Alfred Banks is a very charismatic character but it is just a shame he is not a bigger player and always feels like the background man or errand boy. Additionally, the length is a bit of a shame. Still, this is a game that one needs to look at. Oh, and if indeed bought, keep an eye out for nice looking grandmothers…
Aiming and the shooting experience is tight and enjoyable, there are mechanics built into the background that alleviate the stress. The sound and graphics can't be faulted for the genre it is in, either. All in all, Heavy Bullets comes highly recommended!
This War of Mine is arguably one of the most powerful games ever created at conveying the troubling reality of war in an emotional and thought-provoking way. That it does these, not through big explosions and fancy textures, is all the more impressive. These are real stories; this is a game that takes risks. There are no punches pulled in a world where everyone suffers, including children, and are shown as casualties, something other games have in the past shied away from. However, this is not just some experience to make a point. This is a damn fun game to play, it is incredibly hard to put down due to its incredibly tight mechanics, which all blend together to create something really special. Quite simply, buy This War of Mine.
Football Manager 2015 is everything expected of a Football Manager release. The players who got many thousands of hours out of the previous versions will no doubt get the same out of this years' edition. However, the match engine has taken a significant step backwards and borders on moronic, making it a chore to play. Additionally, a tinge of tiredness is beginning to creep into the formula for this annual release. The changes to scouting and training are welcome but going forward Sports Interactive needs to plan to bring something big to the table to avoid the series beginning to feel a bit stale.
Colonial Conquest is a fair attempt at making an approachable strategy game. It does tend to play mostly like a game of fast paced Risk, which, for certain types of people, will be a very fun experience indeed. What cannot be disputed is that it is possible to play very quick rounds, and this makes it an ideal title for when friends get round and are looking for some strategy action that does not require a dedication of many hours from some other titles. With that kind of mind-set, and especially the very reasonable price, it ticks all the boxes. However, the overriding impression is just one of too much simplicity, from diplomacy to the battle system, as well as the economy. It is no surprise a portable tablet version of the title is being considered, as it feels like a natural fit for those platforms, especially with the neat and tidy user interface. On PC, though, it lacks a compelling reason to keep playing beyond a few hours, especially as a single-player experience.
As questionable as some of the outside marketing practises are, Disney Infinity 3.0 stands above all its competitors in the toy-gaming genre. What cannot be questioned is that Disney has control over some of the most loved and sought after licenses. The Star Wars campaigns that are just some of the available are very well developed and - most importantly - fun.
Is Just Dance 2016 going to win any awards? Maybe not. However, like many of its best tracks, sometimes people just want to kick back and have a little fun. There is a lot of fun to be had here in a very polished formula and with very inventive music videos. There is a greater expanded online and social presence in 2016's version, with the new Showtime video recording mode, as well as sending other players challenges. However when the experience comes alive and starts to get in the groove is with other people in real life. It is a throwback and shows that gamers have not forgotten how fun it is to play games in the same room as others.
VR needs something that can be enjoyed timelessly, something that can be picked up and played for 30 minutes or an hour each day and provides some kind of unique fun each time. VR Invaders succeeds at this, with gameplay that is timeless, going back to the fundamental roots of the medium, but unfortunately with the same flaws, too.
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is an enhanced version of what was already a monumental RPG. With this release on home consoles, everybody now has the chance to enjoy what is one of the generation's best games. It does so many things that other RPGs do not, allowing more freedom to explore, fight, and build a character on the player's terms. The story here is neither revolutionary nor the best one seen in this genre. However, it is what is around the story that makes it such a compelling experience. An incredibly interesting battle system, great dialogue and general narrative development launch the title into the top tier. The fully voiced characters are the cherry on the cake. This is a AAA-level experience with a 60 hour adventure created using indie money, and that is one of the biggest compliments you can give to a developer and a game.
There is no doubt that at its best Battleborn is a very fun game. It is a colourful delight and the visuals really pop amongst the chaos of flashing lights, explosions, and movement. The characters are all quite memorable and well designed, with humorous charismatic touches to their personalities. Not to mention it is a fine shooter in its own right. The disappointment is that a lot of the experience lacks a certain polish that would have really taken it to the next level.
The Final Station is a short and ultimately unsatisfying, uncreative journey. It is a short trip, sitting at around four hours to completion, with no incentive for additional exploration or replays. It is priced a reasonably modest rate, to reflect this playtime and that is possibly what turns what may have been a sour experience into a forgettable one. The gunplay on show is fairly entertaining and the game looks interesting enough, but each of the stations do not present enough challenge or lore to make them rewarding or memorable.
The thing about Civilization VI is that there is so much content, that a traditional review struggles to do it justice. The number of units on show, the diversity in buildings, the research tree, the choice over governmental direction and the bonus this gives; it is honestly a title that is best experienced first hand and delved into in the deepest possible way. It is definitely the most fulfilling and enjoyable Civilization to date, and with Firaxis tendency to add expansions and updates to their products, it can only get better from this point onward. Some irritating issues do exist, such as religion and some slight AI deficiencies, but these are minor complaints in a title that is so easy to get addicted to that it is scary. The strategy crown remains with Sid Meier, and it is hard to see any challengers conquering his empire in the near future.
The fact that there are a number of quirks still to work out with this kind of title is not really a surprise. This is a new medium; the early adopters are jumping on a virtual reality journey that will take many years to realise its full potential. That said, developers have a responsibility to do everything they can to make the experience as smooth and rewarding as possible. Alice VR fails to do this, with a movement setup that does nothing to persuade the player to endure the discomfort. For the price, if being judged as a non-VR title, the content and quality is extremely lacking. It is only the natural immersion that VR brings that elevates the experience. There is a very pleasant looking world here, and the outside sections are the best bits, but that alone isn't enough - gameplay is still paramount.
XCOM 2 delivers an excellent port to the PS4. It has been cleverly designed to take advantage of a gamepad and this alleviates many potential concerns. Below this lays an experience that is unrivalled when it comes to strategy titles, particularly on console. The constant feeling of 'backs against the wall,' with scant resources and war decisions to be made, conveys a constant feeling of tension, which only serves to enhance the story of guerrilla resistance. Of course, with the permanent death mechanic, the tales of battle with much loved soldiers are rich for sharing between friends as a badge of honour and craft a memorable experience, living long after the game is finished—which, of course, is not a short one, by any means, providing the substantial difficulty is not a turn-off.
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 is a pleasing improvement over the original. There are some welcome character additions, such as Turles and Zarbon, which flesh out some previously missing content, but it is a story, despite being set two years after the first game, that remains largely the same. However, the additions of some alternative battle conditions, such as having to search and protect the Dragon Balls, prevents every fight devolving into the same pattern. The PC version alleviates some issues with regards to the loading times, but then introduces others in the form of the sparse online community. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2 is a good fighter, but could do with some further training to become the elite warrior it should be.
Some may be put off by the lack of any single player content, and exclusively co-op multiplayer experiences do have their detractors. However, Killing Floor 2 does what it does so well, that it is hard not to recommend it, especially as it is not the most expensive title on the market. It looks and sounds great, and it has a raft of community enhancements and developer updates/content. There are a few little niggleshere and there, but for shooter and zombie fans, it is surely one to pick up.