Only Single Player

@only-single-player

OnlySP was created out of a simple idea: We want to focus solely on the single-player aspects of video games. That includes storylines, character development, campaign concept & design, and interviewing developers about how they plan and create their games’ single-player experience, among many other aspects of the single-player development cycle.

88 Published Reviews

Sparklite

PS4
8.00
Steve CarmanNov 30, 2019
Sparklite is a fascinating and enjoyable rogue-lite adventure title ripe with nostalgic elements for 2D Zelda fans without feeling like a rip-off. Geodia’s world maps are stunning, and the time-loop mechanism allows for almost infinite exploration without boredom setting in. Sparklite carves its own place in the rogue-lite genre and offers an almost perfect balance of gameplay.

Shenmue 3

PC
4.00
Amy DavidsonNov 29, 2019
The game tells a high-stakes plot at a snail’s pace, with terrible writing and acting. The clever combat system of the previous games has devolved into a button-mashing mess. The title does have moments of brightness: the actual story beats are great, the setting is fascinating, and it features the best forklift simulation on the market. However, with such incredibly dated gameplay, only the most ardent fans will enjoy Shenmue III. Even then, it is easily the weakest link in the franchise.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts

PC
6.00
Damien LawardornNov 25, 2019
When Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts works, it works amazingly well. The process of spotting, planning, and sniping makes for a tense, engaging experience, especially given the expansive maps that almost always provide multiple vantage points and approaches. However, the game too often demands that players close the gap and suffers as a result. Although Seeker’s toolkit is filled with toys, too many rely on noise, and the enemies flock to the slightest sign of the player’s presence, making the game tougher than will likely be enjoyable for many.

Golem

PS4
4.00
Rebecca Hills-DutyNov 22, 2019
Some amazing elements of an action-exploration game are present in Golem, but the design decisions largely spoil the experience. Players with an ocean of patience and the fortune of not suffering from motion sickness might find a worthy experience, but it is hidden beneath layers of counter-intuitive systems.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

PS4
8.00
Chris HepburnNov 20, 2019
The story is meant to be controversial, pulling on the heartstrings of the player to tell a story of why war today is so much more convoluted than it used to be. In the story, many characters go through challenging moments that make the player ask whether they can handle making the hard decisions. While the story gets dark with instances of torture and terrorist attacks, the game feels like it was scared to go all the way, holding back when situations should have pushed for more.The story is meant to be controversial, pulling on the heartstrings of the player to tell a story of why war today is so much more convoluted than it used to be. In the story, many characters go through challenging moments that make the player ask whether they can handle making the hard decisions. While the story gets dark with instances of torture and terrorist attacks, the game feels like it was scared to go all the way, holding back when situations should have pushed for more.

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels

PC
4.00
Damien LawardornNov 19, 2019
Despite everything written so far, Narcos: Rise of the Cartels does exactly what it aims to. The game is not an attempt to rewrite the strategy rulebook, but rather a gateway drug for anyone not familiar with the genre who is already hooked on Narcos. In that context, the title is solid: an entry-level strategy game that eases players in. The shallowness stems from the mass appeal and, as such, is a strength. However, those concessions will not spark joy for strategy veterans or anyone looking for a meaty, engaging experience.

Planet Zoo

PC
8.00
Amy DavidsonNov 15, 2019
Planet Zoo has some balancing issues and explains certain concepts poorly. Once the game is understood, however, it offers such loveable inhabitants and deep simulation that its shortcomings can be forgiven. The game shows how difficult running a zoo ethically can be, but also convinces the player how worthwhile that endeavour is by offering adorable animals at every turn. It is clever, complicated, and perfect for animal lovers.

