Tekken 8 improves on its predecessor with a complete graphics overhaul, drastically improved netcode, and a robust base game package featuring 32 characters and 16 stages. With DLC fighters already in the pipeline, there's more than enough content to keep fighting game fans packing punches for the foreseeable future.
Valve has improved the Counter-Strike formula with the release of CS2, even if there's still a lot of work to be done before it's feature complete. While we're in the dark on specific timelines, the developer's work rate has been promising since launch, and if it continues at this pace, we're in for an exciting 2024 as Valve ushers in a new era of Counter-Strike.
This is the first Street Fighter game in a long time where it feels like players of all skill levels are welcome. While World Tour mode is disappointing, the sheer scope of SF6 means you don't need to wait for the inevitable Ultra Edition before jumping in.
I can't think of a single FIFA game that brought about as many big changes to the series as much as FIFA 19 has. EA has used the Champions League/Europa League license to improve the single-player experience, not to mention the use of special cards in FUT. The gameplay is finally at a point where it strikes the perfect balance between fun and realism. There's also much more depth when it comes to customising your team, allowing you to make your squad play exactly how you want them to using the Dynamic Tactics system. To top it all off, local multiplayer has received the biggest update in years with the new House Rules and stat tracking system that you are able to use anywhere. FIFA 19 is by far my favourite football game of all time, and that's really saying something. With so much content available for every type of player, you'd be crazy to miss out on this one.
As an online and local multiplayer game, PES 19 is definitely worth playing, however the AI problems are so bad that you shouldn't even consider purchasing the game until these issues have been addressed. Football fans will need to wait for a patch or wait a few weeks until FIFA 19 comes out.
While PUBG's Xbox version is still a far cry from perfection, it's a competent port that encapsulates the same Battle Royale experience BlueHole has been providing on PC for a while. Despite the console version still not being quite up to the standard that I'd hope for at the 1.0 update, the experience carries over well and the game is certainly playable if you aren't picky about its performance. If the standard of the PC version of the game is anything to go by, let's just say that the Xbox port could be a hell of a lot worse.
Salt and Sanctuary may be inspired by the Dark Souls series, but that doesn't necessarily mean every Dark Souls fan is going to love this game. The big problem with creating an entire game inspired by a well-loved franchise is that people's expectations are going to be sky high. As someone that loves Dark Souls, I can say I enjoyed aspects of Salt and Sanctuary, but comparing the two games side by side seems incredibly unfair. Similarly to the Souls games, Salt and Sanctuary requires time and patience for players to reap its true rewards. While that may be attractive to some, it doesn't quite have the same level of depth and finesse that would warrant it as a worthy substitute for one of the greatest RPGs ever created.
Part of the reason why 20XX exists is Capcom's negligence of the Mega Man series. Batterystaple Games has successfully taken the Mega Man X formula one step further by adding in roguelike mechanics, essentially giving the game infinite replay value. Don't worry about mastering 20XX in a week and having nothing else to do afterward, there are plenty of modes to keep the best players happy. In addition to this, the developers have also confirmed that all DLC for 20XX will be free on consoles going forward. When you consider the reasonable price (£13) and the continued support for the game, it seems like an easy decision for platforming fans.
Red Faction: Guerrilla's biggest strength is without a doubt the sheer amount of fun you can have smashing things across Mars. Sadly, that initial enjoyment doesn't last long as you proceed to do the same missions over and over again. Is this game worth picking up, or even worth replaying? For the sake of nostalgia, it might be nice to boot up the game just to relive old memories, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing this title. Despite launching at a reduced price and even being free in some instances, I would suggest playing something else. The standards for open-world third-person shooters has risen far beyond Red Faction: Guerrilla. Skip this game unless you are a huge fan of the original, or you just really love breaking stuff.
