174 Published Reviews
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s FurySwitch
Through both of its adventures, the wealth of fun ideas, swift-pacing and superb level design continue to show why Mario remains a fixture of the modern AAA scene, making this yet another must-play experience for franchise fans and platformer aficionados alike.
Hitman 3 is a masterful final chapter for IO Interactive’s reboot trilogy, offering a range of stunning sandboxes filled with satisfying assassination opportunities and a dynamic set of tools that reward experimentation. With the studio closing out its reboot in style, IO has cemented it as the definitive interpretation of Hitman and one of the most consistent trilogies of the last decade.
Whilst I wish Paradise Killer’s mechanical detective fangs were a little sharper, it oozes style and its writing and world-building are out of this world. It’s not a lie when I say I wanted to stay forever here in paradise where love dies. I already know as truth/fact that when it comes to this game my love will never die.
Assassin's Creed ValhallaPS4
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a fun but flawed new entry in Ubisoft’s iconic action franchise, with a bloated campaign that wears out its welcome and a ton of bugs for players remaining on current-generation platforms. Still, what’s here is actually some of the most confident Assassin’s Creed content to date, with thrilling story beats, refined exploration, and enjoyable side content.
After one hell of a year – one in which I haven’t been able to socialise with friends in real life – it’s an absolute joy to escape to this cosy little bolthole and shoot some pool. Pure Pool is exactly what its name suggests and an essential purchase for all fans of the sport.
Hotshot Racing is a go-faster stripe of a game that comfortably outpaces the likes of GearClub Unlimited and Horizon Chase Turbo. Well designed tracks and responsive handling give the game the substance that is equal to its stylish looks.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little HopePS4
While it’s a step up from last year’s Man of Medan, Little Hope is a flawed second entry in Supermassive’s horror anthology series. Its gameplay is better than ever and the story has moments of gold, but this tale of witchcraft and horrifying demons can’t help but be overwhelmed by its lofty scope and frustrating narrative issues.
Pikmin 3 DeluxeSwitch
Pikmin 3 is undimmed age and given a new lease of life on Nintendo Switch. A host of changes across content, controls, and modes make this deluxe edition the definitive one.
Lost Ember wears its influences proudly but it doesn’t surpass them. Nonetheless, it’s a personal tale told with style on a large and frequently beautiful canvas. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch version suffers from performance problems that are detrimental to the overall experience. If they can be fixed – and we’ll update this review if they are – you can happily add another half-point to our score.
Super Mario 3D All-StarsSwitch
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a limited time release in both physical and digital formats. We can only guess at the reason but whatever misgivings you have about the nature of the collection – or its position as Nintendo’s big fall release – it’s still an essential purchase. The three included games look better than ever and provide hours and hours of exquisitely designed, eye-bleedingly inventive gameplay.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PS4
If you were a big fan of the early Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games, or if you just w11nt to see what all the fuss was about, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a fantastic return to form for the beloved series. Activision has a fantastic platform here and I only hope they continue to build on it. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and 4 are right there!
RPG Maker MVSwitch
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an RPG maker, and now I am. Creating games in RPG Maker MV is more of a grind than I expected, but the platform makes levelling up game development skills an enjoyable experience. There are compromises on console, but it’s still recommended for aspiring game creators.
AWE offers an interesting first look at the future Remedy envisions for both the Alan Wake and Control franchises alongside featuring a terrifying main antagonist and some creepy boss encounters. That being said, it’s still somewhat underwhelming, acting as a teaser for the future with few crazy story beats or new features to get excited about.
Although it doesn’t offer many game-changing new features, EA Sport’s UFC 4 is without question the most comprehensive release in EA Vancouver’s MMA franchise. Setting aside some issues with the career mode, it offers a solid update to UFC 3, with smoother combat, a more accessible entry point for new players and the most complete roster of fighters yet.
Windbound almost feels like a mixing pot of some of this decade’s most visually striking and compelling games, and for the most part, the end result is surprisingly effective. It could do with more depth, but its focus on exploration and fantastic ship-building mechanics make for a pretty liberating survival experience.
The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED]Switch
The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is nostalgia trip that’s mysterious, brutal, and sometimes even enjoyable. It’s a hard game to love, but an easy one to admire. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but it certainly stands out in a morass of bland Nintendo eShop releases.
Star Wars Episode I: RacerSwitch
In many respects, Star Wars Episode I: Racer doesn’t feel like part of the current Star Wars universe. With its locations and characters all but ignored by recent entries into the franchise, the game is a race into a fictional dead end, and it’s all the better for it.
It actively heightens the late-night taxi driver experience, painting the gloomy canvas with shades of solitude. In the end, this egg needed more time to boil. But I applaud what Monkey Moon achieved with Night Call and I’m genuinely curious to see what they make next.
The Outer WorldsSwitch
The Outer Worlds on Nintendo Switch is a hard game to judge. The underlying quality of the narrative experience is there to be enjoyed in every glorious detail, but the technical shortcomings are hard to ignore. In a recent interview, production director Eric DeMil said that Obsidian is “very happy” with the game’s performance. I wish I could say the same.
Maneater really does do what it says on the tin. It’s a hyper-violent, super fun and wonderfully tongue in cheek shark simulator that lets players live out their fantasy of becoming the ocean’s most notorious predator. Yet, it’s beyond that where Maneater struggles, as its repetitive missions and frequent padding prevent it from sustaining its 10-hour runtime.
Lonely Mountains: DownhillSwitch
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is crammed full of those moments of elegant crispness, to the exclusion of most anything else. It’s almost exhausting how postcard-pretty the game is, but don’t worry: you’ll crash into a tree or a rock before too long, and come back down to earth with an unceremonious thump.
Thankfully, none of the game’s visual splendour appears to have been lost in the move to Switch. The comic book visuals look bold and crisp – in both TV and handheld modes – and the frame rate is 99% rock solid. Font size can be an issue in some menus, but it’s a beautiful game that plays to the strengths of the Switch.
RESIDENT EVIL 3PS4
There’s a lot about Resident Evil 3 to love. Its combat is meatier, its linearity makes for an interesting change of pace, and Nemesis is pure nightmare fuel in all the right ways. Yet, the game’s pace is simply too hasty for its brief runtime. In the end, it’s an enjoyable – but noticeably rushed – remake, that never quite matches the heights of its outstanding predecessor.
Control: The FoundationPS4
With more sensational world-building, slick combat and compelling narrative, The Foundation feels like a superb next chapter to Control’s story. It might not do much with the ideas introduced within the original campaign, but with Control being one of last year’s best games, that’s far from a disappointment.
Doom Eternal features all the raw, raucous action of the 2016 reboot, but for reasons we can’t comprehend, is dragged out to an interminable length. Technically solid, blistering in parts, but lacking in soul.