1255 Published Reviews
Trackmania has the time trial gameplay you expect from the series with a neat map editor, but its subscription service feels like a misstep. Rather than a social racing game, it’s a racing game with a social service built onto it. That might be enough for people, but its engagement can run thin and never feels worthy of its highest tier. While there were some good moments, there was some sense of unfulfillment every time I jumped in.
As it stands, Secret Government is an interesting concept let down by a very boring gameplay loop. As a fan of grand strategy games, I look forward to seeing what is done with the secret society concept as the game develops in Early Access. If the game stays as it is or the flaws pinpointed here are not addressed, however, I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone.
West of DeadPC
A run-of-the-mill procedural twin-stick roguelike that has a unique aesthetic and premise, but little else. Without more content, more variety, and more exciting unlockables, West of Dead is dead in the water. Or will remain in gaming purgatory. Either way, I have very little faith in West of Dead’s future.
A surprisingly polished game that’s as immersive and exciting as it is relaxing, Hardspace: Shipbreaker makes disassembling ships in Zero-G a blast.
Desperados III is like a decadent cake. It’s very rich in detail and design, and highly recommended, but that richness is for a certain palette that won’t appeal to everyone. Yes, it can depend on trial-and-error and the loading times can be unsavory, but it’s been awhile since a game plagued my thoughts like Desperados III. Getting a plan to work is a blast, and some excellent characterization prop up the mechanics nicely.
Beyond Blue struggles as a narrative adventure game but shines as an educational tool that brings awareness and reveals some of the ocean’s secrets. Its few characters don’t quite stand out and the simple core gameplay loop of swimming, scanning and following waypoints comes off as rather bland. While there’s not much excitement in the actions that you perform, the way they’re contextualized pulls the experience up significantly.
The Dark Eye : Book of HeroesPC
The mechanics are complex enough to require you to know the rule book, the world is expansive enough to have a few playthroughs, and the scope is small enough to make it manageable. However, if you have no intense interest on old-school game design or the franchise itself, I recommend you stay away – the focus on maths instead of heart and soul makes this the kind of niche game that would feel dated 10 years ago, and the end result in modern times ends up being extremely boring.
Europa Universalis IV: EmperorPC
Europa Universalis IV has been out for going on seven years, and with that comes the seven-year itch. I’ve been a long time fan of the game since its release and it’s my most played game on Steam by quite some ways. Emperor sees a lot of changes, both in the DLC and the free patch that accompanies it, but despite all this, many of my underlying complaints with the game persist seven years on.
Mafia II: Definitive EditionPC
Aside from that, there’s not much to say – the Definitive Edition is very much Mafia 2 with better textures and character models. If you liked your first bout through Empire City and would like to revisit it the way it looks in your mind’s eye, this free update to owners is a good start. But as someone who played Mafia 2 when it came out and was already disappointed by the gameplay, it is quite hard to recommend it 10 years on just because of better textures.
Developer Tripwire Interactive deserves props for simply running with an unusual premise as this and trying its best to make it work. Sadly, the execution is lacking and no matter how fun devouring hunting parties and unlocking new evolutions is in the beginning, its core gameplay loop becomes dull way before its relatively short campaign comes to a close.
With a concept that’s insensitive at best, Cannibal Cuisine has a rough first impression to overcome. The mechanics that are under it are fine, but the controls can feel too slippery for their own good. Add that with an average combat system and you’ve got a game that never shines beyond its sensationalistic pitch. If your mates crave some co-op chaos, there are far worse games to play. However, there are also far better games out there.
XCOM: Chimera SquadPC
I am thankful that we got a new XCOM game, and very thankful that it is classed as a spinoff. As a fan of the franchise started in 2012, with its military tone, messages of hope and heroism in the face of a technologically superior foe and the triumph of humankind uniting against impossible odds, Chimera Squad’s lighter tone and utter disregard for lore or even common sense pains me.
