While little has been done to make these games truly shine on new, more powerful formats, they’re all still highly enjoyable action games – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 in particular. It’s just a shame that Ryu Hayabusa hasn’t been shown a little more love.
On the whole, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is an accomplished sequel. It builds on the first game in meaningful ways, expanding the scope of its gameplay while also being more accessible to newcomers. It remains great fun visiting one of the classic regions and figuring out the best ways to complete its available contracts, while the new long-range contract regions complement them very well, offering a different type of sniping challenge. Better yet, despite being released at a budget price, it has the look and feel of a AAA game. Needless to say, if you’re keen to do some armchair sniping, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 deserves to be in your game collection.
This is a game in which you can lose an arm and still keep on fighting, insisting that it’s just a scratch until you inevitably end up laying motionless on the floor, just like all the other unfortunate dead. It should be horrifying, really, but that’s Chivalry II‘s greatest achievement; it’s so well put together that such moments can only be considered a bloody spectacle.
Guilty Gear -Strive- isn’t the most generous fighting game available when it comes to content, but its wonderfully energetic combat makes up for it. Its characters are larger than life, each bringing something new to the table that’s worth exploring before settling on perhaps one or two to truly master. And while it’s the easiest Guilty Gear game to simply pick up and play, there’s a hell of a lot of depth to be discovered by those who wish to compete at a high level.
So, it turns out that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown isn’t quite as ultimate as the title suggests. It is, however, a solid fighting game that should keep players entertained for tens of hours – providing the online community remains buoyant and matches play out without any hitches. It’s just a shame that more offline, single-player offerings haven’t been provided to round out the package.
Maid of Sker is certainly a better game now than it was a year ago, no matter what format you play it on. It’s still doesn’t quite achieve its potential though, and while there are some clear improvements on PS5, there are unfortunately more disappointments. While it’s nice to finally be able to play the game with a silky smooth frame rate and responsive controls on console, it’s a shame that to achieve that you have to opt for visuals that don’t really impress. In you’re in the mood for an atmospheric horror you’ll probably eke some enjoyment out of this improved Maid of Sker, but you’ll soon forget the experience.
Knockout City has surprised me. It has all the ingredients of a successful multiplayer game: an enjoyable core gameplay mechanic, a high skill ceiling, and the promise of continuous and meaningful support. It’s the type of game I could easily see becoming a popular esport. If you’re after a new competitive online game to play that’s fun and rewards teamwork, be sure to give it a try. If you’re an EA Play or Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, you don’t even need to pay anything for it. Velan Studios has taken the simple concept of dodgeball and turned into one of the most original and enjoyable multiplayer games I’ve played in quite a while.
A great amount of love has been put into the creation of Capcom Arcade Stadium, and it shows. It has all the features you’d expect of a retro collection and then some, alongside a wonderfully curated selection of games. Even better, you’re not forced into buying all of the games available. Granted they’re pretty much split into three packs rather then being available separately, but at least it puts you somewhat in control of the games you have access to. And here’s hoping that it’s a selection that continues to grow, as there’s no better way to enjoy Capcom’s back catalogue of classic arcade games.
It’s hard to call Wrath of the Druids essential, but those seeking to eke out yet more gameplay from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla would be wise to check it out. As I explored the countryside of Ireland, including iconic landmarks such as The Giant’s Causeway, I couldn’t help but stop to take screenshots due to the beauty of it all. And while the gameplay boils down to more of the same, it’s enjoyable spending yet more time in Eivor’s shoes, developing their skills even further, adding more gear to their repertoire and being the person that gets things done.