Life Is Strange 2: Episode 2 is a disappointment. While it contains a number of revelatory moments and a couple of scenes that pack real tension, thanks to its lousy pacing and absence of agency, only the most committed fans of this series are advised to pick it up. Here's hoping Episode 3 picks up the pace.
Metro Exodus is ambitious, engrossing and at times genuinely disturbing. Above all it tells a fantastic tale set in a world that all the game's superb aspects work hard to immerse the player in. While ‘the post-apocalyptic Russia' may not sound like an appealing destination, Metro Exodus is well worth the trip.
Episode 1 can be guardedly recommended, then. It stumbles in parts, sure, but it also proves that DontNod has some ambitious ideas for this instalment of its teen adventure series. On top of that, it ends intriguingly enough to ensure that many who play through it will want to see what the next episode holds.
That having been said, Not A Hero is fun and, interestingly, it appeals to two rather different player camps. If you want a bloody, lightweight hit-and-giggle and you're not too concerned with 100 per cent completion, it's well worth a look. If you're up for a menacing challenge and you're not too concerned with depth or nuance, this will fit the bill too.
If you're prepared to take that possibility on board, Darkest Dungeon offers a challenging chasm to lose yourself in. It won't appeal to every type of player, but for those willing to face the prospect of crippling loss, insanity and nail-biting tension, Darkest Dungeon is certainly worth the time you'll sink into it.
So, like the Wild, Weird West it's set in, Hard West is a little off-centre and rough around the edges. What's admirable, however, is its evident that the developers who created it have a clear love for what they're doing and that the Kickstarter budget that funded this game made every cent count.
Transformers: Devastation is essentially fan-service. Only Transformers fans would have the patience to persevere with the repetitive enemies, the arduous Boss Fights, the fiddly customisation and the levelling system that only really rewards players who stick with one Autobot throughout the campaign. Admittedly it's pretty good fan service – the best since War For Cybertron – but if you neither interested in deep brawlers or someone who can tell their Arcee from their elbow, you might be forgiven for wondering what all of the fuss is about.
In the meantime, in spite of its drawbacks and streamlining we would cautiously recommend Heroes of the Storm. You may not find it comes up to snuff if you're an League of Legends or Dota 2 veteran, but if you've never played a MOBA and you want to know what all of the fuss is about, Blizzard's new game may be your best introduction.
So the appeal of I Am Bread is down to how much of a desire you have to laugh at your own efforts – especially since the game grades your progress through every level (and it's tough to grade higher than a 'D'). If that's your speed, you'll have a ball. If you feel like the game is laughing at you, you'll probably become incredibly frustrated in a matter of minutes. Go make some toast. Depending on how you responded to the above paragraphs you'll know how that sentiment is meant.
Shiftlings, then, is a pleasant, slightly challenging diversion with the tendency to be a tad annoying at times. It's never going to give the likes of Mario, Rayman or even Kirby a run for their money, but if you're in the market for a colourful platformer with an interesting mechanic and you feel the sound of flatulence never gets old, you may be right at home here. The rest of you may want to wait until the price comes down.
So is it worth playing? Definitely. Will it shock and awe players? Only those who are coming to this series for the first time. It's more of the same, but that's no bad thing, and if you're a returning player to this franchise, prepare to be frustrated, enraged and enthralled all over again.
The Escapists may look cute and lightweight, but it's a surprisingly deep sandbox RPG that punishes sloppiness and where players have a multitude of options in how they go about crafting their escape. Its learning curve is steep and hints are few and far between, but hey, that's life on the inside for you.
That having been said, if you are a fan of point-and-click adventures (or those Fighting Fantasy books from yesteryear) and a sucker for an intriguing, atmospheric yarn you'll be right at home here. In fact, it may be just the sort of entertainment you're looking for if you're between TV shows.
Never Alone is something of a disappointment. It's by no means a terrible game, but the experience of playing doesn't live up to its gorgeous presentation, lovely atmosphere and genuinely interesting content. It's a pleasing diversion, provided you can round up a mate to play it with, and it tells a compelling story – but its drawbacks make it hard to recommend unreservedly.
Cry 4 truly shines in the almost bacchanalian sense of freedom it bestows on the player as they traverse through its environment. In Kyrat you have the ability to go anywhere and do pretty much anything – much as Pagan Min would advocate. Here, the only pact you need keep is that with your conscience. God help you.
So Project Spark then, isn't exactly a fun game. The fun here can only be found in creating and sharing games with the community online – and playing some of their best creations. Right now, it's early days, so the amount of decent games in Project Spark's community isn't exactly big. But potentially, Project Spark could see a wonderful library of creator-based content on offer for players… provided a lot of them put the time in.
That having been said, if you own a new generation machine and you've never played Sleeping Dogs, the HD Definitive Edition is well worth picking up. It's just not an essential purchase for any player who has already walked a mile in Wei Shen's shoes. Everything that made Sleeping Dogs a memorable and fun open world game is present in its last generation counterpart – and right now, that's a good deal cheaper at retail.
Watch Dogs is solidly entertaining and a lot of fun to play. And while it could've achieved true greatness if it had followed through on its most ambitious promises, it is still better than a lot of what's been released this year. The hype seems already to be benefiting the sales figures. Everything about Watch Dogs tells us that we are all susceptible in the digital age.