When it comes to anti-gravity racing games on PC, there really aren't that many that could possibly match the level of games such as Wipeout and F-Zero. Antigraviator is enjoyable in short bursts, though that soon wears off once you've put enough time in. Sadly, that amount of time is roughly an hour or so before you start to realize the game is very one-dimensional.
Unlike its predecessor, Unravel Two now has the gameplay to match the game's gorgeous visuals. For the low price of £18/$20, players are getting crazy value for their money. Sure, you could make the argument that the game is short, but at no point does ColdWood Interactive bore you with filler sections that are impossible to enjoy. Instead, the developers have put together a concise selection of levels that can be played in one sitting or broken up into multiple sessions Do yourself a favour and pick up Unravel Two, it's one of the best local cooperative games I've played in years.
The inclusion of an informative museum mode and a music player that lets you play every track in each of the games isn't what fans want out of a Street Fighter collection. That stuff might be interesting to look at for a few minutes when you first buy the game, but the things people are actually after are more effort being put into the games themselves. An option for input leniency would've been incredible, especially for those that are playing on the controller their console came with and not an arcade stick. Additional modes like Alpha 3's World Tour on the Dreamcast or 3SO's character trials would've been much so much more appreciated than what we received. This collection does exactly what it promises to do which is provide arcade ports of twelve classic games, but it does nothing more than that. The games in this collection are timeless; they deserved far more respect than this.
Trailblazers isn't a bad game at all, it just doesn't do anything to make me ever want to go back to it. The multiplayer portion of the game does not have enough players to get into matches consistently (or ever, in my case) leaving the lacklustre single player content. There's also the local multiplayer but, just like the single-player content, you and your friends will get bored relatively quickly. To top everything off, the price of the game is far too high for what you are getting, making it difficult to convince anyone you know to pick it up.
Sea of Thieves is a daring attempt by Rare but also a lacking one on so many fronts. While the graphics are fantastic and the game has a unique charm, ultimately the world feels empty, devoid of content and features. Sailing with friends can be an exhilarating experience at first, but when there's not much to do the fun dies down pretty quickly.
There's a good reason action game fans will be looking to buy Bayonetta 1 for the fourth time and Bayonetta 2 for the second time. To create a series that includes an incredibly deep combat system, an absolutely insane story with the characters, music and gameplay to match the insanity, all while managing to satisfy both the casual and hardcore crowd is certainly no easy task. Bayonetta 1 & 2 rank as two of the best action games of all time, and now you can play them on the go. What's not to love?
Players looking for a purely single-player experience will be disappointed as the G.O.A.T Career Mode is lacking in several areas. While it may be difficult to become a champion in the Octagon, the fighting in UFC 3 feels satisfying once you get used to all the mechanics. Be prepared to study outside of the game as the tutorials simply do not cut it. UFC 3 is the best game in the series so far, however the developers still have a long way to go before it reaches the heights of the other EA Sports titles.
Nine Parchments is a difficult game to recommend as it's a very average approach to a genre that has existed for some time now. While it's visually appealing scenes are impressive enough to pique the interest of potential players, it's stale gameplay and painfully slow leveling system lack the fresh and creative experience that you'd expect to find here. Amongst a sea of games on Steam and the other digital stores, Frozenbyte have failed to include features that retain players' attention in the long-term. There are no puzzles to solve, no secret areas to explore and no worthwhile loot to discover. Enemy encounters quickly feel tiresome and monotonous, with successful fights boiling down to whether or not you can identify an enemy by its colour. If you're looking for a co-op dungeon-crawler with solid mechanics and a unique design, maybe pick up one of the popular favourites rather than this new title.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 has the potential to be an amazing game, however, it is unlikely we'll ever get to play the real game as it's hidden beneath microtransactions. In an ideal world, EA would remove the Star Card system completely and replace it with something that doesn't interfere with the gameplay. If you are on the fence, maybe wait a few weeks to see how EA deal with the progression system beforehand. That being said, even with Battlefront 2's flaws I'd still say it's worth playing.