1271 Published Reviews
There is fun to be had here, but Torchlight 3 still feels like it's in early access. Probably because, in some ways, it's dealing with the growing pains of a mid-development pivot in scope. It isn't easy to make a retail RPG out of the scattered debris of a free-to-play quarter-eater. Perhaps Torchlight 3 will go down in history as a cautionary tale.
The contrast is interesting, at least. And so is that timeless room, and the other mysteries aboard the horrible disc ship. Disc Room's surprises keep it from being a series of mechanical time trials. It's a charmingly inscrutable little comic book, and it'll be loved for that, both by casual adventurers and speed runners who want to master its quirks.
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!PC
Still, it’s testament to CSD3’s compelling nature that you’ll want to keep tinkering with your menu to find that perfectly optimised spread to let you nail it. With more than 200 foods from across the globe—from empanadas through to escargot, boiled eggs to bunny chow—at your fingertips, you’re certainly not short on potential permutations. As moreish as a tube of Pringles, this is as fun to play as a quick snack as it is a full banquet.
Their ability to marry deeply personal, relatable fears with cosmic horror is nearly unparalleled in games. While mechanically rusty, Amnesia: Rebirth deserves to go down as one of the most effective and mind-bending horror games ever made, just like its predecessor. See you on the other side.
The way it stitches Breath of the Wild and classic JRPGs together is awesome, and the fact that you can enjoy so much of the game for free absolutely still makes it worth playing. Just understand that, at some point, you'll smash into that wall. Maybe if you know it's coming, it won't hurt so much.
Age of Empires III: Definitive EditionPC
If you're an existing Age of Empires 3 fan, then this is the best way to play it going forward, even if the extent of the improvements reflects its status as the least loved entry in the series. Although Age of Empires 3 requires less patience than Age of Empires 2, it's also less rewarding over the long-term, struggling to match the elegance of a game that's been updated and refined for 21 years.
EA SPORTS FIFA 21PC
FIFA 21 serves up solid football with a level of Sky Sports-style presentation that continues to embarrass PES' creaking menus. Like VAR though, EA's latest entry still has some way to go until it fully captures the true spirit of the sport.
That said, there are few games that can create the sheer maelstrom of activity that Noita does. You're in a firefight with a shock trooper, your spell zings over his head and strikes the pile of gunpowder lurking in the shadows. Suddenly, both of you are trapped in a burning chasm, as the wooden vat containing a metric ton of oil begins to deteriorate in the flames.
This is because the more I played of Partisans, the more I enjoyed it. I like the slow build-up of your forces, the careful drip-feed of new characters and equipment. I like how each new mission is incrementally more ambitious than the last, starting with convoy assaults and rescuing civilians from Nazi death squads, then evolving into blowing up bridges and assassinating local comptrollers.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaPC
In the cockpit, though, this is probably the best a Star Wars flight game has ever felt, and that's a real feat for the spiritual successor to some truly beloved games. It deserves to be the start of a new era of Star Wars flight sims with at least a big enough budget to fit a B-Wing into the next one.
A part of me wonders what its creators could have done instead of make this sequel, which is effectively an iteration. But I’m not going to argue with more Spelunky: a truly ultra-violent game you can play with your kids, ridden with fathomless secrets, magical gif moments and killable sleeping cavemen.
Mafia: Definitive EditionPC
Whether you're well acquainted with Mafia or a newcomer, this is a solid remake that's worth playing. The new tech doesn't quite hide the fact that it's a game built on 18-year-old foundations, but it's a fun, pacey, and nicely presented gangster epic with great set-pieces and a rich setting. There are better shooters out there, but Mafia dresses its action up with style.
Serious Sam 4PC
Serious Sam 4 is fun, and certain ridiculously large battles should get friends laughing together in co-op as they struggle to hose down lines of aliens with lasers. It's deeply janky, though, and the increased scale isn't quite as magical as I'd hoped. Where the new Doom games invoke the spirit of a classic with contemporary genius, this is just more Serious Sam. Still, in one part you get to drive over aliens with a combine harvester, so I recommend it.
This is by far Inkle's most replayable game. Every story, even if it isn't a particularly good one, is wildly different. As a strategy game it's pretty pared down, but the way it seamlessly combines narrative and play is expertly done. The legend of King Arthur has been told and retold countless times before, but never quite like this.
Surgeon Simulator 2PC
All of this makes me wonder if the Surgeon Simulator name needed to be attached to this game at all. Bossa could've left out the blood transfusions and stomach pumps entirely and made a ludicrous, smart puzzle game that was completely operation-free. But then again, that "Simulator" word was part of the joke. It's just never been funnier than it is now.
BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTEPC
For all its flaws, there’s much to love in BPM, even though most of it is detached from the central rhythm mechanic. There’s a lot of rock-infused fun to be had—but you’ll have to dig for it. BPM is a great concept somewhat fumbled, redeemed when it breaks its own rules.
Sure, I want every run to end in victory, but I also want to buy that music stand for the throne room, unlock all the keepsakes, and see how this romantic subplot plays out. Like Orpheus I look back, only unlike him I'm happy to keep repeating this cycle.
If just one aspect of Star Renegades appeals to you, there's almost certainly another game that does it better. But, if you can stomach the occasional dimensional lurch, there's plenty here to like—not least the one idea that is, more or less, the game's own.
Madden NFL 21PC
There is still something inherently weird and exciting about playing such a console-targeted franchise on my desktop; to type in my player's name and college with a keyboard. But that won't sustain many players for long. Madden is desperate for some new ideas, so let's hope some of 21's more exotic ventures foreshadow a more substantial rebuild in the future.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PC
The fantastic score system, impeccable level design, improved visuals, exemplary online mode and local multiplayer means there’s very little to complain about here. Even veterans who blaze through it in a day will likely keep playing competitively. This is everything it needed to be, and feels surprisingly fresh. Lovely stuff.
Not that justification beyond a 14-hour campaign and 'it’s your favourite superheroes and they look amazing' is needed for a day one purchase, based on the game’s early sales. But if Marvel’s Avengers wants to keep loyalists sweet and expand its player-base, it needs a lot more flesh on its vibranium skeletal armature. If only the game could carry some of its narrative prowess from the campaign over into the endgame.
Paradise Killer sets a new standard for investigative gameplay; I felt untethered and invested in the world's mysteries in a way I've never felt in a detective game before. The neon sheen, fantastic soundtrack, quirky characters, and narrative twists make it one of the best whodunits you can play.
Tell Me WhyPC
By the end, the game stopped asking me to engage with two believable humans and instead insisted I care about a fantastical, predictable foe. Videogames are so often about the latter that Tell Me Why's abandonment of the former feels like a real crying shame. In those brief scenes Tell Me Why really felt like it had something special. Guess it really ain't nothing but a heartbreak.
Crusader Kings IIIPC
Crusader Kings 3 is always in motion, always jumping to new stories, so it never lets you get too settled. But it also never ventures far out of its comfort zone. Paradox hasn't taken it in a different direction or made changes that will elicit any gasps. The stuff that made Crusader Kings 2 so enduring has been pushed to the front even more, while some of the bloat that accumulated over the better part of a decade has been chipped away. It's a very sensible sequel.
I'm not saying Iron Harvest should be Starcraft. I don't expect a diesel-powered WW1 era mech to move like a gazelle. But it would benefit from making everything resolve a little quicker, reducing the downtime of collecting resources on the map and manoeuvring mechs into position. All that said, Iron Harvest is still a spectacular and rock-solid RTS—a worthy spiritual successor to one of the best RTS games ever made.