If there’s any way to summarize Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, it’s that it’s amazing to realize just how well those classic games have aged over the decades. I've enjoyed powering through the games with the new modern art, but it's the level design and gameplay that keep bringing me back. With minimal changes to the formula, the modernized appearance is all these games needed to gain a new lease of life. Tomb Raider was ahead of its time back in 1996, and this proves that even today Lara Croft still has what it takes.
A new lick of paint and some enhanced accessibility improvements bring the Super Mario RPG remake into the 21st century. While the game was already a great outing back in 1996, new players should have no problem jumping into Mario’s first RPG title, hopefully opening the door for next year’s Paper Mario remake and potentially more RPGs later down the line.
Payday 3’s high-octane action and extravagant heists make it another iconic entry into the heist shooter franchise, but it is ultimately held back by a lackluster user interface, matchmaking issues, and online DRM. While these problems can be addressed in later patches — as Starbreeze proved with its post-launch support for Payday 2, the game ends up feeling a little half-baked in its current state.
Amnesia: The Bunker has all these little pieces that work well, but doesn’t fully deliver on its main hook. Fans of the series may be set up for a No Man’s Land of disappointment, where just a few tweaks here and there might make it a much more enjoyable experience. With it also launching on Xbox Game Pass, that might be the best place for it to gain an audience.
It’s because of this that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is now one of my favourite stories set in that universe. It’s bold, it’s brave, and above all else – it’s exciting. It fits in so well with what we know about the franchise’s overarching lore, while also offering enough new content that it could stand on its own.
It’s hard to really sell just how perfect Resident Evil 4’s remake is. You’d think after countless re-releases and ports that Capcom wouldn’t have the energy for this anymore, but not only has it treated the source material with the utmost respect, but has also paved the way for an experience that may even surpass the 2005 original.
I’ve raved about how amazing it is that we can play PlayStation exclusives on PC before, and with Returnal I feel that this is the very encapsulation of Sony’s goal. Returnal is a chaotic delight to play, and fits perfectly with the setup and mindset of a PC gamer. I’m already looking forward to trying my next run.
Altogether, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake feels like it’s exactly in line with what the cartoon has become. The humour isn’t quite what it used to be, the characters are flanderisations of their original counterparts, and the plot is just too weird that it probably won’t appeal to older fans. But the children will love it.
Season is a reminder that memories of the past are all we’re left with, and it staples the importance of being able to carry over that knowledge into future generations. Because otherwise, we’re left with a culture that is doomed to repeat the same mistakes and won’t have the skills to work past it.
As a fan of FPS games and a casual fan of the CoD franchise, it pains me to say Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of my most disliked entries in the series. The campaign is a huge step down from its original namesake, and the multiplayer has disappointed me on many levels. I know Activision loves to get a slice of the CoD pie every single year, but I still think we’d be better off with fewer titles, bigger innovations.
With now two excellent games under its belt, it beckons the question of where the franchise goes next. Do we go for a simple Mario & Rabbids 3? Do we add Zelda or Pokemon characters into the mix? Do we change genres, turn it into a soulslike or roguelike? Whatever happens, I just need more.
The Last of Us Part 1 is a game that doesn’t feel like it needs to exist, but I’m glad it does. Even though that outdated 2013 design still bleeds through, the visual upgrades, combat tweaks and accessibility improvements makes it feel like a brand new title. In time, this will become the de facto definitive edition of the game that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
By now we’re definitely starting to feel the effects of genre fatigue amongst soulslikes. And Thymesia certainly reaches a point where it can’t separate itself from the games that came before. However, there is still a lot of originality in its combat systems and world design so that the game doesn’t feel too derivative. It’s just a shame that clunky controls and awkward bugs hold it back.
To put it simply: Rollerdrome is fantastic. It’s easily one of the coolest games I’ve played all year. Although there are a few missed opportunities here and there, the gameplay is continuously creative, the story alluring, and there’s never a dull moment.
When I think about Marvel’s Spider-Man, my mind keeps returning to a moment early on in the game, where Peter gives Miles Morales a couple of pointers about how to fight well. The pair exchange jokes, look out for each other, and there’s the inception of a real bond there that carries through the rest of the game. This is at the core of Spider-Man’s heart; how well the character warms to the people of New York City. Insomniac Games’ understanding of the source material is truly what makes it shine.
So overall, is As Dusk Falls worth it? It has a captivating story with more than a few rocky moments, but is as close to feeling “genre” as it can get. It also has a lot of shortcomings that might only be saved by the interesting multiplayer features. It’s the perfect game to pull out for any digital or physical get-togethers, but is otherwise a reminder of wasted potential.
Putting it under the scope, Rebellion Developments has delivered a coherent, open-ended stealth experience filled with plenty of freedom. This is peak Sniper Elite, with so much about the game inspiring tactical, sneaky gameplay that makes you feel like a real wartime marksman.
Despite its faults, I think I’ll be coming back to Evil Dead: The Game quite often. It’s got a solid foundation for asymmetrical multiplayer that doesn’t tread on the toes of its competitors, while also remaining a fun and cohesive adaptation of the source material.
Altogether, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the best LEGO game I’ve played in years. It rightly innovates far beyond the standardised formula that this series has built over the years with some fresh ideas. With such strong source material, however, there are so many sequences that feel hung out to dry.