Scott Ellison II
Expeditions: A MudRunner Game isn’t a game that has mass appeal, it’s niche in design and executes on that well. The off-roading and simulation systems are second-to-none, and the lack of co-op at launch will disappoint many. The positioning of this entry being more science-focused keeps things fresh for the series that could have gotten stale or too familiar otherwise. Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is sure to challenge you, but rewards patience, and offers an adventure like no other.
At no point was I rushed or pushed towards a linear path. Islands of Insight respects your time, and ensures that you take your time. The way puzzles are introduced feel organic, and it has its own way of ramping of difficulty in each area. So that when you reach even the third or fourth island, you’re still starting fresh, and not dealing with near impossible puzzles. Lunarch Studios have made something special here, and being able to do that in a shared open-world with others is a delight. Islands of Insight is joyful, peaceful, and a relaxing experience that’s absolutely worth it.
I certainly like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League more than I did Gotham Knights, but only just. There’s a good game here, but it’s best moments are in the opening hours, and what follows is live service tedium that takes its own life. There are some laugh out loud moments via the cutscenes and quips said throughout the game, but it doesn’t save it from itself. This game feels forced, more so than WB’s desire to make “Suicide Squad” a household name, and cheer for the anti-hero. No amount of endgame content is gonna change my mind on what should have been finite, self-contained story. Instead, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is an infinite crisis of mundane content.
Bahnsen Knights features less “going through the motions”, and features more gameplay to chew on. LCB Game Studio really has something special here in Bahnsen Knights, and the entire trilogy of games must be experienced, even if they are crafted as standalone experiences. I think the connective tissue that binds these games together is well worth it. I appreciate a game that doesn’t waste your time, and the short story presentation is absolutely killer. Bahnsen Knights will leave you satisfied, but is an uncomfortable and tense ride until it’s credits roll.
“Risk of Rain Returns” has its own flavor while staying true to what made the original special. I might not agree with the chaotic nature that longer playthroughs become, but with so many positives, so many hours already pumped into it — and many to come —, it’s hard not to fall in love with it. If you manage to fall in love, I recommend checking the original game if you haven’t and its sequel. But, a fair warning: I won’t be responsible for the hours you might spend in each game. Whether this goes to the dozens or to the hundreds. What I can say is: buckle up, it will be one hell of a ride, and one I’m happy that it exists. I’m happy that “Risk of Rain” is “back”, I’m happy that I’m having a great time with it. I hope you will too.
Call of Duty HQ needlessly complexes the game loading process, as switching between games and modes requires relaunching a different executable. The campaign is hurried along in an unenjoyable way with open mission design that takes away from what makes the series great. Zombies mode is completely forgettable and a rehash of DMZ, which is not included or playable in Modern Warfare III . Multiplayer does the heavy lifting, and really only stays strong through nostalgia of the original Modern Warfare 2. While the maps hold a timeless appeal, it doesn’t feel fresh or new as an experience. This is a game that barely stands on its own. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is unlike other games, it’s not broken, just bad and lacking any redeeming values.
Dungeons 4 hasn’t changed a whole lot, but it is far more refined. Realmforge Studios have really found their stride here. The game balances challenge with power fantasy that just works so well. It continues the wonderful escapades of underground excavation with the best of real-time strategy – and that’s turtling to steamroll the enemies. Dungeons 4 does Dungeon Keeper legacy proud, and is a devilishly good time.
GUNHEAD is a fine game on its own, because it contains all the pieces that made CRYPTARK so good. That said, GUNHEAD feels surprisingly unambitious as it plays just like its forebear, albeit through a different lens. I’ll say that if you didn’t like the 2D side-scrolling shooting of CRYPTARK , then the 3D first-person shooting of GUNHEAD is probably more appealing. It’s unfortunate that the 3D space is hard to gain awareness of approaching dangers, and the fact it resembles the prior game so much that it doesn’t feel new or fresh. GUNHEAD contains the formula of a great a tried-and-true roguelike that you should at least try before you buy.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHED 2 – Turbocharged is the kind of game to bring friends, siblings, or others together and play for hours on end. Then when they’re done, go into their closets and start playing with real Hot Wheels sets. The sophomore entry hasn’t changed much, so it’s more of the same, but it’s more of a great game. Milestone is a great fit as the developer of this series, and it’s a good time for all. HOT WHEELS UNLEASHED 2 – Turbocharged features wonderful locations, action-packed racing, and a virtual collection to rival all collections – there’s so much to love in the sequel.
