So let’s wrap all this up and stick a nice little bow on it, yeah? I liked Tropico 6, just as I liked the prior games, too. But I can’t claim that this latest iteration is any better than Tropico 4 or 5. The swap to multiple islands is fun, the humour still brings a smile to my face and building a rum empire is a hooch. There are just problems holding Tropico 6 back from getting a 4+ score from me, but hopefully in time those issues will be fixed. Until then this is still a great city-builder that fans of the genre will have plenty of fun with.
I love the ideas that Avalanche brought to the table and there are moments where Generation Zero gets it right. The emptiness of the large world might annoy me because it feels superfluous, but it does create a sense of isolation which mixes nicely with the roaming bands of robots to create a tense atmosphere, at least for the first hour or two. I also enjoyed the more careful approach to combat, the fantastic robot designs and teaming up with friends or even random players. Sadly, though, the core mechanics of stealth, shooting and looting didn’t click with me. Yet, I’d still like to see a sequel because there’s some great potential on show in Generation Zero.
Still, what we’ve gotten is a robust looter-shooter that feels like it runs rings around Anthem’s slim end game and miserly loot. It’s still a looter-shooter at its core and thus the trappings of the genre are present, so if the idea of doing the same things over and over in the name of better loot doesn’t appeal to you then The Division 2 simply won’t change your mind. If piles of shiny new gear haunt your every waking moment, though, then The Division 2 is arguably the best looter-shooter since Borderlands 2 introduced the idea of a diamond pony called Butt Stallion.
Devil May Cry 5 is simply one of the best pure action games of all time, and is easily in contention for Game of the Year. It channels the feel of an old-school PS2 game without ever feeling dated or weaker for it. The depths of moves on offer, the fluidity with which it can all be chained together and joys of chasing the elusive SSS sparked the same excitement in me that Devil May Cry 3 did all those years ago. Except Devil May Cry 5 is better. It is truly, truly fantastic.
Here’s the kicker, though; despite its myriad problems I actually kind of like Anthem. I found myself sinking into its simple gameplay loops. But there are too many basic design problems holding Anthem back. As a live service game it’s hard to know what the future holds for BioWare’s looter-shooter, but right now I’d recommend you wait a while before picking Anthem up. In its current state it has okay combat, poor enemy design, boring missions, dull loot and enough loading screens to let you catch up on your reading.
Trials: Rising is a tricky one to score. At its very core what makes the Trials games so addictive, so satisfying and so god-damn rewarding is still present. Once again I found myself clutching the controller at 3am with a slightly manic expression plastered across my sweat-covered face, mumbling something about needing to bounce the back wheel off that edge to shave off some time. Once again, I found myself thinking, “Just one more go. Alright, maybe two.” again and again and again. It’s just irritating that Trials, arguably the quintessential example of a sleek game, has got bloated in this latest iteration.
It’s a tough game, often unforgiving and demanding of your time. Once you begin to understand how to shift those rally cars around, though, DiRT 2.0 becomes something special. I love this game. Love, love, love it. It easily gets a recommendation from me, and while 4.5 is perhaps too high a score considering the lack of snow stages and VR support out of the box I just can’t help but grin like an idiot when I’m playing
Ultimately, it’s a pretty fun little party game. You could bring it out for non-gaming friends to experience VR for the first time, especially since it can be played sitting down. The simple mechanics are easy to grasp, after all, and there’s nothing to motion-heavy that might make for queasy stomachs. This also makes it a solid choice for kids.
Although not Earth-shatteringly original Unruly Heroes is a wonderful example of how to make an excellent platformer. It practically drips charm thanks to the outstanding visuals and strong music, yet underneath that is a game that feels great to play with a penchant for delivering smart gameplay twists which keep things fresh.
So my final verdict on At The Gates is that it’s a 4X brimming with potential, but in its current state is certainly not a game I can recommend to everyone. The story of the development and of Jon Shafer himself is a hell of a tale, and I always hate sounding negative about projects like this but ultimately there some pretty big flaws holding the gates closed. Unless you’re a die-hard 4X consider waiting a while for this one.
At times Just Cause 4 excels at being a playground for destruction, a welcome bit of silly entertainment that lets you ride on top of a car over the edge of a cliff before jumping off, opening your chute, pulling out a rocket launcher and raining down hell.
So, I’m not giving this the recommended sticker. It’s too inconsistent for that. But I will say by ignoring the microtransctions and accepting the story for what it was I did have a blast playing Shadow of War, and found myself constantly going back to track down a few more Captains or to just play around with Nemesis system.
if you want a more polished and forgiving game then opt for DiRT 4, but if you’re a big rally fan who is looking for a challenge then WRC 7 is the game for you. The wonderful handling, great stages and awesome physics all add up to something that feels excellent to play.
But the worst thing of all is that I wanted to like Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3. I can’t even bring myself to say it’s a bad game, as such, because underneath the problems there’s something genuinely fun and enjoyable just waiting to burst free, or in this case shuffle out in slightly embarrassed fashion once City Interactive has put out a few patches.
For many people it isn’t going to be the sequel they wanted, but taken on its own merits there’s a lot to like here, even if it does mean it’s hard to see exactly what the future of the franchise may be moving forward.