Song of Iron is a short and sweet Nordic adventure that tells a simple story which ends up much deeper than it first seems. With a range of gorgeous environments to explore and relatively satisfying combat, it only occasionally frustrates with some tricky boss fights and clunky movement resulting in some platforming pitfalls. Still, these grievances don’t last long, as I found the world created by Resting Relic to be a stunning one to explore and very thoughtful in its style and presentation. Mostly, I’m just astonished with how great it is that a solo developer is capable of creating this wonderful little journey, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Black Book is a bewitching combo of deck-building RPG and D&D-esque storytelling, with a bucket load of ideas where some work better than others. With some refinement and editing, Black Book could have been a must-play release. Without it, it’s still an intriguing mix of gameplay systems that is bolstered by its striking visual style and incredible attention to detail with its Northern Slavic mythology and well-thought-out story-telling. It’s definitely like nothing else I’ve played this year, which is worth celebrating. Despite its shortcomings, I couldn’t help but be under Black Book’s unique spell.
Scarlet Nexus combines an enthralling story with fascinating characters and an addictive combat system that demands your attention. As you slowly peel back the layers of its cast, the twists and turns of the narrative will keep you engaged throughout its lengthy adventure, and as your skills increase, battles become a chaotic dance of exploding enemy bits, crazy finishing movies and endorphin increasing pleasure. While there are some areas that can feel repetitive at times and the visual novel presentation of its cutscenes might not be for everyone, there’s a lot packed into this dual protagonist story that begs for an extra playthrough as soon as you finish your first. Scarlet Nexus is unmatched when it comes to style and oomph. It manages to incorporate so many clever and creative combat systems that are slick and exciting that it far outweighs the slower pace of its narrative with in-your-face, over-the-top action that simply must be played to be believed.
Biomutant is full of creative ideas and unique thoughts that, when combined with such a gorgeous and compelling environment to explore, could have made for a top-tier experience that is easy to recommend. However, the fact that it has so many ideas crammed in that it almost feels like too much, and an open world that can feel very by-the-numbers, makes Biomutant a solid game that misses the mark almost as much as it hits the nail on the head.
Gnosia is an eccentric blend of visual novel, Werewolf-style social deduction and RPG mechanics that somehow manages to pull it all together to make one of the most intriguing game releases this year. While some repetitive and frustrating moments mean that the game feels a little bit longer than it should, its cast of quirky, likable characters and quite frankly addictive gameplay loop will keep you just as much on the edge of your seat in Loop 1 as it will in Loop 100. There’s a wild ride to unravel, full of crazy twists and turns, and combined with the sharp writing and clever mashup of different genres, Gnosia truly stands out as a fascinating addition to your Switch library. Just be careful who you trust.
The Medium feels like a culmination of everything Bloober Team have learned from their previous titles, pushing the envelope creatively while still heavily referencing classic horror games as their inspiration. The adventure does an excellent job of immersing you in its dark and twisted world, full of tortured souls and dark secrets begging to be uncovered. The dual-reality gameplay adds a fantastic riff to proceedings, a mechanic that has been cleverly injected into the gameplay and story in a really compelling way. While it could stand to leave some of its old-school sensibilities behind, its heartfelt story and creepy setting demands your attention right up until the credits roll.
It’s genuinely thrilling to see a game like Immortals Fenyx Rising, which has taken the often discussed and sometimes criticised Ubisoft open world, and taken full advantage of it, with a light-hearted tone and so much charisma from its cast and script that it’s impossible not to crack a smile when playing.
It’s so alluring, so magical, so mysterious and just so damn captivating that even when you’re dying over and over, you simply can’t stop exploring. With little touches that only the new generation of consoles can provide, this 2009 remake is the best launch title to add to your collection. Get your shield up, and prepare to die.
It’s a shame, because there are elements of an enjoyable co-op adventure here that still kept us playing over several nights. At the end of the day, it all just felt a little bit soulless; ticking the boxes of what the genre should be, but never pushing to excel in anything in particular.