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.
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!
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.
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.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a tour de force of a game. It says something that this very title inspired the creation of many similar turn-based styles, and probably helped push the rogue-like nature of permadeath even further than it had already started to become back in 2012. The sense of scale, and the equal sense of responsibility on the shoulders of the player to lead humanity's last stand, is immense, as, from USA to Australia, every theatre is covered, every front is battled, and every soldier's death is a tragedy that has an individual story behind it. That is the beauty of this creation, and that is the beauty of a game that feels like it is more than just a hobby - although it soon becomes an obsession. Of course, that was proven with its critical and commercial success, which spawned multiple expansions, a full-fledged sequel, and has, in many ways, turned the circle all the way back by inspiring future titles to build on the success and mechanics employed here.
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.
For a budget title, Headmaster is definitely worth a buy and is great at demonstrating some of the best aspects of VR. Certainly this is not the most epic of the medium, but what it does provide is an addictive pick-up-and-play style of game that is always welcome on any gaming apparel or add-on like VR. Very solid graphically, as well as being humorous, and underpinned with a realistic physics engine, Headmaster is a good introduction into VR for developer Frame Interactive. Hopefully, it now follows this up with some more great ideas using this as a base.