Woven

PC
4.00
Damien LawardornNov 14, 2019
Like its protagonist then, Woven is an odd beast. Alterego has succeeded in making something distinct—the game certainly stands out from the crowd. However, that uniqueness comes with concessions. Every charming feature is offset by a fumble: a fun premise by a non-existent story, a stunning aesthetic by burdensome exploration, solid puzzles by technical issues. Nevertheless, the game is fully functional and will certainly be worthwhile purchase for young children or anyone else who enjoys the simple pleasures.

RUNE II

PC
8.00
Damien LawardornNov 12, 2019
RUNE II lacks the wow factor to be a serious contender in most Game of the Year lists, but that does not mean it should be overlooked. The game is solid and dependable, its faults never quite enough to sink it. Moreover, Human Head should be celebrated for daring to take a different approach to its open world. Where many games try to drive engagement through more quests, more distractions, more collectibles, more everything, RUNE II pares that drive back to its bare essentials.

Only After

PC
2.00
Amy DavidsonOct 23, 2019
Only After has a great deal of potential, but fumbles in the execution of its ideas. Featuring a decision-heavy gameplay when the choices do not matter, a clever ending with very little build-up, and the worst control scheme of 2019, Only After sabotages itself at every turn.

The Outer Worlds

PS4
8.00
Michael CripeOct 22, 2019
Lackluster combat is only one flaw, but when players are spending nearly half of their time taking part in the flaw, its problems are unavoidable. Still though, Obsidian has crafted something special that fits right up there with its contemporaries. The Outer Worlds completely succeeds in its mission to take players on an interplanetary adventure in ways that have not been seen in gaming for some time. Hopefully, other titles will follow in its footsteps when taking players to brand new worlds.

Disco Elysium

PC
8.00
Rebecca Hills-DutyOct 21, 2019
Disco Elysium is a sprawling, multi-layered game full of twists and turns. The game’s characters explore highbrow themes such as existentialism, political theory, and psychology, all wrapped around a twin mystery of murder and identity. Disco Elysium is a very strange game, deeply cerebral almost to the point of pretentiousness, but it’s periodic dips into both surrealism and self-deprecation save it from being too hipster to endure. Those who value depth of character and storytelling are very likely to enjoy this title, despite its flaws.

Pine

PC
6.00
Amy DavidsonOct 10, 2019
If the communication issues and bugs can be cleared up, Pine has the potential to be really special. When everything works, the little sandbox of Albamare is a delightful place to explore. In Pine‘s current state, though, a great deal of patience is required to deal with the poor platforming, obtuse writing, and strange AI behaviour. Should one push through these issues, however, they will find a charming adventure that creates a beautiful blend of seemingly incompatible ideas.

GRID

PS4
6.00
Steve CarmanOct 09, 2019
GRID has firmly nailed its place in the market as one of the best arcade racing series and will remain a ferocious competitor to the Forza and Gran Turismo franchises. The cars and tracks have been beautifully crafted with explicit detail, and when coupled with the delicate handling model, command-based communication, and the Nemesis system, all create a unique, thoroughly enjoyable racing experience. However, the game suffers from engagement issues, which could be improved by implementing a photo mode and racing soundtracks.

John Wick Hex

PC
8.00
Amy CampbellOct 08, 2019
Bithell wanted to create a game filled with suspense, where actions acted as dialogue in a way that was truthful to the movies. Even though these aspects can be overwhelming for new players, it is the exact same reason that will keep them coming back. John Wick Hex is absurdly addictive. The thrill of the action, the fast-paced decision making, and the pride of overcoming difficult levels are all why this game succeeds on so many levels. Bithell Games promised players the chance to be John Wick, and by choosing the genre least expected, it has delivered on that promise.

Code Vein

PC
4.00
Rebecca Hills-DutyOct 04, 2019
Code Vein tries hard to overcome its flaws with anime style and flamboyance—and in many areas almost succeeds. The character creation and Code-based upgrade system are intriguing, but the combat and partner AI are too inconsistent to overcome the uneven pacing and difficulty. Code Vein has its positives, but is flawed as a single-player experience.

