Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake feels like a missed opportunity to build on the unique concept of the original game. It could have been expanded with new scenes and situations to provide fresh new challenges and keep players on their toes. Given the success of A Way Out and It Takes Two, more work could have been done to make its co-op mode much more intuitive and enticing, too. As it is, it’s successful in beautifying the original game but nothing more, unfortunately.
Even with its areas not entirely remembering what you’ve done on a previous visit, however, Promenade is still a joy to play. It looks gorgeous, has a neat soundtrack, and is full of variety. What other game can you think of where you can go from finding chickens to playing a sneaky game of space invaders within minutes? If you love platformers, especially those that require you to collect things, consider Promenade a must-play.
We absolutely loved Final Fantasy VII Remake, but it’s safe to say that Final Fantasy VII Rebirth surpasses it in every possible way. It’s a masterpiece. It tells a grander tale, with more twists and turns that keep you on your feet. And while some new story elements may rub some players up the wrong way, they keep things feeling fresh, and make us keen to see where Square Enix will take things next. Ultimately, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has exceeded our expectations, building on the original game and indeed Final Fantasy VII Remake, delivering a sequel that feels bigger and better in all regards.
Server issues aside, which eventually should be eliminated, jump into Helldivers 2 and you’re bound to have a good time. Its battles are challenging and engaging, it’s got a fun sense of humour, and it’s rewarding seeing your war efforts pay off. Whether you find yourself fighting against fearsome automatons while waiting for your flag to be raised, or squashing bugs while racing to take down an illegal radio signal, chances are you’ll have a big grin on your face while doing so. And that’s what really matters. Helldivers 2 isn’t particularly big or clever, but boy, is it a lot of fun.
It may not be quite the leap forward that some would expect from a fully-fledged sequel, but it can’t be denied that Under Night In-Birth 2 Sys:Celes is still an accomplished fighting game. With its expanded roster, new mechanics and implementation of valued features such as rollback netcode, this is an enticing offer for series fans. And while newcomers might have a hard time when dipping their toes into its online offerings, it at least offers a myriad of ways for them to improve their skills.
Being a live-service game with plenty of content to come post-launch, it’s impossible to say right now whether Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will have legs. There’s certainly the possibility of it getting better in the future, if missions can be made more interesting and loot can lead to more unique builds. At the moment, though, when the campaign is the main focus and there’s limited endgame content, it’s hard to not be disappointed by what’s on offer. This isn’t a bad game by any means, but poor mission variety and some other minor issues really do suck much of the fun out of it.
While it can be a little ham-fisted with its messaging, Silent Hill: The Short Message is a suitably dark and disturbing experience that certainly captures the look and feel of Silent Hill. Those who dig into it will find that it offers an interesting take on how these stories can occur outside of the actual town of Silent Hill, too. In any case, for the price of free, it’s hard to complain about a short horror experience that is as good as (or better than) most of its ilk released at a cost.
Even with the issues you can pick at in this remake, though, there’s no denying that Persona 3 Reload is one hell of game. Its story is as engaging as ever, and now its gameplay has been notably improved, giving you more options in combat and out. Along with the new visuals and soundtrack, Persona 3 has never looked, sounded or played as good. It’s just silly that it’s arrived so close to the remaster of Persona 3 Portable: if you’ve played that recently, it might not grab your attention throughout due to its authenticity. For those who are yet to jump in or are keen to relive the classic yet again, however, simply play and enjoy.
Taking into consideration its wealth of content and aggressive combat system, it’s clear that Tekken 8 is one of the best fighting games around. With its numerous single-player modes and online offerings, there’s something here for everyone. And its character roster should be applauded for its depth and variety. Above all, though, Tekken 8 succeeds because it’s simply such good fun to play. Stunning visuals work with its clever camera to inject battles with genuine drama. And thanks to more accessibility options than ever, more players can have fun whether they’re a seasoned pro or an absolute newcomer.
The biggest Yakuza game to date, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth certainly doesn’t disappoint. While its story is somewhat hampered by frequent diversions to introduce new mechanics or side-content, there’s still plenty to keep you gripped. And while we have to admit that we enjoy the combat more when it’s action-based, the turn-based system here is entertaining. In any case, Infinite Wealth delivers exactly what you’d expect by now: a lengthy story full of surprising twists and turns that manage to elicit a wide range of emotions, and a ridiculous volume of side content that will keep you playing long after the credits have rolled – or simply delay that from happening.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a bit of a no-brainer for fans of the series – it’s three more solid entries enhanced for modern consoles alongside a wealth of extras and quality of life improvements. What’s not to love? Saying that, however, we’re of the opinion that this offers the weakest selection of games when it comes to the three collections now available. If you’re new to the Ace Attorney series, perhaps start with the Phoenix Wright Trilogy or Great Ace Chronicles, then think about picking this one up.
