Gwent: Rogue Mage is a great evolution of an already-satisfying foundation. The roguelike trappings of travelling across an ever-changing board full of shifting events and encounters meld wonderfully into the action of Gwent battles. Some redundant events and bothersome bugs aside, this is a real treat.
Salt and Sacrifice is a riff on what came before, but not an entirely successful one. A tense, fraught combat system with gallons of customisation options carries Ska Studios’ sequel, and boss fights are entertaining if overly tough at times, but the storytelling and narrative designs of Salt and Sanctuary can’t hold up their end of the bargain.
While its leading pair and open world design stumble at times, Ghostwire’s wonderfully weird side stories and engrossing combat, more than pick up any slack and work in harmony with the game's more zany and offbeat elements to create a world that hasn't just got looks, but one hell of a spirit, too.
Shin Megami Tensei 5’s combat is great, punishing and rewarding in equal measure without ever tipping the scales too far in one direction. Mixing and matching your deck of demons makes for great fun as well, and spurs you to look to all corners of the ruined world for allies of all shapes and sizes. It’s everything outside of the battling and grungy soundtrack where Shin Megami Tensei 5 badly misses the mark, with one-note characters that you’re never given the chance to better know, and a paper-thin plot that feels dragged out over dozens of hours. Shin Megami Tensei 5 is a good RPG battler, but it’s not good at much else.
Although the playable roster of The Hinokami Chronicles is feeling the lack of demons right now, there's a lot to enjoy from the characters who are there. This 3D fighter delivers on the promise of a power fantasy of Gotouge's manga epic.
Monster Hunter Rise is a great adventure, providing fascinating new tools like the Wirebug and walking a fine line between arcade and fast-paced HD gameplay. The Rampages are a neat new addition when used sparingly, but a reliance on online hunts to finish Rise's story is a puzzling step.