Orange Cast is a bad game. Featuring an incomprehensible plot, terrible dialogue and localisation, several bugs and issues, and a general lack of quality, there's little to like about the game. There's always the chance that this could interest somebody, but I can't honestly see who this would be.
Destruction AllStars certainly has its charm. It exudes personality, thanks to a varied cast of characters that - despite having zero story - seem to have something about them that makes you want to learn more about them, such as their name. You're here for the cars, and they are fun. The smashing, or destruction, of other cars, is a genuinely fun experience that's made all the better by each character having their own ability to mix things up. The game modes do keep things ticking over, though It needs to be said that the game needs to add more in the future to keep things fresh. This isn't a bad start for Destruction AllStars, but it's also one that needs to focus on the strengths and drop the weaknesses - particularly the abysmal on-foot gameplay - to make this game the online draw it could be.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy marks the very first direct sequel in Atelier's twenty-three years old history. Bringing back Reisalin Stout makes perfect sense and the game benefits from Reisalin and her cheery cast of compatriots. With a light-hearted story taking you on an adventure in a genuinely great-looking and enjoyable to explore environments, you'll also find yourself pulled in by an enhanced battle system, made even more tactical than before. The constantly returning alchemy is also joined by a system that I'm going to call memory archaeology, helping to develop the new main character as well as the history of the game's world. Either way, this is a very enjoyable outing and one that will no doubt keep Reisalin as a fan-favourite character in what is arguably one of, if not the best game in the Atelier series.
Gods Will Fall is a well-focused action-oriented dungeon-crawling soulslike with procedural generation. Only the procedural generation is on the difficulty, allowing for developers Clever Beans to have handcrafted each dungeon in a stunning hand-brushed art style and have each playthrough feel that bit different, as the increased difficulty of a particular dungeon brings new creatures, paths, and opportunities. While not perfect, some things like the rather barren overworld as well as some bugs standing out, the character development, emergent storytelling and tight combat does more than enough to let this stand out.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond isn't the return to the series that I would have hoped. As a VR game is has a lot to offer, the gameplay is engaging, the missions varied, and both the single-player and multiplayer can be fun to play. However, the story is woefully mismanaged, with a cast of mostly unlikeable and unsympathetic characters - a tragedy when it comes with an incredibly powerful piece of work in the form of the gallery, a collection of documentaries and interviews with veterans of the war.
Chronos: Before the Ashes is an interesting enough title, one that does feature some interesting environments that really support a strong level of world-building. Even those not familiar with Remnant would find this interesting. However, looking beyond the environment and storytelling, you're going to find aspects of the game lacking. The combat is far too forgiving, and you'll have completed the game before encountering most of the perks to the fascinating ageing system. Do I recommend this? For an easy-going souls-lite title, it's not bad, but it isn't great either.
Football Manager 2021 is by far the closest representation to the beautiful game you can find. With an improved matchday engine, improved AI and even more datapoints than ever before, all represented in a more digestible method, making it more accessible than ever before. However, there's still no doubt that the series is still going to have a high barrier to entry, and it has some irritating issues, such as repetition in the press conferences and other interaction aspects. Issues aside, this is yet another improvement and superior entry to the series.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is as close to true call of Duty as you're likely to find in recent years, for better or for worse. The campaign does branch out a little, offering you side-missions that are unlocked through evidence gathering, which is fun. It's also engaging, featuring a good number of entertaining set pieces. However, it's also insane and has way too many throwaway 'features'. Multiplayer, and the zombie mode, are both very enjoyable to play and multiplayer has been made more engaging for those who used to struggle to get massive kill streaks. However, there's no doubt that the multiplayer is seriously lacking in maps. Also, the game needs some technical polish. Still, all in all, this is still a strong FPS and one that will keep fans coming back for more.
DIRT 5 offers a new path for the DIRT series and treads it brilliantly. The core numbered titles have always been slightly more arcade, but this takes it to a whole other level and is fantastic because of this move. This is an incredibly approachable and varied racing game that takes you on a tour of several racing styles in far-flung places across the globe. With every new console generation comes a new generation of racing games, DIRT 5 is that game. It looks fantastic, it's incredibly fun and it's polished to a great level and is arguably the best game to come out of Codemasters.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope takes the Supermassive Games formula and improves on the previous outing, Man of Medan, in so many ways. With a more interesting story, a strong set of characters, the masterful building of atmosphere and more, you're going to be left on the edge of your seat while playing through this story. The excellent branching narrative, as well as multiplayer options also increase the gameplay value exponentially. This still isn't perfect, the sloth-like movements of characters can be annoying later on and some QTE's are annoyingly cheap, but this is still a brilliant game, one I would recommend to anybody.