It can be challenging, frustrating and cause unwanted headaches, but despite all that you'll keep wanting to come back for more. Not everyone will be drawn in by an 8-bit, side-scrolling death fest in this day and age of gaming that seems overwhelmed by retro aesthetic titles, however, Shovel Knight rightly deserves a place among modern games. The amazing soundtrack and rewarding gameplay will spur you on right to the end, and even then you'll probably want to go back for another round of smacking things in the face with a shovel. The inspiration from 8-bit games of the past has caused a great feeling of nostalgia for many, and Shovel Knight is well worth the money and trip down memory lane if you prefer to be challenged on a regular basis. The game is proof that, although 8-bit side-scrollers look old, they certainly aren't outdated.
The survival horror genre has struggled to find a place in recent years, but titles such as The Evil Within have attempted to breathe new life into it. With White Night, OSome Studio has managed to invigorate the genre by taking us back to the methodical and tense gameplay that kept us on edge so many times in the past. When playing the game for subsequent playthroughs, you will undeniably blaze through it, but hasn't that always been the case with survival horror games? The art style is beautifully unique, the gameplay is simple yet highly enjoyable and the soundtrack is superb. The reason you'll want to stay inside this mansion, though, is because of the history behind it. A compelling story is waiting to be unearthed and the more you learn, the deeper you'll want to go. The [email protected] lineup continues to get stronger and its latest addition is unquestionably worth checking out.
The series had a rocky road with Dark Souls II and had some fans questioning design decisions, but Dark Souls III has reminded the community of why the series has the reputation it does. The game is an undeniable treat for both eyes and ears, and uncovering the lore as you explore the darkest depths is an experience that is unparalleled in many other games.
Layers of Fear is a fantastic example of why atmospheric games still deserve a place in the industry. While you'll be startled plenty of times by ghostly figures and distorted paintings, the tension and mood throughout the game will be what compels you to keep playing. The sound effects and music have been used to great effect and the way in which the environment manipulates itself around you adds all the more to the painter's insanity as he aims to complete his work. While the game is only at its full potential on your first playthrough, the extra secrets and collectibles help to add replayability to what may have originally been thought of as a "one play only" title, even if those extra playthroughs are quick ones. There have been much shorter and less polished games for the price point of £15.99/$19.99, so even though it's not exceptionally long, the quality easily counteracts this. If you're after an enthralling experience, horror fan or not, Layers of Fear is a great way to satisfy the itch.
When we look at Assassin's Creed Unity as a whole, it's a favourable addition to the series. The new assassin is worthy of the title, the world is huge and filled with life, the game itself looks great and the free-running is better than ever. However, the co-op is more of a "take it or leave it" element. It's fun, no doubt about it, but it just doesn't feel as important as it should have been. You won't be missing out on a great deal if you decide to roam Paris alone but if you have a friend to tag along with, you'll find plenty of enjoyment. For the first title of the series exclusive to new-gen consoles, Unity is a satisfying game and any Assassin's Creed fan should feel right at home with it.
LEGO Jurassic World manages to keep the LEGO franchise alive with refined gameplay, new types of LEGO characters and a brand new film franchise to embark upon while still staying true to its roots. All four films are given plenty of attention and the combination of four hub worlds means that there's plenty to do. Having twenty levels in total as well as six bonus levels fleshes the game out more so Jurassic Park fans will find plenty in here that they'll enjoy. There are a couple of glitches cropping up but there's nothing completely game-breaking. While the dialogue may sound a bit off in places, that nostalgic quality means that both LEGO fans and film fans will be able to enjoy the game. The LEGO series is now ten years old but it still remains successful with its quirky humour and accessible, fun gameplay, and LEGO Jurassic World is definitely one of the best in the series. Whether you're a fan of the games or the films, it's certainly worth your time.
When looking at Wasteland 2 from the outside, it doesn't look like anything special. However, once you get stuck in and persevere through the initial confusion of combat and little direction you are given, there is a gem to be found here. I began my travels in the wasteland with bitterness, desperately wanting to play something else, but eventually, I started to crave playing the game more and more. The skill system makes every squad member useful, and combat can be a rewarding experience, despite particular issues it can sometimes have. The game has an alluringly addictive quality that makes you want to keep playing and strengthen your ranger squad, even if it does look a bit rough around the edges. It may not be flashy and appeal to everyone, but those who do give it a shot will be in for a pleasant surprise.
Unepic probably won't be for everyone with its Metroidvania style and death prone areas, but once you get stuck in, it is an enjoyable experience. The skill system is simple but complex enough for those who like RPG's and the boss battles are memorable and exciting to witness. The castle itself is huge and there is plenty to see, so for the price there is a hefty amount of content. The requirements for the challenge related achievements is peculiar, but the completionists among us will forgive the developers as we roam through every nook and cranny, lighting up every torch and lamp that we see. There are so many indie titles that are available now and it's tough to shine above the rest when you're a 2D sidescroller like Unepic, but it is a worthy title in the [email protected] library and is a great throwback to those games of old.
If you've played any of the recent LEGO titles, LEGO Marvel's Avengers will be familiar to you. The overall formula remains the same and there is still plenty to find and collect in the form of bricks and characters. If you look at the very first title in the series, though, it is clear how much has changed and evolved since then. Combat in this instalment is far more fluid and exciting, characters are unique in design and there are plenty of abilities spread throughout. There is also so much more to do other than completing story levels. The speed of the story leaves a distinct desire to get to the hubs but exploring them is not nearly as frustrating as it used to be once you make it. Problems and glitches still crop up every now and then, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the game. While the LEGO series could do with switching up the formula to reignite it, this latest romp with our favourite heroes is still an enjoyable one.
This has set the scene for a potentially exciting finale, so let's just hope that the wait will be worth it.