG. Don’t sleep on this one.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningSwitch
Link’s Awakening isn’t the most revered entry in The Legend of Zelda, but perhaps it should be. If anything, this remake is a reminder of just how meticulously crafted this game is, and it’s heartening to know that a new generation of gamers can experience the game in even better form than we old-heads did in the ‘90s.
The game also includes heaps of humour, from the simple charms of pinching veggies and watching people get in a flap, to more darkly comic things like locking a shopkeeper in their garage or stealing a kid's glasses. This is a game that lets you delve deep into the dark side of the waterfowl psyche, revelling in the low-key chaos you're inflicting around the village. It's a honking good time, basically, and we'd definitely sign up for a sequel.
Let's not forget that the battle mechanics are fun and the art style is great, and you've got to applaud the breadth of this crossover in terms of the deep-cut characters that are crammed in. But even with all of that going for it, Pokémon Masters feels far too pre-determined and repetitive to stand up next to the classic entries in the Pokémon franchise. Here's hoping that Pokémon Sword and Shield can scratch the itches that this one missed.
We would certainly return to this fledgeling franchise, with the watery horror of this game making a really strong impression (a splash, you could say) despite those teething problems. Walking through the creepy environments, trying to build relationships between characters, struggling to keep everyone alive, steeling yourself for the scary bits and trying to master the Quicktime events is an altogether enjoyable experience. With a bit of refinement, this formula could deliver worthwhile scares for years to come.
It’s a shame, then, that Dr. Mario World is a good game that you simply won’t be able to play much without paying. Given that this is Nintendo, a company many have rooted for even during the darker times of the Wii U generation, it feels like a complete misappropriation of gaming’s most famous character. In short, any fun you’ll have with Dr Mario World is likely to be tempered by Nintendo’s disappointing descent into micro-transaction madness.
All in all, though, you've really got to applaud what HumaNature Studios have achieved here. They took a franchise that looked to be dead, and, with help from the wallets of fans, they brought it back to life. ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove may not reinvent the wheel, but it is a funky slice of fan service that is bound to bring sizeable smiles to the exact people that paid for it to get made (and anyone one else that happens to pick it up).
Anthem’s combat and traversal are its bread and butter, and the fact that BioWare nailed those two cornerstones of gameplay on the first pass is a great thing. The fact that we want to continue playing the game post-review is a testament to the strength of the core gameplay, but BioWare’s got a long road ahead before the studio can fully resolve the shooter’s myriad issues and count it as one of the top-tier titles in its catalogue. Fingers remain crossed, as we continue to hope that Anthem will soar up to those heady heights in time.
Is Metro Exodus a scattershot game with quite a few things in it that don't gel perfectly? Yes, it definitely is. But is also an admirable attempt at expanding a franchise, which still finds the time to revel in human experiences and serve up meaningful emotional stakes. It flits between scary gunplay and beautiful vistas with aplomb, leaving us with the hope that 4A Games will keep the franchise chugging along and add a few more stops to the journey. But if this is the end of the line for Artyom et al, at least they came this far.
Blood Dragon and Primal were both terrific spinoffs, and New Dawn meets their standard. The campaign’s story was much improved over Far Cry 5’s, with a more focused tone and some truly fascinating developments surrounding both the twins and the enigmatic Joseph Seed, who feels like something of an anchor for the game world. It's impossible to stress enough how fun the Expeditions are, and even though it’s a straightforward concept, the doors it opens up for future DLC are tantalising to say the least.
Kingdom Hearts III is a wonderfully rich experience that will no doubt thrill fans who have been waiting for over a decade to play it, which is a huge victory for Square Enix. There’s so much to do that, even after the game’s 30-ish hour main story, you’ll have probably a dozen or so more hours of content to play. There are retro-style mini-games to collect for your “gummi phone,” an Ultima Weapon to quest after, a pirate ship to captain a la Assassin’s Creed, and plenty more.
Newcomers among players will likely discover a new favourite horror franchise to explore, while long-time followers of the series will find a sweet blend of familiarity and freshness. Whichever camp you fall into, you’ll find your mind and your mettle tested in equal measure as you fiddle your way through this gloriously gory (and occasionally gruelling) reanimation of a classic.
New Super Mario Bros. U DeluxeSwitch
That’ll be a matter of personal opinion, which is likely to differ depending on whether you already played this on Wii U, but there’s no denying that this is a terrific 2D treat with plentiful replayability and some excellent multiplayer options. Deluxe may be a stretch, but this is still a delight.
With Call Of Duty relinquishing the right to a campaign in this instance, Battlefield V has something of an open goal when appealing to those looking for a polished, if all-too brief single-player experience. The multiplayer portion remains similarly refined in line with previous series entries – it’s just a shame that so much of Battlefield V is yet to make itself known.
Fallout 76 is an odd MMO in that it proves challenging to work out who it’s actually for. If you want an interesting story, you won’t find it. If you want a fun co-op experience with friends, there are more suitable choices. Its nature as an online, ‘living’ game does mean that it has a chance at salvation by way of future updates, but that does little to help satisfy those seeking a stable Fallout right here, right now.
In many ways, Hitman 2 is the stealth game at its most refined. It doesn’t do too much to improve on its predecessor or the Hitman formula in general, choosing to instead emphasis the features and elements that always made the series great before showing them off through some of the best and most intricately constructed maps the series has seen so far. It’ll surely take you tens of hours to fulfil every scenario, don every disguise, and pull off every creative kill.
Arthur Morgan’s personal tale of questionable loyalty, deception, and yes, ultimately, redemption never ceases to be an epic one full of moments that are organic and therefore engrossing. Surely the intent of any sandbox game is to make you feel like its environments and cast of characters continue on with or without you in it. Red Dead Redemption 2 delivers this wish fulfilment in spades, setting you on a crusade throughout the American Frontier you likely won’t forget.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider might not surprise from a gameplay perspective, but why mess with a formula when it works so well? The freedom to experiment more with stealth is a nice one, but these instances are too few and far between to be considered truly revolutionary. Where Lara’s latest outing does innovate is in how it continues to develop the personal roots initially planted in the previous chapter, coming to the fore as the famed treasure hunter finds herself forced to solve the biggest puzzle yet: herself.
While most co-operative shooters might be content having players mindlessly shoot and move, Strange Brigade kicks this up a notch by adding in a well-balanced amount of depth and customisation, all wrapped up within an exotic world that is enthusiastically good-natured and thrilling to be in with friends.