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.
I really liked Saints Row: the Third when it came out some nine years ago, and I’m impressed by how well it actually holds up. Yeah, the driving and shooting feel quite basic, but honestly GTA V doesn’t feel any better in terms of its core movement, shooting and driving yet people still love it. Saints Row: the Third usually finds inventive, funny and entertaining ways to stage its missions and gameplay so that you never notice the problems with it. The result is a game that’s just plain fun and has a bunch of memorable missions, moments and characters. So many games try to be gritty and realistic, or present high concepts,. Sometimes you really just want to sit down and ride a panda-quadbike around while dressed like a wizard and shooting at Luchadores.
I’m actually surprised by how disarmingly cute, charming and engaging Before We Leave really is. I’ve always been able to fire up strategy games and wind up losing a few hours before I’ve realized what’s happening, but Before We Leave is especially good at it. It’s the perfect lazy evening game for when you kind of want to build up a colony and watch it grow but don’t fancy all the moral schtick of Frostpunk or the complexity of something like Cities Skylines. Balancing Monkey Games have done a terrific job.
It feels unfair to rag on the game so much though. Shred 2! is made by one guy and a friend who leant some coding help. If you can accept the limitations that come with that, then there is fun to be had. It’s the kind of game I could see attracting a small but hardcore group of fans who are willing to put in the time and have the patience to work with its flaws. Hell, I’d probably myself in that camp because while at first I honestly disliked Shred 2! it grew on me like some sort of hideous growth. Once the clumsy controls click with you and you begin to learn the game’s many quirks it becomes genuinely fun, challenging and satisfying to play.
I didn’t go into Gears Tactics expecting very much. Why would I? And yet really it makes so much sense. Those giant walking meat-slabs have jumped perfectly from their cover-based shooting to turn-based cover shooting. Splash Damage have done an outstanding job taking the foundations laid by XCOM and building on top of that before loading it all in a heavy, sweaty layer of Gears armour before strapping a Lancer to it. The lack of a more meaningful metagame between the action hurts it a little, but Gears Tactics more than makes up for it with it’s fantastically fun tactical plotting and in the way it lets you chainsaw Grubs in half. Which XCOM doesn’t. And really, isn’t that what we all want in life?
I never would have imagined that the weirdest thing of 2020 is that I’m playing Streets of Rage 4. I never saw this coming. I never once considered that after 26-years since Streets of Rage 3 we’d get a sequel. How did this even happen? Where did this come from? I don’t know. I don’t care, because Streets of Rage 4 is a hell of a sequel.
For such a meagre price XCOM: Chimera Squad packs somewhere in the realm of 20-hours of content into its slim frame. It almost feels unfair to compare it so frequently to XCOM 2 since it’s a small-scale spin-off. But Chimera Squad manages to find its own identity while still retaining the general feel of XCOM, even if the pre-defined characters and lack of perma-death might put veterans of the franchise off entirely. And that’s fair because making up your own squad and forming tales of their heroics and their demises has been core to XCOM since it returned from the dead in 2013. But if you can look past that there’s a lot to like in XCOM: Chimera Squad, and if you’re a lover of turn-based tactics games then this is well worth playing, though it has some incredibly tough competition in Gears Tactics at the moment.
sometimes you don’t want something complicated that makes your head hurt from all of the tactical and strategic possibilities. As awesome as XCOM 2 is, it’s hardly a relaxing game to play. Fort Triumph however, takes great joy in being a straightforward game where you can zone out a little, enjoy the bright colours and engage your brain just enough to stop you becoming a complete and total couch vegetable.
Look, with some work Decay of Logos could become a decent action-adventure game, but I don’t foresee any updated fixing its many core design flaws, and that includes the woefully boring and frequently annoying combat. It doesn’t feel good to be so negative towards Decay of Logos considering it’s the work of just four people who have quite clearly put everything into making it. Those are four people who have awesome careers ahead of them. But my allegiance lies with the player, and I can’t recommend Decay of Logos.
Control is truly brilliant, a bona fide contender for the Game of the Year crown. It boasts great performances, a strong story, a detailed and intriguing world and superb gameplay. It has issues, and the narrative’s vagueness might irritate as many people as it impresses, but ultimately a review is all about a personal experience and I utterly adored and loved every damn minute of Control. Right now it is my game of the year. Whether it can stay there given the quality of the game’s to come in 2019 remains to be seen, but you need to play this one.