I love the core concept of Bullets Per Minute, and I admire the developers for trying to bring it to life. But…it doesn’t quite work as well as it could have, or should have. It’s like they had this awesome idea, and then glued, taped and nailed a rough game around it. It has flashes of brilliance. Moments where it all comes together and your timing is perfect and your foot is tapping. Those moments are rarer than they need to be. Between them you deal with lack of musical variety, the aggressive colouring and the rogue-like structure that doesn’t quite work. It needs more fleshing out. But I think for some people it’s going to really click with them, and for around £15 you’re getting something different and interesting. Maybe that’s enough.
Putting together a final rating for this package is tricky, much like it always is for a remaster. Ultimately, then, I’m aiming this final score more toward people who have never played the game before. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning needs some spit and polish to get it working properly. If that happens you can bring the score up to a full four out of five stars. But right now, if you can deal with its issues there’s an RPG that was clearly made with love waiting for you.
There’s a lot to like about Iron Harvest. It looks lovely and the battles have an excellent sense of spectacle to them as the gigantic mechs unleash hell while infantry squads exchange fire. And while the gameplay isn’t as tactically deep as Company of Heroes or other RTS titles on the market it’s still a lot of fun, flaws and all. But those flaws can’t be ignored: dishonest marketing, uneven campaign difficulty, dull A.I., and very few maps. I think Iron Harvest has a mech load of potential, and in a year or two could be an excellent game. Here and now, it’s a decent RTS and worth playing if you aren’t looking for something deep and fancy some spectacle.
Ultimately, I like the idea of Griefhelm and with some work it could be fantastic. However, it also feels like a game that would have been better served launching in Early Access to iron out its kinks. If you’ve got a group of friends willing to jump in with you then there’s fun to be had provided you don’t take it too seriously.
Hellpoint is another one of those games that wears its Dark Souls inspirations proudly but doesn’t understand what exactly makes Dark Souls so beloved. It struggles to forge an identity for itself, while also not doing any of the main Souls mechanics as well as other games. It does, however, have a certain rough charm hiding within its bleak sci-fi corridors and behind its many, many hidden doors. If you’re a glutton for smacking evil stuff around and getting lost then Hellpoint might be worth buying after a price drop.
There’s a lot of things I think Death Stranding gets wrong. Many of them I’ve not even mentioned here because they’re small things, but things that add up. And yet I found myself thinking about playing Death Stranding even when I was doing other things. Despite everything, I was perfectly happy to fire the game up and spend a few hours building roads, dragging boxes up hills, delivering a pile of stuff in a truck and riding ziplines around. Along the way I thought about life and death, my own health and the state of the world, the people I love and my plans and so much more. Above all else, I thought about how crazy Kojima is and how I’m really glad he’s crazy and has the clout to make games like Death Stranding, games that would never otherwise get to see the light of release because publishers would be terrified of it. Because Death Stranding is like nothing else you’ve ever played. It’s unique, and that’s not an easy thing to be these days.
All in all, Destroy All Humans is a solid remake of a great little game. Naturally the mission designs and some of the other gameplay elements are a little creaky in 2020, but the developers have done a good job of modifying the core gameplay so that it holds up quite well while still retaining the feel of the original game. Hopefully those who played Destroy All Humans back in 2005 can relive their memories along with a brand new audience who can discover the joys of anal probing.
Being booted back to the dashboard pretty consistently was a massive blow to my enjoyment, so that needs to get patched out quickly, but otherwise, this is the biggest and best F1 package we've got from Codemasters to date. My Team adds a heap of extra longevity to the game. On top of that, there's now a dedicated E-sports menu, online leagues and weekly events, so there's plenty of content to enjoy. The new Podium Pass system is the only question mark. Hopefully, Codemasters will resist the urge to turn its F1 license into yet another horrendous "live-service" marketplace, and will instead continue to build on their great new My Team mode and deliver outstanding on-track action for us Formula 1 fans.
Desperados 3 is not a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a case of the awesome, the great and the good. There’s a few weak points here and there, but overall this is a sumptuous piece of real-time tactics. It’s rewarding and satisfying to play, doesn’t hold your hand and makes you feel like a badass when you pull off the perfect plan. And when everything goes wrong and the bullets are flying it’s always your fault. You can see where you went wrong, and so you just reload a save and tweak your plan a bit. We’ve already had some terrific tactical games this year, but this is the best of the bunch. Utterly, utterly brilliant.
It’s such a cool concept and the core gameplay is absurdly fun at times. But once the initial novelty of biting pesky humans in half wears off you’re left with a meatless carcass. Maybe wait for a sale on this one, unless you’re after a mindless power-fantasy and don’t mind repetitive missions.