Gunscape's aim to give users a simple way to create and share their own arenas and campaigns is no small feat, but Blowfish Studios has managed to achieve it using an editor that is already familiar to gamers. The main downside is that the game's stability issues can be a major hindrance and lead to more frustration. The main benefit of Gunscape is that there will always be something new to play and more levels to discover thanks to the online community, giving players a virtually endless pool of maps to try out. If you have a large imagination and will spend hours creating the perfect map, this game is for you.
The Banner Saga paints a bleak world with its dialogue, artwork and soundtrack, one that engages the player with every tough choice that it presents. With each decision, the player helps to write their own story of survival against the odds, although the overarching storyline can at times pale in comparison to the struggles of the caravan. Thankfully, it also presents a tough tactical RPG that rewards the use of careful strategy and punishes those who rush in without a plan. Those with a penchant for a tightly woven narrative and tactical thinking will enjoy the deep layers that The Banner Saga provides.
This latest entry in the Need for Speed series seems to be a reboot in name only. It neither feels like a reimagining of earlier ideas or a refining of the series' roots, but more of a mishmash of parts from the franchise's long history. As such, it lacks any sense of real identity. Ventura Bay often feels empty, the story is inconsequential, and the AI opponents are infuriating at times. That said, vehicle handling is quick and responsive and makes driving a real joy, while performance upgrades and customisation gives players an almost unlimited number of ways to make their cars their own. Those looking for a racing title to surpass all others should look elsewhere, but fans of the series' earlier street racing scene won't be disappointed.
As with many of Platinum's other game's, Transformers: Devastation can be a challenging experience, even on its lower difficulties, but once you become used to the enemies attack patterns and when to dodge incoming attacks, each fight becomes a rewarding flurry of colour and crunching metal. The cel-shaded graphics and classic voice acting cast make the title great for those looking for some nostalgia. Unfortunately, the short story and the sense of repetition hold the title back from being what it truly could have been.
The Phantom Pain is the kind of game that actually feels as if every seemingly insignificant gameplay detail actually has a real purpose. Every mission, side-op and minute spent assigning staff back at Mother Base makes a real difference to what can or cannot be achieved out on the field. At its core, it is still a stealth-action game, but it never ties you down to just being stealthy. Every mission can be approached in a multitude of different ways and it's left up to the player how to progress. The more manageable approach to storytelling may not seem true to the Metal Gear Solid series to date, but it fits in well with the game's more flexible approach, which lets people attack the game head on or play in smaller bites without needing to worry that at any moment they may have to set aside an hour purely to watch a surprise cut-scene.