Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is a decent visual novel that starts out strong but loses some of its appeal due to how rushed it all ends up feeling. There's a fantastic premise here with an atmospheric setting, some strong characters and plenty of decisions to be made that feel genuinely important to how your character develops. However, the speed at which it begins to introduce new situations, characters and mechanics in its final chapters before coming to a surprisingly premature end takes some of the shine off what otherwise could have been a properly top-notch effort.
Super Meat Boy Forever makes some big changes to its predecessor's classic formula, ushering in an endless-running style of gameplay, simplified control scheme and procedurally-generated levels that are a blast to play through but ultimately rob the game of the fiendishly additive quality of the 2010 original. We miss perfecting Super Meat Boy's bespoke little death mazes here and although fans of brutally tough platformers will still find plenty to love, we can't help but feel this one's a little bit of a step back for Team Meat's squishy red mascot.
Among Us is an instantly accessible and super-addictive casual gaming experience that serves up some hilarious whodunnit hijinks in short bursts that are perfectly suited to portable play. There are a few niggles here with regards to controls that make communication fussier than it really needs to be, but this is a fine port that finally enables Switch gamers to jump in and see what all the fuss is about with this most unlikely of gaming sensations.
Commandos 2 - HD Remaster is a disappointingly lacklustre port of a real-time tactics classic. This is a game that's showing its age in many ways but, with the right tweaks, some decent control implementation and squashing of bugs, it could have had its moment to shine with modern audiences. As it is, the irritations and annoyances expected in revisiting a game of this vintage are exacerbated to no end with shoddy, unwieldy controls, unexpected performance problems and a general lack of care. The graphics have been updated here, but everything else remains much as it was – with the added frustration of bugs, glitches and long loading times.
John Wick Hex is a clever turn-based strategy offering with some cool mechanics that, when everything comes together, can absolutely make you feel like you're Keanu Reeves' unstoppable assassin, kicking, punching and shooting your way through an endless procession of hapless goons. However, there's an unpolished element to proceedings, with a lot of repetition across the seven levels on offer, janky animations, shoddy replays and some unreliable AI behaviour that begins to grate after a time. With some more variety and a touch of polish, this could have been a really nice little movie tie-in, however, as it stands it's just alright; a brilliant idea that needed more time in the oven.
Empire of Sin is undoubtedly an excellent idea, a clever meshing together of management sim and turn-based tactical action that's set in a hugely compelling era of Chicago's criminal history. There are some cool mechanics here, too; the well-executed overworld map of the town, the gangster black book with its complex relationships and those tense sit-downs with rival ganglords. However, all of this promise is held back by copious technical problems, game-breaking bugs and management and combat systems that feel half-baked and scrappy. There are more patches and updates planned and we desperately would like to see this one sort itself out but, as things stand, it's virtually impossible to recommend – and it remains to be seen if future updates can bash it into shape.
Immortals Fenyx Rising undoubtedly owes a huge debt to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, borrowing wholesale as it does from its core gameplay mechanics and narrative structure. However, what Ubisoft Quebec has come up with here also adds enough of its own spin on proceedings, with a strong personality and sense of humour sat alongside some brilliantly designed puzzles, flashy, satisfying combat and a huge world full of secrets, treasures and Ancient Greek mythology to discover. It may falter slightly in the final stretch by wrestling away player freedom and funnelling you through its overly long endgame, but this is still a hugely entertaining, technically impressive Ancient Greek romp that's well worth experiencing.
Sniper Elite 4 is the best entry yet in this long-running franchise with great big meaty missions stuffed to bursting point with Nazis to snipe and stab in glorious slo-mo X-ray vision. There's a new-found flexibility to the gameplay, with Karl now able to shimmy and scurry vertically around levels and enemy AI that's much more up to the task than in previous iterations. There may be some slightly rough edges, with duff writing, naff characters and gameplay that doesn't change much from start to finish but, overall, this is playful sniper's paradise that lands on Switch in a truly impressive port. It's time to dust off that M1903 Springfield, find a nice vantage point and get to blowing great big bloody holes in fascist heads. The perfect antidote to 2020.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla sees the long-running franchise at an absolute high point. A much tighter, more refined and narrative-focused experience, it learns lessons from other recent open world efforts, removing much of the series' tedious open-world busywork and channelling its players through a genuinely excellent and intriguing adventure. There's still plenty of exploring, looting and collecting to be done here but it's so much more engaging, full of fun puzzles and atmospheric treasure hunts that make the downtime between story arcs all the more rewarding. This is Assassin's Creed looking and feeling better than ever.