A fun, quirky art style? Check. Enjoyable mechanics and satisfying animations? Check. Four-player co-op? Check. It's difficult to give the game an especially high score, no matter how much I enjoyed it, but rest assured that if you're looking for a small title to fill some time with friends - or you're a fan of the genre as a whole - then it's well worth a look.
I've had a lot of fun playing Evolve; it's well-balanced, satisfying and wonderfully tense at times. Some elements of the game don't quite match up to the core concept, the maps and the progression system in particular, but it's not enough to hinder the appeal. I hate myself for saying it, but I can see why Turtle Rock has taken the super-DLC route for Evolve. They're going to have a lot of hooked gamers by the end of February, and more than a few that'll be willing to part with yet more cash. That, I think it's safe to say, will be the most important measure of Evolve's success.
Satisfying gameplay mechanics, an often exciting day/night system, perfectly balanced and designed levelling and well-rounded presentation that ties all of these things together nicely. There's a lot to like about Techland's latest; if you're looking for a great zombie survival story then you're better off looking elsewhere. Need a well-crafted open-world filled with fun things to do though and you're unlikely to do much better than Dying Light this half of 2015.
The Eden Games heritage of Ivory Tower shines through in just about every element of the game - including, sadly, the awful story. The social features are also a little underwhelming, and there are much better looking driving games out there. Yet for every stumble, The Crew makes a huge leap. It's so immediate, with very few loading screens, and the fact that you'll probably never race on the same route twice cannot be understated. It's a game changer, and I'm somewhat concerned that I'll never be able to play a normal circuit racer ever again.
It feels stripped back, but not in a 'finely tuned race car' kind of way, but rather 'old banger that's had more than a few collisions' way. It's a significantly worse game than most of those that have preceded it, with some jaw-dropping omissions and rather dull additions. I had hope that once Yuke's gave over the reigns we would see an new age for WWE videogames, but this isn't the new start that I imagined. 2K15 is a serviceable game, and can be great fun at times (the ability to play with friends is what's keeping the score from dipping below five), but it pales in comparison to the older WWE titles, making it almost pointless to upgrade.
It's funny, there's a lot about Beyond Earth that I'm not too sure about and a fair number of mechanics that could be better. Yet it's incredibly playable and just as addictive as every other Civilization game. It's incredibly easy to lose a lot of time while playing, which is a testament to how the game can really get the player involved. It's ever-present that the game has a tendency to force the player down a certain path, lacking the overall freedom of something like Europa Universalis IV. Yet when the path is as beautiful, thoughtful and fun as Beyond Earth, it's not exactly a challenge to walk that path over and over again. It does indeed feel like a reskin of Civilization V, but it's a skin that the game wears quite well.
For a group of friends who regularly play together in the same room, this would be an ideal addition to the rotation. It's an ironically fitting tribute to the days of Goldeneye, and one that will have your group in stitches by the end of your first session. Of course, you'll be at it tooth and nail by the second session, and by the third you'll probably be sick of it. While the idea and execution are both excellent, the game just isn't substantial enough to warrant extended play sessions.
The core elements of the game are all very good: story, visuals and gameplay are top notch, but they don't combine particularly well. The lofty ideas of player independence are held back by the need to tell a convincing story and the narrative can conversely be held back by the degree of player agency that does exist. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an enjoyable short game by all accounts, the sum just isn't quite as good as the parts.
As gamers, we've certainly become a lot more demanding for original and varied content across the stretch of a game, and while repetition and score-beating held up well 30 years ago, it's not the case anymore. For series fans looking for a temporary time machine this'll do the trick, for most other gamers, it's a simple reminder of gaming's brilliant, but dated, past.
While The Western Front Armies could have been so much better, it's still a good piece of DLC in its own right, all for a reasonable price. If you've always been intrigued by the series but felt a little intimidated by the strategy elements, then this is a great opportunity to shake off that fear (seriously, you should really shake off that fear). That is probably the ultimate aim of this DLC, even if current fans will still enjoy it. Still, those same fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by the lack of additional modes and story elements, even if the selection of new maps are all adequately decent. Also, if we could just get a giant DLC pack of co-op Theatre of War missions, that'd be great.
For the Anomaly series as a whole, this seems like an unnecessary step backwards from the fun convoy-leading gameplay of the first two games. As a game in and of itself however, Anomaly Defenders is a capable and fun game that fans of the genre should enjoy. At a low price it's worth a gamble, but don't expect the same inspired experience of Anomaly 2.
I'm just going to state the obvious to round things up: this is basically Tropico 4.5. There simply isn't enough variation from the previous game to justify its development, let alone the full price tag, so I simply cannot score it too highly. Yet, as mentioned, I can happily recommend Tropico 5 as a game in and of itself. For newcomers to the series the inclusion of multiplayer, the eras system and some decent general balancing work make this the best iteration of Tropico yet. For series fans however, it'll be difficult to see past the lack of innovation. In all likelihood though, like me you'll still have a great time playing it, and isn't that what's most important?
It sums up Bound by Flame well that although you'll be deciding which end of the moral spectrum to play throughout, you're still presented with the same options by the end of the game. This is a badly planned game that clearly suffered from time, management or technical issues during development and is best avoided.
This is ultimately something very different and represents a brilliant transferal of typically PC-only gameplay to console. I fully recommend buying Don't Starve on PS4, but if it ever joins PS+ again, then you've got no reason to miss it.