For my money, Resident Evil 2 Remake is right up there with Resident Evil 4 as the best game in the series. It’s the perfect blend of nostalgia and the new, marrying a classic game with contemporary game design, and a prime candidate for those Game of the Year lists. In January! Capcom clearly has no chill.
Where most publishers are trying to squeeze as much as possible out of people, juicing those nostalgia glands for every penny, here we have a sensible price point for a decent older game that’s been blown up to look passable on a modern screen.
Ubisoft were hoping for two things when they decided to give Assassin's Creed a gap year: they wanted to deliver a more polished experience, and they wanted us all to have time to miss shanking people in the neck in a gorgeous historical setting. They have achieved both. Assassin's Creed as a series has had a strange evolution, but going back to the start of the story, the place where the entire Creed was formed, has breathed new life back into it. Absence really does make the heart grow, well, stabbier.
If you look at it as a reboot, a starting point for the series, there's lots of promise in that future. The first Mass Effect had countless problems, far more than here, but that will always be remembered as a classic, despite leaving similar threads hanging. Ultimately, this is a story about laying the foundations of a civilization, and it feels like BioWare were doing the same for the future of the franchise. In that way, these RPG developers have become Pathfinders themselves.
Despite some minor annoyances, NieR: Automata is brilliant. It strikes the balance between RPG and action game unlike anything else in the genre. It’s a game you kind of have to meet halfway, with a story that gets more complex and interesting the more you prod at it. If you’re willing to commit, though, you’ll be rewarded.
Despite some small niggles – such as stealth being so rudimentary it feels redundant, and the aforementioned uninspired late-game location – this is the best horror game since Creative Assembly's wonderful Alien Isolation. It's best if players slowly creak open the game's doors themselves, discovering the story and set-pieces on their own, as this is an experience that works best when it's free to surprise you, like a rotting doberman crashing through a window.