Neo Cab

PC
8.00
Amy DavidsonOct 03, 2019
Neo Cab is a smart, engaging visual novel. Containing light survival mechanics, emotional manipulation, and customer service, this combination of short stories and overarching plot choices create a unique voice in the visual novel genre.

WARSAW

PC
6.00
Damien LawardornOct 02, 2019
Five hours into a session, the player could be forgiven for thinking that only half that time has gone by. WARSAW has an addictive quality that comes from sublime gameplay and a pervasive feeling of desperation. ‘Just one more mission,’ goes the refrain. ‘Just one more’ until the final mission is complete, and the game comes to its shattering end. WARSAW may be short, but as an engaging history lesson and an engrossing game, it warrants any number of replays.

The Sojourn

PC
6.00
Amy DavidsonSep 19, 2019
Despite its flaws, The Sojourn has moments of greatness. Weaving a web of dark tunnels or daisy-chaining angel statues to the exit feels wonderful. The game world is stunningly beautiful, and wandering through the vistas is quite peaceful. However, the poor communication with the player, nonsensical greeting card writing, and frustrating final act leave The Sojourn a mixed bag of great puzzles and crappy idioms.

Devil's Hunt

PC
4.00
Rebecca Hills-DutySep 18, 2019
Devil’s Hunt is visually stunning in many ways and seeks to rise above its indie roots, but sadly the game is lacking in polish in many areas. Though at times the gameplay can be genuinely fun and engaging, Devil’s Hunt suffers from frustrating flaws that put it in the shade of other hack-and-slash titles. The clunky and occasionally tasteless writing does the game no favours either.

Catherine: Full Body

PS4
8.00
Daniel PereiraSep 14, 2019
Catherine: Full Body fulfills its goal of giving players a reason to revisit this one-of-a-kind tale. The willingness to distance itself from traditional black-and-white romantic tropes allows the game to tell a captivating narrative, breaking the fourth wall and allowing players to act as if they found themselves in Vincent’s predicament. The addition of Rin has allowed for exploration of a different side of love, asking more thought-provoking questions that seek to uncover what true happiness means to the player.

GEARS 5

Xbox One
8.00
Richard FlintSep 14, 2019
The improvements on the Gears formula seem to never end, from characters to combat to game modes. Gears 5 contains something for everyone. One rather important gripe with the title, though, is for those not familiar with the franchise. This game is very much a love letter to existing fans as it adds layers of highly sought after content. Newcomers to the series could easily be overwhelmed as the game focuses heavily on nostalgia.

Torchlight II

PS4
6.00
Rebecca Hills-DutySep 07, 2019
Overall, Torchlight II is a very solid console port. The gameplay loop is generally satisfying despite the minor annoyances, and can even feel a bit zen once the player manages to sink fully into the rhythm. Torchlight II does not do anything remarkable for the action hack-and-slash genre, but functions as a good spiritual successor to Diablo II and makes for a good alternative for hack-and-slash fans who were put off by Diablo III.

Children of Morta

PC
10.0
Amy DavidsonSep 04, 2019
Children of Morta is strong in its apparent simplicity. By the end game the player is juggling multiple additional powers, temporary buffs, held items, and a vast array of enemy types, but since everything is introduced so smoothly and cleanly it never feels overwhelming. The game is brutal without being cruel, as each failure shows some granular hint of progress—it serves as a great introduction to the genre for newcomers, as everything is explained so well, and is also appealing for veteran players, showing a different approach to a well-known classic.

Ancestors: the Humankind Odyssey

PC
6.00
Rebecca Hills-DutyAug 26, 2019
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is something of an oddity. The game has a lot of depth to uncover and problems to overcome, but with a difficulty curve like a brick wall, many players will end up walking away in frustration. For those with the patience of a mountain, this is worth checking out, as the lush environments are beautiful to behold, and many fascinating discoveries wait to be made and passed on down the generations.

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