The end result is a loot shooter far more confident and coherent than what we've seen before. Ubisoft Massive has learned from past mistakes, side-stepping those same pitfalls to deliver a sequel that feels dense without becoming tangled. There are still some rough edges and the burden of carrying a limp story but, ultimately, The Division 2 triumphs over everything else this genre currently has to offer.
If you loved both 2033 and Last Light then you’ve likely boarded the hype train already and won’t be disappointed. Many will appreciate the continuation of Artyom’s story and 4A’s shift towards a freer, more immersive experience though Metro is still a couple of pegs below that top tier of first-person shooters. It feels rough around the edges and is let down by occasional bugs, sloppy AI, and a flimsy stealth system. That said, innovations elsewhere make some of these shortfalls easier to overlook.
Resident Evil 2 – while not a perfect game – is the perfect remake. Capcom has lovingly rebirthed a horror icon here, preserving that core DNA without infecting it through needless add-ons or alterations. There are certain aspects that will definitely grate and feel weirdly archaic though these are clearly an intentional part of Capcom's grand design. Whether you've been waiting all these years to revisit Raccoon City or happen to be a curious first-timer, Resident Evil 2 is an essential must-have slice of video game horror, kicking off 2019 in style.
While it would have been nice to see Capcom tart up those three original games and present them in one package, simply wanting more of what this remaster has to offer is a good sign. Beneath a new lick of paint and some clever adjustments, Onimusha: Warlords doesn’t make for an essential action game in 2019 but it’s a great modernization all the same and hopefully we’ll see more Capcom classics undergo a similar makeover.
If grindy loot-fests aren’t your idea of a good time then the Vermintide series really isn’t for you, even if you find its melee-focused combat more appealing than the run n’ gunning of co-op shooters. That said, Vermintide 2 is a great sequel, and although there are still some niggling issues Fatshark has yet to stamp out, it’s a gloriously over-the-top, sword-swinging, spell-slinging romp packed with content and a perfect representation of this much-loved setting.
It’s definitely more of a management sim than a true survival horror game and, in truth, that makes for an interesting premise. However, the inherent unpredictability, lack of direct combat, and some gameplay mechanics that don’t gel ultimately hold Distrust back from being more than an experimental blending of genres.
Elastic has really thrown down the gauntlet here and although fans have had to wait, Last Year: The Nightmare is easily one of the best, most inventive horror games of the past several years and one that will hopefully ply us with new skin-crawling content in the weeks and months to come.
RUSH VR is not the realistic skydiving sim some may have expected but there's still a novelty to it that some virtual reality gamers will appreciate. It's definitely cheaper than booking the real thing, though given how repetitive races can get after your first few, you're likely to get more bang for your buck elsewhere considering the bumper crop of PSVR bangers we've had this year.
For those who simply must know what happens in the lead up to that first game, Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek is essential for filling in those blanks. However, those who are simply looking for a fun game to play are likely to be left deeply unsatisfied. Unpolished and often times confusing, it’s a weird mishmash of genres that, despite its issues, is at least helping to popularise an incredibly niche genre of children’s horror in video games.
Omen of Sorrow is a budget fighting game with AAA ambitions. AOne’s attempts to stretch it into something bigger don’t pay off and while there’s some enjoyment to be had, there are so many better, more polished alternatives that offer way more value for your money.
Déraciné isn't for everyone, even if you fancy yourself a staunch fan of FromSoftware's previous work. The slow, deliberate pacing, the vague puzzles, and a story that revolves around fairies don't add up to a must-buy PlayStation VR experience. It's an oddity and one that wants you to occasionally stop, stare, and soak in its atmosphere. Déraciné will be divisive; a borefest for some, yet bizarrely enthralling for others.
Firewall: Zero Hour is essential for PlayStation VR owners. Despite this being First Contact's debut game, it flawlessly executes on what the studio set out to do: to create PSVR's first must-have multiplayer shooter. It may even sway some of those yet to purchase one of Sony's high-tech headsets.
Overcooked 2 may be short on surprises, but that's totally fine. It expands and refines exactly what we loved about the original, with plenty of fun and challenging stages to be played again and again, whether alone, with friends, or online. You couldn't ask much more from this indie sequel: a filling follow-up that, while familiar, will have fans reaching for their aprons on launch day.
Those wanting a great squad-based shooter or a truly essential Warhammer 40,000 game will have to keep searching. At a glance, Deathwing seems like a solid adaptation and it nails that distinctive Space Hulk look and atmosphere, but there's just not enough variety or depth to keep players engaged beyond those first few encounters.