Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood might be fun during minute-to-minute gameplay, but it is seriously lacking in complexity when it comes to actual “role-playing”. If you’re after an experience akin to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, you’ll have to hold out for its sequel.
As a linear, narrative-driven horror game, The Medium is easy to recommend – and a no-brainer if you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription – thanks to the balance of unsettling exploration, involved puzzles, a handful of terrifying encounters, and frequent narrative beats.
If you’re looking for a charming, visually-spectacular, mechanically-satisfying platform-puzzler, that’s exponentially better with friends, Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince offers up tons of content at half the price of a typical big-budget release.
The Surge 2 doesn’t feel like a massive technological step forward from the original, but on the narrative and gameplay front, it exceeds or refines the experience. Jericho City is a joy to explore, the narrative is more complex, bosses more numerous, and the excellent combat and progression system still engaging.
The sights and sounds of the forest keep you unsettled, Ellis’ flashbacks and conversations slowly unravel his past, puzzling and combat is nicely interspersed with exploration, and Bullet is one of my new favourite animal companions in a video game.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a great coop experience that manages to retain several elements of the prior Wolfenstein games – the gunplay, the characters, the excellent writing, and presentation – but changes up the mission-flow, enemy encounters, and the levelling mechanics to better facilitate a faster-paced game.