1236 Published Reviews
Whereas From Dust tried to reconcile these two sides of its personality in a single experience, Paper Beast splits them apart. Both sides work in their limited contexts, but they each feel like a tantalising taste of a grander experience that ultimately never transpires.
It'd be great to see the game thrive under the lower price, and I also have hope that a smaller dedicated community can keep it alive. For now, I'm eager to see new heroes, maps, and modes, because Rocket Arena is a game that deserves to stick around. There just aren’t enough opportunities to shoot each other with rockets.
Whether Othercide is for you will depend on whether you have the patience for a roguelike where you can spend a good eight hours feeling like you're making no progress whatsoever, before suddenly breaking through. It surprised me to discover it, but it turns out I do.
It controls like a dream with an analog stick, and there's a fluidity to the monster’s movements that I honestly feel like I will be searching for in other games for years. It just falls short of greatness, settling quickly into its comfort zone as a series of interconnected puzzles, and then failing to surprise me much after that.
There’s a nostalgia about the quirky creatures and vibrant colors that makes even the weirdest of the creatures appealing. Part of me wants to slide their character portraits into a card binder like I did with my favorite Pokémon when I was little. Except Chico. He’s going in the display case with my holographic Charizard.
It's presented gorgeously, the camera finding interesting angles for every scene, and the story hits all its emotional beats, whether it's dealing with loss or puns. Plus, it made me feel a powerful need for sourdough toast with eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans. Maybe a muffin to go. No, not the poppyseed one.
But it is still Halo 3, on my PC. Sure, it's looking a little bruised, and the Master Chief Collection isn't an ideal package. After all this time, there's still nothing quite like Halo 3—and it's about damn time we were given the chance to finish the fight.
Beyond a Steel SkyPC
Filled with what made the original game great, this second trip to Union City has been worth the 26-year hiatus.
Granted, a ponderous, pensive delivery simulator will be a hard sell for a lot of people. But if you value games that defy genre, reward patience, and aren't afraid to get weird, Death Stranding is a wild ride worth taking, even if it stumbles along the way.
This is a brilliant, great-looking F1 sim and just keeps getting deeper the more you look into it. It’s very familiar, certainly, and still lacks the quality of car damage it had 10 years ago. It could also use a little more flair and personality in its presentation. But you’d need to have a massive chip on your shoulder not to say that F1 2020 is magnificent. It’s simply a superb game.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral TownPC
It’s been 17 years since the GBA version and while it’s great that they’re trying to recapture that nostalgia that made people fall in love with the genre in the first place, things have moved on. It makes for an interesting history lesson if you want to see what inspired Stardew Valley and how far things have progressed since then, but perhaps it’s time to put Mineral Town out to pasture.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETEPC
Mind Control Delete is a great chance to jump back into Superhot with fresh eyes, to relearn the game’s rhythm’s and untangle a fresh new web of fake internet conspiracies. If you’re not up for the job, though… well, there will always be another mind willing to take control.
Ambitious in the extreme, Shadow Empire is a unique sci-fi wargame that's a little lost in its own details.
Summer in MaraPC
Summer In Mara has the basic elements of farming and town simulation—crops and crafting and fishing and townsfolk—but lacks the tension of competing priorities, or any tension at all, that might have hooked me.
West of DeadPC
Other games have explored the same themes and mechanics as West of Dead, but rarely has it all come together with such cohesion. The fight's always fair in West of Dead, however brutally difficult it may be, and it always feels like you're enduring it for a reason. The drip-feed of information's expertly judged, and the haunting Purgatory, Wyoming backdrop it plays out on has a way of getting under your skin.
Persona 4 GoldenPC
You’ll quickly settle into its moreish loop, enjoying your time in Inaba more and more as this small town and its inhabitants open up to you. Despite its fantastical elements, Persona 4: The Golden captures the challenges, heartaches and embarrassments of adolescence in a way that feels piercingly true, while giving you an absorbing mystery to solve as a bonus. It may be getting on a bit, but the belated arrival on PC of one of the finest contemporary JRPGs is extremely welcome.
Desperados 3 is bigger, more boisterous and a bit less elegant than Shadow Tactics, but that seems fitting for a game about gunslingers and outlaws. To hell with restraint—give me some dynamite. Failing my way through its frontier towns, homesteads and swamps has been a treat that's only caused me to scream into a pillow in frustration a couple of times, and it's all worth it when a scheme comes together and I get to feel like the slickest cowboy on the prairie.
Although some of the environmental messages are lost, the act scanning Beyond Blue's creatures and exploring its realistic environments makes for a brilliant educational tool. Its chapters feel like a collection of calm, interactive lectures rather than a passionate plea for action—and that's far from being a bad thing.
Valorant is the more accessible Counter-Strike that I didn't know I wanted. Abilities add an intoxicating dynamism to every round and expand the scope of teamwork for this style of FPS. I'm genuinely interested to see how new agents and maps keep things fresh in the years to come. Even if unlocking its full roster is a major grind and cosmetics cost a bunch, Valorant is an exceptional team game that you can play right now without spending a dime.
Circling back to Slay the Spire—you knew I would—its rhythm of stumbling across powerful combos by chance feels more elating when it works, and has more tension when it comes down to the line. Monster Train is a lower dosage of the same hit, though it scratched the same itch for several enjoyable hours and the first couple of covenants, and is an easy recommendation for Slay the Spire devotees.
Overall, though, Timelie is a nicely-made puzzle game. It's subdued atmosphere pairs well well with killing time before bed, which is how I played through it in one night and stayed up later than I meant to.
Deep Rock GalacticPC
Solo or with fellow humans, Deep Rock Galactic is as much a game about learning the hard way and reaping the rewards as it is about dislodging alien terra firma. As such, it's in danger of having many players simply bounce off it, but the hardcore who remain are rewarded with Mariana's Trench levels of depth.
Even Crucible at its best isn’t compelling enough to wait around for. There’s obvious potential in its creative heroes, but my enthusiasm falls flat as soon I actually have to play with them. There are too many shooters out there that do what Crucible does way better. That’s a big problem for a competitive multiplayer game, even one that's free.
Minecraft Dungeons is the perfect introduction to dungeon crawlers for beginners and a breezy adventure for veterans. It doesn't have anything in particular that makes it stand out, but it's a fun, streamlined take on the dungeon crawl genre. There's little complexity—no intricate systems to delve into or epic battle plans to be mapped out, so if you prefer an ARPG to have more depth, then you might be disappointed.
It's just a shame the journey from infant to megashark isn't populated with a wider variety of activities. Like Hooper said, sharks just swim and eat, and that's unfortunately not enough to fill even a short action-RPG like Maneater.