Whether you’re brand new to The Last of Us Part 2 or already own it on PS4 and are upgrading to this remastered version for the extra bells and whistles, you’re in for a treat. Thanks to the visual and performance improvements, there’s no better way to experience the grim, shocking and sometimes uncomfortable story of The Last of Us Part 2. And once that ordeal is over, a great effort has been made here to allow you an interesting insight into the game’s development. It’s the elements here that allow you to extend your play that really make the difference, though. From new unlockable outfits to the brilliant No Return roguelike mode, chances are you’ll keep playing The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered long after the credits have rolled.
Having been away from our consoles for some 14 years, we’re glad that Prince of Persia has made a return. And while we’d welcome another 3D action adventure entry with open arms, Ubisoft’s choice to adopt a 2.5D Metroidvania format for this foray is a shrewd one. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has everything you’d expect of a Prince of Persia game, from tense, thoughtful combat to challenging platforming. Yet thanks to its youthful flair and genre-shift, it feels fresh and unlike anything else currently in the Ubisoft library. For Prince of Persia fans and those who enjoy Metroidvanias in general, this is very much worthy of a recommendation.
With the Metroidvania genre seemingly being one of the most popular right now, fans are stacked with choices when it comes to what to play. And while Cookie Cutter might not be at the top of the pile, it does stand out for a number of reasons. Its hand-drawn art is wonderful to behold, and its punk spirit will no doubt be very attractive to some. Then there’s the combat, which has its issues but is mostly chaotic in the best way. Ultimately, then, while it’s not going to win any awards, you could do a lot worse than spend time with Cookie Cutter.
A lengthy game with puzzles around every corner, The Talos Principle 2 is another triumph for Croteam. We wondered how the developer would top the phenomenal first entry in this mind-boggling series, and it’s done so by providing a veritable feast of varied and engaging puzzles, backed up with thoughtful philosophy and stunning visuals that heighten its light exploration elements. If you play just one puzzle game this year make it this one. In fact, we’d go as far to say that The Talos Principle 2 is one of the best puzzle games of all time.
Pick up Gangs of Sherwood and you might get a few hours of entertainment out of it, especially if you play it with friends. Ultimately, though, this is a mediocre action game with a litany of issues ranging from unbalanced characters to sub-par presentation. For that reason it’s difficult to recommend, even if you’re intrigued by its visually fresh take on the legend of Robin Hood. Though to be honest, this doesn’t feel like a Robin Hood game at all. There’s little stealing from the rich to give to the poor here. And aside from Friar Tuck, his band of merry men doesn’t really seem all that merry.
All in all, Invincible Presents: Atom Eve proves to be an enjoyable journey whether you’re familiar with the world of Invincible or not. It’s got good writing, beautiful art, and challenging encounters that really make you think about your actions. Sure, you’ll get more out of it if you’ve read the comics or watched the show, but anyone that appreciates a good visual novel or wants to delve into the life of a teenager with the added burden of super powers will find a lot to love here.
Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is a bit of a disappointment on all fronts. The games themselves just aren’t all that fun to play any more. And even if you do manage to eke some entertainment out of them, the package overall is very basic, with no museum-like content or extras to make the games more appealing to return to. Unless you’re an ardent Jurassic Park fan hellbent on having access to these games on modern formats, you’d be wise to think twice before parting with your hard-earned money.
For fans of the side-scrolling beat ’em up genre, Chipmonk! is likely to be an interesting curio. After all, how many other games allow you to take control of warrior chipmunks battling against a range of other animals? It does feel rather dated though, very much taking inspiration from the true classics of the genre and not having ambitions to further them in any way. The result is a game that will be a hard sell for many, especially if they’re not instantly drawn in by the animal shenanigans.
Something a little bit different from Puppet Combo, Christmas Massacre puts the shoe on the other foot, putting you in the position of power in a retro-horror setting. You’re the killer here. You’re the villain. Instead of fighting for your own life, you’re seeking to put an end to others’. It proves to be a challenging and morbidly enjoyable endeavour, even if the the game itself isn’t the most mechanically robust. If you’ve got the stomach for it and enjoy the macabre, Christmas Massacre is definitely worth giving a go. At the very least, it’ll let you release some steam if you get stressed this Christmas.