Chernobylite is an enjoyable little loot n’ shooter sadly torpedoed by technical issues for the PS4 version. It’s such a shame that the intriguing storyline and the compulsive scavenging fun is completely ruined by bugs. I was looking forward to uncovering the dark mysteries lurking within Pripyat, but until the game-breaking errors are fixed, they will have to remain hidden.
City of Gangsters provides a brilliantly free-form gangsta’s paradise, where countless options are available to weave intricate criminal schemes. It can get repetitive during certain stages of expansion as you have the same interactions over and over, but if you can get over that then it’s pretty compelling. There’s an irresistible one-more-turn appeal that’ll keep you greasing palms and bootlegging hooch long into the night.
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers took a big risk giving a whole new look and feel to the EDF series, but it’s a gamble that pays off well. The more cutesy stylings and arcadey gameplay will turn off some, but many others will find it to be a fresh twist on the EDF formula. With a gigantic cast of international characters to play as, there’s plenty of chaotic joy to be had.
Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is a thoroughly brutal mix of simulation and roguelike. It’s more narrow focus may alienate those wanting a more complete management and strategy title, but may interest others. It’s only for those who want an unforgiving experience and are happy to labour not for a glorious kingdom, but for one more day of desperate survival. If you want a darker simulation title then you’ll find Siege Survival: Gloria Victis is gritty enough to clear a snowed-in driveway in Antarctica.
Postal Redux is a great definitive version of a subversive late nineties classic that men of a certain age can wistfully look back on as a naughty pleasure from adolescence. Still, returning veterans and new players alike will notice that this 24 year old game can only be polished so far and there’s a janky lack of refinement in the core gameplay. There’s enjoyment to be had in Postal Redux, but it’s best enjoyed if you’re able to set your mind and expectations back to 1997.
Evil Genius 2 is a surprisingly addictive (evil) management sim. Despite there being a bit of repetitive busywork to do, there’s plenty of global domination wickedness for even the most power-hungry megalomaniac to sink their avaricious teeth into.
The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante is a remarkable storytelling achievement. Ironically, though the game is rendered in an artful monochrome, none of its frequent moral decisions are completely black and white. Every choice had my mouse wavering over the screen, considering the consequences of my actions. It’s one of those rare gaming narratives that’s equally tragic, challenging and exhilarating. The message I felt came across is: don’t weep for the paths not taken or the limited change one person can make, but choose the life you want to live and live it to the fullest. As painful and filled with sorrow as Sir Brante’s life is, it’s one that’s well worth living through yourself.
In the opening title screen, Richard LaRuina is portrayed wearing Jedi-like robes akin to Star Wars, and this is apt because Super Seducer 3 is definitely the Return of the Jedi to Super Seducer 2’s Empire Strikes Back. Though this third entry loses some of the racism and sexism from its predecessor, it also loses much of the grandiose spectacle and the sobering balance of a female perspective on the hornball protagonist. Unless you’re willing to wade through plenty of creepiness and tedious attempts at dating advice to laugh at Richard’s oddball antics, I wouldn’t recommend a purchase here. Richard LaRuina sees himself as a master of the art of pick up, but Super Seducer 3 is a game you’ll probably want to put down.
Amnesia: Rebirth is a worthy addition to a classic series. It buries the player deep in an oppressive atmosphere of fear like a gravedigger spading dirt onto a coffin. If the state of the world today isn’t terrifying enough for you, picking up Amnesia: Rebirth will certainly sate your lust for scares.
Overall, the experience of Port Royale 4 ends up feeling stretched a little thin. Though there are riches to be made, treasures to be found, and pirates to defeat, the whole experience lacks the tension of being in constant competition with an equally powerful rival. Since you’re not in symmetrical opposition to anyone, it’s not a great grand strategy, and it’s not a particularly in-depth turn-based combat strategy either. Instead of feeling like a cunning pirate king or merchant tycoon, you often end up feeling like you’re in a rather aimless sandbox with a list of fiddly errands to do.