Ubisoft delivers another open-world epic, but this time it's a focused and streamlined affair. The graphical overhaul works to announce the end of one era and the beginning of another as Assassin's Creed continues its ongoing evolution as an accessible action-adventure for the long-time fans, while still offering a deep RPG experience for those introduced via Origins and Odyssey.
Watch Dogs Legion is a fantastic continuation of the franchise. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel with its gameplay, even if it does flip tradition by ditching a main character to follow. The new systems in place work really well and hacking around London is as good as it ever was in previous games. Where next?
DIRT 5 is a brilliant racer and that provides an early taste of next-gen, at least on PS4 Pro. The gameplay is great arcadey fun, and there's depth to the single-player mode that gets much deeper with the player creation kit in Playgrounds. Dirt 5 blurs the lines between current and next-gen with DIRT 5. It's ahead of the game and perhaps one of the best racers of this console generation, and if you're left playing on the older machines this side of Christmas, you shouldn't feel too hard done by - you're still getting an exceptional racer.
The Walking Dead: Onslaught is an easy game to recommend. The gameplay is solid and very, very fun, even if it's a little gross at times. The story isn't the highlight, and it does fall into some traps of repetition and tropes, but The Walking Dead fans will be happy to take a step into the miserable world with Daryl as their avatar. The real highlight is in Scavenger missions and all the walker bashing it brings. It's a shame there's no co-op, and not all of the original cast voice their characters, but there's really not much to complain about.
THPS1+2 is probably the best remake I've played. It perfectly captures the core fun of the original games, including the original soundtrack and skaters, and brings it up to modern standards with surprisingly few tweaks outside of the graphics and audio work. Perfect for long time loyal fans, and a great starting point for newcomers.
The Last of Us 2 takes a massive misstep with its story, but it’s saved from failure by its brilliant gameplay. It’s slow and shallow far too often, but when the gameplay is allowed to take centre stage, there’s something special to be had. It’s a thriller and a bore, and while I enjoyed the gameplay, I don’t think I’d be able to endure it again for the New Game+ mode.
GORN is good fun. It’s not clean fun, mind you, so you’ll have to watch out for younger players, but it’s good-natured and it works well on the PSVR hardware. The controls are decent enough, but the hardware does pull it down a touch from the PCVR version. All said and done, I highly recommend GORN for PSVR players looking for their next sweat-inducing game.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered is ridiculous in so many ways. It’s over-the-top to the point of parody. It’s hilarious, it’s outrageous, and it can be quite offensive to delicate souls. It’s not perfect, but it’s a bloody good game made better with a few coats of new paint and polish.
Nippon Marathon is a weird game for weird people. I consider myself to be weird, but this is some next-level stuff. If you find that your tastes in games generally align with mine, leave this alone. If you sit around watching anime on your Hello Kitty TV whilst eating imported noodles with authentic wasabi sauce – go for it, you weirdo.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy offers great value for money with three fantastically presented remakes of classic games. The quality-of-life additions are a nice touch, too, as is the option for dynamic music. The performance could have been a little better, but if you played these games on the original PlayStation then you’ll no doubt be able to look past the very few shortcomings this collection has.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an interesting game. Fun is pushed to the background in place of realism and a dedication to keeping the world grounded in reality. You’re a guest and you have to play by the rules, and Rockstar lets you know this by dictating everything and putting a limit on what you can and can’t do.
Marvel's Spider-Man leans heavily on the tried-and-tested open-world formula, to its benefit and its loss. While it apes those that came before at every turn, it does so in such a way that it doesn't even matter - it's a beautiful Spider-Man game that tells its own story while delivering gameplay that's familiar but fine-tuned. Spend a few minutes swinging around and you'll barely care for the game's shortcomings. This isn't just the best Spider-Man game to do - it's the best super-hero game thus far.
The American Dream is silly from start to finish. Its over-the-top commentary will no doubt rub some the wrong way, but for those of us with a modicum of intelligence, The American Dream is a silly gallery shooter that just happens to mock American gun culture.
Surviving Mars has its flaws, sure, but they're inescapable when you're dealing with complex RTS systems on a console that doesn't allow you to use a mouse. Once you've got the controls nailed down and you've started building your colony, everything just clicks into place. It's a deep, rewarding time-sink of a game that should keep RTS fans happy for many, many sols