1432 Published Reviews
Final Fantasy VII Remake IntergradePC
A terrific return to form for singleplayer Final Fantasy that makes the series' future exciting, in a barebones (though functional) PC package.
Final Fantasy XIV: EndwalkerPC
It's impressive that the team is still able to take FF14's trappings and crystalise them into new forms even so many years on, from the way jobs and dungeons feel like the best they've ever been, to their confidence when it comes to experimenting with the relationship between gameplay and storytelling. But while there are some stunning vistas and lighting effects, and the detailing on new armour designs are enchanting, the age of the core game can't help but show, smooth as it is to play.
Farming Simulator 22PC
I sorta get it. I remember hauling a payload of grain to the mill and passing by a handful of nondescript NPCs on the sidewalk, all of whom looked like they were plucked out of some open source asset depository from 2007, which did bring a smile to my face. Amid the aureate military shooters and indominable open-world adventures, Farming Simulator certainly does occupy its own lane out of time. I was susceptible to its curious magic, I just wish others could more easily fall under the spell.
There’s work to be done inside the mountain, then, for both Warpzone Studios and myself. Hammerting’s lacking the polish to grease the wheels of its impressive management hybrid, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Like my overworld neighbours, I’d take something new and unusual over the same old stock any day.
That’s the thing: it's never bad. In fact, it's a fun time all in all, and the skating is sublime. I just never, ever shook the feeling that something weightier or substantial was missing. Hyper Light Drifter haunts me like a broken memory, leaving me to try and piece it back together even years later. This is a half remembered dream already. A pleasant dream, but fast fading. My kingdom for the game Solar Ash could have been.
Halo Infinite really is good Halo. For lapsed fans of the Bungie games like me, Halo Infinite is a strong return to form, and in the heat of battle it's the best running and gunning the series has ever had. It's painfully easy to imagine a world where Infinite could have easily been one of my favourite entries to date. But between an open world that feels largely redundant and a story that can't shed the series' baggage, Halo Infinite's campaign falls just shy of being great Halo.
Fights in Tight SpacesPC
An excellent turn-based strategy that shines in spite of some minor annoyances.
Ruined King: A League of Legends StoryPC
Flashbacks fill in some of the gaps, but not enough to make me invested in the world. I suspect you’ll get much more out of Ruined King if you’re already on-board with the characters and setting of League of Legends.
Jurassic World Evolution 2PC
You know something is bound to go wrong eventually and, like watching the movies for the first time, you’re left on edge just waiting for the inevitable to happen. There’s nothing else quite like it and, given the simplicity of the simulation elements, this unique dynamic is easily one of the biggest reasons to recommend Jurassic World Evolution 2.
Battlefield 2042 makes gutsy changes to a series that needed them, and sets a new standard for built-in custom mode support.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter OnePC
I begrudgingly polished off the story eventually, but I've still got a few outstanding conundrums to solve, and a save waiting for me. It's impressive that, as dense as it is, and as long as it is, it still manages to stay focused, bandit lairs aside, on the important stuff. It's a miracle—an open world with almost no bullshit. You're here to sleuth, and that's exactly what you'll get to do, nearly uninterrupted, for 40 hours.
Call of Duty: VanguardPC
CoD's multiplayer is as dependable as ever, but Vanguard's campaign and Zombies mode fail to capitalise on what could be interesting ideas.
It's still one of the best dungeon crawlers ever made, but now it's on PC.
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon RoarsPC
What a shame that so little of this takes flight. The current trend for leaning into videogaming's tabletop roots has proven such fertile ground—from Inscryption's onion-like layers to the tarot-fueled brilliance of Hand of Fate (a game you'd do much better to discover in place of this)—that I'm sad that a singular talent like Taro couldn't do more with it. A real busted flush.
Football Manager 2022PC
If it were a player, it would be world-class, the kind of signing that excites the dourest of fan. But without appropriate management, it's Gareth Bale. Flashes of godlike genius interspersed with periods of mysterious mediocrity. It's a vocation rather than a game, but as the saying goes: if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
Forza Horizon 5PC
Playground's singular series gets a lush new setting, but otherwise remains committed to tuning an already winning formula. But even a marginal improvement on the best racing series around is worth celebrating.
It might not be the perfect extreme sports game, but it's compelling on its own terms. A simple, socially awkward jamboree of adrenaline and player progression with some suspect tunes in the background. To put it another way: it might not sound like it, but trust me—it's hip.
Marvel's Guardians of the GalaxyPC
The player chooses each line in the song, and Star-Lord does his best to half-mumble the lyrics to stay on Lipless' good side. Guardians of the Galaxy desperately wants to be a technicolor, starfaring adventure worthy of the multimedia powerhouse that shares its namesake. It accomplishes that with its story, its voice cast, and its wonderfully cheeky '80s pastiche. If only the technical side could better keep up with those ambitions.
Age of Empires IVPC
In a series where a single game can manifest into its best form years, even decades, later, and the only thing really standing in the way of Age of Empires 4’s growth is the ongoing success of its predecessors. It offers enough new ideas amidst the sturdy old foundations to rank among them—even if it’s not yet ready to rule.
If you ask me, and you have, a real and formidable talent has emerged in Original Fire Games. Somehow, using some cute little cars, a camera perspective from the arcades of yesteryear and surprising sim touches, it makes all-out racing sims feel a bit like doing a tax return by comparison.
In its initial hours, Inscryption is an eerie delight full of mystery. That feeling fades long before it ends, and now I think I'd prefer if board game night moved on and we played something else, even if it is some Kickstarter nonsense that comes with five kilograms of plastic figurines and takes half the night to explain.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of AshesPC
The last act gets pretty wild and is easily the best payoff Supermassive has set up so far, but the journey to get there is pretty damn compelling too. Like so much horror, it teeters on a perilous tightrope between stupid and cool, and it doesn't always land on the right side, but it's still fantastically entertaining even if it's making you groan.
New World's attempt to tick all the boxes has left it feeling scattershot and underbaked. The PvE is the main victim, which seems to exist purely out of obligation. But the sandbox, with its competing factions and hypnotic crafting loop, kept me logging back in, at least for a couple of hundred hours. There's still enjoyment to be had, then, and the busy servers make this the best time to experience what New World actually does well, but now that I've seen all it has to offer, I don't feel a compulsion to continue.
The Good LifePC
As I reflect on The Good Life, it's with a warmth I didn't feel when I was traipsing back and forth across the wilderness to gather bafflingly elusive crafting components for villagers that seemed to have confused me with Deliveroo. But the more you explore a place, the more you come to know it. The more it starts to feel like a real place. After solving countless tiny problems, tangling with bigger supernatural ones, and literally marking my territory with litres of dog piss, I've come to regard Rainy Woods as a home.
Back 4 BloodPC
I'm lucky to have played Back 4 Blood the way it's meant to be, because it's some of the best co-op fun I've ever had in a videogame. And while it's a bummer that Back 4 Blood likely won't have the same mod support that spawned incredible player-made content in Left 4 Dead 2 (it is a live service game in 2021, after all), I'm excited to see what's ahead on Turtle Rock's annual pass. Apparently there's a new story, Cleaners, and special Ridden types on the way. Count me in.