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.
There’s a framework for a good multiplayer game here in Hood: Outlaws & Legends, but it needs tweaking and building upon to truly give it legs. A PvE mode that actually awards progression would be welcome, too. As it stands, the clunky close combat, somewhat unbalanced characters, and a single match type results in a game that doesn’t quite meet its potential. Despite its frustrations though, it’s at least fun to play – well, until the action starts to begin feeling repetitive, which doesn’t take all that long unfortunately.
Resident Evil Village is a far cry from its more grounded and horror-focused predecessor, but in the end, it’s perhaps just as lovable. At times it feels like a greatest hits collection of some of the best elements of previous Resident Evil games, and while that leads to it not being wholly coherent, it’s not to its detriment. It may not be perfect in terms of combat mechanics and storytelling, but Resident Evil Village keeps you on your toes, with you never truly knowing what’s waiting for you around the next corner. And that’s why when playing it, the hours simply fly by. Will the series ever become stale? Not while it’s being as inventive as this, that’s for sure.
Skate City isn’t going to wow you. If you have the patience to master its awkward controls, however, it’s a game you can keep going back to, delving into it for as long or little as you please. With its action more grounded, it’s not as exciting to play as some of its competitors, but some will enjoy its more technical gameplay and showboating element that arises out of its video editing features.
A game funded by fans for fans, it’s perhaps miraculous that R-Type Final 2 even exists. It’s a shame that Granzella wasn’t a little forward thinking with its development, enticing new players into the fold to ensure the future of the franchise. As it is, R-Type Final 2 feels old-fashioned and punishing to a fault. There are simply better shoot ’em ups available that are faster paced, fairer, better looking and more accessible.