For the first time in many years, I don’t have to keep DiRT Rally 2.0 and the annual WRC game installed simultaneously. Additionally, the DiRT series doesn’t have to live a life of dual identity anymore. Despite some minor quibbles with some modes being hollow, or some concerns of performance, this freshman offering is simply great – and what smooths a lot of this over is its moderate pricing. WRC puts World Rally Championship on full display, and this next-generation rally renaissance is not to be missed.
Colossal Order offers an intricate deep simulation of a city builder. Aside from the taxing performance, it’s simply amazing to see in motion. For the price, you get a metropolis-sized game full of options. It’s also one of those things where I can’t wait to see what this game is like eight years from now. Cities: Skylines II offers the next-generation of the city builder that constantly impressed and amazed.
ABRISS is just a towering achievement of a building and destruction simulation game, offering a unique and visually stunning experience. It successfully blends innovative mechanics with addictive gameplay, making it a can’t miss. While there are a few minor areas where it could improve, the overall package is highly enjoyable for all. ABRISS – build to destroy encourages you to smash it up, and stands tall among the crowd.
Pizza Possum has more than enough meat to satisfy. It’s a game that you might be done in two to four hours, but for the price, it’s really fun. This is one of those games that just about anyone can pick-up and play. It’s a rare kind of game that doesn’t too much out of you, and you can get a lot of enjoyment from it with each person you introduce to it. Pizza Possum is bite-sized game with meal-sized fun, and it truly delivers.
El Paso, Elsewhere calls back to the early 2000s with slow motion dives and psychedelic dream sequences with platforming, but it fails to feel like it's breaking new ground despite its differences. This is a Max Payne -like that doesn't have a sense of place or personality. A motel just doesn't cut it, no matter what you do with the interior. There's a lot to like with the story set around responsibility, the neo-noir writing, and even its aesthetic. But when it comes to gameplay, you'll get into a rhythm with it, but it can't keep up with its own beat. El Paso, Elsewhere is fun for its runtime, but you'll be ready for it to be over once the credits roll.
The Crew Motorfest will do a lot get your motor running. It's felt as each game in this series has been closing in on Forza Horizon , and if you want a new flavor to try, this is it. There's a breadth of content to explore and race in, and there's sure to be many favorites. While Hawaii is not an all-new location to racing games, and it may feel like you've been here before, but it's like your favorite vacation destination that you want to revisit. The Crew Motorfest celebrates motoring's past, present, future with much respect and tons of fun.
Gunbrella is a visually stunning and mechanically innovative, and while the narrative isn’t on even footing as its counterparts, it’s a standout title. From its stylish pixel art to its engaging gameplay and intriguing world, Gunbrella is a must-play for fans of action-adventure and retro games alike. With its unique blend of humor, mystery, and action, it’s a testament to what doinksoft does best, and does so well.
Even though this is the predecessor to Raiden IV x MIKADO remix , this remaster comes after it, and it’s easy to see that MOSS has learned a lot and even made improvements where it needed to. While I like Raiden IV a lot, I gotta say that I like the simplicity and improvements of Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX more, really enhancing Raiden III in great ways. Every game deserves a second chance, and Raiden III x MIKADO MANIAX is an approachable and awesome entry in the long-running series that is well-worth the price of admission.
Starfield doesn’t reinvent the RPG genre, but it does make it quite exciting. It’s a game that feels distinct from the studio’s prior work like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout , and even represents the best of both worlds. Bethesda Game Studios managed to incorporate streamlined systems to make exploring space fun, and never a chore. There’s nothing I dislike about it. Starfield is ambitious and magical, capturing the wonder and vastness of space beautifully, and feels like a truly next-gen experience.
Frozenbyte hasn’t lost a step in the four years since the last game. Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy reminds me of a simpler time but still manages to be engaging and complex. The story presents the biggest threat to the heroes in all of its entry’s since the original, and is a wonderful adventure all around. If you’ve never experienced a Trine game, there’s no better time. Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy proves to be a delight and highlight among its contemporaries.
As someone who quicksaves vigorously, having a mechanic around that, tied to the game’s lore is so smart and encouraging. They absolutely own the stealth strategy genre, and they don’t miss. Mimimi Games is at their best when they are working with an original IP, and this being totally their own, makes this their best game yet. Mimimi’s third game with Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is sheer brilliance, where little victories lead into big smiles.