1246 Published Reviews

Maneater

Xbox One
7.00
Josh WiseMay 23, 2020
The price that Maneater pays for its satirical too-muchness is the true wonder and horror of the unadorned depths, summed up nowhere better than with its star. The body of a shark—the long, lethal slash of grey, the basins of impenetrable black, and the impossibly widening maw—is a nightmare of natural design. It needs no mutation.

HUNTDOWN

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMay 19, 2020
It’s that latter film that’s been going round in my head, since playing Huntdown. Its closing lines are fired between a policeman and his prisoner: “You’re pretty fancy, Wilson.” “I have moments.” Huntdown isn’t fancy. It rarely swells beyond the sum of its parts; with parts as precision-tooled as this, it doesn’t need to. But now and then throughout, there are sights to be treasured.

John Wick Hex

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMay 09, 2020
This is hardly the nerve-igniting spectacle available in the films, which are, in effect, a string of level-winning replays. What we are offered instead are the chilled thrills of the cerebral superman; the man who lives in an existential rhythm all his own; the man for whom the stresses and distractions of others are like distant thuds against a wall of ice; the man who comes and goes as easy and cool as the wind. In short, we are offered the chance to be Keanu Reeves.

Streets of Rage 4

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseApr 29, 2020
The people that have been waiting for this, in one way or another, for over two decades, may well feel some missing part of their soul slotting back into place, like a silicone cartridge. I can’t vouch for such powers, but I will say that when the credits rolled, I felt better, gunning for action, as if life were a thing to rage through with a smile on your face. How often does that happen?

Deliver Us the Moon

PS4
7.00
Josh WiseApr 27, 2020
The game they have made is well worth playing—for anyone who looks to the stars—if only for a single wondrous scene. About halfway through, you have to wrangle an antenna array, which means driving a buggy across the surface. It was there, cruising over a silvery, cratered plain, that I realised the mission was a success. The moon, for a few moments, was delivered.

Moving Out

PS4
7.00
Imogen DonovanApr 23, 2020
Moving Out is a puzzle game that prioritises co-op capers in a peculiar land where smooth moves are anything but. It's a game that pays particular care to chaos, as the player careens and lurches into dressers and shelves, scattering their contents satisfyingly.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseApr 22, 2020
As a result of magnifying such a comparably miniscule portion of play, the pacing in the remake lumbers. Still, the prospect of leaving planet Earth for a few hours comes at a premium in our present moment.

Spyder

iOS
7.00
Josh WiseApr 14, 2020
As the mission wears on, its conceit gathers cobwebs, but do we always need to be blown away?

RESIDENT EVIL 3

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMar 30, 2020
Resident Evil 3 is a play for our imagination as much as our memory. It understands that the fear we felt long ago didn’t fade; it took root in our brains and mutated into myth. And this is what it might look like.

Nioh 2

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMar 23, 2020
The curse of any Soulslike is that, sooner or later, it must face up to the fact that there is no such thing. With Nioh 2, Team Ninja has done a better job than anyone else at making smart innovations to a treasured design template, but you can’t innovate art, or the rolling fogs of sensation that envelop you when you’re in the company of something you can’t explain.

DOOM Eternal

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMar 17, 2020
It’s only when you stop playing, feeling somehow frazzled, energised, and jittery, that you realise the game has as much in common with the audiovisual arts as it does with a double-shot of espresso.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Switch
9.00
Imogen DonovanMar 16, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is beautiful and peaceful, offering safe harbour from the stresses of everyday life. There’s so much to do and so much to see, so what’s wrong with making a back seat?

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

PCXbox One
9.00
Josh WiseMar 10, 2020
It has enough belief in its genre to proceed with nothing other than earnest devotion, unburdened with the need to boast a USP and brimming with the confidence that comes with knowing that, in the beauty stakes and beyond, there are very few, in the rarefied realms of indie or AAA, who can challenge it.

Dreams

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseMar 06, 2020
Dreams is devoted to the realisation of exciting wishes, and with it Media Molecule has its defining, if not quite definable, game. The limits of its possibilities will become clear only as they are pushed back. “To the dream ‘No’ does not seem to exist,” said Freud. We shall see.

Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseFeb 11, 2020
Those intoxicated by the game’s dreamy brew may argue that there are no detours—that, like the Zero, you’re either on it or you’re not. If you’re anything like me and Conway, however, you’ll be somewhere in-between.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics

Switch
5.00
Imogen DonovanFeb 07, 2020
Tactics is for those who’ve watched The Dark Crystal, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the depth and richness of the show. You should give that a go, though. I know it’s got Muppets in it. It’s still good.

Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Xbox One
7.00
Josh WiseFeb 03, 2020
What you hear is as potent as what you see; the soundtrack throbs with synth, evoking the apocalyptic twangs of The Warriors, and there’s nothing like having the eerie quiet of a new area smothered by a rising, rotting chorus of moans. The mood wafts above it all, overpowering any laughable suggestions of plot or character—neither of which fuels Zombie Army 4.

JOURNEY TO THE SAVAGE PLANET

Xbox One
7.00
Josh WiseJan 27, 2020
The game’s prevailing irony is that, counter to the corporate appetites of those back at Kindred, it’s modest in scope; its ambitions don’t overreach, and any repetition or drabness in its mechanics is spiced by its humour and its modest run time. It can be bigger. It can be more. I’m glad it’s not. And it marks an impressive first outing for the newly liberated developers at Typhoon Studios, too, for whom reality has an even greater irony in store: they have just been bought by Google.

Wattam

PCPS4
5.00
Josh WiseJan 03, 2020
Wattam should be played, if for no other reason than to see a designer expressing ambivalence about his own ideas.

Life is Strange 2

Xbox One
6.00
Josh WiseDec 05, 2019
It isn’t that we miss the mists of Arcadia Bay specifically, or that we long to retread old ground; it’s the slow etching of stories, scattered with care.

Shenmue 3

PS4PC
8.00
Josh WiseNov 28, 2019
With Shenmue III, we are offered a glimpse into a gifted mind, constantly turning the everyday into play.

Pokémon Shield

SwitchSwitch
9.00
Imogen DonovanNov 26, 2019
Pokémon Sword and Shield is a bold move into a new generation. There are technical hiccups, but those pale in comparison to the bustling Wild Area and the charming Gen 8 additions.

STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order

PCPS4Xbox One
8.00
Josh WiseNov 21, 2019
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a string of wisely chosen influences, and it delivers on the long-overdue promise of a fun Jedi action-adventure. Bugs and design wrinkles irritate.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Switch
7.00
Richard WalkerNov 05, 2019
A fun collection of events, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has some chaff amongst the wheat, but overall, this an entertaining package that will no doubt be a party favourite.

Death Stranding

PS4
8.00
Josh WiseNov 01, 2019
Death Stranding is filled with things that must be seen, a sprawling, genre-spanning sci-fi adventure from a developer like no other. It's tackier clumps of writing and stunt casting seem overwrought, but its direction and its stars shine brightest