Persona 3 Reload marks an excellent return to the game that really started the love for the franchise. Bringing in many of the elements that made later games great, modernising the original, it makes for an excellent way to introduce yourself to a classic, or to go back and re-experience the classic in a new way.
All in all, I quite like UNDYING. Sure, it's got some issues, and the localisation is a mixed bag at the best of times. The critical gameplay instructions have been anglicised well for the most part - it can sometimes be a little obscure what your next objective is, but it's rare. The script fares less well, with the original Chinese names being mentioned a few times in the same sentence as the English ones and voice acting not always following the script. Minor in the grand scheme, as it genuinely looks and sounds good, going for a comic book style, almost like The Strolling Deceased.
The Lamplighters League is an interesting and ambitious, albeit flawed, tactical adventure which invokes the fantastical elements of Indiana Jones (plus you're fighting Nazi's). The blow by blow gameplay is well developed and features interesting and varied characters, in both gameplay and narrative, but is let down by a large amount of repetition. A few technical flaws also let the game down in a market where stronger competition has already done the game thing. It's a decent game, and you could have a good time with it, but one to pick up on discount.
Cities: Skylines 2 is a very good city builder with a few marked improvements over its predecessor and is huge in scale. It is, however, let down in (arguably unfair) comparison with the original due to the countless free content (and paid DLC) that went into that, making this feel comparatively light.
Total War: Pharaoh is a successful return to pure history for the series. While some may not like aspects, such as a limited unit variety and a map that can feel a little narrow in areas, the gameplay is enhanced across the board thanks to a variety of features, increased tactical options in combat, and more.
Fort Solis is technically great from a graphical and audio perspective. The issue is that the narrative and gameplay do not match up, being poor by any standards. It's challenging to get into Fort Solis, from poor pacing and storytelling to gameplay that is boring at the best of times - primarily thanks to some of the slowest movement speeds in gaming today. When you are in, you'll be glad to get back out as soon as possible.
Gord is an interesting and, at times, good, albeit flawed, survival city-builder mixed with action RPG and strategy elements. The atmosphere is excellently done, but this is countered by the sanity mechanics taking too much from the rest of the game. Almost every positive has a negative. The character development mechanics bring a fundamentally broken inventory system. The excellent monster development introduces a few that are just outright broken. The (sometimes) interesting campaign brings a near-opaque element of worldbuilding, requiring much side-reading as names are unceremoniously thrown at you. All in all, Gord isn't a bad game, and while I can have a decent time of it, there are too many flaws to recommend it universally; hardcore strategy fans may apply.
Undead Pirates XXX is an excellent game; the only downside is the reuse of maps. That downside is a little self-inflicted because if you're like me, you want to kill the named guards (named after the developers) and do whatever else gets you a badge (additional side-quest things), so you do it all. Still, this is an outstanding real-time tactics game and one I would recommend to anybody and everybody. Fans of the genre, and those new, you're in for a treat.
Jagged Alliance 3 marks a long-awaited triumphant return for the franchise, with the last undeniably great release being Jagged Alliance 2 over twenty years ago. Creating an exceptional balance on both a strategic and tactical level, bringing back character attributes and progression, an entire inventory system, perks and more, forcing you to balance your broader economy and ensuring you can't just sit back - Haemimont Games have successfully created a game that will challenge, that I have found compelling and fun, and one that has kept me hooked into a "just one more day" loop and a few very late nights at that.
Aliens: Dark Descent is an excellent real-time tactics game mixed with survival horror and arguably the best Aliens game around. Excellent tactical action in a world ever-succumbing to the Xenomorph threat, you will find resources scarce, leading to difficult decisions, ones made all the more difficult when time is also a factor. Add on an engaging enough story and an excellent atmosphere, and you have a game that I can't help but recommend to anybody and everybody.
I came into Convergence: A League of Legends Story expecting very little; I came out of it wanting to watch Arcane - which I have now watched - and also wanting to play the other games set in the League of Legends universe, including Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, which we reviewed. It doesn't make me want to play League of Legends again, it doesn't have magical powers, but it's done a lot of heavy lifting through some interesting character work and exceptional gameplay.
Panic Porcupine is very much as you could expect as a homage to Sonic the Hedgehog, though it certainly stands alone with a much higher level of difficulty torn straight out of the guts of Super Meat Boy. While more than passable, it has a few core issues in a game like this, one being input lag. Still, despite the problems I found, I can genuinely imagine this being an enjoyable title for fans of the genre.
Star Trek: Resurgence is possibly one of the more accurate games to have captured the Star Trek world in a more contemplative manner, with the adventure game format being particularly suited to it. With a compelling narrative, interesting characters (new and returning) and a game that plays well, there is a lot to like here, despite a number of technical hiccups on the PC version.
The Settlers: New Allies isn't quite the return to Settlers that fans of the franchise would want. Shallow across all areas, with basic city-building and very basic strategy elements, held together by an average narrative. It's not a bad game, but it's also not good.
The Great War: Western Front is an interesting strategy game that delves into its setting for better and worse. Offering various strategic and tactical opportunities provides a lot for strategy game fans. However, the glacially slow pace will undeniably turn some people off, despite being very much due to the World War One setting. If there is one key issue, the AI is almost like a relic of previous games, seemingly not following the same rules as the player. Other issues with pathfinding also feature. However, despite these issues, I can't help but admit the game is compelling.
Company of Heroes 3 is a triumphant return to the game that raised the bar for Real-Time Strategy. With unparalleled action on the battlefield, that alone makes it work your while. The new grand-strategy campaign is a welcome addition, though it has some flaws, ranging from performance issues and bugs to simply being too easy. Despite this, it's impossible not to recommend Company of Heroes 3 for the excellent game that it is.
In terms of story, Hogwarts Legacy also manages to capture the magical feel of Harry Potter. It does it successfully by being set a good century before the events of the novels. We'll meet a few Weasleys, even a gaunt, to name a few. The only known characters from the other formats you'll know are the ghosts of Hogwarts, with you crossing with Peeves, chatting with Nearly-Headless Nick (if you're Gryffindor, I assume other houses will be different) and other longer-term fixtures. Fortunately, and as far as I am, the game manages to forge its path incredibly well, adding in a few canonical elements, such as ancient magic. I'm not at the end, so if it is canon, I'm curious how they explain away the lack of ancient magic in later stories.
Marvel's Midnight Suns - The Good, the Bad, and the Undead offers more of the core game but with a funnier character, one oozing with the personality we've all come to love across multiple forms (including Ryan Reynolds). While it's not the most extensive DLC, and I think the base price is high for what you get, the experience is good during the DLC missions, and you've then got a great character for life.
High on Life is likely a divisive game. While the gameplay is more than sufficient - if you're happy with an unrefined, almost arcade-style shooter - you then come to the dialogue and "comedy", which, to me, was overdone to the point of annoyance. Funny to begin with but repeated so much that a drinking game would lead to liver failure. Fortunately, being on game pass, you don't have to fork out too much to see if you like it.