Perhaps best described as Firewatch in Space, The Invincible is a narrative game that weaves a compelling mystery, but not compelling gameplay. The slow-burn story takes a little while to get going and the ending leaves something to be desired, but everything in the middle tells a thoughtful, traditional sci-fi story of people, evolution and what mysteries we might find in the universe should we ever be able to travel through the void of space. I’d recommend this one only to the more die-hard walking sim and sci-fi fans who have the patience needed to fully enjoy The Invincible’s narrative.
For the most part, Mirage is indeed a return to those days, though it doesn’t entirely abandon some of the modern Assassin’s Creed DNA. Though not perfect and certainly not mind-blowing, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a solid entry in the series that might show Ubisoft that games don’t have to cost the world to develop or contain hundreds of hours of content.
If, like me, you’re a Mortal Kombat fan then Mortal Kombat 1 is a no-brainer – it’s as fun as ever with a great roster and an excellent new Kameo system. However, if you’ve found yourself tiring of the MK formula over the past few games and were hoping the timeline reboot would herald a big new change, then MK1 isn’t going to change your mind. It’s a very safe release, and considering how incredibly popular the modern Mortal Kombat games are it’s understandable that Netherealm don’t want to change the formula too much lest it all end in a brutal Fatality.
It’s so tightly designed from end to end, smartly tying in its gameplay mechanics with its story in ways I think a lot of other games could learn from. While I think some players might prefer the structure of Desperados 3, the supernatural pirate theme, big environments and excellent characters make Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew the best game Mimimi has ever made, and a fantastic way to wrap up their career.
Moving Out 2 is a solid sequel to an already excellent game. Not every new addition is a hit but the majority are, adding in plenty of barmy ideas to an already manic game. It’s a hoot with a few pals sitting on the couch and having a laugh as they hurl a microwave through a window and bounce it off a parasol into the truck. Just be careful that the farmyard levels don’t turn your friend group into an angry mob baying for blood.
No matter what I was doing, me and Dave were having a pretty good time and along the way a strange little family of misfits was born, all based around my own favourite food: sushi. Dave the Diver isn’t as deep as the ocean, but it’s deep enough and casts its net wide to drag in all manner of crazy elements. The mix of underwater water adventuring and sushi bar management is like a sumptuous piece of salmon nigiri: simple yet elegant, basic and yet somehow so effortlessly tasty. The game’s other elements serve as the soy sauce for dipping and wasabi for that little touch of tingle on the tongue
I think AEW: Fight Forever is a good start for Yukes to build upon, whether that’s through iterative sequels or as a long-term platform. The core wrestling is a lot of fun, accessible and captures the bombastic nature of the sport in a way that the WWE games don’t. It’s a smart move because it means AEW: Fight Forever positions itself as an alternative rather than a direct competitor. If Yukes can start adding a lot more content to the wrestler creation systems and flesh out the Road to Elite mode, this could be a winner.
Although I do think the premise for the game was good, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a slog to get through. The boring missions, bland environments, flat gameplay, poor graphics and average story combine to make this, at best, a completely mediocre experience. But once you take the multiple issues into consideration and the fact that Daedalic wanted £60 for it, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum becomes like its namesake: a pitiful wretch corrupted by the allure of the One Ring.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a tough game to recommend, and yet I think for the right people it may be a case worth taking on. It’s just a shame that the clunky controls and the dull combat really hurt the rest of the game because there’s a lot to like. The puzzles are generally fun to solve, the world is interesting, the story has some cool ideas and it looks terrific. Hopefully, a couple of substantial updates may be able to improve the overall feel and do justice to everything else.
Ravenlok delights in its straightforwardness. It’s not trying to be an epic triple-A adventure or a deeply meaningful tale of morality. Instead, it’s content to be a charming little gem that’s great for younger gamers or anyone just looking for some stress-free, relaxed gaming. Provided you understand what you’re jumping into, Ravenlok will be a pleasant and comfortable way to spend 3 or 4 hours hacking through a bunch of brain-dead foes and admiring the vibrant landscape.
Strayed Lights is a gorgeous journey through a dreamlike world, one that is often haunting in its size and sense of loneliness. It's a fantastic debut, a promising start for a new studio looking to make their mark in the incredibly competitive indie-game market. A few missteps hold Strayed Lights back and stop me from recommending it to everyone, but for the right group of people this is an excellent game.
Maybe Moviehouse is intended to be some sort of crazy parody of the modern movie machine. Perhaps it’s supposed to make you feel like Disney, mindlessly churning out scripts and movies to feed the insatiable appetites of movie-goers, each new film built on an established template. I think that’s giving Moviehouse too much credit, though, and even if that was the intent it wouldn’t fix the big problem – it’s just not fun.
Once a bastion of the RTS genre thanks to massive successes like Dawn of War and the original Company of Heroes, Relic has crumbled in recent years, their sterling reputation now resembling a building hammered by a mortar barrage. So after ten years without a sequel, bringing back Company of Heroes is their chance to show the world that Relic still has what it takes to deliver an awesome RTS experience. And do you know what? They come close. Company of Heroes 3 is very good at times. It’s also in need of some work.
Pharaoh: A New Era is not quite the perfect remake of the classic city-builder from the 90s that I was hoping for. The good news is that all of it is fixable, so we just have to hope that the developers will keep working on the game to iron all of its bugs. If they do, then this will be a fantastic remake of an already excellent game. Right now, though, it stands as a decent remake of an excellent game.
Pronty is a fairly typical Metroidvania game in most regards, drawing heavily from some of the genre’s big hitters and then mixing in some of its own unique elements. The result isn’t watered-down, it’s stronger for it. The underwater setting is beautiful and Pronty is a joy to control, especially in combat and against the fun bosses. If the Metroidvania genre hasn’t won you over I doubt Pronty will change your mind, but if you love getting lost in a big map and stumbling across an upgrade that opens up new doors, Pronty is fantastically designed and a lot of fishy fun.
For people like myself who already know the wizarding world of Harry Potter, who have devoured the books and scoured the films, Hogwarts Legacy is close to being a full five-star game. Just being able to stroll through the halls of Hogwarts, admiring the moving paintings and the obscene amounts of detail that Avalanche have put into it, is probably worth the price of entry alone. The fact that you’re getting a really good open-world game on top of it with fun combat is just the icing on the conjured cake. Sadly, though, I don’t think Hogwarts Legacy delivers on its story premise.
Of all the things I imagined Firaxis doing, mostly involving getting on with XCOM 3, there was never a point where I considered them getting their hands on the Marvel license and making a turn-based tactics game involving the Midnight Suns, cards and attending a weekly book club meeting with Blade where you end up discussing a Kree book outlining their military doctrine. And yet here we are. Firaxis has taken their genius and attempted something interesting and a little weird, mixing a bunch of ideas into a chunky 40+ hour adventure. Like a long-running comic’s canon, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is…complicated.
Crossfire: Legion is best described as a purely adequate RTS, which is why I’ve struggled to review it. Games like this are the hardest to talk about because there’s nothing that is worth dissecting or getting excited about. The gameplay is fine, the campaign is passable but dull and the online is already struggling to hold a healthy player base. Even though we have been starved of RTS titles recently, the only reason to buy Crossfire: Legion is if you’ve already played everything else and you really need to scratch that real-time strategy itch.