Streets of Rage 4PC
All-in-all, this is the most fun I’ve had with multiplayer these past few months, and I’d recommend this game to both newcomers and Streets of Rage fanatics alike. Not only is this a heartfelt throwback to the golden years of couch co-op, but it’s also an extremely well-balanced and impeccably crafted romp through a city in need of saving.
Staying true to the franchise, your Gears are brutal killing machines who live in a soap opera. We’ll add that it’s also rare to find a tactics game which makes you feel powerful but vulnerable at the same time, and that’s worth a lot.
So in the end, Cloudpunk is a hard game to classify. On one hand, it is absolutely gorgeous and features some surprisingly fun hovercar controls, but in the other hand, it gets bogged down by a shallow gameplay, a very annoying story delivery system, and some of the worst voice acting this side of House of Dead 2. If you are a fan of the cyberpunk genre and are looking for some eye-candy but don’t mind a game that doesn’t respect your time (nor your ears), Cloudpunk is the game for you.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon BreakpointPC
If you are one of the many people who were put off by it at launch, I would recommend you try and give it a try now – just like the eponymous Group for Specialised Tactics, Ubisoft might yet turn this near-miss of the series’ breakpoint into a franchise victory.
Circle Empires RivalsPC
Circle Empires: Rivals has something for everyone. For beginners is a straightforward approach to the RTS that’s full of options. For experts is a faster RTS that streamlines the process. While personal biases might prevent me from enjoying it as much as other genres, there’s plenty to love if you wanted Circle Empires’s unique charms with friends.
Ancient Enemy isn’t bad, and is one of the better ways you can reinvent Solitaire-esque games. But it is still a Solitaire-esque game, and that makes it hard to recommend to anyone who isn’t a fan of the genre. Add that with the resistances and inventory mechanics slowing down the game proper, and it’s a tough sell. If everything I mentioned here sounds appealing, give it a shot. Everyone else, proceed with caution.
Mount & Blade II: BannerlordPC
Bannerlord is already a deeply engaging world but clearly an early access title. At time of writing, many of the perks appear broken or missing, negating character development except to unlock better weapons or hitpoints. That said, if you can ignore that and the occasional balance issue, the game has a lot to enjoy, and with the regular updates, the future is looking bright.
RESIDENT EVIL 3PC
Resident Evil 3’s remake might not be as surprising as REmake 2, but it is still a fun ride. If you loved the way REmake 2 used the survival horror formula, that same formula continues here with a cool multiplayer mode to boot. If you can forgive some tedious boss fights, a somewhat lacking Nemesis, and some monetization in Resistance, it’s got what we love about Resident Evil as a franchise.
Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - A World BetrayedPC
While A World Betrayed is not as expansive as Mandate of Heaven’s prequel expansion, it adds two new factions that play completely different from any other in the game so far. If you love 3K and could use a more novel experience on your next playthrough, definitely give A World Betrayed a try.
Doom Eternal’s combat encounters are, quite possibly, the best in the genre. Snappy movement, a varied arsenal and executions, alongside a soundtrack that mixes atmospheric synths with pounding drums and devastating downtuned guitars all feed into the game’s trademark frenetic action. There’s unrivaled euphoria in crushing a demon’s head underfoot before moving on to kill hundreds more of his friends in equally brutal ways.
Yes, Your GracePC
Yes, Your Grace is a fascinating game with heart. Its short length might turn away some players, but it will be perfect for anyone who loves regret filled choices or was burned badly by the Game of Thrones finale last year. If you like your games with emotional variety and anxiety, you’ll enjoy your brief time with Yes, Your Grace.
Given these details have historically never been added post-DLCs over the past 4 years, Stellaris: Federations is a good addition which still falls notably shorter than what could have been accomplished.
Panzer Corps 2PC
I’d recommend giving the tactical puzzles a go before you begin a campaign, they’re fun challenges giving you a specific task and only take a single turn to achieve them. To me they really highlight the tactical diversity of Panzer Corps 2, a game where order of movement and positioning can turn a certain defeat into a grand triumph.