1374 Published Reviews
Crisbell's ability to manipulate the flow of time is placed front and centre of CrisTales' narrative and combat, but while it's an interesting idea used to great visual effect in the bright and often charming world, it's cripplingly underutilised within the rest of the game.
Warhammer 40,000: BattlesectorPC
Battlesector is an evocative take on 40K, and a pacey tactics game that sometimes made me scratch my chin and consider flanking manoeuvres, and sometimes made me go "fuck it", activate the jump packs and spin up the chainswords.
Last Stop is one of the least satisfying narrative games I've played in terms of the mechanics underpinning everything. It's really basic stuff, even compared to early Telltale games, where you at least got the chance to snuffle around the environments for extra flavour.
It's as if a grand entry to an overarching canon—filled with quirks, humor, and wondrous attention to detail—was miraculously miniaturized to fit into a fortnight's worth of lunch breaks. Maybe the great sagas of videogames don't need to be strewn out over gargantuan level caps and supersized open worlds. Maybe all it takes is a transcendent vibe.
Swords of Legends OnlinePC
It's cool to see SOLO buck the negative stereotypes associated with a lot of MMOs. I just wish it was more approachable. There's a lot to like about it if you can persist through its initial leveling grind and are patient enough to deal with its crappy localization. I'd only recommend SOLO to people who have already bounced off of the genre's bigger names like Final Fantasy 14 and are desperate for an alternative.
At its best, Crowfall is a solid PvP MMO with a good throne war system and deep character progression, but it's lightyears away from the player-shaped EVE Online beater it was championed as.
Another superlative simulation of the Formula One world, now with an enjoyable story mode too.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of RuinPC
Monster Hunter Stories 2 may look cute, but it still retains the huge amount of depth the series is known for. No, it's not as expansive or as fast-paced as the likes of Monster Hunter World but that works in its favour. Stories 2 is the approachable series entry point I've been waiting for and has inspired me to return to other games in the series to test out my skills again.
Despite its understated victories, Old World is a brilliant 4X, and one that I'd actually recommend over Civilization at the moment. It feels like a genuine step forward for the genre, boasting so many inventive, smart design decisions. And I can't believe I've reached the end of the review before even mentioning the exceptional soundtrack from composer Christopher Tin.
But I'm not sure anyone in Cruelty Squad is thinking kind thoughts. This world is sick and rotten, the putrid meat falling off the bone, and all by terrible, beautiful design. All that's left is the brittle skeleton of our favorite pastime here on PC Gamer: a computer game. And holy cow, it's a good one.
A larger, more interactive universe, some juicer off-the-main-path content, maybe a few new environments for our languid, afternoon friendship outings. It's all so easy to imagine. For now, Scarlet Nexus is a great promise and a good game.
LEGO Builder's JourneyPC
The attempt to build on its finely sculpted first half is unfortunately clumsy, sacrificing much of the gentle, open-ended approach that makes it so successful, but the way in which it captures with such care and attention something so beloved through its physicality and tactility, even in this virtual format, makes this a very special game.
It's a fine way to provide milestones for newcomers, but I like playing Chivalry 2 because it's fun to win fights or come up with stupid roleplaying ideas, not because I am driven to unlock more stuff. It's a novel idea, games that are fun regardless of how much stuff you can collect, but I think it could catch on.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark AlliancePC
It's a reminder of what makes the Forgotten Realms such a great fantasy setting, and a welcome chance to return to Icewind Dale, a place a lot of PC gamers, myself included, love. If you're more of an RPG fan, you might find the non-stop combat a bit much. This is a game about killing monsters above all—and it's some of the most joyously brutal monster-killin' on PC, even if you don't have anyone else to slay with.
The mechanics largely work, and when they're going smoothly they're a joy, giving you the kind of run-based deckbuilding fix you want. But games like Roguebook have to rely on either being immaculately and tightly designed to achieve perfection, or else provide such a sprawl of fun content that you won't care otherwise. Roguebook doesn't have either. A good game for both enthusiasts and idle fans of deckbuilding, but it doesn't reach for the stars.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2PC
I'm impressed by Contracts 2. I like its Ronseal approach to executing its design, that it doesn't get distracted by tacking on a multiplayer mode or adding a loot system. The maps are fantastic, the sniping is great, the long-shot contracts are smartly conceived and fun to tinker with. A perfectly enjoyable stealth sandbox.
The balance of narrative and deck-building made for a much more engaging experience than I often have with card-based titles, even if it feels like more could be done to connect those systems and bolster the storytelling. Still, I'm going to remember my adventures with Sal and the little moments of friendship and betrayal throughout each run. I like playing as a grifter; it ain't much but it's a living.
Incursion defences, maddeningly, give no control over where your people start even after a month of fortifying the map. And it desperately needs an order confirmation option. I cannot believe how often I have to say this in 2021. But I am utterly in love with Wildermyth. With this full release bringing it to five main campaigns and fleshing out endless generic ones, it will satisfy your RPG craving like nothing else.
World of Warcraft: The Burning CrusadePC
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic's endless grind is brutal, but the way it fosters community and relationships is still magical.
Necromunda: Hired GunPC
I hope Streum On Studio now gets that time to polish and refine and maybe strip out some of the more egregious concessions to modernity (loot systems in FPSes can get in the bin). Sort all that out and Hired Gun could be one of those games the industry looks back in five years and calls "underrated." Right now though, it isn't underrated. It's just a bit shit.
Solasta: Crown of the MagisterPC
Solasta's storytelling may not be up to much, but its tactical combat and accessible approach to D&D rules make it worth considering for CRPG fans.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm GroundPC
I'm grateful to Storm Ground for introducing me to the Maggotkin, but I think I'll go off and research them online rather than keep wading through a game that misjudges what it is that makes roguelikes fun.
Stonefly left me in two minds. The feeling you get when you're effortlessly bouncing from branch to branch is unlike anything else I've played. I love the concept too, the idea of a mech that is not simply a killing machine, but one that has been inspired by the gentleness of nature is something I've not seen realised like this before.
I'm endlessly impressed with how much careful consideration has gone into turning a playground pastime mostly ignored by videogames into a rich competitive romp. There's nothing quite like it, which is why you should really give it a shot for free while you can.
I’m very glad for Strangeland: It's smart, unapologetically creepy and gloomy, and knows exactly what it wants to do. Should other games follow Strangeland's deep dark footsteps however, they'll need to do a better job of telling their stories with sharp and compelling game design.