487 Published Reviews
Granted, the killcam remains one of the main draws, the splattering blood and organs tickling some sick little centre in my brain, each and every time it happens, but there's so much more to SE5 than that. Rebellion evidently knows what it's doing with the continuing adventures of Karl Fairburne, and Sniper Elite 5 sees the studio in fine fettle, working well within its comfort zone to deliver an unapologetically entertaining and remarkably varied bullet-riddled experience.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong's lack of polish and attention to detail drags it down into the doldrums, its low-level production values ultimately scuffing what is otherwise a fairly interesting and complex game of vampiric machinations and intrigue.
As a 4v1 multiplayer experience, Evil Dead: The Game covers all of the requisite bases, but the balance is slightly askew, making achieving victory as the Kandarian demon remarkably tough; and the game's solitary match type can grow a mite stale after a while. As a foundation and platform to grow and develop, however, Evil Dead: The Game has a lot to offer from the outset, but how groovy you'll find it all really depends on how much you love all things Evil Dead.
Choosing Hiroki's path, confronting his past failures, and ultimately deciding his fate, while engaging in enjoyable, meticulously crafted sword-swishing duels, ensures that Trek to Yomi is a journey worth embarking upon. While it has the occasional annoyance, it's an experience that can feel hugely rewarding.
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: RemakeXbox One
Equally, the soundtrack is absolutely brilliant, and will instantly transport any fans of the series back to the sticky carpeted floors of your local arcade. Simply put, it’s hard not to have a good time with The House of the Dead, despite the game’s best efforts. But unless it miraculously gets patched with true lightgun support to combat its glaring control issues, it’s also a difficult title to recommend.
MotoGP 22 is certainly one of the most rewarding, paying off perseverance in spades. Its sense of speed is superb, its handling is tight yet exacting, and there are few racing experiences as unapologetically pure. This proves to be a good thing, and, as such, it's hard not to heartily recommend giving MotoGP 22 a fair shake.
Chinatown Detective AgencyXbox One
It's unfortunate, then, that Chinatown Detective Agency falls short of greatness. There's the makings of something truly special here, but the delivery has been painfully fumbled, and by the time the credits rolled and the sun had set on Amira Darma's journey, I was left feeling furious that the early promise had given way to something messy and bereft of the required polish.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga looks every bit as tactile as the real thing, right down to the little seams in the plastic, flecked with tiny deposits of sand and grime, to the texture and printed designs on each character's shiny surfaces. LEGO games have always done a great job of replicating their source material, but Skywalker Saga goes beyond, imbuing its bricks and minifigures with a vibrant life and energy.
Should you thirst for more of Borderlands' brand of anarchic silliness and relentless shooting and looting, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands won't leave you feeling shortchanged. Though repetitive in spots – especially during the self-contained combat encounter sequences – there's an energy and brio to developer Gearbox Software's game that's difficult to resist, and enough to distinguish from the mainline series from whence it sprang.
Though its selection of features and modes offer the most comprehensive and all-encompassing wrestling experience in ages, it's the overhauled gameplay that finally returns the series to its former glory. Not since the heady days of WWE Smackdown! Just Bring It or Here Comes the Pain has a WWE game been so eminently playable and just plain fun, free of muddled gameplay systems and extraneous mechanics. WWE 2K22 is a welcome return to form and no mistake.
Given how insanely enjoyable the game's shoot and slice action is, it's a genuine shame that there's nothing more to Flying Wild Hog's threequel beyond the solo campaign. It's an exceptionally bizarre oversight that makes for a package that can't help but feel rather slight and incomplete.
The Story mode may only be fleetingly enjoyable, with nothing to warrant playing it again once it's finished, but the Career mode and Race Creator will keep you playing for countless hours, tearing up the asphalt in stunning venues like San Francisco, London, Havana, Paris, Shanghai, and Moscow. Jaw-dropping visuals (racing in the rain is especially breathtaking) are the icing on the cake, especially on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Like DIRT 5, GRID Legends is another exciting and moreish Codemasters racer - the more you play it, the better it gets.
Elden Ring’s combination of classic Dark Souls gameplay, with an open world that is ripe for exploration, is an utter treat for fans of FromSoftware, but also serves as the most welcoming and accessible game to newcomers that the studio has made to date. It’s rare to play a game that is so difficult to put down, but so easy to pick up. Elden Ring might not be totally unique, but you could make the case that it’s FromSoftware’s best, most accomplished game yet.
