DEATHLOOP is a cathartic blend of stealth, gunplay and powers that culminate in a satisfying gameplay loop as you explore the eccentric island of Blackreef. Whilst the narrative payoffs don’t always live up to the intriguing premise, there’s an undeniable sense of style and substance that help carry the game into really favourable territory. Knowledge really is power in DEATHLOOP and there’s a pleasurable novelty to much of the game’s design that allows it to feel engaging even when the player’s hand is held a little too tightly. Even within a year of time loop releases, DEATHLOOP stands out as its own unique beast worth experiencing.
Lost in Random depicts a stunningly unique and eccentric world filled to the brim with character and personality. The Tim-Burton visuals and the kooky cast of characters you’ll meet in each distinctively different region means there’s never a dull moment to this journey. Clever strategy card elements help to mask the game’s rather unremarkable real-time combat, with some control issues that hurt the overall experience. Yet despite its flaws, Lost in Random still brings the goods and had me engaged from unlucky start to triumphantly random end.
Death’s Door crashes onto the scene stylistically with an amazingly detailed, interconnected world full to the brim with personality and secrets. The game introduces great characters that bring with them charisma and humanity as it lovingly juggles both the morbid and the beautiful sides of its narrative. With simply phenomenal sound design that lovingly accompanies and amplifies the visuals and atmosphere, Death’s Door presents one door absolutely worth knocking on.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is another action adventure triumph for PlayStation and Insomniac Games. It’s got a world that’s so full of colour and life, lovable new characters who bring clever diversity to a well-established cast, and an ever-changing gameplay loop that’s downright fun and engaging. Even if the game panders a little too heavily to a younger audience for my taste, it still excels in enough areas to make this an easy recommendation for nostalgic fans and newcomers alike.
Returnal comes in with some new ideas and finds a way to implement them incredibly well. The game has an attention to detail and a unique sense of style that goes beyond anything I would have expected from this comparatively small development studio. It’s a roguelike with a great deal of substance and scope and feels really good with a DualSense in your hands. Despite one decently sizable detractor in its lack of autosave functionality, Returnal proves to be a remarkably fun and satisfying experience from beginning to end.
It Takes Two is a one-of-a-kind experience. There is a joy and whimsy to the entire game and so much variety it’ll keep players entertained and surprised from beginning to end. The world is so detailed and gorgeous and the cohesion between storytelling and gameplay is incredibly impressive. It’s the kind of game that proves there’s still plenty of room for innovation in games.
I really really enjoyed my time with Curse of the Dead Gods and am happy to call this a great game. It’s an idea that’s been done before, but Curse of the Dead Gods executes on that idea almost flawlessly. The game is polished and deep with a really solid amount of content that’ll keep players entertained for hours. For those seeking a challenging combat Roguelike game, you won’t be disappointed with this release.
Gods Will Fall left me a little torn. It’s a game with interesting ideas and enough confidence to pursue those ideas even if they go against the status quo of typical game design. I love how the game creates this reactive and adaptive world and asks the player to deal with the consequences of their losses. It’s a highly replayable game too, and a game that creates a challenge worth pursuing. But some roughness and awkwardness in the combat, traversal, and design mean this won’t be a game everybody will enjoy. Regardless, I had a good time with Gods Will Fall and would love to see the concept iterated upon again in the future.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an exciting game. It’s very easy to put a huge and ambitious title like this under a microscope and point out all the ways it could be better. But at the end of the day, I enjoyed my time with the game and found some parts that I really did love. I can’t help but feel that if Cyberpunk 2077 was a more focussed game that didn’t try to do so much it could have been a better experience that was more achievable for the developers. Although in its current state there’s no denying that some elements work better than others. Ultimately though there’s no regrets in checking out Night City. If you have a powerful PC that can run the game comfortably then I have no problems recommending this daunting yet engaging experience.