Having spent a couple hours with the final release of Roller Champions, it’s definitely a future sports game that’s got some juice to it. It’s reductive to say it’s just Roller Derby Rocket League, but that’s also how it’s going to get people’s attention so it can showcase the kinds of skilful play and team-based gaming that could make it a success. Will it stick around for the long-run? Well, for that we’ll just have to wait and see.
Played together with a group of friends and the wild array of modifiers mixing things up, Golf Gang is an absolute hoot, especially as both shot play and time count to your score. It's a party game through and through, but just feels a bit light (as many mini golf games do) when played on your own.
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters is a great take on the turn-based strategy genre, encouraging front-foot combat with a strike force of empowered Grey Knights at your disposal. It takes a while to get going, the situations and enemies you encounter lack a bit of variety, but this is an accomplished effort that's easy to recommend to fans of Warhammer 40K and XCOM alike.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land makes Kirby's jump to 3D feel effortless, but it's much more than that, with the vibrantly styled decaying world to explore and the Mouthful Modes that will have you laughing with each new one that's discovered.
As you play more, I’m sure it’s a tonal difference that will fade as you get used to it, but it does slightly undercut what Nintendo are selling and makes it feel like these were intended for another game – Mario Kart Tour, if this suspicion holds true. Then again, it’s hard to complain when there is such a huge wealth of circuits coming to the game through the Booster Pass’ six waves. It’s the gameplay that matters most, and the sheer variety of circuits that Nintendo are throwing into the mix is huge. They’re doubling the amount of tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and it means that I and millions of others are sure to come back to the game and enjoy what it offers all over again.
Gran Turismo 7 takes everything that was excellent about GT Sport's fantastic multiplayer, high fidelity cars and circuits and innovative Scapes mode, and builds up a more traditional GT experience around it. It's got its own quirky new ideas which will likely be passing diversions to most, but at its core, this is the Gran Turismo you know and love. Broad and accessible, but with depth, nuance and competitive racing for those keen to find it.
Where the original console release of Assetto Corsa Competizione had some huge caveats hanging over it, the game's release on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S brings it up to spec, effectively matching the PC version. It still has some weaknesses in presentation and structure for new players in particular, but once you get into the groove, it's one of the best sim racers you can buy right now.
GRID Legends builds on the foundations of the 2019 reboot, improving the driving experience in certain areas, adding a big new story mode, and throwing more variables and variety into the mix. There's enjoyable, pulpy action racing to be had here, but some of the fundamental weaknesses from the last game remain, and as the racing game community increasingly looks toward sim racing, it feels like this franchise is in need of another reinvention.
If Total War Warhammer 3 is the beginning of the end for Creative Assembly's fantasy series, then it's going out on a high note. The game takes several steps forward in how the campaign works, how it builds toward climactic battles and then how those battles take place, and there's plenty of quality of life improvements for the Total War series as a whole.
Royal Court is a pricey expansion, but it helps Crusader Kings 3 take another step toward representing that Game of Thones-ian medieval ruler fantasy. Alongside that the cultural hybridisation and divergence also mean it’s building out the foundations of the actual grand strategy in intriguing ways for the game’s future.
Looking back on the three parts of the Far Cry 6 season pass, it feels like something of a missed opportunity. While the roguelite genre really suited delving into Vaas’ mind, trotting out the exact same format for both Pagan Min and Joseph Seed feels rote, stretching the idea out as a means to an end. It would have taken much greater effort and time for Ubisoft to do so, but mixing up the genres, the structure and approach that each DLC took would have been much more impactful. Still, fans of Far Cry will likely get a kick out of the expanded exploration of each character’s tale.
Behind the chilled out vibes of OlliOlli World's new art style, happy-go-lucky characters and eccentric customisation, this game takes Roll7's flow-state side-scrolling skating to new heights. It's a tad more welcoming for newcomers, but even OlliOlli 2 veterans will have plenty of new tricks to learn and master through its increasingly wild and challenging levels.
There’s some good ideas at play here, and it’s competently put together, but so far Rainbow Six Extraction feels fairly flat. The Archaeans simply aren’t all that interesting to fight against, their designs rather bland, and their introduction sitting at odds with what the Rainbow Six and Tom Clancy franchises have been about since the late 90s. It’s an inoffensive tactical co-op that’s good for a few short and sharp missions, but is that enough? We’ll report back soon with our full review.
God of War is a great port of one of the PlayStation 4's biggest games. PC gamers have all of the graphics options they could really want, and the game's origins mean that even fairly modest gaming PCs can push for high frame rates and resolutions. If you've not already played the game on PlayStation, this is a great chance to catch up ahead of Ragnarok's highly anticipated release.
Annihilation Line is a good DLC expansion, but will do nothing to change your mind about Terminator: Resistance. If you enjoyed the setting and the gunplay then there is more here to get stuck into, but there is no deviation from the core gameplay to be found. Not quite 'I'll be back', but neither is it 'Hasta la Vista'.
There's a good game to be found within the Battlefield 2042 and fun to be had as the spectacle of Battlefield's signature gameplay is taken to new, more expansive heights, but it's marred by a handful of unsuccessful gameplay design changes, hurriedly implemented features and bugs at launch.
Happy Home Paradise gives you the easiest job in the world. Creating holiday homes for various Animal Crossing characters is about as pressure-free as it gets when you're given a clear direction, a curated set of furniture to choose from, and the knowledge that the customer will love whatever it is that you do. There's no risk of a Changing Rooms disaster here. It's another avenue to express yourself in New Horizons, just don't expect much challenge, critique or need to think too far out of the box.
Bright Memory: Infinite is a matured version of the original Bright Memory, stripping away some of that game's excesses for a more put-together experience. That said, the story is still complete insanity (that's barely acknowledged by the characters), and it's clear that this solo production cannot match its boundless ambition.