Even in its current state, Battlefield V succeeds in delivering that familiar, core experience in spite of missing some content, and while the thought of an incomplete game might deter some from pulling the trigger on a purchase, those eager to enlist will still find plenty to keep them occupied. Sure, it can occasionally be a bit rough around the edges, but this doesn't stop those epic 'wow' moments from coming thick and fast. Gorgeous visuals; incredible sound design; unprecedented levels of destruction - DICE is firmly focused on long-term player engagement here and its decision to scrap the Season Pass altogether is definitely a refreshing step in the right direction. Well played, guys.
It's hard to pinpoint precisely why Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is a far more enjoyable proposition than its immediate predecessors but Treyarch has somehow managed to crank up the fun factor to the point where even repeatedly dying to far superior players has ceased to be irritating. While it isn't going to make longstanding haters of the series rush out to pick up a copy, the consistently satisfying gunplay, revamped health system, renewed tactical focus, and well thought-out specialist skill-sets all contribute to rejuvenating a series that was, truthfully, starting to feel a bit stale. Sure, the lack of a campaign is a minor disappointment that will dissuade some from making that purchase but the addition of the addictive Blackout mode more than makes up for it in many ways and anybody with more than a passing interest in the Battle Royale genre would be foolish to pass up on the best 'last man standing' experience the current generation has to offer. Get to it, specialist!
Bust out the Earl Grey and crumpets! Rebellion has delivered a quintessentially British flavoured caper in Strange Brigade and it's hard not to get caught up in the whole darned shooting match when the added incentive of fighting for King and country is tossed into the mix. It's a rather spiffing package, all told, that manages to find the perfect blend of rip-roaring adventure, explosive gunplay, treacherous traps, fiendish puzzling, and crate-loads of loot. Whether tackling it solo or with a group of chums, it's a title very much geared towards repeated playthroughs, which should be enough to give fellow relic hunters, Nathan Drake and Lara Croft, a run for their money. Indiana who?
Sledgehammer has done a pretty good job of bolstering up a title that launched with considerably less content than its predecessors, and the recent introduction of yet another new class, the shield-carrying 'Cavalry,' is testament to this. Hop onto any online match now and it will look like half the team is carrying car doors around with them for protection. Is this exercise in shark jumping historically accurate? Nope... but then who plays Call of Duty expecting an authentic experience, eh? As for Call of Duty: WWII - United Front: DLC Pack 3, it's hardly going to set the gaming world alight, but it does exactly what it sets out to do, with both 'Operation Supercharge' and 'Monte Cassino' being particularly strong highlights.
Madmind Studios has successfully created the definitive version of videogame Hell: humdrum, uninspiring gameplay, frustrating level design, stuttering frame-rates, soft locks and crashes galore, unpolished textures, ugly character modelling, sudden inexplicable deaths, and irritating glitches. It is a painful experience from beginning to end, with the only real highlight being the uninstall. An absolute stinker; Agony is most definitely Hell!
Despite still being mired with an unhealthy assortment of technical hiccups and a paper thin narrative that feels like a rejected Call of Duty plot line, there is still fun to be mined out of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 but it's entirely dependent on an individual's tolerance of the occasional glitch.
Call of Duty: WWII - The Resistance: DLC Pack 1 should appeal to the dedicated troops that have already spent serious time in the trenches and are maybe growing slightly weary of circling around the Flak Tower and the U.S.S. Texas. Sure, three fairly decent(ish) maps do feel like short change but the particularly strong Operation Intercept does at least go some way to redressing that balance. Putrefaction fans are also well catered for and should enjoy bloodying their swimming trunks on the Darkest Shore. Something for everybody, then... Viva la Resistance!
Yay… boots on the ground! Hopefully that tiresome, overused phrase can finally be airlifted out of the gaming lexicon as Call of Duty is all about that terra-firma trench foot experience, baby. It will be interesting to see if the fickle game-buying public starts to hanker after the good old days of wall-running and power sliding in a few years from now, but as it currently stands, Sledgehammer has delivered exactly the product that was needed to revitalise the franchise at exactly the right time. Call of Duty: WWII is an explosive return to the series' roots that does have a few minor issues and can occasionally come across as being a bit generic, but for the most part is pretty solid in execution. Whether it's enough to win back lapsed fans is anybody's guess, but the highly polished campaign, habit forming multiplayer, and the satisfyingly creepy zombies mode gel perfectly together to bring a package that should at least appeal to the diehards.