From a flooded village to a sunken train station, cleaving through sheets of arctic ice, and climbing ancient structures, by the time you've reached the end of FAR: Changing Tides, you'll feel like you've been on a proper journey, you and your boat going through the whole thing together, overcoming whatever lies in your way. Remarkably pretty, wonderfully meditative, and enjoyable while it lasts, FAR: Changing Tides is a fantastic voyage worth embarking upon.
The King of Fighters XVXbox Series X
KOF XV is nonetheless a superlative fighting game, which only makes it all the more upsetting that it's missing features that have been a series staple for ages. Should you not care about such things, then SNK's latest King of Fighters outing will undoubtedly scratch any face-pounding itch, its various systems proving deep yet intuitive, resulting in bouts that are almost invariably close-fought and thrilling.
There are few feelings as transcendent as reaching a trancelike flow state, grinding along the spine of an expired hulking beast's half-sunken ribcage in the desert, spinning and tweaking a grab as cactus people look on in awe, landing into a nose manual, springing into a Firecracker, and leaping to the next ramp, wallride, or grind. It's always been one of the greatest pleasures in the Tony Hawk games, and it's every bit as thrilling and rewarding in OlliOlli World, especially when you hit the perfect landing, and roll over the finish line with a big smile on your face.
Some fall under the category of busywork, like climbing and activating windmills, scaling massive skyscrapers to find airdrops, or engaging in far too many tiresome parkour challenges, but, generally, the quality of side quests is such that you'll want to pursue and complete as many of them as you can, prior to, and after the epilogue has concluded the core narrative. How that transpires will be wildly different, based on the choices you've made, and if you're fond of a good water-cooler moment, then Dying Light 2 Stay Human will have you covered. It's pretty infectious.
There is some enjoyment to be had here, stalking through each level, ruthlessly executing aliens with stealth takedowns, and efficiently completing missions. But a shortage of objectives, uninspired design, dull enemies, and unsatisfying gunplay conspire to make Rainbow Six Extraction feel more like a spin-off expansion for Rainbow Six Siege, rather than a full-fledged game in its own right. If it's immediate extra-terrestrial shootery you seek, this will fit the bill, although there are myriad superior alternatives out there.
The Gunk tries to be a lot of things all at once, and occasionally it can feel a little mechanically confused. However, with a gorgeous alien world to explore, a sinister mystery to unravel, and excellent voice performances that keep you invested in the characters’ relationship, The Gunk actually ends up being a fair bit better than the sum of its parts. Once you start, you’ll find it hard not to be sucked in.
And that’s the thing with Halo Infinite - the most important thing, the shooting, is at the top of its game. The new weapons, the new ammo tweaks in the campaign, the grappleshot, everything combines to elevate Halo Infinite above all the other shooters in the shooter space. While the open-world campaign definitely has its pros and cons, there's no denying the sheer quality of the gunplay and the array of cool toys and vehicles at your disposal – it really works for the most part. Throw in the best Halo multiplayer gameplay since… well, possibly ever, and Halo Infinite is almost certain to put Microsoft’s flagship series back on the map.
Its story of redemption is compelling enough to prop up the action, and the wealth of side missions, random encounters, and other activities, as well as upgrades, abilities, and challenges, help sustain the game's generous runtime. While the pace can occasionally seem uneven and certain moments might have you tearing your hair out, there's no faulting the level of ambition on display here. There are definite flaws, but they're eclipsed by all of the good stuff: Chorus is a superb story-driven spacefaring shooter, stuffed with blistering action, and neat innovations that set it apart.
Evil Genius 2 is a game in which you can create a doomsday device and bring the world to its knees – if that doesn't make you want to get caught in its diabolical clutches, then we don't know what will.
Farming Simulator 22 remains a hugely niche experience of unique complexity, which is precisely why it has garnered such a fervent following among virtual farmers. For anyone fancying a more casual dalliance with a tractor, though, Giants' game is a huge time-sink, and its lack of genuinely useful in-game help might be a bit of a turn-off.
The audio design is minimal, sometimes simply offering up the serene sounds of nature, before ramping up slightly to some really nice, relaxing tracks. Combined with the lack of peril, it results in a game that’s very easy-going, without giving up its engaging game mechanics.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter OneXbox Series X
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One emerges as the most assured video game take on the literary sleuth to date. Main cases are engaging and suitably serpentine, while side cases and other distractions help in fleshing things out.