So what does Atomic Heart truly offer other than an occasionally fun, not at all original, game with too many ideas that aren’t fully fleshed out? Unfortunately, not much. It’s worth a rent or definitely checking out on a subscription service but it needs some more polish and refinement before the good things can surface the way they should.
Without a compelling story or likable protagonist, or a compelling world to explore, Forspoken only has its combat to rely on, and while I always found that fun and engaging, it’s not enough to justify an open world for a decidedly linear game. It tries a lot of things and comes up short in most of them. There’s a really good game in Forspoken. It just needed to be refined, polished, and edited.
The other area where Bloodborne’s influence can be seen is the level design. The cobble stone streets of France evoke Yharnam in not subtle ways. Where Steelrising sets itself apart, however, is the sheer verticality. Aegis can jump which allows her to climb to the rooftops to get around (where the game will allow it, of course) and eventually she acquires a grappling hook that allows her to ascend in specific areas for even more traversal options. It’s not open, and most of these areas just lead to item pickups or chests that contain armor or new weapons. Unlike Bloodborne, the levels of the game don’t really change save for one section that takes you into mines so it all eventually looks samey. More variety in the levels would have made the later portions of the game feel distinct and would have done wonders for the pacing of the game. In addition to the repeated enemy variety the back half of the game drags a bit.
Generally these games have a ton of replay value given the various outcomes you can have but between the languid pacing and the frustrating lack option to skip dialogue or cutscenes it made the prospect of doing it all over one that I wasn’t interested in. There is a chapter select available once you’ve completed the game and a death rewind feature that allows you to basically use three lives per chapter to take back a death of a character which is cool, I guess. With Until Dawn Supermassive proved they know how to tell a good story with somewhat interesting characters and good pacing, which is all the more disappointing that their first proper follow up, The Quarry, comes up short on so many levels.Generally these games have a ton of replay value given the various outcomes you can have but between the languid pacing and the frustrating lack option to skip dialogue or cutscenes it made the prospect of doing it all over one that I wasn’t interested in. There is a chapter select available once you’ve completed the game and a death rewind feature that allows you to basically use three lives per chapter to take back a death of a character which is cool, I guess. With Until Dawn Supermassive proved they know how to tell a good story with somewhat interesting characters and good pacing, which is all the more disappointing that their first proper follow up, The Quarry, comes up short on so many levels.
It’s ultimately more fun with friends, but only really if they’re also into Evil Dead as a franchise. And even then, references and nostalgia can only get you so far. Ultimately, Evil Dead the Game can be improved by patches and I’ll be happy to return to it when it is improved. As for now, I’ll stick with my film collection for my Evil Dead fix.
Flying Wild Hog's latest action game is a visual stunner, but the combat is repetitive.
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy all of my time with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, because I did enjoy quite a bit of it. And when they patch out the bugs I’m sure it will be a much better experience. Unfortunately, the things I butted heads with that are inherent to the design of the game sapped all of the joy out of it and by the time I finished the campaign, I just wanted to be done with it and move on to something else.
It’s remarkable how well From has managed to expand to a truly open world while keeping their core gameplay intact as well as building on top of it in one massive and impressively polished package. Elden Ring is clearly the culmination of FromSoftware’s past 13 years of experience and development philosophy of the souls franchise. Miyazaki and FromSoftware have crafted something so massive, special, wondrous and triumphant that it’s unfathomable how they can top it. Easily FromSoftware’s best game to date and a genuine masterpiece.
Ultimately, Rainbow Six Extraction is two conflicting games; a realistic shooter that clashes with fantastical (and dull) science fiction game and they just don’t go together. It’s clear the intention is to dole out progress slowly in hopes of players continuing to replay missions over and over to unlock more operators, maps and content. But for that to be viable the game has to be fun. And Rainbow Six Extraction just doesn’t offer anywhere close to the addictive fun (or fun at all) something like this needs to have in order to thrive.
Elex needed much more time in the oven to be the game its promising previews made it seem to be, and with the dearth of games available this winter, I can't recommend it to anyone but the most hardcore fans of the genre.
It's a shame that less than tight platforming controls and major framerate issues hinder Hob overall. There is a fantastic game here that will just have to settle for being a really good one.
It's by no means perfect, but Friday the 13th: The Game has a lot of fun to offer when you can get into matches. It delivers the promised tension of the film series, and you can see the love for the franchise in nearly everything. Unfortunately, as it's currently a multiplayer-only experience, the connection issues really do sour the game a bit, and it really could have done with a final bit of polish.
By the end of my time with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, I was left very much disappointed. Not because of the poor story and acting, but because of the technical issues that kept the game from being anything more than mediocre. It's a shame too; it's a good – if not amazing – looking game, with some really fun mechanics.
The Ringed City is a brutally unkind piece of content that shows the series at its best, but also unfortunately its worst.
If you can handle overwrought voice acting, some nasty characters, and thin writing, you’ll enjoy the story. For fans of puzzles, thankfully there is a fast skip button that allows you to skip the overly talky bits and get to the real shining star in Zero Escape: The Nonary Games.
With a large, beautiful, varied open world, a compelling central mystery, interesting side-quests and top of the field gameplay, Horizon Zero Dawn is easily Guerilla Games’ best effort yet and by far one of the best games this generation so far.
Forma.8‘s gameplay is solid, if not a little frustrating at times, but its great sound design and brilliant aesthetic really sets it apart from the crowd.
I have never, in my three decades plus of gaming been as motivated to save another video game character as I was during the last act of The Last Guardian.
The tone shifts could leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths but overall, any negatives of Watch Dogs 2 are minor and far outweighed by the sheer amount of fun that can be had in this vibrant and exciting world.
By adding a truly surprising and impeccably designed single-player campaign that is consistently fun to play, as a package Titanfall 2 is the most pure, minute-to-minute fun I’ve had with any game this year.