1203 Published Reviews
In Other WatersPC
Even though its world is alien, In Other Waters conjures the same sense of awe conjured by the real ecosystems of our own planet. Even in the most inhospitable places, life manages to find a way to thrive.
It's clear that Ninja Theory has plans to stick with Bleeding Edge: The official website already lists a new fighter (a dolphin in a mechanized water tank named Mekko) and art for an additional map. I'll be keeping an eye on Bleeding Edge to see what other bizarre character designs they cook up, but it'd take a huge overhaul of the combat to get me back on board. Barring that, I'm not hopeful for its future.
RESIDENT EVIL 3PC
Both the Nemesis and Raccoon City are massively underused in this disappointing step back for the series.
With old friends, new enemies, and an exciting story, revisiting City 17 in VR is a thrill in Half-Life: Alyx.
Anything less than perfect performance wouldn't do, because Doom Eternal is one of the most demanding arena shooters I've ever played, a game that teases out and hones every muscle memory committed to my right forearm and left hand fingertips since they graced a mouse and keyboard. It's bright and loud, hyper violent yet tastefully refined, and absolutely draining.
Panzer Corps 2PC
The campaign mechanics are interesting, but there are copious traps for uninformed players to fall into. Panzer Corps 2 brings the classic turn-based wargame into the new decade—at least in appearance. Ultimately, it's still the classic turn-based wargame.
Call of Duty: WarzonePC
There’s a lot to love about Warzone. The ways it limits the randomness of loot and simplifies inventory addresses two of my biggest problems with the battle royale genre. Warzone wants victory to be decided by smart positioning and twitch shooting skill, not your armor tier. The only downside to Warzone’s less-complex loot landscape is a meta that’s potentially too shallow to stay interesting.
Murder by NumbersPC
The story and characters are brilliantly campy and because of its forgiving hint system, I would still recommend it to those who just want to experience the story and don't mind a few brain teasers along the way. It's not managed to completely convert me to a picross lover, but because of its story and cast, I wouldn't say no to more.
ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIVPC
Only die-hard fans of the franchise who want to see Koei's specific takes on these characters will be likely to find much to get excited about here. And given that this is the fourteenth entry in the series, I expected a lot more.
Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryPC
That’s really the appeal in seeing Halo return to PC like this. Packaged with the rest of the Master Chief Collection, it’s an easy way to hop in and see what all the fuss was about 20 years ago. If you’ve spent the last 20 years moulding Halo PC into a custom content chimaera, it’s a harder sell. What Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is offering a clean slate.
Yes, Your GracePC
I don’t have the level of control over events that I’d like (or, to be honest, that I feel I’ve been promised). Still, the story is strong and memorable, and throughout I am made to feel a part of the kingdom of Davern—which ensures I try to be a good king, rather than being somebody disinterestedly clicking dialogue options in a game. It is this firing up of emotions that is the game’s crowning achievement.
Ori and the Will of the WispsPC
I prefer Ori and the Blind Forest for its compactness and simplicity, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps is also worth playing to the end. It trips over its complexity at times, and really doesn't need so much combat, but it's gorgeous, funny, and the triple-jumping could go on forever without getting old.
It's amazing that something as elaborate and well made as Black Mesa is, essentially, a fan project. And doubly so that Valve allowed them not just to make it, but sell it on Steam too. This is a professionally made game, and arguably the best way to experience the events of the Black Mesa Incident on a modern gaming PC.
Maybe the fairest thing I can say about playing Bloodroots is that it's a bit like looking after a dog. Not a well-behaved one, mind—a right mongrel. It's daft, loud, and I know that under all that grime and matted fur is a complex beast I want to love. But damn, if it isn't an exhausting thing to keep around the house.
The big problem with Corruption 2029 is that the same developer put out a very similar game with the same strengths and far fewer shortcomings only two years ago. Fans of Mutant Year Zero might want to check it out to get a bit more of that stealth tactics fix, but anyone else should opt for its more illustrious predecessor.
For a game that costs $10, there's an impressive amount on offer here. The campaign will keep you occupied for a good 10-20 hours depending on how efficient a builder you are, while the level editor offers unlimited creative potential. It also has a strong multiplayer community, playable both cooperatively and competitively in what essentially amounts to medieval Robot Wars.
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemPC
Wolcen's free-form character progression and enthusiasm for experimentation could be great additions to the genre, but most of the good is undone by the sense that, as we're slicing through throngs of enemies, we're really just beta testers. And where it's not buggy and in need or rebalancing, it's incredibly beige. Also, and I really can't stress this enough, Wolcen is a really terrible name.
The Suicide of Rachel FosterPC
The Suicide of Rachel Foster uses these issues as nothing more than storytelling plot points further emphasised with an ending that places the player in the deeply uncomfortable position of being directly in the shoes of the title's subject matter. The ending that I had, and to my understanding there are several, sensationalises a complex issue.
Lair of the Clockwork GodPC
You'll find yourself fending off waves of piñata minions—pinions—with a gun that produces a violent screen-shaking effect to put Vlambeer to shame. Yes, it stumbles occasionally, and some gags fall wide of the mark. But Size Five's biggest and ballsiest adventure to date is the kind of game you'll be quoting for years to come.
DAEMON X MACHINAPC
Daemon X Machina may lack an engaging storyline and a dynamic mission structure, but the action is entertaining and visually striking enough for fans of giant mech combat. If you love huge, destructive war machines, you can wring some fun out of the game before the formula gets old.
LUNA The Shadow DustPC
LUNA The Shadow Dust is a fun adventure with some stellar artwork. The puzzles and their magical twists were a joy to solve, even though there were one or two that left me floundering. As much as I appreciated its mysterious silent storytelling, it left me wanting more and not in a good way. I would have loved to know more about the roles that light and shadow play in this fantasy universe, and how all the gods and saints tie into this dark tower at the edge of the world.
Kentucky Route ZeroPC
Its storytelling is slow but purposeful and blends fiction, history, lore and the supernatural to conjure up an intricate portrait of America and its wanderers. Kentucky Route Zero is a compelling tragedy that focuses on the smaller, but no less important, stories of its characters.
Through the Darkest of TimesPC
Through the Darkest of Times is as dark as it is important. One side of the game explicitly tells the final chapter in Hitler's rise and fall, from the perspective of ordinary citizens trying to navigate the repulsive views of their friends and inconceivably horrific rumours regarding the regime. The other side forces you to juggle the urge for action with the need to care for your group, with no easy answers. It forms a cohesive, uncomfortable whole.
It's a game that's clear about what it wants to achieve and does so in neat and tidy fashion, then. Perhaps it's unfair to chastise it for not doing more. Perhaps we've just been spoiled by the likes of Braid, Inside et al, whose reveals and U-turns leave real impact. Spoiled or not, I was left cold by the scarcity of narrative or stylistic flourishes, but fortunately the difficulty spike's gradient is so expertly judged and the presentation so inherently endearing that The Pedestrian can't help but be a joy for its brief duration.
The Walking Dead: Saints & SinnersPC
That's about it. Saints and Sinners is a superb VR title, easily my favourite VR game since SUPERHOT. If you recently bought a VR headset in anticipation of Half-Life: Alyx, get it out of the box a month early and rig it up for this.