- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Fallout 3
- The Last of Us
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!
There's absolutely no joy in declaring this game a disaster. There are occasional fleeting moments that serve to remind that skating around a virtual skate park was once an enjoyable pastime, but these are few and far between, and even the most diehard of fans will struggle to find much to enjoy in this package. After a lifetime of flips, nollies and grinds, the Hawkman deserves far better than this.
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.
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.
When considering the volume and frequency of Milestone's motorbike-focussed output, it wouldn't be too out of line to suspect that MXGP2 might have been 'dialled in' to an extent, though making such an assumption would be doing the developer a great disservice, considering that it does everything it sets out to do very competently. While the managerial aspects of the campaign do feel like an unnecessary dressing used to pad out the experience, scramble fans eager to release the throttle and churn up the tracks should still enjoy the wealth of content on offer.
Despite being good, clean, mindless fun, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair lacks the depth and polish to elevate it above its peers, and likely won't appeal to those unwilling to commit to the grind. Fans of past iterations in the series will no doubt lap it up voraciously and call out anybody who disagrees that it's the greatest thing since...well, the last EDF game. While it's fair to say that it does have a certain low-tech charm best enjoyed in small doses, extended sessions only serve to emphasise the shallow, repetitive gameplay, with prolonged exposure inducing what can only be described as brain atrophy. So bad it's good? Yeah, probably.
Tachyon Project is a solid, if slightly generic, shooter that chooses to tread familiar territory rather than forge its own identity. Nevertheless, it should still scratch that itch for hardcore fans of the genre, although it is unlikely to succeed in reeling in the 'twin-stick curious.' A few difficulty spikes midway help prolong a fairly short-but-fun campaign, however, it would be hard to recommend this over Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, which, besides providing the obvious inspiration to what's on offer here, also includes considerably more content.
Despite being let down by the unresponsive controls, Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition remains an oddly compelling experience brimming with a lot of interesting ideas. It's a real shame that ACE Team didn't use this definitive version as an opportunity to fix the numerous issues that plagued the last-gen iterations.
Sparkle Unleashed proves to be a mildly addictive ball-shunting diversion, and amply fills the Zuma-shaped hole that still inexplicably exists on the PS4, but it's highly unlikely that it'll rock anybody's world. In conclusion: this is best enjoyed as a palate cleanser between bigger, meatier titles.
For the most part, Citizens of Earth is a curiously addictive romp, with the ability to elicit the occasional chuckle. However, it would be remiss not to slap a 'Buyer Beware' warning on it, due to its many issues, which is a real shame, as when it decides to work, it's a fun little time sink.
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.
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!
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.
It's been said that all's fair in love and War, but clearly not by somebody that had just been attacked by bandits four times in quick succession and reduced to wandering Calradia penniless, alone, sans horse, and left wearing nothing more than tattered undergarments. Mount & Blade: Warband does look and feel incredibly dated by modern standards, and while it can prove to be quite an absorbing experience at times, it's unfortunate that those are regularly countered by the frustrating mission structure, clunky combat, and regular progress setbacks. Ultimately this won't be a game for everybody, but those willing to overlook its many irritating quirks could potentially find themselves losing many hours on the lengthy road to victory.
With Uno, Ubisoft has taken an old classic and tweaked the formula just enough to make it feel fresh without losing the familiar, addictive gameplay that it's renowned for. It's just a shame that the social aspects that made previous iterations an entertaining, unpredictable place to hang out, have been completely neutered, leaving behind an online component that feels comparatively sterile.
As an expansive compendium of tractor porn, Farming Simulator 17 is unparalleled, and has enough content to keep even the most ardent machinery fetishist titillated until their corn buds are ready to sprout. However, those hankering for a grittier agricultural experience encompassing the many problems faced by the modern day farmer will likely balk at Giants Software's relatively sterile approach.
Action Henk is a fun little blast that proves to be the very epitome of 'just one more go' and possesses qualities that should appeal to fans of the Xbox classic Doritos Crash Course, Sonic the Hedgehog, and not forgetting, of course, the Trials series. The constant need to improve ensures regular returns in the short term, although the lack of the online multiplayer and level editor included in the PC version will no doubt impact on its longevity.
Deadpool is an odd proposition. As an updated port of a last generation title, it fails to take any advantage of the available increase in horsepower, so, by default, fails to elevate itself above any of the other low-budget reissues currently cluttering up the marketplace. As a brawler, it doesn't compare favourably to the likes of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, purely due to its inferior fight mechanics and lack of depth. As a cheap cash-in job to coincide with the release of a Hollywood blockbuster movie of the same name, it succeeds greatly as it's cheap…a cash in…and it coincides with the release of a Hollywood blockbuster movie of the same name. As a game, it's actually pretty good fun and tosses a few interesting ideas into the mix to ensure player engagement remains constant throughout the campaign. That said, it still doesn't feel like an essential purchase, so while those that specifically seek out a copy will likely enjoy what it has to offer, there's little incentive to return for those that have already played it on one of the previous generation consoles.