Even without the frequent sever issues, Shadowrun Chronicles : Boston Lockdown would be hard to recommended to anyone but the most rabid fans of the setting. Even they would be better served seeking out superior adaptations. Which do exist, so it's not like this is your only option. Lockdown commits the worst crime of all; not being terrible, but being boring
Stripped down and lacking new ideas, F1 2014 definitely feels like a stopgap; the racing itself has been honed over several incarnations to the point where it's pretty damned sharp, but with the omission of classic mode and a relatively scarce list of new features, there's a sense that Codemasters are resting on their laurels here while they concentrate on the next-gen F1 title they've got in the works.
For a full-price game, though, Wahammer 40K: Armageddon feels lacklustre and slightly cheap, more of a re-skin of Panzer Corps than its own beast, and lacking the sense of grandeur that the setting requires. There's a great turn-based 40K out there somewhere, but this isn't it.
This is not a lengthy title. All in, you're looking at around an hour and a half of game here, which is admittedly not much, even for a budget title. That said, for a meagre price you'll get a charming little world to explore, a cute story set in a dream-like cartoon episode that kids will enjoy and fans of hand-drawn animations will appreciate. Gomo isn't a great example of the genre by any means, but it's nice to look at and a fun little diversion. I found it rather endearing.
The diplomacy is well done, but without a robust battle system and satisfying nation-building to back it up, the game feels like it's missing something – it's all build-up with no pay-off. It's a shame, because Sphere of Influence does some interesting things with the standard grand strategy formula. The way it mixes historical storytelling with freeform play is commendable, as is its focus on the political, personal side of military campaigning. Unfortunately, it falls at the final hurdle. Much like Nobunaga himself, in fact.
Exploring ogre caves, elemental temples and naga towers with my intrepid band of badly optimised warriors still somehow managed to be fun, despite the chugging performance and irritation of grid-based overland movement. If you can look past these blemishes there's plenty of fun to be had with Might and Magic X, but it could have done with a lot more polish.
Grand Ages: Medieval remains an acquired taste, but it's certainly the most accessible game in the series to date. The trading mechanics are intuitive enough to avoid confusion, while remaining complex enough to encourage micromanagement and enjoyable risk-reward tinkering. Simplistic combat and a lack of variety mean that it begins to run out of steam by the end-game, but if you're looking for a more relaxed approach to world domination, Grand Ages: Medieval is a perfectly solid option.
I'm sure Firaxis will eventually make a great game out of Beyond Earth. They're a smart development team that knows how to improve and iterate on a solid core product, which Beyond Earth certainly is. Right now, though, I can't help but feel slightly disappointed by the state of the game. It's perfectly enjoyable, but for every smart innovation it seems to have lost a portion of both complexity and character. There's potential here, but we'll have to wait for a couple of meaty expansions to see Beyond Earth's promise fully realised.
Not without flaws then, but it's a game still capable of providing you with some epic cinematic showdowns, particularly in those new 8v8 multiplayer matches. If you like your war games expansive and unforgiving, and don't mind overcoming some lingering issues with awkward presentation and excessive micromanagement, Men of War: Assault Squad 2 provides an exciting and singular war gaming experience.
Though they demand the occasional spot of physics engine fudging to progress, puzzles are generally fun and challenging without being frustrating. It may not quite master its new perspective, but Trine 3 is still a charming, light-hearted romp that's well worth your time.
Fortunately, a couple of interesting new faces to add to your party, some great loot, and a few truly brutal combat challenges are enough to make The White March Part One worth your while. It's not essential, and not close to the best that Obsidian is capable of, but it's another perfectly enjoyable few hours of looting and adventuring.
Smart, funny writing and some efficient world-building help avoid the self-important pomposity common to the fantasy genre. Some may miss the scale and strategic variety of other games in the same field, but if you're bored of the familiar fantasy 4X template and you're looking for something that feels fresh, Sorcerer King comes recommended.
Block N Load offers an intelligent blend of tactical play and madcap carnage that hits the spot in a way that Ace of Spades never did. Despite some matchmaking issues and a couple of slightly underpowered classes, there's a thoroughly entertaining multiplayer game on offer here, and one that has bags of potential once the modders get their hands on it (there's no map creation tools out there at the moment, which is something I think Jagex needs to work on).
While the game never abandons its forgiving approach, increasingly ambitious and interesting level design and a steady drip of new items and skills continue to provide a satisfying new challenge throughout the game's accomplished story campaign. Crookz is a very enjoyable crime caper, and one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.