A Plague Tale: Innocence is a grim, gripping, and fantastic adventure. The solid stealth gameplay offers little new, but the unique setting, affecting characters, excellent dialogue, and oppressive atmosphere more than redress that linearity. Add to this a lean design, an emotive score, and a commitment to narrative focus, and A Plague Tale deserves to be heralded as one of 2019's very best adventures.
Nearly 30 years later, Mortal Kombat still deserves to hang in the top-tier of fighting games. With improved visuals, overhauled mechanics and exciting strategic potential, MK 11 offers a brilliant fighting experience. Unfortunately, the overall fun is bogged down with miserable modern-day business practices that frequently pump the brakes on your enjoyment. The Fight is the thing, however, and as long as the fists are flying, then Mortal Kombat 11 packs a helluva punch.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid suffers from dated visuals, poor presentation, and a serious lack of content, unable to hide its low-budget shortcomings. At its core is something of a slick and wholly-accessible fighting game. Yet without the visual pizazz of the brand, a full, varied roster of characters, or a glut of exciting content to dive into, Battle for the Grid ultimately feels like the unfinished prototype of what could have been a very special release.
Strictly speaking, you don't need a review to tell you whether to play the final episode in the fourth season of a franchise. This far down the line, you're already on board, or you aren't. I think Take Us Back's writing will find some division in the community, regardless of your own personal outcome.
While it still makes for a fun fighting experience, Dead or Alive 6 shows that the brand has unquestionably run out of ideas. With little to showcase in the way of fresh concepts, exciting gameplay ideas, or brand creativity, this long-running series chooses to coast by on being "more of the same.", whilst hoping to be the engine that pulls the DLC train. During this competitive era of fighting game reinvention, that just isn't going to cut it for your 60 bucks.
Ape Out is a marvelous example of what can be done with gaming when a handful of talent think outside the box. Challenging, occasionally annoying, but addictive gameplay, painted in gorgeous splashes of colour and quirky, attractive visuals, all backed with a breathless score. This odd release is proof positive that creativity in gaming remains alive and well. Go Ape.
Metro Exodus is a tour-de-force in apocalyptic exploration. It offers a rich, evolving world, brought to life with stunning visuals, immersive sound and ghastly creatures. These thrills and chills are irritatingly tempered with menial tasks, poor voice acting, dull stealth and a soulless hero, all of which prevent Metro Exodus from achieving its true potential. Behind these grievances, however, lies a thrilling adventure for anyone who dares board The Aurora. Just prepare to get your ticket punched.
Video games have really changed as a storytelling medium. what was once a casual dash from left-to-right, dropping baddies and collecting shiny objects, opened up into new realms of drama, narrative and even philosophical messages. Of course, that doesn't make these games immediately any better than the goofy platformers and shmups of gaming's formative years, but it has been amazing to see the many different ways gaming has been adapted by talented designers to tell all manner of dark, abstract and inquisitive tales.Into a busy market of chin-stroking titles such as The Missing, Gris and Gone Home comes Vane, a new PS4 adventure from Tokyo outfit Friend or Foe. Vane, like its brethren, eschews typical action gameplay to present a mood-piece adventure, not dissimilar from the work done by Team ICO. Vane wants to put freedom back in the hands of the player, letting them engage in a strange, mystical journey - without hand-holding - and with player-led discovery being the ultimate prize.
I remain invested in The Walking Dead as it nears its conclusion, now just two months away. Though the move to Skybound hasn't improved the technical reliability of the Telltale Games experience, the artists, writers, and voice actors continue to present a story that remains suspenseful, delivering some great individual moments, even if it sometimes pads the run-time to reach them. Beyond that, it's just nice to see you again, Clem.