At its core, Returnal is one of the most satisfying third-person shooters I’ve played - it’s Hades via Vanquish. It forces you to meet it at its tempo and doesn’t relent. It makes Doom Eternal seem like Baby’s First Shooter. It’s gorgeous, frenetic, and endlessly replayable. I just wish success wasn’t so tied to luck, which only exacerbates any frustrations you have when repeatedly trekking through areas you’ve already beaten. Even after the credits rolled, I felt satisfied, but that satisfaction was also mixed with relief - the ordeal was finally over and the chiropractor's elbow has been removed from the small of my back.
It Takes Two is, without a doubt, the best co-op game you can play right now. It’s much more ambitious and bigger budget than A Way Out, which was still brilliant in its own way. Josef Fares and the team at Hazelight take things to the next level here, and I can only imagine what they’ll do when they’re inevitably given a triple-A budget. Grab a friend by the hand and pull them through an adventure unlike any other as soon as you can - you won’t regret it.
n an alternate universe, Hitman became one of the best selling series of all time, its influence akin to something like PUBG. In this better world, where the pandemic never even happened, Hitman spawned a genre of its own - the Hitmanlike, where developers put level design and systemic play right at the top of their priority list. Alas, we can’t break through the skin of the world and reach that universe. We’re stuck here. In our world, Hitman stands alone. There’s nothing like it, and Hitman 3 is an outstanding refinement of that unique 21-year-old recipe. Just watch out for that secret ingredient. (It’s poison).
I’m V and the game is Silverhand - I can’t get Cyberpunk 2077 out of my head. I’ve had it a week and played 70 hours, which is probably about as healthy as scooping out my face and replacing it with electronics, but it didn’t feel like work. Like a digital personality loaded onto a biochip, it felt like stepping into another life for a while. It’s a life I can’t wait to relive.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a decent platforming game that’s stuffed with charm, if a little lacking in imagination, which is a shame for a franchise built on creativity. Saying that, if you’ve got children, this is a must-buy for some family-friendly PS5 fun.
It’s still worth playing, but Resident Evil 3 Remake is a step backwards for Capcom, coming off the back of one of the best games of last year. It’s gorgeous to look at, the jump scares will get you, and it’s like stepping into a comfy pair of slippers. But even though your feet are cosy, it never feels like home.
Zombie Army 4 is the reanimated corpse of gaming’s past, stitched together from the best bits of Sniper Elite. It’s a B-movie pastiche stuffed with classic movie references and thousands of heads (and bollocks) to pop. But most importantly, it’s a new game. A new, fairly-enjoyable video game in 2020 – what a concept.
Despite these annoyances, despite the fact that it’s a game designed with decades-old sensibilities, I enjoyed my time with it. It doesn’t have the conclusion we’ve been waiting two decades for and it barely drives the story forward at all, but the climactic battle is as satisfying as that 70-man tussle in the first game’s harbour.