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.
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.
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
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.
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.
On launch Days Gone got a fairly lukewarm reception from critics, and I’d have to say that many of the issues they raised are perfectly valid. The combat is clunky, the stealth is basic, the enemies are essentially just zombies again. It also doesn’t do anything particularly new or innovative. There;s really no single thing I can point to and say, “that, that’s what makes Days Gone good.” But the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts, and while Days Gone does have its issues it’s also shitloads of fun. I doubt you’ll regret picking up this latest in a long line of strong Sony exclusives. I, for one, have certainly loved sinking dozens of hours into Days Gone and plan on playing many, many more.
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.
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.
When I started writing this review I had mixed feelings about Mortal Kombat 11. The story was a blast and the core fighting mechanics are fantastic, but the badly judged progression system was such a massive grind. Since then, though, I’ve had to re-write chunks of this review to reflect the updates that NetherRealm have put out. I can’t speak for the future and where things might go, but for now they’ve managed to really improve the economy. Hopefully they’ll continue on the path of goodness. So, before the updates Mortal Kombat 11 was going to score less, but now I feel happy giving it….
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.