ECHO is a game brimming with smart ideas that should appeal to lovers of good sci-fi and stealth/action alike. Ultra Ultra has done a superb job in creating an intriguingly eerie world that piques interest early on, first with a slow build up, and then effortlessly drawing you in for the long haul without having to be overly reliant on a heavy narrative to drive the story forward. It's an impressive opening statement from the Copenhagen-based troupe that puts them firmly on the developer map as ones to watch.
Activision has played the nostalgia card like a seasoned Vegas pro, and will no doubt enjoy seeing the sales figures of N. Sane Trilogy skyrocket as a result. Vicarious Visions deserves major props for doing a fantastic job of eliminating the "Whoa… This is way blockier than I remember it to be" factor and delivering a 'coot heavy package that manages to enhance the core experience without straying too far from the original templates. That's not to say that it isn't without its issues, though, as the regular, jarring difficulty spikes can be frustrating at times and seem at odds with the needs of its primary target audience (kids), though admittedly this is an observation coming from somebody with the age-dulled reaction times of a gamer long past their prime. It's safe to say that we haven't seen the last of Crash yet...
Micro Machines World Series certainly has the capacity to entertain in short bursts, and particularly shines when played locally with a few mates, but its occasional performance issues, low budget sheen, and general lack of content ensures that it will be served more as a warm-up dish during a sociable gaming session, rather than the main course.
Injustice 2 packs a powerful meaty punch and has enough content crammed into its superhero trunks to put a lot of its genre sharing peers to shame. NetherRealm has delivered a satisfyingly robust package that tightens up and expands on pretty much every aspect that made its predecessor so great, while remaining true to the DC source material, and making a game that looks, sounds, and plays incredibly well.
Treyarch has clearly relished the opportunity to revisit and update these seminal undead moments and used Zombies Chronicles as a vehicle to deliver a solid piece of fan service. It's a highly polished yet thoroughly putrid package that, besides preserving the corpse rattling legacy of COD Zombies, also does a great job of providing a wide variety of differing locations to swiftly and repeatedly die in with a few friends (or strangers), thus making it an essential 'no brainer' for veterans and newcomers to the series alike.
While Infinite Warfare probably has more than its fair share of detractors, it can't be denied that Infinity Ward has done a bang-up job with the DLC content to date, as well as fixing the majority of the issues that plagued it initially. Anybody still invested in the multiplayer component would be foolish to pass up on Continuum, as it provides an additional four maps to stalk, shoot and explode on, as well as yet another classic 'straight to VHS' Zombie extravaganza stacked with enough funk in its rotting trunk to keep the dead party bumping.
Prepare to become addicted once again as the mother of all time sinks is back and bigger than ever. Puyo Puyo Tetris is an absolute delight that will scratch that puzzling itch and plug the Tetrimino-shaped gap that's been left unfilled this generation so far. SEGA has competently engineered a mash-up that feels like the definitive version of not one but two timeless classics and packed enough variety into its plethora of modes to make it a somewhat essential purchase for both solo and social blockheads.
Travel the world, visit exotic distant lands, meet exciting and unusual people…and kill them. The Hitman: Season One edition has definitely been worth the wait for any hesitant stealth fans that were unwilling to buy into Square Enix's original episodic vision. Bolstered with enough additional content to keep even the most dedicated contract killer occupied for the foreseeable future, it boasts enough variables to enjoy an almost infinite replay value. Figuring out fresh and inventive new ways of delivering death to a bunch of evil wrongdoers never gets old (which ironically also applies to anybody unfortunate enough to find their name on Agent 47's to do list).
Much like Vermintide's main campaign, Karak Azgaraz sports a fairly thin narrative with a structure focussed on encouraging repeat visits, which makes it perfect for those wanting to farm for new gear courtesy of the recent Quest and Contracts update. Fat Shark has provided a solid excuse for lapsed rat catchers to jump back into the Warhammer universe and release that residual pent-up rodent rage. There's a flagon of Dwarven grog in it for you.