John Cal McCormick
- Final Fantasy IX
- Persona 4 Golden
- Mass Effect 2
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is a bit like when you fancy watching a game of footy but there's only the Scottish league on the telly. Sure, it looks like football to the untrained eye, and yes, occasionally it's entertaining just like real football, but you're mainly there hoping that someone is going to get chinned.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a strategy game that requires very little strategy for much of its short running time. While it does eventually present a little more challenge in the closing chapters, the hum-drum narrative and bargain-basement cut-scenes won't provide you with much incentive to persevere through the duller moments which make up most of the game. If you're a massive fan of the show waiting for the next season, then you're probably better off just forming your own gang while talking in a comedy Brummie accent.
While they share plenty of the same DNA, Othercide is much more than simply XCOM in eyeliner. Sacrificing warriors to boost the stats of other units proves a compelling and flexible mechanic, while the combat encounters ramp up in difficulty at mostly the right pace. A stunning aesthetic and perfectly complementary soundtrack are the icing on the cake, only occasionally marred by unfortunate technical difficulties.
Huntdown is an ode to the gloriously violent and ridiculous action movies of the 80s, revelling in cheesy one-liners, larger than life characters, and wanton bloodshed. It's challenging but largely fair, with some thrilling boss encounters that require a variety of tactics to bring to justice.
Pillars of Eternity II is a 9/10 RPG tragically trapped inside a 7/10 game. The quality of the writing and the world-building is second to none, and the tried and tested combat mechanics are meticulously tuned, but the outrageous loading times and other technical issues are too upsetting to ignore. It's like sitting in a fine Italian restaurant, sipping a glass of wine and nibbling on breadsticks, enjoying your date, and then the waiter comes over and drops a dead dog on the table. Wrong table, mate. I ordered the carbonara. Now get that dead dog out of my sight.
Blair Witch's strongest aspect -- its eerie woodland setting -- is perfect for a focused, streamlined, horror experience. Unfortunately, that's not what this game is, and the superfluous, gimmicky gameplay mechanics that are thrown at you with reckless abandon only serve to make the game less effective as a whole. A disappointing story, frustrating level design, and precious few genuine scares leaves us hoping that this is one franchise that gets lost in the woods.
Civilization VI is an excellent strategy game that offers numerous ways to play, and all of them are viable options. You can lead a peaceful nation or a war-mongering empire and still have an engrossing and rewarding experience like few others on PS4. Excessive load times, grating music, and some occasionally irksome controls are the only real downsides to what is otherwise the system's best strategy game, and a title that strategy fans can scarcely afford to skip.
The Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Pack offers incredible value for money, with hundreds of hours of role-playing game action spread across two main games and various expansions. While players unfamiliar with the series may find the presentation or the sometimes finicky navigation unappealing, the narrative remains compelling, the characters engaging, and the combat challenging. More than that, it's the first opportunity for console gamers to play two of the greatest RPGs of all time, and it shouldn't be skipped.
At its best, Frostpunk provides a tense, nail-biting experience like few others in the genre. It's not about building an empire, or creating a beautiful cityscape, but simply doing what you need to do to guide your people through what at first seems like insurmountable adversity. There's a few niggling issues, but the feeling you get from surviving the campaign is one of utter, unbridled joy, and it's that feeling more than any other why we have absolutely no qualms about recommending Frostpunk to you.